The Niva I drove which had been converted to a Fiat engine also had been converted to power steering. The difference this makes to driving a Niva is amazing. You have to drive one to fully appreciate this. If my conversion turns out as good as the one I drove then it should result in a nicely weighted steering. Light enough to allow fingertip control at slow speeds yet positive enough at open road speeds so as not to be vague as is often the case with over assisted steering. It should also result (I hope) in less kick back through the steering wheel when off-roading.
Performing this conversion with the engine in place would be virtually impossible. So while I am doing the engine converion it is also a good time to fit power steering.
The steering box I am using is a Toyota one. This particular one came out of a 1984 Toyota Cressida Grande Mk2. I am not sure if these steering boxes were fitted only to these models or if they are a universal steering box used across Toyota's range of mid-size sedans. The main advantage of using this box is that two of the three mounting holes line up with the mounting holes through the chassis of the Niva. The output shaft is the same diameter as the original Niva box but unfortunately the splines are not. Therefore the Niva droparm has to be modified to fit onto the Toyota box. Also because of the physical size difference between the two steering boxes the brake booster has to be shifted to make enough room for the box to fit.

Because this conversion involves me interfering with two major safety related componentry in my car (brakes and steering) I have to get the car certified by a specially licenced inspector here in New Zealand. To ensure that the car will pass inspection without any problems I have been in contact with an inspector right from the start, letting him know exactly what it is I wanted to do and what his thoughts were regarding this. The engine conversion forms part of this certification process as well.
I won't be using the Toyota pump to supply pressure to work the system. Instead I am going to be using the Fiat pump which came with the engine. This saves the hassle of having to make brackets to fit the Toyota pump to the Fiat engine and the usual belt and pulley alignment problems this usually brings. The Fiat pump is also a tidier and more compact unit. It is also driven by a toothed belt which can't slip as is often the case with V-belts.