'65 GTO Power Steering - Improving Road Feel - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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'65 GTO Power Steering - Improving Road Feel

My '65 was optioned with "Wonder Touch" power steering. The steering is so vague it makes me "wonder" where the road feel is.

Today, I went to a shop that specializes in steering. I was thinking I needed a faster ratio steering gear box. Mine is 4 turns lock to lock, I figured 3 turns L to L would be a big improvement in road feel.

Well... the shop owner said that replacing the steering box would have no effect on improving road feel. He said I needed to reduce the gallons/minute being pumped through the steering gear box by changing the high pressure orifice on the power steering pump. For example, reduce pumping from 4 gallons per minute to 3 gallons a minute.

He said it was a cheap, easy fix if... I could find a smaller orifice to fit my PS pump. Does anyone have any experience or advice on this? Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 06:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roqetman View Post
My '65 was optioned with "Wonder Touch" power steering. The steering is so vague it makes me "wonder" where the road feel is.

Today, I went to a shop that specializes in steering. I was thinking I needed a faster ratio steering gear box. Mine is 4 turns lock to lock, I figured 3 turns L to L would be a big improvement in road feel.

Well... the shop owner said that replacing the steering box would have no effect on improving road feel. He said I needed to reduce the gallons/minute being pumped through the steering gear box by changing the high pressure orifice on the power steering pump. For example, reduce pumping from 4 gallons per minute to 3 gallons a minute.

He said it was a cheap, easy fix if... I could find a smaller orifice to fit my PS pump. Does anyone have any experience or advice on this? Thanks!
I do not know about the power steering, however when my GTO was rebuilt they used all poly bushings and new ball joints. This helped a lot with road feel. Make sure everything is in good shape under there.

It is still no Vette, but it was never meant to be either.

1965 GTO Convertible, Hurst 4 Speed
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 07:57 AM
 
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There is a guy who rebuilds those steering boxes to lower the ratio as some people like the more modern feel of a closer ratio steering, seems like he was in Arkansas. I like mine stock, different than the modern cars, but like request said first you need to have a tight front end and linkage. Which you may already have done.

Things like loose or worn front wheel bearings can make the car feel real sloppy. Worn front ball joints as well. The front linkage tie rods and pitman arm if original could be real sloppy and the car doesn't feel right. Good alignment as well.

But if close ratio steering is wanted it can be done, pressure valve in power steering....might make turning the wheel easier or harder....I suppose....but road feel don't know. If you are sure your front end is all right try to find that guy that rebuilds classic car steering boxes and talk to him.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 10:01 AM
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I've experienced two rebuilt boxes in these cars: my buddy bought a fast ratio from the vendors, and I bought a $138 stock replacement from NAPA or O'Reilly's. Both of them have road feel like a modern car. I actually miss the classic 'no feel at all' of my original box. The front ends in both GTO's were/are in perfect condition. Your mechanic is correct, though, and a smart guy. I suspect the reman boxes use a different orifice than the '60's original.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. I did find a power steering pressure reducing kit that I'm going to experiment with and I also found that the front end ball joints and bushings need replacing. So as usual with old cars... One thing leads to another!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 05:09 PM
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Great news. There is a difference between 'no road feel' of an over-boosted system and a sloppy steering system. Even with the 'no road feel' oem box in my '65 GTO, it tracks straight and is not sloppy. When I replaced the tight but leaking box in the '67, it changed the 'no road feel' to 'road feel', like a newer car with power steering. Probably has the different orifice. I like it fine, but it doesn't feel 'original' anymore.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 03:58 PM
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When I replaced my leaky box in the `65 I tried a quick steer box and hated it. Swapped it back out for the normal one and never looked back. I have no problem with road feel, but my front end is in great shape and new shocks all the way around with drag bags in the rear. Make sure that rubber puck between the steering shaft and box is in good shape too.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 07:41 AM
 
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Thanks for the advice. I did find a power steering pressure reducing kit that I'm going to experiment with and I also found that the front end ball joints and bushings need replacing. So as usual with old cars... One thing leads to another!
Did you ever install the pressure reducer / restrictor and if so how did it feel afterwards? I was actually thinking about doing this, searched, and found your post .....

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Power steering Pressure Reducer

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Originally Posted by cij911 View Post
Did you ever install the pressure reducer / restrictor and if so how did it feel afterwards? I was actually thinking about doing this, searched, and found your post .....
Yes, I installed on my ‘65 GTO, it came with “Wonder Touch” PS and had no road feel. I talked to a guy at a Pro Steering about a quicker ratio box and he advised me to use the pressure reducing kit. He say GM used a much higher pressure for that easy steering feel, something like 1200psi I believe, the reducer takes it down to about 800 psi and it made huge improvement in steering and road feel. And, saved me a lot of money on a new steering box. I have a ‘72 Cutlass and I’m going to do the same to it too. Thanks for inquiring.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 08:19 AM
 
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Yes, I installed on my ‘65 GTO, it came with “Wonder Touch” PS and had no road feel. I talked to a guy at a Pro Steering about a quicker ratio box and he advised me to use the pressure reducing kit. He say GM used a much higher pressure for that easy steering feel, something like 1200psi I believe, the reducer takes it down to about 800 psi and it made huge improvement in steering and road feel. And, saved me a lot of money on a new steering box. I have a ‘72 Cutlass and I’m going to do the same to it too. Thanks for inquiring.
Did you use this : https://www.summitracing.com/parts/brg-899001

I guess we could also install a bigger pulley on the power steering pump as well....

I bought a 12.7:1 new gear box, but still feel like the pump is too involved....

Thanks

Chris

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie

Last edited by cij911; 07-09-2018 at 10:07 AM.
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