Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
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On the S10 boxes, if you want the absolute lightest, watch for an early style (3 bolt cover). they are around 4 1/2 lbs lighter than the late style (4 bolt cover). The early style accepts an original early GM pitman arm. The latter style S10 manual box has a larger splined shaft and accepts the PS pitman arm. Have always had an easy time moving the latter style S10 boxes, as most guys converting to manual strg, have PS on their car. For many years, finding several of the rarer original manual strg pitman arms (not A body's), well you paid through the nose, just for the pitman arm. try and source a '69 V8 Bird pitman arm, for example.
On the rag joint for the latter S10 box, I believe it's a Dorman 31011, it's been quite a while since I bought one. On the original manual boxes used in '64-74 GM's, the rag joint is a Lares 200. I've bought many more of those, for quite a was buying at whls from Chevy vendor friend.
Weight savings wise, my '71's factory style manual strg bracket and single groove pulleys are right at 30 lbs lighter than the previous '71 style PS set-up. have not even weighed and compared my cars original thick rim Formula wheels to the standard plastic steering wheel, but believe the std wheel is lighter, as well. If one had a '64 Pontiac Abody with the '64 particular pump and cast iron bracket, the weight savings would be even more! At least Pontiac got rid of that heavy PS pump set-up for '65 models.
If I was to go to a 3 bolt style S10 box and reuse my PS pitman arm, am betting would save another 2-3 lbs. Having had the early S10 boxes before, am a little leery of using one in a 3500 lb A body. Saginaw upgraded to the S10 manual box to what amts to a more HD version for a reason. Am not an engineer, but understand if a part is not holding up, it gets upgraded, in order to reduce warranty claims.
Feel free and weigh your parts when doing the swap and post back. Best to you with your '65.