Steering Box Ratio/Conversion - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Steering Box Ratio/Conversion

My power steering gear box has a leak from the bottom where the shaft comes out. I checked and my car has a tad more than 4 turns from lock to lock. I have read here that the box can be converted to a quick ratio. I got on Power Steering.com site and read about the conversion and that it would result in about 3 turns or a bit less from lock to lock. If what I saw was correct it cost about $369 plus shipping for this with "standard detailing".

I went to several auto parts web sites (Advance, NAPA, Orielly, Rock ) They all sell both the 4 turn box or the 2 3/4-3 turn boxes rebuilt with a lifetime warranty for anywhere from $129-134 plus a $45-59 core charge (more or less).

I have seen recommendations on here about the work that Power Steering.com does, and can appreciate that.

I guess I am wondering if the difference in costs is worth it. I can apply a $30 discount code to the Advance box and have it delivered for $155 all in and keep my original box.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks
Mark
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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If you're going the route with buying a reman box, make sure you get the right one. The quick ratio steering boxes aren't always the same. The input shaft can vary, that's the obvious part, but other than that, they can vary in the internal stops. Most of the F-body boxes had a longer pitman arm which was adressed with a smaller steering angle of the box. Smaller angle compared with a longer arm resulted approx. in the same turning radius like a bigger angle and a shorter pitman arm.
So, some boxes will have different internal stops, which can result in a quick steering ratio, but a bigger turning radius of your goat than with your stock unit.



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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 08:47 AM
 
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He does a fine job and you will get a "life-time" warranty, (to the original owner). Here's a copy of my invoice. You can see I spent a few bucks and did it all. I figured why not... total frame off with no bolt unturned. I am impressed with his work and results. Good Luck with your decision.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the information. I called Cardone hdqts. today and spoke to the tech dept. I was advised that their 27-6509, 2 1/2-3 turn lock to lock box was indeed the quick ratio and not a internal stop that limited travel. The box is supposed to be a direct replacement for the original box and has a lifetime warranty. If there should be a issue it is a bunch easier to carry the box 3 miles to the store than to pay for shipping back to Missouri. Given the price is less than half and I get to keep my original box too I think I'll roll the dice. My car at this point is not a "nut and bolt" restoration but it is a real nice car. I am currently doing the complete restoration thing on a Corvette and just want the GTO to be mechanically reliable in order to enjoy. I have too many projects going on now to get too deep into this car. Maybe after the Corvette and Boss 302 are done it will get it's turn
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:55 PM
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I put a standard ratio Cardone box in my '67 about 4 years ago and it was $138. No issues after 5000 miles or so. A friend put a non-Cardone box in his '67, a quick ratio, and I don't care for it. It has much less turning radius than stock, which '66 pointed out can be an issue. As a side note, the Cardone box isn't as overboosted as the factory box, so there is more road feel, which is a plus.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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This box has the same turning radius as the old box, that's why I called them, I wanted to make sure. Ratio is different radius is same, maybe the old goat will not drive so much like a truck now. I guess we get spoiled with rack and pinion.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 12:00 AM
 
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If you want a good box with a quick turning radius just go to your local junk yard & buy a box out of an 87, 88, 89 Trans Am, or a 96 caprice police package car, or any late modle jeep Grand cherokee & you will save your self a lot of money because they generally only cost about $ 50.00 to get & they will bolt right up & you'll be ready to go. These boxs will give you a 2 1/2 to 3 turn lock to lock & good road feel plus save you a lot of money.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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New box arrived yesterday. I hope to get it installed this weekend. I will measure the turning radius before and after and report back.

I checked and I have a pitman arm puller and the steering coupler looks good so all I should need is some fluid to get this deal done.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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I started the steering box replacement today. First order of business was to check the travel of the 2 1/2 turn box compared to the old 4 turn box, it is the same about 75 degrees or so. I was nervous about the stories of internal stops and the like but both boxes will turn the wheels the same amount in this case.

Now then it looks like the pump has a small leak, and the pressure hose is old and tired. So I just ordered a pump, steering coupler, and pressure hose. I guess this stuff can't last forever. I figure 45 years of service on some of it is pretty good.

One question on the coupler, there is a strap connecting the parts of the coupler, I suppose it is a ground for something like maybe the horn. It looks like the replacement doesn't have that, any thoughts?

Mark
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have the Cardone box installed, all is well, 2.5 turns lock to lock, same pitman arm travel as the old box and it sure drives better. I replaced the pump, rag joint and both hoses, bead blasted and painted all the brackets and pulleys as well. I decided to change out all the tie rod ends and adjusters. All the stuff came from Advance Auto Parts, O'Riellys and Autozone. All in I have $398 into this project which includes alignment, and I kept my old steering box and P/S pump.

The only problems that I ran into is the pressure hose and the part number of the pump are not correctly listed and I had to call Cardone tech assistance twice to get the correct listing on the pump. To match the old parts removed I had to order a hose for a 71 GTO and a pump for a 66 GTO. I can't explain it but it all matched what came off the car.
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