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Go back to the Jim Shea papers for how to bleed the Air.

His papers are the best I have read regarding Saginaw steering. No BS or "I Think". Jim was a Saginaw engineer and who else would know it better?

I'm referring to the pump in my instruction. Once its apart you'll be amazed of just how simple it is. One thing is paramount. It must be CLEAN inside. I had a stray dog hair in mine that caused loss of effort problems until I found it.
There are different versions of the pump depending on the steering gear and year. Some quick ratio 1st gen Camaros and the variable ratio 69 GP used a high pressure relief valve. As the cars got bigger, suspensions improved and quicker ratio boxes introduced, the valve changed to a higher pressure. The valve is fully interchangeable with any compatible pump. The pump housing itself changed from the 'Banjo' style to the 'Canned Ham' design but still used the same internal pump. Starting in 79 or 80 the output fitting had metric threads. Depending on the manufacturer the output fitting could have internal or external threads.

The gear housing came in two sizes. 3 1/2" for the larger cars and 3" for the A/F/G bodies. There were different variations for 4WD, trucks, Fords, Chryslers, three or four mounting ears etc. But basically it was the same from the early sixties to 2012. The only major difference was the change to metric input and output fittings in 79/80. The threads for pitman shaft and mounting ears never changed.


Two points:
1. A mistake people make is using the Camaro/Firebird 'Quick Ratio' boxes in their A bodies. They are not a true quick ratio but have internal steering stops to prevent tire to fender rubbing. This shortens the lock to lock implying a quicker ratio. In an A body this increases the turning circle which is what Army is experiencing.

2. Another is 'Road Feel'. Road feel or steering effort can only be adjusted by changing the T or Torsion bar within the steering gear. There are different sized T bars from the factory that will provide the effort you want.
There are other ways to artificially increase or decrease steering effort by enlarging or decreasing the pump output fitting diameter. This will increase or decrease pump output pressure giving the sensation of increased or decreased effort.

A good read from LEE Steering where they explain Steering effort.


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WEALTH of info there, especially this:

1. A mistake people make is using the Camaro/Firebird 'Quick Ratio' boxes in their A bodies. They are not a true quick ratio but have internal steering stops to prevent tire to fender rubbing. This shortens the lock to lock implying a quicker ratio. In an A body this increases the turning circle which is what Army is experiencing.

Was trying to explain that, but O52 did it WAY better...
 

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One more thing IRT the steering gear. There are only a few casting numbers on the gear body throughout Saginaw production. As such, you CANNOT tell the gear ratio just by the casting number. Unless it still has the factory ID sticker (JGC boxes) you must figure it it out mathematically by comparing the input turns to the output.. I have used a paper degree wheel to gt a rough idea of the ratio. And variable ratios are an entirely different animal.
So beware of purchasing an ebay or Craigs list box. A 17:1 looks identical to a 12.5:1 on the outside.
 

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I always had trouble parking the car, because it simply wouldnt turn enough. I made several posts here, asking what I should do, but from what I gathered, I couldnt move ahead without first identifying what I already had, and I didnt understand how to do that... plus, its dark by the time I get off work and I work outside, so this job went to the extreme bottom of the pile.
Well, army,...what I found was , the A body boxes have full sweep at the pittman arm of 78 degrees. That being said, the Grand Cheroke box has a full sweep of 87 degrees. Now , that may not sound like a lot , but what I found was that was exactly the cure for "see saw " parking in tight spots.
The old box was like turning the hatch on a submarine. The new box was....well.....like a new car.
Toss a GC box on that bad boy, and throw a reman pump on. You wont be sorry.
Check around. A GC box is prolly not expensive from a salvage yard. Mine was 50 bucks
 

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For the time being, you should pull the pressure fitting out as suggested by a few others here. Check that it is not stuck, and that the relief spring is not broken.
ALSO, look at the end of the valve.It has a screen in it. If it is plugged, clean it out. That could cause a problem.
 

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Cameo Ivory 1967
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
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WEALTH of info there, especially this:

1. A mistake people make is using the Camaro/Firebird 'Quick Ratio' boxes in their A bodies. They are not a true quick ratio but have internal steering stops to prevent tire to fender rubbing. This shortens the lock to lock implying a quicker ratio. In an A body this increases the turning circle which is what Army is experiencing.

Was trying to explain that, but O52 did it WAY better...
I suspect that this is my issue... or rather WAS my issue before my system gave out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well, army,...what I found was , the A body boxes have full sweep at the pittman arm of 78 degrees. That being said, the Grand Cheroke box has a full sweep of 87 degrees. Now , that may not sound like a lot , but what I found was that was exactly the cure for "see saw " parking in tight spots.
The old box was like turning the hatch on a submarine. The new box was....well.....like a new car.
Toss a GC box on that bad boy, and throw a reman pump on. You wont be sorry.
Check around. A GC box is prolly not expensive from a salvage yard. Mine was 50 bucks
NAPA has the Grand Cherokee box, can I just buy it there? I know I need to order the adapters and rag that you list in the other thread, too.

And, as I mentioned, if at all possible, Im trying to repair what I have for the weekend... Then do the GC box next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
For the time being, you should pull the pressure fitting out as suggested by a few others here. Check that it is not stuck, and that the relief spring is not broken.
ALSO, look at the end of the valve.It has a screen in it. If it is plugged, clean it out. That could cause a problem.
That will be tomorrow!
 

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Sweet, good luck!

let us know how easy the box conversion goes when you do it. I imagine the hardest part would be pulling the pitman arm and futzing with the rag joint in that tight spot.

After doing my suspension I really want to tighten up that steering to get the full effect...I feel like it is the last piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
@BearGFR @O52

Those links helped and they clarified a lot of mis-info on the web. Yes, you've sent me to those papers before, but as I mentioned, when you're not familiar with a topic, a lot of that stuff is overwhelming.

In any event... following the correct bleed method, I was pleasantly surprised to go looking in the pump reservoir and see a ton of bubbles, and viola! My PS is back.

I would have expected everything under the hood in a 55 year old pontiac to be robust, and surely Ive made it through 35 years and 65 cars, without ever touching a steering pump or box... because necessity was the mother, and I guess I never needed to... but it only took a tiny bubble to sink the ship.

@LATECH That Grand Cherokee box is $200 at Napa, and I expect that I'll get it, and swap it out when I redo my header gaskets, which Im looking forward to like a colonoscopy.

Thanks everyone for the input. Im glad I bookmarked that old thread for the swap info. I hope we can some day create a page specifically for common swaps, conversions, and tunings.

It would be a great resource to have a list of mods, along with instructions and part numbers, in a thread format where the first post was continually updated until perfected, so that people didnt have to read through 3 pages of opinions and MY fart jokes, to find what they were looking for.

  1. Timing curves
  2. Wagner valves
  3. Headers
  4. Overheating
  5. Lowering springs
  6. Max tire size
  7. Tremec conversions
  8. AFR Gauges
  9. Disc conversions
  10. Control arm upgrades
  11. Ethanol/ octane
  12. Carb swaps and tuning
  13. Steering box
  14. Oil FIlter to Header Clearance
Are things that come up regularly. It would be awesome to be able to link to our own, on-site fact pages for some of these things.
 

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It would be a great resource to have a list of mods, along with instructions and part numbers, in a thread format where the first post was continually updated until perfected, so that people didnt have to read through 3 pages of opinions and MY fart jokes, to find what they were looking for.

  1. Timing curves
  2. Wagner valves
  3. Headers
  4. Overheating
  5. Lowering springs
  6. Max tire size
  7. Tremec conversions
  8. AFR Gauges
  9. Disc conversions
  10. Control arm upgrades
  11. Ethanol/ octane
  12. Carb swaps and tuning
  13. Steering box
Are things that come up regularly. It would be awesome to be able to link to our own, on-site fact pages for some of these things.
I think that's a great idea. What do you think such a section should be called, where should it be located, so that it "stands out" and even newcomers will easily notice it and recognize it for what it is?
 

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Cameo Ivory 1967
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Similar to a FAQ page, but maybe something along the lines of "Frequent Mods", "Frequent Tasks", or "Common Updates"!

The way that I did my Tremec TKX thread is that I made the intitial post as descript as possible, and then as the thread matured, I went back to the original post and amended and refined it.

That way, any pertinent information that might not have otherwise appeared until page four, was all in the first post, and in the proper chronological order.

I definitely think a "Common Upgrades and Conversions" section, would immediately grab the attention of people coming here because they're struggling with headers, oil filter changes, suspension updates... etc.

In my own experience, when you're looking for critical information, too much information is just as bad as not enough. This would be a great way to streamline things like oil filter mods, dizzy curves, and cooling system upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
And now that I mention oil filter-header clearance, and see that I forgot that in my original post, I can simply go back and edit that list to include it.
 

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There's a few pages (40) on the Chevelle website regarding the JGC box. The thread stated in 2010 and is semi-active. Most of it by now is as you say, opinions and lost photos.

 
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