1966 Impala Steering box - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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1966 Impala Steering box

Hello, I just completed a suspension update/overhaul to complete the rebuild I want to tighten up the steering. What is the correct ratio needed for a stock steering box. Can the box be bought aftermarket or does box need to be rebuilt?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 08:29 PM
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You can buy a stock Lares steering box with the correct ratio off of Rock Auto. It will be a remanufactured unit. You can also get the stock box with a faster ratio as well. I went from 4.5ish turns lock-to-lock to a 3 turn due to a tight turn getting into my garage. It was a good upgrade.

Beware anything aftermarket - if it changes the Pitman arm location, angle, etc. and thus the steering geometry, all that hard work you just did overhauling the suspension will be for naught as you won't be able to get it aligned.

1968 Impala SS
496 Stroker
T56 Conversion
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 08:33 PM
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Most people would say that the stock steering box is over-power-assisted and too many turns lock to lock.

If you agree, you may want to steer clear of a stock or rebuilt stock box. There are many other units that swap right in place, and a few available on the aftermarket that are very nice as well. Just a matter of $$.

Some folks have used a 70's era Z28 or Trans Am box. I personally had heard the 79 was 'the one to get' and got lucky and got one for $50 long long ago for a different car. I bought my Impala replacement box from Lee's Steering because of their reputation.
I think a Jeep Grand Cherokee box can also be swapped in (cheap and plentiful!), but always ask about (think about) which ones have a Standard hose fitting versus a Metric fitting. They make hoses and even fittings to adapt - just know what you need for the box you end up getting.

I believe a few others have used the CPP unit that they sell. Not sure if it's good or durable. I believe Lee's had mentioned our Full Size cars use an '800' series unit which is slightly beefier than what you find on some other cars.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 12:21 PM
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And if going to a different box, keep in mind that different vehicles sometimes required different internal stops that will effect turn radius.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sz0k30 View Post
And if going to a different box, keep in mind that different vehicles sometimes required different internal stops that will effect turn radius.
They are internal, but they are adjustable if you know how (Information on rebuilding the steering box can be found in the Chassis Service manual for your year car). If not there are specialist on line that will sell you a rebuilt box off a Corvette that will bolt up to your Impala set up for your turning radius (stops set to keep the tires from hitting the frame). Keep in mind that GM went to a metric fiber rag joint in 1976 so any box from a later car will need an aftermarket adapter to bolt the steering column to the box.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2019, 08:49 PM
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I used the steering box out of a 97 jeep GRAND Cherokee, 3 turns lock to lock, handles great, stops are perfect, had new hoses made which I had to do anyway since I'm LS swapped. I'd never go back!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by snoopy1 View Post
I used the steering box out of a 97 jeep GRAND Cherokee, 3 turns lock to lock, handles great, stops are perfect, had new hoses made which I had to do anyway since I'm LS swapped. I'd never go back!
Jeep division of Chrysler uses the same Saginaw box that Chevy uses (Jeep used to buy tranies and engines from Chevy as well so there are a lot of parts that interchange even though Jeep made their own head). Additionally Ford uses Saginaw steering gear boxes on their intermediate cars.

Comes from a desire not to reinvent the wheel when there is a cheap solution to a common problem.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 04:47 PM
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I bought a Lares steering box from Rockauto. 3 turns lock to lock and it bolted right in, no adapters, no changes in pitman arm location, no changes in geometry. Finally the boat doesn't float all over the freeway.
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