Power Steering Conversion on the 65' Complete! - Page 2 - Impala Tech
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post #26 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 06:23 PM
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Power steering

Hate to spoil the spirit of using parts off other vehicles...
I had a 66 B-body, and installed a stock 66 power steering, and it was great around town, but a little too light" especially taking the L72 through the gears!

I have a 67 Impala now, and its standard steering..
Should I go with stock P.S. (new parts)? or can I buy a complete bolt on KIT (more variable ratio style) ???
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post #27 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 09:57 PM
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Used parts still work. You just look to a mid eighties gear box. GM didn't change the sector gear shaft out for the bigger diameter bar until about 1985. The earlier ones were really small, designed to isolate you from road feel as Chevy was still clinging to the Jet Smooth Ride Ideal that Diana Shore used to sing about up until then.



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Last edited by Big Dave; 11-15-2014 at 11:43 AM. Reason: added photo of early and late sector shaft
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post #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 11:44 PM
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Since I want my parts to come in a box with instructions...(I'm old and retired) with all bolts etc Just shop the internet?
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post #29 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 01:08 AM
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There are several vendors selling reconditioned 600 and 800 series Saginaw power steering boxes off of late model cars as kits to replace the older sponge-O-matic Saginaw boxes (they haven't changed anything other than the hose connection and the size of the input shaft since 1965). You will need a special hose (or adapter; though a new hose is the better way to go), a new rag joint to bolt one onto to your car, and some cleaning supplies with a can of semi-gloss black paint and a little time to swap one over.

Just be sure to measure the Pitman arm off your old box as the length has to match. The only difference between a 600 and an 800 box is the spline count (size) of the out put shaft and how they cover the top. Bigger cars (Impalas) got the big dia output shaft with four bolts on top holding on an aluminum plate. The 600 has a round steel plate on top held on with a snap ring with the smaller diameter out put shaft (as found on a lighter Camaro).

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post #30 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 08:38 PM
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Great info.... you sold me...(Big Dave) I will follow your directions.................

THANKS for "Steering me in the right direction
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post #31 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:33 PM
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Dadstoy makes a great point that may have been overlooked. A stock '65 Pitman arm WILL NOT fit on the Grand Cherokee boxes if you are upgrading from MANUAL steering. I just found this out too late.

My manual steering pitman diameter is too small. Now I have to find a stock power steering pitman? I was this close...
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post #32 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:40 PM
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The 65 power pitman arm is hard to find.
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post #33 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:48 PM
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Yes it is. None on ebay, can't find at regular parts suppliers. Really wanted to drive this weekend.

Does anyone know which years or other models are the same? I can't even find a part #.

Last edited by danielwkade; 10-01-2012 at 11:06 PM.
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post #34 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 09:37 AM
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Well, Try this place. They say they have them.
http://www.performanceonline.com/Pit...r-Arms-Impala/
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post #35 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 11:11 AM
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Just called 'em a few minutes ago. They say 4-6 weeks for manufacturing.

Thanks anyway. I'll keep looking. Didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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post #36 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 12:59 PM
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Must be a fast selling item.
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post #37 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 04:05 AM
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nicke already put up some great information. I’ll add my findings from my conversion of a ‘65 manual steering impala with a 283. Just finished and love it!

Conversion parts needed and some notes-

Power Steering Box
JIML82 wrote an excellent article about which vehicles came with the best steering boxes that just swap right in (http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/?p=551). I got a used box from a ‘95 Grand Cherokee for $35.

Rag Joint (flex coupling)
Also in JIML82’s paper there are few vehicles that have the required flex coupling if you can find them. I bought a new one from adanceautoparts.com Lares #200. This is the part lee-powersteering.com usually sells but they referred me to advance because they were out. $33

Fluid Line Adapters
Lee-powersteering.com sells small adapters that convert newer power box fittings into flare fittings for your older pump lines. $15

If converting from Manual Steering, you will ALSO need these parts-

Pump, Pulley and Lines
Factory pump, pulley and lines that would have come on your car if you had factory power steering. I bought a used pump that was supposedly taken from a ‘68 impala but it didn’t fit my 283. Ended up buying a new pump and pulley at the local parts store. $135 if no core return.

Pump Brackets

It is very important that you get the correct brackets for your motor. I am running a 283 and the pump is supposed to be mounted on the lower driver side. I bought some cheap brackets from a guy who was “sure” they were correct for me. Wrong, had to buy more. These are the only brackets that work for my 283. One is the lower cradle $44 ebay, the other supports the back and adjusts belt tension $35 classicindustries.com.

Motor Mount Modification

Even when I finally found the correct brackets for the pump, the rear one would not attach to my factory driver side motor mount. The bottom flanges on the motor mount get in the way. Some aftermarket mounts don’t have these and are simply flat along the bottom plate. I just cut the flanges off. $0

Crank Pulley for Pump
The crank pulley that drives the fluid pump. You can get these on ebay but it may take a while. Got mine from Classic Industries. $50

Pitman Arm
If you had power steering to start with, that pitman will work. If you’re starting with manual, your pitman arm is too small. This is a very hard part to find. Some online places claim to sell it but there’s a 6 week wait to manufacture... Your best bet is to call lots of classic wrecking yards. I finally found one an hour away from home. I had to pay $45 for the whole power box and pull it myself but it was worth it. I got mine off a ‘65 bel air. There’ a lot of conflicting reports on which years/models are the same so I can only tell you mine works.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me out!
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post #38 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome Daniel, great info here. Glad it all worked out for you!

-Nick

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post #39 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 05:45 PM
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Nicke......what are you running for tire PSI front & rear?

Donnie
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post #40 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weldvair View Post
Nicke......what are you running for tire PSI front & rear?

Donnie
I try to keep it around 33-35psi. Maybe 33psi for the fronts and 35psi for the rear.
Hope that helps...
-Nick

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My Wheels
Classic Nation car pictures.

1965 Impala SS
6.2L LSX with 4L80E, 3.73 Gears, Disc Brakes, Air Ride
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post #41 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 04:29 PM
 
 
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I'm installing a ram jet 350 on my 70 caprice with serpentine set up from a 99 2door Tahoe what do I need to install a Cherokee steering box to steering pump
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post #42 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:07 PM
 
 
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Pump brackets

Added info if you are planning on running an 8" balancer you need a corvette cradle. If not the balancer will hit the factory 327 cradle... Ask me how I know.
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post #43 of 53 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 03:39 PM
 
 
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63 steering conversion question

Hey guys, looking to start on my 63 and I am replacing everything up front. I was looking into the CPP 500 series power steering kits, but was wondering if I can do it for cheaper by ordering the pitman arm, tie rod ends, and what not then simply buy a used Saginaw steering box from a used parts shop? I guess I'm wondering if the Saginaw steering box (steering ratio aside) is about the same dimensions and if it will fit???
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post #44 of 53 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 06:17 PM
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Every Saginaw 500, 600, and 800 series gear box uses the exact same holes to bolt the steering gear to the frame, so they are interchangeable as far as the bolt up goes. All of the boxes have one of two out-put shafts that vary in size (spline count) according to the gross weight of the vehicle (bigger cars and light trucks have bigger output shafts). Finally there are two different input shaft sizes that will have one of three different means of attaching the rag joint (splined, flat D and metric spline). So they are relatively easy to install if you have the right Pitman arm to match the box and the input. By the way the Pitman arm differs in length to match manual or power assist and whether it is a high performance (police) piece or not.

Yes you can find a used box match a Pitman arm and rag joint for probably a little less in cost than the vendor, but you will have to run all of the correct parts to ground yourself (which isn't a bad thing come time to replace worn parts).

Big Dave
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post #45 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 08:38 PM
 
 
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Zeke

I hate to bring up an old topic but I need help. Will the Jeep Box also work for a 1963 Impala? Will it bolt right up? I have a non power steering box in it now.
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post #46 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:02 PM
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Welcome to the Team Zeke!

The newer power steering boxes seal with an O-ring instead of a flared compression fitting. You can buy the adapters at NAPA, and the other usual suspects (all of the on-line speed shops).

Here is the O-ring seal fitting visible in the steering gear box.



Here are the O-ring adapters:



Finally the rag joint went metric so you need a new rag joint that has English on one side and Metric on the other:



This is in addition to the other parts as noted above.

I might add that the pulley is going to be important as well. The BBC use the same power steering pumps as do LS-x motors (everything made in the past quarter century) but none of these will line up with the SBC pulleys you already have.



Big Dave
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post #47 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:21 PM
 
 
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So will the Jeep box bolt right up? Which box is equivalent to the borgeson 600 box that does not interfere with a after market radiator?

http://www.lategreatchevy.com/1964+c...1958-1964.html
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post #48 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:35 PM
 
 
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Thanks for replying Big Dave. I am going with a ls1 motor in the car so it has the newer style power steering pump. One other question. What late model car can I get the steering box from? I heard the Jeep Cherokee boxes are great and really want to go that route just need to know if it will bolt right up?
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post #49 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:40 PM
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GM not only used the same Saginaw steering gear box in every car they made from 1965 and up but they sols the steering gear box for use in Fords, and Chrysler Jeeps (the rest of Chrysler's line up used torsion bar suspension which interfered with the standard steering arrangement used by everybody else).

Prior to 1965 the steering, especially the power assist was very different than that used from 1965 and up. Rather than put the power assist hydraulic piston inside the steering gear box like it was done on newer cars; the Chevy engineers used a manual steering gear box, with the gear box controlling the line pressure to a slave hydraulic cylinder, bolted to the frame and tie rod the way it is done on agricultural tractors and large heavy duty trucks. It is simple, and very effective, because if you loose hydraulic pressure you can still steer the car (which is why the Corvette retained this system until the early eighties).

If you have ever tried to steer a power assist gear box with the motor off you know what I am talking about. Which is why Chevy is being sued for the ignition switch problem. Keys fall out turning the switch to off; either locking the steering column, or making the car hard to steer due to no power assist. Then when it finally crashes, the air bags do not deploy because the ignition is off.

Whether a Jeep box will bolt up and clear your custom radiator I do not know. Usually the steering gear box is an upgrade made to a manual steering car without all of the hoses and the added large hydraulic cylinders that is attached to the car on a power assist.

Big Dave
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post #50 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emailad4me View Post
Thanks for replying Big Dave. I am going with a ls1 motor in the car so it has the newer style power steering pump. One other question. What late model car can I get the steering box from? I heard the Jeep Cherokee boxes are great and really want to go that route just need to know if it will bolt right up?
Read these articles that can answer your questions and point you in the right direction if you want to crawl the yards instead of buying a remanufactured gear box and associated parts in a kit:

List of host vehicles and how to identify what you are looking for:
http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/...feature21.html

List of companies selling steering gear box upgrades as a kit:
http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/...hmn_tips3.html

An old Car Craft magazine article detailing how to do the upgrade (now it is part of Hot Rod magazine):
http://www.hotrod.com/how-to/chassis...g-box-upgrade/

I suggest to one and all to down load these articles to your computer while you can as print magazines are dying off due to people downloading everything to their smart phones. So this currently free information will soon disappear all together or become pay to view.

People like myself that not only read printed material (I don't even own a smart phone), and have the personal experience of hotrodding, racing, and knowledge of the automotive industry that made these cars originally are dying off rapidly now so get it while you can. (no body makes patch panels or reproduces parts to fix us up).


Big Dave
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