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Hi all, I just picked up a 64 BelAir wagon (283/PG, manual steering). I see a lot of comments about issues with the Eckler's/CPP/Borgeson ps conversion kits. Has anyone used the Global West (ST-5964GS) kit? Also, gonna lower it with 2" drop spindles and probably 1" frt./3" rr lowering springs. What are people using for shocks? Alot of great info on here. Thanks for your feedback!
 

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Welcome to the Team!

The problem with power steering is it isn't on your X-frame car. They had a hydraulic ram power assist that depended upon the gear box to keep the wheel from going full right or left like a trash compactor.

The feed back circuit was very complex and sophisticated for it's day, but was also very problematic. This is why GM replaced it in 1965 with the power steering pump and Saginaw gear box that was in use up until 2007; when GM went to a power rack and pinion steering system. The Saginaw gear box will not work with your car's front end (the Borgeson unit is a rebuilt Saginaw 604 gear box) and to convert over to the power assist ram style would more easily accomplished through a full frame swap as the brackets to mount the ram and tie rod are welded to the frame and are quite stout.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not looking to change it to the original ram-style power steering setup. I'm looking at using the Global West setup and was hoping some of the members have used this setup and could give me some feedback.
 

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I'm not looking to change it to the original ram-style power steering setup. I'm looking at using the Global West setup and was hoping some of the members have used this setup and could give me some feedback.
There are only three options that will bolt up and work. the hydraulic ram that Chevy introduced in 1958 or the Saginaw steering box that was used in all GM cars, Jeeps and a lot of Ford cars that you will have to adapt, or a rack and pinion steering system off of a Ford Pinto-Mustang II car.

No body makes a steering gear box for this application so the aftermarket uses what is available. In the case of the Borgeson conversion they remame the Saginaw box that they rebuild, but it has the same rotational arc that the Saginaw box does. Your steering is geometrically not able to accept a flat arc that exist in a single plane (determined by the bolt holes in the farme). If you bolt up a Saginaw box you loose turning radius as it will only turn the wheels until the suspension gets in a bind. You will also burn through tires as the caster changes as the wheels turn because of how the suspension was designed.

Now if you want to design your own suspension out of steel tubes you can design one that will accept a Saginaw steering box. Or you can replace the frame with one out from under another vehicle and cut and splice the parts that will work with your desires. This has been done for you by Air Lift and RideTech (just Google "Lowering air ride for an X-frame Chevy"). Or you can read this Hot Rod magazine article that describes the procedure.

Air Ride Technologies X-Frame Bag Kit - Tech Articles - Hot Rod Network

Big Dave
 
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