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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pulling my steering box today to rebuild it. Any tricks, or pretty much straight forward R&R?
 

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R&R is no trick, 3 bolts, seperate the PS valve and seperate the rag joint. The rag joint will seperate if you remove the 2 nuts and push the lower column shaft into the column a couple inches.

You going to rebuild it or send it off?
 

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Pulling my steering box today to rebuild it. Any tricks, or pretty much straight forward R&R?

I have never done it to mine. I remembered from previous discussions, the biggest trick is getting the brass bushings honed to get a perfect fit. Makes the box better than new.

Gary has a post in the sticky right at the top.
 

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The way Jim Shea said it....the sector gear is ground from the factory with a 'high center' meaning tighter on center than at L or R when these gearsets wear out after 30 years use....the high center is lost...how much does vary a lot....combined with shaft/bearing wear so fitting a new lower bearing may not help much.....

when got my car 12 years ago, the shop that did the rebuild on the box stated the gears were OK, but getting near end of life....not surprising...nothing available at that time,,as I recall.....

IMO....junk it all and put in a rack get that steering down to 2.7 turns lock to lock, teach the car to handle modern tires finally, and stop that wandering at speeds....

BTDT years ago, fought the good fight, but not going back to 60 series 15" wheels and tires....so in went the rack,...and never looked back.....

:laughing: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
R&R is no trick, 3 bolts, seperate the PS valve and seperate the rag joint. The rag joint will seperate if you remove the 2 nuts and push the lower column shaft into the column a couple inches.

You going to rebuild it or send it off?
Gary is sending me the parts. He is busy, so he is going to walk me through.
I just got it out. Pretty straight forward, except for that getting it down and out part.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have never done it to mine. I remembered from previous discussions, the biggest trick is getting the brass bushings honed to get a perfect fit. Makes the box better than new.

Gary has a post in the sticky right at the top.
That's what I am shooting for. I don't have it apart yet, but it feels pretty rough. I hope to see if I need new gears, before Gary takes off to Carlisle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The way Jim Shea said it....the sector gear is ground from the factory with a 'high center' meaning tighter on center than at L or R when these gearsets wear out after 30 years use....the high center is lost...how much does vary a lot....combined with shaft/bearing wear so fitting a new lower bearing may not help much.....

when got my car 12 years ago, the shop that did the rebuild on the box stated the gears were OK, but getting near end of life....not surprising...nothing available at that time,,as I recall.....

IMO....junk it all and put in a rack get that steering down to 2.7 turns lock to lock, teach the car to handle modern tires finally, and stop that wandering at speeds....

BTDT years ago, fought the good fight, but not going back to 60 series 15" wheels and tires....so in went the rack,...and never looked back.....

:laughing: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
This is stop gap manuver Gene. I am thinking about the Jeep box/hydroboost thing. Just not yet, maybe downstream. Once I finish tightening her up, 3.73 gears is next. Gotta give the "Caprice" a little more spirit.
 

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This is stop gap manuver Gene. I am thinking about the Jeep box/hydroboost thing. Just not yet, maybe downstream. Once I finish tightening her up, 3.73 gears is next. Gotta give the "Caprice" a little more spirit.
4.11 or 4.88's??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
4.11 or 4.88's??
Tim, If I thought it would cruise well with the 700R, I would consider it.

Back to the steering box. That Pitman arm was just short of welded on. Broke 1 puller, used another huge one with a torch to get off.:WTF

Just the nut, 1 5/16" socket.:WTF

Well, it's apart now and soaking in the tank. ;)
 

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Tim, If I thought it would cruise well with the 700R, I would consider it.

Back to the steering box. That Pitman arm was just short of welded on. Broke 1 puller, used another huge one with a torch to get off.:WTF

Just the nut, 1 5/16" socket.:WTF

Well, it's apart now and soaking in the tank. ;)
why pull the pitman arm. Can't the box be rebuilt with it still attached? Is it keyed so everything goes back together on center again?

4.56 gears are bearable with 700r. First gear takes me to about 20mph at 6000 rpm:laughing: it is friggin fun.
 

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Jeff,
Just left you a VM.

The pitman arm needs to come off to remove the shaft and to get to the bushings. They are a bear to get off at times. I used heat, PB Blaster and a puller with a plug to protect the shaft end. Some pop off quick others take some working.
They are held on with a 1- 5/16 nut and lockwasher, both of which I include in my kits. The splines are keyed at 90* increments so the arm will only go back on one way and be correct. Be sure the tapered hole for the CV stud is pointing down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
why pull the pitman arm. Can't the box be rebuilt with it still attached? Is it keyed so everything goes back together on center again?

4.56 gears are bearable with 700r. First gear takes me to about 20mph at 6000 rpm:laughing: it is friggin fun.
I filed a mark on the shaft and pitman just in case.:laughing: Good to know it only goes one way. The kit is not here yet, but I wanted to get a head start on the tear down.

I might go 4.11 then, but that's about it. That will pep it up, without screaming down the freeway. I don't want to rev my Caprice engine 6,000 rpm.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jeff,
Just left you a VM.

The pitman arm needs to come off to remove the shaft and to get to the bushings. They are a bear to get off at times. I used heat, PB Blaster and a puller with a plug to protect the shaft end. Some pop off quick others take some working.
There's the understatement of the year. I snapped the jaw on one puller, borrowed another huge one, and still had to heat it almost dull red. Mama mia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·










Got it all apart and cleaned up. Felt real rough when turned by hand. Parts look good. The loose balls, and one of the thrust bearing is discolored brown. I believe the pre-load was too tight. Gary?
 

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At one time, one of the balls was bigger than the others and went in the middle. I don't know if that was changed or not- it was a different color too.

Told ya' 4.11's would work.

:cheers:
 

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Looks good. The kit coming to you has 54 new balls all same size. New Brgs as well. The late cover bushings are not in any kits and you can leave it or bore the cover. I recommend leaving it place as it is more of a guide then the 2 lower bushings. Replace those with the kit bushings.
Check the lash gap- put the shaft in a vise and install the original shim and screw. Use a lug nut to tighten the screw and then check the gap. I'm guessing you have .007"-.009" shim it to .001-.002"
Set preload to 4- 5 in/lbs but use a dial wrench. then set lash to 11-12 on center. You can see the wider slot in the spline on the PS. With the box centered the arm will line up pointing forward.
Looks good. POR15 etch it,POR15 black and top coat with cast blast. I also buff out the covers.
Wire brush the nut threads and use a small wire brush on the box ID threads, you want the nut to turn freely. Use Permatec thread sealant when assembling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looks good. The kit coming to you has 54 new balls all same size. New Brgs as well. The late cover bushings are not in any kits and you can leave it or bore the cover. I recommend leaving it place as it is more of a guide then the 2 lower bushings. Replace those with the kit bushings.
Check the lash gap- put the shaft in a vise and install the original shim and screw. Use a lug nut to tighten the screw and then check the gap. I'm guessing you have .007"-.009" shim it to .001-.002"
Set preload to 4- 5 in/lbs but use a dial wrench. then set lash to 11-12 on center. You can see the wider slot in the spline on the PS. With the box centered the arm will line up pointing forward.
Looks good. POR15 etch it,POR15 black and top coat with cast blast. I also buff out the covers.
Wire brush the nut threads and use a small wire brush on the box ID threads, you want the nut to turn freely. Use Permatec thread sealant when assembling.
Other than the discolored balls, it looks good. The lash gap was even a tight .003".
Bushings are a tad sloppy, and seals were shot. Thanks Gary.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
why pull the pitman arm. Can't the box be rebuilt with it still attached? Nope Is it keyed so everything goes back together on center again?Yep. It's pretty much idiot proof. One way assembly all the way.

4.56 gears are bearable with 700r. First gear takes me to about 20mph at 6000 rpm:laughing: it is friggin fun.
Once you get past the stubborn pitman arm, the rest is cake. Gary makes it too easy.:thumbsup:
 

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Well the next level would be to custom fit bushings but I think you're going to feel a big difference. When you go to assemble, dry set it. Put it together first and see just where the gears mesh and how deep the PS goes. Remember to center the PS on the rack when installing so you're not off a tooth.
 
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