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Discussion Starter #1
While I'm waiting for my diff and TA's to come back from Paul at Northside Corvette, I knew at some point I need to work on my steering.

As you can see in these two pictures, there are some issues. Both might fall under the "Bubba" category or maybe just sloppy work, I know what I choose.

Wavy rag joint:


Incorrect power steering hoses:


The red arrow on the PS hose points to a spot you can't see in the picture, that when I removed the tire to do the brakes, the outside rubber lining right at that point was worn through to the metal flex cable inside. Not sure what rubbed against it as I haven't been able to check after I saw that.

So my question now becomes do I rebuild what's there with new hoses (Ecklers $70) and new rag joint (Ecklers $45) for $115+tax. That just means that the "does the job but no more" steering is now working as it used to. Or do I bite the bullet and get the Steeroids for $1,330?

I've read on here how much better the Steeroids is while driving than the original components, but I've experienced neither (can't drive my car yet) so I can't say how crappy the old stuff is.

I've seen and read probably dozens of threads on Steeroids and I know this is old hat news for some, but I'm going to put this question out there anyway.

I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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I'm planning to upgrade to in a couple of weeks. I'm considering VBP's Rack Attack over Steeroids.
I think ether one is a huge improvement over the stock power steering.
 

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I'll preface this with a couple things first.

I've owned 3 C3s. My current black one has 77K miles, and the stock steering box is tight and shows very little signs of wear. The valve is adjusted correctly and steering is tight, smooth, responsive, and strong. I do have a slightly smaller diameter steering wheel than stock...which helps the experience, but doesn't change the whole dynamic.

One of my best friend's, Curtis74, has a 1974 C3, which had HORRIBLE stock steering. We're talking at least 4" of play in the steering wheel. The steering box was mush. Over adjusted to compensate for wear, it was junk. Even after replacing the box and valve, the steering was still lacking.

He decided to go with Steeroids. The installation was not a bolt in, and required a lot more custom work and fabrication than I felt was necessary for such an expensive kit.

However, he was very pleased with the feel of the Steeroids over his sloppy stock steering. I wasn't as impressed but I felt it was too easy and I felt like I lost that 'touch' with the road. Curt loved the change though, and since it was his car, that's what is most important.

Before you buy the kit, you need to drive a C3 with good stock steering. In good shape, set up properly, the stock steering as actually VERY good. Then you need to drive a C3 with Steeroids.

You may not like the feel of the Steeroids steering. Lot of money to spend on a hunch.

If all it takes to get you to good stock steering is a new rubber line and a new rag joint, I suggest going that route. Heck, even replacing the box and pump would still put you under the $500 category for the whole project.
 

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What do you plan to do with the car, and how do you normally drive it? Do you push
the car hard when you drive or do you mostly just cruise? Are you looking for quicker
steering? Is the steering you have now tight?

You could just clean up and replace as needed, the steering system you have now.
If your steering is sloppy you may also have some bushings to replace in the control arms.
If you find that the tie rods need to be replaced and the steering control valve
need rebuilt or replaced. If the system is worn out, then you may wont to switch to
a rack system.

If you like saving money and enjoy building things, you may want to build you own
rack system like one of these two.

http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115382

http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132717&highlight=rack

There is also a Jeep box conversion that some are doing, with that system you would retain
all of you ordinal steering system minus the control valve, I believe.

I don't know if I have been of any help to you but I hope you can use some of this info to
help make your decision.

Riggs
 

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The picture shows a shot rag joint,collaped steering column,and probably a worn box.

For a street car, a properly setup suspension with good parts,alignment, GM rag joint,and a blueprinted box will be as good if not better then an aftermarket system at 1/2 the cost.
Before all these systems were on the market corvettes handled extremely well with GOOD factory parts. The problem is most of the boxes you see offered are poorly rebuilt. You should be able to steer your car not aim it as some believe.
I have repaired way too many "rebuilt" boxes sold to people off auction site,catalogs,websites,and swap meets. They were all represented as rebuilt and ALL were junk. Most times they were just painted and over greased, no parts replaced and no where near the spec's they should be set to.
 

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If you decide to go with the R&P, watch for the sales at VB&P. I caught a 20% off and picked up their rack attack for right at $1K after adding back the S&H.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still trying to decide

The car is going to be a cruiser only.

I had forgotten about the VB&P Rack Attack. Is there much difference between the two? I thought I read a thread that mentioned problems torqueing the bolts on the front plate or that they had come out. That stuff scares me if I install it properly and then have to constantly make sure those nuts and bolts stay tight.

It's a bit hard for me to gauge the steering right now with the back jacked up. But I did go out and turn the wheel back and forth watching the front wheels. Didn't feel real bad. Maybe I should get the rest together and take a small test drive. I know that drving with such a bad rag joint isn't the smartest thing to do, but I'll go slow, just want to feel what it's like at stock.

If I had the fabrication tools I might take on converting a jeep box or something else as I read those threads several weeks ago. But I don't think that's going to happen. I would need something that pretty much bolts right on. D_B, do you remember what he had to fabricate to make the Steeroids system work?

Gary, do you know what needs to be done on the steering column to pull the shaft back down? I asked some other people and didn't really get specifics. I also have my 1971 AIM now but I couldn't find a page that breaks down the steering column assembly.


Jeff
 

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D_B, do you remember what he had to fabricate to make the Steeroids system work?

Yes I sure do. Now, keep in mind this car also had side mount headers and side pipes, so that complicated the issue, but only to the point that we had to bend a primary out of the way a bit.

The biggest issue was in the kit itself. There is a jack shaft that goes through a heim joint. The jack shaft connects to U-joints, and the heim joint simply supports the jack shaft allowing it to rotate without moving laterally. The problem is that the jack shaft wouldn't fit through the heim joint. I had to shave down the overall diameter of the jack shaft until it was a perfect slip fit through the heim joint.

The next problem was the rack. The output snout casting contacted the frame of the car. So much in fact that I had to cut almost a full 1" square section out of the frame, for the rack to sit flush with the mounting brackets, lining up the output snout to the first joint.

Personally, I don't like that the frame of the car has to be permanently altered. Up until that point, everything was reversible and if, IF, Curt ever wanted to go back to stock he'd be able to. However, after notching the frame, it's forever tarnished to the eyes of any future buyers.

Luckily Curt and I have changed a LOT of things about the car and he never plans to sell it. But, the fact remains that the frame needed to be cut up.

I also had to sand and file the steering shaft so it fit into the end of the top U-joint. That was a pain because I had to file down each of the 30 something ridges in the shaft. Hard to do leaning over the fender for an hour or so. LOL.

Other than that, it was a piece of cake. :partyon:
 

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Steeroids

I put both steeroids and sharkbite on my 79. Granted, I have not driven it yet because the guy who who both on is also adding the finishing touches to my interior. He told me that it wasnt too bad to put on and it was most mostly bolt on and he only had to modify some things slightly but all in all went on very easy and it was al professionally packed and labeled.
He drove it (before it was aligned) and told me he really liked the feel and the responsivness of it.
I can only pass on his opinion but he told me it was a huge improvement over my stock.

Good luck!
 

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I'm in the process of putting a complete VB&P suspension and rack attack steering on my 71. It is relatively easy install. They seem to be fantastic people to work with from there management, engineering, and sales staff. They are human and make mistakes, but they are the first to admit it and make the corrections with out a hassle.

When I complete my install I will complete the threads I have going on it with all the troubles I have ran into and the steps VB&P have taken to resolve these problems, even when some were just my lack of knowledge and my poor planing...

I all so have most of the stock system on my shelf if any one needs stock parts to rebuild or use...
 

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Don't get your rag joint from Ecklers. All the aftermarket rag joints are incorrect and 180 degrees out. When installed, your steering wheel will be 180 out and the turn signal cancellation will not work right.

GM still has the original parts available. Google "Jim Shea Corvette steering papers" for all the info and the correct part numbers.
 
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