Feb 19th, 00, 03:58 PM
I recently picked up a new subframe for my 69 w/front disc. When I do the changeover I plan on replacing my wasted manual steering box. Since it is damn near impossible to turn my wheel at a stop without almost tearing it off, I would eventually like to add power steering although not for a year or so. Can I buy a P/S gearbox and use it as a manual? Will this hurt it? Also if someone could suggest a company that I can get a decently priced box from? Im not looking to spend more than 250-300 bucks. Also the cheapest Ive seen a new rag joint is $75 has anyone seen one cheaper? Thanx
Feb 19th, 00, 04:34 PM
You can't use a power box without the pump.
Several Camaro parts suppliers sell rag joint repair kits for about $10. It includes the rubber/cloth "O" and new bolts. These kits are generally available at auto parts stores. I saw one at Pep Boys today.
I just replaced my rag joint this weekend and I bought the $60 new one because the repair kit looked like it was going to be more trouble than the $$ saved.
Feb 19th, 00, 06:35 PM
A word about the power boxes. Get the fast ratio box. Also, the power box uses a pitman arm that has a larger hole. there are two lengths, get the longer for faster steering. Also there are at least two length outer steering arms that attach to the spindles. Get the shortest.
Don't use the power box without a pump. you will suck dirt into it. It will be super hard to turn the wheel. Either use the manual you have or go for the power steering setup now.
Feb 21st, 00, 08:36 AM
If you can, get a box out of a late 70s T/A or Z-28. These cars had the quick ratio box. Should be able to find one in a junk yard for pretty cheap. Getting the correct brackets and misc hardware for your 69 model will be the expensive part.
Feb 23rd, 00, 05:43 AM
This is a timely topic for me since my stock '69 power steering unit just decided to take the big dirt nap.
Like many others I'm interested in replacing it with a newer, tighter ratio box. I've tried to do my homework and read all the old posts I could find and I think I've generally got it figured out.
I located a 1979 Z-28 steering box for $75 exchange. From my readings and the junkyard guy I understand that all I really have to do for this swap is:
- swap my '69 p/s pitman arm on to the '79 box (oriented to fit the '69)
- use the '79 type rag joint (preferably a new one)
- swap the box covers so I can hook my p/s lines up without adapters
- I noticed some comments about adjusting the stops in the box - is this necessary? and if so how do I do it?
- Do I have this right or is there anything I've missed or gotten confused about?
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
Feb 23rd, 00, 10:46 AM
You don't need to use a 79 type rag joint. I got a later model quick ratio (12:1) box from AGR. Finished installing it last week (you were going to challenge me on the Power Tour with that old sloppy steering box?). I bought and installed a repro rag joint.
The difference in the boxes is that the groove on the input shaft on our early years goes all the way around the shaft. On the later years, only about 1/4 of the diameter of the shaft is grooved. This may affect the placement of the rag joint in relation to its mounting surface on the steering column. In my case, after I installed the new rag joint, the steering wheel was upside down. I pulled the wheel off and re-centered it no problem. I wondered if the rag joint just happened to be assembled 180 degrees off, but it doesnt look like it is going to cause any problems.
The new joint is MUCH stiffer than the old one because it is reinforced with wire screen instead of cloth.
Three other things:
1> you might as well get a new pitman arm while you have everything out. Mine looked ok, but I replaced it anyway, cost about $65. Be sure to take the pitman arm off the new box while its in the car at the junkyard. The retaining nut is torqued to 140 ft-lbs and it will be a bear getting it off with the box out of the car. I learned this the hard way.
2> Not sure about the stops. I have 245/50/16 tires on 16x8 wheels with 3.5 backspacing and have no problems with my AGR box. I think AGR adjusts them anyway, assuming that the cars their boxes go on will have bigger tires.
3> The hose fittings screwed right into the AGR box. I didn't have to use any adapters. They probably used later model internals on an early model box - like you were suggesting - using your box, but the 79 internals.
[This message has been edited by gheatly (edited 02-23-2000).]