AGR Steering Box Help - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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I recently bought a new AGR quick ratio steering box for my 69 from Summitt racing. Stupid me, I threw all of the old parts away after temporarily installing a Steeroids Rack, now that I am putting a big block in the car, the rack won't fit. Bought all new parts.

One of the parts I had to buy was a steering coupler. The problem is, the ID of the coupler is too small for the OD of the input shaft. I read on David Pozzi's site that the correct OD for the input shaft is .760". The OD of the box I bought is .800", hence the fitment issue. The box seems to bolt up and locate well on the frame, though I have not tried it with the new Hooker competition series headers yet (next step, this morning). So I think the question really comes down to an appropriate coupler.

Summitt lists the steering box for "passenger cars," but not specifically for Camaros. I think it may one from a Chevelle, Impala, etc. I am not even sure if there is a difference in the boxes, but clearly at minimum the input shaft is too large for the new GM coupler that I bought. Can I merely get a coupler from a "passenger" car and bolt it all up?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 08:03 AM
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Is the coupler you're using now for a power steering box? I know there is a difference between the coupler of the power and manual boxes.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered the coupler from Rick's First gen, apparently it is an original GM part, cost $70 bucks! I used a caliper to measure the ID as soon as I found the interference issue, it was about .040" smaller than the input shaft on my new pump. I opened up the coupler using some creative techniques (tapping a socket into the slot to force it open, used quite a few of increasing diameter to finally get it to fit). The problem is, when I finally got it on the coupler the centerline of the coupler ran eccentric to the centerline of the input shaft on the pump. Couldn't get it to line up properly on the car.

Second problem I have run into this morning is some serious interference between the headers and the steering box itself. I don't know if it will all fit, but it is definitely going to take some effort (lifting the engine out/to the side, etc) to even get the header in place.

Looking on the internet, it seems that Camaros use the Saginaw 800 steering box, seems like there is only one basic case configuration. If that's the case, then I definitely have two issues: coupler and header interference. It is starting to look like I am going to have to try a differnt set of headers. I bought Hooker competition series (don't have the part number in front of me), the primaries are 2". I know they are different than the passenger car Hookers because I have a set of them from a previous Chevelle I owned, and they are different.

Anyone out there have a power steering 69 with a big block, and headers that fit???? What brand did you end up with?

Mark



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 08:27 AM
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My interest is the Steeroids. How did they work? I am now in the process of changing my 69 Camaro from manual to power steering and have been considering the Steeroids. Also, do you still have them and are you interested in selling or trading them.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 11:39 AM
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I just measured my PS shaft. The stock PS shaft OD is .800". the measurements on my page were from a magazine article and MAY refer to coupler ID.
Since you bought an AGR box for a first gen, they probably put an early size shaft in it so it would fit the stock large PS coupler.

The stock coupler is still available from GM.
It is larger than a manual box coupler and larger than a third gen PS coupler.
David

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[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 01-20-2002).]
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 12:24 PM
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David. What's the differnece between the manual coupler and the power coupler?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 02, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Okay gents, here goes.

After spending the better part of the afternoon in the garage on the "problem," here's what I have discovered:

To the guy who was interested in the Steeroids unit, I still have it, it worked great, and it's for sale. I installed it after having bought the car, about three months ago. The car had a small block when I bought it, and it was dead tired. The steering was also so bad that I was a little scared to drive the car. My original intentions were to build a relatively hot 383 for the car, and because small blocks are so "small," I tried the Steeroids kit. The web page said that if there were issues wit fit, that they'd talk about taking the unit back. In fact, I had no issues with fit at all, it dropped in the car really easily. The rack itself, I found out, is from a Grand Prix type car made in the early ninties. Doing the research, I read some post's from David Pozzi that questioned the strength of the tie rods, quoting some second hand experience from early rear-steer vette's. The tie rod ends are not what I would call extra beefy, but this is not my area of expertise. I figured that if they were good enough for GM to warranty on production Grand Prix's, they'd probably be okay. If you'd like me to measure the diameter of the rod ends, I'd be glad to. I literally only drove the car five miles to shake out the steering before I realized that I was so frustrated with the tired small block that I decided to pull the motor out of the car. Now it gets fun.

I had a stroked big block that I kept from the sale of a Chevelle about two years ago. It's a monster, probably around 550HP, even more torque. I had placd a build order from the same shop who built the rat (ESI in San Diego, HIGHLY recommended, but not too cheap), but they had troubles finding a block. After three weeks I got tired of waiting for them to find a suitable block, so I decided to put the rat into the car.

I bought a set of Hooker headers, and there is NO WAY they'll fit around the steering shaft on the Steeroids kit. I pounded the **** out of them trying to clearence them, but it was pretty clear that they won't fit. It's a shame, the Steeroids unit was pretty trick, and a super fast (too fast?) steering ratio. So, I have the unit, with literally five miles on it, and it's for sale.

Back to the current situation. Thanks, David, for the measurement on the input shaft. I'm glad I got a second opinion, it's a beautiful box, I was hoping I wouldn't have to deal with a return. No question though, the coupler I got from Rick's is about .040" too small. As I mentioned above, I opened it up, but now it is offset as a result, and I am going to have to do some fabrication/clearancing. I think I can just open up the rag joint and offset the dowels a bit to make it work.

After more playing around, I noticed (without the coupler installed) that the major issue with the steering box alignment was just that: the box input shaft did not line up with the centerline of the steering column shaft. I tried sitcking a thick washer between the box and the frame rail on the front lower bolt, and it lined up really nicely. When I pulled the old stuff off of the car, I did not notice if there was a shim or not, not even sure they are supposed to be shimmed. Regardles, it worked, and I think I can make it fit nicely.

Now, for the headers: There is a clearence issue between the #3 pipe and the "fat" part of the steering box. More pounding, and I'm close. I needed a break so I checked the message board. Thanks for the reply's.

By the way, if I had to do it all over again, I'd wait for the small block. A big block in these cars is really damn tight, and I think it may a little too much motor for the car, but I'm in too deep at this point. The small block would have dropped right in, no issues. As it stands, I am three weeks behind where I thought I'd be, I thought the neighbors would be smelling rubber by now!

Mark

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 02, 10:00 AM
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I am the guy interested in the Steeroids Unit. I can be contacted at [email protected]. Please reply with price and your name and phone number and I will give you a call to discuss details. Thank You.
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