Like many, I spend way too much money and time on my car, but thats what the "hobby" is all about. Still, if I can get some low-buck improvement in any aspect of my car I'm going to take a serious look at it. My car is an X44 '69 Camaro coupe... and its a restomod. One thing I wanted to do was upgrade the brakes, suspension, and steering. So the front end got power disc brakes (Wilwoods/CPP/TuffStuff), Hotchkis 2" drop coils, Helix tubular uppers and lowers, ProForged ball joints with tall uppers, ProForged tie rods, ends, and the Helwig 1-1/8" front bar is enroute as I write this. Have to give Dave Pozzi props for giving me some tips and information. And thanks to Jeff Loud [LSX69] who prodded me into doing this write-up. Jeff's going to give it a try in his car now.
My car was originally a small block V8, automatic, power steering and dual exhausts. The steering was awful, seemed like 15 turns lock to lock and response was as slow as molasses. While I'm sure the steering boxes from Lee and other high-end rebuilders are without compare... I noticed that on the compatible Saginaw steering box list they had the Jeep Grand Cherokee from the mid-'90s as a decent candidate. I did some searching on CL and found a local guy who was in the process of parting out his sister's JGC that had been T-Boned on the passenger side. I called up and asked if he had a steering box and if so, what condition. He said he'd pull it out and take some pix which he sent to me. Long story short... I drove up to his house and bought it for $45. Obviously looked a little grimy, but it didn't appear to leak, and it seemed smooth when turned by hand.
I set about cleaning it up last winter as one of my many projects. Got it installed a couple months now, and all I can say is "Night and Day" difference. As with all these newer Saginaw boxes, you'll need to pick up the correct rag joint and a set of adapters for the hoses. But other than that, its a direct bolt-in and you use the original power steering arm (or pick one up from Rock-Auto). Thought I'd post some pix of the restoration.
Kinda dry and rusty, but solid and smooth. Started wire-brushing it because if it was going in the car it had to look decent.
Wire-brushing got the box looking pretty decent as far as a used, 20 year old component was concerned.
Having had done other suspension cleanups over the years, I'm a firm believer in using a good metal etching primer.
I like Rustoleum's "Hammertone" paints for cast items. Did my best to clean and polish the oxidized aluminum parts, clear-coated those.
These numbers may or may not be helpful in identifying a '96 JGC box, but I figured I'd include them. The "214496" is so lightly engraved it barely shows up in pictures.
I did find another picture (see below) where you can barely make out the numbers on the end cap.
Sorry about that LOL.
So here's the rag joint you'd need to retrofit the '96 JGC steering box into your '69 Camaro. Probably all three first gen years. Believe its a Chevy S10 rag joint.
Here's the Borgeson adapters, available from many online vendors. These ensure a nice, tight and so far... leak free connection using your existing PS hose.
Depending on which headers you have, you might have to work the tubes as supposedly the '84 and up Saginaw boxes are 1/8" wider (I never checked).
Best I can do from the bottom until I get back on a lift LOL. Last week of July I put on 1053 miles in one week, drove from Massachusetts down to the Jersey Shore for some family vacation time. Real long distance road test for my brakes, suspension, and steering mods. Happy to say nothing happened... the box is still as dry as a bone in the desert.
So the bottom line is that for well under $100 my car's steering is ultra responsive and no longer wallowing all over the road. I'm sure there's plenty of people who will suggest that the only way to go is new, but so many have opted to search out '84 IROC boxes or their equivalent. The IROC/Monte Carlo boxes (if you can find one) has a slightly thicker shaft, maybe a little better feel... I don't know. This started out as an experiment, and I figured if it sucked... I could always go buy a remanufactured box for a couple hundred and hope they put decent parts back in it. This box is 12 years newer LOL than an '84 IROC box so they're both ancient. It did however, turn out to be just the ticket for me. I'll probably upgrade the hoses this winter, maybe braided SS. Hope this little pictorial helps a few people. And don't forget that a wealth of information is over on Dave Pozzi's page, especially the charts showing various alternate choices for steering boxes. Maybe if enough people like this they'll make it a sticky. Enjoy!