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Anyone succeed rebuilding a steering box?

S

street carp

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My 1969's steering is plain dangerous now with so much play and no more adjustment available on the steering box.

Since rebuilt boxes seem to be around $400 (and add to that shipping and shipping the core back), I am considering rebuiding my steering box with http://www.ecklers.com/product.asp?pf%5Fid=44234&dept%5Fid=1838.

How hard is the rebuild considering I have rebuilt calipers and an engine very successfully before, but not a steering box? I've also taken apart a transmission to replace synchros as well. I am no expert, but I have some ability.

It seems a good benefit of the kit is the worm and nut and sector is replaced, which the rebuilt boxes don't state are new on theirs. It all depends on how hard this is, i.e. any special tools needed/is anything pressed in?
 

gmjunkie

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Nov 11, 2004
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Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
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03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
Can you walk and chew Bubble gum at the same Time???

If So, Getter Done!!!!!!;LOL It's not hard!!:upthumbs
 
Joined
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1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
i've got an excellent tech paper on rebuilding steering boxes if you want it.
it's on my website tech articles page here:
http://69.253.166.197/page1/page65/page65.html

scroll down to the bottom and look for the file called: Steering Box Rebuild.pdf
 
S

street carp

Guest
i've got an excellent tech paper on rebuilding steering boxes if you want it.
it's on my website tech articles page here:
http://69.253.166.197/page1/page65/page65.html

scroll down to the bottom and look for the file called: Steering Box Rebuild.pdf

Thanks for your link and thanks for all that information. I've bookmarked it and will be going back there again for sure. I'll do the rebuild and post back here if I discover anything out of the ordinary that could help out anyone else in the future.
 

GTR1999

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New Haven CT
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1969,1972,1975
I rebuild these all the time for forum members on the various forums. I have a detailed post on another forum, if you look you'll find it.

As for rebuilding them you have 2 choices, build them like everyone does or go a step better and custom build one. That's what I do. The biggest difference is custom fitting bushings to the pitman shaft to reduce sideplay. The kits which we all sell have bushings but they only cut the sideplay down to about .005-.006" The fitted box have about .002" it really makes a difference in the car feel on both PS and manual steering cars.

You'll need an inch/pound dial torque wrench 0-30 scale to really dial them in, anything else in just not close enough. If the gears are shot then you're going to have find them and they are expensive, the last set I needed for a late box ran $245. Be sure you get the correct worm shaft too, the 63-E69's used the full round fine spline, the L69-82 used the coarse spine with a flat milled into it.

Adjustments to make

Preload
Lash Gap
Lash on center


Good luck if you need any help let me know.
 
S

street carp

Guest
Thanks for that information, but being that this car is not a daily driver I'm not as interested in going that detailed in the rebuild. Right now the steerring wheel play is so bad there is at times 2" of "dead zone" steering. The tie rods and pitman arm are solid. All that play right now is in the steering box.

As for getting the right worm shaft, I was expecting Eclkers would send me the right one since they do specify a different one for PS vs. non-PS in 1969.

Thanks again. BTW which forum should I look for your rebuild post?
 

GTR1999

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1969,1972,1975
If you have that much play in the box then the gears may be gone. It shouldn't matter if you're driving it everyday or once a month it should still steer correct and yours is not. If you email me at gramadei@aep.us I'll send you the link. Don't take for granted what a large vendor has in the catalogs, it wouldn't be the first time the wrong part was shipped.

Good luck,
Gary
 

bradfordsvettes

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Boston, MA area
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jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
this may be a stupid question but is the rag joint in good shape or starting to tear or fall apart Steve
 
S

street carp

Guest
this may be a stupid question but is the rag joint in good shape or starting to tear or fall apart Steve

It's not a stupid question at all. It was stupid of me not to look into that possibility before ordering a steering box. Is the rag joint the same as the steering coupler, or flange, and is it located directly above the steering box?

This is where all the play is coming from, not the steering box, it turns out. It is completely falling apart. This is the part you refered to that needs to be replaced?:
http://www.volvette.com/Merchant2/m...duct_Code=ST32C&Product_Count=&Category_Code=
 

Peer81

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'81 Black
That's the part Street Carp. :)
And when the rag joint is the problem, it still is a good thing to check your steering box and reset the torque settings of it (the original i mean).

Groeten Peter.
 

SPANISHVETTS

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El puerto de Santa Maria Spain
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before 60,63&82 now 90 383 Stroker & 91 ZR1-Sold
I got here too late to add anything other than, Tear into it! I have rebuilt several on really odd ball cars with no parts available. As long as you pay attention and take your time it is easier than rebuilding a rear-end.

In the PS boxes the seals are the same as the ones used in Hydraulic equipment and can be sourced from any Hydraulic supply house for about 10% of the price of the GM part.

The fun part is finding all of the little balls that pop out and roll under the work bench.:W

If you have the thing apart anyway follow GTR1999’s advice and build it right. It will only take an extra ¼ hour and if you do not you will always wish that you had.
 

bradfordsvettes

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jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
As peer 81 has said the kit is available for rebuilding this joint it may still be a good idea to check the box if it has many miles on it but you will see a gigantic difference with the new joint kit installed Steve
 
S

street carp

Guest
That's the part Street Carp. :)
And when the rag joint is the problem, it still is a good thing to check your steering box and reset the torque settings of it (the original i mean).

Groeten Peter.

Which torque settings do you mean? Something besides the pitman arm, right?
 
Joined
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Most of the rag joint "repair kits" use loose nuts and bolts instead of riveted reinforcements, and the replacement carcass element (may be just a rubber disc instead of the reinforced element) probably won't have the copper ground strap, so the horn won't work without adding a separate jumper wire across the flanges. Steering isn't a great place to save money - I'd replace the rag joint with the correct assembly.

:beer
 

bradfordsvettes

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jewel blue 61.cranberry 69 t-top.black rose 92
I have used quite a few of the kits and lock-tite the bolts . the rubber pieces were all reinforced but you do bring up a valid point as to checking quality of the kit Just my 2 cents Steve
 

SPANISHVETTS

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before 60,63&82 now 90 383 Stroker & 91 ZR1-Sold
A 12 point socket or box end will do the job.

They make 12 points to go in tight spots so you can get more wrench clearence.

Have fun with the steering. I am balancing Thunders drive shaft today; that should tell you how boring Sept. in Spain is.
 
S

street carp

Guest
Cool...thanks everyone for your help. I shall soon have decent steering...finally.
 
S

street carp

Guest
I've hit a brick wall on the coupler/rag joint rebuild. Look at the photo here:
23024.jpg

See the two shafts coming out of the coupler that are not threaded? These must be removed in order to replace the rag joint. I have put the coupler in a vice and all the shafts do is spin. I assume the are welded in from behind.

What is the best way to remove these two, and does the removal make them useless afterwards? Also my original coupler looks just like the picture in the link above...both shafts are the same dimensions. But the kit I recieved came with three different sized shafts to choose from like this photo:
st32c.jpg

One is the same as the originals, one is narrower, and one is wider. Which of the three new shafts should I use assuming I can't reuse the originals?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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'67 Marina Blue Convertible
That's why I recommended replacing the rag joint as an assembly with the correct GM part instead of "cobbling" it together with a "repair kit". The (Chinese) carcass element only has four layers of reinforcement, and the correct one has seven. Do you really want a "cobbled" joint in the only connection between you and the front wheels? :eyerole
 

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