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Proper adjustment of steering gear box lash?


Well-known member
Jan 26, 2001
Asheville, NC
1973 converted to 1980 custom convertible
I have a lot of play in the steering. I know that some of the play is coming from worn parts such as ball joints. I adjusted the lash in the gear box and that has made a huge difference. My questions is, how do I know when I have properly adjusted the lash? In other words, how far do I turn the adjusting screw? What will happen if I over adjust (tighten) the screw? I sure wish I would have adjusted this thing when I purchased the car 2-1/2 years ago.



Thanks for the response. I too looked up the "proper" procedure in my shop manual. No way I am going to get that involved! Like you said, "I would say short of all that if it feels ok, and doesn't feel to tight with the wheels up off the ground, it sould be ok".


Rack & pinion

I've been thinking about a rack & pinion, also. I really don't feel like spending my cash on a new steering cylinder and messing with my 30year old slush box. Then, having to set everything and still getting some slop. I'm afraid that someone is going to make a rack that's out of my budget, though. I know there's plenty of Camaros, Firebirds and Vettes sitting in the junkyards, willing to pass on their parts. I'm going to look into this more carefully over the winter and do some measuring to see if I can find something to work on my '71. Chris, 69 MYWAY, had mentioned the impending Shark rack, but does anyone know some cold, hard facts? Has anyone seen a Shark with a modified steering gear set-up?--Bullitt
The thing is where do you fasten the rack to, so it is straight on with the pittman arms?
That's my main problem, Keith. I'm not going to limit my search to just GM parts. I'll try anything, as long as I know that replacement parts don't need a airplane ticket in from overseas. The aftermarket has been supplying hot rodders for years with Vega, Mustang II and other types of modified rack systems. I'll need to find a fabricator who works in this field. Anyone know how cheap Chip Foose works for? Of course, that Shark rack might turn out to be cheaper than what I think.--Bullitt
I have also read about the rack and pinion steering. I have not really looked into it. I can say that I had a local guy who builds winston cup race cars fab some parts for me for dirt cheap. Are you guys just talking about how to mount the rack and pinion? If so, I would think that a good custom metal fabricator could make some mounts. I know the guy who helped me can make just about anything with metal.


Not only am I thinking about the mounting brackets, but a system that would require limited modifications. My Vette's steering is sloppy until I hit high speeds. Alignment can only do so much when you're dealing with 50's technology throughout the steering system. I love responsiveness without nervousness, when rounding the corner or just cruising. I hope that someone comes up with something fast or the parts guys at dealerships all over the area are going to kill me real quick! :L --Bullitt

Or to be exact, $995 for a steering rack&pinion bolt-on system, at Speed Direct's website. It's under the Steeroids banner and should only take a few hours to install, but $1000! They don't even have a part number listed, but they got that price down. :( Ouch, my wallet is crying already. I understand that it cost money to fabricate a bolt-in bracket, but I'd like to get an used rack to save money. Maybe if they sold the parts seperately, I could manage it till I finally wanted a new rack. I should sell the car parts that are collecting dust in my garage to justify the cost. Anyone want to make an offer on an used 454 truck motor torn down to the shortblock? How about my old steering system, that includes a fairly new control valve, brand new hoses and a brand new H.D. idler arm in the plactic wrap, minus the pump?--Bullitt

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