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Steering box rebuild?

80Vette

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
63
Location
Portland OR
Corvette
1980 pearl white vette
Has anyone had their steering box rebuilt?
How much does a steering box rebuild usually cost?

Lastly, should I get the alignment done first before getting the steering box rebuilt?


Thanks in advance.
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
Yes... I had VB&P rebuild mine. I got a preliminary price quote over the phone, and then they confirmed a price after inspection. They finished the rebuild in a couple of days --- they did excellent work.

Give them a call (727) 345-5292.
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
I think there are some forum members that do rebuilds also.

Ralph.

That's right!

Gary (GTR1999) had a great deal on rebuilds. I had already sent mine out to VB&P, and would have taken Gary up on his offer.

Try to PM or email him.
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
Hi there,
I just back here after Carlisle and can answewr your questons on boxes. You can get them rebuild form several places and I can certainly do the same if you want. The difference in my work is I blueprint the boxes not just rebuild them. This intails machining bushing to fit your pitman shaft and setting up tolerences to the tight end.
For example, a typical stock box, even when new has about .010 side play in the bushings and .007-.010 gap in the lash screw. I set the side play to .002-.003 max and the lash gap to under .002" This along with the bearing preload and correct lash setting on center makes the difference. I offer several options for finished on the box as well. I think they are the best built boxes on the market but I'll let the owner make that decision once on the car.
I haven't used the rack & pinion setups or the Jeep boxes. I'm sure if they are correctly setup they'll work fine but the stock box fits without any mods or fabricating, is relaible and just looks right in the car.
If you have access to a surface grinder and lathe I can tell how to build your own box as well. The big thing with these is to be sure the gears are still good and reusable. They are getting expensive and hard to find.

If I can be of further help let me know. I have posted many pictures on another forum if you visit them I have the same ID gtr1999

Good luck with your car,
Gary
 
L

Lee70454

Guest
Let Gary do it, his work is excellent, he's a pleasure to work with, and the end product is beautiful!
 

80VetteL82

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Boston, MA
Corvette
1980 L82 Black/Red
How do you tighten up slack in the box? I know you adjust the lash nut, but Im not sure of the excact method. By the way the box is in my 1980 L82. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
The lash adjustment is written in several manuals and most state to use a "fish" scale on the steering wheel to get the correct load. I wouldn't use this method as it not accurate enough for me. The best way and the way I do it is to use a 0-30 inch/pound dial torque wrench with the box out of the car in a vise. You may be able to get some adjustment in a stock box but the internals are sloppy from day one so sometimes you can't. This assumes the gears are still good as well.
Now I have heard and read for years how guys have just tightened down the lash and they were good to go. Yes this will tighten the box but if you are not checking it lock to lock for the on center setting you have no idea where it is. I've had boxes come in that were out of original cars with less then 50k miles and the gears were shot because of previous improper adjustment.
If I can be of further help let me know, good luck.
Gary
 

80Vette

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
63
Location
Portland OR
Corvette
1980 pearl white vette
Hi there,
I can answewr your questons on boxes. You can get them rebuild form several places and I can certainly do the same if you want. .........If I can be of further help let me know. I have posted many pictures on another forum if you visit them I have the same ID gtr1999

Good luck with your car,
Gary


Gary, thank you so much. I really appreciate the forethought & honesty.
As soon as the weather turns south here in Oregon (rain for 7 months straight) I'll call you.

Thanks again,
Andy
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
No problem Andy, let me know if you need help. Enjoy what's left of the season.

Gary
 

pgtr

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
324
Location
CST
Corvette
96Cpe
Has anyone had their steering box rebuilt?
How much does a steering box rebuild usually cost?

Lastly, should I get the alignment done first before getting the steering box rebuilt?

If you are up for it they are not that hard to rebuild - the trickiest part I found was finding a sensitive in-lbs torque wrench. Manual is at corvettefaq or in your overhaul manual.

I suggest having the allignment done afterwards if it needs it.
 

72and86

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
24
Location
United States
Corvette
1965 Vert, 1969 Coupe, 1971 Coupe, 1976, 1986 Vert
Hi there,
I just back here after Carlisle and can answewr your questons on boxes. You can get them rebuild form several places and I can certainly do the same if you want. The difference in my work is I blueprint the boxes not just rebuild them. This intails machining bushing to fit your pitman shaft and setting up tolerences to the tight end.
For example, a typical stock box, even when new has about .010 side play in the bushings and .007-.010 gap in the lash screw. I set the side play to .002-.003 max and the lash gap to under .002" This along with the bearing preload and correct lash setting on center makes the difference. I offer several options for finished on the box as well. I think they are the best built boxes on the market but I'll let the owner make that decision once on the car.
I haven't used the rack & pinion setups or the Jeep boxes. I'm sure if they are correctly setup they'll work fine but the stock box fits without any mods or fabricating, is relaible and just looks right in the car.
If you have access to a surface grinder and lathe I can tell how to build your own box as well. The big thing with these is to be sure the gears are still good and reusable. They are getting expensive and hard to find.

If I can be of further help let me know. I have posted many pictures on another forum if you visit them I have the same ID gtr1999

Good luck with your car,
Gary

Do you still rebuild steering boxes? I just bought a 1969 in Bristol CT. LMK. Steve :)
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
Yes still rebuilding boxes, arms, diff's. You can call me at 203-776-2813 x139 and I can go over any questions you have.
Gary
 

krscholz

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
129
Location
Caldwell, ID
Corvette
75 Corvette Coupe, 383 Stroker
Don't do it.

I rebuilt my entire power steering and looking in retrospect, I wouldn't do it again. Its now done and works great, but then that's after spending more money than if I had purchase rebuilt components in the first place. The power steering box is the hardest component to rebuild and the reason why is that it requires you to set the backlash and preload setting with a inch pound torque wrench. Shall I go on? Bottom line, is that its not worth the effort to rebuild any of the steering components - just buy rebuilt parts from a reputable dealer. Look, you're not going to let your car down if you don't rebuild the parts yourself. If you want some names of reputable people I can give them to you. By the way Gary is one of them.
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
I rebuilt my entire power steering and looking in retrospect, I wouldn't do it again. Its now done and works great, but then that's after spending more money than if I had purchase rebuilt components in the first place. The power steering box is the hardest component to rebuild and the reason why is that it requires you to set the backlash and preload setting with a inch pound torque wrench. Shall I go on? Bottom line, is that its not worth the effort to rebuild any of the steering components - just buy rebuilt parts from a reputable dealer. Look, you're not going to let your car down if you don't rebuild the parts yourself. If you want some names of reputable people I can give them to you. By the way Gary is one of them.

I will say that all boxes are not built the same. I have seen some pretty poor work come my way from guys who purchased from auction sites or even from some rebuilders. Things such as no parts replaced, over greased, reused worn out gears, welded worn out gears, gear installed upside down to try and make them work are some of what I've seen with "rebuilt" boxes on the market these days.

With the corvette, 63-82, the boxes were the same for both power and manual. The same for the rag joints. The pitman arms were different and the control valve used with the ps setup often has issues. A lot of the valves that are on the market aren't what some expect either. If you do need a control valve I would buy a new vs rebuilt. For a box, well I'm pretty biased I guess, but the ones I build are unlike anyone else's.
 

72and86

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
24
Location
United States
Corvette
1965 Vert, 1969 Coupe, 1971 Coupe, 1976, 1986 Vert
I will say that all boxes are not built the same. I have seen some pretty poor work come my way from guys who purchased from auction sites or even from some rebuilders. Things such as no parts replaced, over greased, reused worn out gears, welded worn out gears, gear installed upside down to try and make them work are some of what I've seen with "rebuilt" boxes on the market these days.

With the corvette, 63-82, the boxes were the same for both power and manual. The same for the rag joints. The pitman arms were different and the control valve used with the ps setup often has issues. A lot of the valves that are on the market aren't what some expect either. If you do need a control valve I would buy a new vs rebuilt. For a box, well I'm pretty biased I guess, but the ones I build are unlike anyone else's.

I understand. It's probably something I will do in the early winter as I just got the vette and want to drive it before summer is gone. If youre from CT then you know that summers go by in flash.
How much do you charge and what are the details...? I see rebuilt SBs for $140 on eBay ($50 core). You can send me a private email if dont want to post the price...:chuckle
 

GTR1999

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
Well it's certainly your choice on what you want to do. I say drive the car for the next couple of months and enjoy it. When you get to the box and if you want the best just call me. I won't build a box like you will find elsewhere. Be very careful on those low priced boxes. They will not have new gears in them and may not have new internals nor will they be fit.
 

krscholz

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
129
Location
Caldwell, ID
Corvette
75 Corvette Coupe, 383 Stroker
Don't do it!

Has anyone had their steering box rebuilt?
How much does a steering box rebuild usually cost?

Lastly, should I get the alignment done first before getting the steering box rebuilt?


Thanks in advance.

Its not worth doing yourself. Buy a rebuilt and drop it in. Wait on the alignment because the steering wheel may need to be straightened.
 

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