BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions

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Cadet57



Posts : 4476
Join date : 2010-03-14
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Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Just picked the wagon up from getting an alignment after doing the left side tie rods and caliper. And all I can say is holy crap. It's never rode this good. However, when I was picking it up I got to talking with the guy who did it, he mentioned that the steering box had a lot of play so there was only so much they could do to get the steering as good as they could. So if I wanted to replace said box, what sort of job would I be looking at? Also, I seem to recall someone mentioning a Jeep box mod? What's that all about?
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:39 pm

If you are in need of a box, I would recommend steering lines too, unless they are in good shape, and come out of the box easy. You can pull the box fairly easy. Pickle fork the center link off, unbolt the steering shaft, and make sure it slides back and forth a little, remove both pressure and return lines, remove three bolts that hold it to the frame.
As far as the Jeep Box is concerned. I was looking to replace my box, and all the reman companies offered one part number for both caprice/Impala. This tells me that there is no guarantee to get a quick ratio box that is used in 9c1/impala cars. So it would be a shot in the dark, and probably not in my favor. Jason suggested I get a reman box from a 93-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is essentially the same saginaw box, but all GC came with a quick ratio 12.7:1. This should guarantee a quick ratio box. So if you don't care about the ratio, then just get a unit for a caprice/impala and take your chance on which one you get, but if you want the quick one, get the Jeep one.
Don't forget to remove your pitman arm and put it on your new box. If you don't feel comfortable with this, a machine shop should be able to for a few bucks.
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Cadet57



Posts : 4476
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:43 pm

IMPALADAKID wrote:
If you are in need of a box, I would recommend steering lines too, unless they are in good shape, and come out of the box easy. You can pull the box fairly easy. Pickle fork the center link off, unbolt the steering shaft, and make sure it slides back and forth a little, remove both pressure and return lines, remove three bolts that hold it to the frame.
As far as the Jeep Box is concerned. I was looking to replace my box, and all the reman companies offered one part number for both caprice/Impala. This tells me that there is no guarantee to get a quick ratio box that is used in 9c1/impala cars. So it would be a shot in the dark, and probably not in my favor. Jason suggested I get a reman box from a 93-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is essentially the same saginaw box, but all GC came with a quick ratio 12.7:1. This should guarantee a quick ratio box. So if you don't care about the ratio, then just get a unit for a caprice/impala and take your chance on which one you get, but if you want the quick one, get the Jeep one.
Don't forget to remove your pitman arm and put it on your new box. If you don't feel comfortable with this, a machine shop should be able to for a few bucks.

Thanks for the info Bill. What do you mean by quick ratio? Like how fast the wheel moves lock to lock?
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:44 pm

Cadet57 wrote:
IMPALADAKID wrote:
If you are in need of a box, I would recommend steering lines too, unless they are in good shape, and come out of the box easy. You can pull the box fairly easy. Pickle fork the center link off, unbolt the steering shaft, and make sure it slides back and forth a little, remove both pressure and return lines, remove three bolts that hold it to the frame.
As far as the Jeep Box is concerned. I was looking to replace my box, and all the reman companies offered one part number for both caprice/Impala. This tells me that there is no guarantee to get a quick ratio box that is used in 9c1/impala cars. So it would be a shot in the dark, and probably not in my favor. Jason suggested I get a reman box from a 93-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is essentially the same saginaw box, but all GC came with a quick ratio 12.7:1. This should guarantee a quick ratio box. So if you don't care about the ratio, then just get a unit for a caprice/impala and take your chance on which one you get, but if you want the quick one, get the Jeep one.
Don't forget to remove your pitman arm and put it on your new box. If you don't feel comfortable with this, a machine shop should be able to for a few bucks.

Thanks for the info Bill. What do you mean by quick ratio? Like how fast the wheel moves lock to lock?
Yes. The quick ratio is like 2.75 turns lock to lock, and the standard ratio is like 3.75 turns lock to lock.
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Cadet57



Posts : 4476
Join date : 2010-03-14
Age : 29
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:32 pm

IMPALADAKID wrote:

Yes. The quick ratio is like 2.75 turns lock to lock, and the standard ratio is like 3.75 turns lock to lock.

According to a ISSF thread, the p/n for the quick lock box is 6556. Does that sound correct?
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No Moa



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Age : 44
Location : Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:44 am

Its a friggin grandpa car, get the 3.75 lock to lock, you'll be good! Laughing
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http://www.collectorfbody.com
Cadet57



Posts : 4476
Join date : 2010-03-14
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:53 am

No Moa wrote:
Its a friggin grandpa car, get the 3.75 lock to lock, you'll be good! Laughing

LOL. Did my father hijack your account? He said the same thing Laughing
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No Moa



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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:56 am

we old guys think alike.
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:12 am

Cadet57 wrote:
No Moa wrote:
Its a friggin grandpa car, get the 3.75 lock to lock, you'll be good! Laughing

LOL. Did my father hijack your account? He said the same thing Laughing
I was just answering the question. Get the slow one. No need for a quick ratio steering box, and bumperetts on the same vehicle. Razz

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Cadet57



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Age : 29
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:26 am

IMPALADAKID wrote:

I was just answering the question. Get the slow one. No need for a quick ratio steering box, and bumperetts on the same vehicle. Razz


That would just be a vehicle full of contradictions! Razz
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mega



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Age : 36
Location : Hyannis, ma

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:25 pm

speaking bout alignment, when you are in a lot turn almost to lock and it feels like the front grabs then lets.that alighnment to? new upper bj's, all tie rods, center link, and idler arm. I just dont remember if it did it before or not?drives pretty damn straight though.
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Cadet57



Posts : 4476
Join date : 2010-03-14
Age : 29
Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:32 pm

Bump for more questions...

I'm going to be replacing the rest of the steering and suspension stuff before I put my new tires on. I want to do the steering box too so as to have a nice tight wheel. Should I just buy a new/reman box or should I adjust mine? Someone told me theres an adjustment part or something? Also, Billy, you said I need to get the pitman arm mounted to the new box. I can't seem to find a pitman arm for the 93. Does it go by another name?
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:42 pm

Cadet57 wrote:
Bump for more questions...

I'm going to be replacing the rest of the steering and suspension stuff before I put my new tires on. I want to do the steering box too so as to have a nice tight wheel. Should I just buy a new/reman box or should I adjust mine? Someone told me theres an adjustment part or something? Also, Billy, you said I need to get the pitman arm mounted to the new box. I can't seem to find a pitman arm for the 93. Does it go by another name?
Use your pitman arm. Just remove the center link, and unbolt it before removing the old box from the car, and use a pitman arm removal tool to slide it off the shaft on the box. This will allow you to use your car as a vise instead of trying to fight with it when the box is out of the car.
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95brmw



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Age : 32
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:07 pm

I'm interested in the adjustment as well. I replaced everything except the box on my Caddy and it still has a good amount of play in it.
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:08 pm

95brmw wrote:
I'm interested in the adjustment as well. I replaced everything except the box on my Caddy and it still has a good amount of play in it.

Same, I'd rather adjust/ repair it than fork out $190 for a new one.
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:34 am

You can do the adjustment too. Have a second person in the car to move the wheel back and forth. Loosen up the locking jam nut, turn Allen wrench in center adjuster screw a little at a time. Each time, have second person turn the wheel back and forth looking for resistance. Once resistance is felt, Stop. When I say resistance, I mean just a slight drag. The play in the wheel will be a lot let, maybe not completely gone, but should be a lot better. Lock the jam nut, and take her for a spin. Better yet, bring the wagon sunday, and I will adjust it for you. Wink
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Matt Trakker



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Age : 35
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:50 am

Haha, mass steering box adjustment event? Yes?
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Cadet57



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Age : 29
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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:53 am

IMPALADAKID wrote:
Better yet, bring the wagon sunday, and I will adjust it for you. Wink

You're like my new bestest friend!
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:16 pm

I recommend at least reading the FSM procedures on doing this first.
This will give you an opportunity to learn how adjusting the screw & jam-nut translates directly to what is happening inside the steering gear-box.

In a nut shell,
1) there is a "tight-spot" at the central position of the steering gear mesh range.
2) there is a base line bearing preload in the worm shaft, even if the gears have back-lash between them.
3) the "on-center gear position" adds a certain amount of gear interference induced preload on to that initial shaft pre-load.
4) when the gears are in mesh "off center", there will be some gear "back-lash" in the box. This is normal - required.
5) the sector gear has a "tall tooth" on center (for high speed stability), but the entire gear is tapered, being thicker at the top, (slightly).
6) adjusting the screw downward locates the thicker cross-sectional gear profile into mesh, creating a tighter fit to the worm nut.

Following the FSM step by step makes all of this very clear, and gets your preloads correctly within range.

I wrote up some non-FSM steps elsewhere to help achieve the same FSM results.
Let me know if you want to read those notes. I will post the whole thing here if you like.
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Machine-De-Zine



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Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:50 pm

IMPALADAKID wrote:
Cadet57 wrote:
IMPALADAKID wrote:
If you are in need of a box, I would recommend steering lines too, unless they are in good shape, and come out of the box easy. You can pull the box fairly easy. Pickle fork the center link off, unbolt the steering shaft, and make sure it slides back and forth a little, remove both pressure and return lines, remove three bolts that hold it to the frame.
As far as the Jeep Box is concerned. I was looking to replace my box, and all the reman companies offered one part number for both caprice/Impala. This tells me that there is no guarantee to get a quick ratio box that is used in 9c1/impala cars. So it would be a shot in the dark, and probably not in my favor. Jason suggested I get a reman box from a 93-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is essentially the same saginaw box, but all GC came with a quick ratio 12.7:1. This should guarantee a quick ratio box. So if you don't care about the ratio, then just get a unit for a caprice/impala and take your chance on which one you get, but if you want the quick one, get the Jeep one.
Don't forget to remove your pitman arm and put it on your new box. If you don't feel comfortable with this, a machine shop should be able to for a few bucks.

Thanks for the info Bill. What do you mean by quick ratio? Like how fast the wheel moves lock to lock?
Yes. The quick ratio is like 2.75 turns lock to lock, and the standard ratio is like 3.75 turns lock to lock.
Just remember, the "lock to lock" total turn amount is ultimately determined by the internal stops inside the steering gear box.
The vehicle steering ratio is determined by the:
1) internal gear ratio, some are variable ratio. (slow on center & fast far left and right)
2) length of the steering arms and pitman arm. swapping boxes must take this into account, the Jeep swap has this issue considered.
3) wheel base of the car, surprisingly - a longer car with the same exact steering parts will steer slower.

You have to watch out for swapping in steering gearboxes with small lock to lock turns (2.5) if this is only due to internally limited stops.
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mp775



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PostSubject: Re: Holy Crap... My Car DID Need an Alignment/ Steering Box Questions   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:35 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
Haha, mass steering box adjustment event? Yes?
Heh; anyone up for a mass window roller or hood release cable replacement event? Wink
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