"Jet smooth Chevrolet ride" - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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"Jet smooth Chevrolet ride"

I saw in another post where a few guys were commenting on the handling of our beloved old Impalas. After owning several cars over the years, I accquired a 70 LS5 convertible in 1995. The "jet smooth ride" (and lack of handling) just amazed me. One thing in particular that annoyed me was the old slow steering box. Trying to PARK this monster in a parking lot, I'd almost always miss the hole. I came across a 78 WS6 Trans Am in a junk yard and swapped out the steering box in my Impala. Viola! It seems I had gotten used to the quicker steering in the newer cars and now I was able to speed up the ratio in my Impala (making it easier to park). The T/A box was a perfect bolt in deal. You need to switch the steering arm (obviously) and 78 is the last year that GM used standard thread steering hose fittings. Looking at it, you can't see a difference from the original box. From what I understand now, several "restoration parts houses" are selling fast ratio boxes. This is a good idea if you plan on driving your car on a regular basis.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 04:02 PM
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Wow! WAY-old post, but I'm happy to have found this one! True, the old barges don't handle nearly as well as the newer sleds do - I can tell you my '89 Caprice can whip around like a race car, compared to my '63 Impala - but it's a price worth paying for the 'coolness factor'. Besides, I don't parallel park her much.

I'd be interested to try this swap... Hmm.. I'll have to check out the T/A's in the junkyard, next time I'm there.

Oh: and I know this doesn't need said: but the "Jet-Smooth" term refers to the "X"-frame chevies of the early 60's I beleive. But no matter: I haven't met an Impala yet that I (a) Haven't owned already or (b) loved just for what it was! ~ M.

'63 Impala Sedan
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 08:25 PM
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The Saginaw steering box is interchangeable from 1958 to 1989 (but as mentioned 1979 and up used O-rings instead of SAE compressioon flair fittings. Most autoparts houses sell adapters to convert over to O-ring hoses or you can buy a power steering hose with a SAE Flair on one end and an O-ring on the other.)

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 12:40 PM
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John: Another question: What steering arm do you use? I want to make this swap soon - but I'm not sure if you meant that you have to order a '78 T/A steering arm or if something else is needed. M.

'63 Impala Sedan
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 08:29 PM
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Take the pitman arm off your old steering box and install it on the new steering box. Do not try to use the newer pitman arm, it wont work right.

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