Steering gear box and trailing arms ('68) - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Steering gear box and trailing arms ('68)

So it looks like the steering gearbox seals are blown and the trailing arm bushes on the rear suspension are shot. The mechanic wants a fortune to deal with it. How difficult a job is replacing the trailing arm bushings (it was a real pain on my Triumph TR6)? What about the steering gearbox? Are there suitable replacement parts? Thanks!

-Mike
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 02:08 PM
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Both are just big jobs that could require an impact gun unless you have some large breaker bars and quality sockets/wrenches. Both are held together with big hardware and being fastened for 41 years can have them on there pretty good. You would need a puller for the steering arm on the box itself.

You can get rear control arm bushings through the aftermarket and possibly find a shop that would R&R them. However removing them would require removing the entire rear axle assy. Nothing rocket science there just a lot of muscle and sweat.

Also a rebuilt steering gear box shouldn't be hard to locate but there are specific things you need to pay attention to when replacing the steering gear box. Replacing just seals would be a job for an experienced mechanic. PWR steering even more so as the internals are a bit complicated for the average backyard mechanic.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 05:06 PM
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You can buy a remanufactured steering gear box easily enough. The tie rod ends and pitman arm will need a pickle fork or gear puller to get them off. Be certain where the center is before reassembling the front end as you would like the steering wheel to be not only centered but you have the same amount of run out on both sides of center. As far as replacement steering gear boxes go, you want one out of an 1985 and up Impala or pick up truck as they are harder to steer (offers road feel as feed back instead of having the steer by pinky lack of resistance which causes the car to dart at each little flinch you make while holding the wheel).

As to the rear control arms you can remove them one at a time. you do not have to buy fabricated control arms for the bottom anyway as you can box them in easily enough even putting a sleeve on each end to keep the next bushing replacement from collapsing the control arm in the press. For the top you might consider a store bought unit as having the ability to adjust the pinion angle is nice. If I were building an upper control arm to incorporate a spherical bearing in one end (required). I would offset the solid end to raise the attachment point for better torque control (controls wheel hop).

Big Dave
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
You can buy a remanufactured steering gear box easily enough. The tie rod ends and pitman arm will need a pickle fork or gear puller to get them off.
Big Dave
Use a dedicated pitman arm puller, or a gear puller (if you can find one that fits) on the pitman arm. A pickle fork can damage the steering box casting.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
As far as replacement steering gear boxes go, you want one out of an 1985 and up Impala or pick up truck as they are harder to steer (offers road feel as feed back instead of having the steer by pinky lack of resistance which causes the car to dart at each little flinch you make while holding the wheel).
Big Dave
Is the '85 and up steering box a simple bolt-in? Does it change the ratio at all?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 12:09 PM
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I used a steering gear box off a 1980 Z 28 on my 1965 Impala. Less than 3 turns lock to lock. Stay away from the boxes that use o rings to seal the lines or you may have to have lines made. Use a pitman arm puller to pull both pitman arms. I also agree about changing the arms one at a time or get an extra set and have them done.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadstoy View Post
I used a steering gear box off a 1980 Z 28 on my 1965 Impala. Less than 3 turns lock to lock. Stay away from the boxes that use o rings to seal the lines or you may have to have lines made. Use a pitman arm puller to pull both pitman arms. I also agree about changing the arms one at a time or get an extra set and have them done.
Larry, Saw your older quote here. I'm ready to buy a close ratio rebuilt steering box from PowerSteering Pros for my 65. I thought 77 and up GM cars had a smaller 3/4" input shaft, where 76 and older had a larger 13/16" input shaft. How'd you get an 80 Camaro box to work?

My current box is 3.5 turns LTL and the close ratio is 2.75 LTL. Mine is sloppy at the center point and with everything else new I thought I would take advantage of a slightly tighter ratio. I understand I need a box with the correct input shaft and inverted flare fittings, not o-rings. And I'm definitely going to invest in a pitman arm puller.
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