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Borgeson Power steering conversion kit - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 32
 
Borgeson Power steering conversion kit

I’ve had a troll through previous posts, but they are all at least 2 years old.
I currently have the ram style power steering on my 61, the current steering box is leaking and has a large amount of play.
I can have the box reconditioned here in New Zealand for approximately $500USD.
The question is do I rebuild or spend more and upgrade to real power steering?
Has anyone installed the Borgeson kit, I have read mixed messages on it changing the handling and the need to change A arms to get the chamber required? If that’s what is required I think I would rather stay with the ram style.
And yes I do need power steering for the wife.
Thanks for your input
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 12:47 AM
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You are correct the Borgeson (a rebuilt Saginaw 600 gear box) causes all kinds of issues with steering geometry affecting camber and steering radius.

Your steering is sold with remanufactured (or refurbished used parts) through Corvette restoration houses as the Corvette retained the ram style power assist power steering you have from 1963-'82 (C2 and C3 models).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZPhil View Post
I’ve had a troll through previous posts, but they are all at least 2 years old.
I currently have the ram style power steering on my 61, the current steering box is leaking and has a large amount of play.
I can have the box reconditioned here in New Zealand for approximately $500USD.
The question is do I rebuild or spend more and upgrade to real power steering?
Has anyone installed the Borgeson kit, I have read mixed messages on it changing the handling and the need to change A arms to get the chamber required? If that’s what is required I think I would rather stay with the ram style.
And yes I do need power steering for the wife.
Thanks for your input

Your steering problems may be more than the box. I would be taking a hard look at a-arm bushings, ball joints, other steering/suspension parts.

And...

On my '63, I replace the OEM GM power steering because it was in need of re-building (leaking too much). The remainder of my steering and suspension was in proper 'stock' configuration and condition. Nothing was 'wrong'. The car drove like '1963 new'. In the end, I purchased all the following parts:

Borgeson power steering box part number 800106. I also bought the required parts listed on the instruction sheet (try their web site) but I did not have to purchase the 'pump' parts except for the hoses (I re-used what I had). One reason I chose that part was; when bolted to the frame it did not interfere with the radiator (some do).

With only those parts replaced and the car aligned to original specs, driving the car was an adventure. It wandered badly, wouldn't stay on center and was very sensitive to steering inputs. Not acceptable at all. I knew about the 'highly recommended' 3-4 degrees of positive caster from the instructions but I did not realize how imperative it was until driving the car with out it.

Which leads to my next parts purchase. The Global West tubular control arms part number cat 84a (again try their web site). Because my goal was the +3-4 degrees of caster I needed upper control arms that could be aligned accordingly. The cat 84a has + 5 degrees of caster built in (as I recall). I searched for OEM style 'stamped' steel uppers but could not find any; had to go tubular.

With those parts installed and aligned to the 'new' specs the car drove MUCH better. Most of the wandering and return to center issues were gone. The car was drivable but it still was not where I wanted it to be. The problem was the steering was still too sensitive to my inputs (I kept the big stock steering wheel) and the cars inherent 'roll' during turns tended to cause a little over steer which I had to correct for. The two problems feed off each other. I drove the car almost a year like that and actually got quite good at handling the car; but I was not satisfied.

Which lead to my next two purchases. The Global West front sway bar part number sb5864g, and power steering pressure adjustment Borgeson part number 899001. I reduced the pressure to the power steering box ( little trial and error until I got it right) and install the sway bar and again, had the alignment checked to the 'new' specs. The drives quite nicely. I still have a little too much roll from the rear end, but I really nit-picking about that. It's just fine. I could put a rear sway bar on, but I'm done (unless I change my mind).

The car drive's better, but the gain was not commensurate with the cost.

Pete
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