Best conversion kit? - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Best conversion kit?

I've got a 64' Belair,originally a 6 cyl. car with manual steering.It's got a small block now.I'm wanting to convert to power steering.It not an auto cross car just a weekend highway cruiser.Whats do you guys recommend for conversion kits?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 09:24 AM
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I do not know about kits, but the C2 and half of the C3 Corvettes made used the same parts. So the parts are available to purchase. Also the power steering pump changed little from it's introduction in 1955 until it was replaced in 1973 with a different design.

However the price will reflect the amount of money the nerds who went to school to become a lawyer, dentist or accountant are willing to now pay for their plastic toys. so I would think about that before jumping. That and reading about all of the problems associated with the 1961-'64 style system of ram assisted power steering. A better solution would be a 600 series or 800 series Saginaw power steering gear box introduced in 1965 to fix the problems people where having with the older hydraulic slave cylinder (ram) style.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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I'm leaning towards using this kit from Eklers.Have any of you used it?

http://www.lategreatchevy.com/full-s...1958-1964.html
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
I'm leaning towards using this kit from Eklers.Have any of you used it?

http://www.lategreatchevy.com/full-s...1958-1964.html
I have not used one but the 600 series gear box and pump is the system I would recommend. I don't remember as I type this if the kit included a new Pitman Arm or not, but it will probably change from the old one as the spline count on the new gearbox I would think would differ from the old manual box. (Spline count is how the diameter of the output shaft differs due to the increase or decrease in the number of splines found on the shaft. Bigger shaft will have more splines which are fairly uniform in size regardless of where they are encountered on your car.)

Yup: went back and looked and they give you a new steering column, but no new Pittman Arm so be sure to read the instructions to find one that works (I'm guessing they want you to do a junkyard crawl looking for a specific application of year and model to find an appropriate part, or the 600 gear box may have been modified with a new part to accept your old Pitman arm.)

Big Dave
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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I've done a little searching & come up with this installation page.I think it answers your question Big Dave.Take a look & tell me if you think this is reasonable BD.

http://www.lategreatchevy.com/assets...eat/553711.pdf
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 04:29 PM
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Appears they have the same spline count so you apparently reuse the Pitman arm.

Note in the pictures how clean everything is. You can accomplish the same with a power washer and then a trip to the quarter powered spray clean car wash to fully degrease the car. Makes working on it a lot easier and less frustrating.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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I actually have one of Lowe's power washers.It's fairly clean now,but I do drive it so it has a little road grime.Do you think relocating the idler arm like they did will work properly?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 12:51 PM
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Yes

Big Dave
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Big Dave,
I picked up some parts today .There was a power steering box from a 73' Nova in the lot.As close as I can tell it's an 800 box.Part #5691676 along with 4 bolt top that tells me it's an 800.My question to you is,is it worth using to convert my 64' Belair to ps or should I just flip it & move on?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 04:47 PM
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That is a lighter box (lighter in the weight of the vehicle). GM makes three series of the newer Saginaw steering gear boxes based upon the vehicles GVW. They will all interchange as far as bolting up, but the strength of materials differs. The Vega, Monza, Corvair and other fly weight vehicles had one steering box that differed from, the Camaro/Nova and Chevelles/Monte Carlos shared the 800 box. With the B-bodies (Impala) and D-bodies (Cadillac limos) and light pick ups sharing another 600 series box.

I have on several occasions used a Vega manual steering gear box on my Nova or Camaro drag race cars successfully; but I wouldn't use one on the street or for auto crossing.

Big Dave
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well it sounds like it's doable but not the best choice of box's.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 10:05 PM
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Recommend you pay attention to the alignment specs for the Borgeson steering box (Borgeson part 800106) which many vendors use in their kits. Specifically, Borgeson recommends a minimum of 3-4 degrees of positive caster which can not be achieved with the stock stamped upper control arms. One degree (+/- 1/2 degree) is the stock caster setting for a full size '63; I think '64 is the same.

When I installed the Borgeson box in my '63 Impala, the most + caster that could be achieved with the stock upper control arms was about + 2 degrees, and to get that the all the shims were placed on one end (no shims on the other). I did not like that configuration and the car drove badly (wandered excessively). I replaced the stock upper control arms with tubular ones with a built-in +5 degrees of caster. That solved both the shim issue and the driving issue. I'm not disappointed with the installation but the significant extra cost for the upper control arms was a big surprise.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info,I've never heard about this.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 08:46 AM
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In my opinion, if it's just Power Steering that you are trying to accomplish, I would go with an original.

Everything will bolt right on.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:21 PM
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Gizzy,
I may be a bit too late in posting this but, '62BillT' is absolutely correct and having 'upgraded' the steering on my '64 with the Borgenson 'kit' from Ecklers, I can pass on some real world info.
There are 'issues' associated with this conversion.
1. The Borgenson 600 box mounts higher than the original box. This causes the pitman arm to be higher than original. This causes the drag link attachment to the pitman arm to be higher causing the driver's side tie rod to be angled downward towards the wheel AND to lengthened more than the right side to get proper alignment. This causes a left to right geometry difference that is not fully compensated by the required slight relocation of the idler arm. All this WILL result in some noticeable bump steer as you drive through moderate to sever dips. ....especially IF you do not have a sway bar.
2. and, although the steering will be more responsive, your turning radius will me increased significantly.
3. You can forget about getting the recommended 4-5 degrees of caster with the stock control arms. ...maybe more like 1.5 MAX.


It is FAR easier (not necessarily cheaper) to go with what was offered in '64.
I recommend either rebuilding your OEM box or getting a new/rebuilt one. (Manual and power assist boxes are the same).
Naturally you will need a pump, pump bracket, the four hydraulic lines, the power steering ram, the power steering drag link, control valve, and powers steering pitman arm, and crankshaft pulley, BUT EVERYTHING will bolt into place and when properly adjusted, and aligned to factory specs, will steer just fine, thank-you.
Keep in mind that this 'stock' steering is the same as used on my brother's '67 435/427 and my son's '67 RS Camaro and it works fine.
Bob
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtyebob View Post
(Manual and power assist boxes are the same).
Bob,

Although slight, there is a difference between the two boxes. One has a little different Ratio than the other. Interestingly, I don't believe there is any way to tell on the outside, we just turn it and count the revolutions.

Bill

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice.I'm not jumping into anything yet.What you say makes good sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtyebob View Post
Gizzy,
I may be a bit too late in posting this but, '62BillT' is absolutely correct and having 'upgraded' the steering on my '64 with the Borgenson 'kit' from Ecklers, I can pass on some real world info.
There are 'issues' associated with this conversion.
1. The Borgenson 600 box mounts higher than the original box. This causes the pitman arm to be higher than original. This causes the drag link attachment to the pitman arm to be higher causing the driver's side tie rod to be angled downward towards the wheel AND to lengthened more than the right side to get proper alignment. This causes a left to right geometry difference that is not fully compensated by the required slight relocation of the idler arm. All this WILL result in some noticeable bump steer as you drive through moderate to sever dips. ....especially IF you do not have a sway bar.
2. and, although the steering will be more responsive, your turning radius will me increased significantly.
3. You can forget about getting the recommended 4-5 degrees of caster with the stock control arms. ...maybe more like 1.5 MAX.


It is FAR easier (not necessarily cheaper) to go with what was offered in '64.
I recommend either rebuilding your OEM box or getting a new/rebuilt one. (Manual and power assist boxes are the same).
Naturally you will need a pump, pump bracket, the four hydraulic lines, the power steering ram, the power steering drag link, control valve, and powers steering pitman arm, and crankshaft pulley, BUT EVERYTHING will bolt into place and when properly adjusted, and aligned to factory specs, will steer just fine, thank-you.
Keep in mind that this 'stock' steering is the same as used on my brother's '67 435/427 and my son's '67 RS Camaro and it works fine.
Bob
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 08:55 PM
 
 
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Also considering a conversion kit for my 64

I have a 64 ss with factory power steering and I've searched up several kits one CCP and uses a 500 Series gear,
another kit uses a 605 gear box and seperately another offers a drag link with pitmanarm & idler arm for use with 605 gear box.

Does anyone have any info on each or would I be better off rebuilding my current control and clyinder?
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 12:51 PM
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There really is nothing wrong withthe original steering other than it being soooo s-l-o-w, but....there is at least one company that will rebuild your steering boxwith 'quicker' gears.
"REDHEAD steering gears" (www.sreetinggears.net) will rebuild your Saginaw box with new gears that will quicken your steering down to as much as 2 1/2 turns lock to lock ...AND the cost is less than $400 plus the core. (I just spoke with them.) This is a MUCH easier and less expensive way to go. ...a simple remove and replace job. ....NO 'rigged' 'conversion' non-stock parts.
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