1960 power steering conversion - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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1960 power steering conversion

Can someone please school me on the conversion to eliminate the stock 60 setup to a modern power steering box? I understand there is an adapter that needs to be used to bolt the box (maybe a 605 or something like that??)to the frame, but that is about all I know about it. Thanks for any info you can provide, Thanks, Jim
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 08:40 PM
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I don't have an X-frame B-body, and never had one (I much preferred a '55 Chevy to any of the X-body cars). That being said, I sit here day in and day out reading every post on this board, and three other boards that I moderate; and the consensus is it is much more involved than just bolting the Saginaw power steering box to the frame.

There are issues with the turning radius (it increases it to a five acre field), alignment suffers (your control struts are restricted in the amount of Camber angle; and they are basically non-adjustable beyond that narrow range). Also your Ackerman angles make the car feel funny as the rear end wants to turn inside the front end when cornering.

As much as I hate power assist, the slave cylinder system is about the only viable option. New parts are available at Corvette restoration houses as the Corvette retained that exact same slave cylinder power assist steering system (with the ugly hoses) through 1982.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks Dave, In all the "thinking" I've been doing about this I have come to the feeling that non power steering cars in the same model do not use the power assist ram and that changing the drag link to the manual steering link setup and using a power box and knowing there are different ratios from lock to lock there should be an option or cure... I've seen kits (very spendy) to accomplish this but I have not heard one way or the other of the characteristics in your description of a five acre field and this would obviously be a concern I'm just not understanding how such a slight mod would not be workable and user friendly. I really appreciate your input, Jim
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red60 View Post
Thanks Dave, In all the "thinking" I've been doing about this I have come to the feeling that non power steering cars in the same model do not use the power assist ram and that changing the drag link to the manual steering link setup and using a power box and knowing there are different ratios from lock to lock there should be an option or cure... I've seen kits (very spendy) to accomplish this but I have not heard one way or the other of the characteristics in your description of a five acre field and this would obviously be a concern I'm just not understanding how such a slight mod would not be workable and user friendly. I really appreciate your input, Jim

Oh it has been discussed a number of times. You can reads the responses of those who have done this conversion using junk yards parts and those who did it with the kit.

All of these are archived and are searchable (Google has indexed all of the posts hat were made on this board and only this board that you can access using the search button above. Or you can just use your favorite search engine to look across the entire internet to see what others have to say on this question.


Like I said I hate power assisted steering and much prefer manual steering to power assist. Of course I am over six foot six inches tall and used to bench press 430 pounds in my spare time (curled 380), I also used to pick up engines and put them in the back of a my truck bed to take them from the scrap iron yards to go back to my shop; loading six to nine SBC motors into a one ton truck so I would have enough reuseable parts to build maybe four or five engines that I would later put into used cars for the local used car lots. Greasy work, and occasionally painful as the engines could roll around in the rail cars I was picking through, but highly profitable.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:45 PM
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I just finished installing PS in my '62 SS. Went from factory non power. I used a complete kit from Ecklers at a cost of about $600. It comes with virtually everything you need except the belt. It uses a Borgerson reman 600 box which is about 3 turns lock to lock....half of your non power box.
It comes with the mounting plate, pump and brackets, hoses, both pulleys (unless you have AC, then there may be an upgrade to a 3 groove pulley), intermediate shaft and Borgerson "u" joint and complete instructions. Now, here's the issues....there is not a lot of clearance (maybe 1") to the stock radiator, so if you have a 3 or 4 core radiator you could run into clearance problems. If you're running a stock radiator no issue. Next, ALL "B" body Chevys, 58 to 64 have upper A arms with virtually NO caster built in and this doesn't work well with any power box as opposed to slave piston type PS. It will lead to wandering and not smooth return to center after a turn. Borgerson (and others I'm sure recommend a minimum of 4 degrees of caster). You can't get it with stock upper A arms. There are lots of companies making replacement A arms but be careful to be sure the uppers only have the caster (minimum 4 degrees) and their particular brand doesn't require both upper and lower in combination to get you there, unless you want to replace both and the lowers really don't need to be. You can find uppers alone from about $300 a pair but I opted for expensive ones from Global West at $600. You can probably get by cheaper but these are really heavy duty and made in the USA. They have a built in 5 degrees of caster. As to the turning radius, I'm sorry Big Dave but it's not a problem whatsoever. The steering is SUPER quick, quiet, centers nicely. I'm very pleased with it. I don't know much about the 605 box but it's similar. I believe the 600 has built in variable ratio. By the way the kit I bought came with very easy to follow instructions. I won't kid you, it's a good sized project but doable in a week-end. If you go on Borgerson's web site or Ecklers I think you can find the kit and the complete instructions online. Drop me a note if I can be of any help. Bob [email protected]
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 10:14 PM
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Here you go, the best is not cheap. Global West ST-5964GS

1959 -1964 Impala, Biscayne, El Camino Power Steering Conversion & Bump Steer Kit

63 Impala SS Convertible
66 Impala SS
68 Camaro RS/SS
73 Camaro Z28
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 01:05 AM
 
 
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Ouch! That price on the steer kit really puts stars in my eyes. I wonder whether places like this will give you the option for instalments to finance the purchase…
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 09:15 AM
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I personally never auto-crossed an Impala. To be truthful my Camaro was a ocean going barge compared to the early sixties Saab 96, MG's, Fiats, VW's and home builds that embarrassed my Camaro that liked to eat cones. The Camaro is a sports car compared to an Impala. On the Road I found that getting rid of rubber any where I found it in the suspension and frame as well as adding the biggest anti-roll bars that I could find did more to help the car steer better than swapping out the gear box.

You need a roll gauge to see if the car is about to capsize with rubber suspension instead of a G-meter.

Big Dave
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:17 PM
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Hey Dave, I think you're right ! Even though the PS worked great on my Impala, the car really sways and swoops (nothing to do with the actual handling). Next outlay is heavy duty shocks and bigger roll bars. I also am inclined to think that 2" lower might make a big difference as well. Dropped spindles and rear springs might be in my Christmas stocking.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thank You Bob for your great input! Have a great day!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Hey Bob... My El Camino is very low and drives like a slot car... and having no belts and a slick bench seat can be a challenge LOL... But yeah I do suggest lowering it, but I've always been a low rider at heart! Have a great day and good luck
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 12:08 PM
 
 
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Lots of good info here, and it answered one of my questions!









Quote:
Originally Posted by rbwinston View Post
I just finished installing PS in my '62 SS. Went from factory non power. I used a complete kit from Ecklers at a cost of about $600. It comes with virtually everything you need except the belt. It uses a Borgerson reman 600 box which is about 3 turns lock to lock....half of your non power box.
It comes with the mounting plate, pump and brackets, hoses, both pulleys (unless you have AC, then there may be an upgrade to a 3 groove pulley), intermediate shaft and Borgerson "u" joint and complete instructions. Now, here's the issues....there is not a lot of clearance (maybe 1") to the stock radiator, so if you have a 3 or 4 core radiator you could run into clearance problems. If you're running a stock radiator no issue. Next, ALL "B" body Chevys, 58 to 64 have upper A arms with virtually NO caster built in and this doesn't work well with any power box as opposed to slave piston type PS. It will lead to wandering and not smooth return to center after a turn. Borgerson (and others I'm sure recommend a minimum of 4 degrees of caster). You can't get it with stock upper A arms. There are lots of companies making replacement A arms but be careful to be sure the uppers only have the caster (minimum 4 degrees) and their particular brand doesn't require both upper and lower in combination to get you there, unless you want to replace both and the lowers really don't need to be. You can find uppers alone from about $300 a pair but I opted for expensive ones from Global West at $600. You can probably get by cheaper but these are really heavy duty and made in the USA. They have a built in 5 degrees of caster. As to the turning radius, I'm sorry Big Dave but it's not a problem whatsoever. The steering is SUPER quick, quiet, centers nicely. I'm very pleased with it. I don't know much about the 605 box but it's similar. I believe the 600 has built in variable ratio. By the way the kit I bought came with very easy to follow instructions. I won't kid you, it's a good sized project but doable in a week-end. If you go on Borgerson's web site or Ecklers I think you can find the kit and the complete instructions online. Drop me a note if I can be of any help. Bob [email protected]
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