Opinions Wanted - Steering Box - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions Wanted - Steering Box

1968 Impala Convertible
396/TH400

Hello all,
I am going to replace my steering box in the coming weeks and was looking for some opinions about fast vs. variable ratio steering boxes.
I definitely need a faster ratio in order to get the damn car into the garage without making a 6-point turn in the driveway, but I also want to know I'm in an impala and not a modern car on the highway. This is why the variable ratio appeals to me, but I'm wondering if it will turn fast enough.

Anyone have any experience with this before I get spendy on a new steering gear? Thanks in advance.

1968 Impala SS
496 Stroker
T56 Conversion
3.73 Posi-Trac
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 11:18 AM
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Just about any steering box made after 1986 will have variable steering with high performance vehicles (like the Camaro IROC, SS Monte Carlo, or a full size police car) having the faster turning ratio that uses a third less turns to get from stop to stop.

Steering Box Upgrade - Hot Rod Network

Bolt On Late-Model Steering - Tech Article - Chevy High Performance Magazine

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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For a variable steering gear, will the 13:1 ratio be "fast" enough for parking the car easier? I don't really have a frame of reference as to how much "faster" this would be over stock. The one I'm looking at is a remanufactured Borgeson 13-16:1 variable. Borgeson good to go?

1968 Impala SS
496 Stroker
T56 Conversion
3.73 Posi-Trac
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 01:47 PM
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Borgeson doesn't make the steering box it was made by GM at their Saginaw plant. All Borgeson does is to rebuild them. A used one may be cheaper out of a junk yard, if you can find one. Just be sure to add the core charge and shipping into the Borgeson price.

That said the 13:1 is about as good as it gets in a 600 series box. The 800 series box had a 12:1 but it was for a lighter vehicle (Camaro and Nova) and though it will work (bolt right up) you are not going to have the safety factor that heavier duty box built for a heavier vehicle will have.

The Impala shares many suspension parts with a light pick-up due to it's girth. Though you are going to find the parts off a Cadillac Brogham Limo (D-body) a lot easier to bolt up; as there isn't the six bolt wheel pattern to deal with (even though the parts are reworked parts off of a half ton pick up). If you compare the tie rod ends of the Camaro or Chevelle with those of an Impala you will discover that the Impala has a larger threaded end and the casting is thicker and stronger. This is because the Impala is rated with six passengers to be 800 to a 1,000 pounds heavier.

Similar issue exists with the Pittman arm that is splined onto the output shaft of the steering box. There are two depending upon the weight of the vehicle with the larger having a higher spline count. You need to count the spines on yours, and to match the replacement box to it, or you will need to change the Pittman arm as well.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave. The one I'm looking at is also a Saginaw 700 series variable. So a little more heavy duty?

1968 Impala SS
496 Stroker
T56 Conversion
3.73 Posi-Trac
68WASAGOODYEAR is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 03:41 PM
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Garage
I bought a rebuilt quick ratio box from performanceonline.com and have been happy with the steering so far.

1969 Imapala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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