JRRivi64

JRRivi64's 1964 Riviera Build

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Be a little careful with that.  "Bolt in" is one thing.  Hooking it up to the column and hoses is another. ;)

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Telriv,

 

Thank you for steering gear box info.  I did a quick internet search about steering box swaps and searched on this Forum as well.  

 

Plenty of info available out there and my brief research indicated successful and improved steering/handling with the replacement ....just a matter of getting correct components.  

 

Thanks again, Jeff

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Jeff,

 

  If I remember correctly I was the one that supplied the original info as well as info about sway bars, poly bushings, shocks, fusible links, etc. .

If you use a box from the 60's, Caddy variable ratio or a '70 (faster ratio) or '71 up ALL the hoses use the same fitting sizes & the

coupler  is the same on all the "808" boxes. The only thing that is required is to remove your pitman arm & install it on the newer box. You will look for a box with 3 turns or less from lock-lock with the box on the floor. Will be less in the car.

 

 

Tom T.

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For some reason a PM I'm sent through this board & respond to always comes back as a failure to deliver. So I will answer the question here.

The box you are looking at for a '74 Cad. is the same box for a '65 Cad. Part # 82-00275 & YES it will fit. It MAY be a little TOO fast for you or you MAY love it. You could also look at a '71-'76 GM "808" box which will ALSO fit.

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 10:31 AM, alini said:

I see you did a rear disk brake conversion.  Is there still a parking brake available or does it get deleted?

I'd like to know more about the brakes also. I eventually want to do a 4 wheel disc setup. The front are scarebird, are the rear also? How did the fit on the axles go? I was told the flange has to be turned down with the scarebird setup. How did the wheels fit? Are they still buick, or chevy truck?

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JSGUN,

 

Front and rear are Scarebird setup/brackets.  Axle flanges had to be turned down a little and went back on differential.  Buick wheels went back on.  Just followed instructions and parts list that came from Scarebird.  Still have not addressed parking cable as I moved on to other components on frame and started reviewing where to start on body.  Palmdale?  I'm a stones throw away from Palmdale.  Matter of fact had axles turned down in Lancaster.  

 

 

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On 9/23/2016 at 2:42 AM, telriv said:

For some reason a PM I'm sent through this board & respond to always comes back as a failure to deliver. So I will answer the question here.

The box you are looking at for a '74 Cad. is the same box for a '65 Cad. Part # 82-00275 & YES it will fit. It MAY be a little TOO fast for you or you MAY love it. You could also look at a '71-'76 GM "808" box which will ALSO fit.

 

 

Tom T.

 

Do these steering box swaps also hold true for the 2nd gen Rivieras ('66 - '70)?

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The good thing about doing a steering box swap is that there are so many to choose from.  The bad thing about doing a steering box swap is that there are so many to choose from.  ;)

 

There are scads of Saginaw boxes out there, many of which are directly interchangeable.  If you don't mind changing the rag joint or hose connections, you have even more choices.  The problem is trying to identify the exact characteristics of a specific box.  For starters, the boxes have a couple of different piston sizes.  The Riviera -- being a full-size car -- used the larger piston (the 808).  Would a box with a smaller piston still work?  Maybe.

 

Size notwithstanding, there are still the issues of ratio and travel.  Information about the ratio of a specific box isn't that easy to come by.  According to the FSM, stock boxes in a first-generation Riviera are 17.5:1.  It's common to want to get a box that is anywhere from 12 to 14.  But what box is that? Most of the content on the internet deals with the smaller boxes used in Chevelles, etc.  Specs for the boxes on larger cars is much harder to come by (maybe because sporting them up isn't nearly as popular).  There's also the issue that land yachts which used the larger boxes were likely to have higher ratios than the sportier cars.  There was an industry trend towards quicker boxes in the 70s, but it's not clear than that all cars went equally far in that direction.

 

You also need to worry about travel, and that can manifest itself in a couple of ways.  The conventional way to get a feel for a box's ratio is to measure the number of turns stop-to-stop.  Unfortunately, that's not precise, as the boxes can have internal stops which limit their travel.  This, in turn, can mean fewer turns stop-to-stop even though the box actually has a higher ratio.  Those internal stops can also affect the way the car drives.  Because the gear doesn't turn as far, you might find that what used to a u-turn is now a three-point turn.

 

So, first things first: there is no 808 box with a ratio below 14.  If you want a fixed-ratio 808 box, that's as good as you're going to get.  The Cadillac box mentioned above is an 808 which supposedly has a ratio of 16:1.  That might not seem really quick, but it is (I believe) a variable ratio -- and that would make a big difference.  You'd still get the one-finger freeway driving, but once you turn past 3 o'clock or so it would tighten up to about 13:1.  That's even tighter than the quickest fixed-ratio 808.  That's going to be about the best you can get in an 808 box, and the rebuilders with whom I've spoken say that a 16:1 variable ratio is about the best box you can get for an older fullsize car: you won't be changing lanes with every twitch of the wheel, but you still get a tight, responsive feel in the turns.

 

So, which box to use?  I dunno; sounds like that Caddy box may be the ticket if you're looking for maximum performance and road feel.  BTW, if that's the box that you want, Napa sells a rebuilt one (part # PS 391070) for less than $100.  As an alternative, Steering Technology Group (now home of Lee Manufacturing; (818) 768-0371) will rebuild your box to your specs (fixed or variable ratio) for somewhere between $330 and $650.

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ALL the boxes I was talking about are the "808" boxes that come in most all full size cars. Once an "808" box is learned how to be identified ( it is considerably larger than the A-Body boxes ) all you have to do is turn the box while out of the car lock-lock. 3 turns or less it's definitely a faster ratio. Installed in the car will be less.

And, just to let the doubting out among you. I have modified my "808" original box with newer guts & it's now just a smidge over 2 1/2 turns lock-lock. People whom I let drive the car can't believe how it handles for such a huge car & state that the steering feels like rack & pinion.

 

 

Tom T.

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8 hours ago, telriv said:

ALL the boxes I was talking about are the "808" boxes that come in most all full size cars. Once an "808" box is learned how to be identified ( it is considerably larger than the A-Body boxes ) all you have to do is turn the box while out of the car lock-lock.

 

Pointing folks towards the 808 is good, sage advice -- but the reality of the situation is that they would probably also like to know which specific cars used an 808 box with the desired ratio and travel (and no, I'm not saying it's your obligation to provide that info).  Most guys aren't going to go through a junkyard pulling box after box to find one that works, they're not going to rebuild their own box, and they aren't going to pay several hundred for someone else to refurb and hotrod the stock box.  They want to go to the local jobber and order a reman'd box that fits.
 

8 hours ago, telriv said:

3 turns or less it's definitely a faster ratio. Installed in the car will be less.

 

FWIW, Napa says their rebuilt Caddy box is 3-3/8 turns lock-to-lock.  Autozone says their Caddy box is 4 turns.  O'Reilly doesn't give specs.  The only Rock Auto box that has specs says the ratio is 17.5:1.  As you can see, the info is all over the place.  It could be that the boxes they're selling will fit, but with different internals (and behavior) than the original (i.e. it's a generic replacement for a whole bunch of boxes).  It could be that their published info is wrong.  I have no idea what you'll get for your $100.

 

IMHO, upgrading the steering box is an option worth pursuing.  However, it's also an area in which there is much confusion and conflicting info.  If the stock Caddy box will do the trick, that's valuable info.  But given the sometimes questionable standards and erroneous application data for rebuilt parts, it would also be nice to know how to identify and verify that the box the counterman hands you is really the box you want.

 

8 hours ago, telriv said:

I have modified my "808" original box with newer guts & it's now just a smidge over 2 1/2 turns lock-lock.

 

If I might ask, where do you get the new parts needed to modify the box?  The rebuilders must be buying the valves and racks from somewhere, but I figure that it may be possible to cannibalize another 808 to get the parts needed.  For example, I understand that a 98-99 Durango box is an 808 with 16:1-13:1 variable ratio.  It's got different ports and splines, but it seems like you might be able to shove the guts into your old case and have just what you want for a lot less than the rebuilders charge.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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23 hours ago, JRRivi64 said:

JSGUN,

 

Front and rear are Scarebird setup/brackets.  Axle flanges had to be turned down a little and went back on differential.  Buick wheels went back on.  Just followed instructions and parts list that came from Scarebird.  Still have not addressed parking cable as I moved on to other components on frame and started reviewing where to start on body.  Palmdale?  I'm a stones throw away from Palmdale.  Matter of fact had axles turned down in Lancaster.  

 

 

Great info, thanks! I've been looking at the scarebird stuff, but having the axles turned kinda put me off, I didn't want to go that deep in on the car. I was considering doing just the front, but I understand it's chevy truck rotors. I was concerned about wheel fitment after the changeover. 

 

I picked up a 68 mustang in Acton several years ago. Got it from a older gentleman that was moving to Utah I believe. He was far into some foothills, about 4 dirt roads deep. I remember he opened the trunk, and a cat jumped out. Only it wasn't a cat, it was a genuine desert rat. I thought it was pretty funny. Nice scenery in Acton. 

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Originally Scarebird suggested using rotors and calipers off a 74 to 76 Buick.  If you dig really deep, you'll find out that that rotor is interchangeable with what they are now suggesting.  Those rotors and the original drums all use the same bearings.  Slide the old one off and slide the new one on.  Original wheels will fit, aftermarket wheels......?

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