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Steer box swap


PWB
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I found this info on steering gear boxes. Looks like they are all the same, might be mistaken.

 

The Saginaw gearbox is a rotary-valve type unit using recirculating ball bearings. They are referred to as recirculated ball-type because they use the same ball bearings on both the worm gear and the sector gear to reduce friction within the housing. You will often see this gearbox referred to as an "800" or "605" unit. The only major difference between these two units is how the pitman shaft is held into the unit. An 800 unit has a four-bolt cover on the top of the unit (the end of the shaft opposite the pitman arm spline). The 605 units use a single snap ring that holds a round cover into the top of the housing. GM also used two gearboxes, depending on the weight and size of the model. Station wagons, full-size cars and large front-wheel-drive cars used a heavy-duty gearbox usually identified by GM part number 5687962. These units had a 3.5-inch piston diameter, and the pitman shaft will turn anywhere from 3.5 to four turns between fully locked left and fully locked right. These units were rated at a 17.5:1 steering ratio. Mid-size and smaller models used a steering box tagged 5691676, and these units used a 3-inch piston. The travel on the smaller-piston unit was three to 3.5 turns lock to lock. The mid-size gearboxes were rated at a 14.4:1 steering ratio. Both the 3.5-inch and the 3-inch-bore gearboxes have a .813-inch input shaft diameter, and most will have 31 splines on the input shaft. You can substitute between both of these units. Aside from the mounting bolt pattern (most are 4-bolt mount but there are two different three-bolt mounts, as well), these units are all interchangeable. The more responsive 14.4:1 ratio gearboxes replaced the earlier 17.5:1 ratio boxes in most models by 1973. This is a good thing to remember when you begin your search for a replacement.

 

You can locate one of the basic Saginaw "800" series power steering boxes in one of these vehicles:

1964-'76 AMC
1961-'76 Cadillac, including
1963-'76 Eldorado
1964-'76 Buick and Pontiac full-size cars and Riviera
1973-'76 Regal
1975-'76 Skyhawk, Seville, Monza and Starfire
1965-'76 Chevrolet full-size cars
1967-'76 Camaro and 1968-'76 Nova
1964-'76 Chevelle, Cutlass, GTO, Grand Prix, Lemans, Ventura and Tempest
1971-'76 Vega and 1975 Pontiac Astre
1960-'76 Oldsmobile full-size cars including 1966-'76 Tornado
1971-'76 Jeep Cherokee, Wagoneer, Gladiator and J-series pickups
1972-'75 International Scout and Traveler

Many enthusiasts have also found that an easy way to upgrade the handling on your car is to convert to a Saginaw quick-ratio power-steering box. These were original equipment on some mid-size models, and they can be transplanted into most other GM vehicles, if you can locate one from your local pick-a-part. These gearboxes will improve the steering and handling for your car with a more responsive lower gear ratio and also reduce the steering wheel travel to 2.25 to three turns.

The 1969-'76 Camaros as well as 1964-'76 Chevelles, Malibus and Monte Carlos also used an optional quick ratio 12.7:1 unit, which will interchange with the higher ratio gearboxes. These are very popular units because they are an easy bolt-in performance conversion. The 1982-'96 S-10 pickups used a 14.0:1 ratio "605" series gearbox, which will interchange into earlier vehicles with some modification. Another option is to use late-model G or F Body units. They were original equipment on 1983-'88 Monte Carlo, 1983-'84 Hurst Olds, 1985-'87 Olds 442, and 1984-'87 Buick Grand National or T-Type. They are also 12.7:1 units and a little more difficult to find, but can be identified by a "YA" marking on the end cap (opposite where the steering column attaches) or by searching for cars with the F41 or Z65 suspension package. All of the Monte Carlo SS cars had these options. These units will reduce steering wheel revolutions from lock to lock down to 2.25 to 2.75 turns.

An important thing to remember when interchanging Saginaw gearboxes is to use your original pitman arm and idler arm if possible, to maintain the proper steering geometry. Different body styles have different length idler and pitman arms; for example, the F body arms are longer than those in an A or G body and could cause alignment and front-end clearance problems if used in different body styles. When interchanging between earlier and later GM gearboxes, you will notice the power steering hose fittings are not the same. Later fittings are metric and incorporate an O-ring, whereas all Sixties and most early Seventies units used the standard inverted-flare fittings. Auto parts stores sell standard thread to metric thread adapters in several different sizes that allow you to use your original hoses with the later-design metric gearboxes. The rag joint or steering gear coupler may also have to be changed. These can be obtained with the gearbox when being pulled from the donor car, or new ones are still available from the GM dealerships. The coupler off a 1977-and-up Chevy pickup (GM part number 7826542) works just fine to adapt the early-style steering shaft to the later model gearbox. Rag joints are also available from Lares Corporation, which can assist you with interchangeability questions and the purchase of freshly remanufactured power steering components as well.

Lares Corporation 1-800-334-5749

Finding a replacement gearbox for your General Motors car can be very easy because of the abundance of original units available that will readily interchange. Completing an upgrade to a quick ratio steering gearbox can also give your ride some additional handling and make a classic drive like a newer model.

Sources

AGR Performance
817-626-9006
www.agrperformance.com

Classic Industries
800-854-1280
www.classicindustries.com

Classic Performance Products
714-522-2000
www.classicperform.com

Firm Feel Suspension
800-347-6426
www.firmfeel.com

Flaming River
800-648-8022
www.flamingriver.com

K.A.R. Mustang
800-341-5949
www.karmustang.com

Original Parts Group
800-243-8355
www.opgi.com

Power Steering Services Inc.
417-864-6676
www.powersteering.com

Superior Mustang Parts
888-697-8264
www.superiormustangparts.com

12.7:1 quick ratio installed on the “SS” Monte Carlo, Trans Am, and Firebirds of the ’80′s

GM/Saginaw quick-ratio steering box donor car cheat sheet

Late Model 12.7:1 quick-ratio gearbox
ID markings YA, WS and HX
Line Thread Size: M18x1.5 and M16x1.5
Number of Mounting Holes: 3, (missing leg H-pattern)
Input Shaft Diameter: ¾-inch
Output Shaft Diameter: 1 ¼-inch
Number of Turns Lock to Lock: 2 ½ - 3

1984-'88 Monte Carlo/Malibu with Z65 suspension
1983-'88 Malibu, El Camino
1982-'92 Camaro except FE1 soft ride suspension
1984-'87 Regal with FE2 or FE3 sport suspension
1983-'84 Hurst/Olds
1985-'87 Cutlass with 5.0 (VIN code 9)
1982-'85 Trans Am
1986-'92 Firebird except FE1 suspension
1986-'87 Grand Prix with FE2 touring or F41 heavy duty suspension

 

Pre-'76 12.7:1 quick-ratio gearbox
Line Thread Size: 11/16 x 18 and 5/8 x 18
Number of Mounting Holes: 4, (H-pattern)
Input Shaft Diameter: 13/16-inch
Output Shaft Diameter: 1 ¼-inch
Number of Turns Lock to Lock: 2 ½ - 3

1967-'76 Camaro, Firebird
1970-'76 Monte Carlo/Malibu
1964-'76 Chevelle

 

1977-'79 12.7:1 quick-ratio gearbox
Line Thread Size: 11/16 x 18 and 5/8 x 18, Number of Mounting Holes: 3, (missing leg H-pattern), Input Shaft Diameter: ¾-inch, Output Shaft Diameter: 1 ¼-inch
Number of Turns Lock to Lock: 2 ½- 3

1977-'79 Camaro, Firebird-1977-'79 Monte Carlo, Malibu-1977-'79 Chevelle

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  • 2 years later...

hello, i have a 1967 buick riviera and am changing out the original saginaw steering gear 4 .25 turn ltl to a 1964 to 76 4 hole mount saginaw, i believe it is 2.5 ltl not sure, does anyone know the correct number of turns for this 64-76 saginaw, its not here yet i know it will bolt up but does anyone know if i will lose radius in turning, what will be the pros and cons, it will be here in a day thank u anyone responding.

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When you get the new box, compare it to the old one. The original is an 808 box with a 3.5" piston; that's what GM used on their fullsize cars.  The overwhelming majority of GM quick ratio boxes available are the smaller 600 series box with a 3" piston that was used on lighter cars.  The two are interchangeable (that is, a 600 box is a drop-in replacement for an 808 box) but they are not identical.  There's some debate as to whether the 600 box will work on the heavier Riviera, but you should be aware that it is not the box that the car was made with.

 

Number of turns lock-to-lock doesn't tell you anything by itself (it's actually a fairly worthless number), as that is affected by both gear ratio and internal stops.  It is those stops which may compromise turning radius.  Again, compare the new box to the old one.  Compare the rotation of the pitman shaft on the two boxes -- that's the only way to know.

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PWB & diaztec,

 

 

 Why go through ALL the hassles & just get one of MY RE-BUILT FAST RATIO STEERING BOXES.  WHY DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY WITH ADDITIONAL COSTS YOU DIDN'T EXPECT OR THE HASSLES OF A JUNK YARD BOX OF QUESTIONABLE QUALITY!!!! 

  I have already done ALL the research needed for our BIG CARS.  All the guess work has been done & taken already.  Why not take advantage of my love for these cars. They are a fast ratio 2.5 turns lock-lock & in our RIV's. & are a 12.5-1 ratio. 

The internal stops are EXACTLY THE SAME AS STOCK & WILL NOT COMPROMISE TURNING RADIUS!!!!

 

Yeah Chip,   I FIGURED IT OUT ALREADY SO GET OFF MY BACK!!!!

 

MY rebuilt boxes are about 1/2 the cost or less of some of the bigger company's steering boxes.

They are AN EXACT, CORRECT "808" BIG CAR BOLT-IN STEERING BOX JUST LIKE  GM DESIGNED THEM TO BE.

NO ADAPTERS OR ANYTHING ELSE OR SPECIALTY PARTS NEEDED.

IF you are willing to take the chance I know you'll be happy.  So FAR there have been no COMPLAINTS.

They are $450.00 plus shipping costs.

 

Tom T.

 

P.S.- I have a '65 RIV. fast ratio box at 3 turns lock-lock.  IF anyone is interested for $350.00 plus shipping costs & a return core.

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                   If Tom's boxes have the correct stops, I would go with them. More often than not when you buy somebody's

quick ratio box your car needs 40 acres to make a u-turn because the turning radius is way off.

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Winston,  (and ANYONE else thinking about it)

 

  As I stated in my reply above "My boxes DO NOT compromise turning radius & is EXACTLY the same as  stock because it starts out as an "808" steering box to begin with, not some adaptation of some other model steering box. It's a bolt-in. Noting else needed EXCEPT if your rag joint needs replacing.

 

Tom T.

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1 hour ago, telriv said:

Winston,  (and ANYONE else thinking about it)

 

  As I stated in my reply above "My boxes DO NOT compromise turning radius & is EXACTLY the same as  stock because it starts out as an "808" steering box to begin with, not some adaptation of some other model steering box. It's a bolt-in. Noting else needed EXCEPT if your rag joint needs replacing.

 

Tom T.

Tom, might you have a YouTube video(s) showing the installation of your steering boxes? I am considering getting one of yours. Can I replace this by myself or is help recommended?

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Again to ALL,

 

   The chassis manual is your best friend when working on ANY vehicle.  It's ALL explained probably better than I can.  The ONLY caution I can give is when your installing the box OR anyone else's boxes. You have to remember this a FULL SIZE car box & it's heavy. Coming out is easier than installing so it would be advisable to have help because as I stated this steering box is HEAVY.  AND it's not because it's heavy, BUT ALSO that your in tight quarters & it's awkward trying to move around while your trying to hold the box in place & getting things lined up will be just about impossible. Unless your on a lift which many of you I will assume will not. Still it's certainly easier to do with help.  Next to make things neater you could clamp both hoses with a pair of needle nose vise grips to help with the oil that will come out of the hoses.  Just don't clamp them too tight as all your trying to do is keep oil from dripping all over you & making it more unpleasant to work.

   The ONLY other thing I can say is get a "crows foot"  (11/16" & 5/8") that has an end like a line wrench that you can put a long extension on

to break the lines loose. After installation of the box make sure the lines are tight, again the using the crows foot to now tighten the lines.  You could go to one of the auto stores that lend out tools as most I'm sure do not have a 1 5/16" socket or a pit-man arm puller.

You will see a flat on the input shaft of the steering box & a flat on the coupler attached to the rag joint. With white-out or some other kind of marker (not something really wide other than a line) put a line in the middle of both flats.

Get the steering wheel in a position where you can see the flat from below & the flat on the input shaft of the steering box. Use something to hold the steering wheel in that position OR whatever position you feel nec. for you to see the lines your going to be able to see from below.  What this does is give you a reference to line up the two lines & the middle of both. This helps to get the twp pieces to line up exactly.  IF the input shaft won't slide into the rag joint fairly easily your probably not lined up.   What you DON'T want to do is force them together.  IF you say the heck with it & continue number one it will be difficult to remove the improperly mated parts, But it may also be impossible to install the clamping bolt.

 

                                            Torque Specs

 

Lower coupler (rag joint) pinch bolt                20-35 ft. lbs.

Steering box to frame                                        60-75 ft. lbs.

Pit-man arm nut                                                 90-110 ft. lbs.

 

Average time experienced                      3/4 - 1 hr.

      "          "         Novis- DYI                         2-3    hrs

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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On 4/30/2019 at 2:22 PM, NC68Riviera said:

Tom, might you have a YouTube video(s) showing the installation of your steering boxes? I am considering getting one of yours. Can I replace this by myself or is help recommended?

I put one of Double T’s newly rebuilt steering box in my 63. Everything Tom says is True with a capital T. I did need help guiding the steering box into the rag joint. Other than that I took out the steering box and reinstalled myself. The steering box has really helped with steering, handling, and ride. I would suggest you have a tube/line crows foot with extension to tighten the power steering lines. I highly recommend the product.

Turbinator

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I've replaced these boxes by myself with a lift and flat on my back.  It's a PITA either way, as you will end up trying to hold it steady with one hand while inserting a bolt with the other.  I suppose if you're really inventive you could make a cradle and sit it on a jack, but you could probably have it in place in less time.  The best advice I can give is make sure you have a bolt right there and brush up on your profanity.  And watch out for spewing fluid.  As Tom says, clamp those hoses to save yourself from an unpleasant shower.

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I've used a floor jack to hold it, and pieces of 2x4 to make a cradle for it. Worked ok. I like using a piece of pipe on a breaker bar to make it easier to get the bolts loose. I've only done it about 3 or 4 times, every time was wrestling a bear.

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  • 2 years later...

Hello:

 

This is my first post here I think, I used top be a part of the Yahoo Nailhead group. In any event, I have a 65 Riviera I wanted to put a quick ratio box.

 

I have obviously done something wrong. I inadvertently had a 1st Gen Camaro Box put into my car, but I bought this box to replace it. (I didn't know you had boxes for the 1965 Riviera's. Should I send this back, mount differently the one in the car which I think is a 600 series, or just buy one of your boxes. Its only Pitman arm I have I believe is the original one that came with the car.

 

Pitman arms for this Riviera are HARD to find. I did buy the rag joint that went with it, however.

 

Any advise for a wayward Riviera Owner?

 

Borgeson Universal 800130 - Borgeson 800 Series Power Steering Boxes

Steering Box, 800 Series, Power Assist, Cast Iron, Black, 12.7:1 Ratio, Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Each

Part Number:BRG-800130

=========================================

 

Another thing if you wouldn't mind, I have a stock Radio that doesn't work, I bought two more to get a replacement. They too didn't work.

 

What is the best solution to get some nice sounds coming out of the Riviera? (Other that the 2X4's I have with it?);-)

 

I'll send a bit more information to you so you can see the big picture.

 

Thank you in advance if you can help guide me.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ty O

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Tom here is an overview of my car.

 

This 1965 Buick Riviera that is numbers matching and while it needed a paint job the interior and the body are in great shape.

I really wanted to have a pseudo-esc, "Pro Touring Car" with it, but I do not want to destroy the originality of it.

My Grand Parents Bought this car new in Oklahoma City in 1965. When my Grand Father passed, I inherited it from him.


I would love to get it Dynoed


425 c.i. Nailhead (LX Code)

Rebuilt and Bored .030 over back in the early 70's as advised by Buick to do so, as harder Valve Seats were thought to need to be installed.
Stock Block De-burred and repainted, "Riviera Green"
Original Forged crankshaft
Original Forged Rods
Stock Cast Pistons
Engine Balanced and Blue Printed
New Rings and Bearing throughout
Cam W-30, 233/233 Duration @.050, .474/.474 Lift at a true 1.6:1 Ratio, LSA 112* (Sources through Carman Faso)
Heads - intake and exhaust port matched, Bowls, Chambers, and Ports Cleaned up
New guides and seats (Sourced through Carman Faso)
New Stainless, Swirl Polished Valves with 5 way grind
T/A Performance Roller Rockers (Inside Valve Covers have been relieved were there is any touching)
Original Cast Aluminum Buick Valve Covers
High Volume Oil Pump
Original Buick 2X4 intake port matched
Original Carbs rebuilt, and re-jetted
Original Air Intake Re-Chromed
Distributor turned, HEI and Tuned (Carman Faso)
T/A Shorty Ceramic Coated Headers, 2.5 inch minimum ID exhaust all the way back using 26 inch 2.5 ID Power Sticks, and "Classic" Chambered Resonators 2.5 inch ID.

Transmission

Original Matching Numbers TS 400
High Performance Valve Body
Reworked Governor Installed
Rest of Transmission gone through for quality
Re-worked 300 (12 inch?) Switch Pitch Torque Convertor. Stalls at 1600 rpm's at the low stall, and 2800 - 3200 rpm's at the high Stall
Case repainted
Seals, Gaskets, and Drive Shaft Joints replaced or serviced

Rear End

3.23 Posi Serviced and installed, replacing Original Peg leg Carrier, and 3.23 Gears.

Suspension

KYB Gas Adjustable Shocks
Stock Springs
1.25 Front Sway Bar
1.0 Rear sway Bar
Poly Urethane Bushings everywhere (The Black ones not the Red ones)
11.00 Inch Front Disc Brakes, with a twin Master cylinder and proportioning valve.
New Master Cylinder and Power Booster
Lee Engineering 12.7:1 Steering Box (This is what I'm having problems with, my turning radius is terrible, I need a country mile to make a U-Turn. Thought it might be a short Pitman Arm but since I can't find one and the smaller boxes can be used, I'm confused.)
New Tires, 225-75-R15 all around
Re-Chromed Stock Buick Rallye Wheels (1965) (I still have the Wire spinner hub caps that came with it) I don't use them because I'm afraid they will get stolen.

(For those who might be wondering, Where anything was machined or permanently changed, I bought other parts so the original parts would stay in original condition, lubbed wrapped up, and labeled, so Nothing would get lost, and it could always be 100% original if Need be)

I think this is a sensible Pro-touring build, where a original car can be updated in places, but with a little bit of work, be turn back into a completely original car.

I'm guessing maybe up to 400 hp maybe 500 ft pounds of Torque?????

Anybody have a god idea?


The interior of the car is completely original from 1965. The only thing that does not function as intended is the clock, and the AM Radio.

 

=========================================

I do have a beautiful optional Dealer added Nailhead Tachometer that I will put in the car as soon as I can. It is a beautiful example.

 

When I ordered an extra Walnut Vainer Package I notice a cutout option from the back where a Buick Tach could be mounted. It would replace the Ash Tray in the console. Has any one seen this done? Or have any pictures of it when it is done? I think it would be very cool.

When I was a young boy in the late 60's and early 70's I remember riding in the backseat of this car while my Grandmother Drag raced from light to light. This is something we did a number of summers when we went to visit. 

I have all the paperwork on this car, when new, it was about $5500 if I remember right.

Riviera.

I refer to this car as, "Chester" as that was my Grandfathers name. He was an engineer and like a father to me. He had worked for North American during the War, and I guess that is why I have both the single, and duel intake and carb set ups. He was a Stealthy Hot Rodder as much as he could afford to be. He said he had whatever was the 3/4 race cam in it at the time.

 

1) if I could get my steering box issues figured out

2) My Radio Issues resolved

3) and my Tach installed in the Ashtray, I would be tickled.

4) I need to source about a 6 inch longer Tube and Dipstick for the engine. I went to check the oil and burned my hand on the headers.

5) and Lastly Set up a deliberate switch to change the stall on the converter to help driving around town easier,  and making sure I can get maximum take off torque when I want to get ornery.

 

If anyone could help me resolve/walk me through these issues I'd really appreciate it. I have had my right shoulder replaced twice, and my left ones needed it 12 years ago. My Back had a 3 level fusion during this time so being able to wrench on my car unfortunately is a think of the past at least for now.

 

Have a very good friend that is extremely talented who will be doing this for me. He had his own repair shop for many year and does excellent work.

 

Anyway, it is nice to meet everyone, and I'm very glad to have found this forum.

 

Thanks in advance,

Sincerely,

 

Ty O.


 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ty and welcome. Sounds like you have a neat car there. You should post some pictures in the picture thread. Here are some pictures of my tach installed in the ashtray door for some inspiration. There are some places you can send your radio to that will install modern “guts” with Bluetooth capability. Do a search and you will probably find a few threads on that subject. Get a service manual if you don’t have one, and join the ROA. You won’t regret it. 

Brian

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