12.7:1 Fast Ratio Steering Gearbox Conversions
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An easy way to upgrade the handling on your car is to convert to a quick-ratio power steering box. Early s power steering gearboxes were originally manufactured with a wide turn ratio. Depending on the manufacturer, most were in the area of These units were also designed with variable pressure, meaning they have slow steering response around the center point, but improved response as you approach the ends of their maximum range. With a little knowledge of the differences between power steering units, you can find adaptable quick-ratio gear boxes at your local pick-a-part that will have a more responsive lower ratio, as well as reduce the steering wheel range to as low as two to three full turns.
Few mechanical parts have enjoyed a production life longer than the Saginaw power steering gearbox. First introduced in the early Sixties on full-size Oldsmobiles, the Saginaw gearbox has gone through many internal updates; however, it remained virtually the same and was the basis for General Motors power steering systems until the advent of rack and pinion steering. In some GM trucks, this unit is still used today. Saginaw gearboxes were also used in AMCs, Jeeps, Internationals and several Ford models; however, the Ford units will not interchange with any of the other applications. 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.
As you can see, getting to the steering gear on early A-bodies is a snap. First, drop the sway bar down from the frame but leave it attached to the A-arms. Use the appropriate puller to remove the Pitman arm. You can often rent this tool from tool stores and rental yards. The new steering coupler that Lee Manufacturing offers has the proper bolt spacing to line up with the early steering columns and has the small stub-shaft spline count. The flare seat adapters are made of aluminum bar stock. Lee also offers the 18mm tubing nut required for the high-pressure side of the late box.
We can do gearbox rebuilds on many other styles of gearboxes, but for anything other than these listed you must send your gearbox into us for rebuild. The difference between the and the is the size of the piston. The has a 70mm piston and the has an 80mm piston. This is easy to measure from the outside of the gearbox. The 3-hole is the same pattern, just missing one hole and will fit directly into any vehicle that had a 4-hole pattern. They are much more common and easier to find cores, so we typically sell the 3-hole version. If you must have a 4-hole pattern it can be special ordered.
Quick-ratio steering boxes
Not all Saginaw steering boxes are the same. - Fast ratio upgrades improve vehicle control, making driving safer and more enjoyable. Convert your slow ratio steering gearbox to a fast ratio
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