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#800911 - 06/09/10 01:11 AM Steering box upgrade  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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Lino Lakes, MN
Well i have the stock round top steering box and i want to upgrade to a tighter turn ratio with shorter stops (to accomodate wider tires and better steering response) what do you guys reccomend? year make and model car to order one from. something that will bolt in. i tried a 83 ss box but my pitman arm shaft size is different so it didnt quite work out. So with this in mind i will need to know what pitman arm to use also. i dont know of any sites or auto parts store that can get pitman arms at all.


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#800929 - 06/09/10 01:42 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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86ttop Offline
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You'll most likely have to use the pitman arm from the box you plan on using.


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#800990 - 06/09/10 05:50 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: 86ttop]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Just got back from Minneapolis this evening, went to the GM show at the Fair Grounds, nice show, second time I've seen it, cars left early due to pending rain.

Not sure why your 83 LS pitman didn't fit the 83 SS box, it should have. The splines should be the same on all years of the 800 series boxes from 78 and newer, 3/4-30. What is different about pitmans arms is they are specific to the chassis they are built for. They will vary in length, drop, and how the spline is indexed to the box shaft. There shouldn't be any difference between an 83 LS and any SS model and for that fact any 83-88 Monte. Don't have the pitman part number at hand but it's cast onto the pitman. Also there are two different offsets, 3 and 7 degrees. The 7 degree should be used.

For a box you want a 12:1 fast ratio, used in the SS, this was coded the YA box at the factory. If you have fat tires up front which rub the sway bar or frame at full lock you could go with an F body box used in the IROC Camaro and GTA Firebirds, these were XH boxes. If you buy rebuilt from a parts house you will get a generic, fits all, fast ratio box. There are other more expensive options. You could check the box you buy to see if it's fast ratio, turn the input shaft and see how many turns it is lock to lock, should be less than 3.
Bob

#801981 - 06/13/10 03:10 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: mmc427ss]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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anybody here installed a F-body steering box in their monte? do you just use the stock ss pitman arm? and what size tires can you use in the front?


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#802919 - 06/16/10 05:10 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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Lino Lakes, MN
Anyone?


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#802923 - 06/16/10 05:33 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Use the pitman arm from the SS. The Camaro arms is a different length and the degrees of offset are different than a Gbody. On the pitman arm is a part number, also the two digit number following the part number is the degrees of offset. Don't have the pitman arms in front of me, a G and an F are laying on a bench at my shop. Could verify the number in the next few days if necessary.

Front tire size is more dependent on wheel offset, spindles and tire section width. No matter which steering box you use the amount of left to right turn travel is limited by either the spindle stops on the lower control arms, or by the tires rubbing the frame and sway bar.

On the large cup plug on the end of the box is a two letter factory code, YA (SS), XH (IROC with 16" wheels), WS (Hi-po birds), those are the three preferred popular quick ratio boxes. A remanufactured box most likely won't have the lettering. On a used factory box the ink washes and rubs off easily.
Bob

#802934 - 06/16/10 09:22 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: mmc427ss]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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Lino Lakes, MN
Thanks, Bob. What i really need to know is are the pitman arm shaft splines the same size on a quick steer facorty Monte SS box and the F-body quick steer box? I know i have to use the same length/degree pitman arm as the stock SS (i dont want to modify the center link) just wondering if ss pitman arm bolts to a F-body box. ill figure out tires later im using stock spindles with 15 inch american racing wheels (standard offset) amd 36mm hollow fiebird formula sway bar... im assuming i can run the firebird formula quick steer box with the equivilant size tires in a 15" version before coming in contact with the sway bar (rubbing) the main thing is will F-body pitman arm shafts and monte SS steering box shafts have the same splines?


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#803053 - 06/16/10 09:43 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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Gruvin Offline
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Kevin, I would assume that you just use the monte SS pitman arm on the F-bomb box since many people have swapped in the f-bomb box on to their SS

You can infer from this thread that you swap the pitman arm from one box to the other but one guy mentions that the pitman arm shaft may be larger on some boxes so might want to stick with the later year f-bombs with the known boxes Bob mentioned...

http://www.oldspower.com/vb/showthread.php?t=36029&highlight=steering+box

Steve(TPI Monte SS) mentioned that you would swap the f-bomb pitman arm to a g-body box so the reverse should also be possible
http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/suspension-chassis/315884-monte-carlo-ss-steering.html


My first SS! Sold Jan 2004
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87 SS bought 9-5-04: Sold 6-18-2010 - project 87 finds a new home with another undisclosed MonteCarloSS.com member!
#803077 - 06/17/10 12:01 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: Gruvin]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Hi folks,

Just wanted to add that the Pitman arm length needs to match the idler arm length, or you could be biasing the geometry for asymmetrical Ackerman behavior. Other things being equal, the longer the Pitman arm, the faster the effective steering ratio, and the stronger the Ackerman correction. Both sound like good directions to go with our front ends provided the idler arm length matches, and provided the steering linkage clears the engine crossmember (!)

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 06/17/10 12:03 AM.
#803230 - 06/17/10 06:24 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: MAP]  
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Gruvin Offline
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Originally Posted By: MAP
Hi folks,

Just wanted to add that the Pitman arm length needs to match the idler arm length, or you could be biasing the geometry for asymmetrical Ackerman behavior. Other things being equal, the longer the Pitman arm, the faster the effective steering ratio, and the stronger the Ackerman correction. Both sound like good directions to go with our front ends provided the idler arm length matches, and provided the steering linkage clears the engine crossmember (!)

Best,
MAP
which it won't with longer pitman/idler arms... It is really too close now! Guess what happens when the idiot at the alignment shop puts the tie rod sleeve bolts facing the center crossmember? It isn't good! frown

Last edited by Gruvin84SS; 06/17/10 06:25 PM.

My first SS! Sold Jan 2004
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87 SS bought 9-5-04: Sold 6-18-2010 - project 87 finds a new home with another undisclosed MonteCarloSS.com member!
#804673 - 06/23/10 01:42 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: Gruvin]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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OUTCH! that sucks! Well im thinking ill scrap the idea of a f-body steering box, they are designed to run longer pitman arms about an inch longer than our g-bodys. So when you put a inch shorter pitman arm on it, it will work faster than a g-body box but the internal stops will limit how wide you can turn. seems too much to worry about for me since im not running fat tires, and am looking for a quick steer box is my main goal. SO on a different note what is the fastest g-body steering box? what year or what model had them? and does anybody have a pitman arm that will fit one? i have the crappy v6 steering box (round top) which has a smaller pitman arm shaft.


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#804774 - 06/23/10 01:32 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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Gruvin Offline
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any 84-88 Monte Carlo SS model should have the quick ratio box... check to see if anyone is scrapping a SS so you can get the box and the arm


My first SS! Sold Jan 2004
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87 SS bought 9-5-04: Sold 6-18-2010 - project 87 finds a new home with another undisclosed MonteCarloSS.com member!
#808785 - 07/08/10 10:36 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: Gruvin]  
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I want to know what is the best way & cheapest to lower my babe and get the best brake up-grade ? I've read all the coments on this post but no one seems to mention what combos to get that slammed look ( like that Purple sick xxxx Monte ). I like the ls1 up grade & the s10 but what springs to lower it?this is my first time so I hope to get my answers can't wait to here from u.

#809144 - 07/10/10 05:30 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: pajaronegro98]  
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LSJM1 Offline
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I used a box from a grand cherokee 93-97 will work,fast ratio good feel slightly more turning degrees best of all-cheap!30 bux

#809150 - 07/10/10 06:34 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: LSJM1]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Hi Montesleeper,

Going back to your first post, the "round top" indicates that you'be got the 605 Saginaw box and not the 800-808 series that came stock on most later G-bdoies and on all MCSS's I'm aware of. No wonder the Pitman arms don't interchange.

My recommendation is that since all of these boxes are about a quarter of a century old and probably quite worn, I'd buy a new one or at least one that's been carefully rebuilt. I have an 800 box offered by Guldstrand Engineering that made nothing less than a night-and-day difference compared to the old 605 box I had. The new Lee 670 box offered by SC&C (Marcus) looks like a great option too. Cheap, these aren't - expect to pay several hundreds of dollars - but wow do you get what you pay for here...

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 07/10/10 06:37 PM.
#809166 - 07/10/10 07:22 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: MAP]  
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84 ZZ4 Offline
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I had checked at NAPA, they have rebuilt boxes somewhere around $170 IIRC, and the rebuild kit, if you feel up to it, are around $60. I am sure O'Reillys, Advance offer similar ones...
The Lee Performance (blueprinted 670 Delphi unit) that SC&C sells is around $500, IIRC.
Here is a link on a Saginaw box rebuild:
http://www.fourwheeler.com/techarticles/drivetrain/129_0801_saginaw_steering_box_rebuild/index.html


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#809710 - 07/13/10 02:44 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: 84 ZZ4]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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I am positive i dont want to use my saginaw box, even if i rebuild it. The box has such a bad response for fishtailing or quickly changing lanes. I bought a rebuilt one from oreillys (with my girlfriends employee discount) and it was actually worse than the original! the pitman shaft bearing is loose along with the main gears! thats what made me decide i need to go with quick steer. I

Ive got a reply about a 86 monte quicksteer box with 129k on it with pitman arm shipped for $87 is it worth it? or should i go get some remanufactured no name quick steer box?
-im on a budget- or else i would get lee's box


83 Monte CL with SS interior
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#809810 - 07/13/10 04:46 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Hi 83,

"Is it worth it?" That depends on the condition of the box. Why is the seller selling it?

About having a, "bad steering response," I can tell you that it's possible to get stellar performance from these boxes - as good as R&P for sure. Are you sure you don't have some other kind of problem in the suspension that could be masquerading as a steering box problem? In stock form, let alone with the added ravages of 27 years of driving, these cars aren't exactly known for quick handling reflexes.

Best,
MAP

PS Blackbird 98: please start a new thread with your questions, so you'll get the proper attention.

Last edited by MAP; 07/13/10 09:07 PM.
#809903 - 07/13/10 11:51 PM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: MAP]  
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montesleeper83 Offline
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Lino Lakes, MN
Map, I just replaced everything in my front suspension/steering. the control arm bushings, springs, entire steering linkage/ ball joints. And everything worked fine, untill i put in the new gear box. when i take right turns/curves about 30 mph or over it will feel like it wants to wander to the left, so i correct it to the right and it responds VERY sharply and turns alot more than it should almost pulling me to the ditch, But it drives alomst as good as before in left corners and straight aways are fine.upon inspection i can lift the front of the car off the ground and lock the steering wheel and pull on the wheels the pitman arm shaft has some play it takes some force to move it but its the only thing i can come up with.


83 Monte CL with SS interior
[Linked Image]
#809916 - 07/14/10 12:37 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: montesleeper83]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Hi 83,

That description was very helpful. The symptoms sound like what happens when the top over-center preload adjustment is set too tightly (adjustment is an LH-thread, btw.) The steering response becomes sticky and twitchy, so that the car over-reacts to steering inputs, yet one or more remaining areas of excessive internal wear (and I know there exists at least one more adjustment you can make in the front of the box to ameliorate this,) lets the car wander as if it had a stubborn mind of its own.

My car was like that with the old 605 box before I changed it, and yes - the car was very frustrating to drive. The next step was to get a Guldstrand 800 box with the high-effort pressure valve, and as I said before - the difference was night and day!

So, be encouraged. Your problems will be over, I predict, just as soon as you get a good steering box in your car.

Best,
MAP


Last edited by MAP; 07/14/10 12:38 AM.
#810207 - 07/15/10 03:10 AM Re: Steering box upgrade [Re: MAP]  
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some great info here! Ive been lookinig into going through the front end on my SS recently and this should help a great amount in the search for a new steering box!


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