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steering box rebuild or upgrade

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  • steering box rebuild or upgrade

    Got a '60 tbird, and the steering box has a lot of play in it.
    I can rebuild it, but I'd kind of like to put close-ratio guts in it if I'm going to tear into it. Anyone know of some swap parts. or if an aftermarket company sells parts that will give me fewer turns lock-to-lock?
    THanks!
    Phil

  • #2
    Originally posted by philbird60 View Post

    Got a '60 tbird, and the steering box has a lot of play in it.

    I can rebuild it, but I'd kind of like to put close-ratio guts in it if I'm going to tear into it. Anyone know of some swap parts. or if an aftermarket company sells parts that will give me fewer turns lock-to-lock?

    THanks!

    Phil
    Interesting Post!

    There is an GM Saginaw box switchover kit but stay away from it (deletes BENDIX hydraulic system).

    Excerpt From- http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/...feature21.html


    Fords present a unique problem, because both Ford's own manual and power steering gearboxes were the same gearbox until the mid-to-late 1960s. Ford's power steering consisted of the manual gearbox with a control valve attached to the end of the center link and a power cylinder, similar to a hydraulic shock absorber or ram unit.

    These gearboxes were available in 16.0:1 or 20.0:1 ratios, and in either a 1-inch or a 1-1/8-inch steering shaft diameter. Units on some models from 1964-'67 still incorporated the long steering shaft that went up inside the steering column. The same type of unit was used in the earlier Fords of the 1950s and early '60s with non-collapsible steering columns. The later Ford units used a separate steering shaft and rag joint-type coupler set-up from 1967 on, similar to the GMs.
    I would like to research this subject. There may be an answer all ready but most will go to a later box design or rack changeover.

    You will first need the steering box info (build info) off the tag attached to the box (hopefully) to see what you have and where to start.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's a consideration-

      http://www.borgeson.com/xcart/home.php?cat=117

      This eliminates the BENDIX steering linkage.

      Do you want to keep the car original or slightly modified?

      Comment


      • #4
        interesting, and thanks!

        I'm definitely hoping to retain the oem power assist setup, and either just swap the box, or the guts. I'm gonna keep poking around.

        Comment


        • #5
          Are you sure ...

          the play is all in the gear? You may find most of your play is in the power assist cylinder, and the Idler arm and tie rod ends. Unless the gear bearings are bad it may be fine. On my 60 the the case was almost dry, but after adjusting the bearings and pumping the case full of general purpose grease (not gear lube). Then I adjusted the play out of the sector (The slotted screw with the jamb nut) and it functioned perfectly. Worth a shot unless you have already eliminated those possibilities. Mike

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gaffney1951 View Post

            the play is all in the gear? You may find most of your play is in the power assist cylinder, and the Idler arm and tie rod ends.
            Gospel Spoken Here!

            There is a multitude of bushings, ball joints and control valve settings that can lead to slop on this system in addition to steering linkage(s) conditions.

            Also consider pump pressure/volume output and reservoir filter condition.

            GOOGLE- FORD BENDIX LINKAGE POWER STEERING
            Last edited by KULTULZ; April 22nd, 2012, 07:23 AM.

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            • #7
              it's definitely the box

              there's not a lot of adjustment left, and and when you do get it tighter, it doesn't return to center like it should... so it's time for an overhaul.. just was hoping to upgrade at the same time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just wondering...

                When you attempted to adjust the gear lash, did you disconnect the pitman arm from the linkage? It cannot be done effectively unless all drag is removed from the box.

                The gears on these boxes (M/S) (input and sector) were basically the same design (meaning interchangeable) throughout the period. Differing ratios would have to be determined from a period Shop Manual as the MPC has most information deleted as the result of cataloging changes. One would need original MPC copies before the Final Issue (60/64) was released.

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                • #9
                  Want a real upgrade? Pursue rack and pinion setups. R&P eliminates 50% of your moving parts. I used an old pump from a Mustang, and it works beautifully on my '59 Galaxie (292 Y-Block). Whipping that steering wheel around at the hamburger stand is a breeze, with one finger.

                  Those ball-screw boxes are very touchy and expensive. It is easy to over tighten and wipe one out. You can do it, but it is much better to leave this job to someone who has experience and has developed a 'feel' for it (or use an ounce/inch torque wrench). - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    R&P

                    sure, I COULD do that.. but I don't want the car to be so heavily modded.. and, I should point out that the car is TOTALLY driveable as it is, but it's not really right. I haven't been to a hamburger stand since my time machine broke, but as soon as the parts come in, I'll get over there before I head to the drive-in!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm lost on that one?

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        You know when you are getting old...

                        I just heard a few cobwebs pop (or was that a stitch) and remembered how SHELBY quickened the steering on the MUST with this type of steering system.

                        One was the use of a longer pitman and idler arm and the other was a quicker ratio box.

                        Maybe call and talk with these people about maybe modifying your present box?

                        http://www.flamingriver.com/index.ph...ts/c0011/s0003

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks!

                          That was exactly what I was looking for. If anyone can do it, they can. This is one of those times I kind of miss GM.. there's so much information of swap parts. I put a '97 jeep box in my '68 chevelle and it was a direct bolt on with a much closer ratio.

                          This.. will certainly not be as easy.

                          tbirds 8.. I was only referring to the fact that in new york city, and even it's outlying suburbs, we don't see many hamburger stands anymore. Something about sprawl...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by philbird60 View Post
                            sure, I COULD do that.. but I don't want the car to be so heavily modded.. and, I should point out that the car is TOTALLY driveable as it is, but it's not really right. I haven't been to a hamburger stand since my time machine broke, but as soon as the parts come in, I'll get over there before I head to the drive-in!
                            HAHAHA!! Good one!!
                            sigpic
                            The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                            VTCI Member#6287.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I may have a solution

                              So, my problem is actually the control valve, not the box.. BUT, I'd still like something with a closer ratio. This article is super helpful. I'm tracking down a 79 cougar ..

                              http://www.hemmings.com/hmn/stories/...feature32.html


                              It ought to have a closer ratio, but still retain power assist, and would have a control valve I could use.

                              Comment

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