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1958 - 1981 Pontiac Tech & Restoration Firebird - GTO - Fullsize

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Old 04-01-06, 03:16PM   #1
Johnny406
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Question Power Steering to Manual Steering

I'm kicking the thought around of changing my 78 T/A from power steering to manual so I can remove the pump. I know this seems extreme and it's only a thought (for now) but if I remove it I can more easily run a electric waterpump, shed a little weight, save a few ponies, and more easily steer it if it's broke (grenading an engine at 90MPH really sucked). The car won't see alot of street time and it will eventually be a full dedicated racecar. Has anybody done this? Is there a direct bolt in gearbox or will I have to change out the steering shaft as well?
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Old 04-01-06, 11:09PM   #2
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Default

I'm not sure if it's direct change over on a 78 TA, we did on a 64 GTO and it bolted right up. They do make and after market steering box that also has a better ratio and is a lot quicker steering. My buddy with the 67 GTO bought one, and it's lighter then the stock one, his also was power steering. It took all the play out out the stock factory one had. The TA guys here would probably know more about it then me.
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Old 04-03-06, 07:13PM   #3
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Default Steering box

You would have to look for a base model car ,probably 6 cylinder, that had the power option delete package on it or find one for sale after market.
AGR comes to mind.

My dad has a 69 six cyl. car that came with manual steering.It's a truck in a parking lot but once up to speed it is ok.Don't know if you would enjoy that on an every day driver.
The '69s were rear steer and the '70s are front steer.A quick check of the Hollander Interchange Manual would tell you if the 69 manual box would work at all.Frame mount pattern and pitman arm being the critical parts dimensions to watch for .
Also ,don't know what year it changed,the splined stub shaft (input) of the later model boxes is a smaller diameter than on the earlier ones.
If you are putting an earlier style steering box in a later model car the "rag joint" coupler splines will not match up.

Example:
I'm putting a WS6 box from an '81 into a '70(mounting bolt pattern and pittman arm are the same ).The diameter of the rag joint splined female coupler from the'70 coupler is to big to fit the '81 box input shaft . This requires getting the proper dia. coupler for the later model steering box for the year car the box came out of.If you are putting an early box in a later model car the input shaft will be too big for the late model coupler to fit over it.
The hydraulic fittings coming out of the late model boxes are different too(not sure when this changed) .They use an O ring seal as opposed to the SAE inverted flare fittings on the earlier cars.Why they changed was probably a cost cutting measure?
The nuts will thread up but the flares won't seal properly to the newer style PS box female inlet and outlet recievers.
The WS 6 box is desireable if you want qiuck ratio steering ,Three turns lock to lock, but can get you into trouble if you have a poor handling car.

My neighbor used to race dirt track stocks and they used to take the p.s. boxes to a guy and get them converted to m.s. .
Check with some of the dirt track or circle track guys in your area and see if the are converting the PS boxes to manual.

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Old 04-03-06, 07:48PM   #4
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I did that conversion years ago in our `70 Bird.Ended up getting the steering box and pitman arm from Desert Valley auto in AZ.I`ve read that you can use a box from an S-10 pickup,but dont know anything about that swap.
Try calling Hidden Valley Auto in AZ also.I got some steering knuckles for the Bird,so who knows,maybe they`ll have a box.Just make sure that you get the pitman arm also;they are very hard to find.
There is a company called Borgeson Universal in Torrington,CT.I talked to a rep at the Keystone show back in Feb.,and he said they have the boxes new.Forgot to ask about the pitman arms.Let us know how you make out.Good luck,Mark.
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Old 04-04-06, 02:28AM   #5
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Default Borgerson

BDHABT,
Thanks for the tip.
Looks like these guys have it all:
Borgeson/Mullins
http://www.borgeson.com

JEGS also lists a full line of their products

Have a great day
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Old 04-04-06, 02:21PM   #6
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Default GM steering boxes

I pulled this off the Borgeson site .
I gives the spline counts and shaft dias. and in what years they occurr.
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