How to ID 2nd gen F-body quick ratio steering box? - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 03, 5:35 PM Thread Starter
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First of all, correct me if I'm wrong, but a 2nd gen F-body steering box would fit a chevelle, right?

I was at a local salvage yard today looking for goodies. There were several 2nd gen F-bodies, but most of them were missing the good parts such as sway-bars and steering boxes. One car, a '76 firebird, was missing the sway bar, but not the steering box, which leads me to believe it had a big sway bar, and the steering box might be a quick ratio.

On the top of it were the numbers:
and "50" below that.

It can be mine for $35. Help is appreciated, and I may be able to look again at it next week if there's a better way to tell what it is.

I wish I had my digital camera with me when I was there.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 03, 5:59 PM
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Here is some links to info on boxes

The 2nd gen f-body I belevie have stops built in the boxes. Something to be aware of.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 03, 12:24 AM
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From Jim Shea's spreadsheets it looks as if that steering box won't be much if any quicker than a stock Chevelle PS box.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 03, 9:36 PM
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I think the G-Body (Monte Carlo, Malibu, Cutlass...) steering boxes should work. The easiest way to find them, is just find a car with a 1 1/4" front sway bar, they should a 12:1 ratio box.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 03, 8:14 PM
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This was something I saved while researching my steering box swap. I don't have the URL, but...

While these late model steering boxes will bolt into the chassis, two modifications in the area of connecting them up are needed. You need a hybrid coupler (the "rag" or fabric connecting joint) from a '79 to '84 Chevy pickup truck to adapt the older design steering column to the new design steering box, and you need to change the way the power steering fluid connections are made. Adapters to convert the metric fluid connection lines to earlier standard fittings are available. The newer boxes use an o-ringed metric end while the older boxes use the common 3/8" flare end. NAPA sells the required adapters. They are:
 Weatherhead #1445: 3/8" is 5/8 18 - 14x1.5
 Weatherhead #1446: 3/8" is 5/8 18 - 16x1.5
 Weatherhead #1447: 3/8" is 5/8 18 - 18x1.5
Since the boxes varied slightly from model to model versus the fluid line connections, you should order all three. Take your "new" steering box (or the newer lines for comparison) with you when you go to the parts store. They might even let you pick the 2 you need and not buy the unneeded adapter.
The GM part number for _brand new_ boxes of the latest, fastest ratio is 7839897. According to Drew Koba, Olds parts guru and OCF Chapter Representative, these boxes are still available. They list for $677 (ouch). But Drew has recently convinced his employer (Fountain Olds) to sell GM parts to club members at a substantial discount.
As noted above, to use the late box with early steering columns, the Chevy pickup truck coupler is needed and its GM part number is 7826542 ($68.25 list, again a discount is available). I would strongly suggest using a new coupler rather than a used one when changing your steering box.
Drews numbers at Fountain are: (407)888-1455 and 800-456-8701. Remember, all OCF members get discounts on parts purchased through Drew. And, if it exists, Drew can get it!

As noted above, to use the late box with early steering columns, the Chevy pickup truck coupler is needed and its GM part number is 7826542 ($68.25 list, again a discount is available). I would strongly suggest using a new coupler rather than a used one when changing your steering box.
This is a subject that often brings debate over which box to use and how to find one. The main focus of my project was to have a quick well handling car and I wanted the 2.25 turns lock to lock steering box for my car. Some people will not be happy with this and others will say the quick ratio F-body boxes reduce the turning radius of your vehicle. It is totally understandable that some people would not want the quickest ratio box and there are other choices to use. The turning radius is not an issue with my 78 Cutlass, the spindles turn all the way to the stops on the frame like they did before.
There are many other F-body boxes and I do not know all of the restrictions or capabilities. The first box I had was practically free from an 82 Z-28, it did restrict the turning radius with 2.75 turns lock to lock. After installing this box I found out it leaked like a sieve and turning radius was wrong. Well I had already looked through the junkyards around here and I must say that Z-28's of any variety are a rare bird. I decided to order a rebuilt 1LE IROC box and just install it.
Why you ask? I like a car with quick handling steering and a more responsive feel.
Pitman arm issues
There were no issues installing this box except for the lack a pitman arm because I was replacing a type 600 box and the pitman arm will not interchange. One way to tell the boxes apart is the 4 bolt cover on top of the box. The 600 will not have this and it is physically smaller. The different shaft sizes are the issue when it comes to interchanging the pitman arms.
The arm I used came from an 82'ish diesel Bonneville that happened to have the Hydroboost setup on it and is the correct length for my car. Casting number 7828464
Finding a box
If your bent on finding one in the junkyard its best to look for real Z-28's and Trans Am's from 82 to 92 and I have heard the cars with 16" wheels have the good boxes. The 90-92 WS6 constant ratio box is claimed by some to be best and I have not been able to determine if the 1LE box is the same or not. The HiPo boxes will have an XH on the front cover also, but years of grime will wipe off making it harder to Identify the box.
Part no. of box I ordered. A1 Cardone 27-6550 $202.60 from

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