Best Steering Box - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Pat
 
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Best Steering Box

I have read a lot of threads about steering box upgrades. What appears to be the best box to tighten up the steering? The AGR box and Jeep upgrade seem to get mixed reviews, Lee seems for the most part positive. Just looking for some opinions. I am willing to spend good money to do this upgrade because I want it right. I have my car running and handling well but that ole loose steering has got to go


I have even considered rack and pinion.
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 11:41 AM
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Re: Best Steering Box

The lee 670 box is amazing.

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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Steering Box

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Originally Posted by JChilders View Post
The lee 670 box is amazing.

That one seems to get a lot of good reviews.. I am eyeing that but also seriously considering a Flaming River of Uni- steer rack and Pinion setup, friend put one on his 70 Camaro and absolutely loves it.


Looks like the 670 is discontinued. Is Lee's still in business?
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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 11:50 AM
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Re: Best Steering Box

I cannot speak from personal experience, but from my research, the lee box with a matched power steering pump is the best. I think the jeep box is an excellent upgrade over stock, but it is a crap shoot. You could get a really good one or one that is worn slap out. A used jeep box setup will probably cost you 1/10-1/5 of the cost of the full lee set up. I am doing a frame off, and it is taking way more time than it should have due to funds. I have decided to put some of the higher ticket items on hold and get the car back together for the time being. The steering box is one of those items that is going to wait. I think I am going to pick up a jeep box for now, and do the swap when the funds become available.
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 12:43 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

I think the best choice is a used Jeep box from a junkyard that you remove yourself. You can see if it leaks, you can feel if it's loose, you can check the code on the sticker yourself. If all that is good buy it. Mine was 20 something bucks. The ratio and effort are perfect.

I would not buy a mexican rebuild from a parts store. Who knows what you might get.
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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 12:57 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R View Post
I think the best choice is a used Jeep box from a junkyard that you remove yourself. You can see if it leaks, you can feel if it's loose, you can check the code on the sticker yourself. If all that is good buy it. Mine was 20 something bucks. The ratio and effort are perfect.

I would not buy a mexican rebuild from a parts store. Who knows what you might get.
IF you feel you can judge the condition and IF you can find one, the used Jeep box will probably be the lowest cost deal.. From my experience, you can't easily determine the condition unless the engine is running with the wheels on the ground, but that usually not the case in a wrecking yard... For my next "low budget" project, I may try to find a used Jeep box, but already knowing it won't be as firm as I have become accustomed to with the AGR... But I also worry, because the "newest" Jeep box is nearly 20 years old... My guess is that most are probably already worn and loose...

As for the rest, a lot depends on your budget... Generally the better options (Lee, etc) are going to cost the most money, while a parts-store rebuild can be significantly less expensive but more likely to be out of spec... In the middle is going to be something like the AGR, with known specs.

There have been some "rebuilders" listed that do custom rebuilds...

Personally, I have installed several AGRs, and never had an issue, and great customer service when asking questions directly with AGR. Aside from those members here, I don't know anyone that has had problems with them... I LOVE the firmer feel of the steering with the AGR box (even firmer than the Jeep box), not not so stiff that its still easy to turn the wheel.




As for pumps, I have used "original or parts-store rebuild pumps, and never had an issue with performance... I guess IF you need a new pump, then the extra for a custom built pump may be worth it, but if you are just replacing a wornout stock box, not sure the custom pump is worth the extra expense...

Once you go RAT, you never go back...
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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 1:05 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

I installed a Jeep G. C. box on my 70 driver 36.000 miles ago. or 5-6 years ago. Would I do the jeep box again on another Chevelle, You BET YOUR AZZ,, In a " Heart Beat ".
Its the best $200.00 bucks I ever spent ! ( along with three hours to swap it out )
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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 1:10 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

Lee is still in business. They closed their doors for a while, but are back in production. My old chevelle had the jeep upgrade. For the price you can't beat it. If you are willing to spend the money I think the lee 670 is a better box than the jeep. The steering just seems a lot tighter. That being said I think most people would be happy with either one.

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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 1:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Steering Box

I am not looking for the cheapest way out on this one. I want once and done and done right. Other than than the original cost I am trying to find the cons of a Flaming River or UNi-Steer power rack. I already have the modern type II PS pump that came with the Tru-TRac serp system I installed. A rack and pinion seems like a pretty straight forward install, modern technology and performance.

I don't want to do the jeep thing and hope to get a good one. I had an AGR on my 72 Camaro and thought it was OK. SO it will be either be a Lee or a Rack and Pinion.
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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 1:35 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

If I had to quantify it on my El Camino.
0 - 10 with 0 being zero effort and 10 being manual steering
With what I assume is factory 1967 Power Steering was about a 1 or 2 on effort and feel and the Jeep box is maybe a 4 to 6 on effort and you can feel the road better as well.
Plus the box that was in mine was over 4 turns lock to lock and is now about 3-3 turns.
It feels perfectly normal now, before it felt like something that belongs in a Sedan DeVille. I guess back in the 60s Power Steering was a "Luxury Item" and it was made to feel like it. Since the mid 70s it is basically a standard item on anything but economy cars and feels "normal"

I picked the Jeep in the junkyard to pull it from and the yard pulled it, cut the pitman arm with a torch for $50 or so. The hardest part of the whole job was getting the pitman arm off of the Jeep box. It wasn't leaking so nothing was pre-slimed up.

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post #11 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 2:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Steering Box

Just talked to Mike at Lee...great guy. Said if I get one of their boxes should do my pump as well which kind of stinks cause it is brand new.

Gonna price out a rack and pinon and then decide between the two.
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post #12 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 2:24 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

Inexpensive= JGC. Expensive = Lee's. I went with a JGC from a wrecking yard several years ago as a temporary measure to cure the stock box sloppiness. Worked so well that I have never seen a reason to change and total cost was less than $100. I did get my hose adapters from Lee.

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post #13 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 2:33 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

I just bought a rebuilt one.
Same specs as the jeep box.

Guy I found in Cali. 140$ usd.

If u want his info. Let me know.
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post #14 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 7:15 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

I bought a JGC from the pick and pull for my 70 and drove it for a year or so. Great feel over the original but not quite what I was looking for. When it started leaking I sent it to Lee last winter for rebuilding and upgrading with a .210 T Bar. Used their inserts so I can use the stock appearing hoses. Road feel is great but almost like manual steering when parking. So I'll put up with it for awhile and then send the stock pump in this winter for upgrading as well.
Lee isn't cheap but the quality is great. They kept me advised at all times, (when gear arrived, what they found after tear down) and then presented me with options. Highly recommended.
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post #15 of 79 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 17, 7:25 PM
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Re: Best Steering Box

check out borgenson.com
I had my stock box rebuilt as a variable ratio. I love it, and it was cheap. I did have to ship it to Texas and took around 4 weeks.
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