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steering box questions

1300 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  JIML82
Well I'm to the point in my frame-off where I'm starting the reassembly on my 66. I want to go with a new or at least rebuilt power steering box. I also was thinking about using a collapsible steering shaft. I really don't know much about this so I'm just assuming I don't already have a collapsible one(not sure what it looks like). I want my handling to be better than stock so I have already upgraded my entire suspension. I want my steering to match this. I know about AGR but I was wondering if there are any other alternatives without having to scavenge through junkyards and that would be compatible with my column and the collapsible shaft. Also what pump should I use?

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I know that some people must have done it, but you should really know what you are doing before you cut your steering shaft and try to splice something new into it.

Your 1966 Chevelle does not have an energy absorbing steering column. Your steering shaft is solid and is not designed to collapse or telescope onto itself in a collision.

The 1967 Chevelle steering column was designed to collapse and absorb energy. It had a two or three piece steering shaft that was designed to telescope. There was a telescoping section under the hood between the firewall and the steering gear. There was a second telescoping section up inside the steering column. The whole dash, brake support bracket, etc behind the instrument cluster was redesigned to accept this first generation, energy absorbing, collapsible steering column.

The 1968 and later Chevelle steering columns changed again. The actual steering column was basically the same as 1967 but the steering shaft part became two seperate pieces. There was an intermediate steering shaft under the hood in place of the telescoping shaft. It had a univeral type "pot" joint where the shaft connected to the steering column under the hood near the firewall. It had a typical flexible coupling where the intermediate shaft connected to the steering gear. The shaft between the pot joint and the flex coupling was in two pieces that were designed to telescope over each other.

I imagine that you are thinking about installing a intermediate steering shaft.
I think that the original pot joints were designed to assemble to a 1 inch diameter splined steering shaft coming out of the steering column. There was a clamp with a cross bolt that squeezed the pot coupling onto the column shaft. The cross bolt passed through a notch in the column shaft for additional safety.

All I can tell you is that you are steering your car through this connection. Please be super safe in attempting to splice any non-standard parts or connections into the steering system.

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I am certain that a 1967 Chevelle with its energy absorbing (EA) steering column is safer than a 1966 Chevelle.

However, in order to make the EA column work correctly in the 1967 Chevelle, many full car crash tests were performed, many, many, subassembly tests were also conducted by GM and Saginaw.

In order to try and update your 1966, you would literally have to get a donor car and swap the brake support bracket, brake pedal, and the support structure from the one car to the other. This MIGHT allow you to install the 1967 column into your 1966. It wouldn't insure that it would actually work in a frontal collision however.

I wish that I had better news.

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