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Old 11-11-2006, 06:47 PM
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conversion to power steering

Hello-
We are new to this site and I would like to introduce ourselves. My husband and I are restoring a 1960 Chevy Biscayne . We are just had the 350 engine and transmission rebuilt and we are working on the steering. We would like to put power steering in the car but we are unsure of all of the work and changes that will need to be made. Can someone give us some adivse as to how to proceed? Is it possible to get the power steering out of another model year instead of purchasing new?

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Old 11-11-2006, 07:15 PM
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check ebay,i think 59 to 64 units fit, but you may have to rebuilt them, and that cost too
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:35 PM
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The 58-64 setup is very complicated. Later model Chevy PS is adaptable....not sure which though. Did a search, but could only find this....

Experience with 605 conversion 58-64 chevrolet?

I am looking at this too for my 62.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:51 AM
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hi i have a 59 Chevy wagon and converted to ps so maybe i can be of help here.
1- unless you want a concours setup stay away from the factory system. very complicated and not needed on a daily driver.
2- numerous companies are selling brackets to adapt a 605 steering box to the car most times this is an easier install on manual steering cars
3- avoid getting a modified box- you will appreciate this if your box breaks and you need a replacement- much easier to go to the local parts store and get a rebuilt box then tracking down a small company which hopefully hasn't gone out of business
4-only problem i had with mine was i couldn't upgrade to a larger sway bar as the clearance is tight
5- pump and brackets and pulleys can be bought new or sourced from a junkyard
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:56 AM
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sorry i few things i forgot
1- the 605 box will bolt right up to the factory pitman arm
2- it is better to start with a manual steering car
3- with the adapter bracket there is no welding to fit the box to the car
4-with my setup i needed to buy a new intermediate shaft
5- this entire swap was a bolt in and could be accomplished in a weekend if you had all the parts assembled before time
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:22 AM
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Having installed and run both types, 59 wagon man is right on the money in his comments. I did like the feel of the original type a bit better (I think it had a bit more "road Feel"), but the hassle and availability of replacemnt part with the 605 setup far outweighs that.

Late Great Chevy down in Orlando used to sell the conversion bracket years ago, you should be able to find the brackets by doing a web search.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:01 AM
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You guys might want to check CPP.
http://www.classicperform.com/

The website is kind of disorganized, so a link to the main page will do better. look in the index, it looks like there are the 605 steering conversions and parts for the 58-64 stuff

Mikey
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:04 PM
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I got mine from CPP

I also had issues with the stabilizer, until I made my own mounting bracket and rotated the box a bit.

I have been told that CPP is working a new box that is a direct bolt in.

I intend on looking into that, as I am one of many not totally happy with the steering in the 59 Elky. Wanders a bit.

I am giving some serious thought to changing the pitman arm & center link to a 64 to get away from that spring and ball thingy in the 59 centerlink.

Bryan
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:26 PM
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Bryan- Did you center the box? If you don't have the box on center the sector and worm won't be at their "high spot" and can be loose enough to wander. I have fixed several wandering issues by readjusting the drag link so as to position the sector gear properly.

Something else to think about:
I had a conversation with Tregg at Durex steering the other day. He informed me also that some of the early chevys that have 605 boxes retrofitted need more caster in order to feel right. (I was asking him about our "power steering won't return to center" thread)

He told me that CPP makes a offset upper control arm for the tri 5 chevys that have the 605 conversion. It was found that the steering geometry would not feed back into the box enough to return properly, so more caster was needed. The offset arms added the adjustability to give about 10* positive caster. The extra caster did the trick. It also made the car track better.

You may want to ask about those arms for your 59 or see about adjusting in little more caster.

Later, mikey
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:43 PM
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When I mounted the box, and centered the the centerlink, the box would be between an 1/8 to 1/4 turn off center (3 turns lock to lock---1-5/8 one way, 1-3/8 the other) (example only). I called CPP on this and they told me that being off center a bit would be okay.

As this was my FIRST car building expeience, I would assume that the centerlink being centered would be more important than the position of the steering wheel.

Putting the box on center would move the centerlink off center about an inch+

I also had to mill the mounting sides of my UCA cross shafts to get some additional caster & camber

Currently running, -.3 camber and +1 caster.

I milled 1/8" from the cross shafts to bring the neg cam from -1 to -.3.
Did not think it was prudent to cut anymore.

Car drives okay---perhaps I have gotten too used to rack&pinion, Been driving T-Birds since the early 90's

Bryan
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:17 PM
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I believe that you get 10* rotation at the sector shaft in both directions for centering the "high spot" (total of 20*). I played around with a small collection of boxes for my own education one day to find this out. Anything past that 10* either way and the box got noticably looser.

I have had to file the double tooth out of the splines so I could re index the pitman arm on the sector shaft if I ran out of range in the drag links range of motion.
Most repro arms dont have the double teeth.

The steering wheel is not what gets centered. you can move that anywhere you want to depending on the column and connections at the rag or U-joints.

Tregg was telling me that some cars that require 1* caster with a manual or power assist from the factory, with the addition of a 605 box the caster had to be increased to 3* or more to feel good again. ( he told me of a car he had that needed 12* to return properly and not wander. ) He said it had to do with the design of the servo piston and valving.

Later, mikey
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike

The steering wheel is not what gets centered. you can move that anywhere you want to depending on the column and connections at the rag or U-joints.

Tregg was telling me that some cars that require 1* caster with a manual or power assist from the factory, with the addition of a 605 box the caster had to be increased to 3* or more to feel good again. ( he told me of a car he had that needed 12* to return properly and not wander. ) He said it had to do with the design of the servo piston and valving.

Later, mikey
Okay--I mis-spoke (or typed) I actually implying position of the box. Could also be the twits at Sears set the toe incorrectly. My manual says 1/8 on each side, When I got the results of the alignment-the toe was set to 0 on both sides. As far as caster and camber go--only way I'm gonna get more of either is to cut the upper bracket and reposition it (NOT gonna happen).

As I have now been paying closer attention to the X-frame cars, I have also noticed that most of these cars have noticable neg camber at rest in the straight ahead position.

I am thinking that with the fat tires on the front (8-12'"), I am actually getting some toe-out while driving, add this to the spring & ball thingy in the 59-63 centerlink AND the 605 off center, could be compounding issues.

In no way am I implying that the car is unpleasant to drive, cause it is.
Still drives much better than when I got it, just not as true as I had hoped.

but, putting a 454 in it added a LOT of weight to the front of an already front-heavy car.

60 Biscayne people---
DO THE SWAP---car will be much more pleasant to cruise and steer.
3-1/2 turns lock to lock vs 6-1/2 to 7 on your car now--too much work to get into a parking spot.
OEM power steering has absolutely no road feel and the steering box that came with those cars had only a marginally better ratio.

Bryan
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