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Old 04-22-2003, 08:10 AM
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Post Hot Rod steering box help!

I'm looking at steering boxes for my Topolino-based rod. I'd like to do drag link as opposed to cross steering-Vega type.

What's a good box to use? I'm looking for the pitman arm outside the frame kind of look, then a straight shot to the drivers side wheel via drag link (it is a straight axle front end).

65-72 Mopar looks like it's be good, but I'd have to flip the box over to get the pitman arm out the driver's side. Any problems with doing that?

Thanks-
Paul

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Old 04-22-2003, 09:33 AM
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I'm looking for the same kind of thing for my '27 Nash (boat-tail hand-fabbed...weird!) Speedway now makes a new reversed Corvair box I was gonna go with but it is a little expensive for my pocket- I was told earlier Ford truck (mid 40's?) any response would interest me also. If it is like what I want you turn wheel to right, arm pulls back outside driver's side frame rail. (like dry lakes roadsters?) I have a Saginaw Bear in it now and no one can tell me the year or what it is out of.... (it is also kinda BIG...)
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:38 AM
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Reversed Corvair by all means. That is the classic gasser box, I run one on my Willys. I can show you how to very easily reverse it yourself, just find a stock 'vair unit to start with. Requires a tiny bit of lathe work and, depending on what you pay for the original box, you can do it very inexpensively.

Here is the stock box with the steering shaft sticking out the bottom. All you need to do is turn the shaft over so it comes out the top.

Box comes in two versions, the aluminum one shown which polishes up nicely and an iron version which is the same size but doesn't have the strengthening ribs that can be chromed. Borgeson carries adapters for these boxes.

In fact, I just went to ebaY (4/22/03) and there is a stock aluminum as described above for sale. There are also three long shaft iron (1965) ones for sale too. They are not as popular as the short shaft ones but otherwise are identical. You could have the shaft shortened (one of the ebaY boxes already has a shortenend shaft) and a double D machined on it and come up with a cheap box. There always seems to be one or two for sale on ebaY. I have seen them fairly regularly and very recently at my Pick-A-Part too.



[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</p>
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:24 PM
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Thanks willys... hope this helps ptsherman as well. I guess I don't know what you mean by turning the shaft over, but if I finally get one I'll remember your advice. What is a 'reasonable' price for a Corvair box? And is Speedway out of line w/ their new reversed units or have you seen them? (I think they are $300....)
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:18 PM
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I have bought two 'spare' units on ebaY for $50. One is already polished and reversed and one is the stock one in the picture above. I just put a bid of $50 and let it ride. Had to bid on half a dozen until my bid hit on the two I finally got. I wouldn't pay over $50 for a core.

The shaft reversing procedure is VERY simple. Just have the pot metal screw in adjusting nut (on top in the picture above) bored the same size as the hole in the bottom where the shaft originally comes out. Then remove the lip seal and tap in a welch plug in the old hole in the box body, put a new lip seal in the new hole in the lid and assemble the unit. There are identical ball bearings in both ends of the unit so the shaft can go in either way as long there is a hole there.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:34 PM
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These will work BUT I would not put one on a vechicle that weighs over 2800 LBS or so.




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Old 04-22-2003, 02:42 PM
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The reversed Corvair box is good for light vehicles only. I use and prefer the '56 Ford F100 steering box. Early Mustang steering boxes can also be used BUT the pitman arm will be UP and this will only work well with 4 bar radius rods. If split wishbones are used with the pitman arm facing up you will experience some serious 'bump steer'.

Forget using the Mopar box. It is too large and the pitman arm will also have to be placed in the UP position to work.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:17 PM
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My Willys weighs 3000# and the Corvair has worked fine on it for over 10 years. That is probably the upper bound for weight w/ the Corvair. If you are concerned about strength, the iron gear will be stronger than the aluminum one.

I wouldn't have any concerns about putting it on a light Topolino or '27 Nash.

[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</p>
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:34 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by Frisco:
<strong>
Forget using the Mopar box. It is too large and the pitman arm will also have to be placed in the UP position to work.</strong><hr></blockquote>


That's too bad too 'cause the Mopar box is a very good looking unit.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:06 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by willys36@aol.com:
<strong>
I wouldn't have any concerns about putting it on a light Topolino or '27 Nash.

[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</strong><hr></blockquote>


A Topolino..........no problem.

A 27 Nash should weigh more than 2800-3000 lbs when rodded.

I almost always agree with your advice
but to me the Willys ( a neat car by the way ) does not LOOK that heavy. I know....it's your car but my 40 Ford coupe weighs less than 3000 lbs. My coupe is all stock but the 283 Chevrolet.




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Old 04-22-2003, 09:42 PM
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Can anyone help me with the better way to go for a 56 chev...for power steering...and disk brakes
I called meyers racing and they suggest a hub to hub system for slightly under 3 grand.
any idea?
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Old 04-22-2003, 10:15 PM
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I was amazed too but I took it to the local recycling center scales and it weighs almost exactly 3000#. Hemi, cast iron intake manifold, cast iron hydro, air conditioning full interior, 1/2" thick fiberglass hood, and no attempt by thr builder (me!) to be light weight all add up quick I guess!

And I suppose I am so jaundiced to bogus advice from rod magazines. They all say don't use the Corvair box on anything heavier than a lawn tractor yet I have never heard of any problem with ANY steering gear for that matter! Maybe I live a sheltered life. Anyway, I see them used in all kinds of rods, big and little and those same cars keep showing up to rod runs and drags year after year so I am assuming the rod magazines are wrong again.

Corvairs look at least as robust as MII rack and pinion gears and no one seems to have a problem installing them on 3000#+ cars and pickups. In summary, my opinion (and that is the ONLY thing I am expert in!) is that there is no problem with using the 'vair box on most street rods.

[ April 23, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</p>
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Old 04-23-2003, 04:43 AM
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(Even though I didn't ask the question) My thanks for the advice- esp. willys- When the little Nash is done I doubt it will weigh over 2800lb. I'll post a pic or two soon- it is very similar to a T-bucket, but I've added a boattail and will do some strange fins and either a bubble (another topic!) or small Zipper style roof. Plans are for Ford 351 motivation, but that may change. As it sits now without engine I can lift the front end off the ground- (if I grunt!!) Hopefully the Corvair will do my needs well.
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Old 04-23-2003, 06:15 AM
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You should be able to use the Ford pickup boxes from 49-56 (53-56 being preferred) if you must have drag link to the front left wheel steering. Just remember that with the pitman pointing down ground clearance is a big issue. If you shorten it much your turning radius goes to hell in a handbasket. Just mount the box high enough and forward enough to eliminate this problem.
Be advised, a good steering box from an oooolllddddd pickup truck is not easy to find. The parts are all available new but no longer cheap.
As far as cross-steering goes, try Mustang (which includes Cougar, Falcon, Comet), any 37-48 Ford passenger car or 37-47 Ford pickup, and on the smaller car side the Toyota Celica (yes, I said Toyota) They used steering boxes that look like a 30% smaller Mustang box on the Celica for years up into the 80s before going to R&P.
All the above work well flipped on their side for front to back steering too.
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Old 04-23-2003, 07:22 AM
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Dragon J, I'd really like some pics of that 27 Nash rod! I print a little AMC related magazine, would be something nice to put in there. I'm sure you're using Chevy or Ford power, but I'll run it anyway ;&gt;. I'd laike to see one rodded with a Nash or AMC inline six (the Borla header on a 4.0L would look nice in there!) or one of the old Nash inline eights. One of the speed parts companies (I think Crower?) made a Nash straight eight drag car a few years ago.
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