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Old 09-03-2013, 10:59 PM
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Too powerful steering

Hi--Am new to the BB and have bought a 85 entry level 305 engined El Camino. It has the over-powerful steering common to the era. It is objectionable but I do not want to give up PS. Has anyone ever worked out a way to take some of the assist out? I think I know enough about hydraulics to do something outboard of the pump with a relief valve but if it can bed accomplished inside the existing pump or with a lower-pressure replacement, that would be way cool.

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Old 09-04-2013, 07:23 AM
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There is an article in one of the rodding mags on this. You take out the valve in the pressure side of the pump and add shims to reduce the pressure. I did this to my Chev pump to reduce pressure to the Mustang 2 rack i,m using in my 51 Chev and it works fine. Not sure of the mag but Rod & Custom sticks in my mind. The shims are under the 7/16 bolt in the valve.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:33 AM
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I appreciate the reply

Thanks loads and that would be a "no-cost" solution. Just FYI--I found source one the WEB for upgrade steering parts you might just file away---Detroit Speed builds new 12.7:1 replacement boxes, pumps and other parts for a complete upgrade. The parts cost around $1200 so it would be a second choice unless one were not budget sensitive. Once again Thaks
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:06 AM
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Something else to consider. Which box do you have? A 605 has the circle on top the other common one has a sort of a square with 4 bolts.

12:1 is a 'quicker' factory ratio. Check how many turns you have lock to lock to kind of determine your ratio. I don't know how many turns equals what for these but maybe you already have the quicker ratio. If so, you could set it aside and easily find something 'slower' that has a better feel.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:45 AM
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There are two ways to deal with this, reducing the pressure from the pump or changing the torsion bar in the steering box that sets the force required to turn the wheel. Reducing the pressure is easier. As noted above, you can shim the pressure regulating valve in the output port of the pump. This is a trial-and-error job, but as you note, it's pretty much free. An alternative is to get one of the adjustable pressure valves that are sold by places like Speedway motors. These simply plumb in line with the pressure line and can be adjusted with the turn of a screw.

The torsion bar in the steering box is what determines a high-effort vs. low-effort box. The stiffer the bar, the higher the steering effort. The largest (and thus stiffest) torsion bars came in police car steering boxes and WS6 Trans Am boxes. Power Steering Services can rebuild your box with both quick ratio 12.7:1) gears and a high-effort torsion bar.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:03 AM
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Go with what these guys are saying. My G-Body probably isn't as street-able with like a 6:1-ish final or about 1 & 1/4 turns lock to lock at the wheel I went down to to a 13" steering wheel as the 15" wheel requires an extremely steady hand at that ratio. Good luck!
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