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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed excessive play in the steering gearbox ( almost 3”) which is causing the car to wander going down the road. The steering is a traditional drag link to left spindle with a drag tie rod going under the split wishbones. The spring is on top of a 3” dropped tube axle with round back spindles.

I adjusted some of the play out of by means of the sector adjustment. (Now about 1 1/2”) The gearbox appears to be a manual Saginaw gearbox with the number 7809666 casted into the body. Upon farther research it appears this box was used in the 60-70’s on a variety of GM vehicles. The set up seems to be simple and straightforward so I really don’t wasn’t to re-invent the wheel. I think the box is worn out.

Has anyone had any first hand experience with this gearbox? Most street rods of the era seemed to use reverse Corvair, F1, or F100 gearboxes.
 

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I would also see where the toe is set, And also jack up the front (wheels off the ground) and grab each wheel at the front and back and try moving it back and forward to see if you also have play some wheres else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have jacked up the front end and checked for play. Grabbing the top & bottom of the right wheel there was no play but grabbing the right & left sides of the tire there appears to be less than 1/8” of movement in the right tie rod end. Plan on replacing that this weekend. All other tie rods ends and king pins are tight. Will check toe in after tie rod end replacement. The steering box appears to be the source of excessive movement even after adjustment. The rag joint will be checked as well.
 

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How much caster does the front end have? I run about 8 to10 degrees in my Model A and it tracks straight as can be, with 1/8" toe. I can take my hands off the wheel and the car just cruises doen the road nice and straight. When I first built the car, I leveled the frame and put the cross member in at 3 degrees. Big mistake, didn't take into account the rake of the car. The car was unpredictable like your describing. To fix it, I measured the chassis rake at ride height and added another 10 degrees when I welded the cross member back in. The only issue I have is a slight vibration that starts at 65 and gets worse as the speed increases up to about 80 then starts going away, it's very irritating, right at the speed I want to drive. I've narrowed it down to the steering box (swap meet Vega). With the front raised off the ground, I can grab a front wheel and move it left and right and I can hear the steering box lash bang as I move the wheel from side to side, just as the wheel begins to switch direction. I have torn the box apart and adjusted per the manual many times, but the only thing I can do to change the problem is tighten adjuster screw on top ot the box out of spec, so I bought a new one from Borgeson, just haven't put it in yet. Just my two cents. Hope this helps you.

Keith
 
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