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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have power steering in my 72 and have a cpp 14:1 close ratio steering box. I may have made the wrong decision with the close ratio box as I will never be doing any type of auto cross and may be the reason the car feels so lose on highway at 65 plus speeds.
So I am considering a original ratio box or going to manual steering.
I’m looking for a tighter feel on the road.
I guess I’m looking for opinions on the manual steering or factory ration box
 

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The 12.7:1 PS box out of a mid-80's Monte Carlo SS is a great steering gear. You
can buy a Cardone rebuilt from Rockauto for about $100. Cardone number: 276530.
This would be an OEM Saginaw unit. Not an off-shore whatever.
I don't think the ratio is your problem, more the manufacturer.
 

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... the car feels so lose on highway at 65 plus speeds.
It could be your front end alignment.... not enough positive caster.
When was the last time you had your front end alignment done?... do you know what the specs were set to? (caster, camber, toe-in)

The "tighter steering wheel feel" with power steering is a function of the internal components of the steering box. IIRC, the tighter feel is accomplished with a larger diameter torsion bar (T-bar).
 

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I wouldn’t really consider a 14:1 ratio a quick ratio box. 20:1 and 17:1 boxes of the 60’s were replaced by 14:1 in 1970 and 12.7:1 became the optional box on performance handling package upgrades from the factory through the 80’s and 90’s. The lower the first number the quicker the ratio.

I have a feeling you might have an alignment adjustment issue.. You might have a “toe out” condition. This is not uncommon to do on a race car setup for road racing. This make the car change direction more readily as the inside front wheel will turn in more aggressively.. It will also make the car feel a little more loose or twitchy going at speed on longer straight runs.. You can play with the toe adjustment by loosening the adjuster sleeves and rotating the sleeves to bring the wheels to a toe in attitude. Toe in will feel more stable and less twitchy at speed.. Make adjustments in equal amounts to both driver and passenger side. Make sure you pay attention to how much you rotate the sleeves. One full rotation is a big move adjustment wise so pay attention to what you do and do the same to both sides. Half and quarter turns are probably all you want to do at a time. Be sure to tighten up the adjuster sleeves when you’ve done your adjustments. Then take it for a test drive.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
  1. The car has a recent alignment with not to many miles on it at this point and definitely no harsh bumps or pot holes to throw it out. I have know idea of the specs but can say with certainty that it is the shop used by loads of muscle car guy in my area.
 

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You probably want to leave fairly stock but just adding my experience
I have a 63 2 door coupe
stock front suspension is way worse than 72
changed stock front suspension to cpp mini sub frame, manual rack and new column, new sway bar
80 mph on freeway and it handled like it was on rails
if you are ok not 100% stock going to a rack and pinion is the best thing you can do for these old cars
 

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I would like the see your CPP kit with a rack and pinion steering setup.. I have the CPP setup on my 64 already.. Do you have any pics or info on what you have..?
You probably want to leave fairly stock but just adding my experience
I have a 63 2 door coupe
stock front suspension is way worse than 72
changed stock front suspension to cpp mini sub frame, manual rack and new column, new sway bar
80 mph on freeway and it handled like it was on rails
if you are ok not 100% stock going to a rack and pinion is the best thing you can do for these old cars
 

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I will get some pics together today
the number of joints between steering wheel and tires was cut in half by going to rack
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I read once that the ratio would determine the steering wheel travel distance while the adjustment screw will determine the resistance needed to turn the steering wheel.
I’m thinking about turning the adjustment screw in a bit to attempt to tighten it up.
 

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I paid professional shops to do alignments on my trucks only to drive off with the vehicle pulling to one side or another or the steering wheel not being centered. These are place with high tech alignment tables..

I’ve been doing my own alignments for over 10 years and I don’t have any fancy expensive equipment.. Use your eyes look at your front wheels and line them up front to rear and top to bottom.. They should be pretty close to the rear wheels attitude..
 

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Putting a rack in a factory sub-frame is incredibly risky. They work well in a suspension system that is designed around the rack.....the '72 sub-frame is obviously not.
Flaming River ($$$) is probably the only company that makes conversions that does not take a Saginaw (typically a Celebrity) or TRW rack (Mustang ll) off the shelf and try to "make it work" with your factory package.
Thug is absolutely correct, your 14:1 box is not the quickest of ratios......the ratio is not the problem, If, as Rif asks, your alignment is fine and the rest of the wear components are good quality all you need is a good American made box. Either Sag or Borgeson.
 

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I read once that the ratio would determine the steering wheel travel distance while the adjustment screw will determine the resistance needed to turn the steering wheel.
I’m thinking about turning the adjustment screw in a bit to attempt to tighten it up.
I would not mess with that adjustment screw on the steering box. If you have a new steering box it should not need an internal adjustment.. The toe out condition I discussed earlier is a more likely cause for the symptoms you have expressed.

Older cars that had 20:1 and 17:1 steering boxes were manual boxes that any one could steer without a power assist option which is an external hydraulic ram that made it even easier to turn the high ratio boxes. There will be more turns of the steering wheel lock to lock with a high ratio box like a 20:1-17:1.. A quick ratio 12.7:1 or lower will have fewer turns of the wheel lock to lock 4.5 turns with a 20:1 box compared to 2.5 turns for a quick ratio 12.7:1..
 

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Sorry Alf but I completely disagree with your assessment, there is no reason the subframe needs to be designed for a rack
all the rack does is connect to steering column and both steering rods
yes you could do a crappy job and have problems but done well the subframe rails will have no idea a rack was put in
In the case of my rack in a 63, it was from flaming river, and even though you wrote ($$$) I thought it very reasonable for what you got
bracket bolted right up where steering box came off drivers side frame rail and where idler arm came off passenger side frame rail, bracket spanned frame rails and only helped stiffen up stock frame rails
my 63 with stock frame rails is way better with the rack than stock steering box, idler arm, etc
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So maybe my CPP box is a foreign made cheap unit, I will look for a borg or sag box and hope for the best.
 

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I agree with Nova Thug about the power steering adjustment screw.
I highly recommend to not mess with the adjustment nut & screw on your power steering box. This adjustment is set at the factory using a special tool while the steering box is removed from the vehicle. You should not attempt to adjust the power steering's adjustment screw in the same fashion that you would try to adjust a manual steering box (to remove the steering wheel play).
If you over-tighten the adjustment screw on the power steering box, the steering wheel will not return to center after a turn. Too loose and the steering will feel very unresponsive (ask me how I know).
 

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I currently have power steering in my 72 and have a cpp 14:1 close ratio steering box. I may have made the wrong decision with the close ratio box as I will never be doing any type of auto cross and may be the reason the car feels so lose on highway at 65 plus speeds.
So I am considering a original ratio box or going to manual steering.
I’m looking for a tighter feel on the road.
I guess I’m looking for opinions on the manual steering or factory ration box
My 77 Nova never felt right even after I installed a rebuilt steering box. When I dropped the front end 2 1/2" it handled so much better. I think it went more positive camber, if that sounds right.
 

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just FYI - - - was your original steering box = power .
the p/s steering box & manual str. box " use completely different pitman - arms . There , again … if you want too change-over to the manual box ………… you DO NEED the correct (for manual steering box ) pitman arm .
More $$$$$ .

I'm just saying ……………. jim
 
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