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As some of you already know I have been working hard to get my V8 conversion Sonoma back on the road (so I will have time to work on my Nova again!!). Things were coming along just fine until about 30 minutes ago when I discovered that the PS pump pulley hits the steering box. Bummer!:(

It is a stock serpentine system out of a '98 Chevy 1500 series P/U. PS low and AC high on driver's side, alt high on passenger side.

Again, this is in my 1991 Sonoma (S-10) not my '71 Nova...the engine sits way back compared to where it sits in my Nova.

I'm thinking what alternatives do I have here, and I would welcome your advice....

Do they make smaller pulleys for GM PS pumps? This one is 6.5" in diameter. It looks like I would have to find one about 4.5" in diameter, which seems pretty extreme.

Can I run without the PS pump? I seem to remember that it gets very hard to steer w/o the pump. How big a deal is it to change out the steering box? The steering box in the truck looks like the steering box in the Nova, both are PS units. Are all GM PS steering boxes interchangeable with non-PS steering boxes? I see lots of steering boxes at swap meets and they all look the same to me.

Is there anything special about changing the steering box? Any special tools or tricks? Looks like 3 big bolts through the frame, the pitman (?) arm underneath and the steering column over a short spline shaft.

Please...any advice would be appreciated at this point!

Dave
 

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Switch out of the steering box to manual is pretty easy, as you noted. Make sure you have a puller to take the pitman arm off. The main difference is most manual boxes are slower, or easier to turn. More turns lock to lock. When all cars were manual big steering wheels were the norm also.
 
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