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Old 10-26-2021, 10:59 PM   #1
forestb
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Switching power steering gear box problem

A few months ago I was having trouble with my power steering gearbox. The mechanic was going to switch it out for a new one. I decided it would be a good time to change it to a gearbox to one that would have a quicker turning ratio. When they did this is really screwed up my turn radios. Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas?
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:09 PM   #2
AcampoDave
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

So, how many turns of the wheel does it take you to go from stop to stop? Also, is th ox at the mid-point of its travel when the wheels are staight? Im not clear on what exactly is meant by a screwed up turn ratio. I have a power steering conversion and my truck turns a bit sharper left than it does right, but I attribute that to the mounting bracket spacing the box away from the frame.

Last edited by AcampoDave; 10-26-2021 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:55 PM   #3
forestb
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

Sorry I wasn’t clear. I meant that the turn radios was much tighter with the old box than it is now.

I will have to check on how many turns it now takes.
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:38 PM   #4
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

When it came to the stock power sfeering boxes for a 70's/80's C10, the quicker ratio box was 3.3 turns lock to lock and those started later in the run. Before that they were 4.5. Another consideration is the pitman arm. If yours was perhaps changed to something shorter than before, it would have an adverse effect on the radius.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:25 PM   #5
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

Huh, I was looking at the parts list on my Receipt. It doesn’t show a new pitman arm. If my memory serves me correctly the steering linkage is so close to the front of the cross member that if the pitman arm was any shorter the linkage would contact the cross member.
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:04 AM   #6
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

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Huh, I was looking at the parts list on my Receipt. It doesnít show a new pitman arm. If my memory serves me correctly the steering linkage is so close to the front of the cross member that if the pitman arm was any shorter the linkage would contact the cross member.
Mine is close too. Same with my friends trucks too
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I should have stated what I meant by that. The pitman arm on the old gear box made things so close that they almost touch. So my thinking is if they shortened it when installing the new gear box then it would probably would have made contact. So I am thinking that they probably did not switch it out. The boos out of town at the mechanics that I took it to. So I am not able to ask him about it until Monday
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Old 10-29-2021, 04:35 PM   #8
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

so whats screwed up?
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Old 10-29-2021, 04:42 PM   #9
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

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so whats screwed up?
explane
I have much larger turn radius with the new quicker ratio gear box, than I did, with the slower ratio gear box. Or in the most simplest of terms, my wheels don't turn as far as they used to, in both directions. I am not trying to be sarcastic or sound like I am talking down. I just seem to be having a hard time describing a simple thing.

Last edited by forestb; 10-29-2021 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 10-29-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

Your not. It was just difficult to understand. I wonder why it turns less tight? I'm going to have to check mine out also, i keep thinking it shoul have a tighter radius.
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Old 10-29-2021, 08:49 PM   #11
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

When I turn the wheel to the left it turns 2.5 times. When I turn it to the right it turns 1.25 times. It is 2.75 turns from lock to lock. Thereís nothing that I can tell that is interfering with the rotor assembly and tires that is keeping them from turning any further from what I can tell. Here are some photos I took of the wheels at full lock. Tomorrow I will look underneath to see if there is any interference in the linkage.
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:17 PM   #12
The Rocknrod
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

Remove the pitman arm, center the steering box from right to left and re-install the pitman arm.. or center the steering box then remove the pitman arm, center the steering wheel and re-asemble. Or take it in and have it done for you.
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I agree that it doesn't seem the box is centered properly
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:51 PM   #14
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I agree also but even with that being said I still think that it is not turning enough especially if it is supposed to have 3.3 turns like AcampoDave said earlier.
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Old 10-29-2021, 11:12 PM   #15
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

The 3.3 that I mentioned applies to the oem boxes for 70's and early 80's trucks. Is it possible you have some other kind of box? Also I had a question about Rocknrod's idea of recentering the pitman arm on the box... isnt it made with one spline that is wider than the others so that it can only be clocked in a specific position?. I seem to remember something about seeing that on mine. Also if you were to disconnect the tie rod and recenter that, you would need to take up the difference at the ends which might necessitate a toe in adjustment when all is said and done.

Last edited by AcampoDave; 10-29-2021 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:03 AM   #16
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

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Originally Posted by forestb View Post
When I turn the wheel to the left it turns 2.5 times. When I turn it to the right it turns 1.25 times. It is 2.75 turns from lock to lock. There’s nothing that I can tell that is interfering with the rotor assembly and tires that is keeping them from turning any further from what I can tell. Here are some photos I took of the wheels at full lock. Tomorrow I will look underneath to see if there is any interference in the linkage.
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I agree also but even with that being said I still think that it is not turning enough especially if it is supposed to have 3.3 turns like AcampoDave said earlier.
I don't know, it comes out to 4 turns total to me. Mine has four larger splines on it for centering. The pitman arm has only one. AcampoDave is right you may have to center the hole thing spindle to spindle. Wish I was there to help.
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Old 10-30-2021, 09:16 AM   #17
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

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I don't know, it comes out to 4 turns total to me. Mine has four larger splines on it for centering. The pitman arm has only one. AcampoDave is right you may have to center the hole thing spindle to spindle. Wish I was there to help.
Thanks me too. My biggest fear is that they installed a gear box that doesnít work for my application and I will need a different one.

I guess that I am assuming that the gear box has some kind of built in stops. Is that true or would it just keep on turning if disconnected from the pitman arm?
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:43 AM   #18
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

No it wont keep turning, and your spindles have stops also at the A-Arm most likely if they're not stock (mine do, POL). I forget if the stock ones do.
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:21 AM   #19
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I have cpp spindles and they don’t have stops
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Old 10-30-2021, 02:34 PM   #20
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I took a look underneath this morning at full lock on both sides there’s no interference. The pitman arm looks like the same one as the one I installed when in installed it with the old box. When I look at the splines on the steering box the notch that is in the splines to locate the pitman arm is facing straight forward. The only thing I can think of that is effecting the turn radios is the actual box. There is a small whiteness mark on my sway bar where it looks like my tire had made contact and the tire was around 1.5” away from it at full lock. I am thinking that it happened with the old box. When I had my truck at the transmission shop the other day he felt that it was almost undrivable as far as the tun radios goes.
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Old 10-31-2021, 09:23 AM   #21
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

Sounds similar to the situation I had when I converted to power steering. I turned the box to center the output shaft of the gear box by turning lock to lock then installed the pitman arm which can go on in four different locations, installed my rag joint and put it on the truck. I took it to the shop to get it aligned and on the way home almost missed my driveway. Turned all the way to the left but not to the right. I took the truck to another alignment shop and they had to remove the pitman arm and rag joint, re-center the box, and adjust the tie rods which were no where close to even. So long story short I had set up the gearbox wrong when I installed it.
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Old 10-31-2021, 12:03 PM   #22
forestb
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

My turn radios is bad in both directions. I’m not sure if the slight difference from side to side is my biggest problem.
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Old 10-31-2021, 01:24 PM   #23
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

I guess I'd put the front on some stands with the wheels and suspension hanging free. Then, I'd slide under, grab a wheel and watch as I turned turn back and forth. If that revealed nothing certain, I would then disconnect the tie rod at the pitman arm and give the box a back and forth checking to see if the tie rod assembly is the limiting factor or if it's the box itself. Hopefully, that would provide a clue. Then after correcting any obvious problems (i.e. upsidedown or backwards tie rod) I would center the box in it's travel like this... https://youtu.be/LlhUaoE4zBo

Provided the tie rod is proper and the pitman arm is clocked correctly on the box, I would keep my steering wheel centered as in the video, then center my wheels and adjust the end links until the eye of the tie rod landed "boom" dead center on the pitman arm stud. With a power steering conversion adapter plate on the frame, it's likely the end rods will be unevenly adjusted with regard to left and right since the box itself is spaced off the frame by the width of the adapter. I would not be shocked if I had to give up a bit of right hand radius so as not to overextend the threads of the endlink on one side. After that it would be likely that the steering wheel would need to be removed and recentered.

Edit: as an afterthought it occured to me that if my lock to lock turn count was markedly lessened upon reconnecting the tie rod, I would surmise that the problem lied within my suspension as opposed to the box.

Last edited by AcampoDave; 10-31-2021 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 10-31-2021, 06:37 PM   #24
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Re: Switching power steering gear box problem

If I don’t take it to the mechanic that messed it up by next weekend I am going to turn my wheels from lock to lock and mark the position of the pitman arm. Then I will disconnect the pitman arm from the linkage and then see if it is stopping at the same location.
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