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Old 01-23-2021, 12:28 PM   #1
jmlloar
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Steering conversion questions

working on my 55.2 gmc 3/4 ton

converted to 73-87 power steering box. I'm not to happy with tire clearance when turning right. What has anyone else done to help this.

or.... looking at rack and pinion conversion, but only see half ton kits. what is the difference between the two? I was thinking that the axle is slightly larger which would mean just a larger set of brackets to be fabbed up. anyone?????

Looked at the kit for factory location steering box but engine clearance is an issue with my LS conversion.

Just looking for opinions and ideas. All are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:01 PM   #2
mr48chev
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Re: Steering conversion questions

A rack added to an I beam is more unsprung weight added to the axle and then you have the slip shaft/flex shaft issue to fight. Rack mounted to the frame rails to steer the I beam won't work as it causes severe bump steer.

Unisteer says that their "universal" cross steer rack won't work on parallel leaves in their catalog.

A lot of guys run that front mount power steering setup and I haven't heard of many issues, could your wheel and tire choice be part of the problem?

It seems that a lot of guys are going electric power steering now.

I picked up one from an Equinox a couple of years ago and then discovered that they can be more than a bit twitchy when installed in a custom or hot rod. The Prius electric assist units are supposed to be pretty good though.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:36 PM   #3
jmlloar
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Re: Steering conversion questions

I'm sure wheel tire combo could help, but Ive already moved the hub to hub distance about 1.5 inches wider. a narrower wheel would probably help and or less back spacing. At the moment I have factory 88 and up 16in wheels on it. its what I had on hand to let me roll it around. only other wheels I had at the time were the factory 55 15in wheels and they wont clear brakes.

At present if I turn wheels as far as possible to the right (tire touching steering box) I can almost put 2 fingers between steering arm and the stop.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: Steering conversion questions

ok so put a spacer between the steering arm and the stop. that will limit right hand turning radius and prevent the tire from rubbing. Not perfect but it solves the problem.
or use a wheel spacer.
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Last edited by nvrdone; 01-24-2021 at 12:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:34 AM   #5
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Re: Steering conversion questions

thats what I'm trying to avoid. its not the rubbing, its the severely reduced turning radius.

spacer will move tires out to far. need to keep them under fenders.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:11 PM   #6
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Re: Steering conversion questions

spacers depend on the axle and wheel combo. Ive got a stock dropped axle, drum brakes, chevy rally wheels and 1" spacers. the tires are about 3/4" inside the fender. the steering arm spacer is on the left side and it does limit the turning circle but not by much.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:02 PM   #7
jmlloar
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Re: Steering conversion questions

my brake/hub conversion has me at least 1.5 wider so thats a 3/4 wheel spacer on each side. if I drop down in wheel width and aftermarket wheels with less back space it would help. but looking for other options
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Old 01-24-2021, 03:18 PM   #8
nvrdone
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Re: Steering conversion questions

here's a thought - before you buy spacers grab some nuts & flat washers. make a 3/4" stack & screw them on the studs. then mount the wheel / tire combo to see how much clearance you really have. you could change the stack to 1/2" and try that. BUT DONT DRIVE THE TRUCK WITH THIS SET UP.
I still think spacers are your best choice at this point. I've had mine mounted for about 30 + years with no problems. But I do repack the bearings every year.
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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Re: Steering conversion questions

spacers are out of the question for me.
the hubs and rotors doesn't give me enough stud length.
the factory wheels have more backspace than aftermarket. swapping them would give me approx a half inch more. and going down to maybe a 5.5 or 6in wheel will also add some more clearance. Overall I am a good 3 inches wider at the outside from tire to tire now. I don't know how much I can do because I don't have any fenders to check the actual look with wheels installed. The plus side is I'm staying at factory ride height so with it being 3/4 ton I should be ok with clearance I just was hoping for a more tucked in look.

This is all try and error.

worked at restoration shop and have done lots of custom work over the years.
I just got an idea of what I want and am having a hard time getting it just right.

Check out my custom front brake setup to get an idea of where I am.

Problem with custom stuff is when you modify 1 thing it effects 2 more things.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:42 PM   #10
57tailgater
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Re: Steering conversion questions

I assume with all this you are running 3/4 ton style wheels and tires which may be taller which then wind up running into your steering box. With the box on the outside of the frame rail, you lose clearance turning to the right. Have you considered maybe changing to a CPP 400 style steering box that puts it in the stock location? You already have the pump etc. I believe it uses the stock style steering arms and drag link too.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Steering conversion questions

I looked into the cpp box. I would have to make custom headers to clear the ls engine. Its alot wider than a small block chevy. I would have preferred going that route. but it seams to be the hardest way to go with my setup.
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:36 PM   #12
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Re: Steering conversion questions

Quote:
worked at restoration shop and have done lots of custom work over the years.
I just got an idea of what I want and am having a hard time getting it just right.

Check out my custom front brake setup to get an idea of where I am.

Problem with custom stuff is when you modify 1 thing it effects 2 more things.
Is using a power ram with modified OE box an option? It would allow you to keep a smaller box and factory geometry. Modify a drag link to connect to a control valve then install the ram from frame to tie rod?

Also, do you have a link to the custom front brake stuff?
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:15 PM   #13
jmlloar
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Re: Steering conversion questions

[QUOTE=Also, do you have a link to the custom front brake stuff?[/QUOTE]

https://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/...72#post8709772

still have to fab up caliper brackets

8 lug trailer hubs, 1999 3/4 ton 4x4 rotors 2007 3/4 ton 2 piston calipers.
steering box from 75 and up 2wd with oring style fitting and factory lines from the 2002 gmc 1/2 ton engine donor truck. And 4l80e from 99 3/4 ton and rear diff from same truck.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:56 PM   #14
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Re: Steering conversion questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlloar View Post
https://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/...72#post8709772

still have to fab up caliper brackets

8 lug trailer hubs, 1999 3/4 ton 4x4 rotors 2007 3/4 ton 2 piston calipers.
steering box from 75 and up 2wd with oring style fitting and factory lines from the 2002 gmc 1/2 ton engine donor truck. And 4l80e from 99 3/4 ton and rear diff from same truck.
I made 2 brackets into one on my 53/3100. Good luck, do your math.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:42 PM   #15
1project2many
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Re: Steering conversion questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlloar View Post
https://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/...72#post8709772

still have to fab up caliper brackets

8 lug trailer hubs, 1999 3/4 ton 4x4 rotors 2007 3/4 ton 2 piston calipers.
steering box from 75 and up 2wd with oring style fitting and factory lines from the 2002 gmc 1/2 ton engine donor truck. And 4l80e from 99 3/4 ton and rear diff from same truck.
Thank you.

Other steering box ideas:

Scout II steering box


Range Rover P38 Steering Box


78-79 Bronco / 76-79 F150 box (appears to require 4X4X2 swap)


Delphi conversion box for Bronco
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:53 PM   #16
jmlloar
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Re: Steering conversion questions

thanks. pretty much what I figured.

probably deal with what I have or try to clearance headers for the ccp box
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