Convert to manual steering

hubedobeedo

3rd times a charm
Jul 18, 2013
1,045
Huntertown,IN
you can adjust the box. i have a manual box on my 71, which i just ordered a new 16:1 from Camaro central. it's made in USA, i could rebuild mine (kits available) but my original is 24:1 i kept the manual due to no drag on engine, there are manual racks available also. so i got my new box from Camaro central today, was very disappointed due to fact box is not made in USA . apparently, they pulled info off manuf. site and did not check if correct. wasted time there!
 

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CorkyE

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Nov 4, 2004
11,931
Ringgold, GA
I have to replace it I don't like the 2in or so of slack in the steering I'm considering manual steering box for a little hp gain and weight loss of the ps box & pump.
Power steering uses virtually no horse power when going straight, like down the drag strip. The pump is in bypass so it's not a draw on the engine. As for weight, unless you're going strip only, I can't see the gain worth the pain. New or rebuilt boxes are not that expensive and a lot less headache. IMHO
 

mallard

Veteran Member
Oct 3, 2013
2,123
SK, Canada
Power steering uses virtually no horse power when going straight, like down the drag strip. The pump is in bypass so it's not a draw on the engine. As for weight, unless you're going strip only, I can't see the gain worth the pain. New or rebuilt boxes are not that expensive and a lot less headache. IMHO
That was my thought as well. I wasn't about to "cast judgement" on someone else's car but for the .05 ET that might be saved unless he's doing some awful serious drag racing I don't see it as worth it. Like you said, get a rebuilt box and save a bunch of hassle.
 

70 SS/L78

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 5, 2005
2,976
Rockford, MN
If you drive the car on the street, then stick with power steering. I've had and have 70 Camaro's with manual and power steering. Power steering is so much easier to get around in.
 

Spankywrench

New Member
Dec 9, 2022
7
The power steering and the manual steering uses the same LENGTH (~8 inches) pitman arm, but the spline diameter is smaller on the manual box. To make it even more confusing the pitman arms even have the same number on them (3964881) but the power steering arm has a "P" stamped near the splined hole. The manual arm is hard to find as it was only used on the Z28. There may be aftermarket arms out there by now, but I do not know so this info may be obsolete. Non Z28's with manual steering used a shorter arm (~6-3/4) and the steering linkage made up for this arm with an offset in the linkage where it attaches to the arm. If you change to the more common short arm, you will have to change the steering linkage.

Here is the difference in the spline shaft diameter. This is a manual box and the calipers were set to the diameter in the PS box shaft:
View attachment 150711
Installed one on my 76 years ago. New for Z28 from Rick's Camaro, took 4 months to get it. I did have to change the pitman are but it all bolts right. I did install a larger diameter steering wheel to increase leverage.
 

hubedobeedo

3rd times a charm
Jul 18, 2013
1,045
Huntertown,IN
ended up with box made by Borgeson made in USA 16:1. like stated mine was factory manual, but for street, power would be far more convenient.
 

COPO

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Sep 15, 1999
22,263
Ontario, Canada
I had manual steering in my 71 Z28 with Firestone Wide Oval 60 bias ply tires and it was only hard to parallel park which I rarely did and don’t even do today. Didn’t mind manual steering.
 




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