For most people, steering can be broken down quite simply: power or manual...sloppy or tight...working or not. Usually, it's not until that last one that folks start realizing the differences in various steering components, especially the effects they have on their truck's performance.
The older I get, the more I appreciate a good power steering setup. And why not-the less effort needed to make my truck turn, the better. But unlike a manual setup, where my hands were quick to report any possible problems-whether in the box, the suspension, or the tires-power assist can sometimes mask those little indications (at least for me). In the past, the only time I gave any attention to a power steering system was if I heard that unforgettable whine or felt any pulsating in the steering wheel. Other than that, if it was quiet and smooth, it worked. But was it working correctly? Up until now, I thought it was.
When I first took my '75 Cheyenne out to California Speedway to track-test the suspension, our guru test coordinator/Web manager Nick Licata quickly commented on how "off" the steering was and its effect on his slalom course times. Doubting his mechanical knowledge, I just told him he wasn't familiar enough with my truck, but he strongly disagreed. From that point on, I began to see what Nick was talking about-the steering's responsiveness (or lack thereof) was not as quick as it should be; rather, it was kind of sloppy. There wasn't excessive play, mind you, it just took more steering wheel rotation to navigate the truck. This was over a year ago...things gradually worsened.
All you need to upgrade your C-10's steering: Saginaw 800 power steering box from CPP, U-j
Seeing that the rag joint and slip yoke on the column were all but done with, I called the steering experts at Borgeson Universal to see what they thought. Instead of replacing the OE components, they suggested a trusty set of splined-to-Double-D (DD) joints, especially since I was already using an ididit column. Since I tend to drive the truck more like a sports car at times, they suggested I swap the old worn-out Saginaw box for a quicker-ratio one-except they were out of stock at the time. Borgeson steered me to one of their major dealers, CPP, who just happened to be right down the street from me, but more importantly, had the Saginaw 800 I needed on the shelf (Borgeson is currently in stock, as is CPP)
With all the components in hand, I set out to make the swap. As it turned out, the job was easy-two hours under the hood before the truck was back on the road. But what was even more surprising were the results. I had no idea just how loose my old box was until I piloted the truck down the street for the first time with the quicker-ratio (one full turn quicker compared to stock) Saginaw installed. Any movement on the steering wheel is immediately transmitted through the wheels. With the old box, you'd have to turn the wheel from 12 to 3 o'clock to get the same results!
Up until recently, the old Saginaw seemed to be holding up decently-until someone pointed
I'm pretty neutral about rag joints. I've never had a problem with one in the past, but st
As for the stock steering column slip joint, well, there's no question its time had come a
It doesn't matter if you start the removal process at the column or the pitman arm; I chos
Assuming your system is "wet," it's not a bad idea to throw a drip pan, towel, or what hav
To keep the remaining fluid in the system and off your chassis and driveway, cap the lines