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  • Steering Gear Upgrade Project

    First Gen PS box to Third Gen PS box

    I wanted a heavier feeling steering box so after exhaustive research I decided the best route was to install a third gen box into my 69 Camaro. This requires multiple items that need to be addressed but its all documented here!

    1. New PS unit
    2. New PS unit uses different metric adapters
    3. New PS unit uses different coupler size
    After reading tons of message boards I found that most people recommended Lee Manufacturing to get the adapters
    1. #40620 - pressure
    2. #40630 - return
    New Unit uses different coupler size

    They recommend a GM 7826542 coupler and 7807271 bolt.
    They recommend a Steering Gear box for an 84-92 Chevrolet Camaro with Performance Suspension.

    1. I called Lee first, and glad I did! They are VERY familiar now with this upgrade and actually stock the coupler as well and package it as a whole kit for only $85 (new coupler + two inserts)!! Coupler is $44 from Rockauto, its MotorMite Part #31011, but you still need the inserts from Lee
    2. I called my local Kragen Auto Parts (partsamerica.com) and ordered a Cardone 276550 for $139.99, it took only 1 day to get the unit to the local store so I could pick it up. $25 core but my old unit can be returned to get that back. Unfortunately it seems Kragen charges different prices for this unit based on where you are in the country, so your price might differ, and in that case you should consider RockAuto.com for $116

    TOTAL COST: $140 + $85 = $225 for a late model fast ratio heavy feeling system, new!


    Other Options:


    Install Notes:

    The new Cardone unit is painted black but it was a sloppy job that probably wouldn't last long, so I sprayed auto paint remover on the box and wiped away the paint a few times until it was bare metal. I then used Simple Green and Metal Ready to clean the box up really nice. Mine had a nice polished top so I masked that area and the splines off and put two coats of POR15 Black on the unit. Once that dried, I removed the masking tape from the top and masked the rest of the unit. I then sprayed 2 coats of clear enamel to protect the polished top from rust.

    If you have headers you need to unbolt the header from your exhaust pipe, loosen up all the bolts for the header to the intake manifold so that the bottom of header can swing towards the transmission. This is necessary to provide room to pull the steering box out.

    I had to unbolt the two large bolts that hold the steering column to the dash, unbolt the 4 (1/2") bolts that hold the bracket to the column, remove the 2 bolts holding the plastic cover near the firewall and loosen the 2 bolts on the column clamp. This allowed me to pull the column about 2" towards the driver seat to give me enough room to get the old rag joint out and new one in.

    Old Notes:
  • Weatherhead units below seem to be a great solution verses the Lee Inserts according to MikeRS68, I haven't tried them yet but plan to purchase some
  • If Lee Manfuacturing was out of business I could have gone to Napa Auto Parts and bought these which supposedly work just as well:
    Notes, currently I am told the Pressure side fitting will not work, its not the right size, not confirmed.