Manual Steering Conversion Comparision


Active Member
Dec 9, 2004
I posted this in another thread, but it is good to make this a separate thread. I'll provide updates as I go

I am converting my GN from power steering to manual to shed some weight up front. I am hoping to loose about 30lbs. Well see. I have been researching this stuff for two days and have hassled every manual steering vendor/manufacture from coast to coast for exact information.

THREE options as I see it right now.
1. S10 conversion. Several to choose from. The 85 - 92 (appox) have 4 bolts holding the top are appox 24:1 and are lighter than the power steering, but heavier than the option below. It is also the cheapest for several reasons. One you can reuse the stock pitman arm or the S10 pitman arm (one of them anyway).

2. Vega box (140) not recommend by manufacture for vehicles over 2600lbs.
There are several vendors, but I wanted a reputable manufacture. Also I want to find everything I needed for the entire conversion.

Manufacture = Flaming River
  • Vega box - PN FR1500 (20:1) / FR1500Q (16:1) , 11.25lbs, 5/8 " 36spline input shaft, 1" 32 spline output shaft (sector) = $375/ $475
  • Pitman arm - PN FR1009532 6" center to center, 1.5" drop, no offset, fits Vega Box sector = $310 - I did a price challenge with Summit and I believe they are changing the price to $223 (still high)
  • Telescopic Arm - FR1856S - $120
  • U-joint to Steering column - FR1717 - $75
  • U-joint to Vega box - FR1735 - $75
Total cost with 20:1 FR1500 = $865
Note: Pete and Jakes Hot Rod shop has a pitman arm that is real close and I think will work. specs = 5.75" center to center, 1.25"drop, no offset. = $155

3. GM 525 manual box (Vega Boxes big brother)
Manufacture = Borgeson
  • 525 manual box 16:1 quick turn ration - PN 920028, Specs = 16.75lbs, 3/4" 36 spline input shaft, 1 1/8" 32 spline output shaft = $490. The standard 525 PN920010 box is 24:1 ratio, but is $100 bucks or more cheaper.
  • Telescopic shaft 26" long, 1" DD to 3/4" DD (place the big end to the steering column out of firewall) PN 450024 = $75
  • Ujoint - PN 015252 steering column to telescopic shaft = $75
  • Ujoint - PN 013449 telescopic shaft to manual box input = $75
  • Best of all they have a pitman arm that is designed for the conversion.
  • Pitman - PN 806019 6.25" center to center, 1.5" drop, no offset, fits 525 box sector = $85
Total cost for 525 box setup is $800.
Some additional notes: The flaming river 525 box is not 20:1 but 24:1 standard. Also the sector output shaft is 1"36 spline according to them, so you will have to mate the correct pitman arm up. I would need check if this sector size is the same as their vega box's sector size. If so, then you can use their $200 pitman arm to connect the 525 box to the Buick steering linkage. Which BTW is a non-wear tapper style. I an not sure of the tapper degrees ( I think 7deg is standard) if someone can verify that, I would appreciate it...
the FR1495 is a kit that comes with the 20:1 box, a u joint of some kind, and a intermediate shaft that is useless from what i hear.
Im leaning toward the standard ration 525 box. Price = $320. The input shaft is 3/4 30spline shaft so it will take a different ujoint that the 16:1 ratio box. I have the part number at work and will post it Monday.