Steering box excessive play?

Toby_Goodmk

Test Fit officianto
I can tell it's winter. You sit around in the evenings when it's dark and nothing to do thinking what is next to replace on the car.

So after I have replaced all the body bushings, missing braces, added the GNX brace, etc. I have come across another item that needed attention.

I have slop in the gear box. It appears I can move the wheel with no movement in the tires about 10 +/- degrees at the wheel. I guess another way to describe would be to set the wheel straight and look at the bottom spoke on the steering wheel. Before the tires move the spoke on the wheel would be pointed at 5:30pm or 6:30pm. This is on unladen suspension.

Obviously checked the following:

* tie rod ends, ball joints, center, idler, etc... All are good shape nice and tight.
* I have a Jeep shaft, all is nice and tight.
* Steering column. All is nice and tight, When I turn the wheel, I can see rotation right into the gear
* This is a newer Cardone unit.

So I performed the following:

Mind you, if someone can show me a procedure for setting preload on these 800 saginaws in the service manual please tell me where cause this is where I looked first, nada.

* Jacked the car up with suspension unladen tires in the air
* started the car and rotated wheels, shut car back off
* Took two turns of preload on the gear
* Drove the car and scared the shit out of me

My steering became super sensitive. I guess adding preload removed play (which it did) but at the same time did not allow a smooth "return" from turning the wheel when driving. It was like driving a car with no caster...constantly needing to correct the direction of the car with steering wheel, versus the geometry helping.

I went back to the gear and removed one full turn (of the two I did) and will see how that feels when road conditions are less "wintry."

* Anyone else out there have experience in trying different methods to get a more positive steering feel?

* Is there a new box that can be had, for less than 900$??

* does it appear the box is shit?
 
I was able to find some good information out there by googling saginaw 800 steering box rebuild and it comes recommended to adjust preload (which I did 2 complete turns, bad!) in small increments. THere is also an adjustment that can be made at the input shaft bearing load that can be performed as well. For best results the box needs removed from the car first. SO Ill do this and see how it reacts.
 
Have you replaced your steering shaft ? The rag joint in on it has a bunch of play so a lot of ppl replace it with a jeep steering shaft to eliminate the rag joint . I have replaced it on many turbo Buick's and it definitely tightens the steering up considerably
 

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Have you replaced your steering shaft ? The rag joint in on it has a bunch of play so a lot of ppl replace it with a jeep steering shaft to eliminate the rag joint . I have replaced it on many turbo Buick's and it definitely tightens the steering up considerably
Read his post, Jeep shaft

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Get the front wheels off the ground on jack stands, loosen the nut around the allen screw, and tighten the allen screw until you feel it doesn't want to get tight anymore. You don't have to over do it. Then turn the steering wheel 3 times full left and full right. Now tighten the allen screw again. Do this a couple more times. On about the third time, you will feel some tension in the steering wheel at the straight ahead position. Back out the allen screw a smidgeon, tighten the set nut, let the car down off the jack stands, and you are done. Go for a ride..

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I just installed this 600 series box from TurnOne. Usually they're $799 but had a black Fri sale for $680. Have not tried it yet as the car isn't running. 5lbs lighter over stock. Scott at GNS is a vendor for them.

They also made me an aluminum bodied power steering pump with AN fittings. They upgraded the pressure so it would work well with the hydro boost.
 
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