Replacement steering box and column

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Replacement steering box and column

Postby 1972_GT_Wagon » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:26 pm

So, I just recently picked up my first H-body project in the form of a 1972 Vega GT wagon. Was a great deal, but has on major issue; it has no steering box, and the column is missing the entire steering shaft. I've Googled it to death, but found very little reference to what might interchange with the factory H-body parts (might cave and check out my local library's massive Hollander manual stash), but I thought I'd ask here first.

I've seen that S-10 spindles and brakes swap with some minor mods- will the manual steering box work to? I've picked up one from an 82' S-10, and its bolts right up like the factory Saginaw 140, but I didn't know it will interfere with other steering components.

And is there any GM car/truck column that might readily swap with the Vega? Mine is a floor shift auto. Not worried about linkages and such, just fitment and the steering shaft. I REALLY want to be able to steer this thing when I roll it in or out of my garage without having to turn the wheels with my hands. Any info would be appreciated!!
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Re: Replacement steering box and column

Postby cosvega76 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:32 am

First of all, since you say there is no steering shaft, is there a rag joint at the bottom of the column just inside the engine compartment? That is usually used with a tilt column, as the standard column goes all the way to the steering box. But the standard column is a two-piece, for the collapsible safety issue. The column end is a female tube, in a configuration called double-D. It looks like a round tube that is flattened on two sides, 180 degrees apart. The other half is the male double-D shaft, which may have been removed.

If that is the case, there are several suppliers that offer the male double-D shaft. That, along with a u-joint coupler with the proper spline to match the gearbox you're using, can connect the two.

Now, for the gearbox. Originally, the Vega was equipped with a small manual gearbox. There are a couple of companies that offer new replacements, like Flaming River and Classic Performance Products. It requires a specific pitman arm and center link.

The S-10 gearbox can be used, although it has a really slow ratio, even slower than the standard Vega box, if I remember correctly. If you do want to use it, you'll need a Monza (or Starfire, Skyhawk, Sunbird) power steering pitman arm, and the appropriate power steering center link.

If you find a Cosworth Vega or Monza (etc) manual steering box, you'll need the appropriate manual pitman arm (different than the small Vega one) and the power steering center link.

To answer your final question, there are no other columns that interchange (except Monza, etc) directly. There was a thread here some years ago where a member successfully swapped a C3 Corvette column. Use the search function to find it.


Chuck
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1973 Chevrolet Vega GT

Re: Replacement steering box and column

Postby 1972_GT_Wagon » Wed May 01, 2019 9:24 am

Unfortunately, the whole shaft, from the threaded end the wheel attaches to on down is all gone. Just the body of the column. Was hoping, if nothing else, that I might be able to gut a column out of some other GM vehicle and swap it over.

And that's good to know about the S-10 box. I think the one one I pulled has a factory 4WD Pitmann arm and idler arm (truck was RWD though) that had the extra holes for a steering damper in both.

Thanks for all the info! I'm still learning about the H-bodies, so all the potential interchange and fitment issues are still kind of a mystery that is slowly unravelling as I go through these forums.
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Re: Replacement steering box and column

Postby cosvega76 » Wed May 01, 2019 11:06 am

Can you post a photo of how much of the column is there?


Chuck
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1973 Chevrolet Vega GT


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