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Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Old 07-22-2009, 07:47 AM
  #51  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
The spec sheet on Alldatadiy.com says to tighten the main shaft until it bottoms out and then mark the location against the housing. Now back it off a 1/2" and make another mark. Tighten the lock nut without allowing the shaft to move. After you've tightened the top cover, back out the adjuster bolt til it stops and tighten one full turn. Take a torque reading on the main shaft. Now, tighten the adjuster nut until the torque reading on the main shaft is 6-11 ft/lbs more than the first. Last, tighten the lock nut on the adjuster and don't allow the adjuster to move. Done.
I just noticed this previous post. I believe that the specification is 6-11 inch/lbs more. I believe if it were to be done to ft/lbs there could be significant rack piston binding in the housing. I remember this because I did not have a torque wrench with that fine of a resolution and I did the adjustment by feel as in the main posted procedure.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:10 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

thats exactly whats happening.....I have to search for a better fitting snap ring
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:15 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Thats exactly whats happening.......I thought I threw the origional snap ring out but I just found and guess what?....its bigger than the one supplied in the rebuild kit. I tried to take pictures of the difference but I cant get the focus just right. It's not much bigger but it does fit in the groove a whole lot better. Hope it works!
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:01 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
Thats exactly whats happening.......I thought I threw the origional snap ring out but I just found and guess what?....its bigger than the one supplied in the rebuild kit. I tried to take pictures of the difference but I cant get the focus just right. It's not much bigger but it does fit in the groove a whole lot better. Hope it works!
I think they include a new snap ring in the kits because they are anticipating the old one being not being reusable due to corrosion. High carbon steels oxidize quickly. If your old one is not too rusted it should work just fine after some simple sanding or other to clean it up and smooth any pitting.

FYI I purchased three different brand kits before attempting the rebuild. One was the a Duralast p/n from Autozone described as a Rebuild Kit and the other two were Seal Kits. One from O'Reilly and one was an old GM p/n. The rebuild kit included pitman shaft and input shaft bearings but the seal kits did not. I was doing most of rebuild with seals from the GM p/n kit and the bearings from the Autozone kit. If I remember right the GM p/n was also the only kit that included two snap rings. I'm gonna have try to remember to check the other two kits tonight.

For my interest how did the o-ring from the kit you used fit the groove in the spool sleeve?
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:51 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

If you mean the big one on the rack piston.....it fit kinda loose but I massaged it into the housing and it was fine
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:54 AM
  #56  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

In your previous post #37 I am talking about seal #77 on sleeve #78. I have attached a copy of one of the pics from the original posted procedure.
Attached Thumbnails Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm-imag1295.jpg  
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:10 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I dont recall that o-ring being loose
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:47 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

well I replaced the origional snap ring, drove it around for a few days with no problem. I took her out yesterday and floored it on a bridge...when I got to work, kaboom.....the seal blew out again. Two quarts of ps fluid got me home. I dont get it....could I have set the preload to high? Are the supplied seals smaller than oem? I dont know whats causing this.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
The spec sheet on Alldatadiy.com says to tighten the main shaft until it bottoms out and then mark the location against the housing. Now back it off a 1/2" and make another mark. Tighten the lock nut without allowing the shaft to move. After you've tightened the top cover, back out the adjuster bolt til it stops and tighten one full turn. Take a torque reading on the main shaft. Now, tighten the adjuster nut until the torque reading on the main shaft is 6-11 ft/lbs more than the first. Last, tighten the lock nut on the adjuster and don't allow the adjuster to move. Done.
This quote is your post on 02/20/2009. If you set the pitman shaft to rack piston engagement via a second torque reading of 6-11 ft-lbs then you probably did put the rack piston in a bind in its bore. As a matter of fact one of the sets of instruction I read somewhere says to be able to remove the pitman shaft seals with the gear still in the car just remove the snap ring then run the motor and turn the steering wheel all the way against either the right or left turn stop and that will eject the seals for replacement. There is a possibility with the rack piston in a bind and high rpm load on the pump producing extra pressure you could have possibly pushed your seal stack out. If you set your pitman shaft play using ft-lbs instead of in-lbs this is possible. 6-11 ft-lbs is 72-132 in-lbs.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:59 AM
  #60  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
well I replaced the origional snap ring, drove it around for a few days with no problem. I took her out yesterday and floored it on a bridge...when I got to work, kaboom.....the seal blew out again. Two quarts of ps fluid got me home. I dont get it....could I have set the preload to high? Are the supplied seals smaller than oem? I dont know whats causing this.
I thought about this again yesterday and there are two more possibilities. Both of them are in reference to the snap ring. Where I work we use Truarc snap rings all the time in our designs. We have found that for them to work 100% their application and installation must be 100%. You had mentioned in previous posts that you had blown out the seal stack several times which is why this subject came to mind again. Truarc rings can support huge loads as long as the ring is fully seated in the large diameter or the groove, is sitting against a good square shoulder, and the load is near perfectly axial. If the ring is not expanded fully in the groove or the groove shoulder that it will be loaded onto is damaged it does not take much load to roll the ring out of the groove. I know the load is perfectly axial because the seals are being guided by the pitman shaft itself. Have you been replacing the seals with the gear still in the car? If so it could be easy to not have the snap ring fully seated in its groove. I am not commenting on your mechanical abilities but imperfect installation(by me many times at work) has caused several functional incidents in our tools where I work. Also if the load shoulder is starting to round off as a result of previous ring expulsions this could be the problem also.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:50 AM
  #61  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

thanks for the input.............I reinstalled the seals and reset the preload on top of the steering box so I'll drive it today or tomorrow and see what happens. I had that adjuster plug way too tight
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:53 AM
  #62  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Even though I did the rebuild several weeks ago I did not finally get around to swapping it in till this past weekend. My car is my DD so steering gear swaps are Saturday or Sunday morning driveway jobs. Good news is that I don't have any leaks and the pitman shaft seals have not blown out. Bad new is that I am down on power assist from how the gear felt before the rebuild. I am quite puzzled by this. Not being a power steering expert I am going to have to follow the Helms diagnostics. Which means I am going to have to source the inline pressure gauge/shutoff valve the manual says I need or put one together from bits and pieces. I have been thinking of simply putting a new AGR unit in my car but the penny pincher side of me says to try and fix it first. I welcome comments from anybody reading this thread with similar experiences.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:51 AM
  #63  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

As an FYI I though I'd post the tool I used for the Worm Shaft Bearing Preload. J-42882 works much better than the J-7624 spanner wrench listed in the Helms. It has a 1/2 inch square drive for a torque wrench. Picked mine up for a reasonable price on my favorite auction site. There is one modification you will need to do to be able to use it though. It seems that even though the pin size on the tool fits the holes in the Adjusting Nut the bolt circle the pins are on is a little larger. I just drilled both the holes in the nut oversize with a 13/64(.203) inch drill and it works perfectly. See attached pics.
Attached Thumbnails Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm-img_1278.jpg   Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm-img_1279.jpg   Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm-img_1281.jpg  

Last edited by mwfrels; 09-04-2009 at 03:25 PM. Reason: clarify drilling process
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:22 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I've been driving around for the last month or so with no problems.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:02 PM
  #65  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by jb3829 View Post
I've been driving around for the last month or so with no problems.
Great to hear. You should be able to go many years without having to open it up again.

Mine evidently went too many years before rebuilding. I was suspicious of the rack piston bore when I was doing my best to recondition it before reassembly. There were some very low spots in the piston seal bore opposite the rack side. Even though I was able to smooth the bore it must have been too out-of-round to get a proper seat of the teflon ring even with the o-ring under it pushing it out. I sourced another 26000525 with less than 100K on it and rebuilt it. This one worked the way it is supposed to feel. Some time this winter I am going to open up my old original to satisfy my curiosity why the rebuild on it did not work properly. If it is obvious I will post my findings here.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:30 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I too can confirm the snap ring in the autozone rebuild kit does not hold, that the original pitman shaft ring must be used.
Ive included a set of torque values also.

Torque values:http://www.chevelles.com/techref/PowerStrgGear(4).jpg

parts lists and diagrams:http://www.chevelles.com/techref/ftecref29.html

Note:the ball bearings are different in the third gen, but everything else is the same!! Note the Thrust bearing angles, important!
Attached Thumbnails Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm-31-005.jpg  

Last edited by transam85dudeman; 01-31-2010 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:16 PM
  #67  
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Bump for a temporary bookmark for myself.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:28 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Were does one go about getting a new rag joint for our cars? I been having trouble locating one.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:14 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I never was able to find one for our cars. I used the reinforced rubber donut from a Dorman universal kit but had to modify the gear shaft adapter for some screws, etc to mount it. I also custom replaced the upper joint as well. Back then when I did it intermediate shafts were no longer available from GM and the aftermarket had not started supplying them. They are available now though. Seeing as the boot on the upper joint also self destructs about the same time the rag joint goes I would take the easy approach and replace the shaft If I had to do it now. They can be found on the bay of fleas under search words of 1982-92 F Body Intermediate.

There are also replacement procedures on here using Astro van shafts or something like that.

M

Last edited by mwfrels; 11-11-2013 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Fumble finger spelling...
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:01 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Thanks mw for the reply and information. Edward.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:05 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Originally Posted by BBSDesigns View Post
Assembly#2

24) I adjusted the complete box by feel only, did not trust my torque wrench on this one.
What I did is first tightened the threaded body until I got to the mark I left. Then adjusted until I felt no lash on the thrust bearing from the pump. Then tightened the large lock nut.

25) For the main shaft I did it the same way but this time I turned the steering shaft simultaneously until no lash was felt. Then torqued the lock nut.

26) Re-install on vehicle and enjoy your new 2008 steering box!

Hope this will a lot of people!
Bringing this back from the dead; what ARE those torque specs?
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:24 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Hey guys currently rebuilding my steering box as the pitman shaft was leaking bought a seal kit from rock auto but the two pitman shafts seals were too short... Which is the correct seal kit? the steering box is from a 89 GTA with 2.25 turns and has the casting 26000525 "Z" on the box thanks in advance
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:00 AM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

Excellent HOW-TO! Thanks for taking the time to do this and thanks to everyone who subsequently contributed to it.

I'm curious what exactly corrects the slop in the steering after a rebuild like this. Is it the replacement of hard parts (bearings), or just worn seals that are allowing fluid to bypass? Or maybe it's just re-adjusting a 25-year old box correctly while out of the vehicle.

I'm getting ready to do this on my 92 Z28. I've put over 250,000 miles on it since I drove it off the dealer's lot. I've replaced everything on the suspension but the gearbox and the slop is still there. Looks like it's time for a rebuild.

Here's the factory service manual section on the gear box for anyone interested.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-W...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by emeryz28; 07-06-2016 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Added FSM Info
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:27 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

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Old 01-25-2017, 08:55 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I bailed after the 3 consecutive ad that I could not skip.
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: Steering Box Rebuild, Rag Joint and Pit Arm

I wanted to add my 2. This is a difficult job. Although it is tempting to save $100 to $200 bucks, IMHO it is not worth it. Apparently there are slight differences in the Saginaw 800 housings that can lead to trouble with specific seals. I had taken mine to an expert and watched him do it. He has done thousands of these himself over 23 years. He had an entire wall of different kits for the same boxes. Even with this he struggled for five minutes getting one of the end seals in and ultimately fished around in other kits for the correct seal. This would have taken me days or longer of researching, trying, etc and probably ended in frustration.

There are two alternatives I can see - 1 you can buy the Autozone rebuild for $140. The removal and installation is not that bad if you remove the pitman arm from the box on the bench using the proper professional puller and lots of heat.

The other is to have your original box rebuilt. You can ship them (below is my experience) your unit, or take it there, with the pitman arm on it and they will remove it at their shop.

https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...ering-box.html
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