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Hot Rods Are people still using Corvair steering boxes?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31Dodger, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Might be a dumb question, but are people still using Corvair steering boxes on their hot rods? Found a couple of them and didn't know if they were still useful. Thanks.
  2. The Vega box kinda replaced the Corvair & Mustang boxes, and there are aftermarket company's making copy's of the Vega.

    I don't think I would be apposed to using one again as long as it was still tight, finding replacement parts would be rare & expensive, HRP
    31Dodger and dana barlow like this.
  3. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 828

    Pete Eastwood
    from california

    Yes they have value.
    Corvair boxes are really good for T Buckets .
  4. If you can find them...........
    31Dodger likes this.
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  5. i use one in my 31 Chrysler coupe. it works great. the one that are worth money are the 63 box. its aluminum and has a short splined shaft. the splines and shaft are the same as a vega. any street rod shop will have a coupler. as far as parts availability the upper and lower bushing are readily available at any bearing shop. it would be a rare day that the screw goes bad. theres not much else in them other than some ball bearings. the steering ratio is slow making it ideal for a race car.
    stillrunners, Hemi Joel and 31Dodger like this.
  6. These are the items I found.... Picture 11035.jpg Picture 11037.jpg Picture 11036.jpg
  7. The guy who has them used to have a T bucket, so that makes sense.
  8. looks like you have enough to make one. those are the right ones in most installations a angled mount is needed to put the steering shaft parallel to the frame. don't throw out the pitman arm I use them. I drill them out and use a bolt with a heim joint.
    31Dodger likes this.
  9. Benn running one on my Willys Gasser/street rod for 25+ years. Factory stock for a Willys gasser like early hemi engine, 4-spd Hydro tranny, 5" riser blocks on front end, Olds rear end and one piece tilt 'glass front end.
    31Dodger likes this.
  10. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,277

    from PNW

    absolutely. still have 4 aluminum ones, already reversed. CCR plans give full scale plans for mount.
    stillrunners and 31Dodger like this.
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,875

    from oregon

    A friend built a T-bucket about 1970, he used a VW bus steering box.
  12. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,825


    As a former VW guy a tight split bus box that hasnt been over adjusted is harder to find than a good F1. I can see how reversing one must have been a good option though. At the time they must have been cheap and plentiful and the size is right.
  13. Thanks a bunch for the replies, folks! MUCH appreciated.
  14. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,376


    I use a reversed Corvair box in my Coupe
  15. how-to. Put the oil seal in the top nut and a plug in the old seal hole. Way simple.
    Gear 1.jpg Gear 2.jpg PA070007.JPG
    racer-x and Hnstray like this.
  16. Thanks for the pics on reversing the box. What is the reason or advantage for doing this. I have used a few of these boxes in builds and never reversed them. 20170319_184554.jpg 20170319_184519.jpg
  17. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,354


    A cross steer application like yours doesn’t need to be reversed, but if mounting the box on top of the frame rail for a side steer application reversing puts the pitman arm pointing down. The box is too low if it’s mounted under the frame for side steer, although if it was under the frame rail then the pitman would point up.
    Jibs and Atwater Mike like this.
  18. So....I hate to ask this, but what should I pay for the three boxes?
  19. Prices are definitely going up due to availability but I wouldn't pay over $35 or $40 each. If you aren't into nostalgia, new Flaming River, etc., are more cost effective alternatives.
    31Dodger likes this.
  20. Don't really need them, I just want to get them out to someone who can use them.
  21. the prices vary quite a bit. i have seen them at swap meets for 50.00-150.00 each
    31Dodger likes this.
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,089


    The boxes have always been considered for LIGHT WEIGHT cars like T buckets or a rear engine rod if you are building something wild. Willys36's gasser probably doesn't have much more weight on the front than most T buckets.
    The main thing on a T was that they were easily reversed and that the case polished up real nice when they were newer and not as pitted.

    I had one of the old VW bus boxes on my T in the 70's when someone wrote an article about it and I found one on the cowl of a hacked up bus on someone's yard and got it for about 5 bucks. We had to modify the pitman arm by welding the end of a Ford Pitman arm to it but V notched one and cut the other to an arrowhead shape to fit the notch and a certified welder did the welding. That would probably scare hell out of guys now though. I think that one had the sector shaft coming out from under the frame and the pitman arm aimed up.
  23. If you use the 'Vair gear, don't use the split shaft coupling that Chevy supplied. I did and one day driving the car the steering wheel quit talking to the gear. Limped home and found the splines had stripped inside the split coupling. I replaced it with one from Borgeson and all has been well since.

    I think this happened on the donor cars too.. Back in the day my brother had a Corvair and I remember them saying "the steering wheel came off in their hands" or something like that. I was too young to diagnose the problem. They had it fixed by the dealer but I reckon it was the same failure I experienced.

    Used to see them on ebay for reasonable prices but just looked and there were 3 or 4 unreversed stockers for $240. Same price as new gears. Blush is officially off the rose?
  24. They are also asking a million dollars for a piece of toast with the likeness of jesus on it. There are no shortages of corvair boxes. I have found them for less than 50.00. If you pay those prices for them you got screwed.
  25. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,163

    jimmy six

    Looks like bad Akerman from my view.
  26. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,277

    from PNW

    if it's the ones in the picture, 50 bucks for all three is about right.
    31Dodger likes this.
  27. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,854

    from illinois

    Things must be cheap where you live , around here I'd say between $50-$150 depending on condition ( for all 3)
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,851

    Atwater Mike

    Customer had an "Andy's Instant T", very clean maroon Fad car type, SBF, C4, 8" butt. I did some chassis welding, and squared up front axle caster/toe, and balanced fronts.
    Nephew drove it out onto the street, and came walking back. He was carrying the Bell wheel and mast, complete with stripped out split shaft coupling from the worm shaft.
    Another repair to Ray's T Bucket!
    willys36 likes this.
  29. Yep. I know that song!!!
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  30. wrenchbender
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,812


    I run one in my dragster it was already reversed when I got it and I then just made my own pitman arm it works perfect I have been looking for another for a future project but I’m not giving big bucks for one but if it’s in decent shape and not broken I would give $50 bucks for one they are around I just haven’t looked real hard either lol

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    31Dodger likes this.

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