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AV8 with Model A steering box?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chiro, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 751


    Anybody using a model A steering box in their flathead AV8?

    I have an F1 box to use, but am wondering why not use a Model A box? It fits in place in the frame as Henry intended and mounts right up to the dash on an un-channeled body.

    Thoughts? Advantages? Disadvantages?


  2. flatout51
    Joined: Jul 26, 2006
    Posts: 889


    Wondering this myself
  3. I have heard that it is because of the more modern design of the later boxes. No "metal on metal" gear design. Recirculating ball in the later models keep the steering gears from wearing as quickly and so on.
  4. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,109


    Even the restores are going to f1. You ever drove a stock 28 29 with the 7 tooth
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  5. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    No reason why you can't.
    It's a primitive design and any Ford box from '32 up is a major improvement. An A box... even when overhauled in most cases...will steer hard, return to center hard, leak like a sieve, and almost certainly have more play at the wheel than you're going to be happy with.

    Vern Tardel sell a very informative book about steering gears in small format for about $5.00.

    Well worth having.
  6. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,044

    Dennis Lacy

    Model A steering gears are an 11:1 ratio which is fast = a lot of arm effort required to steer them. In addition to having better designed internals, the adjutment proceedure far easier and user friendly and modern sealing methods, the major advantage to an F100 box is the slower 18:1 ratio. It takes more input in the steering wheel to make the same turn as an A box, but the arm effort is incredibly less.

    Parts suppliers that specialize in Model A, like Berts, sell a shortened pitman that in effect slows down the steering resulting in a tollerable effort to steer the car. We rarely work on Model A's, but did install one of these arms on a customers '30 Pickup and it made a noticeable difference.

    If the worm and sector gears are not worn and the box is adjusted correctly, there should not be any perceivable "slop" in the steering. The key to making sure of this is to get rid of the stock fixed-length drag link and use an adjustable version. A 2nd Model A tierod can be shortened and made into an adjustable draglink. The steering boxes are designed with a "high center" point with slop in either direction off of center. This is so the slop can be adjusted out of the center point without binding in either direction off of center. By having an adjustable drag link it is possible to fine tune the position of the steering box so that it is on its high center when the wheels are straight ahead. When this is achieved, there will be no feeling of "slop" when driving down the road. Many people do not understand the importance of making sure the steering gears are on their high center point (applies to all early Ford gears) and then condemn them as being sloppy. An adjustable draglink can be an improvement even on a completely stock vehicle.
  7. Niklas sweden
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 128

    Niklas sweden

    You can use a model a box but its tight, you have to put the box slightly little more back to clear the the heads on the engine. F1 box have the steering collum higher up on the box so it fits better.
  8. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 751


    Okay on all that. anybody else?
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662


    I think Dennis Lacy pretty well nailed it. The stock steering box isn't the easiest to steer even with the skinny tires and four banger and when you add a V8 and even marginally wider tires the steering effort goes up even more. I didn't mind a bit of steering effort when I was in my mid 20's and starting to build hot rods but now that I am 66 I wimp out a bit and really want to cut down the steering effort in my Model A when I get it together.
  10. kellys29
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 20

    from spokane wa

    The one I am doing right now needed the room, so I went with the F-1 box and made it fit. Its working out good so far.
  11. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 615

    B Ramsey

    What if you put a shortened arm on an F1 box?
  12. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    If you try it I suggest a 2 tooth box and a shortened pitman arm. The 7 tooth boxes have few adjustments and the steering overall is awful. Planiing on using a 47 pickup steering box. Also have a 35 box and a couple of NOS worms with steering shafts incase I want to try them. Converting my mostly stock A to a modified 2 tooth with a 29 style steering shaft tube. Rod
  13. hotrodderhaag
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,109


    I am running into clearance issues big time .... I bought the book everyone rants about for building an av8... Says nothing about moving box, only that they use a f1 box...
  14. you dont have to move the box back if you change the position of it (up and down) which changes the drop of the columb also
  15. Butch11443
    Joined: Mar 26, 2003
    Posts: 353


    I notched my frame, reinforced it and moved the box 2" away from the engine. Also shortened up the pitman arm about 3".
  16. What mods are needed to put a f100 box into a '28 using the stock column and wheel?. I assume the length but what about the frame mount or the wheel?. I'm using the search as I type. I know I can buy one from the Ford Barn guy but I want to keep mine (old chromed column) and I have a f100 box.
  17. They were still a primitive design through 1937. Unfortunately by 1937 they had gone to a cross steering. The Ford truck box out of the early fifties is probably your best bet.

    Charlie Stephens
  18. Deadelvis2000
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 213

    from Austin, TX

  19. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?

    The F-1 box is generally the better choice for a model A frame. On the F-1 the worm comes in from the bottom of the sector and makes it all a bit more compact for beter engine/trans fit and exhaust routing. The F-100 is physically lager as well, and it's worm comes in from the top of the sector. They work well in slightly roomier V8 chassis, but in an "A" it gives a bit more more trouble with fit in general.
  20. Of course after I posted I started to find out more info. The size should be ok as it's 4cyl powered or bangerish, but the Vega set-up in it now needs to go. I want to run it to the stock drop so the F100 looks better for that.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  21. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Subscribed. Aside from the usual knee-jerk "put an F-1 in it" stuff, theres some pretty solid info on this thread.
  22. anyone have some ideas for the '28 steering wheel to the f100 shaft....fine spline to super course. Maybe make a new middle for the s/wheel.
  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    What are the ratios in the '32-'36 boxes. Anyone know?
  24. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,405


    32-4 came in 13-1 or 15-1.
    I think 35 is 15-1, 36 is 17-1, 37-48 are 18-1.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  25. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

  26. gashog
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 936


  27. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,069

    from Central IL

    I used a stock model a box on mine and it worked OK. My wife drove the car a lot too. I dont know how the F1 box works as to column angle and such when using the stock drop and tank though another reason I opted to keep the stock box on mine.
  28. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 968

    Ice man

    I had a problem with clearance for the F-1 box and if you look close you will see the pocket I made for the box to fit in and it was easy to make and worked well. Also had to change the hole in the fire wall a bit. Iceman

    Attached Files:

  29. hydroshawn
    Joined: May 27, 2006
    Posts: 335

    from Brenham,Tx

    this is the issue I just ran into today...

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