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Technical Steering ratio change needed on Corvair/early ford

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ron Plumlee, May 9, 2021.

  1. Ron Plumlee
    Joined: Feb 12, 2012
    Posts: 153

    Ron Plumlee
    Member

    SO, finally took the coudan out after a 13 year build, and it all went well. Biggest single item is need to speed up the steering. Corvair unit, cowl mount, way easy to steer but way slow to react. SO, longer pitman arm seems logical, but has anybody moved the hole in the spindle mounted steeering arm in maybe an inch?? Or has anybody tried to speed up the Corvair ratio? Seems like new hole in spindle mount arm is easy easy....any rules I need to follow or experiences on this?
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  2. Ron Plumlee
    Joined: Feb 12, 2012
    Posts: 153

    Ron Plumlee
    Member

  3. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,810

    greybeard360
    Member

    That would slow the steering down.
     
    dana barlow and butch27 like this.
  4. butch27
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 2,848

    butch27
    Member

    What year is that body ?
     

  5. Either way can work, longer pitman arm or shorter steering arm. Both have the net effect of speeding up the steering. What is easiest for your car? I have not heard of any different ratio Corvair boxes, although someone may know if there ever was such a box.
    Just from a theory standpoint and the problems with bump steer on cowl steering, a longer pitman arm would help reduce that bump steer a little bit.
     
    seb fontana and dana barlow like this.
  6. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,512

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Clark's Corvair has or had quick ratio steering boxes , they were a GM option IIRC .
    Flaming river WAS producing one but ceased production .
     
    pprather likes this.
  7. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,512

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    How long is your steering arm ? You can put in a smaller DIA. Steering wheel & speed things up a bit ..
    And put some safety washers on the drag link rod ends !
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  8. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 257

    TCTND
    Member

    If you shorten the steering arm be sure the drag link won't interfere with the tire and restrict the left turn radius.
     
  9. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 888

    jimvette59
    Member

    You are correct my bad. Is that why I see some cowl steering with long arms. When I built my 34 with a reversed cast iron Corvair box I installed it in the original 34 position used a ford pitman arm clocked it for position and it was perfect. In fact I put a damper on the axle just to give it some resistance. JMO
    Jim T.
     
  10. 61SuperMonza
    Joined: Nov 16, 2020
    Posts: 489

    61SuperMonza
    Member

    GM did make fast ratio steering box but they are quite rare. If you find one it's going to cost you.
    As mentioned the longer pitman arm or shorter steering arms would be the best and most economical solution.
     
  11. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,042

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    Sprint car or midget steerings come in many different ratios and would be easy to install since you already have the cowl mount. They also have a big advantage in that they do NOT get sloppy as they turn off center as street type steering does. They are also available in power type with adjustable assist and feedback.
     
    jaracer likes this.
  12. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,480

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    That's the right info !!! An your best working way for your ask. ( make longer pitman arm)*****
     
  13. nobby
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 720

    nobby
    Member

    does a corvair box utilise the same innards as a saginaw 140 VEGA box ?
    are they 5/8 input shaft and 1'' on the sector for pitman?
     
  14. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 888

    jimvette59
    Member

    I must have unknowingly got lucky. I purchased the box from a Corvair restorer he knew what I was using it for and I was shocked when I put a Ford pitman arm on it OR DID I ? It was in the late 70s or early 80s
     
  15. Ron Plumlee
    Joined: Feb 12, 2012
    Posts: 153

    Ron Plumlee
    Member

    Pitman is 6" and steering arm is 6"spindle face to c/l of bolt.
     
  16. Ron Plumlee
    Joined: Feb 12, 2012
    Posts: 153

    Ron Plumlee
    Member

    1934...it started life as a Fordor sedan, we shortened it then grafted front of front doors to rear of rear doors....do NOT try this, nothing nothing nothing fits!
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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