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Hot Rods Vega steering box

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by indianapolisracer, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. indianapolisracer
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 166

    indianapolisracer
    Member

    I have a 1932 Ford Roadster with a conventional Vega steering box with the standard 18 to 1 steering ratio . Its O.K. but you just have too many steering wheel turns . I have been told the Vega Cosworth steering box has a 13 to 1 ratio which would be better for my car , I have search for quite a while and so far have not located one of these steering boxes any suggestions or help would be appreciated .
     
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  2. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 983

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    If there is room, lengthening the pitman arm will quicken the steering.
     
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,219

    F&J
    Member

    Gain as much as you can by lengthening the pitman arm, and you can gain more on the right side...(If you have the twin rod-end holes like stock Ford right side steering arms). Use the Jeep tie rod end that has a horizontal hole for the steering link, which then quickens the steering by technically having the cross link then "sharing" the tie rod hole that is closer to the kingpin.

    Hard to explain, but the outermost steering arm hole will no longer be used.
    .
     
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  4. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,660

    Kan Kustom
    Member


  5. The cosworth did use a different box,
    Casting #5679142
    Used on a whole bunch of other stuff as well.
    It’s the “525” box
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  6. Summit offers a 140 Vega (including Cosworth and Monza) manual steering box, with a 22:1 ratio and a 5/8" 36 spline. Part #920004
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/...s/make/chevrolet/model/vega/submodel/cosworth

    Speedway offers a Chinese Vega box with a 20:1 ratio (stock Vega ratio)...
    https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speedway-Vega-Cross-Steering-Gear-Box,32964.html

    A "525" box is typically a Camaro/Nova, GM mid-size box, and has a 3 1/2" long input shaft, but mounts the same as Vega.

    However, Summit offers the "525" Borgeson box specifically for streetrods over 2500#, that is a direct replacement for the 140 Vega box, except it has a short 1" shaft and 3/4" 36 spline with a 24:1 ratio. Part #920011 https://www.summitracing.com/parts/brg-920011/overview/

    If I had to do mine over again, I'd use the short shaft "525" Borgeson box.

    The low #ratio boxes all appear to be power units.

    Here is a good article I found from HOT ROD network about different choices of steering boxes in old style hot rods...https://www.hotrod.com/articles/0803rc-steering-box-options/
     
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  7. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,794

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Most of the comments I have read or heard about the Chinese "Vega" boxes have been quite negative. I have the Borgeson/Mullins box and am pleased with it.
     
  8. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,153

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    I have had 3 complete steering systems in my 26T coupe. Started with a Chinese Speedway vega box. Too much effort. 40 acre field to turn it around. Like 4+ turns lock to lock. Wore out in 3K miles. Speedway traded me out for a unisteer. Better. A little more positive, but still too much effort and large turning radius. About 3.5 turns lock to lock IIRC. I now have a CPP 400 power steering box at 12.8:1. 2-3/4 turns lock to lock. It is the best by far. Now you don't have to "wheel it " around corners. I got the power steering pump in there inside the hood lines of a model T. It was like putting 10# in a 5# bag, but it is in there and doesn't look too bad.
    I know you are looking for a vega manual box with about that ratio, but I don't think it exists.
    These old shot shoulders just about require PS nowadays.
     
  9. Thanks for the benefit of your experience. We have been thinking about what we were going to do to replace the box in my son's 47 International 1/2 ton, and did not want the ugliness of the Unisteer. We also want to convert to cross steering to eliminate the bump steer, and we knew the Vega box was the answer, but now we know we will go for the 525 Borgeson box.
    Thanks.
    Bob
     
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  10. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,324

    blue 49
    Member
    from Iowa

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  11. figure8
    Joined: Oct 4, 2006
    Posts: 74

    figure8
    Member

    anyone else have experience with the CP400 power box? I'm tired of adjusting my chinese manual Vega box and would like power steering in my '34.
     
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  12. indianapolisracer
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 166

    indianapolisracer
    Member

    No information 4 u
     
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  13. My old sedan has been on the road for 31 years and when I built it I purchased a brand new NOS Vega box from the local Chevy dealer that happened to have one on the shelf in the parts department.

    I've never had a problem with it. HRP
     
  14. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,823

    zzford
    Member

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  15. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,612

    uncle buck
    Member

    The only thing worse than a Flaming River part is their bogus service and worthless warranty. Absolutely the worst manufacturer I have ever wasted my money with.... did I mention that after the purchase of their steering box that for another $200 they offered to fix their manufacturing error on the input shaft length of a stock replacement Mustang steering box that couldn’t be installed in a stock mustang . The input shaft was 1.5 “ too long right out of the box preventing the column from fitting / bolting to the dash.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  16. tub1
    Joined: May 29, 2010
    Posts: 459

    tub1
    Member
    from tasmania

    As I said in another thread OEM parts only way to go both the longer pitman arm or attatch to tie rod end is inner hole on steering arm the way to go even if you have to relocate steering box for longer pitman arm , leave repro alone
     
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  17. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,794

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've got a Borgeson/Mullins Vega repro on my roadster, been there now for several years with no problem. Never touched the adjustments.
     
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  18. Bikelessbill
    Joined: Oct 1, 2013
    Posts: 111

    Bikelessbill
    Member

    Is the 525 box better than the vega box and is it the same manual box used on S 10s?
     
  19. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,718

    dirt t
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

  20. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,794

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Went to the Borgeson web site yesterday and looked around a bit. Yes, the 525 is better suited for hot rods with a bit more heft. The 140 Vega isn't recommended for cars weighing more than 2400#, and my sbc powered Brookville fenderless Hiboy "A" scales at 2200# with a '32 frame. That's with headers, aluminum heads and intake, iron case 4 speed and 9" rear.
    The Corvair box isn't recommended for any front engine car with a V8.
    The 140, or Vega comes 3 ways, one is a rebuilt genuine OEM cast iron case, next is a billet aluminum, machine finished. and a polished aluminum billet.
    There's lots of options, worth a looksee. Far better boxes than the Flaming River and Speedway Chinese stuff. Don't know anyone who got decent service outta a Chinese box, but I do know several who tried them and ended up with Borgeson or NOS OEM if yoy can find one.
     

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