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Vega style steering box for 49 chev

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tapkoote, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. tapkoote
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 70

    tapkoote
    Member

    I had the bushings replaced in the stock box.
    Put it back together, now with new bushings I can feel the bad spot at center, and adjusted, it tightens up.
    While the engines out I'd like to fix it. I've read some on these vega style boxes, why couldn't I mount one on top of the frame rail and use the stock steering linkage.
    The stock pitman arm shaft measures 1.120 ".
    I want to stay with the 54 front end / drum brakes /manual steering.
    Any one done it? Which unit? Picture?
    Thanks Pat
     
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,142

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That took a minute of thinking and almost posting the wrong answer. I'm not sure that the Vega box is strong enough to be what you want but you might look at the non power boxes for the 64 to 70 something Chevelle size and Camaro/Firebirds . It isn't physically much bigger than the Vega box but is built for 3500 lb cars.
    I take it that you intend to use the stock Chevy steering linkage and run a drag link to the Bellcrank on the steering?

    The main two issues may be having room to put the box in where you want it and getting the steering column hooked up.
     
  3. tapkoote
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 70

    tapkoote
    Member

    Some of the saginaw boxes have the heavier 1 1/8 inch
    shaft for heavier cars.
    Here's what I'm working with.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,142

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One thing I forgot is that when you fip a Vega or other suitable size box on it's side will the sector shaft turn in the right direction to keep the pitman arm set up like the stock box? That could be why no one has done it. I'd have to go out to the shed and grab the Vega box out there to figure that one out.
     

  5. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,247

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding here.
    Are you saying the box passes a tight spot in the middle of its range of rotation or a loose spot?
    It SHOULD be tight in the middle and thats where you adjust the box and also where the pitman arm should be positioned with the road wheels straight ahead.
    You never adjust the box anywhere but that tight spot in the middle of its rotation.
     
  6. I know a trick.......found it while driving my 50 chevy delivery and it had the same symptoms of a worn out steering box.
    I found a 53-54 [and maybe a 52] chevy steering box is externally the same as the 49-50 box but is much improved with roller bearings instead of the old stone-age bronze/brass bushings. The newer box just bolts in where the old one was and it's sooooooo much better! I'm not sure about the steering shaft length because I used a 71 chevy van steering column in my car with a rag joint. I cut the steering shaft off about 8-9 inches sway from the box and left off the column...pressed a seal into the resulting "hole" and carefully welded a rag joint receiver on the shaft. Did the same with the end of the van comumn and shaft and bolted it all up. I was even able to use the old 50 chevy column mount after filing it a little bigger for the bigger column.
    Made a whole different car that was easy to drive again.
     
  7. PandorasBox99
    Joined: Dec 1, 2012
    Posts: 186

    PandorasBox99
    Member

    I am running vega box on my 54 chevy but with truck axle tell you the truth people said would be heavy enough for my car but Im hear to tell yall I am thinking of changeing to a early chevell camaro manual box. Even with engine set back and axle foward still alot of strain on the wheel.
     
  8. tapkoote
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 70

    tapkoote
    Member

    Maybe I didn't explain that right.
    I adjusted it in the center as the early chev manual states. Then when you rotate right or left it tightens up.
    So the center- straight ahead driving - is worn too much.
    Does that make sense.
     
  9. tapkoote
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 70

    tapkoote
    Member

    Another question just popped up.
    That index mark on the end of the steering shaft
    wasn't lined up at 12 o'clock, when I took the horn cover off. Is that mark indexed to the sweet spot on the worm shaft? Maybe I've got to find the thin spot on the worm.
    This box and column have been cut and welded up for some reason.
    Thats not right
    you can't get the worm gear in unless the shaft is centered.
    Sorry thinking out loud again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  10. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,247

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    ahhhh...yes! Sounds like that box is history then!
     

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