A steering box system has serious, inherent, technical limitations that can not be corrected by just a steering system rebuild.(See associated article on turns lock to lock, steering feel, & steering feedback) Even when your car was new the steering box did not provide either the proper steering ratio, feel, on center feel, or feedback that have become the hallmark of a modern rack and pinion steering system. There are just too many parts and joints between you and the road and all that adds up to slop and poor feel. It is truly dated, old technology.
We now take for granted how a modern car should feel based on the fact that most newer vehicles have rack and pinion steering. Driving our classic convinces us that something has drastically changed in steering technology since the car was designed. This can be fixed with an upgrade and maybe its time to consider modernizing something as critical as your cars steering. That leads to the question: Rebuild the old dated technology that was not very good off the show room floor, or upgrade to modern rack and pinion, get that new car feel and shed some weight in the process? Neither path is inexpensive, but the upgrade path leads to noticeable improvements not possible with a steering box system rebuild.
To help illustrate the cost here is a list of parts & current prices to rebuild the steering box system using the C2 or C3 Corvette as an example. This rebuild includes re-manufactured parts as well as those that will also give you bump steer adjustment (comes standard with a Steeriods kit) :
Cost Comparison: Power Steering Rebuild on a Corvette
Corvette Power Steering Valve To Pump Return Hose, 1963-1982 1 $17.99
Corvette Power Steering Control Valve To Extension Cylinder Hose, 1963-1982 1 $17.99
Corvette Power Steering Control Valve To Retract Cylinder Hose, 1963-1982 1 $17.99
Corvette Power Steering Pump To Control Valve Inlet Hose, 1963-1979 1 $19.99
Corvette Power Steering Cylinder, Remanufactured, 1963-1982 1 $139.99
Corvette Power Steering Relay Rod, 1963-1982 1 $179.99
Corvette Steering Column Rag Joint, Upgrade, 1967-1982 1 $111.99
Corvette Idler Arm, 1963-1982 1 $44.99
Corvette Tie Rod End, Right Inner/Left Outer, 1963-1982 1 $29.99
Corvette Tie Rod End, Right Outerr/Left Inner, 1963-1982 1 $29.99
Corvette Steering Cylinder Support Grommet, 1963-1982 1 $2.99
Corvette Power Steering Cylinder Grommet Spacer, 1963-1982 1 $2.99
Corvette Power Steering Control Valve, Remanufactured, 1963-1982 1 $139.99
Corvette Steering Gear Box, 1969-1982 Remanufactured 1 $399.99
Corvette Anti-Bump Steer Kit, 1963-1982 1 $149.99
Wow! Now compare this to installing a new Steeroids TM rack and pinion conversion. As you can see it starts to make a rack and pinion conversion look more appealing.
Rebuilding is time consuming, expensive and the result is the same old technology “refreshed”. Fortunately the rack and pinion option is an upgrade that can bring your car up to date to meet your expectations for a positive, accurate, great feeling steering system!
Benefits of a rack and pinion conversion:
* Truly a modification that is really gratifying; you can easily feel the results; it makes your car fun to drive.
* Vastly improved handling that technically is not possible with outdated steering boxes.
* Tames the beast – makes the car more drivable and fun to be in.
* Modernization of your classics steering to take advantage of a superior and newer technology.
* Improves your competitive advantage if you road race or auto-cross.
* A Steeroids rack and pinion conversion is easy to install and will give you the ability to easily return the car to factory stock steering if necessary. Some kits like Steeroids offer no drilling, welding, cutting whatsoever. (Investigate before you buy!!)
*Enhances the vehicles resale value.