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Power steering box question

Engine Issues

  1. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Well, along with the general theme of having to rebuild or replace every dad gummed thing in the entire car, I now notice my power steering box is leaking its new fluid out onto the floor.
    I thought maybe, just maybe, there was one piece of equipment that would not have to be gone through to at least get it back onto the road and no such luck yet.
    Does anyone here know someone reasonable that rebuilds power steering boxes and does a nice job and turn around in a few days?
    I don't have time to mess with it myself and I have never done one before so I have to find somebody that can do this thing.

    Thanks for any ideas or advice, Jon S.
     
  2. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    Jon
    Just a thought;
    have your box rebuilt by a company like Firm Feel. I don't know about a quick turn around, but you could have the box built to a higher/tighter more responsive standard. They have three Stages of Rebuilds and it would make the car feel like a more modern, responsive vehicle. You could also add the fast ratio steering arm. Both of these actions will really make your car feel much better.

    Unless you know someone locally, not sure what you might consider "reasonable" as a cost of the rebuild.
    Even if you bought a standard rebuilt box from a vendor, Mopar boxes were mild to wild; some were tight and others felt loose right from the factory. Yours is probably pretty worn internally after over 45 years and refurbished boxes from vendors cost $350 and up.

    Firm Feel charges $399 for all stage of rebuilds. Any local vendor would probably not be much cheaper once you add up parts and labor.

    Steer and Gear in Columbus Ohio also rebuilds the boxes. Not sure of their reputation?

    Just my thoughts!
    Firm Feel Steering Box Rebuilds E-Body
    How to swap in a police firm-feel chuck and get rid of steering slop.

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  3. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Hey man. Thank you thank you thank you. That is good info and I will look into it.
    I don't know if the steering box is worn but it only got 13 years in the cold cruel world before i got it in 1987 and stuck it in storage and garages for 32 years. This car has been on my mind for that long and it is now getting close but finding truly new and amazing ways to fight back on the one yard line.
    I have never driven the car and I just sat in the new driver's seat yesterday for the first time.
    The mild/wild 440 engine was built in Berzerkely CA 25 years ago and turned over faithfully with a socket a couple times a year. It also had break in oil pumped throughout the oiling system with the oil pump.
    We started it for the first time three days ago and it went well until we realized the old three row brass radiator and fans weren't going to get it.
    We spent today trying to install the new aluminum radiator on a bent core support so we spent part of today messing with tow straps, hammers and come alongs. There might have been some kind of intense swearing going on but I can neither confirm nor deny.

    I'll check the places you mentioned for sure.
     
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  4. moparlee

    moparlee Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jon, you need to post up some pics of your Challenger that you first posted about 8 yrs ago man:lol:.
    @/sixchall will be interested in your slant 6. He has an original with I think 200K miles on it.
     
  5. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    You honor me sir. I'd be glad to post some pictures of the Challenger. It still runs perfectly and always starts and drives even after months of storage.
    Driving that Challenger is actually a pleasure. It handles great for what it is and it sips gas.
    I'd bet most E body owners wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole but it is interesting to see what an E body can do with a modest OE+ suspension and without a huge hunk of V8 iron in front.
    People give it some odd looks and want to know what it is in gas stations. I still get thumbs up even though it is no Hemi car. I intend to keep it the way it is. Butchering it to put a big engine in it would be a crime.

    ChallengerGold1.jpg

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    ChallengerSardineLake.jpg

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  6. moparlee

    moparlee Well-Known Member

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    I like it a lot:thumbsup:. And I agree keep it like it is, but I am also a purist.
     
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  7. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Seals, gaskets, bushings, hoses and tires will deteriorate with age. With low miles, but 49 year old seals I bet that is all it needs. Good luck.
     
  8. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    I am a Challenger slant 6 fan too!
    They are cool and unique; too many became V8 conversions.
    Improve the mechanics; steering, disc brakes, front suspension, replace parts that have worn out and enjoy the heck out of it! :steering:

    And as a sidebar note; if you are so inclined, there are 4 barrel manifolds for the slant 6. Tough to find today though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  9. Grady Cain

    Grady Cain Well-Known Member

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    Agree with 340 - FirmFeel is definitely the way to go. I've had 2 boxes done by them to their Stage 2 level and couldn't be happier. Their turn-around time is not that long either. A great investment...
     
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  10. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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  11. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Yeah, not a lily white purist but I kept the stuff I took off the Challenger. I had a problem with cracking the rear exhaust leg of the exhaust manifold so I went for a Super six and didn't like it.
    Then I put on a Clifford dual 3 into 2 header and a Clifford water heated 4 bbl. manifold.
    I put a modified Holley 390 on it and not anything amazing but it goes okay for a six.
    I had a buddy put a dual exhaust with a true X pipe and two flowmasters. It sounds almost like a tuner car when you punch it. It sounds kind of like a cross between a French horn and a giant pissed off bumblebee.

    And as a sidebar note; if you are so inclined, there are 4 barrel manifolds for the slant 6. Tough to find today though.
     
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  12. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Hello again

    I had another series of questions about removing the steering box. I hope you don't mind.
    I was watching a guy on Youtube take a steering box out of a 1970 Challenger and he had to remove his header and drop the drivers side torsion bar out.
    I have a 1974 Cuda originally a 318 car now with a 440 with stock HP exhaust manifolds.
    I have a March Performance serpentine accessory drive on it.
    Do you know if I am going to have to go the same route as this guy did or can I take the power steering box out the front where the power steering pump is now? Is there another way to get the box out where I don't have to take the car halfway apart?

    Thanks for any info, Jon S.
     
  13. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, headers often impaired the removal of a steering box. You are lucky not to have to deal with headers on this.
    With factory exhaust manifolds, the one time I did this on a 440 Challenger, I loosened the left motor mount and gently raised the engine an inch or two and had no trouble removing the box toward the front of the car. I have also seen mechanics loosen the nuts holding the exhaust pipe to the manifold to gain some room.
    You should be able to remove the box from the front (after removing hoses and moving the power steering pump out of the way.)
    It has been a while so memory of this is?
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  14. AUSTA

    AUSTA Well-Known Member

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    The other option is the Borgensen steering box almost half the size have 2 different 340 Challengers with Hooker headers easy to remove the box without moving other parts also you do not need a crane to lift it .
     
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  15. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Thanks Austa

    I will study the situation and check out the Borgeson.
     
  16. aussiemark

    aussiemark Well-Known Member

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    Love the look of that Challenger the basic cars always look the best once the shaker hoods, stripes, wings and other bits are fitted they break up the smooth body lines and distract you from seeing the true beauty of the cars silhouette. Like the original Vanishing Point Challenger it didn't have any black outs, bumble bee stripe or shaker hood but it was one of the coolest Challengers.
     
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  17. greatscot3

    greatscot3 Active Member

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    Aussiemark

    I think you got that right. I have always really liked the lines of the Ebodies and when I look at that base Challenger it looks like a prototype to me. It is pretty different from the others you mentioned but it clearly has the same bones.
    I was driving home from Sacramento CA with my sons and we happened to get behind a new model black R/T Challenger. We could tell pretty easily the new ones are a lot bigger in height and width.
    On another note regarding Vanishing Point, I really liked the lines on that Honda 350 too. :eek:)
     
  18. Hubes71

    Hubes71 Member

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    Just throwing in my two cents. I have had both Firmfeel and Borgeson boxed and hands down the Borgeson is the way to go. This year I replaced the QA1 upper control arms with a Hotchkiss set and the again another leap forward. Just wish I would have gone that combo in the first time. Live and learn I guess.
     
  19. aussiemark

    aussiemark Well-Known Member

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    What stage firm feel box did you get? I have heard that the stage 4 is as firm as any other. I was thinking of a firm feel box just because it will look more original then the Borgeson but the Borgeson is better if you don't care about the original look more room for headers and so on.
     
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  20. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    The Borgeson has some advantages and probably has the more "modern" feel. The early "Borgs" required a modification to the steering shaft and an adapter to fit and keep proper geometry.
    Not sure of the latest model, but I did not want to cut my steering shaft; and to keep things looking stock, so I lean toward a Firm Feel. JMO
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