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Power Steering Question

This is a discussion on Power Steering Question within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; the vette (66) is power steering and the few miles that i have gotten to put on it i really ...

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    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    1966 Corvette Coupe

    Power Steering Question

    the vette (66) is power steering and the few miles that i have gotten to put on it i really dont like the steering... its numb its far to easy to steer... SO i was working on the suspension and took the chance to look at the fluid levels in the pump and the thing is bone dry... WTF? i though it would be really really really hard to steer if the pump ran dry... Will i have even less feel once i get the power steering all straightened out?

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    Not familiar with the '66 setup -- does it run the hydraulic cylinder on the steering linkage like our '74?

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    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    There is a pitman arm setup and then some hydraulics bolted to the frame and the steering linkage... Not really sure how it picks up signal... it appears that there are some hydraulic lines right around where the pitman connects to the linkage.

    -me

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    If the system was in fact dry, I would think that the pump would burn up in a hurry. Re-fill the system and with the front wheels in the air slowly turn the steering wheel from lock to lock a couple of times. This will work out any air. You'll need to get under the car anyway to look for the leak. I know the cylinders and control valves are notorius for leaking (assuming that is what you have).

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    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    Oh I am fully aware that the majority of the system has to be rebuilt... I am just very curious about why it is so easy to turn and if i should even attempt at rebuilding the system or just remove all the bits and drive it as is...

    -me

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    Hard to say -- if the car is in motion it will still turn fairly easily. Only at rest will it be a bear to turn the wheel.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    These older power steering setups are all very easy to steer. Usually "one finger" type of feel. Completely normal.
    GM had it this way until the early to mid 70's when they incorporated what they called "road feel". And that was done in the steering box itself, and generally on the performance optioned cars of that era with quicker ratio boxes.
    Eventually it became standard accross the board.
    I personally love the easy feel, it's a wonderfull thing when you are moving around in a parking lot with one hand. Twirl the wheel with just your finger stuck in the steering wheel spoke. Just something you have to get used to.

    Then you get into these rack-n-pinions like these 4th gens and it feels like you don't have any power steering. In my opinion they have incorporated way too much "road feel" in these things In a parking lot it's a 2 hand operation. You won't be sticking your finger in the steering wheel, that's for sure. Hell I can't even palm it.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predator View Post
    Oh I am fully aware that the majority of the system has to be rebuilt... I am just very curious about why it is so easy to turn and if i should even attempt at rebuilding the system or just remove all the bits and drive it as is...

    -me
    Well if you remove it, you'll also have to switch over to a manual box. They have a different (slower) ratio to allow easier movment of the wheel without the power assist.
    Otherwise you are going to be walking around with arms like an ape, you won't like it.

    Ever drive a PS car, then remove the belt at the drag strip?? That's pretty much what you have deleting the PS without changing the box to go with it.

    Bascially,,,,a manual steer car with a manual steer box, is much easier to turn then say,,,,a manual steer car that has had the PS parts removed while still using a PS box.

    I've had a few of those vettes with and without PS. They aren't bad to steer with the factory manual setups. They are relatively light up front, and as long as you keep the front tires pumped up I find it just fine to drive that way. But you'll have to find yourself a manual box.

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    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    that is the quantdry... I am assuming the car has not had a functional PS setup the entire time i have had it... and it is SOOO easy to steer... I may have to play with it a bit, but so far i think i may just yank oll the power stuff off unless it gets unbearable to drive...

    -me

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    If I recall, the Corvette steering knuckle also has two holes in it. Depends on your steering setup as to which hole you install the outer tie rod in.

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    Senior Member predator's Avatar
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    the knuckle does have to holes... or atleast a place for a second hole that has not been completely drilled out... and it is installed on the one that is closest to the center of rotation (which should give you the heaviest steering)...

    I still have no idea whats going on with it and will let yall know what i find out after i look into it more...

    -me

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