manual vs. power steering

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manual vs. power steering

Post by custom880 on Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:44 pm

Need some input here. The donor car has manual while the wagon has power steering. Since the ac in the wagon is toast and was going to put a vintage air system in it. I thought about swapping the steering between the cars. I remember having and driving cars without power only that was a few years ago. It was a bit of a chore to turn sitting still till you got it rolling. So tell me guys how do your cars handle with just manual steering, if it has it.
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Re: manual vs. power steering

Post by regal81455 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:52 am

I can't attest to the manuals but mine has PS and I don't think Id be happy fighting turning at low speeds. If you have the parts Id suggest you swap them in.

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Re: manual vs. power steering

Post by 62cutlassconvert on Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:55 am

I have a 62 Cutlass with manual steering and 205 65 15 tires. The manual steering has a high ratio of either 22:1 (or 24:1 in early cars) and with these light cars the effort is not bad at all at a stop. (Much better than my '64 El Camino was with a manual box with 6 1/2 turns lock to lock, went to quick ratio power from AGR on the ElC.) The Cutlass has 22:1 and it is 5 1/2 turns lock to lock so there's a lot of elbow swinging going on when in a tight spot. With power you can just palm it around and the ratio is lower at about 18:1 I think so less turns lock to lock.
However, I love the manual steering on the road, much better feel than power steering. I was considering have the ratio changed in the manual box to a quicker ratio which will increase effort and decrease turns lock to lock. Talked to an old school local steering specialty shop and an early 60's Corvette gear set will fit the box with a 16:1 ratio but with a shorter input shaft. I believe the whole steering column can be moved down slightly by loosing the clamp at the floor and under the dash so I think it's doable but have other things to do on the car other than modifying already good steering.

Also, the valving of a power box is often subject to change by the re-builder. AGR does that with a lot of boxes and it raises the effort from the vague one finger power steering the 50s and 60s are infamous for to a nice modern responsive feel. Maybe they or a local shop can do the same with this power box, don't know for sure. If so that would be very nice. Also, increasing your caster to the positive side will increase effort a little and give you more stability and better handling on the road. Again doing away with that 60's boaty feel.

The bigger your tires the more effort will be required at stop to turn the wheel, so if you're running orig size tires the effort would be low IMO, with the 205s it's not bad at all, if you are going to 225s like I have seen some do it would be harder.

Finally, if it were me and the existing steering doesn't have any problems I'd stick with that.

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Re: manual vs. power steering

Post by regal81455 on Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:59 pm

That's alot of good info 62cutlassconvert!! Duly noted and appreciate the insight!!

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