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Borgeson steering box issue (1/23)
 8/20/21 6:58pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 256

I replaced the power steering in my '75 with the Borgeson setup -- after driving on a hot day for a few miles, the steering got very stiff.  Contacted Borgeson who sent a replacement steering box.  This time I also had the power steering pump replaced.

This one is doing the same thing.  Borgeson says the problem is not with their steering box.  I've checked the hoses (which were new last year) for kinks.  The interesting thing is that as soon as I turn the key off, the steering is no longer hard to turn a few inches back and forth like it was with the engine running, indicating to me that there must be something in the power steering box making it stiff.

Borgeson says that a rebuilt pump could be the issue (but it was the same with the previous pump on the other steering box) and it worked fine on the old setup.

I asked them if it was possible that they got a batch of steering boxes that weren't machined correctly -- they said no. 

I'm at a loss as what to do.  Here it is prime cruising weather and this issue crops up.

Any ideas?



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (2/23)
 8/20/21 11:11pm
Adams' AppleLifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas


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Works ok until it gets hot? Perhaps it needs a cooler on it, but it could still be an issue with the gearbox. Pump either works or it don't. Only possible pump issue might be the regulator valve hanging, but that is unlike 2 pumps having the same problem.....UNLESS there is a lot of metal in the system.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (3/23)
 8/21/21 12:35am
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 693

Refresh my memory.  What was wrong w/ the OEM system?



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Borgeson steering box issue (4/23)
 8/21/21 10:14am
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 256

73shark said:

Refresh my memory.  What was wrong w/ the OEM system?


There was a lot of play in the original system.  I had tried to adjust it to no avail.  And everyone said the Borgeson system provided better steering.

I'm going to try to shield some of the engine heat from the steering box and see if that helps.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (5/23)
 8/21/21 10:17am
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
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Adams' Apple said:

Works ok until it gets hot? Perhaps it needs a cooler on it, but it could still be an issue with the gearbox. Pump either works or it don't. Only possible pump issue might be the regulator valve hanging, but that is unlike 2 pumps having the same problem.....UNLESS there is a lot of metal in the system.


One thing I noticed;  when the steering gets tight, there is a squeak coming from the steering column.  I assume it is being transferred up from the steering box, but you would think the rag-joint would dampen that.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (6/23)
 8/21/21 11:53am
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

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1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


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73shark said:

Refresh my memory.  What was wrong w/ the OEM system?


The Borgeson power steering is much quicker.  12:1 vs 16:1 and is a more modern design.  Eliminates the hydraulic cylinder and what ever that leaky steering valve is called.

It's just better unless you are an NCRS guy.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (7/23)
 8/21/21 2:36pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 693

Externally it looks like a standard recirculating ball steering unit similar to the one GM uses on their other vehicles.

When I started AutoXing, I switched the linkage to the quick position and installed a pickup truck relief valve. The stock relief valve would limit how fast you can turn the steering wheel when you are making tight turns quickly.

Bill: When it gets hot and the steering gets stiff, you might try disconnecting the rag joint to see if the stiffness is in the steering column itself.



|UPDATED|8/21/2021 11:36:37 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Borgeson steering box issue (8/23)
 8/21/21 7:43pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

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1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


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I autocross my LT-1 and the 16:1 box is just too slow.  I am elbows and arse holes in the cockpit turning left and right.

Everyone I know raves about the Borgeson steering and most like it better than the Steeroids rack and pinion.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (9/23)
 8/21/21 8:27pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
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F4Gary said:

I autocross my LT-1 and the 16:1 box is just too slow.  I am elbows and arse holes in the cockpit turning left and right.

Everyone I know raves about the Borgeson steering and most like it better than the Steeroids rack and pinion.

Seems strange that I'm the only one it seems with this issue.  You guys that race, I would think, would encounter heat-related issues before the rest of us.


I fashioned a heat shield between it and the exhaust, I'll see tomorrow if that helps.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (10/23)
 8/21/21 9:33pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 693

Is the stiffness when it gets hot about the same as if you were driving it with no power steering at all or is it stiffer than that?



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Borgeson steering box issue (11/23)
 8/21/21 10:18pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

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1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


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Honestly Bill, yours is the first problem like that I've heard.  Then again, I'm no expert and I don't have the Borgeson.

Hope someone gets the diagnosis right.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (12/23)
 8/21/21 11:12pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


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73shark said:

Is the stiffness when it gets hot about the same as if you were driving it with no power steering at all or is it stiffer than that?

Not sure, since I haven't driven a car like this without power steering.  It feels more like a binding than hard turning, and it is not consistent.
If it is still bad after tomorrow's ride with the heat shield in place, I plan on getting another steering column.  I had replaced the original with a tilt.  When my mechanic put in the first Borgeson gearbox, the column was too long for the longer steering box so he had to cut 2 inches out and weld the pieces together.  I doubt this could be the issue, but at this point I don't know what else to do.  At any rate, I need to reposition the steering wheel and tilt angle so I have room between the steering wheel and the door for my knee to fit when I try to get my left foot on the clutch.  Six foot one and over 300 pounds is a bit of a tight squeeze in that area. . .

Thanks to everyone for their helpful hints.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (13/23)
 8/22/21 12:30pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

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1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


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It has been my understanding that to shorten the steering column, you don't cut it, you pound it in with a hammer, collapsing it the required amount.  If your mechanic cut and welded it, maybe there is an alignment issue.

 



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (14/23)
 8/22/21 3:34pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


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F4Gary said:

It has been my understanding that to shorten the steering column, you don't cut it, you pound it in with a hammer, collapsing it the required amount.  If your mechanic cut and welded it, maybe there is an alignment issue.

 

In this case, it was the casing that was too long, not the saft inside of it.
I took the car out today with the fabricated heat shield in place shielding the steering box from the exhaust, and it still binds up.  I guess I'll get a new steering column (shorter than the one I used the first time so it won't need to be cut) and see if that helps.

What I can't figure is that if it is the steering column itself binding, why does it only start after 15 minutes driving on a hot day?



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (15/23)
 8/22/21 10:37pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 693

I believe there are some plastic pieces internal that are part of the collapsing of the column in the event of an accident. Perhaps these are expanding with the heat or something. That was why I suggested disconnecting the rag joint to see if the stiffness stayed with the column.



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (16/23)
 8/22/21 11:24pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
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73shark said:

I believe there are some plastic pieces internal that are part of the collapsing of the column in the event of an accident. Perhaps these are expanding with the heat or something. That was why I suggested disconnecting the rag joint to see if the stiffness stayed with the column.

That is true for the stock column, but this is a generic tilt column that does not have the plastic pieces in it.  A 5/8 DD from the rag joint shaft rides inside the 3/4 shaft in the column.




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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (17/23)
 8/25/21 12:50am
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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FWIW, I've had my Borgeson box in for over a year and have not had any stiffness problems.  But I still do not have a lot of miles on it and have not driven it in extremely hot weather.  I actually have the opposite problem - boost is slightly more than I'd prefer.  @vettecountry recommended a washer kit to reduce the pressure, but I have not looked into it yet.  (Actually getting used to the feel)



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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
Re: Borgeson steering box issue (18/23)
 8/25/21 2:47pm
VetteCountryLifetime Member
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Belvidere, IL - USA

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Hi Dave, just bought another kit. I had 3 wachers and changed to 5. Did make a difference.

Re: Borgeson steering box issue -- Resolved (19/23)
 9/2/21 12:08pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


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The new (Chinese clone) steering column came yesterday, so I pulled the one out of the car (another cheap Chinese clone), and on the bench you could feel a hard binding.  Not sure what happened, but then, I guess you get what you pay for.  These columns are less than $300.00, and a good ididit or similar will cost close to $1000.00 (ones without the key option are about half that price, but I needed the ignition key option).

In order to get more room for my left foot on the clutch, I moved the steering column closer to the driver.  The original column had the steering wheel in my lap, which was the main reason I went for a tilt column that was shorter, but it was too tight a fit between the wheel and the door for my foot to get on the clutch.

In order to move the wheel a bit closer to the driver with this new column, I had to move the ignition switch on the column down a few inches.  This ment drilling and taping new holes, and welding an extension to the rod that goes from the key switch to the actual ignition switch down on the column.  (I also had to fabricate brackets to mount it to the floor and under the dash.)

Today I got the new column in place, and now I have room for my clutch foot along with plenty of room between me and the steering wheel.  The only issue now is the flat connector for the turn signal and horn wires -- it looks right but does not make any connections.  The last column had a similar issue and I repined the wires to an old original GM connector for the column.

If I have to replace this column in the future, I will bite the bullet and buy an American made column -- which I should have done the first time or two ;(

 



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (20/23)
 9/4/21 8:12pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 256

Well, today I finally got the '75 on the road -- what a difference with a steering column that does not bind and with the steering wheel in just the right place.  I hadn't really noticed the stiffness in the wheel until after it got hot before, but now it is smooth and easy to turn.  The seating position seems so much more comfortable -- one wouldn't think just moving a steering wheel a few inches could make such a difference; it's like driving a different car.

I even managed to convince the eBay seller to refund the price of the defective turn signal switch (he could not have afforded to pay for the effort it took me to install it -- the path that the wiring takes through the column is bizarre).

Today is a great day.

If anyone is hesitant in switching to a Borgeson steering box, take it from me, it is night-and-day from the stock Corvette steering system.

 



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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (21/23)
 9/6/21 2:48am
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

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1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.


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VetteCountry said:

Hi Dave, just bought another kit. I had 3 wachers and changed to 5. Did make a difference.



Awesome, I think I will look into it.  You get the kit directly from Borgeson?  



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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
Re: Borgeson steering box issue (22/23)
 9/6/21 8:53am
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

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1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 256

daveo76 said:
VetteCountry said:

Hi Dave, just bought another kit. I had 3 wachers and changed to 5. Did make a difference.



Awesome, I think I will look into it.  You get the kit directly from Borgeson?  

I bought it from Summit Racing -- they have free shipping.  There are a number of options depending on if you already have power steering and if you need a new power-steering pump or not, also based on the year of your Corvette.




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Re: Borgeson steering box issue (23/23)
 9/6/21 2:36pm
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.


Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 856

BillHanna said:
daveo76 said:
VetteCountry said:

Hi Dave, just bought another kit. I had 3 wachers and changed to 5. Did make a difference.



Awesome, I think I will look into it.  You get the kit directly from Borgeson?  

I bought it from Summit Racing -- they have free shipping.  There are a number of options depending on if you already have power steering and if you need a new power-steering pump or not, also based on the year of your Corvette.


Thanks, Bill - I was actually kind of hi-jacking your thread though.  I know Dick (VetteCountry) bought a washer kit to reduce the amount of assist for his Borgeson set up.  I was asking where he got the washer kit since I'm thinking of doing same.  






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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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