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Borgeson steering upgrade complete (1/6)
 3/7/21 8:38pm
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

 

Borgeson steering upgrade

 

The steering on my ‘75 had been a bit loose, and now the steering box was starting to leak, so I decided to upgrade to the Borgeson setup.

I decided to have my mechanic do the changeover, since working without a lift made for a tight fit for me under the car on jack-stands.  I also did not want to run into issues with getting stuck pieces off.  I think that I am a bit fortunate that my mechanic does not mind working on older vehicles (I once took my ‘76 Chevy pick-up to a Chevrolet dealer for brake work, and the service manager took one look at the truck and said “we don’t work on old stuff like that.”).

A few hours after I dropped the Vette off at the garage I got a call:  “There is not enough room for the  steering box to mate to the steering column.”  Sure enough, with the generic tilt steering column I had put in, the extended length of the Borgeson box did not leave enough room for the rag joint to join it to the steering column.  After talking it over with the mechanic, we decided to cut three inches out of the steering column, and weld the two pieces back together again.  There really wasn’t any other options available. The column that I had bought was 33 inches, and the shortest one I could find was still 32 inches.

The steering has less loose play now and is a bit quicker.  It is a bit stiffer though.  Maybe that will loosen up after a while. . .

 



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Re: Borgeson steering upgrade complete (2/6)
 3/11/21 2:05am
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

Cool that you put in the Borgeson.  I think you were asking me about it last year when I did mine.  I didn't drive mine much last year after I put it in.  Haven't gotten it fully dialed in or even had an alignment done.  This spring....

Yeah, the factory columns are collapsible for collision safety (after '68, I think).  If you have a factory column you just measure based on their instructions, mark where it needs to collapse to, and then tap it in with a hammer.  Definitely becomes more complicated with a non-collapsible column.  

Hope you enjoy it



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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 upgrade complete (3/6)
 3/11/21 8:49am
BillHanna
Standard Member
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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

Actually, the new column works similar to the original -- the column shaft is 1 inch "DD" and is hollow to fit a 3/4 inch "DD" shaft, which will slide up into the column similar to the stock column.

I had the front and aligned a month before the new steering box was put in, and I think I would have been okay except the steering wheel was not centered, and since the shaft was a "DD" and not splined, I had to take it back to be realigned.

This is a much neater and tighter setup.  Anyone know why Corvette went with the valve/piston setup instead of this?  A lot of GM cars and trucks had this setup back then. . .

 



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Re: Borgeson steering upgrade complete (4/6)
 3/13/21 2:58pm
daveo76
Standard Member
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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:

 

This is a much neater and tighter setup.  Anyone know why Corvette went with the valve/piston setup instead of this?  A lot of GM cars and trucks had this setup back then. . .

 

I’ve always wondered that point myself.  Integrated boost steering box so much more elegant than valve and ram design, with additional parts and two more hoses.  I just finished rebuilding the Saginaw P/S box for my 91 suburban and I know the design of that box goes way back to the 60s or before.  

The valve and piston design goes back to the C2 - perhaps there were engine compartment limitations for the Saginaw box for those cars?



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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 upgrade complete (5/6)
 3/13/21 8:10pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1077

Because Corvettes were in high demand.  They sold every one they made.  Why change/upgrade the steering if you don't have to?  Would have been nice though.

The Borgeson steering box is a big upgrade to the old box.  The Corvette box was actually the fast steering box at 16:1.

The Borgeson box is a 12:1 ratio.  You go from about 3.5 turns lock to lock to 2.5 turns lock to lock.

That is a big upgrade.



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Re: Borgeson steering upgrade complete (6/6)
 3/14/21 4:13pm
RedwingvetteLifetime Member
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Waterford, MI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Red coupe


Joined: 9/13/2002
Posts: 1689

One of the best upgrades I have done on my 73. Glad to here others like it as much as I do.

 



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Brian - NCM Lifetime Member

73 coupe L48, Flat-top pistons, Performer RPM Heads, Crane Cam and roller rockers, Holley 650 vac sec. Performer intake,
3.55 gear BTO 200-4R trans,
Leather seats, F-body seatbelts, Pioneer CD player
Magnaflow Exhuast System

Dewitt radiator and dual electric fans
Borgeson Steering box
 


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