Where to buy saginaw?

mxboy100

Active Member
Posts
28
Reaction
1
I've decided to run the chevy steering box in my race truck and make the jump, where should I go about purchasing/finding one for a good price but good quality as it will be raced on (budget tho) and is it necessary for me to send it to lee or someone for the valving and what ratio hould i be looking for?

Thank you!
-Tyler
 

scottm

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,864
Reaction
509
You want the 2wd quick ratio box, which is the 12:1 box. They came on 1/2 ton pickups from 70's to at least the late 90's. Avoid 76 and older, they use an obsolete 13/16" input shaft. I recommend getting one from '82 or newer, as they use o-ring fittings rather than the inverted flare of the older ones. Then you have to decide if you want an outside-the-frame unit of 73 to 87, or an inside-the-frame, which from 88 up. You will get very good parts from either a local power steering specialty shop, or a big-name race shop like lee or howe... How much do you want to spend? To save big money there is another way but its riskier. You can go to a wrecking yard and find a 'core'. Tell them you need a core for a trade-in at vato zone, and they will let you have it for $20 or less. Use that one for mockup and to decide for sure if you want an inny or outy. Then take it in for a 'lifetime' rebuilt unit from checker, vato, etc. Keep your reciepts and trade them in as needed. For pumps, again look for an 82 or newer. They are almost identical over many years, though truck units have heavier vanes. The ones with the built in reservoir can are super common, but come in a million different return hose configurations. Again I say get a core from a junkyard, and play with it to see what works best. I use one from a 3/4 ton van which uses a remote reservior. The remote res is cool because the regular one leaks oil around the cap from offroad shaking. I have customized my van can by capping off the return line holes and welding on a separate drain fitting. Trust me, the drain comes in handy when you are using cheapo rebuilt parts! That's why I said its riskier, because I went through several boxes and pumps in the last few years. But I also had a fancy offroad-shop rebuilt pump go bad after one race, so its all a bit of a gamble. I also recommend running a big cooler, like an auto trans cooler, along with a good filter, at least as good as an in-line trans filter with a paper element. A howe or Lee res with a built in filter is the best.
 

scottm

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,864
Reaction
509
What did you decide Tyler? I happen to be in the middle of a steering redesign myself.. I am changing from an outside box to an inside box to eliminate a heavy bracket. Today I pulled an inside box from an '89 1/2 ton 2wd truck ($15 at Fred's in N Phx). Here they are side by side, the older outside box is on the left. The good news is the inny is 4 pounds lighter, uses the same fluid fittings, and the spline and threads are the same. Even the spline timing is the same, so i dont have to redo my pitman arm. But it looks like the bore diameter is smaller so I dont know if it will be as strong. Also it uses only 3 mounting bolts, but they seem to have a wider spread.
 

Attachments

F.A.S.T.clothing

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,041
Reaction
26
is it worth switching to the saginaw from the ranger box... howe says to do it..but lee says to keep the ranger and just add a quickener
 

baja619

Well-Known Member
Posts
6,060
Reaction
691
Ask your self that question when driving at speed and your steering wheel (Steering box) no longer is in control of where the vehicle is pointed.
 

prerunner1499

Well-Known Member
Posts
838
Reaction
29
early to mid 90's Jeep cherokees also have the inny saginaw boxes. Some have the stronger sector shaft gears in them that are pyramid shaped like the lee box I have is. The 4 bolt inner mount are the gooduns.
Summit also has a decent price on a saginaw boxes at various ratios.
 

bigtex

Well-Known Member
Posts
791
Reaction
37
AGR in texas just built me a ranger style box with an upgrade pitman arm shaft, they added some bearings inside the box to make it all stronger, and put some chromoly pressure washers ( i think thats what they said) for 350 shipped to my door.
 
Top