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help with 89 K5 steering box swap?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Trigger Creep, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Trigger Creep

    Trigger Creep Registered Member

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    The steering input is way too light for my tastes on my 89. One finger will go lock to lock without any effort. It also has a lot of play. Currently, it’s the orig box w/only 65K miles, but I want to swap it with something that will give me the stable feel I’m looking for.

    I think a late 70’s to early 80’s F Body steering box would do the trick. I want to retain the turning radius. But I know there is more to it than just bolting one up. What do I need to look for in a box? Ratio’s, steering arm length? Or can I really just get a junkyard piece and bolt it up?

    Anyone swapped theirs out for a different model’s box? any help?
     
  2. MA87K5

    MA87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Have you adjusted the set screw on top of the box?
     
  3. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    replace the rag joint with a u-joint setup from Flaming river. make sure all your tierod ends are good. put on bigger tires and it won't turn so easy.
     
  4. MattK

    MattK 1/2 ton status

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    bigger tires will increase the effort needed to turn. in all honesty that is the route i would take. i think it's silly to downgrade steering IMO

    now as far as play goes, check all rag joint and steering joints as said. even with all that stuff brand new, these style boxes will more or less have SOME play in them.
     
  5. ARAMP1

    ARAMP1 Aviator Extraordinaire

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    Have you tried tightening the box up? Check out the correct procedure at the bottom of THIS thread.
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had thought about this before, but to be honest I think it's pointless. However:

    You could also play with the power steering pump pressure valve setupto reduce the amount of pressure it puts out, but in reality on the trucks you'd probably want to reduce pressure only at higher engine/vehicle speeds and not low engine speeds, or as implied earlier, you'd increase steering effort when you need it.

    I seem to recall a thread awhile back about this...I know on the cars the "sport" suspension setup (with the big "truck-style" Saginaw gearbox) vehicles got quick ratio boxes, and some but not all of those were also variable ratio, meaning more effort on center, but the further the wheel was turned, the easier it got. I don't recall if the trucks were variable ratio, I somehow doubt it.

    In the trucks, I'd do as suggested, tighten up all the existing steering points, to include a better steering shaft. That will not affect how hard or easy it is to steer at all, but will mean you have better "feel" for what the wheels are doing.
     

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