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Is there any reason NOT to use a Quick-Ratio Steering Box on my K5?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 350350, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    My K5 needs a new steering box, column, and probably everything else under the front end regarding steering.

    In the past, I've always replaced my boxes with low-mileage quick-ratio units, generally non-variable ratios, out of say a Z28 or T/A, but many other vehicles came with them as an option and they're fairly cheap in the yards.

    I had one in my S10 4x4 and it was great. With the small steering wheel I had on it, I could do just about anything with a single hand on the wheel. It was a much smaller vehicle though!

    With a dual shock steering stabilizer, is there any reason I wouldn't want to put one in the K5???

    Any other advice on replacing the box would be greatly appreciated as well...

    Paul 'X' /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    This is a 4wd K5, right? I don't think you're going to be able to find a box that moves forward and back like a stock 4wd box does from anything but a 4wd. If you had crossover this may be an option, but I believe for the front to back steering folks, nothing but a stock box will work for them.
     
  3. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    They do have quick ratio 4wd boxes. If you find a a 2wd one just swap the sector shaft out for a comparable 4wd one and call it good.
     
  4. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Is there any reason NOT to use a Quick-Ratio Steering Box on my K5? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Do you spend much time in the rocks?

    Quick ratio steering feels good buzzing down a dirt road at higher speeds. But it will give you less "turning force" when you're crawling, and can even provide some "jerky" feedback to the steering wheel on rocky roads.

    I used to have about 2.5 turns lock to lock on a steering setup I had - and I thought it was too tight of a ratio....

    Marv
     
  5. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    car and s-10 boxes do not work or even fit on full size C/K/R series trucks anyways, they bolt ot opposite side of frame rail, i dont know why no one knows this, all you have to do is look and you can see this huge problem

    trucks were non variable and variable, not quick ratio and stuff like t/a and z28's etc.

    theres a huge difference from variable and quick, quick is all the time quick, variable ratio is where ratio gets easier to turn at low RPM and and changes for high RPM cruising(straight line driving), in which is ta-da......... variable ratio!
     
  6. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif Learning a lot here... So if I...

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif Get a quick-ratio unit from a 4x4 K5, it will work fine.

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif Prefer a non-variable unit, I may or may not find one with a quick ratio for my K5.

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif Try to use an F-Body, S10, or G-Body unit I'm nuts.

    Am I following everyone so far???

    I don't do much rock crawling... I'm more likely to need to use the steering wheel to rapidly avoid obstacles as I slide through the mud. But... I just moved to VA so I may be in for a whole new type of 'Wheeling... ???

    Paul 'X' /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    IIRC from the A/G-bodies, ('78-88 Monte Carlo, Cutlass, Regal, etc) there were the "fast" and "slow" ratio boxes, and within those there were both variable and constant ratio.

    The XH from the f-body was the right one for quick ratio/constant ratio every time, I believe thats in the IROC's and what not. GM wasn't consistent with the variable/constant boxes, some "heavy duty suspension" optioned cars (F41, etc) got one, some got the other.

    Not that this helps anyone, but just saying there are more than two boxes out there.
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    variable ratio is where ratio gets easier to turn at low RPM and and changes for high RPM cruising(straight line driving), in which is ta-da......... variable ratio!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That describes variable boost, not variable ratio. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Look at the sector gear teeth on a variable ratio box and you'll see that the spacing is slightly different on the outer teeth than on the inner teeth. When the box is at, or near center (straight ahead) the teeth in that area of the box provide a low steering ratio. The eliminates the "twitchiness" that a quick ratio box can display when driving straight, as Marv pointed out above. As you turn the wheel away from center, the steering ratio gets quicker, (Ie, the tires turn more degrees per degree of steering wheel input). This provides a system that can provide relatively quick steering without driving you nuts on a long freeway trip as you constantly correct direction of the vehicle. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Too quick of a ratio can be dangerous in any vehicle, especially a truck or other vehicle with a high center of gravity, and compounded even further by a driver that doesn't have a true appreciation of vehicle dynamics (Probably 99% of the drivers on the road). Most drivers respond to an emergency by yanking the steering wheel one way or the other. With a quick ratio steering box this can immediately put the vehicle into a very unstable trajectory, eith tragic results... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Car makers keep the ratio low in most vehicles to protect the driver from doing something stupid that could get them killed. Some even design their vehicles to go into serious oversteer long before getting enough lateral traction to get sideways. Try throwing nearly any GM car into high speed corner. All but a very few (high end Camaro's and Corvette's come to mind) will be pushing the front tires sideways as the car happily slides off the road and into a ditch. You have to literally stand on the binders and throw the car sideways to get the rear end to start coming around. (Er, uh, not that I have ever done such a thing!) /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Early 2nd Gen. GM trucks had a fixed ratio steering box, but it was a fairly slow ratio. Somewhere along the way they went to a variable ratio box. I'm pretty sure it was by the mid-80's or so, but I can't remember the exact year of the change. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     

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