some of the questions I frequently receive from customers
regarding the fast ratio conversion on 60's, 70's GM & AMC cars and
trucks. Many of the conversions apply to Dodge pickup trucks,
Jeeps, S10s, Blazers, Chevy pickup trucks and others. If your
questions are not answered here about fast ratio conversions, please
call or "e-mail me". Calling me at 1-417-864-6676 can be better so we can discuss
your system as I talk much better than I type.
What is a "fast ratio" and what is a "slow ratio"?
In the 1960's , GM used, almost exclusively, a 24:1 ratio power
steering gear in most of their cars. Some of the exceptions
were the 1969 Camaro and some full size Pontiacs that had the
popular 16/13:1 variable ratio power gearbox. Those that came with
24:1 ratios, turn a full 4 to 4.25 turns lock to lock. The
cars with 16:1 ratios turned from 3.50 turns lock to lock to 3 turns
lock to lock.
How many turns, lock to lock, will I have if I have the "fast
ratio" conversion done to my car or truck?
Generally, depending on the car's need for internal stops, between 2.5 to 3 turns (lock to
lock). Light trucks will generally be from 3 to 3.5 turns lock
to lock with a conversion.
Will I lose my turning radius?
The installation of our "fast ratio" conversion WILL NOT
decrease your turning radius. I determine with the customer
what is proper for their vehicle and install or remove the stops as
Should I replace my power steering pump & hoses?
This depends. If your power steering pump is leaking or
more than 10 years old, we recommend rebuilding your current power
steering pump. The hoses should be replaced if they are
brittle, leaking or are more than 10 years old. I rebuild
power steering pumps and can supply you with some new power steering
Can you change the ratio of my manual gearbox?
In many cases, yes, but remember if you do a fast ratio in a
manual steering box it is "harder" to turn, NOT easier. Please call me at 1-417-864-6676 to
discuss your application.
Can I have the conversion on my original gearbox and have it
returned to me?
Yes. Many of our customers prefer to keep their vehicle
original. In many cases, your factory core can be made better
than new. Plus, using your core ensures the factory stops are
in the proper location for your application to prevent loss of any
turning radius. If you would like to send your original
gearbox to us, please see our
core return procedure.
Once your original gearbox is received, we will do a full detailed
inspection to determine if it's re-buildable. If not, we can
supply you with another gearbox matching the style of your factory
gearbox with the proper stops. Most gearboxes that are closed
and full of oil are rebuildable. If there is water in the
gearbox it is usually what I call a "boat anchor" and are not
What is the difference between rebuilt and
The terms rebuilt
and remanufactured are used to describe how a rebuilder or
manufacturer wishes to present their product and are basically
synonymous. Because there is no industry standard that sets
parameters for what constitutes rebuilt or remanufactured products,
rebuilders must only differentiate their products from new products
by labeling them as rebuilt or remanufactured. Customers should ask
a supplier of remanufactured products what they do to rebuild their
products so they will know what they are receiving for their money.
What is your rebuilding process?
• The steering unit is cleaned and inspected for external damage and physical
• Then it is disassembled, cleaned again, and inspected for
internal damage and wear.
• Shafts are reconditioned and polished or replaced.
• Housings are honed, sleeved or replaced as required.
• Parts are cleaned again and prepared for reassembly.
• The unit is reassembled with new OEM (original equipment manufacturer)
seals, teflon rings, O-rings, bearings and other parts as needed.
• All settings and adjustments are set to factory specifications.
• Final testing is performed for function, pressure and leaks.
• Standard detailing includes priming & painting the unit.
Optional "Extreme" detailing takes the unit down totally to bare
metal. Self etching primer is applied then the unit is sprayed
with "cast" paint. Custom colors and finishes may be available
at an extra charge.
If a unit is non-rebuildable due to damage or extreme rust, the
customer is notified of their options:
• Return the unit to the customer.
• Supply the customer with a rebuildable core unit for an additional
charge. Core charges are generally what you would pay for a unit at
a salvage yard.
• Other possibilities.
What is a quick-ratio conversion and
why would I want one?
During the 1960s and 1970s, GM installed power steering gearboxes in
their "A" and "F" body cars that had a very slow turning ratio. It
took as many as 4 to 4½ turns of the steering wheel to get the
wheels to turn from extreme right to extreme left. This slow turning
ratio was most noticeable when parking or negotiating curves. Not
only does it take more turns of the steering wheel to turn the
wheels, it also takes more turns of the steering wheel to correct
the direction of the car. This means that correcting quickly in a
curve or taking evasive maneuvers to avoid an accident or road
hazard takes longer
with a slower turning ratio.
With our quick-ratio conversion, we install a NEW factory
quick-ratio worm gear and power piston in your gearbox as it is
rebuilt. This will give you a 12.7:1 ratio and bring your car from
lock to lock in 3 turns or less, depending on your car's application. This
will greatly enhance the car's driveability, handling, and ability
to avoid road hazards.
Can I take a power steering gearbox
from a late-model Camaro or Firebird and make it work on my Chevelle,
GTO, 442 or GS?
There are several things to consider before attempting this swap:
• The Camaro/Firebird gearboxes have internal stops built into the
gearbox to limit the amount of swing for the pitman arm ("F" bodies
do not need as much swing as "A" bodies). If you install an "F" body
gearbox on your "A" body without removing the internal stops, the
turning radius of your car will be reduced and you will have a hard
time making U-turns or parking.
• If a late model (1980 and up) gearbox is used, the flex coupling
will need to be changed because it is smaller in diameter than the
• The power steering pump pressure and return lines must be changed,
since the late model gearboxes are metric and the early models are
SAE. In addition, the pressure fitting on the back of the power
steering pump will need to be changed to metric.
What do I have to change if you convert my gearbox to quick
NOTHING! Just remove the gearbox and ship it to me with or without
the pitman arm attached. I will convert it and ship it back to you
ready to install in about 2 to 3 weeks.
Can you convert my full-size GM car gearbox to a faster ratio?
Yes, there are two ways to accomplish
this. Contact Chip at Power Steering Services for details.
What is your warranty?
Please review our limited lifetime