Camaro Steering:

The GM Camaro steering system is quite solid with few weak links.

Steering box: The prefered steering box for the third generation Camaro was introduced on the IROC. The Z28 version was also quite good. These two steering boxes use a "quick ratio" which allows the driver to turn the steering wheel fewer times to achieve a tighter turn.

Hose: One weak link in most of the GM steering system seems to be the hydraulic fluid steering hose. Steel braided units are available with machined ends which are more resiliant, last longer and can withstand the rigors of performance use.

Premium heavy duty front end components like tie rod ends and tie rod sleeves are preferred for improved tracking and cornering. Hotchkis has a tie rod sleeve which is a complete cylinder as opposed to the split sleeve which GM uses on the stock Camaro. This performance sleeve is stiffer, eliminating flexibility in the steering sytem to maintain tighter steering control.

Also see Camaro suspension for more on front-end components.


Chevy Camaro Third Gen Steering boxes:
Two basic models were available, the 605 (bad small gear unit) and 800 (good) series. The two are swapable and mount identically. The best of the 800 series were the quick ration 14:1 Z/28, IROC, Trans Am variety. The steering box can be identified by the two letter markings stamped on both the box cover and the end cap.

GM 800 Series Steering Boxes
VehicleGM part numberHollander Salvage Yard Interchange numberStampingTravel
1982+ F body, 15" wheels78398971271WS35 degrees
1985+ F body, 16" wheels78435121331HX32 degrees
1984+ G body performance
(not Camaro/Firebird and may lead to wheel rub due to greater range)
78431351282YA39 degrees 15 sec

Use Pitman arm GM# 7837642 for 800 series steering box.
The thicknes of the internal stops varied based on the size of tires offered by GM thus resulting in different degrees of angular travel.

Measuring Steering Box ratio: This is the ratio of the number of turns of the steering wheel to one complete turn of of the output shaft. Since the output shaft does not complete one revolution, just measure the percentage of a complete turn for the calculation and use the number of turns of the steering wheel from "lock to lock" (full left to full right or vice versa). In order to measure the number of degrees of output turn, use the following degree wheel.


Hotchkis

Part #: 1601

These tie rod sleeves are substantially more rigid.

Sweet Mfg.
3421 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001-4835
(616)344-2086
(800)441-8619

This set-up has never had a hose leak yet. It is industrial strength. The fittings are used on the steering box and on the GM power steering pump. The 90 degree hose end was used to attach to the fitting on the power steering pump. Hose fittings are SAE 37 degree AN fitting -6.

AttachmentSweet Mfg. Part #
GM Steering Box - to pump pressure side (threaded)28002 (big)
GM Power Steering Pump - pressure side (threaded)28001 (small)
GM Steering Box - to pump return side28001 (small)


This is a braided stainless steel version.

High engine RPM and the restriction caused by the hose aften leads to higher fluid running temperatures which can be remedied by using a cooler, a larger steering pump pulley or both. A larger pulley may hurt parking maneuvers which are performed at low engine RPM.

Appleton
Power Rack and Pinion
Appleton power rack and pinion steering unit

Appleton power rack and pinion steering unit on a Hawk 3rd Gen LS1 engine conversion K-member.
See CamaroTech suspension.


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