If you own a classic Impala and you’re driving down the avenue or on the highway, you might notice that the steering is a little sloppy or loose. There are usually a few things that can cause this to happen, most of it stemming from normal wear and tear. This normal wear can be seen on the rag joints and bearings in the steering column. How do you get back to steering straight? Well, there are a few things you can do; you can change out your complete steering system with a newer-style setup, or you can do like us and start off with reworking your steering box, column, and union joints that connect to the gearbox.
If you own an older Impala, you should consider upgrading the gearbox, as we did in this tech. This ‘60 Impala had several problems with the old first-generation 605 gearbox. Once the seals are worn, they tend to leak fluid and give you too much unwanted play, so we decided to upgrade the complete system using CPP’s brand new ‘58-64 Impala gearbox. These gearboxes are brand new and are designed for the Impala. With all new internal gears, these boxes will give your car the amenities of a newer car without having to use a junkyard remanufactured gearbox.
If you don’t have power steering, or if you own a vehicle with an older-style setup, this tech will be perfect for you. Now, follow along as Bryan from Bryan’s Custom Restorations of Fullerton, Ca steers us in the right and easy direction.
1. The first generation gearbox was more than ready to be upgraded.
2. The universal joints were loosened to remove the steering shaft.
3. This gearbox was completely disconnected and ready to be removed.
4. Bryan used an impact gun to remove the final bolts that held the gearbox onto the frame.
5. From the side-by-side comparisons, you can tell that the new gearbox was a little bigger.
6. Depending on the radiator your vehicle has, you might have to modify it due to the length of the new housing.
7. The frame was checked and we noticed that the stock holes needed to be drilled out so that the new, bigger bolts could be used.
8. The 3/8 holes were drilled out with a 7/16 drill bit.
9. The old gearbox required you to grind down the side of the frame, so that it could be bolted on.
10.You can see the angle on the new gearbox. This was left this way in case you wanted to use a rag joint. With the angle, the pitch of the gearbox won’t rip the rag joint.
11. Since we didn’t want to strip the bolts, the box was bolted on by hand.
12. The stock pitman arm will bolt right up.
13. To make sure that our steering column was safe, we changed the universal joints to these UniSteer steering couplers.
14. The Double D shaft was measured and cut to size.
15. The edges were taken down on the grinder.
16. The steering shaft and UniSteer couplers were installed.
17. The steering couplers were tightened, keeping everything lined up.
18. This CPP gearbox was ready to steer us straight.