Steering Gear for 1974 Buick Estate

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by brydm, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. brydm

    brydm Member

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    Any suggestions/recommendations for acquiring a rebuilt steering gearbox for my 1974 Buick Estate Wagon? There's nothing local so I'll probably have to do the 'net.
     
  2. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    Rockauto has rebuilt steering boxes as well as rebuild kits if you want to do it yourself. I've heard varying opinions on aftermarket rebuilt steering boxes and racks.
     
  3. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Dogzilla Fan

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    What's wrong with getting a good used one? All GM full-sized of those years will work. Possibly even AMC Saginaws
     
  4. brydm

    brydm Member

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    A good used one would probably be ok, as long as I'm sure it doesn't leak like mine currently does. But I figure as long as I'm doing the remove/install effort I may as well install one that's been rebuilt.
     
  5. brydm

    brydm Member

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    Since I've never rebuilt one of these I won't vouch for a rebuild of my own being any good (the first time around). So I'll be rolling the dice with an aftermarket source.
     
  6. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Dogzilla Fan

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    It depends on the rebuilder and if he goes cheap on the parts. There's plenty of overseas junk, out there. If it's used in the rebuild, the gear will be be more likely to start leaking than a pampered used one.
    It might be a case of yours having a dried up seal. If there's no play in the gearbox itself, I'd try pouring about a cup full of used brake fluid into the system, in order to swell up the seal. If you don't have used fluid, new fluid wouldn't hurt. I always have old fluid stored for rainy days. I've been told that it's an old used car lot trick and it worked for me once, when my rear main seal leaked. You don't need to put the gear into load, when you run the brake fluid in the system. Simply put the car on jack stands. Then turn the wheel back and forth, to get the fluid circulating. Avoid applying too much pressure turning the wheel to full left and right stops. This isn't good for the system. Then leave the fluid in for awhile, before flushing. If you're not in a hurry, start the car up and let the system run periodically, until the leak stops. If it doesen't stop, then the seal is too far gone. In which case, you didn't at least lose big time and money attempting to fix it.
    Sometimes, you can find reliable retiree mechanics who still have all of their tools. That would be your best bet for having yours rebuilt, because these guys aren't in any hurry and usually have the work ethic required for doing it right
     
  7. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    What is the issue with your existing box?
    Some of the "remanufactured" are nothing more than re-sealed and adjusted(hopefully) which you can do yourself.
     
  8. elB

    elB Well-Known Member

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    The re-manufactured boxes are junk. If you want one done right you'll be paying big bucks from one of the specialty places that deals in them. If you have any inkling of mechanical ability they are not difficult to do. I documented the heck out of how to do one for myself:

    Take it apart.

    Re-seal it.

    Put it back together.

    There's only one specialty tool needed and you can get by without it.
     
  9. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    These are a dime a dozen and pretty much bulletproof. I'm pretty sure A and B body GM all shared the same box for almost a decade 71-78. The metric box (late 78- 90's) has a different pressure line as it's a metric thread and steer spline but even that's an easy conversion with an adapter. I'd be searching the junkyard if you must. Even the Z box (IROC high ratio gear) would be a great upgrade.
     
  10. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    Here is a video on youtube. I'm sure you could just get away with doing the seal that's leaking and be good for another 40 years. Again, these are just such a predictable item they are nearly forgotten.

     
  11. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Dogzilla Fan

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    The last thing you want to do is to use a magnet on any ball bearings of which you intend on using again. In fact, on any bearing
     

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