The future of steering is uncertain, as some manufacturers have already tried fly-by-wire technology, which is designed to allow cars to be more efficient in maneuvering. This electronic steering technology is still in its infancy stages and one day might be used in future builds. With modern technology progressing at such a high rate, manufacturers like Classic Performance Products of Anaheim, CA., have stepped to the plate to bring out products that can help to modernize the classic cars that we drive today. CPP was the first to make their own gear-boxes, as they saw the need to create their own designs that provided modern benefits for the older vehicles.
The company’s latest 500 series power steering box and linkage components will give you modern benefits that include a 14 to 1 ratio that will add a new dimension of handling to your car, allowing smooth operation and giving you excellent road feedback. These gear boxes will also work with the factory power steering pitman arm and 3/4-30 rag joint. They also use the popular 7/16 tube size (11/16-18 inverted flare) pressure and 3/8 tube size (5/8-18 inverted flare) return port fittings. These conveniences will allow you to use your standard hoses instead of having to mix metric fittings.
Keeping these benefits in mind, it was certainly a no-brainer when it came time to replace our obsolete steering mechanism with CPP’s latest technology. Now follow along, as we bolt up a modern CPP gear box and steering components into our classic Caprice.
1. The Classic Performance Product 500 steering box and linkage was ready to be installed.
2. With a new drive train, the steering and handling needed to be beefed up.
3. As you can see, this old linkage was no good and needed to be replaced.
4. The safety cotter pins were removed.
5. Since we were going to take the old linkage out altogether, we removed the rag joint bolt.
6. The tie rod ends castle nuts were removed.
7. With the castle nuts off exposing the damaged unusable tie rods, we tapped them out without worrying about damaging them.
8. The tie rods were loose, and you can definitely see how damaged the passenger side was.
9. The old idler arm was removed from the frame.
10. With everything loose, the complete steering assembly was pulled off the vehicle.
11. This ride was ready to receive the new CPP components.
12. Before we got carried away, we made sure that our steering wheel was straight.
13. The 500 Series gearbox was checked to make sure that the rag joints fit easily before installing it.
14. The gearbox was the first part of the steering system that was installed.
15. The bolts for the gearbox were tightened down.
16. When installing the pitman arm, look for the lines on the gearbox and the pitman arm. These two lines need to be straightened up, and if you don’t line them up, you will have less turning diameter when turning the wheel.
17. The idler arm was next, as it was bolted in place.
18. With the idler and pitman arm in place, we installed the center drag link.
19. The tie rods received the zirk fittings before they were assembled.
20. This new tie rod was ready to be assembled.
21. Here’s another tip when assembling the tie rods, the side of the sleeve and nut with a groove is the left-hand thread.
22. The new tie rods assembled with ease.
23. The castle nuts were tightened down.
24. The center sleeve allows you to adjust the inner and outer tow.
25. Once you think you have the adjustment, you can get it closer using a measuring tape and starting point.
26. When you are done adjusting the tow on the tie rods, use the locking nut to keep them from loosening up while you take your car to the alignment shop.
27. This new upgraded CPP steering system will keep you steering in the right direction and with ease.