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I have been wanting to put in new grease in my '74 steering box, but am not sure what to go with. I want to go with Royal Purple's Ultra Performance Grease, but can this be used for the steering box? Has anybody tried it? http://www.royalpurple.com/ultra-per...ce-grease.html
This is the ONLY grease to put in your steering box. GM part number is on tube. Do not use regular chassis grease. You can use a grease gun or a big syringe like I did. Don't overfill the box. You need room for expansion and airation. Take out the lower of the three bolts (only take one out) and fill to just below that hole.
Do a search on the forum. I believe GaryGTR who no longer posts here uses Mobil1 synthetic grease in all the steering box rebuilds he does. I used it too when I rebuilt mine a couple of years ago and its working fine.
Location: Melbourne, Fla. 6 months- New Middletown, Ohio 6 months
I have used Lucas "Red-N-Tacky" plus other name brand greases in 60's and 70's GM and Ford steering gears for years with no problems. Nothing special about vette boxes.
Think about what you have in these steering boxes, a few gears and some ball bearings! I would be more concerned about the heat and pressure issues in wheel/axle bearings then what you have in a steering box. I understand that a box can get hot if you have a header resting on it but that is because of other issues.
Just my opinion, use whatever you feel comfortable with.
I may be incorrect but I thought the original steering boxes were filled with some type of GM oil. The problem was that it leaked out of the box. When I bought my '71, the original oil had leaked out long ago and the parts were all rusty inside. All the early Mustang boxes were packed with grease so that is what I used on mine and it has been fine. Many of the rebuilders that I read articles about don't use the oil and instead use grease.
Both GM and Ford have special grease for the box.
It is designed to melt enough to flow at underhood temps to better lubricate but also not to run out of the box.
Normal grease will just get pushed pack in the corners and leave little on the surfaces that need it.
If worried, you are best to take i apart and at least clean all the parts and the old caked up grease that isn't doing any good. Old grease also inhibits new grease from getting to the surfaces.
The reason the boxes get rusty inside is because water leaks past the upper steering shaft input seal, like if you wash under the hood. When that happens, the water just 'sits' on the upper bearing race and then ya get pitting on the bearing race and upper bearings. That's EXACTLY what happened with mine. On mine, the shaft where the seal rides was machined very course-like. So, water would be able to leak past the seal pretty easily. I just rebuilt my steering box and I cleaned the burrs and rough machining on the shaft so the seal would have a smooth surface to ride on. I filled it with Mobil 1 grease. BTW, my Chevy dealer looked up and down in their references and could not locate the steering box grease. Zip Corvette parts sells the GM steering box grease. You could put in Royal Purple, but I would put in a grease that you can easily get if and when you need more. Mobil 1 and Valvoline (at Napa) are always easy to source.
Any decent quality synthetic grease will do. There isn't a lot of motion inside the steering box. The parts just need to stay lubed and cased in grease (to prevent rust); and the grease just needs to stay in the box. There needs to be a little 'air space' in the box to take up the expansion of the grease when it is heated.
Saginaw engineering always recommended a good grade of lithium based chassis grease (ball joint grease.) They quite manufacturing the gear in the early 1980s (when the C4 Corvette converted to rack and pinion steering.) So they never got around to testing and recommending any synthetic greases. But I am sure that newer greases for the same type chassis applications should be fine.
My 68 service manual designates "CL" for the steering box, which stands for chassis lubricant, not a special product for the steering box. First time around I misread it as "GL" or gear lubricant and I poured 80 wt gear oil in the steering box and it didnt leak out and didnt seem to cause any problems. The only specialty product on the lubrication chart of course is the posi additive.
The grease pictured above by 08vycpe is the chassis grease as well as being mentioned in Jim Shea's papers .
Here are some pics of the steering grease, but probably discontinued now.
GM does have another steering box grease P/N 1052182
Still available from Corvette Central
Ford's is still available I believe.
Personally, if worried, I would take the box apart, clean out the old hardened crud and make sure all the parts including the recirc ***** are being well lubricated. Good for another 40 years
Originally Posted by jwp75v
This is the oem steering box grease I got this from the Chevy dealer 16 yrs. ago it was real hard to find then. I have 3 left I had to buy a case of 6 that is what was in a case. Not for sale