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Power steering or not for 66 vette

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Old 09-22-2017, 10:24 PM   #1
LLJ66VET
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Default Power steering or not for 66 vette

I have a numbers matching 66 vette. Would like to add power steering. Do you think that's a good move? Thanks, Lou
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:17 PM   #2
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who cares what others think, your car do what you think and works for you. you can always remove and put back to stock to sell. my 2 cents
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:28 PM   #3
nutt
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Yeah, do it if it's something you need to do in order to enjoy the car a little more.
"Life's too short" is a cliché but it's so true. If you get over the stigma of making all the right moves to enhance your net worth, in this case your car's, you'll actually enjoy living.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LLJ66VET View Post
I have a numbers matching 66 vette. Would like to add power steering. Do you think that's a good move? Thanks, Lou
What engine do you have? BB, SB If small block is it a 350 h.p. engine? If it is a 350 h.p. with original oil pan you will have to change it to the pan used on a 300 h.p. to use original P.S.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:42 PM   #5
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If you want P/S, then add it. Makes handling the car much easier ... especially if a big block. I would recommend keeping all of the parts you take off so down the road if you (or the next guardian) wants to return it to original state they can. Bill
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:55 PM   #6
Brian Kotula
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Originally Posted by 68hemi View Post
What engine do you have? BB, SB If small block is it a 350 h.p. engine? If it is a 350 h.p. with original oil pan you will have to change it to the pan used on a 300 h.p. to use original P.S.
No oil pan change needed if original, in 1966 all the 327's (hydraulic lifters) used the 5 quart pan so they could accommodate the factory power steering option. Only 65 and older solid lifter 327's used the 6 quart oil pans and had no clearance for the factory power steering set-up.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:05 AM   #7
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No oil pan change needed if original, in 1966 all the 327's (hydraulic lifters) used the 5 quart pan so they could accommodate the factory power steering option. Only 65 and older solid lifter 327's used the 6 quart oil pans and had no clearance for the factory power steering set-up.
Your right, thanks for the correction. I was thinking of my old 1965 365 h.p. car.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:31 AM   #8
Randy G.
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Do it. You'll love it.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:54 AM   #9
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Lou,

I installed a factory power steering unit on my all original 67 300hp convertible and I love the upgrade.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:54 AM   #10
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If it's a big block and you do alot of 3 point turns it might be useful. Otherwise, I find power steering makes the handling seem kind of vague, providing less feedback. I've had both and prefer it with no power steering. Try driving one with it and see if you like it.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:16 AM   #11
DansYellow66
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I don't have PS and yes, my BB is a bit of a workout on low speed maneuvering with the steering links set on the faster ratio. I manage. But if you desire PS enough to install, I don't see any drawback. If your use original parts it's easily reversible if a later owner desires so I see no affect on car value - might even be a selling point for some. Just hang on to any original parts you have to change out and don't forget to move the tie rods to the fast ratio position on the steering knuckles and re-set the toe in.

Last edited by DansYellow66; 09-23-2017 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:19 AM   #12
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I don't have PS and yes, my BB is a bit of a workout on low speed maneuvering...
I was initially concerned about my L78 with no power steering or brakes but then I took a spin in my 63 Impala with both and asked myself...do I want Impala power steering on my Corvette? And the answer was no.

Its my experience that non-power steering is far better driving on a C2, but I admit low speed close quarters can be a pain, but then only when jockeying in and out of the garage. Its never parked in lots or often used where power steering comes in handy. I find the ram assisted power steering on the Impala (and a 63 Galaxie I have) to be abysmal.

Same with power brakes. I was initially concerned that manual disks, lacking the servo-action of drum brakes would be hard. Turns out pedal feel and effort are spot on.

But I don't begrudge anyone for adding either, do what it takes to be happy.

Dan
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Old 09-23-2017, 01:58 PM   #13
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I just added borgeson P/S to my 65 L79. Nifty unit, it uses a hydro boost system that gives excellent feed back.
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:55 PM   #14
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I'm an original owner of a small block '66 so all the numbers match. I've often considered what you are contemplating. Many say the original GM PS left a lot to be desired and it's a bit clunky in design. I may add PS but I will first look for a better after market design that requires no drilling or other irreversible modifications. When I purchased my '66 in late '65 I was told by the dealer GM would not add PS to a 350 HP engine as its high RPM potential was too much for the pump. No idea if that was true or not but wish I had the feature.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJH View Post
I'm an original owner of a small block '66 so all the numbers match. I've often considered what you are contemplating. Many say the original GM PS left a lot to be desired and it's a bit clunky in design. I may add PS but I will first look for a better after market design that requires no drilling or other irreversible modifications. When I purchased my '66 in late '65 I was told by the dealer GM would not add PS to a 350 HP engine as its high RPM potential was too much for the pump. No idea if that was true or not but wish I had the feature.
Not true for the L79 350HP engine - power steering was available as a normal option for that engine. It was the small block solid lifter engines that power steering was not available from the factory. Maybe it was tied to the high revving engine being too much for the PS pump; however, it didn't really matter, as the 6 quart oil pan that came on the L76 interfered with the PS assembly, and as such, PS was not available with it.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:55 PM   #16
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I have original PS on my L79 and love it. If you are concerned about value, keep the original components and if needed you can swap it back.

Ed
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:22 PM   #17
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I was thinking about adding it to my all original 63 but decide no more then I drive it, maybe not worth it. I would not go the borgeson P/S route. If I'm not mistaken you have to cut a few inches off your original steering column and shaft. I would just go with the original type PS.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:35 PM   #18
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I wouldn't add OEM power steering, definitely go with a Borgeson unit.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJH View Post
I'm an original owner of a small block '66 so all the numbers match. I've often considered what you are contemplating. Many say the original GM PS left a lot to be desired and it's a bit clunky in design. I may add PS but I will first look for a better after market design that requires no drilling or other irreversible modifications. When I purchased my '66 in late '65 I was told by the dealer GM would not add PS to a 350 HP engine as its high RPM potential was too much for the pump. No idea if that was true or not but wish I had the feature.
I promise that if you add a factory power steering unit that's working properly to your 66 car you will like it very much. it's not jerky, sluggish etc like some people suggest. For the l-79, you only need to find the cast power steering pump pulley (720), the crank and water pump pulleys are re-used .

I purchased the factory power steering set up that got installed on my 67 car at Carlisle and it sat hung up in the basement for 10 or 15 years before I decided to put it on the car. After the install I wondered what the heck I was thinking all those years not wanting to use it. I would be careful using any reproduction valves etc as that seems to be where people have there problems.

Don't try to compare this power assist to modern power steering that operates from the steering box. Remember it's POWER ASSIST so it will not turn the wheels standing still like a modern day car but I repeat my first sentence, it's very nice and easy to install and you will love it. All this about cutting the steering shaft seems way over kill to me but that's just my opinion.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:07 PM   #20
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If you have muscles like your weak kneed sister, by all means add the "no road feel" OEM power steering.

Women back then used to drive them W/O PS. What is your malfunction?
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