Swapping a Borgeson steering box in a 1970 Charger

Kern Dog

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Yes, here goes!

8100 B (2).jpg


This car is getting a Borgeson steering box. I ordered it last week and it arrived yesterday.
I expected a bigger box.

Borg 2.JPG




Well packed.

Borg 3.JPG


The shipper would have to be a real monkey to damage this.


Borg 4.JPG


Borg 5.JPG


Jeez, this thing is tiny.

Borg 6A.JPG


Borg 6B.JPG
View attachment 1289127
 

BeepBeepRR

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Makes it sweet around headers. Night and day difference in driving.
 

Kern Dog

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The chuck looks good.

Borg 7.JPG


Borg 8.JPG


Borg 9.JPG


There is a spot where it looks like something was cut off. Strange but it is probably nothing important.

Borg 11.JPG


View attachment 1289139

Fresh splines with a protective boot.

Borg 16.JPG


Even a boot on the input shaft.

Borg 17.JPG


I got the "no cutting" hybrid steering coupler.

Borg 12.JPG


Borg 13.JPG


Also included is the new coupler rebuild kit with new shoes and spring.

Borg 15.JPG


Finally, there is the metric adapters for the pressure and return hoses.

Borg 18.JPG
 
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Kern Dog

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The physical size difference between a stock chuck and the Borgeson is immediately evident.

Borg 22.JPG


The stock one is a beast.

Borg 20.JPG


The Borgeson looks to be almost 12 lbs lighter.

Borg 19.JPG


I decided to weigh the Borgeson with the stock idler and Pitman, hybrid coupler and hose adapters.

Borg 21.JPG


The Charger currently has a Firm Feel Stage 3 chuck with Fast Ratio Idler and PItman arms. Since the Fast Ratio arms are longer, they weigh more than stock arms so once I get them out of the car, I'll weigh the FF box and F/R arms to get an accurate number of the weight savings from this swap.

Regarding the Idler and Pitman arms....

I was pretty sure that I kept my stock ratio arms. I had them mixed in with Idlers and Pitmans from all the cars that I have parted out over the years. Most of the stuff I've done has been A body. I posted a thread here asking about the differences between A and B body steering arms. It must be a tough question because I didn't get many responses.
These are the small sector Pitman arms that I drug out of the shed:

IMG_E9501.JPG


IMG_E9502.JPG


All of them are in great condition but I couldn't remember which ones were for what chassis.
I put the car up on the lift and saw that the Fast Ratio Pitman had a banana curve like the Pitman arms on the right.

Pitman 5.JPG


I don't understand the purpose of the curve. Maybe to clear the torsion bar socket and lower control arm?
Regardless....I think I found the correct Pitman arm.

For the Idler arm, I'm still figuring that out.
I've heard stories of the bad luck some have had with aftermarket steering gear in regards of quality control so I'd rather use a factory original part that is still in good shape or a "classic" replacement part that was made in the USA.

The Fast Ratio idler has a gentle drop to it.

FR Idler.JPG


FR idler 2.jpg
 

Kern Dog

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The Idler arms that I have here vary a LOT in design.

IMG_E9503.JPG


IMG_E9504.JPG


They all have the same offset but I think that I like #4 best based on the robust shape, the nylon bushings and the Zerk fitting to grease it.

Idler A_LI.jpg


I'll trial fit the #4 Idler and if it lines up right, it will remain.

The stock Mopar chuck is approximately 15.7 to 1. With the Fast Ratio arms, the ratio is supposed to be close to 12 to 1.
When I first installed this Firm Feel Stage 3 chuck in 2002 or 2003, I was quite happy with it. I added the Fast Ratio arms in 2006. I've put maybe 15,000 miles this unit and had to adjust the clearance a few times to tighten up the on center slop. It got to the point where I just couldn't stand that sloppy free play from 11:00 to 1:00. I probably wouldn't notice any slop in a well rebuilt stock unit with stock steering arms. The higher effort built into the Stage 3 makes the slop more noticeable. The Fast Ratio arms only adds to the effort so of course, it makes the slop feel even worse than with stock arms.
The Borgeson has a 14 to 1 ratio. I've read from some that have used the Fast Ratio arms with this box but to me, a ratio of approximately 10 to 1 is too tight. I've read that most new cars are approximately 14 to 1 since that has been found to be the best compromise of handling and comfort. Because of this, I'm returning to the stock arms for this swap.
 

Kern Dog

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Nice! What pump you planning to use?
I bought the kit from Bergman Auto Craft for $895, that includes free shipping.
I have a Saginaw power steering pump. Peter Bergman said that in most cases, the Saginaw is fine. Many Mopar dudes know that the Saginaw boost pressure can be manipulated by adding or subtracting shims. Peter advised to remove all shims to allow for the most boost the pump can provide. Years back, Mopar Action magazine had an article titled "Pump it down". The author found that cars with slant six engines had pumps that put out around 750-800 psi while V8 cars had pumps with about 1100. The only difference he found was that the Slant six models had a thicker stack of shims in the valve. This reduced the pressure.
My pump is a parts store rebuild from 2007 or thereabouts. I've never had it apart. I'll drain the fluid to start fresh and probably follow Peter's advice on the shim removal.
 

4406bbl

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Here is the original stuff from my superbird. Restoration nuts should notice the red inserts on the tie rod nuts. Let me know if you need more pics.

20220524_232200.jpg 20220524_232223.jpg 20220524_232551.jpg
 

4406bbl

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Other side of idler. This car has the swaybar thru the k-frame, like most 70 b- oldies, if that matters

20220524_232337.jpg
 
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Kern Dog

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Like many other companies, BAC doesn't include the instructions in with the shipment. They email a PDF for the customer to download.
Well, the Wife's printer ran out of ink so I'll need to make a trip to the office supply before digging in.
Just for reference, the following pictures are how the steering is right now.

Borg 23.jpg


The car is running and idling around 1000 rpms.

Borg 24.jpg
Borg 25.jpg


This is the free play range I have before I feel tension and the tires start to turn. The mounting bolts for the steering box are tight. The idler has no slop. You can see the coupler turning in this range but the Pitman arm does not.
 

Kern Dog

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In all my years, I have never replaced a "worn out" Pitman arm but I've replaced several bad Idler arms.
These look unusual to me...

70 arms 1.jpg
70 arms 2.jpg


Thanks to 4406bbl for these pictures. The Pitman has no banana curve to it like my F/R one does.
 

Kern Dog

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I have used real power steering fluid in the car from a NAPA store. I have also used Dexron ATF, maybe even Type F. I've never had a problem with any of them. Soon after I did my first 440 swap in 2001 or 2002, I had to add an inline cooler since the fluid did get hot and thin out to where the assist was intermittent at low speeds.
For this, I'll use what Bergman suggests.
 
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4406bbl

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In all my years, I have never replaced a "worn out" Pitman arm but I've replaced several bad Idler arms.
These look unusual to me...

View attachment 1289210 View attachment 1289211

Thanks to 4406bbl for these pictures. The Pitman has no banana curve to it like my F/R one does.

One thing is for sure, one of us has the wrong parts. Looking on Mancini site the 62-70 b-body uses a straighter pitman, and the 70-71 b-e bodies use the curved one.
 

4406bbl

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Pic of the mike Mancini restored sbird original parts. If your car has an e-body k-frame in it then you may need the curved pitman. The steering box in a 70 b-body is at a different angle than an e-body.

20220525_003707.jpg 20220525_004139.jpg 20220525_004104.jpg
 

4406bbl

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The steering shaft from the column, and the steering box should line up perfect, any angle indicates an e-body k-member. Pretty common as a 70 b-body with the sway bar thru the k is one year only. I have pics of an improperly install somewhere. Is your steering box exactly centered lock to lock when the front wheels are straight?
 

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