Who has upgraded from a Firm Feel chuck to a Borgeson?

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. Ruby67

    Ruby67 Active Member

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    I agree with Larry.
    I went FF stage 2 to Borgeson maybe 3 yrs ago.
    One of the best things I've done to my car.
    It feels like driving a modern vehicle.
     
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    • Kern Dog

      Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      From 1987-99 I had a 76 Camaro that was a really good handling car. I had the firm Trans Am suspension and an IROC steering box. The ratio was 12.7 to 1. Great road feel and tight response. When I bought this Charger, I aimed to make it handle as good or better than the Camaro. It does for the most part but this steering box has never felt quite right to me. I installed this Stage 3 steering unit back in 2003 or 2004. It was a better unit than the stock one but Still nowhere near the quality of the Chevy steering box. I added the Fast Ratio arms to tighten up the ratio. It went from 3 1/2 turns lock to lock down to about 2 3/4. It is harder to steer than I prefer and the dead spot of slop in the center (Actually at the 11:00 to 1:00 positions) just annoys me. Once you are past that dead spot, it feels fine but in a twisty road condition, you have that slop to overcome at every turn.
      The Borgeson is supposed to be a 14 to 1 ratio. As I understand it, many new cars have the same general steering ratio.
      I have a tilt steering wheel column from a Cordoba. I would LOVE to find a way to use that in this car too. They were built by Saginaw gear, the supplier to GM. They made a nice column too, the range of adjustment was pretty good.
       
    • kiltedrunner

      kiltedrunner Well-Known Member

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      I have the Borgeson steering box in my car and I really enjoy it. It provides much more modern steering and room between the headers and steering box - which I needed.

      I took my car to a road racing school last weekend and it performed very well. Most of the modern car guys were very impressed how well the car ran on the tight course. I also have Hotchkis swaybars and heavier springs and new shocks which are a must.

      But to clarify, the Borgeson steering box works very well on the street and the track.
       
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      • Larrry B.

        Larrry B. Well-Known Member

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        Thanks for that bit of info. I'm maybe 12 (+/-) months out from completing a complete steering and suspension overhaul. That would include larger disk brakes, wheels and tires (18"). Car does great right now, once complete it should feel like a whole nother animal. And I'd eventually like to do some track time.
         
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        • Slantscamp

          Slantscamp Well-Known Member

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          Hi guys. I just wanted to chime in and at the same time see if you guys have any input. I just installed my borgeson box and have been having issues. If I “center” it by turning it all the way to the right and the back 1.75 turns per the instructions. My wheels are both going left. If I only go back 1.5 turns, my wheels point straight and both tie rod ends are the same length as well as the same length as my old tie rods. I’ve spoken with borgeson twice about this, today, they said run it and see how it is. I’m still out a year or two before I’m ready to drive it. Maybe it will be fine, maybe another box will come out by then. It’s just frustrating to spend almost $600 on a part and you can’t get it to work right per the instructions. They also said I changed a lot of parts since I have the qa1 suspension parts as well. I guess I can find a stock power steering box and see if that works to rule out if it’s my qa1 parts or the borgeson box. I don’t know if this is just to vent or inform people of the problems that I am having. I have sat in my engine bay and double checked everything I can and can’t seem to come up with a solution other that something is off with the box, the splines being off on the shaft or something off inside. I guess when I finally finish my car and take it out for a drive I will know. If it’s not right I will throw it in the trash and go another route.

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        • Larrry B.

          Larrry B. Well-Known Member

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          In the photos there's no steering column attached. Do you have a full QA1 front end? Lots of new aftermarket parts might make it act differently (as is often the case), and there's no real weight in the car with an empty engine bay.
           
        • Kern Dog

          Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I agree that you should install a column and see how it lines up. Also, some have reported that the early Borgeson boxes needed to be shimmed between the K member mounting pad and the box to get the steering coupler to be straight. This will affect the amount of turns lock to lock.
          Also, in my case, my tires contact the frame rail before the steering column runs out of travel. I do run an 18 X 9" front wheel with a 275-40-18 though. Many people run a narrower tire so you may not touch the frame like I do.

          If you want a "core" steering box to mess around with, send me a PM. I have several that may or may not leak. I'll give you one.
           
        • Slantscamp

          Slantscamp Well-Known Member

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          Thanks keen dog! I will take you up in that offer. I just want to see what a stock one does when it’s centered so I can compare and see what’s going on. Now is the time while the engine bay is empty.
           
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          • Kern Dog

            Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            The Firm Feel Stage 3 steering box in my car has felt sloppy for awhile. I had suspected the coupler to have some slop but it always feels snug.
            Still, the loose feeling on center or more specifically, from the 11:00 to 1:00 positions always annoyed me. I could turn the steering shaft by hand with the engine off and see a fair amount of movement before the pitman arm started to move. The splined shaft on the steering box moved in and out with the rotation of the steering shaft too. Today I adjusted the nut and screw on top. The 3/4" nut was cracked loose and the slotted screw was turned about 1/4 turn clockwise, then it would not move any more. I tightened down the 3/4" nut and drove the car. The slop is greatly reduced but a little still remains. I wonder if this means that I am at the end of what can be done with this box. I have considered a Borgeson box for the car so maybe I'll use this FF box in another car.
             
          • 68 Sport Satellite

            68 Sport Satellite Well-Known Member

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            I’ll be curious to hear the results when you swap in a borgeson box and Bergman stock type coupler. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while.
             
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            • 66 Sat

              66 Sat Well-Known Member

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              Even though I know you guys probably have this covered, it is also worth checking the bolts that hold the box in place are torqued up to spec. I had slop in my steering, but only from "11 - 1" and especially in the transition from one direction to the other. The bolts "looked" tight (flush with k-frame) but were actually not much more than hand tight. Once torqued up to about 85 lbs/ft the steering improved dramatically. This lasted about 10 months until I noticed recently the steering had become sloppy again. Sure enough, the bolts had again loosened. I re-did them with thread locker this time so hopefully they'll stay tight, but it's definitely worth checking as the box can move slightly and give the impression that the slack is elsewhere.
               
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              • Derwud

                Derwud Well-Known Member

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                Do it... It works NICE!!!
                 
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