So, next up, as you saw from my teaser pic, was the Saginaw pump and 4-bolt steering gear upgrade. This was one of the upgrades I really wanted to do. So I started looking around for the parts I needed to do this. Then, one day, member
put all of it up for sale – almost everything I needed to do it. Now, the stock pump I had was working fine – no whining and provided easy steering, but my steering gear was sloppy, like 3” of steering wheel play sloppy. Dangerous. So, I received the parts and then started gathering up the rest of the parts I needed:
I also picked up some 3/8” oil line, a magnetic oil filter, and an aux transmission oil cooler (no pics). The parts in the pics are Russell 648060 (PS pump fitting), Russell 648010 (Gear high pressure fitting), Russell 648030 and AC Performance female 6AN to 3/8 barb fitting (Gear low pressure fitting and hose barb) and Fragola FRA-372024 braided brake line for the pressure hose.
And it begins – first I rented a pitman arm puller from Auto Zone, but it looked like this and even a 6-pt box end wrench would slip on it:
So, I looked through my tools and found an old two-jaw puller – maybe it’ll work? I oiled up the joints and gave it a try:
I got it as tight as I could on the pitman arm but the end of the bolt was touching the front diff and was starting to deflect sideways – so then out comes the BFH and it popped off:
I used a manual hand pump to get as much fluid out of the stock pump as I could, and I put a drain pan underneath. I then disconnected the lines from the gear:
I removed the belt, unbolted the A/C compressor and set it on top of the engine, and unbolted and removed the stock power steering pump bracket:
And don’t forget…….
Then the steering shaft was removed and out comes the old gear:
The new 4-bolt gear goes in and the pitman arm reconnected:
Oil cooler mounted:
New pump and bracket go back in, A/C compressor mounted, MAF duct re-installed, and the pressure line attached:
Low pressure line attached and is plumbed into the cooler and filter:
And this upgrade is in! So, I still had the front end up in the air, so I filled the pump with ATF, took the oil line to the cooler and a funnel and filled the oil cooler until the hose overflowed, pushed the hose onto the low-P port on the gear, clamped it, turned the key on, and cycled the steering wheel from near-lock to near-lock on the other side about 6 times. I check fluid level, fill it some more, and repeat. I did this until the fluid level was stable. I removed the coil wire, and hit the ignition a couple times to try and move some more fluid around. The level appeared stable, so I reattached the coil wire and started the engine. I let it run for about 30 seconds, turned the wheel back and forth a few times, and turned it off. I checked the fluid and it was still at a good level and had no air bubbles in it, and there were no leaks.
I took it for a test drive and wow, what a difference! The pump was quiet, and the steering had significantly less play in it. It wasn't Indy Car tight, but it felt tons better - well maybe..... 1 ton better?
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, right before I did the Saginaw upgrade, I picked up a “new” air intake duct from
and replaced my accordion snorkel duct with this one, that pulls air from the void behind the driver’s side headlight instead of on top of the radiator - a "real" cold air intake:
So, what’s next you might ask yourself? Well, it was time to fill this empty space under my grille: