Dear GM & Nova Enthusiast,
In case you did not notice, October is over! We are late getting this newsletter out to you! We have been busy searching for your used parts requests in our inventory, visiting with you at Fall Carlisle as well as the Louisville Fall Swap Meet. Coming soon is Moultrie, Daytona, and Super Sunday Indy swap meets so get your orders in early because space is limited!
It seems that we have been getting a lot of calls lately about adding power steering to your early model Nova. From time to time this can get a little complicated when trying to discuss this project over the phone. Originally the 62-67 Novas were equipped with what GM called "power steering assist." The power steering fluid did not run through the steering box like other cars did. Power steering assist was common on 55-57 Chevys and 80s Corvettes. This style of power steering works really well when it is all in working order. Some have claimed that it is too sensitive but we disagree - the more creature comforts the better in our opinion! The GM power steering assist was installed onto the steering drag/center link just under the engine oil pan. The 'brain of the operation' is the control valve which told the slave cylinder what to do - as you turned the wheel it is what reacted. If you want to do power steering the way the factory did then you need to find a used power steering assist unit from a donor car and then rebuild it. What I mean by rebuild it is removing all the worn parts from the drag link, cleaning everything thoroughly and then installing all the rebuilt parts or, if necessary, new ones. For years we have had the largest selection of early power steering parts, and continue to add as we find them or manufacture them ourselves. Some of the harder parts to locate are the factory 6 cyl pump mounting brackets and the pulleys. Most of the V8 parts are available and on our website. Other items in general that are becoming harder to find are the idler arm frame bracket and pitman arm. Each time we have to sell one it is removed from a complete unit and therefore rendering it unsellable as a complete unit. We must admit that parts cars are getting hard to find and cars with useable power steering assist are even harder. If you have any leads, then let us know!
A new power steering product for the 62-66 Novas we have is PT# 24045. This is a conventional power steering box that needs to have fluid running through it but does not require anything to be added to the drag link area of the car. There are a few limitations to this conversion including the steering column being shortened to make room for the added height of the actual box. Because of this, your Nova has to have a floor shifted transmission. Unfortunately there is not really an economical answer. Once the price is mentioned on either system or the labor involved, most decide not to upgrade.
After trying for years to sell the new rack & pinion add on systems we had to abandon this conversion. It is simply too much work for the common Nova owner, not to mention the many limitations including limited space under the hood. There are a couple of proven rack systems out there but are definitely on the expensive side.
If you need any advice on adding power steering or any other tech questions, you know where to find me!
Nova Tech Man
- The GM Classics Crew
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