Manual Steering ratio, recommendations? 16 or 24 to 1?

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. Ol'forest

    Ol'forest Well-Known Member

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    Wanting to switch to manual steering but not sure what ratio steering I should go for.
    Car is 75 duster glass hood and bumper, iron head 360, with 165 tires on the front.
    I had 69 dart with glass hood, and 185's up front, and 20-1 steering which I felt was pretty heavy parking with a 13" steering wheel.
    So I'm not sure if the slightly lighter duster with slightly skinnier tires would let me go to 16-1 ratio, or should I go 24-1, which my only experience with is my D100 which is pretty easy steering with 245's.
    What your thoughts and experience?
     
  2. scamp 408

    scamp 408 Well-Known Member

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    24-1 is going to be the easiest.
     
  3. 65 Dartman

    65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    20 to 1 is a good compromise
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • halfafish

      halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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      X2 on this. 24:1 means a lot of turning-turning-turning to get around a corner. 16:1 handles super when in motion but sucks at low speed - aka parking. 20:1 should be just right. You might want to think about a slightly larger steering wheel, it really helps when manhandling the thing into parallel parking spaces.
       
    • motobro

      motobro Well-Known Member

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      I am about to send my stock manual box (69 Dart) to Firm Feel for a 20:1 makeover.
      I did some research and the 20:1 was a good compromise for me.
       
    • Ol'forest

      Ol'forest Well-Known Member

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      I'm picking all the reproduction boxes out there are either 24 or 16, where would I easily and cheaply find a 20-1?
       
    • motobro

      motobro Well-Known Member

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      I dont know about the repros, but firm feel has the 20:1 gears made for them so it makes the box a little pricey.
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      Nowhere. It's not a cheap thing to do. Everybody else pays to play. Steering boxes are not cheap to modify or build. You could get a book and learn it yourself. That would cut a lot of the cost down.
       
    • Commando66

      Commando66 She's a beaut Clark!

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      I've used all 3 boxes in early a-bodies and 20:1 is my preference. Firm Feel is the source for them unless you get lucky and find one on Ebay.
       
    • MRGTX

      MRGTX Well-Known Member

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      165 tires, lightened front end...Unless you're especially feeble, I think you'll be ok with 16:1.

      With 225s and a full-weight nose in my Dart Sport, I like the quick ratio box. Yes, it's heavy in parking lots but if you wanted a Cadillac, I'm sure you could have bought one.
       
    • Dartnut

      Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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      What's the easiest way to tell the ratio of the box if it's in the car (or out) without turning the steering wheel?
      And what years and applications do you look for?
      This might help the O.P. if he decides to go junkyard shopping..........
       
    • 65 Dartman

      65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      To the OP I have a 20:1 chuck if you're interested
       
      Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    • KosmicKuda

      KosmicKuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      If you have power steering now, just remove the belt and drive it. Ratio is 16:1. This will give you a real indication about the effort and feel. I drove my 68 SB 68 cuda like that for a few years.

      Fast forward a bit and I replaced it with a 16:1 factory manual box and during the first drive there was no perceptible change in the effort. This is with 215/60x15 radicals. Yeah it's a bit difficult parking at low speeds but like the t-shirt says "Real men drive Mopars"

      If you are drag racing, the 24:1 is the most desirable because it's not as touchy in a straight line. If you are autocrossing, you do not want 16:1 manual. It's a little tough to keep up.

      My 64 Valiant has 24:1 manual and it is slooow but effortless with 195/70 tires.

      I have a new 20:1 worm and sector that was sold by Direct Connection way back when. You might luck out and find a NOS set.

      The story I got about the 20:1 is Chrysler developed it for NASCAR. 16:1 was too fast, 24:1 was too slow and 20:1 must have been just right. It was later offered by DC because it was in the system with a part number.

      If you are starting from nothing, I'd go for 20:1.
       
    • Dartnut

      Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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      I would NEVER drive a power steering car with the belt off.
      If you ever got caught or in an accident with the car, it would be considered unsafe and you would get a huge fine for knowingly altering a safety feature of the car!
      DON'T DO IT!
      The rest of this post has great info though...........
       
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