Saginaw 3 turn box kills cruisers!?

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Aug 8, 2004
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Gig Harbor, WA
Got a 4 bolt 3 turn SAG box off my parts rig. The rig was wrecked, hit something at 50mph head on! Could it be do to the twitchy 3 turn steering box? My 40 is a daily driver and weekend wheeler, wonderin if anyone likes it or feels its too scary. Dont want to jeopardize my life or my passengers lives just because i used the wrong steering box. On that note, if anyone has a 4bolt 4.25 turn box, i'll buy it:D
 
Hi All:

I don't think the three turn Sag box is the best on the highway, but it is better on the trail than the 4.25 turn 'box. The 2.5 turn Camero 'box sounds awesome on the trail, but downright "hairy" on the freeway! :eek:

You could use that four bolt, three turn Sag 'box as a core and buy a re-built four bolt, 4.25 turn 'box from NAPA, etc. Search the MUD archieves for the NAPA part number. Or, the Sag PS 'box from a Jeep J20 pick-up is a four bolt, 4.25 model as well.

Good luck!

Alan
 
Don't take this personally, Benj. You're only going by what you've read here. But the talk about 3 turn boxes being inherently twitchy is bull****. GM used that box successfully for many many years on full size cars and trucks without issue.

When we modify our steering we are taking risks unless we take the time to consider all of the variables, and there are quite a few. If your steering geometry and suspension are set up carefully a 3 turn box is plenty stable. At least in the realm of highway-capable rigs with less than huge tires.
 
There is a ton of info in the FAQ's on Saginaw boxes and the consensus is that the 4.25 turn boxes are best. Theo is right about GM using 3 turn boxes for years, but they didn't use them on a short wheel based vehicle with 35 inch tires that was lifted 8 inches in the air! You'll probably be fine with it if you are conscious of it, but you can trade it in at NAPA for the 4.25 box for right at $100. Seems like cheap insurance to me. Thats what I did anyway........
 
torque

Hi All:

I don't think the three turn Sag box is the best on the highway, but it is better on the trail than the 4.25 turn 'box. The 2.5 turn Camero 'box sounds awesome on the trail, but downright "hairy" on the freeway! :eek:

You could use that four bolt, three turn Sag 'box as a core and buy a re-built four bolt, 4.25 turn 'box from NAPA, etc. Search the MUD archieves for the NAPA part number. Or, the Sag PS 'box from a Jeep J20 pick-up is a four bolt, 4.25 model as well.

Good luck!

Alan

When going to larger tires I don't agree that the lower ratio boxes will be better on the trail. You will end up with less mechanical advantage and it will be harder to steer in rough situations. I'd go for the 4 bolt 4.25 turns box.
 
Would the 3 turn box amplify a death wobble situation? I have been working through this problem but have not tried a 4.25 box. Yet. Any comments
 
I have a three turn Saginaw and have never had any problems both on road or off. To me it doesn't feel the least bit scary on the highway.
 
Don't take this personally, Benj. You're only going by what you've read here. But the talk about 3 turn boxes being inherently twitchy is bull****. GM used that box successfully for many many years on full size cars and trucks without issue.

When we modify our steering we are taking risks unless we take the time to consider all of the variables, and there are quite a few. If your steering geometry and suspension are set up carefully a 3 turn box is plenty stable. At least in the realm of highway-capable rigs with less than huge tires.
Howdy! My Sag box came out of a 77 Chevy fullsize sedan. It is called a 3 turn, but it is closer to 3.5. I have been very happy with it for over 12 years. I can kruze dow the freeway at 75+ with no problems. Stability at speed is more dependant on having a good, tight suspension system and good geometry on the front axle, like caster and toe-in. I recently installed a High Steer Kit from 4x4 Labs, and I have not re-installed the steering stabilizer, yet. Yes, it is a little more sensative at speed now, but not much. I have no problem changing lanes or running on ruff pavement in the construction zones. I am headed out to the boonies tomorrow to test it in the rocks, and then decide about the stabilizer. As for "TooTall"s note, if you are using elbow grease to steer with in the boonies, then your power steering isn't setup right. Even at 12 psi, there is very little effort needed to steer. John
 
Besides the three turn L to L sag box you also need to consider the length of the pitman arm as it will affect your final L to L turns
 
Benjitis1,
I'm having the exact same problem. I just replace all the seals, gaskets, and wheel barrings in the front axle hoping that was the problem. Although one of the bigger wheel barrings was broken (almost in half!), I still have the death wobble. I do fear for my life when I'm going over 40 mph. If you switch to a four bolt, let me know how is goes. Also you might want to check the distance between your front tie rods, my was off by a half inch and I know that wasn't helping to keep the tires straight.
Thanks
 
The rig was wrecked, hit something at 50mph head on! Could it be do to the twitchy 3 turn steering box?

no idea how a head on hit was do to a twitchy box, was going straight no?


run a 3 turn box and no probs.:cool:
 
Not to pop too many balloons here, but how many "bolts" the box uses to mount with, has little to do with how many "turns" the box is. Sure you can point to some applications that had 3 bolt boxes that were such and such a turn, but it's not cut in stone. When I had my box built, I got to specify how many attachment bolts I wanted, what fittings I wanted, and how many turns, along with a variable or fixed ratio. I think the best bet is to turn the input shaft and count how many turn L to L it is, and then decide if you like 3 or 4 bolts holding it in place.

The other comment about the length of the Pitman arm is right on. Imagine a pitman arm that was only 3 inches long. Not going to get much steering movement with stock length knuckle arms.

Jeff
 
Sounds like im gonna order a new 4 bolt 4.25 turn from napa and use the old box as a core. Hope they dont care im using a diff box for a core.
 
Sounds like im gonna order a new 4 bolt 4.25 turn from napa and use the old box as a core. Hope they dont care im using a diff box for a core.


Just pay the core charge and return the core at a later date. No direct comparison;) I've done that with calipers and master cylinders.

GL

Ed
 
been running a three turn three bolt box in here for years...never been an issue. yeah, rig is scary over 100mph, but any short wheelbase is scary over 100.
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correct me if im wrong but you can just get a longer pitman arm... right or is it shorter?
 
correct me if im wrong but you can just get a longer pitman arm... right or is it shorter?

Kind of. I don't know what changing the Pitman arm length does to the feel. If anything, a shorter arm should reduce "quickness", but the shorter you go the more you risk giving up some turning radius. I have a 6 1/2" Pitman arm and wish it was a little longer so I could screw my knuckle stops in and get a tighter radius.
 

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