CTP logo Tech


BY Jason ChandlerPhotography BY THE AUTHOR
Project #Backpay Title
Upgrading the ’60s C10’s Steering … the CPP Way

roject #backpay, a ’66 Chevy C10 that was once a humble circle track service vehicle, is the latest truck to go under construction from the guys at Auto Metal Direct (AMD). With a full rebuild in the works, this truck has a rich history and some questionable repairs that we will attempt to address, but more in future issues of CTP. The plan is to keep this a running/driving project as long as possible before any major transformation takes place. In the meantime, we need to address the steering on the truck. We want the truck to have a nice street truck feel to complement the new 20-inch Ambassadors from Detroit Steel Wheel. So, we turned to our friends at Classic Performance Products (CPP) to keep us between the lines without breaking the bank.

Now, as any of you who have a classic truck know, one thing is for certain, the original steering can leave a lot to be desired. Sloppy steering from a well-worn steering box can make driving your truck a chore just to keep it on the road. If you figure in the manual steering aspect of the original steering, you quickly start looking for solutions to bring your truck into the 21st century. We turned to Classic Performance Products (CPP) in Placentia, California, for their 500 Series power steering solution. CPP is no stranger to the steering game. They offer a huge selection of steering, brake, and suspension solutions for classic GM, Ford, and Mopar trucks.

We start this two-part install focusing on the steering box and pump. We will show you just how easy it is to install the CPP conversion kit (PN CPP6366PSK-S). Follow along and see how you too can do this in your own driveway.

old steering linkage
1. Many of you can attest, replacing the old steering linkage doesn’t always fix the issue. The factory steering box is worn out and leaking badly. Let’s get it out of there.
new CPP steering linkage parts
2. CPP’s kit (PN CPP6366PSK-S) comes complete! All the brackets, hardware, hoses, and fittings are included—as well as their 500 Series power box.
removing cotter pins
3. Removing the cotter pins is step one. The centerlink and pitman arm will need to be free.
removing castle nuts
4. With the pins removed, remove the castle nuts.
remove 12 point bolt on rag joint
remove the 12 point bolt on the rag joint
5-6. Next, loosen and remove the 12-point bolt on the rag joint.
removing inner fender panel
7. Remove the inner fender panel “access cover” to gain full access of the steering shaft. The original steering column isn’t in bad shape, but we’ll be upgrading that too.
inspecting frame for any damage
8. After removing the steering box, which is straightforward, inspect the frame for any damage. Sometimes this area can fracture from years of abuse. No issues here; a quick clean up helps ensure there is no damage and makes for a clean install.
bottom bracket
all new CPP parts
9-10. The steering box bracket will need some clearance from the bumper bracket. Place the bracket where it mounts and mark your cut line on the edge of the bumper bracket.
framewall cut<br />
11. A quick, easy pass with the cutoff wheel takes care of the job. Cut just deep enough to stay out of the framerail.
drilling into frame
12. With a quick coat of paint, install the new steering box mounting bracket and reinforcing bracket onto the frame to mark the upper right and center left holes that need to be drilled. Do not drill the frame for the lower left bolthole.
brackets placed on frame
13. With the holes drilled, reinstall the front bracket and rear reinforcement plate. Torque the brackets to the frame. We set the spec to 78 lb-ft per the CPP recommendations in the instructions.
grinder used to cut
14. We mocked up the intermediate shaft for installation and marked the original shaft to bed cut. It’s better to cut short and adjust as needed later.
new CPP steering box
15. Prep the new steering box for install. We install the new CPP cover plate. With a 7/16-inch drill bit, drill out the threads on the lower forward mounting boss of the steering box. The bolt will be installed through this hole on the steering box and thread into the forward lower mounting hole on the new mounting bracket.
steering box fit into place
16. The new steering box fits perfect and the lower hole drilled out is installed with the provided bolt in the lower left corner.
wrenching in bolt onto kit
Testing sprayer on wall-hanging
17-18. The CPP kit is a “complete” solution and comes with new pitman arm. Install the new pitman arm and orient it in the same direction as when you removed the old one.
install new cotter pins
19. Reinstall the steering linkage and install the new cotter pins.
new power steering pump
20. With the steering box in place, we move to the new power steering pump setup from CPP (pump PN 19-6969SB, pump bracket PN PS301-S).
mocking up steering unit
21. Mock up the steering unit and check for clearance. Our application lands the upper bracket at the water pump, which is the most common installation location. Replace the water pump bolt with the provided hardware. A couple of spacers gives us proper alignment with the crank pulley. Spacer/washers required was due to aftermarket pulleys previously installed.
power steering lines
22. Install the power steering lines included with the kit.
close up of steering lines
23. When routing the hoses under the inner fender to the pump, notch the inner fender for proper hose clearance to avoid damaging the hose. Mark the inner fender so you can cut out material, ensure the new lines aren’t rubbing and won’t become an issue down the road. Trim a little at a time; it’s easier to remove more material than replacing too much removed.
double groove steering pulley
Last view of black glossy cab underside
24-25. We have elected to use a double groove power steering pulley from the AMD shelf. CPP provides plenty of information on which pulley to use for your specific setup. Using an old V-belt, we cut it and used it to measure the new setup. A quick run to the local parts house, we picked up two belts and chose the best fitting of the two.
installation complete
26. Lastly, we install the new intermediate shaft and get ready for part 2 of the install where we go with the CPP tilt steering column. See you next month!
Classic Performance Products
(800) 760-7438