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4:1 steering gear ratio vs 3:1

 
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Stan
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: 4:1 steering gear ratio vs 3:1 Reply with quote

A friend is wanting to put PS on his '72 , 302 with manual box.
He's looking at TBPs kit but isn't sure if the 3:1 ratio is too quick for the highway. The Bronco spends 99.99% of it's time on the road.
Anyone have experience with the 3;1 ratio or comparison ? The only 3:1 I've driven was for about 1/4 mile down a gravel road. Both of mine are 4:1 I believe.
Stan

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DirtDonk
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always said I'd personally prefer the slightly slower 4 turns lock-to-lock on an EB. But lots of people report that they get used to the quicker ones fairly quickly. I've only talked to one person that has had theirs for awhile and still does not like the quick steering.
But I also think that on a Bronco that's very mild, with small-ish tires and low lift (if any) and that is fairly well sorted out in all other areas won't have as much trouble on the street and would probably like it after awhile. Especially if they're used to newer vehicles with quick steering.

I'm going to be installing one of our new kits, but I have not seen how many turns lock-to-lock it is yet. Been meaning to check, but, well, you know how that goes!

Oh, and what you're describing is not actually the "ratio" of the box. Even though that's what we commonly refer to it as. What we are talking about is simply expressed as "turns lock-to-lock" vs a ratio, which in our cases might be something like 9:1 to 17:1 in actual numbers. Which I believe describes the number of cogs/teeth/engagement spurs of the input and sector gears. They're obviously related, but I have no idea just how. Remember "variable ratio" steering boxes? Same number of turns, but somehow internally varied how quickly they turned at their off-center position vs their near the end turns. And variable ratios at different vehicle speeds. Quicker at low speeds? Or slower for more leverage at low pump pressures? Dunno... But someday I'd love to read up on the subject.
Just the other day I read where a new car has this ultra-quick 13:1 ratio steering gear. Well you know for a fact that a new car is not going to be 13 turns. It's more likely going to be something crazy low like 2.5 turns or something. Even my Buick Regal is something along those lines, so I really don't know what they're referring to when it comes to "ratio".

Paul

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'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
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Stan
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Location: Boring Or

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Paul - I was thinking about the different gear ratios as one being greater /lesser than the other and kinda carried that same mindset over to the lock to lock numbers.
I think if you had a Bronco that doesn't wander and being fairly stock height and stockish tires it wouldn't be as much an issue.

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DirtDonk
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I agree. I think I'm going to find out about lifted and loose though, as my new box is in that 4, or sub-4 lock-to-lock category. Should be an interesting change from the old 6+ turn setup!
I'm not set up radically though, with 3.5 and 33's, but it's still a lifted short wheel base truck. We'll see...

If I ever get to drive it again that is!

Paul

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'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM Mr. Green
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mybronco69&74
Bfix "What's a Bronco?"
Bfix


Joined: 12 Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject: New steering box, which one? Reply with quote

I have two bronco projects, one is a 69 with 6" lift/1" body, and 35"s. I know it has seen lots of miles and isn't yet running so I havnt an idea how it drives, but I need to replace the steering to power and am trying to decide which ratio like you are saying, my other truck is a 74 with mostly stock gear-automatic and I think a minor lift maybe 2" I got it that way also and it needs steering also, just need recommendations as I havnt driven one of the new close ratio boxes. Any opinions/advise welcomed as Im new to this, both will be offroaded, but mostly street. The 69 lifted ect will be my hunting rig and will see tougher terrain, the 74 might mostly get driven by my wife, but who knows. I need safe, and want it as nice as I can afford ; ). Thanks.
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DirtDonk
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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does still come down to personal preference, but most people that I've heard feedback from really like the 4-turn boxes. And it's what Ford put in the '76 and '77 EB's anyway, so is not really out of line quick-wise.

But for a twitchy rig, it is going to make it that much twitchier. Luckily, it's at the level that most will get used to and not hate it.
I have spoken to some that preferred the slower 6-turn boxes, but they are few and far between, and almost all much older owners. They like what they're used to, and thought the change was a bit much.

The only ones we really ever heard much griping about (and still it wasn't that many) were the 3-turn boxes that were common for awhile a couple of years ago. Not sure what the parts were that were used to get that and if they ran out of them, or the 4-turn parts just got that much more common.
Or maybe the rebuilders had more complaints about them than we did.

hope that helps. mostly it just comes down to personal preference and how the rig is set up. Your more stock-ish rig will likely love the quicker steering. While your 7" rig, if it's on soft-ish springs and shocks and old worn out tires could get kind of hairy.

Paul

_________________
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM Mr. Green
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sykanr0ng
Bfix "What's a Bronco?"
Bfix


Joined: 09 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things that no one has mentioned:

What size steering wheel are you going to use?

It is my understanding that the smaller aftermarket wheels make the fast ratio boxes feel very twitchy, while the OEM (larger) Bronco wheel does not.

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DirtDonk
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It definitely would. I'm liking the idea of larger wheels with the flat bottom (for more leg/lap clearance) more and more these days.
I never was going to mount a 13" wheel myself. I'd rather keep a stock one than go that small. But a 14 to 14.5" wheel might not be too bad. The usual compromise we have to take.

Small wheels are for those that want the fastest steering feel, or just need that much more clearance with their seat height and body girth combination. I've got a buddy that probably could never fit back in his Bronco if he put a normal sized steering wheel back on!

Paul

_________________
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM Mr. Green
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