Manual brakes 68 Camaro

My question is that my 68 camaro has the oringnal manual steering box. How do you adjust the steering box. It has a locking nut and a set screw on top. I was told that I should lossen the lock nut and turn the set screww all the way to the right(clockwise)and then back it off(counterclock) about 1 quarter of a turn and then try it to see is the sloppyness go away.Also It has a lube bolt on top also and I dont know what kind of lube to put in it and how much. Any help would be great Thank you.


There are two adjustments on this steering gear. These are the worm bearing adjustment and the backlash adjustment. In order to make the proper adjustments to the steering gear requires a special tool J-544. This tool is attached to the steering wheel, and measures what fraction of ft-lbs is required to turn the steering as these adjustments are made. So unless you have one of these tools, it’s better not to mess with the steering gear.

If you do have one of these tools, then I can give you the procedure for adjusting the steering gear.


Thanks for the info. I dont have that toolJ-544. Would this be a tool that a car mechanic would have.Do you know what kind of lube goes into that steering box and how much.

Another thing you need if you’re going to do specialized work on this car is a service manual. A manual will answer any question you will ever have, and it will give you the correct specs, etc., for your exact car.


Unless you find a mechanic old enough that can rebuild carburators and still knows how to set the dwell angle on a set of ignition points, I highly doubt you’ll find a mechanic who’s even heard of this tool. This is old technology.

The type of lube that goes into the steering box is the same type that’s used in the differential. 80W90 gear oil.

Remove the plug from the steering box. Stick your baby finger in the hole and pull it out. If there’s gear oil on the tip of your finger, the steering gear is full. Otherwise add gear oil until it registers on the tip of your finger.


This is the last thing you would check or adjust for sloppy steering. What makes you think it’s the steering box anyway? Have you checked the rest of the components for wear, including the rag joint?

I’ve adjusted many steering gears over the years but with the advent of rack and pinion steering I haven’t done one in along time.

The adjustment isn’t that hard to do, no special tools are needed other than a inch pound torque wrench and a pitman arm puller.

First remove the pitman arm from the steering gear, then remove the steering wheel. Install the torque wrench on the nut on the steering shaft (under the steering wheel). Measure the amount of torque needed to move the steering thru the center of travel, it should be about 11 inch lbs(look up the spec to be sure), adjust the set screw until the proper torque is measured. If you reach the proper torque spec but there is still play in the steering gear then the steering gear needs to be replaced or rebuilt.

I have checked everything underneath the car tie rods,pitman arm is new,wheel bearings,steering stabliziers. upper and lower control arms, But to be honest I have just glance at the rag joint.Will check tonight. Everything else lookes fine and has no play. Thats why I thought the steering box adjustment. Any ideas would be great. Thanks


Those specs you gave are for a steering gear with power steering. This is a manual steering gear. And the adjustment on these requires a force gauge mounted to the steering wheel as the adjustments are made.


Here is a adjustment procedure for a saginaw manual steering gear.

There are two adjustments on the steering gear: worn bearing preload and pitman shaft overcenter preload. Prior to adjusting the steering gear, all outside loads must be removed.


Disconnect battery ground cable, then raise and support vehicle.
Remove pitman arm nut, then mark relationship of pitman arm to pitman shaft to aid during reassembly.
Remove pitman arm using a suitable puller.
Loosen steering gear adjuster plug lock nut, then back off adjuster plug 1/4 turn, Fig. 3.
Remove horn pad or button to gain access to the steering wheel attaching nut.
Turn steering wheel gently in one direction to stop, then turn back 1/2 turn to position steering gear away from high point'' load position. Do not turn wheel hard against steering stops with pitman arm disconnected as damage to the gear ball guides can result. Position suitable inch pound torque wrench on steering wheel hub nut, Fig. 4, then while rotating steering wheel with inch pound wrench through a 90 degree arc, record and measurebearing drag.’’ Do not use an inch pound wrench of more than 50 inch pound capacity.
Adjust worm bearing preload to specifications listed at end of section by turning adjuster plug while measuring turning torque at steering wheel hub with inch pound wrench. Worm bearing preload specification is in excess of bearing drag'' determined in previous step. Torque adjuster plug lock nut to 25 ft. lbs., then recheck preload. Rotate steering wheel from stop to stop. If steering gear feelslumpy’’, bearing damage is indicated. Gear should be disassembled and inspected as necessary.

Perform steps 1 through 9 of Worm Bearing Preload, Adjust'' procedure. Turn steering wheel from one stop to the other while carefully counting the total turns required, then turn wheel back exactly halfway to position steering gear athigh point.’’
Loosen lash adjuster screw lock nut, Fig. 3, then turn adjuster screw clockwise to remove gear lash between ball nut and pinion shaft. Tighten lock nut.
Check steering wheel turning torque with suitable inch pound wrench at steering wheel hub, Fig. 4, and compare to specifications listed at end of section.
If measurement is not within specifications, loosen lock nut and readjust adjuster screw to obtain proper turning torque. Tighten lock nut and check turning torque through center of steering wheel travel. If maximum turning torque exceeds specifications, turn adjuster screw counterclockwise, then come up on adjustment by turning in a clockwise direction.
Assemble pitman arm to pitman shaft.

Spec chart

Worm Bearing Preload. 5- 8
Overcenter Preload 4-10
Note: In excess of worm bearing preload.
Total Max. Preload 16
Note: In steering gear "high point’’ range.