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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else have an F41-equipped 5th gen that was built without all the F41 parts?

I'm the second owner of a 1987 El Camino that is supposed to be an F41 vehicle. I have the carbon copy of the original Factory Order form showing the F41 Sport Suspension ordered as a $14.00 option, the label inside the glove box confirms the vehicle was built with it. I does have a from anti-sway bar and the jounce bars.

However, there is no rear anti-sway bar. There is no indication on the lower control arms that it ever had one, so I am confident it was built without it. (Photos below)

Also I understand that the F41 power steering box should be 2.5 turns lock-to-lock. Mine is 3 full turns. Is there any way (visual or otherwise) to determine with confidence that my steering box is or is not an F41 box? (Photos below)

Thanks!






 

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Deputy Director Region 6
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There is a bunch of different F41 parts. GM didn't put all of them on All vehicles ! They put certain F41 parts on some models & different F41 on other models !
Like the long engine bay braces only came on 78-80 Monte Carlos.
The front frame brace came on Grand Prix's
I think the rear sway bar was on Monte's, Grand Prix's & Cutlass ? :dontknow:
 

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El Caminos with F41 did not come with rear sway bars. Not sure why GM made that decision, but they did. As to the steering box, there could be a few possibilities. Some years the GM parts books and aftermarket supplier catalogs are unclear about the quicker box. Also the number of turns is always approximate (your three turns may mean 'about 2 1/2' instead of 'about 3 1/4'). Thirdly, yours may have been replaced at some point and the shop either wasn't asked by the supplier which it had or did ask and was told 'Nah, it ain't no hotrod, it's prolly the standard one'. (I used to sell parts and both scenarios happen quite often).
Patrick
 

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Not positive...

...but I think there was a Z on the box I installed in mine! :dontknow: But worth changing if not as well as the Jeep steering shaft upgrade! :bigups:
IMG_3025.JPG
 

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As mentioned previously, none of the suspension options on a 5th gen included a rear stabilizer bar. The mounting holes are punched in the control arms, since the other G-Bodies that did use a rear bar used the same control arms. Also, no Caminos that I know had the quick-ratio steering box. I used to manage a GMC dealer in the 80's and ordered new Caballeros for inventory as well as driving them as company cars from '83 thru '87, so my information comes from personal experience. My '87 Camino has parts I pirated from Buicks, the 32mm front bar and rear bar from a '78 Regal Turbo, which also had a quick ratio steering box. My steering box is a quick ratio high-effort unit from an '86 Regal T-Type.
If you are planning on doing some suspension upgrades, you'll need to chase relevant parts from G-body passenger cars.

Bill
 

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BillyJack;
How much improvement did that Quick Ratio Steering Box help on the el camino. I bought a new SS Montel Carlo box recently but havenly installed it yet along with the jeep steering knuckle shaft.
 

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BillyJack;
How much improvement did that Quick Ratio Steering Box help on the el camino. I bought a new SS Montel Carlo box recently but havenly installed it yet along with the jeep steering knuckle shaft.
The difference was like night and day. Much quicker steering response and considerably more steering feel. Unless you change the pressure valve calibration in the pump, the steering effort is actually a little higher than a Monte SS, 442 or Buick T-Type/GN, but I liked it that way. If I get tired of the higher effort, I always have the '78 Buick Regal Turbo on the shelf, which is quick ratio without the higher effort, but in 22 years I haven't felt the need to change. Also, I highly endorse the Jeep steering shaft swap. Even though my rag joint was in good shape visibly, swapping shafts made a subtle but noticeable difference.

Bill
 

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I used a rear sway bar from a mid 80's monte ss bolted right to my stock 84 El Camino rear control arms:nanawrench:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There is a bunch of different F41 parts. GM didn't put all of them on All vehicles ! They put certain F41 parts on some models & different F41 on other models !
Like the long engine bay braces only came on 78-80 Monte Carlos.
The front frame brace came on Grand Prix's
I think the rear sway bar was on Monte's, Grand Prix's & Cutlass ? :dontknow:
Steve,

Thanks for the tips on where to look for those other F41 parts. I will be looking for them in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
El Caminos with F41 did not come with rear sway bars. Not sure why GM made that decision, but they did. As to the steering box, there could be a few possibilities. Some years the GM parts books and aftermarket supplier catalogs are unclear about the quicker box. Also the number of turns is always approximate (your three turns may mean 'about 2 1/2' instead of 'about 3 1/4'). Thirdly, yours may have been replaced at some point and the shop either wasn't asked by the supplier which it had or did ask and was told 'Nah, it ain't no hotrod, it's prolly the standard one'. (I used to sell parts and both scenarios happen quite often).
Patrick
Patrick,

Thanks for sharing your direct experience. You and the others who responded have truly educated me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Doug,

That GM Heritage Specs document is great, Thanks for the link.

I think you are right on the mark as to why the F41 option was only $14.00!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As mentioned previously, none of the suspension options on a 5th gen included a rear stabilizer bar. The mounting holes are punched in the control arms, since the other G-Bodies that did use a rear bar used the same control arms. Also, no Caminos that I know had the quick-ratio steering box. I used to manage a GMC dealer in the 80's and ordered new Caballeros for inventory as well as driving them as company cars from '83 thru '87, so my information comes from personal experience. My '87 Camino has parts I pirated from Buicks, the 32mm front bar and rear bar from a '78 Regal Turbo, which also had a quick ratio steering box. My steering box is a quick ratio high-effort unit from an '86 Regal T-Type.
If you are planning on doing some suspension upgrades, you'll need to chase relevant parts from G-body passenger cars.

Bill
Bill,

Thanks for the benefit of your experience. Sounds like I need to keep my eyes peeled for a Buick Regal or GN/GNX donor. Like you I prefer the higher effort steering, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UMI makes a nice tubular seat of rear control arms (upper & lower) ... and a nice rear sway bar that bolts right in. Check JEGS or Summit Racing
John,

A full UMI suspension kit is on my to-do list. Gotta take care of a few other things first, then save up a whole bunch of money. I spent a lot of time talking with them at Spring Carlisle and I really like the fact they race what they make. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I used a rear sway bar from a mid 80's monte ss bolted right to my stock 84 El Camino rear control arms:nanawrench:
Fred,

Thanks, I almost bought a Monte SS parts car to do the same thing, but it turned out to be too far gone (rust).
 
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