Why Choose Lee Power Steering
History of Lee Power Steering
Lee Manufacturing was established in 1965 by Tom Lee, as a job shop for the aerospace industry. Soon after, power steering development had become Tom’s main area of focus.
Tom’s first love has always been racing. He was a big part of the California Hot Rod scene in the late 50’s and drag racing at San Fernando Raceway. In 1962 and 63, Tom worked for Mickey Thompson Racing as a mechanic and machinist on the Harvey Aluminum race cars at the Indianapolis 500. Tom would later move on to race off road buggies and trucks, sprint cars, midgets, and go karts.
In 1968, Tom was the innovator of the power steering gear for Sprint cars. His gears were the first choice for most every top racer in the country. His original concept is still used today. In 1970 Lee Power Steering gears were used in the Famous Parnelli Jones “Big Oly” and his off road legacy began.
Over the years, Lee Steering components and the yellow and black hex logo have been on countless cars that have won major races in most every form of motorsports. In addition, the hot rod world has relied on Lee Steering for muscle cars and special projects.
When Tom’s retirement began making the news, longtime friend and customer Allan Padelford decided to continue the legacy by getting the company back up and running. Today, we still have the same great employees, and have also incorporated some newer state of the art technology. Tom is still on board as a consultant and visits the shop frequently. Our goal is to continue on with the legendary steering technology and service that Tom pioneered.
What sets Lee Power Steering apart from the rest? SERVICE AND CUSTOMIZATION.
Lee Power Steering is not a routine assembly line that rushes to mass produce product to fill distributor orders. We custom build each component to fit your specific needs. We have 50 years of experience to help guide you through that process. We prefer to sell direct to the customer to ensure that they get exactly what is needed.
We take the extra time to blueprint every part in the process. From modifying passages, to porting valves, we ensure that each part will have the proper flow and maintain lower operating temperatures. All key parts are Magnafluxed and checked for imperfections. Every steering box, pump, rack, and servo that we ship is tested on our unique test bench.
Our in-depth process is time consuming, but well worth the cost to ensure you get the best steering components available.
Gear Rebuild Process
GEAR REBUILD PROCESS
First, we COMPLETELY disassemble your steering box. During this process all parts are visually inspected for any damage. If there are any issues, we immediately call you to discuss. Then, all parts are run through a hot tank washing cycle. Once clean from oil and grime they are either sand or bead blasted depending on the part. After sand/bead blasting your housing, the valve and piston cavities are honed. Once bead blasted the sector, piston, and ball screw are all Magnafluxed to check for any cracks not visible to the naked eye. Your valve is then blueprinted to our precise standards that match the feel that you have asked for. Now your box is re-assembled using all new o-rings, seals, and gold cadmium plated hardware of the highest quality. After assembly it heads off to our custom test bench where it is checked for leaks, valve balance, and steering force. It is then stamped with a serial number for our records and finally, we box it up and ship it back to you.
Note: It is recommended that unless using a new pump, you send yours along with your steering box. Not only to verify that it is free of contamination, but also to calibrate it to your new box (especially if a ratio change was made or ram assist added).
Pump Rebuild Process
PUMP REBUILD PROCESS
First, we completely disassemble your pump and visually inspect all parts. Then it is run through a hot tank washing cycle. The piston, rotor and vanes are all precisely measured. If anything is out or tolerance, we install a complete new cam pack in your pump. The pump is re-assembled using all new o-rings and seals. Once assembled, the pump is tested at the pressure and flow rate that is needed for your application. It is then stamped with a serial number for our records and finally, we box it up and ship back to you.
Test Bench Explanation
TEST BENCH EXPLANATION
What exactly does “testing” mean? As you can imagine, the first thing that usually comes to mind, is to test for leaks. But, once a box passes the leak test, there is more we can learn. We run the box through its full range of travel, hard to the stops. Just like you would if you were wheeling your car into a tough parking spot or hammering a rocky trail. We check the force it takes to move the steering box at the wheel. This is usually called out in “pounds” or a torsion bar size. But, the torsion bar size does not always guaranty the force it takes to turn your steering wheel. There are other aspects of the steering valve that result in the final steering force. Once we determine the force is correct for your order, we check the most important aspect of the box, the balance of the valve! This is the effort it takes to steer your car left verses right. An unbalanced steering valve will steer your vehicle easier one way or the other and in some extreme instances, it can actually pull the vehicle in one direction.
The Magnaflux process utilizes an electrical current to produce magnetism in the part being checked. A liquid solution containing iron powder is flowed over the part. The components having been magnetized will draw the iron powder to the cracked area. Utilizing the ultraviolet black light clearly shows the crack.
This process is a critical step used regularly in the aerospace and racecar industries. It finds many imperfections the naked eye can’t detect, which could be potential failures.
The critical parts in every steering gear we ship will undergo this process.
We also offer this service to our customers on an hourly basis. We are frequently checking transmission gears, crankshafts, cylinder heads and other critical parts for race teams.