Saginaw Steering: A History of Twists and Turns
The name Saginaw is synonymous with steering systems in classic GM vehicles. The facility—yes, located in Saginaw, Michigan—was founded more than 100 years ago and has undergone a number of name and management changes over the years, but it still produces steering components. It has also produced axle systems and adjustable steering columns.
The original works was founded in 1906 by three men with last the last names Jackson, Church, and Wilcox; they called the company Jacox. Buick bought the Jacox facility in 1909. It was separated from Buick in 1917 and renamed the Jackson, Church, and Wilcox Division, becoming GM's first parts-manufacturing arm. The name was changed to Saginaw Product Company in 1919 and to Saginaw Steering Gear Division in 1928. The brand name of the products was changed from Jacox to Saginaw in 1930. In 1985, the division's name was shortened to Saginaw Division.
During the early 1990s, the division was folded into GM's Automotive Components Group, which in 1995 became Delphi Automotive Group when it was spun off from General Motors. A decade later Delphi entered bankruptcy, and by 2008, it looked like the steering business was to be sold to a private equity firm; however, the deal fell apart. GM stepped in and got back into the steering business, renaming it Nexteer, but it didn't stay in for long. In the spring of 2010, GM sold Nexteer to an entity backed by the Chinese government.
A More Efficient Pump
One of the steering-system afflictions on C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes is power-steering fluid that overheats, which damages the pump. That can happen in severe conditions, such as racing. Turn One offers replacement pumps for these cars that require less engine power to operate. That reduces the load on the pumps, which helps keep the fluid from boiling. The pumps are simple replacements for their respective steering systems, and for the C4 enthusiast sending in his race-damaged rack-and-pinion for a rebuild, partnering it with one of the new, more efficient pumps makes a lot of sense.