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Kdancy
10-24-2005, 08:21 PM
I am reading the article in october 98 issue of turning wheels about the ross to saginaw steering gear exchange. I started looking part #'s up in the parts book and noticed that 2 different ratio's were available-- 20:1 and 24:1, with the 24:1 used without PS. How do you discern the ratio difference in the saginaw box if you have one laying in a pile? And if I am reading the book right, the Saginaw box was used in 61 up applications (along with the Ross box).

53commander HDTP
53 Champion HDTP
61 Cursed Purple Hawk
64 Champ long bed V8
64 GT

oldvinyl
10-24-2005, 09:08 PM
What are you up to?? If Iam correct Chilton should have the answer to your interchange. The early Motors Manual my also be your best guide. My father had problems with finding this all out, he was able to get help from the auto wreckers. You may have to try and find old interchange data. ILL dig through my stuff and see. Tom.

oldvinyl
10-24-2005, 10:21 PM
1962 Motors Auto Repair Manual,... Page 1074-1075-1076. I recall that the Ross steering box was easier to work with of the two. As for ratios, this book doesnt elaborate, The Saginaw has ball bearing clusters that surrounded the worm. If just one of these bearings decided to break it about ended your driving for the day. The ross steering box has tapered lever studs that guide through the cam or worm, The lever studs seemed to last Ok, but when worn out it didnt matter how you tryed to adjust the Cross shaft adjusting screw you could never get all the slack out where you needed it, usually straight ahead. Both units were quite OK, and relatively safe and easy to work on. The only easy way to find out what ratio you have is to sweep travel of steering box, turns on wheel for full sweep either direcion.dead stop to dead stop. A slightly longer pitman arm will speed up the steering, a shorter arm slower. I dont think studebaker messed with pittman arms or other front end arms,. just worm pitch. Hope this helps. Tom

Stude4x4
10-24-2005, 11:09 PM
Throw the Ross away and use the Sag. I never had a Ross work for me whether it was rebuilt or not. I think they make good anchors for a small fishing boats.

-Home of John Studebaker-

oldvinyl
10-25-2005, 01:34 AM
The saginaw is very good, so is the Ross, The Ross style was used In many other Vehicles aswell ,long before 1960 they all gave good serice life., Lubrication can really Improve both of these steering boxes , Nulon, Swepco, and other companies have introduced PTFE suspended greases, graphites, and other chemicals that make non-power and power steering very nice. I have had great success with Nulon the Austrailian space age products. Introduce these greases and lubrications to ball joints and other front end parts and youll be suprised. Shell has a great synthetic grease that should show good results this next while., Nulon and Duralube make the finest steering additives for power steering. Dont throw the Ross away!!!! Tom.

oldvinyl
10-25-2005, 01:57 AM
Kdancy, Some of the 1951-60 Studebakers had different lenght pittman arms, I have seen two variations. On page 1076 in Motors (1962) youll notice that the lower boss is drilled in the high position. I have put a 53 lowboy together with the hole factory drilled in the lower position. It was a 6 cylinder Canadian built car. This alone will change things dramatically. Perhaps others have come across this?? Tom.

Dwain G.
10-25-2005, 02:09 AM
The 20-1 Saginaw makes 4 3/4 turns lock-to-lock, and the 24-1 makes 5 1/4 or a little less (5 1/5). The 24-1 ratio was only used with certain non-power steering equipped vehicles. '61 to '64 V8 convertibles, and '61 to '66 V8 station wagons with sliding roof.

Dwain G.

blackhawk
10-25-2005, 02:55 AM
I have the Ross gearbox in my '63 Hawk and '61 Champ 1/2 ton pickup. I believe the gearbox for the Hawk has two studs that work in the worm gear and the gearbox for the Champ only has one. My Hawk (w/o power steering) has always steered well but the Champ is hard to steer. I think the difference is the steering linkage setup in the Champ but the single stud versus double stud may be contributing too. It is important to have the right lubricant in the Ross, moreso than in the recirculating ball Saginaw. Since the stud-in-wormgear setup is really metal to metal, you need an extreme pressure lubricant. Plain old chassis lub will work in the Saginaw. I use Lubriplate Mag-1 in the Saginaw boxes on my Larks because it gets as cold as -60 here. I don't have a source for the lubricant needed for the Ross gearboxes. I'd appreciate help finding a suitable replacement for the original Ross gear lub if anyone out there knows where one can get some.

I have read (Dick Datsun's old Total Performance issues, I believe) that the studs in the Ross gearbox can be removed, turned 90 degrees and tack welded back in place to give new life to a gearbox that steers hard because the stud(s) have a flat spot from wear. But, I have never tried to do this.

I really like the Saginaw recirculating ball gearboxes used in the later Larks. In my opinion, they steer much easier than the Ross gearboxes and no doubt that is due to the ball bearings in the wormgear. I have hundreds of thousands of miles on these gearboxes (I retired my '63 wagon at 450,000 miles) without ever having one break. They are easy to adjust to compensate for wear. I'd choose the Saginaw if I had a model that either gearbox would fit.

A quick steering arm was available for some of the Avanti IIs. See page 176 of the Studebaker International catalog.

Dale

Kdancy
10-25-2005, 06:10 AM
quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

The 20-1 Saginaw makes 4 3/4 turns lock-to-lock, and the 24-1 makes 5 1/4 or a little less (5 1/5). The 24-1 ratio was only used with certain non-power steering equipped vehicles. '61 to '64 V8 convertibles, and '61 to '66 V8 station wagons with sliding roof.

Dwain G.

Thanks for all the help guys.
The article in Turning Wheels didn't mention the two different ratios. I am contemplating doing the conversion from ross to saginaw in a 53, but it is a little involved and I was thinking the 24:1 ratio would be better for a non PS car with bigger tires than stock.

53commander HDTP
53 Champion HDTP
61 Cursed Purple Hawk
64 Champ long bed V8
64 GT

N8N
10-25-2005, 09:39 AM
I believe if you want to keep the stock steering wheel in a 53, if you find a 53-55 Champion it may just have a Saginaw manual steering box. ISTR that they were more commonly used on Champions and rarely if ever on Commanders. Now for the later C-Ks I think most if not all of them had Ross steering boxes.

I understand the preference for the Saginaw box, the Ross box has a lot of sliding friction and if it's been run dry it may well be worn out.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

N8N
10-25-2005, 09:40 AM
one more thing, if you find a good Saginaw manual C-K box, I think you can keep your old steering column jacket making it a relatively easy swap.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

oldvinyl
10-25-2005, 10:17 AM
The tapered pins, two of them, I have seen them welded. not my choice of repairs., NOS adjusters may be floating around yet for the Ross. Try interchange data at auto salvage yards. Tom

Dick Steinkamp
10-25-2005, 11:56 AM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

one more thing, if you find a good Saginaw manual C-K box, I think you can keep your old steering column jacket making it a relatively easy swap.

nate




I replaced the Ross in my '54 Starliner with a same year Saginaw. Gord Richmond had the Saginaw "in inventory" and rebuilt it for me. I don't know if it is Gord's excellent rebuild or the Saginaw design, but the car steers much easier with no steering wheel play since the swap. The Saginaw does have a different pitman arm than the Ross, but everything else (drag link, steering column jacket) will bolt up.

I do believe these "early" Saginaw boxes were different from those used in the Larks. My 14,000 mile '62 Lark (V8-Auto) with a Saginaw steered like it had power steering. The Starliner isn't quite at that level.

-Dick-

Roscomacaw
10-25-2005, 04:49 PM
I've done the trick of pushing the two pins out and clocking them 90 to obtain tighter clearance. It's a good fix![^] You can use CV joint grease in place of the Obsolete Kendall 400 that Stude prescribed. It won't drip out either! :D

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS