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View Full Version : Studebaker Power Steering Ram Rebuild - how to



sbca96
04-22-2007, 01:48 AM
EDIT for picture location, and to add critical Q & A thread link.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7602

I should add that I ended up NOT rebuilding the power ram. So far it
isnt leaking and working fine. Just cleaned & replaced hoses. 12/31/08

Now back to the original thread :

Since I am a glutton for punishment, I have ventured ahead on this
power steering rebuild project. Next on my hit list is the power ram.
This guy is where all the pressure ends up from the pump, diverted by
the control valve on the pitman arm. Its bolted on one end to the
front frame rail, and the other end goes to an arm off the bell crank.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_001a.jpg

A 3/4 box end wrench can do the job if you know the trick of hooking
another wrench to the open end to "extend" it for more leverage. First
I tried backing off the nut and wacking it a couple times with a large
sledge hammer. That didnt work. Second I tried a neat new tool that
pushes the tip of the shaft, and pops the end right out of the arm. It
didnt work either - the frame is in the way.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_002a.jpg

Lastly, I used the "old reliable" - pickle fork. Obviously it worked
just fine, except it destroyed the boot - its trademark.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_003a.jpg

On the other end, I had to cut the steel end of the hoses, rust wasnt
allowing the flare nut to turn on the tube. This results in the tube
trying to turn WITH the flare nut and twisting the tube. A hacksaw is
quite capable of negotiating through the old rusted tube quite fast.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_004a.jpg

Unfortunately, when I unthreaded the nut off the pivot bolt, it also
took the threads with it! Now my pivot bolt is screwed up. Not sure
what to do about this, I bet Studebaker International has one, but I
just dont have the cash to pay for it right now. I will have to take
it off the car and see if I can rethread it to the next metric size
down (to leave more material).[B)]

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_005a.jpg

Took a couple minutes to scrape all the crap off it and get as much of
the fluid out of it as I could.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_006a.jpg

Some of the fluid was BLACK, thats kinda odd.[?] It cleaned up OK.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_007a.jpg

Tom


'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

DEEPNHOCK
04-22-2007, 08:29 AM
$13,900 for a PT Cruiser???
Man, Things are bad in California[:0];)
Jeff[8D]

Rerun
04-22-2007, 08:56 AM
Why remove the rod end from the bellcrank arm at all? Count the number of threads showing on the cylinder rod end (helpful on re-assembly). Loosen the jam nut, and unscrew the cylinder rod from the rod end. After rebuild, screw the rod back into the rod end and tighten the jam nut. This seems a lot easier, and you won't damage the rod end or boot. Or am I missing something here?

Jim Bradley
'64 Daytona HT "Rerun"
http://home.earthlink.net/~bradley71771/images/Rerun.jpg

N8N
04-22-2007, 09:31 AM
Tie rod boots are available from several vendors, not a problem (assuming it's the same boot - it looks like it is)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

sbca96
04-22-2007, 02:30 PM
Thats what I was thinking, and it makes perfect sense. The downside
is that taking pictures of the pieces would be harder, at least the
'tierod' end anyway. The end has to come off anyway, so yes it makes
perfect sense now that I have cleaned it up and can see what it looks
like. Marking/counting the threads and unscrewing it should work.


quote:Originally posted by Rerun

Loosen the jam nut, and unscrew the cylinder rod from the rod end.

Any thoughts on what happened at the frame end?? Nice threads huh? I
am thinking impact gun. I got the piece off today. I dont see it in
the Studebaker International catalog. I will bring it to work tomorrow
and see if they can turn it on the lathe down to the next size metric
thread like I mentioned. It doesnt see and great forces that I can
picture. Thoughts?

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_008a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_009a.jpg

Rust does such nice things to bolts, it would have been nice had it
just broke off, I have to replace it anyway, but instead the threads
were just hard to turn but good.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_010a.jpg

Tom

sbca96
04-24-2007, 02:14 AM
No input on the pivot pin? I came up empty on a replacement, so its
going into the lathe to get rethreaded tomorrow. I got a new boot for
the 'tierod' end, and fixed the damaged thread from the nifty press
out tierod tool. It seems that since it was pushing on it crooked, it
crushed the last 4 threads above the center of the cotter pin hole. I
used the belt sander at work and just removed those threads - they are
not "used" anyway. The threads came out of the nut when I removed it,
and I couldnt get a replacement (1/2-24 castle nut??) so I went thru
a box of old parts and found my old '95 Impala SS upper balljoints.
Guess what?? Exactly the same as the Studebaker castle nut.:D

Tom

r1lark
04-24-2007, 12:39 PM
quote:Second I tried a neat new tool that
pushes the tip of the shaft, and pops the end right out of the arm. It
didnt work either - the frame is in the way.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_002a.jpg


Tom,

I have used one of these tie rod pullers a number of times, and for tight spaces I replace the original 'bolt' with a shorter bolt for extra clearance. For example, the steering pitman arm on my '64 GT needed this trick.

Paul

Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: http://hometown.aol.com/r1skytop/myhomepage/index.html

sbca96
04-24-2007, 08:30 PM
Unfortunately it wasnt the bolt that got in the way, it was the actual
housing of the puller. It wouldnt fit, the bellcrank just doesn't let
the ball end swing out far enough to clear. The frame is in the way.[V]

Tom


quote:Originally posted by r1lark

I have used one of these tie rod pullers a number of times, and for tight spaces I replace the original 'bolt'..

Scott
04-25-2007, 11:27 AM
Man, Tom. I sure wish I lived next door to you. I'd learn a lot and we'd both get more done faster on our Studebakers.

Hey Minnesota's a nice place and the housing is reasonable. Don't suppose you'd want to move up here and join the Northstar Chapter?;)

sbca96
04-27-2007, 06:20 PM
Thanks Scott .. I could certainly use an extra set of hands!

Reading ahead in the shop manual instructions, I noticed that the
dimension of the ball end to eye is given. The bad part is that it
doesnt match MY power ram dimension, and I havent loosened anything.
It also doesnt look like I can even hit that number if I max out the
threads! The current dimension is 14-15/64ths from what I can tell.

The shop manual states :

Install the lock nut and ball stud end. Thread the
end until the distance from the center of the cylinder
eye to the center of the ball stud is 13-7/8" (35,24cm).
Then, tighten the lock nut.

Any input? Mike? Nate?

Tom

N8N
04-27-2007, 07:59 PM
Sorry, only P/S I've had is the old Saginaw type... I'm no help here.

I may eventually post a "how to replace the Pitman arm seal" if the fact that my steering box is packed with CV grease ever bothers me enough :)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

Mike
04-28-2007, 04:21 AM
I removed the cylinder by unscrewing the adjustment; because it was too hard to get to the the tie rod end on the bell crank, to remove it. I left the lock nut in position, so I could put it back at about the same length. The ram was new; so I haven't taken it apart.
I think close is good enough on the length of the ram. It doesn't change alignment. I would be best to keep a worn cylinder working in the same area of travel.
It's funny that Stude specifies the ram length to 1/8"; but says "about 15" for the control rod length, which really is important.
Mike M.

sbca96
04-30-2007, 12:36 AM
I dunno .. I guess what it is .. is what it is, I might shorten it as
much as I can when I put it back together. Here is the pivot bolt on
the lathe at work. Turned the 1/2-13 threads off to the major of the
7/16-20 thread he is putting on it. I decided on 7/16-20, over doing
a 7/16-14 because it picks up another 5 foot pounds of max torque. The
nut is supposed to be torqued 45-50 ft pounds and the standard rating
on a 7/16-20 is 50 ft lbs. Just barely gets me in the door :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_011a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_012a.jpg

Here is the grease boot I got from Napa - 5 bucks! Looks like it will
work fine though. You can also see the '95 Impala SS upper ball joint
castle nut and the threads I had to remove that got damaged.

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_013a.jpg

Here are all the parts cleaned up on the wire wheel at work, and the
now rethreaded pivot bolt :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_014a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_015a.jpg

I tried with shop pressure (80 psi) to blow the seal out of the ram,
that was a pointless effort. The shop has a water fed 1000 psi ram,
but I dont want to introduce water into the PS ram. I guess the next
step is to see if there is a way to manually remove the seal without
damaging the cylinder bore (shop manual suggests awls) or wait until
I have the control valve rebuilt and the new hoses on to do the left
turn POP thats recommended.

Tom

Laemmle
06-26-2007, 02:55 PM
Tom.
Since you are under the car..........how many holes are there in the bottom of the radiator support?

Thanks!



quote:Originally posted by sbca96

Since I am a glutton for punishment, I have ventured ahead on this
power steering rebuild project. Next on my hit list is the power ram.
This guy is where all the pressure ends up from the pump, diverted by
the control valve on the pitman arm. Its bolted on one end to the
front frame rail, and the other end goes to an arm off the bell crank.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_001a.jpg

A 3/4 box end wrench can do the job if you know the trick of hooking
another wrench to the open end to "extend" it for more leverage. First
I tried backing off the nut and wacking it a couple times with a large
sledge hammer. That didnt work. Second I tried a neat new tool that
pushes the tip of the shaft, and pops the end right out of the arm. It
didnt work either - the frame is in the way.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_002a.jpg

Lastly, I used the "old reliable" - pickle fork. Obviously it worked
just fine, except it destroyed the boot - its trademark.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_003a.jpg

On the other end, I had to cut the steel end of the hoses, rust wasnt
allowing the flare nut to turn on the tube. This results in the tube
trying to turn WITH the flare nut and twisting the tube. A hacksaw is
quite capable of negotiating through the old rusted tube quite fast.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_004a.jpg

Unfortunately, when I unthreaded the nut off the pivot bolt, it also
took the threads with it! Now my pivot bolt is screwed up. Not sure
what to do about this, I bet Studebaker International has one, but I
just dont have the cash to pay for it right now. I will have to take
it off the car and see if I can rethread it to the next metric size
down (to leave more material).[B)]

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_005a.jpg

Took a couple minutes to scrape all the crap off it and get as much of
the fluid out of it as I could.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_006a.jpg

Some of the fluid was BLACK, thats kinda odd.[?] It cleaned up OK.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_007a.jpg

Tom


'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

John Kirchhoff
06-26-2007, 04:22 PM
Concerning the damaged threads, I've had the same thing. That happens when a section of thread is actually gets torn from either side and proceeds to flatten everything during removal.

I used a seal kit I got from a Stude vendor years ago and while the seal was right, the (yellow) spacer was too thick rendering me unable to install the snap ring. I had to use the old one but the sealing capability of the seal was not impacted and it's been fine since.

The seal is very easy to pop out with the system running but I'd be very cautious about other methods or getting the seal out. Were it me, I'd have the cylinder shaft all skinned up and ruined.

With this kind of cylinder, when reassembling I like to rotate the cylinder shaft 90 or 180 degrees. Power steering cylinder shafts tend to wear in one spot on one side because of side loads. They'll wear through the chrome and once into the steel, you usually have a permanent leak that new seals won't cure and is fixable only with a new shaft. Rotating the shaft will put wear on the opposite side and prolong the shaft life.

Tom, considering all the trials and tribulations you've had with this project, you're either a very patient man or a man on the verge of going berserk.

sbca96
06-26-2007, 04:39 PM
I think I already have this problem, there is a spot on the shaft that
drew my attention. I will take a picture of it and post it later.

My patience is wearing thin with this car, I havent had such a long
string of issues before, its been since November 2006 since it last
operated like a "normal" car.[V]

Tom


quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff
They'll wear through the chrome and once into the steel, you usually have a permanent leak that new seals won't cure and is fixable only with a new shaft. Rotating the shaft will put wear on the opposite side and prolong the shaft life.

Tom, considering all the trials and tribulations you've had with this project, you're either a very patient man or a man on the verge of going berserk.

Karl
06-26-2007, 06:53 PM
And just think. It gets to be more fun when you have more than One Studebaker.....;)

63 Twin Supercharged Avanti
64 Avanti R3w/NOS
88LSC Avanti 350 Supercharged w/NOS

sbca96
06-27-2007, 03:49 AM
Oh .. I remember those days, at one time we had a 1939 Commander, 1940
Commander Hearse, 1960 Hawk, 1963 Daytona Wagonaire, 1964 Daytona HT,
1964 GT Hawk, and a 1969 Avanti II. Thats when I lived at home. Now,
my wife and I have a 63 Avanti, 78 Camaro, 86 IROC Camaro, 93 Camaro
Z28, 1994 Firebird Formula, 1995 Camaro Z28, and 1995 Impala SS clone.

Out of all those .. the '63 Avanti has the least miles and was "all fully
restored" on the 80's (though I doubt that).

Here are the pictures of the Ram wear :

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_016a.jpg

http://emperorjordan.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/Avanti_Power_Steering/PS_Ram/PowerSteeringRam_017a.jpg

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Karl
And just think. It gets to be more fun when you have more than One Studebaker....

John Kirchhoff
06-27-2007, 09:39 AM
I don't know exactly where that spot is in relationship to the seal, but to me it looks more like there may have been a bit of water trapped there which caused the damage. Wear spots are usually longer and smoother and aren't pitted as yours appears. Were it mine, I think I'd get some emery cloth and try to smooth the area up some. A little bit of dripping is tolerable. If the worn area is right where the seal is when the car is driven in a straight line, you might be able to move the bad spot one way or the other away from the seal by altering the length of the threaded end. Gotta go, got a dentist appointment!

Swifster
06-27-2007, 11:05 AM
quote:Originally posted by sbca96

Now, my wife and I have a 63 Avanti, 78 Camaro, 86 IROC Camaro, 93 Camaro Z28, 1994 Firebird Formula, 1995 Camaro Z28, and 1995 Impala SS clone.


I see the problems....;).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom - Valrico, FL

1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/1965_Studebaker_Commander_front198x.jpg

John Kirchhoff
06-27-2007, 12:34 PM
Ok, back from the dentist with a numb face. As I was saying, if you could polish the rough spot up a bit, it might still seal adequately. The way it looks now I'd be afraid of it chewing up the new seal. If you have something like a sharpening stone for knives and such you might be able to knock down the roughest spots and finish up with a little crocus cloth. As I said earlier, if this spot is where the seal normally rides when driving straight, threading the shaft in or out of the ball joint might be enough to get a good area for the seal to spend most of it's time at. That way, if the seal is going to seep at the bad spot, it'll only do that momentarily when turning and not continually when driving straight. The only bad thing it may do would be reduce the turning radius a slight amount in one direction.

parky
06-27-2007, 12:50 PM
If the ram isn't mounted exactly as it was before (more or less number of threads showing) will it tend to pull to one side or the other when going straight down the road or will it only limit the turning as John stated above??
thanks
bob

62 GT Hawk

sbca96
06-27-2007, 05:12 PM
The way I understand the operation of the system, the ram doesnt have
any effect on tracking or limits lock to lock/center. I could be off
on my understanding though. Studebaker uses stops on opposite sides
to control steering stop. The reach rod screwed in the control valve
could effect the lock to lock/center, as can the tie rod lengths. The
tie rods and kingpin alignment will effect pulling/tracking.

Since my RAM wasnt leaking before, and this damaged spot will probably
effect the sealing, I am tempted to find another ram, and just use the
one I have AS-IS in the meantime.


quote:Originally posted by Swifster
I see the problems....;).

Funny, you know in 244,000 miles of constant abuse I havent had this
much hassle fixing anything I broke (or my wife broke) on the '93 Z28.
Even when she slammed it into the curb, bending the steering knuckle,
and then some neighbor hit it while it was parked the following week,
I was still able to get it back on the road in a month.;)

I look forward to the day I can drive the Avanti semi-regularly, and
then rebuild the engine in the 93 Z28.[B)]

Tom

John Kirchhoff
06-27-2007, 05:27 PM
As Tom said, the position of the shaft in the cylinder has no effect on the steering whatsoever. The position of the pitman arm ball in the control valve is what determines whether or not and which side of the cylinder the high pressure fluid is applied to. When the ball is located in the center of the control valve, no pressurized fluid is sent to the cylinder and all of the fluid from the pump is routed through relief valve and back into the reservoir. When you turn the steering wheel, the ball is forced forward or backwards moving the spool which in turn opens ports, diverting the pressurized fluid through the hoses to either the top or bottom of the cylinder. (Top being the end the shaft extends from.) That'll teach you to ask a question, won't it Bob? Ha!

parky
06-27-2007, 05:58 PM
Hey! I love the technical answers, as I have always been a technical person and love to know how something really works.
I found an almost new (supposedly) ram at the SB swap meet and grabbed it on impulse. When I finally got the old one off and on the bench I found out why it had been leaking so bad. Somebody rebuilt it but decided that all of the rebuild kit parts weren't necessary. They left out one of the rubber seals. I'm surprised it didn't leak worse than it did. If I get the new one installed and working ok I'll attempt to put a kit in the old one and my collection of used parts will continue to grow.
Thanks for the good info.
bob

62 GT Hawk

Karl
06-27-2007, 06:50 PM
As Swifter said, I see the problems...To many GM products...lol;)

63 Twin Supercharged Avanti
64 Avanti R3w/NOS
88LSC Avanti 350 Supercharged w/NOS

sbca96
06-28-2007, 08:33 PM
Well .. I need something to DRIVE.:D

BTW the Camaro will be going over 245,000 tonight on the drive home.
Still has the factory rack & pinion, PS hoses, and PS pump.[:0]

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Karl

As Swifter said, I see the problems...To many GM products...lol

Ira
09-16-2016, 05:17 PM
i have the pump, ram and control valve along with the rebuild kits for an Eaton Pwr Steering unit for 60 Hawk. I need someone who can rebuild all three for me if anyone can recommend. thanks