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View Full Version : Steering Chevy Astro reverse PS gearbox swap ideas.



1962larksedan
07-23-2011, 02:04 PM
As per Bob Andrews request to start a different thread on a possible Chevy Astro reverse PS gear for a 1951+ Stude car I went ahead and started this one. :)

PackardV8
07-23-2011, 07:25 PM
Now if Mr. Paul Keller will just get his friend to provide detailed photos and installation instructions . . .
2. A friend just installed an Astro Van pwr steer unit in his '54 Stude wagon fairly easily. The usual work, cut the wheel shaft and housing, attach a matching 'U' joint. Also obtatained an aftertmarket pitman arm that worked perfectly.

jack vines

jrlemke
07-24-2011, 09:28 PM
I'll second that request for pictures or at least a write-up if it's aplicable to a 61 Hawk! -Jim

Dwain G.
07-25-2011, 07:10 PM
The 1949-54 Chevrolets had center point steering very similar to Studebaker. Some of the shops are now making a power steering kit for them using a Saginaw model 800 steering box.

http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/gemnewt/blogs/29224

allstateguy
07-25-2011, 07:42 PM
very nice. have someone engineer a Stude-specific set of brackets and shazam!

PackardV8
07-25-2011, 08:34 PM
For $744, that's a very comprehensive kit . . . for a Chevrolet.

The width of the Studebaker V8 is always the problem when trying to squeeze in an integral PS box. The Saginaw 800 is considerably wider than the Ross manual box. Anything can be made to fit anything. The price just doesn't always end up in the CASO comfort zone.

jack vines

1962larksedan
07-25-2011, 08:45 PM
The 1949-54 Chevrolets had center point steering very similar to Studebaker. Some of the shops are now making a power steering kit for them using a Saginaw model 800 steering box.

http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/gemnewt/blogs/29224


This conversion replaces the stock steering sector
with a remanufactured Saginaw 800 power steering
reverse rotation gear

Interesting...........very interesting..........

stuuder
07-26-2011, 01:43 AM
I'm interested too!! 53 HT

Jeff_H
07-26-2011, 08:44 AM
Here is the picture of that chevy kit from Dwain's link:

http://hubgarage.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/4002505/pskit_detail.JPG

1989 Astro Van box from the NAPA website:

https://partimages.genpt.com/largeimages/735154.jpg

BTW, not sure when they changed them, but my initial search with a '95 astro box has the pitman arm coming out the other side.

gordr
07-26-2011, 11:16 AM
This looks interesting. Studebaker steering box sit right atop the left frame rail, so that the steering column is pretty much on the axis of the frame rail, and the sector shaft is under the worm shaft. Mounting that Saginaw box in the same relative orientation might wind up placing the end of the sector shaft in interference with the exhaust manifold on a V8. Stock Stude steering puts the end of that shaft under the manifold.

You may be able to make it work by shifting the whole box outboard a bit (but not too much as tire clearance could be an issue), and using a longer Pitman arm, since the sector shaft will be higher.

PackardV8
07-26-2011, 11:23 AM
and using a longer Pitman arm, since the sector shaft will be higher. Modern PS boxes have fewer turns lock-to-lock than do the old Stude manual boxes. A longer Pitman arm might speed up the steering too much and make it too twitchy.

jack ivnes

1962larksedan
07-26-2011, 08:38 PM
This looks interesting. Studebaker steering box sit right atop the left frame rail, so that the steering column is pretty much on the axis of the frame rail, and the sector shaft is under the worm shaft. Mounting that Saginaw box in the same relative orientation might wind up placing the end of the sector shaft in interference with the exhaust manifold on a V8. Stock Stude steering puts the end of that shaft under the manifold.

You may be able to make it work by shifting the whole box outboard a bit (but not too much as tire clearance could be an issue), and using a longer Pitman arm, since the sector shaft will be higher.

It may be a PITA to do so; but if needed, one can notch/plate the frame rail to put the sector shaft in the same location as a factory Stude box.

Bob Andrews
07-26-2011, 08:51 PM
My only reservation with this is it has a decidedly 'shade tree' feel to it. Many wouldn't feel comfortable unless they knew it was a carefully engineered solution from qualified folks.

Looks like it might work, though!

gordr
07-26-2011, 09:02 PM
One thought that occurred to me today: I wonder if the guts from a reverse-rotation Saginaw box can be fitted into the case from a normal-rotation box of the same general series? Maybe then you could get a box with the worm above the sector shaft, the mounting ears on top. Then a relatively simple plate steel bracket could be made to mount it in almost exactly the same position as the stock Stude box.

I'm due to make a trip to my friendly local auto wrecker one of these days. Maybe I can score one of the Astro van boxes, and see if I can find it's opposite-handed counterpart, and try such a swap.

karterfred88
07-27-2011, 09:26 AM
I'm not an expert on this --but from the GM parts drawing and looking at the photo of the box, it looks like the box extension/bearing support area at the sector shaft could be machined down to narrow it, and the sector shaft be rebroached (maybe even broached to match a Stude pitman arm), rethreaded and shortened quite a bit. That might make it "narrow" enough to clear the left exhaust manifold and line up the input with the steering shaft from the steering wheel. I've attached some images. This might also help the "Borgeson" thread as well, since remachining would be beyond a backyard swap. If I knew how to post this in both I would.

leyrret
07-27-2011, 07:43 PM
If memory serves the 80-96 Ford box is a 1/2" narrower than the Saginaw box at the Pittman (but don't hold me to it), but they are very close dimensionally. The Ford splines are slightly larger. Mounting either box with a v-8 will require cutting inner fender to allow enough movement outboard to clear engine. The required mounting position will also require long pittman arm. I used the saginaw p.s. box arm which is around 8 or 9 inches center to center, again if memory serves me as the car is not at my location at the moment. A universal mount may be possible but either the Ford or GM box is a tight fit and may not work with the same placement on all models and in any event would likely require several different drag links and maybe different pittman arms as well to accommodate all applications. An example of how tight, due to the required long pittman arm the engine frame mount had to be notched to allow enough forward movement for full turn.