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Scott
07-11-2007, 11:21 AM
My 1965 Daytona has power steering, but the ram cylinder is leaking fluid as fast as one puts it in. Can the system be disconnected from the idler arm or pitman arm or whatever it is and make the car a manual steering car? Is the geometry such that it would not be safe to drive it that way? Were different steering arms used in conjunction with the power steering system?

The pump uses the same belt as everything else. I assume it would be very bad to run the pump with nothing in it and I should find a shorter belt if I disconnect the system. Correct?

skyway
07-11-2007, 01:15 PM
You can reomve the belt in a pinch. This stops the pump from actively driving the leakage, and lets you get home for repairs without damaging the pump. I drove my '64 Wagonaire from South Bend home to St. Louis like this once after busting a hose.

Don't know that I'd call it "dangerous" but the steering will be noticable looser without the pump running. That's because without the pump running, there is nothing to take up the "slop" in the valve body attached to the pitman arm. Also, beware of an unknowing safety inspector finding that slop and tell you its a "fail". They usually change their mind once you start the engine and have them look again.

As an aside, because this system is power assist, as opposed to a true power steering box, the steering effort with the power is disabled is not much heavier than on a Studebaker with manual steering.

Also, yes, I beleive you can replace the power pitman with one for manual steering. However,the power steering bellcrank has an extra arm for the ram tho, and I can't remember if that extra arm gets in the way or not? You'd also want to disconnect/remove the power ram.

Good luck

Mike Van Veghten
07-11-2007, 04:05 PM
Scott -

Since you have the steering with the additional ram...yes you can.
I removed ALL of the power steering equipment after two of the hoses started leaking. Made a mess. And as I really don't care for the mess of stuff under the hood, I removed all of it.
You "may" need a new pitman arm. I don't recall why, but I replaced only that. It's my daily driver, has been for over 7 years now.

And as skyway notes, it doesn't make it a hard turning car.

Mike

Scott
07-11-2007, 04:33 PM
I remember about 5 years ago I was looking around for new or rebuilt ram units and found it was practically impossible to find said item. Have things changed? Could I just buy a rebuilt ram? Tom (SBCA) rebuilt one, and the thought of doing one scares me to death and the thought of paying someone else to spend that much time scares me to death. If a rebuilt one is available, that might be just what I need.

sbca96
07-11-2007, 04:39 PM
With all the trouble I have had with my power steering, I would still
give you this advice. Order the ram rebuild kit, either from SI or
from a Ford equvilent (National Parts Depot), follow the instructions
in the shop manual. You remove the c-clip and turn the wheel, have a
container available to catch the fluid and maybe wrap the ram with a
rag to keep it from spraying all over. I have done this part yet, but
it sounds like its fairly easy to do.

Tom

Scott
07-11-2007, 05:03 PM
I'm sure I'm scared of tackling the control valve assembly more than the ram. Are there any tips to a successful rebuild fo the ram, or just follow the instructions? Are these SI's instructions or instructions from the kit manufacturer?

Skip Lackie
07-11-2007, 05:29 PM
Maybe it was just beginner's luck, but I have rebuilt a couple of the rams without difficulty. Rebuilding the control valve is a lot more hassle.

I'm pretty sure you have to replace the Pitman arm like Mike did if you want to get true manual steering (which requires removing the control valve). If you leave the control valve in place, then you'll get the dreaded sloppy steering as described by skyway. You'll also wear out the control valve (if it isn't already), since it will no longer be lubricated by the PS fluid.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

Skip Lackie
07-12-2007, 08:29 AM
quote:Originally posted by Scott

I'm sure I'm scared of tackling the control valve assembly more than the ram. Are there any tips to a successful rebuild fo the ram, or just follow the instructions? Are these SI's instructions or instructions from the kit manufacturer?


The shop manual tells you how; I don't know if SI's kits include instructions. The easiest way to disassemble the ram is as described above by Tom: remove the c-clip and blow the seals out with hydraulic pressure. But that makes a mess and mixes up the pieces.

I removed the ram from the car and was able to pull the piston out by hand, which allows you to take each little piece out and see how it was oriented. Then you just reassemble the thing in reverse order with the new seals. My only other advice: make sure everything is clean, clean, clean. Lubricate with a little PS fluid.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

sbca96
07-12-2007, 12:12 PM
How the heck did you do that? I even tried air pressure and that was
a total bust. What did you use to grab it? Info please!

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Skip Lackie
I removed the ram from the car and was able to pull the piston out by hand...

Scott
07-12-2007, 12:54 PM
Yeah! Good question! I was just looking at the manual where it says "ordinary shop pressure will not be sufficient" to get the seal out. They recommended using the power of the power steering system with the car RUNNING(!!) to blow out the seal! Man, what a mess that would make!

But here's the rub: if you have a ram that's leaking so bad you can't keep fluid in it, how can you possibly use the hydraulic pressure to blow out the seal? The manual also says two awls can be used to remove the seal, but one has to be very, very careful not to scratch the inside of the cylinder. Ack! So the choices are to have a complete mess everywhere or risk ruining the ram by using awls.[xx(]

Dick Steinkamp
07-12-2007, 01:15 PM
I'm not sure how Studebaker sold ANY Lark types with Power Steering...could be because folks THOUGHT they needed it, but my experience with these cars with front ends in good condition, is that it isn't necessary at all. They steer very light...even when rolling slowly or even at a stop. I'd be tempted to convert the car to manual steering rather than putting money into the P/S system.

I feel the same way about power brakes on a '54 and up drum brake Studebaker. The pedal pressure on these cars feels very similar to that on modern (not over boosted) power brake cars.

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

sbca96
07-12-2007, 05:19 PM
I drove a non-power assist '60 Hawk for about 10 years, and installed
7 inch wide wheels with 245/60 series tires on them. I can honestly
say that it wasnt THAT bad to steer, but the 4.5 turns lock to lock is
pretty laughable by todays standards. While I wouldnt have gone to
the trouble of ADDING power steering to that car, the idea going back
to manual steering on the Avanti doesnt make sense. When the system
is working right - its pretty good - though its been a while for me
since it WAS working right. Hopefully what I have shared on the forum
will help others have LESS frustration then I have had. Maybe someday
SDC will create a sub-division of the tech section for processes such
as I have created, to make it quicker and easier for others to find. I
think this will cut down on the SAME questions being asked over & over.

Tom

Skip Lackie
07-12-2007, 05:43 PM
quote:Originally posted by sbca96

How the heck did you do that? I even tried air pressure and that was
a total bust. What did you use to grab it? Info please!

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Skip Lackie
I removed the ram from the car and was able to pull the piston out by hand...


Tom-
Maybe I was lucky. The car in question had been driven many thousands of miles with the PS pump removed, but both the ram and control valve were still in place (steering was VERY sloppy). The seals in the ram were really worn out, so I was able to put the end of the rod in a vice (with a little wooden jig to protect it) and just pull on the other end with a big screwdriver. I guess I hadn't realized until now how lucky I was. My apologies for leading you guys astray.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC