View Full Version : Steering Want cheap power steering?

Mike Van Veghten
01-28-2017, 08:25 PM
While I've not seen the need for power steering in my Lark (with the big heavy 259 and cast iron trans.), I did find a way to get the power steering feeling cheap and easy...by mistake !

On one hand, I don't recommend these tires (a purchasing mistake on my part !) for those that like to "push" their cars , they are just fine for the cruisers among us.

HanKook, Optimo, 205-75 x 15 tires. Two reasons -
1. They are over 3/4" narrower than the last 205-75 tire I had on my wagon.
2. Because they have no bead fillers in the sidewalls, they have a recommended (max.) tire pressure of 44lbs. And yes, with the heavy front end, I always run at or near the full pressure in the front tires, with somewhat less in the back.

So with being fairly narrow (bout 5-1/4" tread), and having a high pressure rating (40psi in them right now), the steering is "VERY" light...almost too light for my taste.

Just thought I'd pass this along since there's been a few power steering addition questions of late.


01-29-2017, 12:20 PM
Hi Mike,

Are you running original rims with the tires and high pressures? The reason I ask is with the minimum age of original rims being 50 years old, I just wonder how they hold up. With age, and air that may have water vapor in the tire, I know lots of folks caution about rim condition. I have seen pictures of rims on a car and off showing stress cracks around the bolt holes and on the rim itself.

I would consider the option but the higher pressure I wonder if it is okay.


Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

T.J. lavallee
01-29-2017, 06:11 PM
I, like Bob Miles, wonder about the stresses on the wheels with that much air pressure. The idea sounds great and they are good tires but the wheel question lingers. Can anyone add more information?

01-29-2017, 08:34 PM
The internal air pressure is not what causes the original Stude wheels to crack. It's 50-60 years of cornering forces, exacerbated by the ever-wider tires most choose to mount. Wider radials generate much higher cornering and steering forces, which have to be absorbed by the wheels, eventually overload the mounting face and the beads.

Having said that, if the wheel already has fatigued, putting in 40# of air pressure could be the last little nudge it needed to go bang. Anyone running OEM wheels on a driver is taking a chance. Doubt MVV is doing that, but he'll have to weigh in.

jack vines

01-30-2017, 05:57 AM
Jack, et al

What type of wheels would you suggest to replace the OEM Studebaker Wheels? I have to put some wheels on my next purchase coming up and I might as well upgrade since the car has been sitting for at least 25 years in the Arizona desert. I will probably run full wheel covers since the small caps usually don't fit on a replacement wheel.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

Mike Van Veghten
01-30-2017, 04:46 PM
Like Jack says, the air pressure has VERY little to do with any possible damage to OEM wheels or rims.
There MUCH more load put on the "wheel", as a whole during cornering (and braking)...even slow cornering than 8 or 10 extra PSI of air pressure, even under the same circumstance with the higher air pressure.
As long as the wheels are verified to be in good shape to accept ANY radial tire, you'll be fine. No bead area cracks, no center or rim cracks, no loose rivets, etc. Look close around where the center is riveted to the rim, the last center bend radius, around the rivet area for any signs of splitting or cracking.

As far as my car, that car is using American 5 Spoke, 6" wide cast aluminum wheels.
One of my other cars has high pressure tires and using Weld. spun aluminum wheels. These wheels are thin cross section aluminum sheet material that's spun to shape. Much thinner than cast wheels. Not concerned at all.

Hope this helps.


P.s. - If you want to learn about the stresses put on wheels... Buy a set of Moon Discs (Moon Equipped, or now Mooneyes) and screw them to your steel "rims". Within about two weeks of daily driving, the disc's will start to rattle on the wheel. It took me a while to figure out what exactly was happening to have the attachment screw be digging into the Moon disc and becoming...loose.
The screw "wasn't" loosening, the screw head was digging into the aluminum disc.
It's because the "wheel" (both the rim and center) are flexing when driving in corners...big time flexing, the shape of the Moon disc does NOT want to flex, by the design of a partial circle..

I've had them on three street cars over the years, the exact same thing happened to all three sets of wheels/Moon discs. Moon even started selling the discs with 6 fastener screws (3 pairs) rather than 3. A little better, but the wheel still flexes, now it just takes a little longer to show up as a rattle..!