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Thread: Power steering or not.

  1. #1
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Power steering or not.

    Hi all, I am restoring a 1960 Hawk with a V8. It came with factory power steering, ( Bendix). I am considering removing the power steering, and replacing it with manual steering. If I remember correctly, I read on the forum that the steering boxes were the same, and just the pitman arm, and bellcrank would need to be changed. I have all of the manual parts on a 60 Lark parts car. I think that it would be nice to eliminate the mess of hoses, one belt, and potential leaks. Another thread mentioned that they drive nicely, with manual steering, and just require a little more strength for parking. I would like to hear some opinions, pros and cons, and personal experiences, that might help me make up my mind. Thanks, Tom.

  2. #2
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    My 59' Lark has V8 and power steering. I know if I disable the power steering the car steers the same as a Lark that does not have power steering. The manual claims that so I tried it. Sure enough. Pull the belt off the pump and try the steering without it. Might be the same as the Lark in that regard. Worth a try unless someone knows more about your car's steering geometry and chimes in here.

  3. #3
    President Member BRUCESTUDE's Avatar
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    I did the opposite on my (ex) '64 Daytona; I converted to PS with rebuilt components from a parts car. While it was real nice for city driving, I really missed the road feel of a non-PS car. My current Lark has manual steering, and I like it fine!

  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Just remember that a Hawk is NOT a Lark!
    I am not saying it will be impossible to turn, but it will not turn like a Lark due to longer Body Length = MORE Weight. Not really comparable to a '59-'60 Lark.

    If the Steering and Suspension components are in good shape and regularly greased, steering Box FULL it should turn fine with proper wheel alignment and correct not too wide tires.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  5. #5
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    A lot depends on whom drives the car, where, and what tires it is fitted with. My '64 Daytona has manual steering, and I really like the 'feel' and road feedback it gives.
    Most of my driving is rural, with about the only 'parking' maneuvers required consisting of getting in and out of my driveway, so non-power steering is perfectly acceptable.
    Perhaps if I lived in town, or my wife were doing a lot of driving, requiring a lot of low speed maneuvering and parking I'd prefer the ease of Power Steering in spite of its relative numbness.
    As far as steering ease, going straight down the road at anything above 10 mph, Power Steering adds virtually nothing to the ease, but does detract from 'feel' of the road. Every Hawk I've driven has had PS, that 120" wheelbase takes a lot of wheel cranking in tight quarters.
    Never owned an Avanti, but I expect I'd prefer PS simply because it is more of a upscale luxury/pleasure vehicle that would feel cheapened without it.
    Anyway, as was mentioned you can simply remove the PS belt, and drive without the PS for a while to see if you will be more satisfied without it.
    Last edited by Jessie J.; 03-11-2018 at 03:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    go big rims with radials and stay on the open roads and you're OK....if you want to "feel" the road...go back to bias ply....

  7. #7
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    I had a 64 Wagonaire with manual steering for about 50,000 miles, and a 59 or 60 Lark, VI. All other Studes I have owned either had PS, or I converted them to PS. Different strokes, but I never cared for manual steering. Nowadays, I would not drive a manual steering equipped Stude around the block.

  8. #8
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    Bendix power steering extends the life of the steering gear. cheers jimmijim
    Anything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    If your steering box shaft seal is dried out and leaking, then you have virtually no lubrication in the steering gear box. It is NOT grease, so it WILL leak out. You would be amazed to see how many steering gear boxes I have pulled apart that were BONE DRY and rusty inside. It doesn't help that the pitman arm, and shaft are often only 1/2" away from the exhaust manifold on V8 cars. Proper care includes having proper lubrication where required. This also includes upper king pin thrust bearings. I have seen them greased with just one pump, and called good you HAVE to be SURE that the grease is reaching the thrust bearings when the car is lubricated, not just squirting out the bottom past broken cork seals.
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  10. #10
    Speedster Member
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    I have just installed power steering on my GT I have a good reach rod and sector arm for sale if you Private Message me we can discuss Hawkowner

  11. #11
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody, for the input. I had considered the weight of the V8 and longer chassis, as some of you mentioned. My plans are to run stock wheels, with narrow bias-look, radials for Studebaker meets, and aftermarket wheels with radials for local driving and car shows. I have serviced the steering box, with a new pitman seal and new lube, as well as rebuilt the control arm and ram. I think that from what I have gathered here, it will be best to leave the PS in place. Thanks again, Tom.

  12. #12
    President Member swvalcon's Avatar
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    I would just leave the bell crank amr that you have on it now as it will work fine. Just don't hook anything to the arm for the power steering ram.

  13. #13
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    Wow, changing wheels just for car shows. You’re ambitious.

  14. #14
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    It's a little work, but I like the look of Cragars, on the car, and don't want to lose my perfect wheel covers, for daily drives.

  15. #15
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    My 64 Commander with a 350 has no power steer. It's my first car like this and I quite enjoy the manual steering. Parrellel parking isn't too fun but I'm okay with it.

  16. #16
    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    I don't notice any loss of "road feel" from my '62 GT with bendix power steering when compared to our '53 Starlite coupe with manual steering. The GT is quite enjoyable to drive and steer at any speed, while the '53 can be quite the workout at parking lot speeds. We had a '61 lark with manual steering, it steered easily, much more like the GT with power than the '53 coupe with manual steering. Our '53 sedan with manual steering was a bear going slow too. All are V8's.

  17. #17
    Speedster Member joncon's Avatar
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    I had a 66 Cruiser with manual steering and a 63 Cruiser with power steering. I much preferred the Power steering over the manual. Both had same size radials on them.

  18. #18
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. We drove a 62, four door Lark, in the 80s. It was manual steering, and drove very nicely, but we were a bit younger, also. I do most of the driving now, but there may be times that my better half would need to drive it. The hoses on the Bendix steering are a little intimidating. Getting them routed correctly, where they won't rub in the chassis. My plan is now, to hook it all up, and run it. I can always convert it to manual later, if I change my mind.

  19. #19
    Speedster Member colt45sa's Avatar
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    My low mileage '55 Coupe had manual steering. I loved ever thing about that car EXCEPT the steering. At normal driving speeds it was a dream to drive. At very low speeds and parking, it was a nightmare. In tight parking it had me cursing with lots of 'M-F's. Just before I sold it I was planning to have a Borgeson power steering box adapted to it.

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