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Thread: power steering

  1. #1
    Champion Member
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    power steering

    New guy question, Any way to convert a 55 Champion from manual to power steering ?

  2. #2
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    Yes, the Studebaker front suspension is pretty much the same '52-'66 and PS parts are pretty much the same '53-58 and '58-66.

    The brackets and PS pump pulleys for 6-cyls are not common, but it's not rocket science to fab them.

    However, before beginning, which tires and wheels are on your '55? If the tires and wheels are correctly matched, the '55 Champion should steer easily. If the tires and wheels are correct, then have someone who knows what to look for go over the front suspension and steering mechanism. There are about two dozen grease fittings on a Studebaker front end and who knows how long it's been since they were all correctly given lubrication. Also, the steering gear output shaft seal tends to fail and all the lubrication leaks out. Studebaker requires a very thick semi-liquid lubricant.

    Bottom line - if everything is as it should be, you may not need PS.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Of course. I believe Studebaker first offered power steering in 1953, though few were so equipped.
    But I have to agree with Jack.
    I changed my '53 to power steering and really wish I hadn't. It worked fine before and, while it still works fine, the headaches in making the swap far outweigh any steering assistance.
    If you want it to be the power steering supplied at the factory you just need to acquire the necessary parts. Including the steering column, with shifter tube and linkages to the transmission and the second crankshaft pully to drive the steering pump and everything in between.
    But the column and shifter tube will need to be from your same body style, as the C/K column wont work in a sedan or station wagon, and vice versa.
    Later systems can also be installed; and I'm sure others will have recommendations.
    Last edited by rockne10; 03-03-2019 at 03:12 PM.
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  4. #4
    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    ...OR install an EPAS system, for a WHOLE lot less expense, and aggravation...
    Last edited by 345 DeSoto; 03-03-2019 at 07:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I think an EAPS may be an Electric Power Steering adaptation/modification.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    ...OR install an EAPS system, for a WHOLE lot less expense, and aggravation...
    Or, as clearly stated in post #2, inspect and lubricate as needed, and use appropriate tires and wheels - and you will have even less expense and aggravation!
    Seriously, a 1955 Champion should be an easy steering car as designed.

  7. #7
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    http://https://epasperformance.com/products/studebaker $1450.00 for an eaps system is exactly cheap. Though it may work better than the oem power assist system.

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    Jack you mentioned in response above to using a thick lubricant; what do you specifically recommend? thanks Chet445

  9. #9
    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    These are what I bought for doing the EPAS on my Sky Hawk... $88... https://www.ebay.com/itm/09-10-11-12...xYJJj7&vxp=mtr and this https://www.ebay.com/itm/09-10-2009-...!US!-1&vxp=mtr

    I researched different EPAS systems, and with the controller, the Toyota Corolla is, by far the least complicated to hook up...3 wires only...power, ground, and ignition on.
    Last edited by 345 DeSoto; 03-03-2019 at 07:57 PM.

  10. #10
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    Check with Galaxy at galaxyhighperformance.org theirs is $450. Looks the same as the one for $1,000 more.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys for your input. I'll check out the steering closely and grease everything first. I'm not looking for work or buying a lot of parts if I don't have to.

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    Goodness now I am confused. I want to in stall power steering on my Hawk and have read different takes on the type of fluid for the system. Previous reads have stated Ford ATF, Dextron 5 and now the above article says Studebaker requires a very thick semi liquid lubricant. Thoughts please. Chet445

  13. #13
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    Chet, the BOX uses the heavy semi fluid grease. The power steering is isolated from the box. It's hydraulic system uses the power steering fluid, or Dexron.
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  14. #14
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    Goodness now I am confused. I want to in stall power steering on my Hawk and have read different takes on the type of fluid for the system. Previous reads have stated Ford ATF, Dextron 5 and now the above article says Studebaker requires a very thick semi liquid lubricant. Thoughts please. Chet445
    Quote Originally Posted by bezhawk View Post
    Chet, the BOX uses the heavy semi fluid grease. The power steering is isolated from the box. It's hydraulic system uses the power steering fluid, or Dexron.
    Yes, good clarification as far as it went, but for the purposes of this forum, we always have to remember to define our terms, which I did not do in my previous post. The '53-58 PS system is the superior Saginaw integral system where the hydraulics and the steering box share some space and the '59-66 is the easier to add on but less desirable to drive Bendix link assist where the hydraulics and steering gear box are totally separated.

    So what year Hawk, Chet? You could do either, but one type would have been original option and the other would not.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  15. #15
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    ...OR install an EPAS system, for a WHOLE lot less expense, and aggravation...
    And the loss of the column shifting system.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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  16. #16
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
    I'll check out the steering closely and grease everything first.
    If you don't get grease exiting both the top AND bottom of your king pins, you need to. Biggest mistake folks make is when they see it at one end they stop pumping grease. Then the king pins tighten up and steering can become a real bear in the best of circumstances.

  17. #17
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    Well I now know what area the heavy gear grease was intended. I have a '62 Hawk and assume either the Ford ATF or Dextron 5 will work on the hydraulics. Chet445

  18. #18
    President Member Kurt's Avatar
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    I have been working on installing a Chevy equinox EPAS unit in my Champ truck. It is not an “easy” swap, but I would say it is much less involved than installing Hydraulic power steering on a vehicle that never had power steering available.

    The biggest hurdles have been finding enough room under the dash to mount the unit. Coupling the unit to the existing steering shaft. Modifying the steering column, horn, turn signals. I am still trying to figure out the horn..... Lastly, How you going to shift gears? I switched to a floor shifter.....

    i have ave been taking some pictures and plan to do a write up once I am done.
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

  19. #19
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Yes, good clarification as far as it went, but for the purposes of this forum, we always have to remember to define our terms, which I did not do in my previous post. The '53-58 PS system is the superior Saginaw integral system where the hydraulics and the steering box share some space and the '59-66 is the easier to add on but less desirable to drive Bendix link assist where the hydraulics and steering gear box are totally separated.

    So what year Hawk, Chet? You could do either, but one type would have been original option and the other would not.

    jack vines
    Jack (and others) the integral Saginaw power steering as used by Studebaker and Packard (57-58) DOES NOT use the power steering fluid as a lubrication for the main box It is indeed a separate space where the sector shaft and worm gears are. Don't confuse them with later GM styles that are completely self contained.
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  20. #20
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    I put Saginaw PS on my '56 GH and have column shifter. Column takes some modification as does the shift linkeage but well worth it with radial tires.

    Randy Bohannon

    '47 Land Cruiser
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  21. #21
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
    I put Saginaw PS on my '56 GH and have column shifter. Column takes some modification as does the shift linkeage but well worth it with radial tires.

    Randy Bohannon

    '47 Land Cruiser
    '52 Commander Starlite Coupe
    '52 Commander HT
    '56 GH Jet Streak
    '63 GT Super Hawk
    '63 Avanti R2
    '64 Daytona Convert
    If you peruse the factory parts manuals and get the correct parts, nothing needs to be modified. I put power steering in a 56 Commander station wagon using all factory correct parts.
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-13-2019 at 04:09 PM.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
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    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
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    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    If you don't get grease exiting both the top AND bottom of your king pins, you need to. Biggest mistake folks make is when they see it at one end they stop pumping grease. Then the king pins tighten up and steering can become a real bear in the best of circumstances.
    I have to disagree with this as the bottom of the kingpin requires a flat cork washer-style seal and if it is there and in good shape there should NOT be any grease squeezing out when doing a grease job. It is a "seal" after all. The upper thrust bearing should always be greased until it oozes. The lower half of the king pin will be lubed by simple gravity action when you have enough grease inside the unit.

    I found one side of my Avanti had grease oozing from the bottom and it took a lot of extra pumps compared to the other side to get the grease out the top. When I installed CC655 springs I replaced both flat cork seals (the one that oozed was only half a seal) and haven't had grease oozing out of the bottom since. This car is now one of the tightest steering Studes I have ever owned. BTW, I use high quality marine bottom end lube (OMC or Mercury Marine grease) in my steering box. Works like a charm.

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