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Thread: Ideas for adding power steering to 49 Stude Pickup?

  1. #1
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    Question Ideas for adding power steering to 49 Stude Pickup?

    49 Pickup w/259 Stude V8, 3 spd w/OD. I'd like to keep stock suspension and 3 spd and OD. Anyone out there who has added Power Steering to such a configuration?? There is VERY little clearance between the rear corner of the left exhaust manifold and the steering shaft. There doesn't seem to be any room below the shifting levers to cut off the shaft and add a rag joint. Any ideas/suggestions will be much appreciated.

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    Years back I had a Tcab I bought from a local Studebaker mechanic. It was a 289 Stick with OD He had added PS to it using parts from a 77 Ford Granada. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures nor do I remember how he made it work. I asked him why Granada and he said he went to the junk yard, started looking for PS units, and determined this was the best fit. He is no longer with us so I cannot ask him questions either
    Milt

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    FWIW, I've never added PS to a stock 6-cyl with column shifter, so can't help you there. I have done some with V8 and floor shifter, and for those I used a GM large rear drive car PS box.

    These are far from a bolt-in. It either requires cutting away part of the frame rail and reinforcing it or making a complex mounting plate to attach the box to the frame. Also, Stude only riveted the front cross/K-member to the frame. The added stresses of the PS requires welding the two together.

    There are dozens of different steering arms for the GM PS, so one can choose the angle and length to match personal preference, year and model of Stude truck.

    Here's a photo of mine:



    So bottom line, it's not easy, but it is CASO/U-PIK cheap and works perfectly when completed.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    Thanks, Jack. The notes and picture really help. It looks like I don't have enough room below the shifter levers to cut off the shaft and add a rag joint and not be too long to mate up w/the PS unit... still thinking, though.

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    Your truck and your decision on what to modify. However, my guess is if you ever drove a Stude pickup with a good Hurst floor shift conversion or a top shifter conversion, you'd throw rocks at anyone who ever tried to put the column shifter back in.
    PackardV8

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    I understand, but I get so many compliments re: the original look to the truck. The Cab is so small, it's nice to not have something sticking up out of the floor. We'll see. I may have to go that way. My shoulders just won't take the "Armstrong steering" much longer.

  7. #7
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    IIRC, there was a thread on here about using a MOPAR van front end on those trucks with very favorably outcome. You might wanna try a search of the archives her.

  8. #8
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    I saw a 53 2R at Reedsville a couple years ago, with a power steering rig from a Mercedes. Very clean and compact... I can't find the pics right now but maybe in a day or two..

  9. #9
    President Member 1954khardtop's Avatar
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    I put a saginaw power box from a 70s full size Chevy in my '56 F100 like the set up in Jacks picture above. The power of the cross steering put a strain on the frame and springs, as it pushed side ways instead of front to back as the original steering did. I added a panhard bar from the steering box mount to the oppisite spring perch, parallel to the drag link, and that cured the problem.
    Dwight 54 Commander hardtop

  10. #10
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    I had one just like Jack shows, in a 57 Transtar. the way it was done, it had the wrong arm and would never turn 'all the way' in parking lots...... It had an Olds or Pontiac tilt/ telescopic column in it which was very cool.... It ended up down near Olympia, WA and is getting its second 'overhaul' and should be a nice custom when done. I think there was a tech article covering this in the late 1970's in TW magazine.

  11. #11
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    I had one just like Jack shows, in a 57 Transtar. the way it was done, it had the wrong arm and would never turn 'all the way' in parking lots
    Yes, you'll note I used a long, bent Pitman arm to keep the reach rod in the same plane it was originally and to insure it would go from spindle stop to spindle stop. It will turn tight enough to rub the tires on the inner fenders.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  12. #12
    President Member Studeous's Avatar
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    I am going to pull the box, lines, and pump off of my Pontiac Parisianne before it goes off to the recycler. Jack, Do you have a number or model that your pitman arm came off of? Also could someone show where the panhard bar would be connected.
    My 1st car. "A TRANSTAR"

    Starliner

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    in the Geographic center of Tennessee

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