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Baby and I get lucky (of sorts)

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  • Baby and I get lucky (of sorts)

    Ever since I bought Baby back in 1999 I've had a minor 'issue' with her and her steering system. There were times when I'd be driving along minding my own business, and things would suddenly 'tighten up' on me. I was still able to control the car, but it wasn't easy. Usually it would happen on longer trips. Sometimes the tube (and even the horn button) would feel hot to the touch, and there would be a binding type of noise, other times not so much. Short of pulling the entire thing apart, I had checked all I could- and never found anything wrong.

    Since she's been out of my care for nearly a year, I'd not really thought much about this 'little' issue- until this past Friday while out and about exploring my 'new' County. Yup- it started to act up on me, and making lots of noise as well. So I went about my business, and added it to the 'gotta check into that' on my mental list of things to do.

    Then Saturday rolled around. That morning I drove home to Dad's, and then out to My Place. I had some items on one of my other cars I wanted to get done that day. As I drove that short two miles- the steering got all tight like it had the day before- but the noises were much louder then before. Something was binding for sure, but what and where were still a mystery to me. That all changed when I got into the parking lot at My Place. As I was making the turn into the lot, and around to where I needed to park the tight steering got worse- much worse. I'd managed to get the car just about where I needed to when I heard a 'POP' and then the tight steering went away~ FOR GOOD!!! The wheel was now useless, and moving it in any direction does NOTHING.

    How lucky am I that this didn't happen the day before~ out on some lonely Whatcom County country road, or even worse yet~ out on the FREEWAY (or elsewhere) at speed [?] [?] [?]

    Now I have two 'dead' cars out of the three I had just two weeks ago. [:0] [B)] Betsy is my 'new' best friend~ and hangin' in there~ just a few minor tweeks and a new front seat away from being ready for everyday use, she is!!!




    StudeDave '57 [8D]
    Ferndale, WA


    '54 Commander Regal 4dr 'Ruby'
    '57 Parkview 'Betsy' (she's a 2dr wagon)
    '57 Commander DeLuxe 2dr 'Baby'
    '57 Champion Custom 2dr 'Jewel'
    '58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
    '65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'
    StudeDave '57
    US Navy (retired)

    3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
    SDC Member since 1985

    past President
    Whatcom County Chapter SDC
    San Diego Chapter SDC

    past Vice President
    San Diego Chapter SDC
    North Florida Chapter SDC

  • #2
    Dave, something tells me when you find the cause and how close it was to failing for a long time, you'll be scared to death at the "near miss" you've been driving. Glad you're OK.

    Jim

    ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________Rabid Snail Racing
    Jim
    Often in error, never in doubt
    http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

    ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, glad your alright!

      Dylan Wills

      '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
      Dylan Wills
      Everett, Wa.


      1961 Lark 4 door wagon
      1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
      1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
      1914 Ford Model T

      Comment


      • #4
        Are there upper and lower bearings in the tube/column? If so it sounds like one of those may have gone out.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by jlmccuan

          Dave, something tells me when you find the cause and how close it was to failing for a long time, you'll be scared to death at the "near miss" you've been driving. Glad you're OK. Jim
          I am VERY afraid of what I'll find, yes. Plans are to install an entire column/gearbox from a newer Stude due to parts being NLA for the '57.
          quote:Originally posted by silverhawk

          Wow, glad your alright! Dylan
          Me too!!! Thanks for the concern as well.
          quote:Originally posted by 5859

          Are there upper and lower bearings in the tube/column? If so it sounds like one of those may have gone out.
          I'm not 100% sure what is in there, but Dad and I are leaning toward the gear/gears that are in the steering gearbox. We'll get to the bottom of it when we can get the engine out of the way~ we were planning to pull the tired 259 very soon anyway...


          StudeDave '57 [8D]
          StudeDave '57
          US Navy (retired)

          3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
          SDC Member since 1985

          past President
          Whatcom County Chapter SDC
          San Diego Chapter SDC

          past Vice President
          San Diego Chapter SDC
          North Florida Chapter SDC

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome to the club Dave!! I had the near exact same issue on the Lark last winter. When the car was cold, such as sitting overnight, the steering would bind until I was able to muscle it loose, and then it would work great for the rest of the day. Within 2-3 weeks of this, this progressed to one snowy(yeah yall heard me snowy), when a simple right turn from the driveway and up the road no more than 40 feet and the Lark was in the ditch. The wheel let loose inside of the steering box, which was now steering freely in all directions, albeit now pretty much useless. The Saginaw box was replaced(which also led to the replacement of an R2 oilpan), but the center bellcrank was also disassembled as well. The Lark is supposed to have the bushing center bellcrank, we replaced it a few years ago for an older style bearing center bellcrank(Bearings win out over bushings around here most of the time, lol). The bellcrank has two sets of bearing races, one in the upper half, one in the lower half. The upper races were seized solid, while the lower bearing races were still free. Luckily this is a Timken? number, so it was a matter of looking through the NAPA bearing catalogs to find the number of the bearing races. Both of the races were replaced and the car hasn't had a lick of trouble since.
            In this case the upper bearing race seized and it appeared to be causing the binding through the whole steering system, which resulted in a busted Saginaw box. The bellcrank was also liberally greased on a consistent basis, so greased things still have a propensity to go south in a hurry even when they're maintained.

            [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010531-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
            [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010550-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
            [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=right]
            [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=right]

            1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
            1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
            1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
            1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by StudeDave57
              As I was making the turn into the lot, and around to where I needed to park the tight steering got worse- much worse. I'd managed to get the car just about where I needed to when I heard a 'POP' and then the tight steering went away~ FOR GOOD!!! The wheel was now useless, and moving it in any direction does NOTHING.

              StudeDave '57
              Ferndale, WA
              Fortuitous timing to be sure!
              Glad no one was harmed.

              <h5>Mark
              '57 Transtar Deluxe
              Vancouver Island Chapter
              http://sdcvi.shawwebspace.ca/ </h5>


              Mark Hayden
              '66 Commander
              Zone Coordinator
              Pacific Can-Am Zone

              Comment


              • #8
                That is very interesting John. Even though your Steering Gear is entirely different than Dave's Ross type SL worm & sector type in the '57 Sedan, your's being a recirculating Ball type Saginaw, the result sounds the same. [xx(]

                Are you saying that the seized Torrington Bearing caused the Steering gear to bind and break?

                On Dave's worm and sector type Steering Gear, my guess is that the steering shaft may have somehow broken off of the worm Gear. Whatever happened it is free as a bird now, no scrapping or grinding or anything, the wheel just spins nice and smooth. Not really what you want while driving, for sure! [xx(]

                We WILL find the cause though, and report on it. The center pivot (bellcrank shaft) will be checked, but with the wheels off the ground, it seems to turn smooth and easy, so those Bearings may be fine.

                You know, that makes me wonder about those Torrington bearings being superior to Bronze Bushings. I always thought they were better, like you. But Bushings do have more surface area to support the shaft and would be less likely to bind up, loose a roller and smash the cage like yours probably did, maybe Studebaker was wise to replace the Bearings with Bushings in 1963! [:0]
                A Torrington Bearing is just a lightweight tin caged set of tiny needle Bearings like inside of an Alternator, not even close to the strength and Quality of a Timkin Tapered Roller Bearing, like your Wheel Bearings.

                StudeRich
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Torrington!! That was it, too many bearings with T's, lol.The Torrington bearings are the ones that can be run through a NAPA catalog. The nice thing is these are an area that was standardized, so it may be used in another application, but have the same number. What happened when we went through the steering system was we ended up going from stem to stern on the linkage. We first replaced the box, and then while we had the bellcrank off to replace one damaged R2 oilpan, we discovered one of the Torrington races had seized solid, so we replaced both of the races. Everything else(tie rods, king pins, what have you) checked you like it should. You have to remember that these bellcranks are 40 years old, and our vehicles with consistent usage are not getting any younger, so with the bellcranks being in these vehicles this long and many of them seeing alot of minute back and forth movement, the impossible can become quite possible with long enough wear and tear. My suggestion is check all areas where there needs to be movement. In my case I believe that the binding may have seized the pin to the point that when I tried to strongarm it loose again, the box just flat failed from being the weakest point in the system.

                  [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010531-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
                  [IMG=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/55%20Studebaker%20Commander%20Streetrod%20Project/P1010550-1.jpg[/IMG=left]
                  [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/Ex%20Studebaker%20Plant%20Locomotive/P1000578-1.jpg[/IMG=right]
                  [IMG=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/My%201964%20Studebaker%20Commander%20R2/P1010168.jpg[/IMG=right]

                  1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                  1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                  1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                  1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dave, I have a low mileage Ross box and shaft out of my '60. It's yours for shipping to try out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm glad you're OK, Dave. Parts can be replaced; you cannot.


                      [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

                      Clark in San Diego
                      '63 F2/Lark Standard
                      http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
                      www.studebakersandiego.com

                      Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by barnlark

                        Dave, I have a low mileage Ross box and shaft out of my '60. It's yours for shipping to try out.
                        Thanks for the offer, I'll keep it in mind. But we've got plenty of donor cars (and parts) here to choose from. We ought to be able to make something work, I believe...
                        quote:Originally posted by showbizkid

                        I'm glad you're OK, Dave. Parts can be replaced; you cannot. Clark
                        True that, true that.

                        StudeDave '57 [8D]
                        StudeDave '57
                        US Navy (retired)

                        3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
                        SDC Member since 1985

                        past President
                        Whatcom County Chapter SDC
                        San Diego Chapter SDC

                        past Vice President
                        San Diego Chapter SDC
                        North Florida Chapter SDC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hate Ross boxes--so this is your chance to replace it with a Saginaw box from a '54 - '55 Champion sedan.

                          I have never heard of a steering gear shattering before--amazing. You are one lucky dude.

                          I once had a tierod end come off of a Ford Cortina at about 45 mph on Pacific Coast Higway. Luckily there was nobody around and I didn't hit anything, but talk about a white-knuckle ride . . .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would suspect body sag, but it's not my car. I had a VW bug with body sag and the collapsible steering column would sheer off without warning. I replaced it with cold rolled steel, and used the car for signage and emergency pursuits. I never let anyone else drive it lest they hit something and impaled themselves on the steering column. I,too, am glad, you're OK.
                            Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dave,
                              Thank God your OK, that could have been bad. I had the ross box out of the wagon a few months ago, and rebuilt it. The busings (2) pressed in and needed no reaming. There is a follower with needle bearings, which is my guess as to what failed. There is a locking plate on the back of the follower, and if it came loose, I suspect it could bind up until some or all the rollers came out, then it could come out of place causing complete failure. I got a NOS kit which had the follower, needles, lock plate, and the nut. I had to order a little spring scale to measure the less than 10 ounces of pull sited in the manual, other than that it was not too bad to rebuild, but not something I would mess around with, like brakes it has to be right.
                              I test fitted a saginaw box from a lark, it was too long by several inches, if I recall correctly. Glad your OK.

                              [img=left]http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/Rosstude/OldWorld2005002.jpg[/img=left]
                              Ross.
                              Riverside, Ca.
                              1957 Provincial X2
                              1958 Transtar
                              sigpic
                              Ross.
                              Riverside, Ca.
                              1957 Provincial X2
                              1958 Transtar

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