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1949 Champion steering

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  • 1949 Champion steering

    I am having a problem with the steering on my 1949 Champion 4 door sedan. If there is any crown in the road the car pulls quite severely in that direction. I have had everything I can think of done. Adjusted the steering box. New king pins, bushings, and bearings. Checked everything I can think of. Nothing is loose.
    My mechanic says it is the nature of the beast and I should go with radial tires.
    If I do purchase radials what size would be most appropiate?
    Last edited by gagecrib; 03-26-2011, 11:13 AM.

  • #2

    When you switch from bias ply tires to radials , you will think some one slipped a new car under your steering wheel. I have 205 75 15 on my 50.


    • #3
      WHAT HE SAID i HAVE 205 78 15 ON MY 1949 cHAMPION 4 DOOR. Mine is a daily driver and she is steady down the road. I don't know how we ever drove on Bias plys. What an improvement.
      Mabel 1949 Champion
      Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
      Gus 1958 Transtar
      The Prez 1955 President State
      Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
      Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe


      • #4
        According to the specs I read, your car came with a 550-15 tire. If you care about staying close to original size, a 155/80R15 tire will do the trick.
        205/75R15 tires are far more common though a little bigger. The larger tires like a 5 inch rim, although they can squeeze onto a smaller one.


        • #5
          Just a thought Jerry. After all of that "parts replacement" work, was the front end alignment checked? There are several adjustments that if not correct, can cause all kinds of steering issues. Yes on the radial tires, and make sure you run 35psi in them. Remember, the radial tire "contact patch" is considerably wider than the original "82" series tires were. Hope this helps.

          Dan Miller
          Auburn, GA


          • #6
            Yes.... Set to factory specs.


            • #7
              My 1947 Champion liked to rock and roll on the road, especially one that was twisty or rough or crowned. Two members of our Atlantic Canada Chapter suggested the problem could be the rear springs. An excellent spring shop (with a manager who likes old cars) added one additional leaf to each rear spring, and the handling improved greatly. This also raised the rear end of the car slightly more than one inch, making it look better.
              Later I noticed in the Parts Catalogue for this car that an original heavy duty rear spring for this car has one more leaf than an ordinary spring.
              I agree totally with going to radial tires (did that several years ago) but would be reluctant to go larger than a
              195R75-15 because it possibly could be too wide for the wheel in a stressful situation.
              Bill Jarvis