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Power assist steering for 2R5 P/U?

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  • Steering: Power assist steering for 2R5 P/U?

    I have a 1951 2R5 P/U that I would like to add power assist steering to. It is getting too hard to steer at my advanced age. I do not want to modify or replace the steering column if possible. Also, I would like to put some sort of assist mechanism such as gas struts to the hood to make it easier to open for the same reason. Has any one done any of these tasks and if so I would like some details on parts an installation. I would appreciate any help available.

  • #2
    If radial tires, go back to thin, bias plys..... Of course grease and grease.

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    • #3
      Power assist and gas struts have been done on lots of vehicles, but I don't remember seeing them on a Studebaker truck. Most of the trucks have been changed to a later power steering box, as you know. My 52 has a later box that someone grafted an early column to. It looks stock from inside the cab.
      I did look at a 52 Commander in Florida that had power assist added. The owner started it up and showed me how easy the wheels turned. He had not actually driven it yet so did not know how it felt on the road.
      You may have to seek out a quality rod shop for help with the hood struts. The lifting capacity and angles will have to be precise to get the desired effect.
      Last edited by 52-fan; 08-09-2018, 05:06 AM.
      "In the heart of Arkansas."
      Searcy, Arkansas
      1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
      1952 2R pickup

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      • #4
        Look at Jerry foresters power steering set up on his Buttercup. Looks like the way to go. All electric.

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        • #5
          I'm not sure if this will relate to your truck, but I have a '57 Transtar and the steering in it was brutal. We installed a power steering box from a '66 Chevy Caprice/Impala etc. mostly because we had one lying around. The surprise was that it almost bolted in, mainly because GM and Studebaker both sourced their steering gear from the same supplier (Saginaw, I believe). As I recall, it didn't take much more than slotting one of the three mounting holes in the frame to bolt the box in. The Stude pitman arm slipped right on to the shaft of the Caprice box. I bought a used Studebaker power steering pump that bolted to the 259 and had a local shop build the hoses between the pump and steering box. I can now make a U-turn with one finger. It's unbelievable how easy it works. I hope your installation is as easy.

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          • #6
            You got a picture of that setup?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dstude View Post
              I'm not sure if this will relate to your truck, but I have a '57 Transtar and the steering in it was brutal. We installed a power steering box from a '66 Chevy Caprice/Impala etc. mostly because we had one lying around. The surprise was that it almost bolted in, mainly because GM and Studebaker both sourced their steering gear from the same supplier (Saginaw, I believe). As I recall, it didn't take much more than slotting one of the three mounting holes in the frame to bolt the box in. The Stude pitman arm slipped right on to the shaft of the Caprice box. I bought a used Studebaker power steering pump that bolted to the 259 and had a local shop build the hoses between the pump and steering box. I can now make a U-turn with one finger. It's unbelievable how easy it works. I hope your installation is as easy.
              Yes, agree, the '60s - '90s GM big car PS box can be adapted to the Stude pickups. I used a '90s box and it required fabricating a complicated mounting bracket.

              Also, when adding PS to trucks, before installation, weld the K-member to the side frame rails. The PS will twist the stock rivets.



              Minor point of order, but IIRC, the trucks mostly used Ross steering boxes. Stude bought Saginaw manual steering for the '50s 6-cyl cars and the '60s Larks. The '50s car PS boxes were Saginaw, but of a completely different design which would not work for trucks.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                Thank you all for your inputs. They have narrowed down my search considerably. Now it is time for me to go looking.

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