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  • Steering: power steering

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

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      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, 12:12 PM.
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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      • #4
        ...OR install an EPAS system, for a WHOLE lot less expense, and aggravation...
        Last edited by 345 DeSoto; 03-03-2019, 04:55 PM.

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        • #5
          I think an EAPS may be an Electric Power Steering adaptation/modification.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                Jack you mentioned in response above to using a thick lubricant; what do you specifically recommend? thanks Chet445

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                • #9
                  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, 04:57 PM.

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

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                    • #11
                      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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                      • #12
                        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

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                        • #13
                          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.
                          Bez Auto Alchemy
                          573-318-8948
                          http://bezautoalchemy.com


                          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                          • #14
                            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
                            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

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                            • #15
                              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.

                              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
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