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  • Steering: Power Steering

    I'm new to the forum and looking for some direction.
    I recently purchased a modified 54 Studebaker Commander that has the original power steering set up with king pins and disc brakes.

    A few years back I had a 62 Chev with the same PS set up ( control valve and slave cylinder) there was a kit offered to eliminate the control valve and cylinder with a power steering box. Is there any such thing available for my car?

    In lieu of this has anyone put a power rack in a car with the original steering and suspension?

    Are replacement control valves available, or is rebuilding the only option?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Jim

    Jim

  • #2
    Welcome Jim -

    No, no box swap is a simple bolt on.
    People have done different things to gain power assisted steering, but it involves some work, bracket making, welding, drilling, etc.
    Easiest thing to do if you want power steering, rebuild what you have. Not exactly cheap, but the simplest overall.

    Me, when 2 of the four hoses started leaking on my Lark (much the same steering), and I found how much they cost...I just removed the whole mess. Wasn't worth the money or time. A proper working Stude front suspension, doesn't really need power assist, unless you're 115lbs.

    The addition of Hankook Optima tires, goes a LONG way in easing the turning effort. Even going slowly/parking.

    Mike

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    • #3
      Originally posted by circlebar View Post
      I'm new to the forum and looking for some direction.
      Welcome to the club. You'll find all the direction (and sometimes mis-direction) you'll ever want.

      Originally posted by circlebar View Post
      I recently purchased a modified 54 Studebaker Commander that has the original power steering set up with king pins and disc brakes.
      To be sure we're all on the same car, your '54 has a '58-up Bendix linkage assist swapped in, correct?

      Originally posted by circlebar View Post
      A few years back I had a 62 Chev with the same PS set up ( control valve and slave cylinder) there was a kit offered to eliminate the control valve and cylinder with a power steering box. Is there any such thing available for my car?
      No.

      In lieu of this has anyone put a power rack in a car with the original steering and suspension?
      Yes, but a search here will find more frustrations than successes. But it can be done by someone with good fabrication skills. One complaint after most R&P transplants is insufficient travel/increased turning circle.
      Originally posted by circlebar View Post
      Are replacement control valves available, or is rebuilding the only option?
      The Studebaker Bendix is essentially the same as Ford and some Mopars of the era. There are companies which offer rebuilt exchange. I haven't personally used them, but some here can point you toward the source.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        Originally posted by circlebar View Post
        I'm new to the forum and looking for some direction.
        I recently purchased a modified 54 Studebaker Commander that has the original power steering set up with king pins and disc brakes.

        A few years back I had a 62 Chev with the same PS set up ( control valve and slave cylinder) there was a kit offered to eliminate the control valve and cylinder with a power steering box. Is there any such thing available for my car?

        In lieu of this has anyone put a power rack in a car with the original steering and suspension?

        Are replacement control valves available, or is rebuilding the only option?

        Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        Jim

        Jim
        The only power steering that I know of for the mid to late fifty's era is the Saginaw, (GM), where everything is contained within the steering box itself. Basically, it consists of the power unit driven by a conventional pump. As you turn the wheel, a ram, (rack) in the box turns a pinion gear/shaft where a heavy duty pitman arm/reach rod to the bell crank. While it takes up quite a bit of space, these units are very reliable, simple to maintain and seldom need rebuilding.
        My '55 Prez sedan has one and I look forward to it being back on the road within a year...

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        • #5
          A R&P from certain '82 to '96 ,GM, Chevy/Olds/Cadillac,Pontiac RE: Grand Am, can be fitted to replace the bellcrank and use existing tie rods. Modification or replacement of the steering column is needed, as well as fabrication of mounting brackets and tie rod attachment bracket. I don't know about the turn radius, but they are available in two different ratios. I have two, and plan to swap them into our cars, one to get power, the other to get rid of the gaggle of hoses and leaky valve.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Thank you for the response, I will keep all of it in mind as I proceed.

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            • #7
              Thank you for your input

              Jim

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                Welcome to the club. You'll find all the direction (and sometimes mis-direction) you'll ever want.

                To be sure we're all on the same car, your '54 has a '58-up Bendix linkage assist swapped in, correct?

                No.

                Yes, but a search here will find more frustrations than successes. But it can be done by someone with good fabrication skills. One complaint after most R&P transplants is insufficient travel/increased turning circle. The Studebaker Bendix is essentially the same as Ford and some Mopars of the era. There are companies which offer rebuilt exchange. I haven't personally used them, but some here can point you toward the source.

                jack vines
                Don't know, all i know is this is a modified car Chev 350 Vortek engine with 350 transmission. The front end has been completley rebuilt original except for Disc brakes. Replaced king pins and all control arm bushings , tie rod ends etc.
                I have to much play in the control valve which is a rebuilt unit or has been rebuilt by the previous owner. I'll probably rebuild it myself if I can find a kit with a replacement ball.

                Thanks for the help

                JimClick image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Jim, if your car has the linkage-type power steering with the power ram and and control valve physically separate parts, linked by hoses, then it is a transplant from a later model Studebaker, '58 and up, if I remember the date right. Fifty-three to '57 used the Saginaw Offset in-box power steering, which was very bulky. The linkage type can be retro-fitted to most car models going back to 1951, using all factory parts.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #10
                    Don't be fooled by the fact that the valve seems to have a lot of play when the engine is not running. That is normal. Once pressure comes onto the system the valve is held centered and only deflects enough to allow pressure to the ram when assist is required. There is an adjustment for free play in the valve but that is easily reached by removing the endcap on the valve.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gordr View Post
                      Jim, if your car has the linkage-type power steering with the power ram and and control valve physically separate parts, linked by hoses, then it is a transplant from a later model Studebaker, '58 and up, if I remember the date right. Fifty-three to '57 used the Saginaw Offset in-box power steering, which was very bulky. The linkage type can be retro-fitted to most car models going back to 1951, using all factory parts.

                      Yes that is what I have, control valve and cylinder, so it must be a transplant as you suggest.
                      I think I'm just going to look into working with what I have.

                      Thanks for the input

                      Jim

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ross View Post
                        Don't be fooled by the fact that the valve seems to have a lot of play when the engine is not running. That is normal. Once pressure comes onto the system the valve is held centered and only deflects enough to allow pressure to the ram when assist is required. There is an adjustment for free play in the valve but that is easily reached by removing the endcap on the valve.

                        Good point, didn't think of that , I'll check it out.

                        Thanks for the help.

                        Jim

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                        • #13
                          Perhaps someone can chime in on their success with modern electric power steering (Saturn??) on one of our marques.
                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            I just ordered a rebuilt CV from Rock Auto. Hope it is the correct unit. This is the most reasonable price I have found. $178.79 for the unit with a $250 core charge. Don
                            Don Watson
                            61 Hawk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by circlebar View Post
                              Don't know, all i know is this is a modified car Chev 350 Vortek engine with 350 transmission. The front end has been completley rebuilt original except for Disc brakes. Replaced king pins and all control arm bushings , tie rod ends etc.
                              I have to much play in the control valve which is a rebuilt unit or has been rebuilt by the previous owner. I'll probably rebuild it myself if I can find a kit with a replacement ball.

                              Thanks for the help

                              Jim[ATTACH=CONFIG]80016[/ATTACH]
                              No help with your ps, but I really like your car (Starliner). Are they Lincoln door buttons?
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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