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Reach Rod Expertise Needed.......

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  • Reach Rod Expertise Needed.......

    Bought a reach rod that had a paper tag on it and the number 534415, which according to the parts book is right for my car. Says it fits "all" 55-58 passenger cars except C & K, or cars with Bendix Power Steering(which is much longer and has one threaded end). C & K calls for a 534416, which is just 5/16" inch longer than 534415. Crawled under my manual steering 57 parts car, and the rod is 2-3" longer. Both have spherical joints at each end. I measured the new one I have, and it is 13 1/4" between the zerk fittings, and 14 5/8" overall--which is the dimension given in the part book for the C&K's #534416. Does anyone have an original 55-58 Sedan with Saginaw PS that could give me the length dimensions of the Reach Rod? The 57 I have could have been changed, or mine is mislabeled, etc. I would think that 5/16 of an inch difference in length could be compensated for so it would work, but not 2-3". BTW, I checked the search feature here, and though there is some good info, it isn't exactly what I need to know. Seems like reach rods for these cars are getting scarcer$$$ every day. Thanks. I'm going to go crawl under some oher Studebakers with a tape measure. Will investigate and advise.

    "You Can't Have Everything--Where Would You Put It?" ---comedian Steven Wright

  • #2
    Did I understand that you said all 55's were the same, except bendix strg.? I just pulled a reach rod off a 55 sedan parts car with std. strg. It is 16" fitting to fitting and 171/2 overall. My C car is 181/2 fitt. to fit. and 20" overall. Does this help any?

    Tex in Alabama

    Tex E. Grier


    • #3
      It is possible to make a drag link using a tie rod. The taper fit is the same. Although the ends are machine with 11/16-18 threads the center
      is smaller and will accept 5/8 threads. If you cut a section out of the middle and run a 5/8 tap through the end sections, it can be reconnected
      with 5/8 all thread. I then weld the pieces together.(I try to stay away from the all thread) I would use a better grade of all thread but grade 2 would probably work. I did this with a my 56J using a grade 5 stud from a hydraulic pump. Bent it in a press. You have to position it so clamps
      don't contact anything. This actually fits better in my car than the original, plus its adjustable. You can center steering box with out
      messing with the tie rods.


      • #4
        Wally, I think the differences in the reach rods you are seeing on cars that "should" be the same, may be because some are Champions with a different steering gear than the Commanders.

        Studebakers Northwest
        Ferndale, WA
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          Thanks to everyone for their responses. Each was informative, but I'm still working on my particular question. I have yet to check the car that I acquired the reach rod for, since it is in storage. The reach rod on my 57 Sedan is several inches longer, but since then, I've realized(via the chassis manual) that a non-assist steering gear(my 57) uses a different part # than my Saginaw-PS equipped 58, which uses the part #534415 that was written on the tag. As to the reference points for determining nominal length---I cannot say what is correct at this point, but the Overall length of my new part, ostensibly #534415, actually matches the specified length of #534416(Hawk) exactly, and is 5/16 of an inch shorter overall than #534415(sedan). The zerk to zerk measurement, located very near the centerline of the tapered stud on both ends of the rod, so far does not correlate to any number shown in the chassis manual. Not every part number for a reach rod is accompanied by a length specification, either. Don't you all just Love it? Makes Me wonder why I don't just EBay my full-scale Studebaker "model kit" lock, stock and barrell to save what little is left of my sanity; then buy a nice GH or whatever that is already cherried out from JDP or somebody.