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Early Saginaw manual steering box in a '56 sedan?

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  • Early Saginaw manual steering box in a '56 sedan?

    I keep looking at the Ross box in the '56. The column is out, the front end is off and I keep thinking I should get rid of the Ross for a Saginaw. I don't want the later Lark version because I am keeping the original column. I went to a lot of trouble converting the original collar to a "floor shift" collar by grinding the collar smooth, welding up the hole and then filling, sanding and painting the collar--it looks PERFECT. Plus I happen to have a NOS '56 steering wheel and horn button ready to go.

    I know there were Saginaws in early Champion C/Ks, but was there also one for sedans? I plan to call all of the usual suspects to look for one, but don't want to waste anyone's time if I'm looking for something that doesn't exist.

    I don't have the early parts books or shop manuals, so I'd really appreciate the help.


  • #2
    yes, but apparently only on six-cylinder models (at least in '55; I don't have an earlier parts book.)

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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    • #3
      So they went to the Ross for the '56 Champions?

      So I'm guessing that a Saginaw out of a '53-'55 Champion sedan will be pretty much a bolt-in? I am assuming that the pitman arm is different and that the holes in the frame might not match up?

      Anyone actually done this?

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      • #4
        I'm pretty sure the holes will line up. The Pitman arm is different, but according to the parts book the reach rod is the same. However, there's different reach rods listed for USA or Canada production - I don't know if they're interchangeable or not, but one would assume that they would be. The reach rod is different with power steering.

        nate

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        55 Commander Starlight
        http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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        55 Commander Starlight
        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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        • #5
          Looks like all the US built 56 Champions used Saginaw. Canadian Champions, Commanders and Presidents could have Saginaw or Ross TL depending on when the car was built.
          This earlier Saginaw isn't the same unit as the recirculating ball model used beginning in 1961, but people do say they steer noticeably easier than the Ross.


          Dwain G.

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

            Looks like all the US built 56 Champions used Saginaw. Canadian Champions, Commanders and Presidents could have Saginaw or Ross TL depending on when the car was built.
            This earlier Saginaw isn't the same unit as the recirculating ball model used beginning in 1961, but people do say they steer noticeably easier than the Ross.


            Dwain G.
            I have a South Bend '56 Champion with a Ross. I really doubt it was ever changed out. This car was taken off the road in 1968 and sat in a field in Pacoima for 39 years.

            Anyone know why the V8 cars got the Ross and the Champions got the Saginaw?

            The R1 I am dropping in will have the "R3" headers--any clearance problems in a '56 sedan with either steering box?

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            • #7
              BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT DIFFERENCE. JIMMIJIM sorry about the shouting
              sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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              • #8
                Allen, I have a extra 56 champion South Bend out of the car. How can I tell the difference? Haven't looked at it yet so if it is wriiten on the side I am sorry I asked.

                1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
                Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"

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                • #9
                  Look right in the center of the casting above the circle at the top of the mounting ears, there should be an raised S in a smashed box. The Ross will have on the mounting ears either a TA or TL.

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                  • #10
                    Well after standing outside in Texas 100 degree heat and scraping grease and dirt off the box I did find a 1 inch letter that is either a S or a Z like square letter on the side of the box facing up or down if the box was installed in the car. The frame mounting bracket was still on the box so if the stampings are under that I can not see them. BY the way it is a power steering box.

                    1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
                    Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"

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                    • #11
                      sounds like a Saginaw integral power steering box, not what he's looking for but also a desirable piece. If the hoses are still usable they're very hard to find.

                      nate

                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                      --
                      55 Commander Starlight
                      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                      • #12
                        If you mean all the fittings the answer is yes. The rubber is old and cracked. I assume they all can be redone with new rubber.

                        1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
                        Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"

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                        • #13
                          I don't know, but if you know someone that is willing to just put new hose on the old fittings, it would be worthwhile to do it. I tried to have a local hydraulics place make me some new hoses and they told me that the fittings were NLA and what they came up with as a replacement just didn't fit nicely. Plus the hose they used were significantly less supple than the originals and hard to route...

                          nate

                          --
                          55 Commander Starlight
                          http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                          --
                          55 Commander Starlight
                          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                          • #14
                            Yes I have a shop that will do it. At least he has in the past. I really haven't looked at this box for two years until today and really just went out to the pile and looked at the stampings. It is covered.

                            1956 Studebaker Pelham Wagon Houston, Texas
                            Remember, \"When all is said and done. More is always said then ever done.\"

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                            • #15
                              I never really saw the answer I was looking for in this thread, so I will ask. I have a 53 Commander that has been upgraded to later power steering, I'm assuming around 63 because of the other 63 parts on the car. I don't think it's Saginaw, it has two rams and about 6 hoses or so. I want to go back to manual steering because of the limited space behind the radiator, right where I want to put a nice big Mark VIII electric fan. I do however, want some reasonably easy steering as I'm getting old and lazy. So, I read somewhere about the Champion box being easier to steer, and also a later Hawk manual box also being easier to steer. Any out there that can help me with pertinent info, such as exactly wht I'm looking for and how to recognize it. Thanx. db

                              Worry is a waste of imagination.

                              Studebakester

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