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Avanti steering box in a Lark

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  • Avanti steering box in a Lark

    Here's one for the Studebaker hot rodders and modifiers...

    I have been thinking about a future modification to my Lark... adding a tilt wheel but the long steering shaft and solid column are problems.

    Will an Avanti steering box work in a Lark?

    The Lark used a Saginaw and the Avanti used a Ross unit (I think)

    Trying to find the best solution among do nothing and forget about tilt steering columns, mofify the saginaw box with different steering shaft or cut the existing one or find an avanti box.

    I only know what I see in the part books

    Jeff T.

    "I'm getting nowhere as fast as I can"
    The Replacements.
    \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
    The Replacements.

  • #2
    Jeff; '59 and '60 Larks had the Ross steering gear, very much like the Avanti, I don't know why you couldn't change it. Only thing is only a very few of the last '64 Avantis that were ordered with the optional "tilt Wheel" would have the right setup. They all had a "rag joint" because of the radical slope needed for a very low dash and seating position. But, no tilt on most.

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

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    • #3
      Actually, on the Larks I believe the 6 cylinders had Saginaw gearboxes and the V8's had Ross. At least all mine do. The Ross box is a little bigger and has a flat side on the engine side. Often times you can also tell them apart by seeing how much bounce the wheel has when you turn the wheel against pressure and let it spring back. The Saginaw tends to be more springy.

      I know the Stude steering wheel is pretty big and can be hard to slide under, but I wonder if a person could do like Dodge did on their pickups around '77. The earlier trucks had a big wheel much like the Stude and was hard to slide under sometimes. They simply changed to a smaller diameter steering wheel and that made tilt steering unnecessary at least as far as getting in and out. I never had any problem sliding my legs under the smaller wheel when in heavy coveralls like the bigger one. My other vehicles have tilt and actually I very seldom use it. I don't know how the Stude steering wheel splines compare to other makes.

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      • #4
        My '62 had a Saginaw steering box, and I'd consider that preferable to a Ross. I am not aware of an easy steering wheel interchange, although there is a Grant adapter available for the 57-up cars.

        nate

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

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        • #5
          Nope, all '59 & '60 Larks 6&8 are Ross, that's why I'm saying changing those to Avanti would be easier. If you remember '61 was the year they advertised the big change:NEW recirulating ball gear (Saginaw), much easier steering & smoother than Ross, all '61 to '66 Lark types are this type "S" Saginaw. Older Studes were the opposite of what you are saying, Ross in Champions, Saginaw in Commanders.
          Rich.

          quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

          Actually, on the Larks I believe the 6 cylinders had Saginaw gearboxes and the V8's had Ross.
          StudeRich
          Studebakers Northwest
          Ferndale, WA
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to add more confusion; the early C-Ks used both types of boxes as well, but the Saginaw was used mostly in Champions, go figure.

            Would it be possible to put a Saginaw in a "stubby" lark even if the box came from a 62-up car? I don't see why not...

            nate

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

            Comment


            • #7
              StudeRich, thanks for straightening me out on the '59-60 steering gears. I scraped the grease off the '60 gear and like you said, it's a Ross although it doesn't look the same as the Ross unit in the '59 V8. and yep, the '61 and '62 Larks 6's both have Saginaws. Were all Hawks Ross? My '62 is. Concerning the older models, I think you may be mistaken though. Both my '51 Land Cruiser and '57 President have Ross boxes.

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