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manual steering has play 60 lark

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  • Steering: manual steering has play 60 lark

    hope i don't madden people with all my stupid questions, it's my first stude and i am very excited, it's very well built, my first car was a 66 mustang 289( so what).

    i bought a manual, so when i get it, the stupid questions may go down; until then,

    what type of steering is it? never seen anything like it, with the 2 rods meeting mid point on the front cross-member.

    how to maintain? and anyway to tighten the free play? or is it overhaul time

    everything seems overbuilt on the " economy car" I love it, I love driving my new sherman tank Click image for larger version

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    where are the wear points i.e. how many tie rod ends? if you say it's safe to drive fast with it when it loose, then I go fast, if you say I have to do something to it, then I will.

  • #2
    It's called center-point steering, and it was popular industry-wide in the early '50's. Studebaker stuck with from 1951 to 1966. Steering play can arise from wear at any of the numerous pivot points. Suggest you get under the car, and have a helper up top rock the steering wheel to and fro through the slack area, while you watch for unwanted movement on the linkage parts. Look for slack in the rod ends: there are 4 tie rod ends, plus similar rod ends on the drag link, which connects the steering box to the center bell crank. Look for up/down movement of the bell crank arm where the tie rods ends attach. You can see that point in your third picture, directly in front of the oil pan. This is a very common place for slack to develop. There are 4 possible causes for slack here: 1, worn center pivot shaft and bushings, 2, excess end play on center pivot shaft, 3, a loose bell crank clamp screw, 4, center pivot housing not securely bolted to cross member. #3 is not uncommon, and is very easy to fix, unless it has been left loose for so long that the shaft and hole in the bell crank have been hogged out. #1 and #2 are characteristic of high-mileage cars, especially those that did not get adequate grease maintenance. I have never seen #4, but it could happen if somebody replaced the center pivot assembly and failed to properly tighten the bolts.

    Loose king pins might cause vague steering and wandering, but not so much perceived "slack". Tight kingpins could cause perceived "slack", in that the car won't steer until enough force has been applied to move a tight kin pin. With the car jacked up as in the middle picture, with the front wheels on, but raised off the ground, you should be able to grab either front wheel by hand, and move it easily from lock to lock, and back again. Studebaker steering linkage, when in good condition, moves with very little effort. There are ball and roller bearings in there, you know. If you cannot move the wheels this way, or if it takes a lot of effort, find out where it's binding, and correct the problem.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      Gordr: Thanks for the great summary of running down the condition of your steering gear! Very helpful to me.
      Nick

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      • #4
        Gord has really done an excellent job of describing the steering and critical examination/troubleshooting points. Unless you have all 60 years of information about who and how your car was maintained, it is very questionable as to exactly what was neglected regarding lubrication, wear, and overall care? Fortunately, you live in what I consider the apex of "car crazy country." Problem is, California covers a huge area and it is easy for those of us in smaller states to not truly grasp the distances involved.

        I always enjoy a newly minted Studebaker fan's excitement about their various discoveries and projects. You seem to have found a great vehicle and I want to encourage you to take enough time to go through the fundamental mechanical foundation components that will have the best possibility of achieving a SAFE and rewarding experience. The most critical point is the brakes. The steering system is complex and each moving part is a wear point. Even small wear of any component, when multiplied at wear in all components, will add up. What would really be of benefit to you would be if you could locate a suspension knowledgeable experienced fellow SDC member who would be willing to mentor you a bit on the subject. If you lived close to me, perhaps we both could go find someone with that kind of knowledge. (certainly not me and I have the cars to prove it.)

        No matter what kind of bling you put on a vehicle, or how well you get brakes stopping, the engine running, transmission shifting, or paint shining...there's no excitement killer worse than wonky steering that has you constantly working hard to keep the wandering car in your own lane.

        I hope you get those areas of concern taken care of so that you can enjoy your car as much on the road as in the driveway.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          Gord gave you a good input (post #2). Check for excess play at any point. The cinch bolt at the center pivot is the most common for this type of problem. It needs to be TIGHT (IIRC, 75 foot-pounds). You need to locate and lube everything. One of the hidden grease fittings is inside the frame at the center pivot.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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          • #6
            does not wander, only play

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mw2013 View Post
              does not wander, only play
              I wonder if the play is excessive or just 1960 normal. Look for excessive movement at any single point within the front steering components.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                Many folks who are new to Studebakers go for the steering box immediately and tend to over-tighten it.

                The most common place for lost motion is the center bell crank where the two tie rods come together. Look/feel for vertical motion when someone rocks the steering wheel.
                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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                • #9
                  i thought, any movement on the wheel "should" translate to immediate tire movement, but then again the steering wheel is almost 17" in dia, so what would be smaller in a 14" steer wheel is exaggerated with a 17" wheel

                  a 1 " movement in a 10" wheel will be a 1 foot movement on a 36" wheel....NO?

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                  • #10
                    I am not sure anybody said it directly but after all the joints are confirmed not worn excessively you can take any slack out of the steering box. There should be a lock nut and a threaded shaft which can be rotated clockwise to remove slack. Tighten it until you feel a bit of binding, then loosen until no resistance is found.

                    Welcome to Studebaker country.
                    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mw2013 View Post
                      i thought, any movement on the wheel "should" translate to immediate tire movement, but then again the steering wheel is almost 17" in dia, so what would be smaller in a 14" steer wheel is exaggerated with a 17" wheel

                      a 1 " movement in a 10" wheel will be a 1 foot movement on a 36" wheel....NO?
                      No, I believe that a 1" movement on a 10" wheel (5" radius) would be 3.6" on a 36" wheel (18" radius).
                      Also, your car will never be and never was where any movement on the steering wheel translated to immediate tire movement.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by studegary View Post

                        No, I believe that a 1" movement on a 10" wheel (5" radius) would be 3.6" on a 36" wheel (18" radius).
                        Also, your car will never be and never was where any movement on the steering wheel translated to immediate tire movement.
                        that's good to know that there was "play" from the factory,i can live with factory intent, at least it's NOT driving a new lexus, but a part of history and i am good with that, but what is norm and where I am at, is i don't have the answer

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                        • #13
                          I would not say that Studebakers had much play when new. Actually felt better than most Fords that allways felt like they had a rubber band somewhere in the steering. If you want to see a vehicle with center steering that was a contempory of many of our Studebakers look at a Corvette up through 1962.
                          David L

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                            Many folks who are new to Studebakers go for the steering box immediately and tend to over-tighten it.

                            The most common place for lost motion is the center bell crank where the two tie rods come together. Look/feel for vertical motion when someone rocks the steering wheel.
                            can't i just crawl under the car without jacking and throw a wrench on there crank some nuts and bolts down? it that the only place with nuts and bolts, instead of tie rod ends and that can't be tighten? what size is it?

                            look what i found..pictures!

                            https://bez-auto-alchemy.blogspot.co...on-update.html

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                            • #15
                              the left lower control arm had some real loose bolts, and the center steering block 4 bolts were some very loose as well, got to it without jacking the car, had to degrease the area first , soooooo.... yes the steering is less sloppy, i think i dare to say it's tight...are there any other bolts i missed?Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125222.jpg Views:	0 Size:	140.3 KB ID:	1867400Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125131.jpg Views:	0 Size:	95.4 KB ID:	1867401Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125213.jpg Views:	0 Size:	66.5 KB ID:	1867402Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125125.jpg Views:	0 Size:	121.7 KB ID:	1867403Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125051.jpg Views:	0 Size:	127.6 KB ID:	1867404Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125059.jpg Views:	0 Size:	119.2 KB ID:	1867405Click image for larger version  Name:	20201127_125116.jpg Views:	0 Size:	116.8 KB ID:	1867406
                              Last edited by mw2013; 11-27-2020, 01:42 PM.

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