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  • N8N
    replied
    Another option would be a manual steering box from a 53-56 Champion c/k. The Saginaw manual boxes ironically were only used on the "low end" cars but were far superior to the Ross manual boxes used on the more expensive models.

    I have two, which I think I can put together to make one, but I need to get at and do it. You'd need the jacket and shift tube for your transmission as well.

    But like I said, step one is to make sure that the kingpins (including and especially the big thrust bearings) center pivot and tie rods are all full of nice fresh grease.

    Once you get those done, if it still feels hard it's likely the crappy Ross steering box. But bound up thrust bearings are the easiest thing to fix and a very common issue.

    nate

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

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  • jimmijim8
    replied
    Start searching for a power steering system for a replacement if you plan on keeping the car. Try to come up with the earlier type{saginaw} although the later Hawk bendix type will interchange but you will probably need the column and wheel and will need all associated parts Either system will probably run around 300. Swat I'd do. Makes for a more pleasant driviing experience. Get a unit before the price increase. It will make your car more accomodating thus doing as far as driving and resale. I had a 56 PH with manual steering. Low miles and was greased properly and frequently according to 2 previous owners log notes. Still was a bear to steer xspecially when moving slowly while parking. No longer have the car and changed the steering out for a 63 Hawk Bendix unit. Way back in the early 80's. Cost me a whopping 40$ for a used set up. jimmijim.

    Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.

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  • jackb
    replied
    ...are you comparing your hard steering against another Hawk with the same tires ???? You can't compare it to a Lark or sedan or by no means a newer car/truck....My guess is that you have tires that are too big and are creating too much of a footprint and resultant friction. The air pressure increase will help, but only "those" oversized tires. You should be running 195's or 205's. Those 215's are way too much for a standard steering car of the 50's.....

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  • John Ratliff
    replied
    Thanks, to all for the advice. I will try what was suggested and see what happens. May wait for things to warm up a bit first. John.

    John Ratliff

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  • 55s
    replied
    Check to see that its easy to steer in the air, and make sure every fitiing is taking grease - turn the steering if necessary to help.

    Another issue is that you may have fatter radial tires that ARE more difficult to turn than the original narrower bias ply tires.

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  • N8N
    replied
    try doing it on ramps, also if the thrust bearings were not replaced by PO they might still be in good shape but full of old hard grease. Sometimes hanging from frame works better, sometimes weight on tires works better, sometimes nothing works and you have to take a propane torch to the thrust bearings to soften up the old grease to get it to come out, sometimes absolutely nothing works and you have to remove the thrust bearings and soak them in solvent, or just replace 'em if they feel even slightly crunchy. If you R&R the thrust bearings, replace the cork seal at the bottom of the kingpin, either with a new one or with an O-ring with a tiny piece snipped out (to allow some grease to flow through the lower bearing/bushing) that will help force more of the grease through the thrust bearing in the future.

    Edit: meant to add, I can't guarantee that this will solve your problem, but it's useless to try to troubleshoot a hard steering issue unless you have clean fresh grease in the kingpin thrust bearings. Also make sure that you're lubing the center pivot, there's a fitting for that that is accessable through the hole in the back of the center of the big front crossmember.

    nate

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

    Leave a comment:


  • John Ratliff
    started a topic Hard Steering

    Hard Steering

    The steering on my '56 Power Hawk is very stiff and heavy. The front was rebuilt by P.O. Steering box was leaking when I got the car. I replaced the cover seal and cleaned out all of the lithium grease they had in the box. Replaced with proper lube from S.I. I have 215 75 R 15 radials @ about 34lbs. I have lubed all zerks in the front but have trouble getting lube to the upper king pins. All the shops here have only the type of lifts that lift by the frame. I read that you should have the weight of the car on the wheels to get lube to the upper king pin. What is a good way to do this without a lift?
    What is the best way to go about checking out the trouble? Where would you start?
    Thanks for any suggestions.

    John Ratliff
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