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Power Steering

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  • Power Steering

    I was just reading some of the posts on the subject of 51 Champ steering and this brings a question to mind. My hope is to acquire a bulletnose Studebaker someday. Although I want to keep it as original as possible I would like to add power steering. I'll be the first to admit that my technical knowledge of Studebakers is seriouly limited, so this is as much a hypothetical question as anything. I understand that the same basic suspension was used from 1951 through 1966, but that doesn't necessarily mean the steering was the same. Can components such as the steering box from a later model with power steering be used, even if that involed fabricating an adapter bracket to mount the steering box to the frame? I am in favor of keeping a Studebaker, or any classic car for that matter, as original as possible. Even so, not being as young as I used to be, I have been spoiled by options such as power steering. Any answers, even theories about this type of conversion will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • #2
    I think it's gonna be pretty easy to adapt a Stude setup (Saginaw or Bendix) if you've a mind to.
    With an eye towards keeping the original style steering wheel in place, you'd probably have to consider the earlier Saginaw system. This system's steering post(s) had the proper splines to work with the '51's wheel. They also offer the flexibility of going to the later type wheel because such was introduced in '57 and the upper section of the steering column can be swapped with an earlier one or Vise Versa. There's also different lengths of these upper sections to accomodate sedans vs. C-K cars.
    Using a Bendix setup could be done, since, as you note, the steering geometry is basically the same from 51 thru 66. Thing is, you'd have to adapt the later steering column to your 51 (again, noting that you said you could concede to making an adapter or such) as the shaft & splines that the Pitman Arm fit to are different than what earlier cars used.
    Both avenues are gonna require some degree of improvisation. And while the Bendix setups are fairly easy to scare up - the earlier Saginaw units are getting pricey when you can find them.[}]

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by steve_smith54

      I was just reading some of the posts on the subject of 51 Champ steering and this brings a question to mind. My hope is to acquire a bulletnose Studebaker someday. Although I want to keep it as original as possible I would like to add power steering. I'll be the first to admit that my technical knowledge of Studebakers is seriouly limited, so this is as much a hypothetical question as anything. I understand that the same basic suspension was used from 1951 through 1966, but that doesn't necessarily mean the steering was the same. Can components such as the steering box from a later model with power steering be used, even if that involed fabricating an adapter bracket to mount the steering box to the frame? I am in favor of keeping a Studebaker, or any classic car for that matter, as original as possible. Even so, not being as young as I used to be, I have been spoiled by options such as power steering. Any answers, even theories about this type of conversion will be appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Steve
      I have a 1951 4 door Champion (Bulletnose) I am willing to sell if you are in the market for one.

      Aaron http://www.aaroneckhoff.com

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by aarone

        quote:Originally posted by steve_smith54

        I was just reading some of the posts on the subject of 51 Champ steering and this brings a question to mind. My hope is to acquire a bulletnose Studebaker someday. Although I want to keep it as original as possible I would like to add power steering. I'll be the first to admit that my technical knowledge of Studebakers is seriouly limited, so this is as much a hypothetical question as anything. I understand that the same basic suspension was used from 1951 through 1966, but that doesn't necessarily mean the steering was the same. Can components such as the steering box from a later model with power steering be used, even if that involed fabricating an adapter bracket to mount the steering box to the frame? I am in favor of keeping a Studebaker, or any classic car for that matter, as original as possible. Even so, not being as young as I used to be, I have been spoiled by options such as power steering. Any answers, even theories about this type of conversion will be appreciated.

        Thanks,

        Steve
        I have a 1951 4 door Champion (Bulletnose) I am willing to sell if you are in the market for one.

        Aaron http://www.aaroneckhoff.com
        Aaron,

        Unfortunately I am not currently in a position to acquire a car. I am currently unemployed. I apprecaite the offer.

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

          I think it's gonna be pretty easy to adapt a Stude setup (Saginaw or Bendix) if you've a mind to.
          With an eye towards keeping the original style steering wheel in place, you'd probably have to consider the earlier Saginaw system. This system's steering post(s) had the proper splines to work with the '51's wheel. They also offer the flexibility of going to the later type wheel because such was introduced in '57 and the upper section of the steering column can be swapped with an earlier one or Vise Versa. There's also different lengths of these upper sections to accomodate sedans vs. C-K cars.
          Using a Bendix setup could be done, since, as you note, the steering geometry is basically the same from 51 thru 66. Thing is, you'd have to adapt the later steering column to your 51 (again, noting that you said you could concede to making an adapter or such) as the shaft & splines that the Pitman Arm fit to are different than what earlier cars used.
          Both avenues are gonna require some degree of improvisation. And while the Bendix setups are fairly easy to scare up - the earlier Saginaw units are getting pricey when you can find them.[}]

          Miscreant at large.

          1957 Transtar 1/2ton
          1960 Larkvertible V8
          1958 Provincial wagon
          1953 Commander coupe
          1957 President 2-dr
          1955 President State
          1951 Champion Biz cpe
          1963 Daytona project FS
          Thanks for the advice. Even though the only Studebakers I currently have are 1:24 scale models, I am so glad I found this group. There is such a wealth of knowledge among the members!

          Thanks,

          Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            First of all let me start this off by saying that I am NOT by any stretch a bulletnose expert... but I am guessing that the Bendix would actually be easier. If anyone has a bulletnose chassis parts catalog and a 59-64 chassis parts catalog the thing to do would be to see what cars without power steering shared the bellcrank and reach rod with the particular model bulletnose you are working on, if any. If you have a match then what you would need would be the bellcrank and control valve for the later car *with* power steering, and obviously the pump, ram, hoses and associated brackets. Unless the Pitman arm is different I don't see why you'd have to swap steering boxes at all.

            good luck

            nate

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

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm in the process of swapping a 54 coupe power steering into a 53 coupe. Bellcrank is the same but reach rod and pitman arm aren't. The bracket that holds the steering gear makes th box sit higher so the angle of the column is different through the firewall, requiring a different firewall seal and transmission linkages. The pump bracket mounts to thecylinder head with cylinder head studs, rather than bolts. They are 7/16-14-20x4 15/16. You also need the double pulley from the crank with the spacer between pulleys, longer pulley bolts (2 1/8") and the longer crank center bolt.
              Best to do what I did, find a scrap car that has what you want and remove everything that attaches to anything until you can remove no more. Save all nuts, bolts, spacers and studs. Researchthe parts catalog for those items listed "w/PS".
              If you are a member of SDC, you can send your inquiry to the Co-Operator Advisors. 1947-52 advisors are Carl and Herman Thoms, 335A Convention Way, Redwood City, Ca 94063.
              They know their stuff and can tell you it can't be done or what you need to do it.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

              Comment


              • #8
                I just finished modifying my 51 Champion with rack and pinion power steering, and it's absolutly delightful. I used a center-drive power rack from a mid-90's Grand Am and a GM power steering pump. The steering wheel, shaft (cut off for a u-joint connection), and tie rods remain the same, everything else was removed. Dave's Auto Service - and it's affiliated "The Money Pit" rod/restoration shop in Tehachapi, CA did the work for me.

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