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'63 Avanti Power Steering Reach Rod - I need help!

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  • Steering: '63 Avanti Power Steering Reach Rod - I need help!

    I am new to this forum and a new owner of a '63 Avanti. I have been aquiring some parts for the power steering system. I bought a part from S.I. which was advertised as the reach rod for a '63-'85 Avanti. The part number is: 1561778. I have now discovered this is the correct reach rod for an Avanti with a serial # after 4992 and for cars with a serial # before 4992, reach rod #1546218 is the correct part. What is the difference between these two parts? Is the #1546218 available anywhere? Can the #1561778 be used on the earlier cars? Any help or information on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I believe they are fully interchangeable. As I recall, the difference is due to an improvement in the grease seal at the bell crank end.

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    • #3
      Thanks WCP for the quick response. I hope some others will chime in to verify your thoughts about this. I was not wanting to return the part I purchased to S.I. even though I am only about 45-50 minutes from their Greenfield, IN location. I have not seen the #1546218 reach rod advertised for sale anywhere and I really want to replace this component on my car as eventually, I plan to completely rebuild all of the front end suspension and steering on this car. Thanks again.

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      • #4
        It so happens that I have an NOS 1546218. I'm sure that they are the same, but post the dimensions and I'll verify that they match - overall length, length of thread, offset etc.

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        • #5
          Hi WCP, I hope you will see this response to your last message about getting some dimensions from my reach rod. Between work and some family obligations, I have been slow to get back with you. This part is not easy to get measurements from. It would almost be as easy to measure up a dog's hind leg while someone else is scratching his belly. My measuring instruments are crude. I don't have a granite inspection bench, a set of Jo Blocks or even a nice set of calipers, but I'm trying. I appreciate your willingness to help with this. Maybe we will gain some useful knowledge that was lost when Studebaker closed it's doors and the Engineering Dept. left with their last paycheck. I have taken some pictures which show the methodology and layout/equipment used for getting the basic dimensions from this part. I tried to do this in a manner which would be easy for you to replicate with your part. Although the equipment will not be the same, you should not have any problem duplicating my setup with whatever you have at your disposal for positioning your part for measurement in a manner consistent with what I have done. So far, I have about 5 or 6 pictures which would need to be accompanied with some concise descriptions as to what dimension is being measured, the measurement arrived at and a few details about the positioning of the part in order to take the measurement. This thing has so many crooks and angles to it that it is hard to get it to just sit flat on a counter. It seems like alot of material to be posting on a forum. Is email communication with you possible? Thanks.

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          • #6
            You shouldn't waste a lot of time trying to establish dimensions of your reach rod. None of the base dimensions changed from 1962 to the end of 1963 - position of steering box, length of pitman arm, length of control valve, frame dimensions and bell crank dimensions. Therefore, the reach rod will have the same shape and dimensions to provide proper steering and clear the frame crossmember.

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            • #7
              Thank you for your help and insight, WCP. I was thinking along the same lines yesterday and was going to check the '63-'64 parts catalog to see if any of the related steering components had multiple part number listings which would indicate that there had been something other than a very minor design change. If none of the other associated parts had changed and their part numbers were consistent throughout the entire range of Studebaker Avanti serial numbers, then the only change to the reach rod would be a change that could only improve the characteristics of the earlier cars with the lower serial numbers. You have been very helpful. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                The shop manual has the dimensions, and how to measure it spelled out. 15" from grease fitting, to grease fitting, as measured with a tram gauge.
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                • #9
                  I did see a reference to a 15" measurement in the shop manual as pertaining to the properly adjusted length when installing the control valve onto the reach rod. "The distance between the center of the pitman arm ball stud and the center of the rear rod end stud as measured in Fig. 43 is approximately 15"." This quote came from page 29 within the FRONT SUSPENSION AND STEERING section of my manual. The Fig. 43 that is referred to in the quote is an illustration which is in the bottom right hand corner of this same page 29. I see no reference to grease fittings or a tram gauge - (I hope I don't have to go out and buy one of these, whatever it is, it sounds expensive!). Maybe we have different shop manuals. I don't think I'll have any problem acheiving this 15" (approximate) measurement when I get to the point of installing my control valve onto the reach rod. I will count the number of turns needed to remove my existing control valve from my existing reach rod as the manual suggests. My main concern which prompted me to start this thread was making sure that I had obtained a reach rod that was correct for my earlier version Avanti (before serial #4992). The correct length is only one concern. There are angular and offset considerations as well. All lengths, offsets, angles, etc. have to be correct to allow the proper mating of this part to the other components. Any misalignment (even to the slightest degree) could cause premature and excessive wear if not binding.

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                  • #10
                    The grease fitting is in line with the centerline of the control valve ball pivot. A tram gauge is an adjustable armed pointer type yard stick that you can measure distance without worrying about the offset.
                    You're way over complicating the situation! measure the distance, install on the car, rotate the arm for clearance on it's travel, and then tighten the clamp on the control valve.

                    simple.
                    Last edited by bezhawk; 06-20-2013, 07:09 AM.
                    Bez Auto Alchemy
                    573-318-8948
                    http://bezautoalchemy.com


                    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                    • #11
                      Bezhawk, I would agree that the installation process and setup is simple enough once it has been established that the correct parts are being used. The point of this thread which I started was not to gain any missing information needed for installing the reach rod. My shop manual is quite clear about how to remove and install the various power steering components. The point of starting the thread was to determine why there was a part number change in reach rods installed on cars prior to serial #4992 and the reach rods installed on cars after serial #4992. If there had been absolutely no change made to the reach rods used, then there would not have been a part number change. If there was a significant change made to the reach rod, this could be a significant issue. I feel that WCP was more than likely correct in his recollection that the only change to the part was an improvement to the grease seal and this was what facilitated the part number change. Please read my first post in the thread. If I need any help with installing the components, it is good to know you are out there. Right now, my only concern is that I have purchased the correct components.

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                      • #12
                        just testing ability to post picturesClick image for larger version

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