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What fits the '53 Champion steering column"

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  • Steering: What fits the '53 Champion steering column"

    Probably a common thread, but my '53 Champion coupe (350 Chevy, Turner brakes) doesn't steer well. A bit of wander on the road, and a lot of turns, lock-to-lock, along with a bigger-than-I-would-like steering wheel. I'd like to correct the wander, and put a smaller wheel on the end of the column. Can any one give me direction? Does later Hawk steering gear bolt in? How about the Avanti quick steering arms? Would they make any difference? Does the existing steering gear just need rebuilt? Someone is sure to have dealt with this. Your help would be appreciated.

    Denny Foust

  • #2
    You should rebuild the original.
    Last edited by cobraman428; 02-04-2014, 07:21 PM.

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    • #3
      http://www.studebaker-info.org/TW/tw1098/tw1098p28.html
      Dave Nevin
      Corvallis, OR
      1953 Champion Deluxe Coupe
      Stud-e-venture blog

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      • #4
        While rebuilding the original may in the end become necessary, I would check the steering system for looseness first, tie rods, center pivot, alignment, etc. The reason for the large steering wheel is to make the car, with manual steering, maneuverable at slow speeds, like parking. A smaller wheel will make this task more difficult as will shorter steering arms, if these items are not aided by a power steering system.
        Frank van Doorn
        Omaha, Ne.
        1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
        1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
        1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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        • #5
          A '53 Champion should/may have the Saginaw Manual Steering box, a slightly quicker and longer lasting unit than the Ross used on Commander.

          Check your '51 to '54 Studebaker Chassis Parts Catalog for details.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner
          SDC Member Since 1967

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          • #6
            The Saginaw box...while "not" a bolt in in the C/K bodied cars, there is an adapter plate drawing lurking somewhere in an older Turning Wheels that allows this swap. Yea, a much better steering box overall.

            As noted though, check everything else currently on the car too. There's a hand full of parts that CAN be bad. Also, per the manual (the book), you may be able to adjust the Ross box to bring back some of the correct action.

            Also as noted, the quick steering arms will speed up the overall gear ratio, they will also require more effort on the drivers part because the arms are shorter (remember high school geometry ?).
            If you want to do this...fix the rest of your problems "first".

            Mike

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            • #7
              I have dealt with this. First, be sure your box is a saginaw. If so, it's easy to rebuild. If it's a ross, then find a sag. It takes a 53-55 c/k to fit (bolt in). you must use the pitman arm for the sag unit. I did a tech on rebuilding in Bob Johnstones tech pages.

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              • #8
                Mike, the Saginaw Flashback and I are talking about is NOT the '61 to '66 Lark and Lark Type recirculating ball Saginaw steering gear or the early Saginaw Power Steering box requiring lots of Mods.

                It is the older unit ('53-'54) that IS a bolt in.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                SDC Member Since 1967

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