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  • Steering: adding power steering

    How big of a project is it to add power steering to a 1953 Starliner commander?
    What are recommended parts?
    Thanks
    MD

  • #2
    Best to find a donor with all the parts you need, C/K steering column critical, (sedan columns are shorter); yeah, they can be altered but, that's a headache needed by no one!
    Start at the crank center bolt, it's longer. Double pulley with spacer, requiring longer vibration damper bolts. PS pump and bracket to block, steering box and bracket to frame, steering column (as previously mentioned). Steering column to floor seal (the angle of the column to the floor is altered by the change in the steering box and bracket). And probably a few items I've forgotten.
    "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.
    '33 Rockne 10,
    '51 Commander Starlight,
    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
    '56 Sky Hawk

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    • #3
      I converted my 59 wagon to power steering when I went from a 6 overdrive to V-8 automatic. The engine/transmission was bought as an assembly that already had the power steering pump so that & all the related pulleys were taken care of. I then found a guy that was parting out a 63 Cruiser where I got the column, pitman arm, linkage, center pivot, power ram & brackets. He included all related bolts & washers. All I had left were to buy new hoses.
      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
      64 Zip Van
      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a bit of work and a ton of snakes (hydraulic lines) under the hood.
        I'd say, make sure the steering is properly lubed and working properly, then just get used to it. It really shouldn't be that hard to steer. I'm driving my (Stude V-8 powered) no power steering, Lark with a small steering wheel...AND a broken collar bone right now..!

        Mike

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        • #5
          Ouch Mike.... hope it heals fast. I messed up my right knee on July 10th & it still isn't back to normal. I know how it's held me up from things, I can only imagine how it's affected you.
          59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
          60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
          61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
          62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
          62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
          62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
          63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
          63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
          64 Zip Van
          66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
          66 Cruiser V-8 auto

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Warren Webb View Post
            I converted my 59 wagon to power steering when I went from a 6 overdrive to V-8 automatic. The engine/transmission was bought as an assembly that already had the power steering pump so that & all the related pulleys were taken care of. I then found a guy that was parting out a 63 Cruiser where I got the column, pitman arm, linkage, center pivot, power ram & brackets. He included all related bolts & washers. All I had left were to buy new hoses.
            Warren , your change over is a lot easier than doing a early C/K car since the power steering systems are really different but the later one can be put on the early cars but still some changes need to be made, drive it as is, a lot cheaper.
            Candbstudebakers
            Castro Valley,
            California


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
              It's a bit of work and a ton of snakes (hydraulic lines) under the hood.
              I'd say, make sure the steering is properly lubed and working properly, then just get used to it. It really shouldn't be that hard to steer. I'm driving my (Stude V-8 powered) no power steering, Lark with a small steering wheel...AND a broken collar bone right now..!

              Mike
              I agree with Mike. Keep everything well greased and don't turn the steering wheel unless the car is moving, even slowly, as turning the wheels while stationary is hard on the parts, as well as your arms.

              Comment


              • #8
                For everyone that asks this question, my question is; Why?
                Make sure that all of the front end components are in good shape. Get the front end properly aligned. Properly lubricate the front end (especially the thrust washers/bearings). Use tires that are the proper size and with the proper amount of air pressure. Turn when the vehicle is at least moving slightly.
                After this, then decide if you want to go through the difficulty/expense/work of putting power steering into this car.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                • #9
                  You guys have convinced me to drive it as it was designed. I have had the front end attended to and all is properly lubricated. I think I will replace the radials with bias ply as I am led to believe this will make a difference. I will confirm the rim width to insure I get the proper tire.
                  Thanks
                  Mike D

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mdelapp View Post
                    You guys have convinced me to drive it as it was designed. I have had the front end attended to and all is properly lubricated. I think I will replace the radials with bias ply as I am led to believe this will make a difference. I will confirm the rim width to insure I get the proper tire.
                    Thanks
                    Mike D
                    Yep-the radials make it easier-so long as you move when steering. The bias ply will feel wrong, if you are used to the radials, and your ride will be harsher-keep the radials.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mike, that's a really nice 53 Commander you have. When you get tired of it, it'll still be on my wish list.

                      When it comes to design, Studebaker sure blew everyone else away in 53, and it still looks better and very streamlined even compared to today's cars,

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