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Anyone do an electric power steering conversion?

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  • Steering: Anyone do an electric power steering conversion?

    My Champs both need power steering. All the grease in the world wont help them steer easier. I was going to do the setup from a Mercedes & a couple months ago bought a Champ chassis/cab to do the homework on but the Mercedes steering gearbox I have doesn't reach down far enough, at least to my liking.

    I've done a search & found a couple Mustang sites where they have done the electric conversion & it looks pretty good. About the only change I would make is having the power come directly off the battery & through a relay that would be triggered by the ignition switch. Since I have the frame, suspension, cab & column I can do it first on there & then transfer it to the working trucks. It's not a cheap way to go (around $1500) but not having to worry about mounting a pump & hoses this way seems to be the way to go. Any comments or other ideas out here?
    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

  • #2
    Some thoughts from the forum. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...S-on-Buttercup

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    • #3
      Good thoughts from Jerry there if you want to go electric. I see you are putting it in a T-Cab truck. Now which year do you have? There were 2 different steering arrangements and boxes. The early one with cross steer and the later ones with the Rube Goldberg linkage.

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      • #4
        Looks like both your Champs are pre-8E versions. I know exactly where Alan is going with this - not sure I would want to just add the electric power steering to the 8E monkey-motion linkage - would probably be better to start clean sheet with a new steering box. But the earlier trucks had a better system with the drag link setup, even though the steering boxes were pretty old school by the early '60s. The electric assist might work out well on them.

        BTW, before someone flames me for bad-mouthing either the 8E trucks or the earlier ones.......I do have one of each of them.
        Paul
        Winston-Salem, NC
        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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        • #5
          Click image for larger version

Name:	PS.405.chev.jpg
Views:	1
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ID:	1704704I'd like to see how well the Saginaw model 405 unit would fit into a Champ.
          AL SORAN RACING

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          • #6
            That over-spent Avanti on "Fantomworks" had an electric steering column installed. But I like Jerry's set up at less than one tenth the cost!
            '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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            • #7
              How about the Pontiac steering rack?

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              • #8
                I have an electric assist on my Lotus 7 replica autocross car. It is not too heavy, provides plenty of assist (one turn lock to lock) but lacks any feel. The car also does not center itself so you have to steer it back to straight ahead. it was on there when I bought the car. The simplicity of it with no hoses etc is attractive on a race car as well as on an old car. I think it came from a Chevy (cruz?).
                Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                  I have an electric assist on my Lotus 7 replica autocross car. It is not too heavy, provides plenty of assist (one turn lock to lock) but lacks any feel. The car also does not center itself so you have to steer it back to straight ahead. it was on there when I bought the car. The simplicity of it with no hoses etc is attractive on a race car as well as on an old car. I think it came from a Chevy (cruz?).
                  Interesting as my Ram pickup has electric steering and it centers and feels pretty close to the hydraulic systems I've been accustomed to for an eternity. Must be differences between systems.

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                  • #10
                    A friend of mine bought a Honda Civic with what seems like electric power steering. It self centers, but has almost no road feel. It takes some time to get accustomed to.
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                    • #11
                      Road feel depends on what you are accustomed to. In my opinion the Studebaker-Bendix system has no road feel since the hydraulics do all the work. My Mustang EPAS with a rack isn't too bad, but I think the steering column style assist ( Honda and others) do seem "divorced" maybe because they rotate the input end.

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                      • #12
                        In fact the road feel depends on the springs in the control valve. Stiffer springs will increase the steering effort and road feel. The older GM steering boxes used a torsion bar in hydraulic servo that could be changed to change the steering effort and road feel. The rack and pinion power units also use a torsion bar.
                        David L

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                        • #13
                          As Jerry said in the prior post (thanks for the link Bob!) I like the idea of dialing in the amount of assist that satisfies ones needs. I can see this system where you have enough assist in parking to keep the setting while on the road. Also, as you put a load out back & the front end goes lighter you can dial any assist out if you want. I bought a parts truck just to do my homework for this. I'll work out the bugs for the installation & then a one day swap into my 62 & then the 61.
                          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

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