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Old 01-19-2002, 04:44 PM
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Question 1931 Chevy steering conversion

My '31 5 window coupe has the original steering system (steering box, drag link,column, etc.) The exhaust header from the 350 sm block sits right on top of the box and has probably cooked it (steering is worse than hard). I need to convert to a different steering set up and I am told that 65 to 68 Mustang is the way to go. Is this true and are there any GM steering setups that will work just as well?
Thanks, Jim

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Old 01-19-2002, 07:53 PM
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Have you checked the king pins, if these are worn out the steering will be a bear. I don't think the exhaust would cook the gear box. To check the king pins jack up the front end and see how much movement you have in the wheels. Push in on the wheel at the top if you get any movement your king pins are worn.
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:52 PM
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Dear Jim:

The best advice I or anyone else can give you is to trash the whole steering assembly and go with a new (or newer system.) I know it's gonna cost a bit of money but there are companies out there that make custom steering kits to replace your box, columns, etc.
<p>
Why do I suggest something like this? One word, SAFETY. Trust me, no one likes saving money more than me, and I know it can be tight from time to time, but the massive amounts of heat emitted by your headers on the steering box and extensions can do alot of damage, especially since their actually 1931 components! No one wants to see any rod loose control and end up a pile of goo, or see you or your friends/family end up injured, or worse off dead! How do I know? My 1930 Model A coupe decided to quit turning on me one day and Thank Goodness I was just leaving a stop light and not clocking 60+ mph on my way to a rod run! My steering assembly came out of a 1982-83 Mercury Marquis with a Mustang II front end.

Street rodding is all about HAVING FUN and STAYING SAFE! Check ANY street rodding magazine for advertisements for steering parts. There are plenty of affordable products out ther to help you get around your headers (I've got the old trumpet style) in both the stainless steel, and plain that you can paint.

If you don't really know where to go, e-mail me and I'll gladly give you some telephone numbers/websites.

SuperFrog
Mississippi Street Rod Association
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Old 01-22-2002, 12:41 AM
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Without getting to technical the cheapest and easiest way to divert header heat is with header wrap you can find it in jegs or summit or local speed shop,I use it on my drag car for horsepower gain but after i do a run i can put my hands dirrectly on header and its only warm. So i started using it on rods to protect components. Just wrap area of header thats critical and use either hose clamp or special ties to hold it tight in place it works great.
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Old 01-22-2002, 04:38 AM
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Hello Quajim1
I agree with superfrog mostly because of the newness and availability of todays parts. I havea `30 coupe with early mustang steering (draglink style) and it is good yet could be better. The newer mustang style does afford you to drop the front end a litte more for stance (the important feature) it is more compact and simple, the initial cost is troublesome yet in the long run not all that bad. Model A`s are a chosen for this upgrade. Light cars ad compact enough to use it well. I will be upgrading mine soon as wellbesides you get ridof the squeaks involved with the other suspension. Hopefully you make the best of choices. Helpfuly submited Your friend Tacodog
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:04 PM
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We put a '74-'78 Ford Mustang II power rack on a 51 chev. Car handles great with manual brakes, steering is very quick. Can recommend this conversion on your '31. As others have stated--Safety FIRST--D
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:22 PM
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Talking

Thank you all. Lot's of good, workable solutions and trouble shooting help. Diverting header heat is a good suggestion but fundamentally I agree with everyone on replacing the front end steering. If I can't retain the original dropped solid front axle, I'll be looking for parts right away and will let you know what I find and how I make out.
Thanks again. Jim
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Old 01-24-2002, 03:34 PM
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a gm comaro or firebird from the 77 to80s would
work. that ford would front end would work well.
or you can get headers that you beld yourself

thank you
steves auto
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