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Old 06-23-2013, 08:14 AM
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55 GMC questions?

Hey guys,
I recently acquired a 55 GMC pickup from my dad that he restored about 20 years ago. The truck runs and drives great with the stock inline 6 and hydra-matic and still looks pretty good. I plan to lower it some, add power steering and power brakes, since this is now my daily driver, but dont want to spend too much money and dont want to really modify it too much either, i.e front clip, notch frame, etc...

Ive looked at mono leafs and dropped beams and was just curious if this was the only only option?

My next question is, power steering? I have looked and looked and not found any good information about a power steering conversion kit.

Also, I would like to swap over to power brakes. The front has a disc brake conversion and everything works fine, but since Im going to be driving this everyday I'd like a little more stopping power?

I love the truck and really only want to modify a few things to get it to where I want it and feel 100% safe about driving it everyday in traffic. If anybody can shed some light on any of these it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!

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Old 06-23-2013, 10:28 AM
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I have a 56 chevy truck. The Chevy and GMC share a lot, but there are major differences when it comes to engine clearance and the steering box, so check and be sure you wont have clearance issues.
1. I have the stock axle with a couple of leafs removed. I will eventually go to a dropped axle, but only 1.5'' to 2'' drop. Any more than that will put it under the scrub line. The HAMB has some great info on how to drop your own axle. I'm searching for an axle to try it on. There are 3'' drop axles sold for around $400.
2. Power steering kits that use a front mounted box are not very good. The drag link will end up very short and will cause bump steer if everything is not perfectly aligned. Also the left front tire may contact the steering box if you have a deeper offset wheel. The 79-84 Toyota box is almost a bolt in. Fits where the factory box is but may have some clearance issues on GMCs with the engine. No limit sells a rack and pinion system for the straight axle. I went with a R&P on mine. I made my own using a Saturn rack. All these will require a steering column. You can buy an aftermarket, hit the junkyard, or reuse the factory column with some modifications. The stock column will need to be cut from the steering box, a lower bearing added, and milled to a double D shape (this is what I did).
3. I bought this off e bay and it has worked well. 1955 59 56 57 58 Chevy Truck 3100 Power Brake Booster | eBay
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:58 PM
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there is a lengthy thread on 55-59 chevy trucks in this forum, lots of good reading there too.
another place to look is 67-72chevytrucks.com they have a very active 47-59 truck sub-forum over there

i modified the heck out of mine so i can't recommend much stock stuff
a drop axle is probably your best bet to lower the front a couple inches
to drop the rear you can swap the front spring hanger side-to-side and switch it to the top of the frame for 2'' drop

i would recommend new kingpins, tie rod ends, spring shackles and pins, roller wheel bearings on the dropped axle and then decide if you still want or need power steering
haven't heard much about the power steering boxes, but the rack mounted and moving on the front axle scares the bejeebers out of me

is your current disc brake setup using a disc/drum master cylinder?
even a non power disc should lock the wheels fairly easy
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