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Old 07-30-2003, 07:07 PM
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Red face Adding Power Steering to a 1950 Ford

Hello, I'm a new member.
I really hate to bother you guys, but I need some advise.
I am purchasing a 1950 Ford Street Rod that the seller says 'all it needs is power steering', to be in 1st class condition'. So, its my 'baby' to do.
Please understand, I am not in any way mechanically inclined, but if YOU were going to do this, what kind of car would you prefer the power steering unit to come out of, and what, if any hints can you give me on installing the unit. I would be much obliged for any help you can give me. One more question, being not mechaniclly inclined, do you think I can possibly do this installation myself, or should I look for a person who has done this before, and pay him to do it.
Thanking you very much in advance,
B.J. McCord
Kerrville, Texas
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:29 PM
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welcome.

we don't pay no one to do anything around here, except the machinist..... and some of us dont do that.

what engine, what kind of steering, etc, more details please,
and you can do it yourself, by God, if I can, anyone can.....
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:37 PM
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Welcome BJ, Tell us more about the Ford, Stock steering & suspension?? If so, about the only way to put on power steering would be to buy a kit for a power rack. What engine does it have? More info so we can give you more info.
Jack
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:17 PM
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I once did this back in the sixties, I used the pump and steering box and linkage from a 58 Ford and fabricated brackets , this system uses a remote slave cylinder, I rember because I had the hoses wrong and when I fired the car the steering wheel instantly went right lock and dammed near took my arm off!
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:38 PM
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Bob, I thought about mentioning those slave cyl. units, Ford used them up into the 60s, but BJ said he wasn't mechanicaly inclined. Also the problem of finding one and/or finding parts. I have a unit off a 62 and hesitate using it because I'm sure that after I spend time adapting it something will break that I can't fix.
Jack
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Old 07-31-2003, 06:08 AM
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I have one of those slave cylinder units on the wife 68 XR7 and as soon as I can figure out the best rack and pinion to use I will be fabricating and changing it. The TCP unit is way out of line price wise and the Taurus conversion increases the turing radious way too much. As for the 50 Ford I have seen a kit to install a rack in one someplace but I do not remember who makes it. Just My 2 cents worth.
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Old 07-31-2003, 06:44 AM
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EBlack36, go with the Taurus conversion. I'm assuming your car has rear facing steering arms? Forward facing should use a Mustang/T-bird rack.

The reason steering radius is increased is the length of the steering arms. From the center of the ball joint to the center of the tie rod end is only 5" for the Ford rack and pinion (power anyway, I would assume manual as well). The old steering box linkage on my Rambler has 7" steering arms -- that has to increase turning radius! I don't know why the kit literature doesn't mention this. If you have basically stock suspension on a 50 or so car the steering arms may be a separate piece that will bolt off (AMC always was, so I have no problem here!). Take the old arm off and fabricate a new, shorter one, and your steering circle will be the same. I'm making one out of square steel tubing. On the tie rod end I'm drilling a large diameter hole in the top that will match the height I want the tie rod end to be at and a smaller hole in the bottom to match the tie rod thread diameter. I'll reinforce the upper hole with a washer as well. Should work fine.

If you don't have removeable arms, you'll have to cut and weld or bend them. Ford has three lengths of tie rod ends to match the rack to the car -- Mustang II/Escort (the boxy one, don't know about the Mazda version) ends are the shortest, with Tempo/Fox Mustang in the middle, and T-bird/Taurus the longest. If the short one isn't short enough you can cut the tie rods (inner tie rod ends have the tie rods made onto them). I may have shortened mine a bit to much, the Tempo ends should fix me right up though (have MII ends)!
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:28 AM
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I knew why it increased, I just do not want a pony car that turns like a truck and as the spindle and steering arms are a forge one piece unit I am looking at different rear steer racks that mount a little further back than the Taurus. So far a Saturn unit looks to be a little better, I do not really want to go with a center pull type of unit.
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