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Old 03-04-2003, 05:58 PM
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Post What is best way to do 51 Chev Car power steering converson

Does anyone know if I can change my stock original 51 chev CAR (not truck) manual steering box to the 605 integral power steering box. Has anyone ever done it. I would like to avoid a complete change over to a mustang front end as I bought the car all finished and painted and really do not want to take it all apart. Urgent. The car REALLY NEEDS POWER ASSISTED STEERING WITH THE CHEV 350 ENGINE.

[ March 04, 2003: Message edited by: olestufsafl ]

[ March 04, 2003: Message edited by: olestufsafl ]</p>

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Old 04-02-2003, 01:07 AM
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Hey I have what they call poormans steering on my 55 it works really good you can look for it at classic chevy inc.check it out may be a possibility.
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:26 AM
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I can not see how the installation of a 350 V8 would make the steering of your car harder.
The manual steering (properly adjusted) on old cars was easy enough for your Grandma to use so you shouldn't have a problem.
I will tell you this---if your front end is correctly set up, and steering box correctly adjusted, it will steer just fine---UNLESS you have put some wide tires on the front, let's say wider than 215R75-15. When you get into the 60 and lower series tires you have overpowered the steering by the amount of rubber you have to scuff around on the road.
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Old 04-02-2003, 06:49 PM
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Changing the steering box on a 49-54 Chevrolet means changing the steering column and since the column tube is an integral part of the old steering gear, it can be a real pain trying to find a power gear that will bolt to the frame rail. I don't think I've ever see a decent setup like that. Any retro fitted gearbox's pitman arm will have to conform to the old ball and socket center pull idea also. Then there are exhaust and engine clearance issues...

Frankly, pulling the engine is the best way to get something like this done and if I went that far, I'd go with the rack and pinion idea and loose the kingpins in the process. There are always Camero frame grafts too but the Mustang II based rerto fit is much easier.

This is only my HUMBLE opinion. What you ultimately decide to do, is completly up to you.

[ April 02, 2003: Message edited by: PrimeMover ]</p>
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:51 AM
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Your easiest bet might be to use a Mustang or T-bird power rack, or one from another car. I don't recall if the Chevy steering arms are in front or behind the centerline of the spindles. In front you need the Mustang/T-bird/Aerostar rack, behind you need a Taurus/Sable rack. You'd have to cut your steering shaft and weld on a U-joint to mate with the power rack, but the rack doesn't take up much room. The rack for Mustang/T-bird/Aerostar is the same, Mustang has short tie rod ends, T-bird has long ones. They use a standard GM pump as well. The tie rod ends might be a problem, don't recall how they are made for the old Chevy, but you should be able to adapt. I'm using one on a 63 Rambler, surely you can make it fit a Chevy! I used a combination of Chevy and Ford factory (junkyard) parts to make a shaft. I'm using a GM tilt column too, which made things easier. The 63 Rambler uses a solid shaft stock like your Chevy, and I could have used it by sawing off the shaft at the right place. To clear and engine mount I couldn't use the factory rag joint, but had to buy a slip on straight coupling from Speedway (any hot rod shop should have them). I used the factory Ford u-joint, which fit a shortened Chevy collapsible shaft. Both Ford and Chevy used a 3/4" shaft, some flat on one side, some flat on both. So I was able to make everything fit okay with no other clearance problems.
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