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Old 01-16-2003, 08:51 AM
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Post Why not 40 Ford stock steering box?

After reading all the info on steering conversions, what is wrong with the stock steering box in a 40 Sedan with a 350? Assuming the box is in good shape wouldn't it work ok?

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Old 01-16-2003, 01:25 PM
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Randy, you're damn right! If the box is in good shape you can certainly use it. I drove my 40 Coupe with a 350 buckled up to the original drivetrain for several years and had no complaint about the steering. Did complain about the 3 transmission rebuilds, though! The thing is, the box needs to come out and be dismantled and cleaned, and have new seals installed. Then be properly adjusted by a Ford shop manual procedure, not the procedure some old guy in the neighborhood seems to remember from when he was a kid and worked a porter in the Ford dealership during the summer between 9 th and 10th grade. Once you have cleaned and resealed the box, use the appropriate lubricant and away you go.
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Old 01-16-2003, 04:10 PM
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Do the Fords have recirculaiton ball sector shafts in them? The reason I ask is that I never worked on an early Ford but my '36 Willys didn't. Then again, the Willys had mechanical, cable operated brakes too so was a little behind in technology! If they don't have recirculating balls, steering will be a lot harder with than a modern gear with that system. Otherwise an old box in good repair should work fine.
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Old 01-16-2003, 07:32 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by Randy Owens:
<strong>After reading all the info on steering conversions, what is wrong with the stock steering box in a 40 Sedan with a 350? Assuming the box is in good shape wouldn't it work ok?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Mine works just fine. Even has the horn wire coming out the bottom of the box. With the stock steering wheel......it drives good.......with not much effort



:p
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Old 01-18-2003, 06:13 AM
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To Randy Owens.....

I got your PM...
I used a 57 Chevy Rams Horn manifold ( R or L ) on the passenger side and a 55-56 Chevrolet passenger side manifold on the drivers side. The 55-56 manifold exits at the front of the engine....which makes a lot of room for the steering box.



I used the passenger side 55-56 manifold because it has NO provisions for the generator/alternator. I am using a aftermarket bracket ( made by Alan Grove Components ). IF you need the manifold to have generator/alternator brackets....use the drivers side 55-56 manifold.



Here is a photo of the exhaust around the steering. I just happen to have the engine out to freshen it up.

Hope this helps......
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Old 01-18-2003, 07:02 PM
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Hey Deuce,
Nice 40 std. you've got! Mine was like that, Washington Blue, 350 Chevy, stock trans and rear.
I had ram's horns on both sides but the driver side lost a stud boss and I had to go to blockhugger headers. They worked fine, only cost me $30.00 to have the front pipes modified. I used a long water pump and pulleys with a modified factory stamped steel braket on the right (pass.) side. Worked beautifully and looked good, too. One you trim a little on the factory bracket they look more delicate and home-built!
Sold the car to a professor at Texas A&M. Was told a few years later it was rotting in his driveway. OH WELL!
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Old 01-19-2003, 08:50 AM
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The 40 had Rams Horns on both sides when I got it ( car done with V8 in 1957 by previous owner ) but I was not happy with the exhaust being so close to the steering box. Helped a friend put Headers on his 55 Chevrolet and saw the manifolds we took off would have a lot more clearance on the drivers side.........so I changed them a few years ago. Now has a lot of room around the steering. I have a buddy who has a 39 Ford convertible with the SBC and he had Ram Horns on his with stock steering. His box went bad..... due to the heat cooking the grease. He drives his cross country once, twice a year.


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Old 01-19-2003, 09:42 AM
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Hey Deuce!
I found something interesting regarding steering box lubricants. The early Fords generally use gear oil (90W or 180W), and the factory even recommended changing with the seasons. Those were the days.
The problem with gear oil is most boxes don't get rebuilt/cleaned and repaired and reassembled and adjusted. Instead they get cleaned externally, improperly adjusted, and painted. ALL DONE!
Well the gear oil always leaks through the lower seal (Champ Products even offered a felt washer kit to reduce the flow!). OK, number one then is to replace the pitman shaft grease seal, even if you don't do anything else. This keeps the lube where it belongs. I use Ford Steering Box Lubricant in all my boxes, old and new. It comes from Ford in a small grease gun tube. Most boxes take 1 to 1 1/2 tubes. This is a grease that does not channel and is specially formulated for this use.
I don't believe your buddies box failed from cooking the juice, it failed from not enough juice or the wrong kind of juice (not to mention a leaking exhaust donut gasket problem, I'm sure.)
Anyhow, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Dean
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Old 01-19-2003, 02:59 PM
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I do not know what lube my buddy had in his steering box but it had plenty in it when he took it out. No leaks.....just cooked. It was baked/fried like mud.

He owns a Muffler shop........so no exhaust leaks either. I redid his 39 transmission about 10 years (125,000 miles) ago and have it apart now installing new seals and a bearing or two. He is going to change his exhaust manifold to the 55-56 after I get his transmission redone and he puts it back up.

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