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Technical 1955 Chevy Truck - Steering Stabilizer?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dlathem, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. dlathem
    Joined: Aug 25, 2014
    Posts: 7


    I have a 1955 2nd series pickup and someone told me that a steering stabilizer would help the handling of my truck. One such as this:

    When I called Classic Parts, the technician told me to save my money and that it wouldn't make any difference. I've replaced the tie rod and ends with the newer style along with the drag link and am about to rebuild the steering gear box (or buy one rebuilt). I'm just trying to make it handle a tad better. Also, I can buy one at my auto parts store locally for about $45 that has U-bolts. If it would help, why couldn't I get one for half price that would do the same thing as Classic's $90 one? Finally, with manual steering, is this going to make the steering difficult since I'd be moving this shock in and out every time I turn?

    Thanks in advance for the help
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,326


    If the guy selling it says you don't need to give them money, then you really don't need it. at all.

    If the truck suffers from "death wobble" then you might could use it, that is, if you've already fixed all the loose parts, etc. But really, it's just a band aid to cover up other problems.
  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,961

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Ran into this with my 50 chevy pickup. After rebuilding the whole thing, I gave up and decided to install a mustang rack. Easy work and handled like a sportscar. This is a late 80's build. These trucks are built for farms not 4 lanes.
    truck 1.jpg
  4. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl

    You might try some angle shims between the axle and the spring to increase the caster. You can buy the tapered shims from Speedway, they are usually used to set the pinion angle on the rear end. A good spring and front end shop for large trucks have the equipment to twist the spindle bolt end of the axle to increase the caster. I shimmed my 55 Chevy pick up to increase the caster and stopped all of the wandering all over the road.

  5. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 2,018

    from Tacoma, WA

    I've got one from a Volkswagen Bug on my Studebaker truck. It was put there by dad at least 30 years ago and seems to dampen steering impulses just like it is supposed to. I guess that's why zee Germans, with all their perverted teutonic science, used them.

    A VW one is cheap from NAPA, and for the minimal price, I look at it as a why not affair...

    Posted using my Lil' Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin
  6. dlathem
    Joined: Aug 25, 2014
    Posts: 7


    Thanks for all the help / opinions. With the 235, I'm clearly not taking turns (or anything else) at high rates of speed but there are lots of 2 lane back roads where I live and between the play in the steering gear box and hitting bumps, it's quite a chore to keep it in my lane.

    I believe that when a kid is caught texting and driving they should have to drive my truck for a week.

    Next Question: Rebuilding the gear box...Classic Parts has them for $300 or a rebuild kit for about $70. I've never done it, but it is that difficult to do? I've adjusted mine all that it can adjust which was only about 1/4 turn and seemed to make no difference other than making steering more difficult. The play remains.
  7. MrArt2u
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 22


    At those prices, I'd look around for a local shop to rebuild it for ya instead. My local place (in L.A.) charges me $80 to rebuild steering boxes. They even let me exchange it for a quicker ratio box if it's available for no extra money.

    Plus make sure you find an old school Alignment shop that knows how to align these trucks. Nowadays most places only do what the "computer says" or try to get "close" to specs. I was having years of trouble with my truck's alignment until I found the right shop.

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