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Hot Rods 1959 Chevy truck issue. SOMEONE HELP

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jay59chevy, Dec 10, 2019.

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  1. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy

    20FB751B-F81D-4561-802C-D2FE038B1988.jpeg 41207AF3-88CE-4917-AD93-1ADA86223AFC.jpeg 675B0067-025D-4464-BBA2-22587E0FDB5E.jpeg
    First time poster:
    So, I own a 1959 Chevrolet Apache 3200.
    I’ve recently installed a 454 HP/TH400 trans and a New 12 bolt rear with posi. I’m extremely happy with how it runs AND sounds.

    the issue that I’m having is the Hedman long tubes headers (HED-69130) I’m running on the BB rub right up against my manual steering box (had to move motor over 1” to accommodate). So the heat is baking the oil in the gears, making turning a chore when completely stopped. I’ve seen the threat where “ SQUIRREL” said he’s done this motor swap on 59 and also just missed the steering box.

    So my question would be, is there anyway to run the more modern “mustang II” manual R&P (ive recently acquired for free) without doing the whole mustang II front end? I’m not really interested in running power steering either. But if there is anyone else that has any other ideas on ways to fix this issue; I’m all ears.
    I’ve considered running an alum heat shield but I can’t think of a way to make it look nice and not be an eye sore

    thanks for reading! I’ve attached photos of the issue, my motor, and truck.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,466

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Consider using a smaller steering gear?
    Maybe a Vega box or something similar?
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    Are you sure that's what the problem is, with the steering? When I first got my 59 chevy truck going, it developed hard steering...turns out I didn't realize how often you have to grease the suspension on old vehicles, and the king pins siezed up from lack of lubrication. But even if everything is working as it should, an old truck with a big block, manual steering, and wide front tires is a chore to steer when it's parked.

    Adding a power steering rack is not something I would consider doing to a truck with an axle suspension.

    The steering box shouldn't have a problem with the heat, at least mine hasn't over the decades. Although you do need to keep it properly lubricated, using #00 weight grease (not normal #2 chassis grease, which is too thick, nor 90 wt gear oil, which is too thin).
     
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  4. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,724

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make a heat shield around the box with some sheet metal, it'll make a big difference.
     
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  5. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 472

    glrbird
    Member

    If your not committed on long tube headers, how about shorties? What engine was in it before the change?
     
  6. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy

    Hey Squirrel, I’m glad you’ve jumped In, I used a lot of your previous insight on previous threads to make this swap go much smoother.

    I’m pretty sure the issue isn’t in my suspension, I’m kind of a grease freak when it comes to keeping things properly lubed. I’ve recently rebuilt the steering box (before the swap) did everything correctly, and it made a huge difference. But after the swap and driving a couple hundred miles I pulled the plugon the box to check oil level and it pretty much turned the oil into a
    Black/brown goo like substance that required me to disassemble and clean.

    I obviously don’t want to have to continue to do this.

    The mustang II steering rack that I have isn’t a power rack, it’s manual. I’ve seen a kit where you can mount the power racks to the stock axle and run your R&P that way. I just didn’t know if that was possible to use their brackets and run the manual rack


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  7. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,507

    oldiron 440
    Member

    You have plenty of room just not right where your header is, looks to me you need to modify your header.
     
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  8. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,619

    raven
    Member

    You have the option of swapping the box for a later model (Saginaw 525, I think), that mounts the steering box more towards the front of the frame. It would necessitate a small amount of modification to your steering column but it’s easy. It places the box ahead of your engine.
    r


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  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    What did you use for lubricant?
     
  10. The easiest way to run R&P on a beam axle is to suspend the steering rack from the axle itself.

    If it were me I would work the headers to make them fit better and maybe add a head shield or wrap them to keep the heat from the steering box.
     
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  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    I don't know...40 years like this, and still driving.

    header.jpg
     
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  12. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,092

    Tickety Boo
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    You could heat and put a enough flat on the header pipe to stop the rub, Hooker super comps came with a flat to clear the starter an a sbc, it won't restrict that much flow. Also try synthetic lubricant.
     
  13. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,814

    gene-koning
    Member

    I'm thinking that one header tube running close to the steering box shouldn't be causing a problem with the steering box. The headers on a big block Mopar with a manual box have the tubes pretty well wrapped around the box and there isn't a problem. I think you have the wrong lube in the box.

    I'd try a synthetic lube in the weight/thickness like the one Squirrel suggested. Gene
     
  14. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy

    Hey squirrel, Im using Lucas SAE 80w-90 gear oil, which I “thought” was recommended, what do you use? Looks like this may be my problem?


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  15. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy

    Thanks for all the help guys, was also just bouncing around the idea, if running this “free” manual R&P rack was, 1. possible and 2. worth the trouble, considering I’m running a drop axle. Would it considerably improve handling?


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  16. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy

    Adjustments.JPG



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  17. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,288

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from texas

    Free isn't always a good price. Is the truck tuned real good so the exhaust isn't extra hot?
    I'd beat the fire outa the headers myself.
     
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  18. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,739

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    Clearance your header and change the lube!
     
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  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401

    belair
    Member

    Hammer time. Then proper lube.
     
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  20. The manual box in my '59 Ford takes something (600WT) that is hard to find, think Tractor Supply has something close that some here use. For corn head gear boxes IIRC. I think that 80-90 weight is far too thin. Just read on a Ford site, the TS item is NLGI #0.
     
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  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    Tractor Supply has 00 grease.

    I used to use GM Steering Gear Lubricant, but it's been a long time since it was available.
     
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  22. Pontmerc
    Joined: Jul 13, 2013
    Posts: 100

    Pontmerc
    Member
    from Finland

    I put cv-joint grease in my 63 fairlane box when i rebuild it.Works and seems to be separate metal surfaces pretty well, cause horn didnt work as reliable as it was and i get electric shocks by horn ring when pushing it.horn relay acted like ignition coil.
     
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  23. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,451

    Budget36
    Member

    In my '57 with a BBC, my dad moved the box bax a bit, but it's still real close to the manifold (LS5 exhaust), we took the fill plug and drilled a vent hole in it, have always ran STP in the box. AFter the initial weeping from the vent-probably from filling it too high, it's always been fine.

    I can tell you I recall when it had narrower Dunlops on it, it turned much easier than when I went to the G60-15's.
     
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  24. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,062

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    here is what I don't understand about using a steering rack on a strait axle. People say that you need to mount it to the axle in order to not have bump steer. If you mount the rack to the axle that means the part that connects to your steering column is moving up and down with the axle every time you hit a bump. I don't think that is a very good idea... If your headers are too close to the steering box, get a different set of headers, modify the ones you have or put exhaust manifolds on it. GM went to a lot of trouble when they built that truck so it would steer and handle correctly. A Rack and pinion surely is not the answer....
     
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  25. Jay59chevy
    Joined: Dec 10, 2019
    Posts: 28

    Jay59chevy


    So I saw this kit on eBay, I should be able to run my manual rack with these brackets without any problems, right?


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  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    Ok, I give up.
     
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  27. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 607

    Doublepumper
    Member

    Listen to these guys ^ I'd first verify there isn't a binding problem somewhere in the steering system and clearance the header tube to get it off the steering box, it's done all the time with no issues. Replace the box lube with J-D corn head grease and drive. I would not run rack steering for the reasons given above, plus pinto steering is much too weak for your application. The corn head grease is intended for extreme heat conditions and will work perfectly for this.
     
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  28. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,172

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    I agree, clearance the header and add some heat wrap to that tube. It won’t effect performance in any meaningful way...

     
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  29. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,507

    oldiron 440
    Member

    I might be that the box wasn't centered when adjusted so it's binding on center or it needs a rebuild.
     
    trollst likes this.
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