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31 ford AA and steering options

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scl009, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. scl009
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 33

    scl009
    Member

    I have a 31 model AA halfass mocked up with a 4.9 liter I6, zf 5 speed manual trans, free floating superduty rearend and front spindles/hubs.

    I've split the wishbones and am making custom bushings and king pins for the front spindles. It is actually looking like I'm starting to make progress, at least enough to start thinking about how I'm going to mock up my pedal assemblies and steering. I think I'm reversing the superduty brakes and mounting the master cylinder and booster and clutch under the floor.

    I was originally thinking about a saginaw power steering box with pitman arm and tie rods looking kind of like the original setup, but am now thinking about a rack and pinion from a big dodge ram. I've read rack and pinion is not the way to go in big trucks, but think it would make the engine compartment a lot less cluttered and I would basically be able to put my steering column and wheel at whatever angle/location I wanted.

    Any opinions/advice? Box vs rack and pinion? I'll post a pick of what I got so far tomorrow.

    Scott
     
  2. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,281

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Well there are these to help get the right position.

    [​IMG]

    and then there are these, which makes even less clutter under your hood and supposedly still gives you power steering by driving thru the steering column hidden under the dash and powered by electrics instead of hydraulics, so no pesky oil leaks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  3. scl009
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 33

    scl009
    Member

    I went out to the junk yard this morning and couldn't find a rack and pinion worth taking and took some measurments of the superduty steering box. Its roughly 12 in by 6 inches and set up for cross steering. It would be a REAL tight fit, if I could even get it in the bay.

    I think I'm gonna wait and find a rack and pinion. The longer I stood there and looked at the 40 lb 12x6 box the more trouble I thought it would be. The only thing about the rack and pinion is that its not a ford part. I was trying to keep everything ford.


    So heres what I got so far on the front end.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. scl009
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 33

    scl009
    Member

    Hey fiftyV8, I've seen the steer clear at the top, but whats the second photo so I can go do some research on it.

    thanks
     

  5. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,281

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Well there are also these cross steering units (2nd pic below) do a search on ebay under unisteer or same search on the internet.
    They have been discussed on the HAMB here sometime back.

    The item you questioned is a steering column that is power driven by electrics on the column under the dash, they are used in numerous new cars now including Honda, BMW and some smaller GM cars.
    Unisteer also make a universal unit for hot rods etc.
    This version can also be found when searching ebay under the unisteer search name.

    [​IMG]

    Not cheap but what is these days, probably means it is not made in China.
    It looks like the electric drive motor is not much bigger than a windshield wiper motor.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  6. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,281

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Here is one I could on ebay from a Lincoln.

    [​IMG]

    It also looks like the Mercedes units are pretty slick.

    Some of these columns have a kind of volume switch to adjust the sensitivity, how cool is that!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  7. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    How about making life easy and doing an F-1 steering box with a Model "A" end that would bolt right into your frame? With the early truck's weight distribution and a typical 17" steering wheel I doubt that you would feel the need for power steering at all. Come to think of it, because the "AA" frame has a wider beam, I would bet you could go with a '53-'56 F-100 box and column and simply redrill the frame rails pattern to install.

    Rack and pinion holds no advantage over a convensional box other than packaging. It truly is no better or worse apples for apples. But a rack and pinion is far more easily packaged in a double A arm independant type front suspension than a beam axle. Mounting th erack is the first hurdle, it has to be mounted to the beam unless you love the thought of massive toe change with suspension movement. Then, after it is secure to the beam, the steering linkage has to have some sort of sliding mechanism to counteract the rack moving up and down with the beam. I have yet to see anything to solve that problem that isn't rapid wear prone. Stick with the box...
     
  8. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,257

    V4F
    Member
    from middle ca.

    F-1 box is a good set-up ...
     
  9. scl009
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 33

    scl009
    Member

    Been looking at the F1 box especially the 53-56 and found some guys doing conversions to a Toyota power box thats basically a bolt in for their f100s. Was looking at the Toyota box and it looks plenty skinny enough to fit in the space I have. This is looking like a winner.

    I also seen 99-2004 jeed Cherokees. I'm gonna make another trip to the yard with the tape measure.

    Thanks guys
     

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