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Hot Rods 32 solid axle steering help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fuel pump, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    from Caro,MI

    One of the local hot rodders has a 32 pick up with a sbc and a solid front axle. A couple of years ago he about blew his right arm off in a fireworks accident and has no strength or movement now in the arm. He is a life long drag racer and hot rodder and is just now getting back in the swing of things. He wants to drive his solid axle 32 more but really can't manover it around at slow speeds at shows and cruises. He is looking for suggestions and possibly sources for steering assist products (power steering, rack and pinion etc) that he could add to the solid axle so he can drive it. Any ideas would be appreciated.
  2. BELLM
    Joined: Nov 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,588


    I have no personal experience with the new rack & pinion setup that is made for solid axle, direct boltup if you have a Vega box, but I bought a Vega box from a guy @ the Roundup swap meet that he had replaced with the rack & pinion. He said it now drove like power steering, especially at low speed. He had a '32 roadster.
  3. Deuce Roadster has the new unisteer rack and pinion on his 3 window,,,

    Maybe he could give you some feedback.HRP
  4. there were a few Vegas made with power steering boxes. it was very small , not much bigger than a stock non power Vega box. i guess it would be hard to find one in a junkyard now

  5. I put "Royal King Pins" (Needle bearing) in my '35 Sedan w/flathead, and '37 steering box. Stock steering wheel and radials. Not power steering, but would be one handed at slow speeds with a spinner on the wheel. If he has the stock '32 steering box, it should be updated.
  6. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,090

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I did a 32 chassis for a customer with some kind of a shoulder disability several years ago. I installed a 605 box and SBC in the chassis. 32 sport coupe from Colorado Springs. The install worked good, however the box was a little bulky. I have never seen a power Vega box.
  7. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom

    there are many things that can be done with out adding a power steering box.

    the needle roller king pins are a big help. the biggest thing is propper wheel and tire placement.

    with the contact patch of the tire set up in the center of where the king pin hits the ground greatly reduces steering effort.
  8. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    I believe that the Chevy Monza had a small P/S box. I used to check them looking for the Vega box.
  9. 37 BILL
    Joined: May 31, 2006
    Posts: 127

    37 BILL
    from Bristol CT

    You have a few options...if it is cross can go with a 530(BORGRSON) ....set up to be slower in the Parking mode...hense esier to steer.....or the half rack from unisteer...or 605 or 700 power steering gear....if it is side steer....we(BORGESON) make a new power box to replace the mustang box...I would be happy to help....and like I allways say...I dont care if you buy from us....I will just help with info if that is all you want...good luck...Bill Coleman...860-482-8283or cell 860-558-0966
  10. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,481


    Install a necker knob.
  11. i have only seen two , one in a junkyard and one on a 1977 vega that belonged to a girl i used to date. according to Napa , they list power steering hoses , rebuilt power steering pumps and even a rebuilt steering box for a `77 vega .

    i'm not familiar with every box GM used....what box is this? 605?

    here is what Napa shows:

    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    I've seen a Vega with power steering, but the one I saw had the same size gear as the larger G.M. cars. Another possibility is the addition of a hydraulic assist slave, like was used on Chevrolets from 1955-64, as well as many Ford products.
  13. couverkid
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,125


    My thought exactly.
  14. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,481


    Also, put in the largest diameter wheel that will fit. Tough, I know, in a '32 pickup, but it will make steering a lot easier.

    I put a 17" wheel on an F-1 box in a '32 tudor, and it's not too bad to steer. Granted, it has skinny tires with the correct offset (keep the contact patch inline with the kingpin, as said above in post #7), but I think the big wheel has a lot to do with it.
  15. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    Shorter pitman arm, might give you bump steer, but should make it more turns on the wheel
  16. Here's a photo of a Monroe power steering ram from an early 60's Rambler. You can see the cut off pitman arm that you would replace with the pitman arm from the vehicle. Then the drag link connects to the lug just to the left of that. It works well with a stock G.M. pump.

    I sold one of these to HAMBer "Pete1" a few years ago and he rigged it up on his Model A sedan. I think he liked it. There might be a bit of "shopping" involved in finding one. :)

    Attached Files:

  17. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    We've put in a couple of half racks from Unisteer at the hot rod shop I help out at and the customers seem to like them. They comment on the reduced effort. Your experience may vary.
    Shorter pitman arm or longer steering arm at the spindle will decrease effort but will deminish turning radius.


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