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Projects Curious how many folks have used a 39 Ford steering column and or box to their Model A?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by baspinall, May 13, 2020.

  1. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    I just purchased a nice 39 Ford steering column and box. The box turns smooth. I know that the worm gear is the same as the F1 box but why weld the steering column if I can use the whole system. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  2. The '39 Ford is cross steer and the Model A is forward and back along the center line of the car. Of course anything can be done.

    Charlie Stephens
     
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  3. If your going to cross steer like the 35-48 your good to go.
     
  4. You mean like this? Oh, and that's a 37 Dash so I could mount the stock column drop and run all stock Ford gauges. You can do it but things aren't just going to bolt together. The real driving force here was I wanted a Glove Box in the Roadster.
    P1010248.JPG P1010249.JPG
     

  5. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,570

    Fogger
    Member

    Back in the '30s my dad was given a '36 steering box and column. He installed it in his Model A and drove it around the block. Laughing he said it was weird turning the steering wheel to the right the car went to the left. He could have had the pitman arm up instead of down and it would have worked but he didn't want to modify the fender. Once around the block was all he drove it and replaced the A box. He was 14 at the time and learned a valuable lesson.
     
  6. phill
    Joined: Jul 22, 2003
    Posts: 43

    phill
    Member

    Yep, I've put a 39 box in our banger powered Sport Coupe. But as Fogger said if you just turn it sideways it turns the wrong way. Because I needed a RHD steering system I used a local RHD steering box case and got new LHD worm and sector gear and shaft from MACs. Welded a new mounting flange on so that it mounted in the original Model A spot. All works great. I did go one step further and machined an early A inner steering column to fit in the 39 box so that I could keep the red 28 steering wheel. outer column, hand throttle and use the original light switch assembly.

    Phill
     
  7. Reggie
    Joined: Aug 25, 2003
    Posts: 1,700

    Reggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you are running a flathead, your biggest issue will be the exhaust manifold. You might be able to make it work if you run center dump block hugger style headers. I believe Speedway has them for the flathead.
     
  8. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Didn't even cross my mind when I bought this to look at it being cross steer. I'm still at a point where I could go cross steer but my initial intent wasn't. I may stick with this column and look into having someone weld my F1 box in. I don't trust my welding abilities for this particular area.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  9. If you go with it mounted cross steer as I highly recommend you don't need to weld anything. The factory 35 up steering mount was installed with 4 rivets. You could just as easily use 4 grade 8 bolts.
     
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  10. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,895

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    I may have a '41 still on the 1/2 frame rail... will cut for cheaper ship if you cant find one closer to home..
     
  11. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,459

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    So fun fact, if you point the arm up on a cross steering box it will steer correctly. This is handy if you’re using a heavily dropped axle and the steering arm is high.
     
    Cliff Ramsdell and deadbeat like this.
  12. 47 ford cross steering in my A coupe . Steers very nice !
     
  13. MayDay
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 411

    MayDay
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a 40 box and column set up for cross-steering in my A. Haven't driven it yet but it all fit in perfectly somehow. I used the frame section from a '40 where the box mounts. Attached it inside the A frame rail. My only concern was the angle of drag link. We shall see what happens...

    -chris
     
  14. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    I was talking about welding the steering column rod to the F1 box rod.
     
  15. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Have a picture of that?
     
  16. Buckster
    Joined: May 3, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Buckster
    Member

    Install it so the pitman arm shaft is horizontal. Position the box so the pitman arm shaft is below the bottom of the frame. Make a bracket to bolt it to the bottom of the frame rail. You will end up with an installation similar to a Mustang steering box like Pete & Jake incorporated into their 4 bar bracket. The pitman arm will need to be turned up.
     
    baspinall likes this.
  17. Go to post #4 here and look. Notice the ear on the Frame rail between exhaust port #1 and #2 and then the steering column coming up between center exhaust port and rear port. NO pitman arm coming through the frame rail. That's cross steer with a 40 box.
     
  18. I have 48 Mercury column and box crosssteer in 30 A Roadster on deuce rails, Flathead running gear, drives really well and would do it again.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 19, 2020
    baspinall and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  19. That's all grate to know but baspinall needs to know if you mounted it as Cross steer or Drag link style. Maybe a photo or two of it would help him out.
     
    baspinall likes this.

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