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Technical Help Reversing A '39 Ford Steering Box

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by matter, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

    So I have a '39 style steering box set up as side steer and the pitman arm points up, I would like it to point down. In searching I see where someone had an F1 box on it's side and they wanted the pitman to point up. Responses to that post said to replace the F1 worm and sector with a '39 style, so I am wondering if I can put an F1 worm and sector in my '39 box to achieve the opposite?
    Thanks, Matt
     
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,406

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The sector is the same part from I think 38 to 48 and then into the F-1s. So I don't think installing an F-1 sector will get you anything.

    I have a couple Chris Craft boat boxes which are basically an old Ford box with an adjustable mount, and the innards are flipped. The pitman points up. Try to find yourself one of those.
     
  3. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

    Thanks, but my '39 box points up now and I am wanting it to point down. Here is a couple crappy pics showing mine, I THINK it is a '39 style but thought I should post a pic to be sure.
    20160705_110546.jpg 20160705_110528.jpg 20160705_105959.jpg
     
  4. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    It will work if you REVERSE it. do you know what that means? well I'll tell you. The worm and shaft have to exit the other end of the box, where the four bolt plate now is. you cut off the existing steering column snout, grind the hole to the next available freeze plug size and press that in, with sealant, as this is now the bottom of the box. Now take the bottom bearing/adjustment four bolt plate, cut the centre and brass tube thingy off, and weld on a heavy wall tube to accept the steering column outer jacket, about 1 1/2 " long. the box gets reassembled with the steering shaft sticking out the other end, adjust the paper shim pack as per normal, and enjoy side steering from a cross steer box. You're welcome.
     
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No simple way out on that one. Lowsquires directions for "reversing" the box are right on as far as what you do to reverse a steering box though. You reverse the steering column so it comes out the other end of the box you don't swap internals you just swap the direction you turn the wheel to move the pitman arm.
     
  6. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

    Understood, thanks, but I was trying to avoid remounting the entire box and was under the impression the F1 worm gear screwed the other direction. I might be way ahead to just use an F1 box.
     
  7. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

  8. Your logic is correct, but I have no information on what worm gear might allow this to happen. As an alternative, why not just pursue an F-1 box and use that complete as replacement for yours?
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's one of the most confusing threads I have read on the Hamb.
    For what you are asking you would have to see the innards of both gear boxes side by side and the direction of the thread for lack of the right term on the truck piece would have to be opposite of what you have to be able to swap and have it work.
    [​IMG] Borrowed from the Early Ford store page.
     
  10. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,406

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yep, get you an F-1 box. It has the worm below the sector, and will make the pitman point down. You will need to re-make a mount, but you won't have any hokey parts (meaning you will have easy to find replacements).
     
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,662

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You got my curiosity up and I did some hunting and it does look like the worm gear for the F-1 works in the opposite direction as the worm gear for the 39 box. You would have to contact the vendor to see if they will interchange to change direction though. scroll down the page to worm gears and you can see the difference.
    http://cgfordparts.com/wwwsectionfiles/cg_cat1_steering.html#WORM---SHAFT
     
  12. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    I see what you want to do now, but I think you are better off reversing it, cutting off the mount ears and welding a flange onto the sector snout (TIG it with 316 stainless rod, which is a good filler material between Cast and mild steel)to properly mount it like an F1 box. half measures are just that. dive in and do it properly.
     
  13. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

    Thanks guys, for all the input! Probably just go with an F1 box, good excuse to pull the engine again...
    Matt
     
  14. The F-1 and F-100 boxes up to '64 are designed for side steer, and the parts to rebuild them to new condition are readily available. A couple of other options that might be easier to find (at least easier to find one that is not worn out and in need of rebuilding)--'61-'66 Ford Econoline vans used to be a popular choice for T buckets and Model A rods when the old Econoline vans were plentiful in the junkyards. '64-'69 Dodge A-100 vans used a side steer version of the GM Saginaw box that was used in midsize GM cars in the '60s and '70s. I had one of those out of a '69 Dodge van I junked that a gave to a friend who used it in a '24 Studebaker roadster he was building, worked well and he was happy with it. That same box was also used in '60s Chevy/GMC vans that had a beam axle and side steer. Dodge pickups in the '50s and '60s also had a good side steer box.
     
  15. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,477

    Andy
    Member

    The parts in a 39 box and an F1 are exactly the same. I have switched parts between them several times. No difference. The F-100 box will give you an arm pointing down and the steering shaft in the same position. The F-100 is already reversed.
     
  16. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,639

    Mart
    Member

    There is a way to do this. I did it. I am reporting from first hand experience, not internet hearsay. You need the guts from a RHD box. Take the LHD case, turn it on it's side, poke it through the rail and add a flange (like the f1/f100 conversions). Put the parts from a RHD box into the LHD casing. It will steer correctly. I did exactly this in my 33. Now I was lucky enough to find the RHD parts. You might struggle.

    Here's my 33 build thread, page 3. The link should take you straight to the part about the steering box conversion.
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...w-survivor-project.717169/page-3#post-8446252

    Mart.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  17. I second that. I've been after a RHD F1 box for a year now, and haven't had any luck finding one.
     
  18. Mark T
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,828

    Mark T
    Member

  19. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,639

    Mart
    Member

    If you reverse a 37 box you would have to mount it underslung and would in effect have a f1 box. You might as well find an f1 box.

    I didn't read the other thread.
     
  20. matter
    Joined: Jan 24, 2014
    Posts: 89

    matter
    Member

    I did grab an Econoline van box as suggested by 38fordpickup today from a friend who was scrapping a van. Looks like a nice box except for the short snout at the pitman. Might be a good candidate if I can work through that. Price was right.
     
  21. dave lewis
    Joined: Dec 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,345

    dave lewis
    Member

    Another easy box to find for cowl steering is dodge dart ..
    They used the same design in 1/2 ton pickups and vans..
    Aluminum and cast iron versions.
    Early dart is aluminum. .
    The later ones are beefier castings. . Still aluminum. .
    Pickups are usually cast iron.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

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