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What to do about steering??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tokyo, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. I am really torn about the steering set up for my 50 merc project, maybe you guys could throw in your opinions.

    I think that keeping the original steering column is important.

    But to do that, and have up to date steering, I would need a power box. There is the adapter kit for a f100 power box, but that would mean cutting the steering shaft, coupling it to a box, finding a solid box, bending the steering arm. getting new draglinks, and tie rods etc..

    Or...

    I could try to make a manual rack work, and still have to cut the shaft and couple it to the box..

    Or...

    I could not do anything and keep the stock set up....

    Is there anything wrong with the stock steering set up, or am I going to hate having to go back and forth 100 times to fit into a parking spot with no power??

    Any advice would be welcomed.

    tok
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,821

    squirrel
    Member

    if you keep the stock steering wheel, and run skinny tires, then steering effort is not very high, and if the steering box is in good condition then the car should handle ok.

    I don't see what the big deal is.
     
  3. jalopy43
    Joined: Jan 12, 2002
    Posts: 3,085

    jalopy43
    Member Emeritus

    Keep the stock box. after a while you will have Popeye arms,and won't need power ha ha ha ..Some guys have had good luck with Volvo boxes, do a search of shoebox/volvo steering. I have a stock box in my shoebox,keep it filled with stp. I'll arm wrestle you anytime... ha ha ha Sparky:D
     
  4. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,629

    Tuck
    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    yeah I dont think there is anything wrong with the stock steering setup?

    if you went with a smaller wheel it would be nice to have power steering but if you are keeping you big merc steering wheel then you should be just fine...

    a power steering box is only going to make the wheel turn easier, not turn any sharper-

    I dunno man- keep it simple.

    Tuck
     
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  5. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,078

    SUHRsc
    Member

    i know nothing about merc's but....if it were me....i'd leave it stock
    unless your building a "street rod"

    like squirrel said...with the big stock wheel and skinny biasply's on the front...should be ok

    good luck
    zach
     
  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Non-power steering is oft a problem, especially for heavy cars, only because the owner learned to drive in a power steer cat and isn't aware of the tricks!
    When parallel parking, say, you do not simply grab the wheel and start muscling it around--you will not like the experience much.
    All you need to do is add a TINY amount of creep, easing the car forward or back a miniscule amount during the turning--and I really mean miniscule; it does not have to be enough to visibly change your place, even, just a tiny impetus toward rolling. Steering immediately eases. Spend two minutes practicing the technique needed for your stick or auto car, and you'll see. Once car is actually rolling, any decent steering is quite light, and some manual systems are actually easier than the high effort-police artificial feel boxes I use in Novas!
     
  7. THanks guys..I just want to do it once, and be done with it.

    Another concern is that I haven't had time to look at the box, so are they typically strong with most of the slop in the worn out tie rod ends and drag links? If they are, then I will just get a new kit for them.

    I did grow up on power, so I haven't learned that trick yet bruce. I guess I will have time to practice.
    tok
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,821

    squirrel
    Member

    I'm not familar with the Ford manual boxes from that era, but on the Chevys the bushing that holds the pitman shaft does wear out, when you steer the wheel back and forth just a bit you'll see the shaft coming out of the box wobble sideways if this is loose.
     
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Yes, bushings plus the various centering and clearance adjustments shown in the manual. With early Fords, the crux of the matter is whether bushings and adjustment will bring it back, because available repro replacement gears are crap. If visible gear wear is light, you can probably fixit.
     
  10. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,679

    slddnmatt
    Member

    im running f100 box on this merc, it uses the stock pitman arm, the owner wanted to keep the stock column so i shortened it a few inches and did away with one of the shifter arms for an auto trans. i bought the fatman tie rod kit which is nice to be able to replace all the ends when needed. went together pretty smoothly. if you want to run this box it does get inthe way of the stock master cylinder though
     

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  11. Terry D
    Joined: Apr 2, 2006
    Posts: 126

    Terry D
    Member
    from NY

    I like power steering in anything after the late 30s cars,most of them really don't need it since the engine is behind the front wheels instead of over the top of them,Death Row products[used to be Butchs Rod Shop]has a nice setup for your Merc.
     

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