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Old 05-19-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
FB59LB
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Power Steering for 1959 3200

Hello and thank you for all the information posted on this site. I'm not very good with computers and this is my first post.

I'm interested in changing out the original manual steering on my 1959 Chevy 3200 with a bolt in conversion. The front end is still original but the engine has been changed to a 350 and with 4 speed transmission. I just changed out the original master cylinder with a dual firewall mounted power master cylinder and front disc conversion. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would like to keep the original steering wheel and column if they are compatible with the change.

I tried to post several photos of my truck which came from California about 20 years ago.

Thank you,
Fred
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:52 PM   #2
dsraven
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

the steering column is attached (pressed into) the steering box and the input shafgt that attaches the steering wheel to the steering gear is also a single long part. what most guys have done with then is to cut the column and shaft off fairly close to the steering box and then shorten the column and shaft so that the column is sticking out the engine side of the floor/firewall far enough for the 3 on the tree shifter (not required in your case with the 4 spd) to be bolted up as usual and then a bearing is pressed into the column to support the shaft. at that point the steering shaft is left longer so it protrudes past the column tube and ground flat on 2 sides to simulate a double D column shaft so an aftermarket steering u joint would be able to be used to connect the dots between the shaft and the new steering gear.
there are bolt on power steering gears and adjustable pitman arms that use the stock location so that the stock solid axle can be relied on to work without bump steer. you might want to look into whether or not they would work while retaining the stock park brake as the brake is a requirement to be road legal usually.

here is a quick read with pics from the hotrod netwrok where they do exactly what you are talking about doing with the exception of the 4 spd trans option. they replace the column in the end but explain how to do it with the stock column.

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/powe...traight-axles/


and a kit from a quick check online. there are others, this was the first one that came up for a price reference

https://www.cmwtrucks.com/product/55...eering-column/
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:43 PM   #3
FB59LB
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Thanks for the reply dsraven. That stainless column looks pretty good. Using the old column may be more work than it's worth.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:38 PM   #4
dsraven
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

my dad bought a brand new '59 chevy apache short box pick up. 3 on the tree, inline 6, nothing special, white bumper on the front and no rear bumper, spare tire underneath. it was $2645 Canadian dollars back in the day. he traded his '53 Belair in and got a whole $943 dollars trade in allowance. wowzers. I can still remember driving it and sitting close because the family of 4 went everywhere in it when we were little kids. when he shifted he has a special twist of the wrist from 1st to second. always thought it was cool. he sold it just a couple of years before I was able to get my drivers lic, needed the thing out of his way. my uncle bought it, put a 283 in it and stripped a bunch of stuff off so he could go faster or something. it finally timed out and got parked in a farm yard somewhere nearby. the farm was sold and the truck was likely just sitting in the pasture rotting away. would be cool to find it again but there wouldn't be much left. your truck brings back the memories, it's the same color basically.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:50 PM   #5
mr48chev
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Cutting and modifying the original steering column to use it with the power steering setup isn't very difficult or very expensive but you still have to want to keep that column for it's aesthetics And need to want the original look.

A top quality aftermarket tilt column if you want tilt will work great but you want to stick to what Ididit or Flaming River sell and stay away from the Ebay cheapies. The other option is a factory column.

If you go with a straight non tilt column you can bargain hunt a bit as it is the tilt mechanism that is compromised in the cheap ones and they fail more often than not.

A few guys on on here have the power steering conversion kits on their TF trucks and some have posted photos and someone should either be able to show photos or give the link to their build thread.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:45 AM   #6
BlouDon
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

I'm reluctant to go beyond what I've done to my '59 till now, but if I do, my priority list is as follows:

1) Power steering;
2) aircon & heater

I therefore look at your "bolt-on kits" and dream and drool..... Mine is RHD.

Easier (and far cheaper) for me would be to fit an entire Jag front suspension. Monopoly money is now worth more than our currency.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:13 PM   #7
FB59LB
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
my dad bought a brand new '59 chevy apache short box pick up. 3 on the tree, inline 6, nothing special, white bumper on the front and no rear bumper, spare tire underneath. it was $2645 Canadian dollars back in the day. he traded his '53 Belair in and got a whole $943 dollars trade in allowance. wowzers. I can still remember driving it and sitting close because the family of 4 went everywhere in it when we were little kids. when he shifted he has a special twist of the wrist from 1st to second. always thought it was cool. he sold it just a couple of years before I was able to get my drivers lic, needed the thing out of his way. my uncle bought it, put a 283 in it and stripped a bunch of stuff off so he could go faster or something. it finally timed out and got parked in a farm yard somewhere nearby. the farm was sold and the truck was likely just sitting in the pasture rotting away. would be cool to find it again but there wouldn't be much left. your truck brings back the memories, it's the same color basically.
Thanks for the message dsraven. Its nice that a photo could bring back such fond memories.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:21 PM   #8
FB59LB
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Cutting and modifying the original steering column to use it with the power steering setup isn't very difficult or very expensive but you still have to want to keep that column for it's aesthetics And need to want the original look.

A top quality aftermarket tilt column if you want tilt will work great but you want to stick to what Ididit or Flaming River sell and stay away from the Ebay cheapies. The other option is a factory column.

If you go with a straight non tilt column you can bargain hunt a bit as it is the tilt mechanism that is compromised in the cheap ones and they fail more often than not.

A few guys on on here have the power steering conversion kits on their TF trucks and some have posted photos and someone should either be able to show photos or give the link to their build thread.
Thanks for the reply mr48chev. I think i will try to use the original column and wheel. Really nothing to loose other than time. After purchasing and trying to install an aftermarket power firewall master cylinder and front disc brake kit, nothing seems to be an easy, bolt in, no modification fit. I also installed the aftermarket direct replacement electric wiper motor kit. Needless to say the bracket on the motor did not match the grommets on the wiper rods (Not sure if the wiper rods were original). I held off making these changes for years because of the lack of a space to store the truck if it wasn't running. Now I have a good space and I started to tear into upgrading the truck. After taking out the instrument cluster to install the firewall bracket for the new master, I realize that the wiring harness needs to be upgraded. Any advise on upgrading the wiring? Not sure if I want to run the wires through the firewall with a grommet or go with a connector at the firewall. If I live long enough I would like to install A/C and upgrade the headlights.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:03 PM   #9
FB59LB
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlouDon View Post
I'm reluctant to go beyond what I've done to my '59 till now, but if I do, my priority list is as follows:

1) Power steering;
2) aircon & heater

I therefore look at your "bolt-on kits" and dream and drool..... Mine is RHD.

Easier (and far cheaper) for me would be to fit an entire Jag front suspension. Monopoly money is now worth more than our currency.
Nice trucks BlouDon, thanks for the reply.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
_Ogre
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlouDon View Post
Monopoly money is now worth more than our currency.
i'll give you a million bucks for your truck, shipped to detroit, bloudon

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Old 05-24-2020, 07:32 PM   #11
Russell Ashley
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Re: Power Steering for 1959 3200

I might have the column you need. It has a barely used factory style turn signal setup and a column saver bearing at the bottom. It had the original three speed shifter box still mounted and it looks it looks like it is almost the exact length as the one in the pic. I recently had an automatic transmission installed and I removed it from my truck to install an Ididit tilt column. PM me if you don't want to modify yours and might be interested.
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