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Old 12-06-2018, 05:55 PM   #1
LazarusLong
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Default Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

COPD has me huffing and puffing for air so badly I don't have the strength left to turn the steering wheel on my 51 to get into and out of parking spaces and make sharp turns in parking lots,so I either need to sell it or put PS in it.


I have done some checking and found out there is no room for a PS steering box if you have the stock flat V-8 because of exhaust manifold clearance problems,and there is no solution for that problem. This comes from a company that rebuilds steering boxes for conversions.


However,I distinctly remember seeing a 50 Ford with power rack and pinion steering several years ago at a friends house,and the guy loved the system.


The problem is I can't remember what donor car it came from or anything else about the conversion. I can't even remember if it still had the flattie or a OHV engine in it.


Do any of you have any experience with installing a power rack and pinion in a 51 with the stock V-8?



BTW,the chassis and the steering boxes are different on 51's than on 50's or 52's.


If I can't come up with a solution soon I will have to sell it.



Not worried about the club coupe in my avatar. It has a flat 6,so there is plenty of room for a PS box. I will start on that as soon as I figure out the Vicky one way or the other,so any suggestions on the flat 6 powered 51 are also welcome.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Sorry I can't help on the power steering (except to suggest maybe converting to 12 V. and adapting a late-model electric unit), but did you ever find a Fordomatic to fit your flathead six?
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Many new cars have electric power steering. Plus, I remember seeing another unit that fits under the dash.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Just don't ask this question over on hamb !!! Lol
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
Sorry I can't help on the power steering (except to suggest maybe converting to 12 V. and adapting a late-model electric unit), but did you ever find a Fordomatic to fit your flathead six?

Well......,I do have a freshly rebuilt 51 FOM sitting on my shop floor. Just found and bought a NOS FOM 51 starter last week,and AFAIK I have everything BUT the flathead 6 FOM bellhousing to make the conversion. I thought I had found one from a guy in PA that specializes in shoebox stuff that told me he had a FOM bellhousing he never could identify,but later told me he couldn't find it and thought he had sold it for scrap with other junk because he didn't know what it was.


So,I have several different bellhousings including a truck bellhousing and a V8 FOM bellhousing. I also bought a really rough 50 parts car so I could pull the flat 6 from it to use as a "dummy" to help me build some sort of adaptor with it all sitting out in my shop floor where I can see and make measurements. I am pretty sure I can get it to work,but have been busy getting the Vicky on the road and reliable,and that has taken all my time and money the last several months.


BTW,thanks for the tip on electric ps units. I don't really mind switching the club coupe over to 12 volt or making other mods because I am building the car as a mid-to late 50's mild custom/hot rod anyhow. Even have a 3 carb intake and a high compression filled aluminum head for it.


I think I would rather sell the Vicky to a restorer than switch it over to 12 volts and make any major mods to it,though. It shows 72k miles and I think that is accurate,and other than the aluminum radiator I put in it,is all original,and runs and drives perfectly.


Besides,I bought the Vicky to fix,enjoy driving for a while,and then sell it anyhow. The plan was to drive it while redoing the club coupe and then sell it,but it now looks like I need a new plan.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

It would be awful to have to sell your car. With that mileage I guess everything is as good as it can be in the front end,to make it steer as easy as possible? Tire size, air pressure, grease in king pins and alignment? I’m a Shoebox guy and a ‘51 Vicky is one of my favorites. I’m sorry I can’t help with your conversion to power steering. Have you tried Shoebox Central or Jamco?....I’m sure if there is a kit available,they could help you....Mark
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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It would be awful to have to sell your car. With that mileage I guess everything is as good as it can be in the front end,to make it steer as easy as possible? Tire size, air pressure, grease in king pins and alignment? Iím a Shoebox guy and a Ď51 Vicky is one of my favorites. Iím sorry I canít help with your conversion to power steering. Have you tried Shoebox Central or Jamco?....Iím sure if there is a kit available,they could help you....Mark

I checked their sites,and they have nothing for a 51. I suspect if I were to call Chris on the phone and ask,he could probably tell me who to contact,but I am reluctant to ask him to use up his business time to benefit another business.


I did put 6 inch rims and 215 radials on it as well as new shocks,but that was all it needed. The front end was as tight as a tick,but it had been sitting so long the tube was showing out of the side of one of the tires,and they all had cracked sidewalls. I hate bias tires so I put radials on it. The problem is not the car because I have been driving it for several months now. The problem is COPD is taking all my strength away. I see a pulmonary doc about this next week,but if my breathing doesn't improve chances are I will just put the car up for sale next month and move on to my 51 coupe.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Are you running radial tires?
Bias ply would be alot easier to steer.

Kirk
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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Are you running radial tires?
Bias ply would be alot easier to steer.

Kirk



Yeah,but I hate bias ply tires and really hate paying more for crappier tires.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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Yeah,but I hate bias ply tires and really hate paying more for crappier tires.
I agree, the OEM 6.70-15 bias plies have a smaller footprint and will steer easier at a standstill than radials but since you already have radials, that's a non-issue. Your car was designed, however, for any driver to be able to parallel park without undue effort. The big steering wheel and slow steering (many turns lock-to-lock) help.
Here's what helped my '40: First I jacked up the front axle and tried turning the wheels side to side. It turned easily while in the air, but not so much on the ground. I had no idea when the steering box was last lubed, so I filled it with CV joint lube (for front drive axles). This grease seems identical to the fabled "John Deere cornhead grease" but cheaper, and found at any parts store. What a difference! It takes a little futzing to get it in while getting the air out, but doable.
Also, whenever you can, avoid having to turn the steering wheel while sitting still. Even at a slow roll, steering is much easier.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

I adjusted the play in the steering box and filled it with new grease when I first got the car. It was a part of the process of checking over the front suspension for wear and replacement parts needed.



The problem is COPD,not a dry steering box. A couple of weeks ago I had no trouble with it at all.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

I've converted several cars and trucks over the years to PS. Most of the time mounting the pump is the hardest part. Mu friend installed a Saturn Electric in his 38 PU for less than 100 bucks. Can't beat that with a stick.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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I've converted several cars and trucks over the years to PS. Most of the time mounting the pump is the hardest part. Mu friend installed a Saturn Electric in his 38 PU for less than 100 bucks. Can't beat that with a stick.

No kidding. That's only two tanks of gas. Less for my diesel pu.


This whole electric power steering is something new to me,but I like it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Fatman Fabrications has a unit but it's a close fit.
https://www.borgeson.com/instructions/999062.pdf

PM this fellow and see how he made out.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...power+steering
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

Thanks,but I can tell you the 53 PS unit didn't work out. The 51 chassis and steering box are 1950 only items.


As for the Fatman kit,even they say the fit is so tight they don't recommend it,


From what I have read in the last few days,it seems the only practical method is to use a power rack and pinion unit with an electric PS pump. Which means I would have to convert to 12 volts.


I am going to spend a few more days doing research online as I have the time,but right now it's looking like I will just sell the car to a restorer and go back to work on my flat 6 coupe. Plenty of room for a PS box in that one and it is one of my "keepers" anyhow. LOVE that car.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

I recently installed an electric power steering assist unit in a friends car. It was an EPAS brand kit that he had purchased. You have to cut your steering column and this basically splices in the column under the dash. This allows you to retain your stock steering box and everything. The downside is they are a very pricey kit. It did however work very well in his 55 Chevy with a big block and a manual rack and pinion and low profile tires. I would check further with Ol Ron to see if his friend used a stand alone electric assist unit or if it was a rack and pinion with electric unit built in. Many late model vehicles have used an electric assist unit under the dash, but I’m not certain as to how they wire up since the variable assist is controlled through the cars computer. I’m sure someone has done it. You’d just have to research it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

"I recently installed an electric power steering assist unit in a friends car. It was an EPAS brand kit"


Thanks! I will see if I can find a web site for them,and check with them on it. If anyone knows it would be them.


BTW,just looked at their web page,and you are right,they ARE a little pricey. Then again,if they make it possible for you to drive your old car,it is money well-spent.

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Old 12-09-2018, 12:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

I had a 64 galaxy that had a control valve on the steering link at the pitman arm. The steering box looked like a normal box, the control valve had the hoses that connected to a slave cylinder that was connected to the drag link(tie rod).


Corvettes had the same setup up until 82.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

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I had a 64 galaxy that had a control valve on the steering link at the pitman arm. The steering box looked like a normal box, the control valve had the hoses that connected to a slave cylinder that was connected to the drag link(tie rod).


Corvettes had the same setup up until 82.

Interesting! I know the earlier cars all used a system like that,but M thought they were using actual hydraulic steering boxes by 64.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Need to put PS on a 51 Ford Victoria

I'm not sure about copd , but if it's too hard to steer you can add a 2-1 ratio box inline with your steering shaft . They require no electric or hydraulic hook ups . Only down side is having to turn the wheel twice as much but at 1/2 the strength needed .
It's the least expensive of all .
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