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1957 - 1960 F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Box Style Ford Trucks

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2014, 08:18 PM
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Squirrely Steering '59 F100

Bear with me as a truck newbie with all these probably obvious questions to those more used to these vehicles!

Been driving the '59 quite a bit the last week or so and mechanically she's pretty good indeed. About the only issue I really have is the steering/handling. At first I figured I just wasn't used to driving a 55 year old truck, but darn it, it's just to squirrely to be safe as is, near as I can tell.

it's not like it wanders so much -- well, maybe -- hard to describe, but you really have to "aim" it and keep on it to keep it on the road. Once I get in a groove it's OK until I hit bumps or an uneven part of the road, and I have to kind of "horse it around" curves in the road -- no simply turning of the wheel. It just can't be right.

I took it to a shop just to have 'em get it on a hoist so we could see if there was anything obviously worn out. Tie rods, pitman arm, etc. all seemed tight with no slop or wear. But these were young guys who couldn't figure out how to start it (couldn't find the left sided ignition switch) and could barely drive a stick. So they really didn't have a lot of experience with anything this old, but I know the gal who owns the shop and they checked it out for free. So it gave me a good chance to get under it and poke around a bit without laying on my garage floor!

Now, a few years ago I had a'64 Corvair -- the only other car I've had with a steering box. And it was pretty loose when I got it and I replaced the steering box with a rebuilt and it was much better. Are the odds here that I need steering box work? Or are there other things I'm not thinking about or aware of? Are there things that need testing with a technique that young guys aren't experienced with?

Thoughts, comments, advice appreciated!

Tim in Bovey
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2014, 10:45 PM
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Has the truck been lowered?
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2014, 01:44 PM
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welcome Tim

have you checked for play in king pins?
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2014, 04:58 PM
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The guys at the shop I took it to didn't even know what king pins are! I know, but have never worked on them. I've got a buy with a little shop with 45 years of experience who knows what king pins are, and is familiar with older vehicles, so I'm gonna get it into him and see what he thinks.

And no it hasn't been lowered. However the back seems high and the fella who sold it to me thought it had some sort of over load, or heavy duty, or towing, or camper special extra springs in the back. I'm going to try to stick a photo in here, side view. It looks more level here than on the street due to the cement pad at the front of the driveway.
Tim in Bovey
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t does look like it's got a hell of a lot of leafs in the back springs.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:37 PM
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Great looking truck. Don't be surprised if the steering box is worn out, very common problem and they where a crap design from the factory to start with..

People will start telling you to replace it with a more modern design..
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1960 F100 Panel 223 3 spd overdrive

1966 F250 390 4 spd

1957 Ranchero 292 3 spd
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:43 PM
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I'm already half expecting it to be the steering box. Went down that road with my Corvair years ago. I DO NOT want to convert to modern power steering. Is there a relatively simple modern replacement? Or for that matter I'll bet the parts to rebuilt it are available. What are the odds there's a place I could buy a rebuilt and just replace it?

Tim in Bovey
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:02 PM
Danleig Danleig is offline
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Here is where you can get a rebuilt box, Classic Performance Products in California:
Classic Car and Truck Brake, Steering and Suspension Parts
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:50 PM
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Beautiful truck, I like the bed rails. If the rest of the front end hasn't been replaced it probably needs it as well as rebiuld the steering box. Just a little wear in each connection point adds up when you put them all together and go barreling down the road.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:12 PM
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With the truck on flat grd take the steering wheel and go from left to right without moving the wheels. Under 2" of play should be ok. Pull the truck forward and stop slow. Check toe end. If it is toed out set it with at lest 1/8 to 3/16 toe end. Test drive, may help, if not its rebuild time.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timinbovey View Post
I'm already half expecting it to be the steering box. Went down that road with my Corvair years ago. I DO NOT want to convert to modern power steering. Is there a relatively simple modern replacement? Or for that matter I'll bet the parts to rebuilt it are available. What are the odds there's a place I could buy a rebuilt and just replace it?

Tim in Bovey
I understand not wanting modern power steering, I still run the original box. I rebuilt mine in 1975 and about 5 years ago I had to only replace the 2 bushings to get it back to normal.
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1960 F100 Panel 223 3 spd overdrive

1966 F250 390 4 spd

1957 Ranchero 292 3 spd
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2014, 05:35 PM
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My "real" mechanic got a chance to check out the truck this morning and the verdict on the steering is worn drag link and worn out steering box. About what i expected actually. no trouble ordering a new drag link. But what about the box?

I followed the link above to Classic Performance Parts where they have a rebuilt box listed on the web site, trying to order one online didn't work. When they didn't answer my email I called them and was told they don't have them to send out "exchange", I have to send mine in to be rebuilt and wait for it to come back. (Even though their website says to add $100 if you're not sending in a core). Well, I don't really want to do that as the truck would sit at the shop for a couple weeks waiting for all the shipping and rebuilding time. My mechanic says he can rebuild it for me if I can get the parts.

So the two questions are: Does anyone sell a complete rebuild kit with all we need in one simple order, or do I have to get parts here and there? I'd prefer to put everything new into it possible as long as it's apart rather than just fixing it up. Or does anyone know of anyone else who might sell an original style rebuild unit ready to put in?

Tim in Bovey
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timinbovey View Post
My "real" mechanic got a chance to check out the truck this morning and the verdict on the steering is worn drag link and worn out steering box. About what i expected actually. no trouble ordering a new drag link. But what about the box?

I followed the link above to Classic Performance Parts where they have a rebuilt box listed on the web site, trying to order one online didn't work. When they didn't answer my email I called them and was told they don't have them to send out "exchange", I have to send mine in to be rebuilt and wait for it to come back. (Even though their website says to add $100 if you're not sending in a core). Well, I don't really want to do that as the truck would sit at the shop for a couple weeks waiting for all the shipping and rebuilding time. My mechanic says he can rebuild it for me if I can get the parts.

So the two questions are: Does anyone sell a complete rebuild kit with all we need in one simple order, or do I have to get parts here and there? I'd prefer to put everything new into it possible as long as it's apart rather than just fixing it up. Or does anyone know of anyone else who might sell an original style rebuild unit ready to put in?

Tim in Bovey
I have used box I took out of my truck when I did power steering.. No column. I cut it off to use my shaft and wheel for my application. PM me if interested. Rebuild mine and swap them out.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2014, 12:10 AM
Sundance57 Sundance57 is offline
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Hi Tim: I have a stock steering box with column pulled from my 57 it worked just fine. I installed Toyota power steering. Let me know if you need it, just pay for shipping Gary
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:10 AM
 
 
 
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