Upgrading Factory Steering For Road Racing?

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goodspeed
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Upgrading Factory Steering For Road Racing?

Post by goodspeed » 28 Oct 2018, 16:43

I'm going to go ahead and assume this is a good area of the forum to post this, if not, please move it to the appropriate section.

Anywho, does anybody road race their studebakers in here, and, if so, care to share any tips or tricks you guys do to improve the factory steering setup? I've yet to be able to drive my '52, but I have noticed quite a bit of play in the steering and would like to tighten that up as best I can while I have the car apart. I read a post on SDC, maybe, about using I want to say '40 ford tie rod ends. Any truth to this? I was also looking possibly machining the link that attaches to the pitman arm and bell crank on the crossmember (not sure the technical name of it) in a stronger material, since I have noticed it deflecting when at full lock. I can only assume that it'll also do that when it hits a bump or something similar.

Ideally, I'd swap to a rack and all that, but it's just not in the budget right now so I'm exploring alternative options as a sort of stop-gap until I can afford it.

Anywho, thanks in advance,
-Mr. Goodspeed.

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PackardV8
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by PackardV8 » 28 Oct 2018, 17:04

The OEM steering system, with all new wear parts, has been successfully road raced.

Speeding up the steering ratio is a must. It can be done by fitting a PS box, by lengthening the Pittman arm or by shortening the steering arms on the spindle.

You'll also want the '62-up kingpins which have a bit more caster and/or shim the A-arm mounting points to get more caster.

Of course, you've already got a larger front anti-roll bar and a large rear anti-roll bar, stiffer shocks, stiffer front coils, rear traction bars and convert to '57-up rear wagon springs.

goodspeed
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by goodspeed » 28 Oct 2018, 17:42

My rear is a triangulated 4 link, but I do have sway bars and shocks covered. I'll look into the PS box, though.

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Alan
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by Alan » 28 Oct 2018, 21:01

Stude tie rod ends #530204 are the same as Ford C1UZ3A131A and C4UZ3A131A. I use speedways polished stainless and grease-able rod ends on all my Studes.

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Mike Van Veghten
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by Mike Van Veghten » 29 Oct 2018, 12:07

If you are actually going to be racing, dropping the "upper control arm to frame mount" location would be a good move.
This will help keep the tires more upright, or even a little negative camber while cornering. Just like was done to early (65-68 or 69 Mustangs) buy savvy racers.
You will need to open an area in the frame to drop the upper arm's mount a slightly (roughly an 1-1/8" or so) lower position.
I believe the Granatelli's did this to one/some of their Avanti's also.

Mike

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Alan
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by Alan » 29 Oct 2018, 23:56

Lowering the upper inner is one way to improve the Geometry slightly, but it still does not change the instant center much. You need a longer spindle or king pin. To improve steering I would use a 1997-2002 Chevy or Daewoo Lanos R&P. They made some 16:1 standard racks but they are getting hard to find. You can use a power rack and fill it with oil, then loop the pressure and return lines. Or make a simple bracket and use a can of ham pump.

goodspeed
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by goodspeed » 10 Nov 2018, 21:22

Alan wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 23:56
Lowering the upper inner is one way to improve the Geometry slightly, but it still does not change the instant center much. You need a longer spindle or king pin. To improve steering I would use a 1997-2002 Chevy or Daewoo Lanos R&P. They made some 16:1 standard racks but they are getting hard to find. You can use a power rack and fill it with oil, then loop the pressure and return lines. Or make a simple bracket and use a can of ham pump.
Haha, I haven't heard daewoo in a long time! I'll look into that, though. I literally JUST finished routing my exhaust around the factory steering, which was a headache with ls7 exhaust manifolds, to say the least.
Alan wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 21:01
Stude tie rod ends #530204 are the same as Ford C1UZ3A131A and C4UZ3A131A. I use speedways polished stainless and grease-able rod ends on all my Studes.
That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for with the factory steering parts. Mine currently feels like it has more play in it than my 250k mile f250 shop truck.
Mike Van Veghten wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 12:07
If you are actually going to be racing, dropping the "upper control arm to frame mount" location would be a good move.
This will help keep the tires more upright, or even a little negative camber while cornering. Just like was done to early (65-68 or 69 Mustangs) buy savvy racers.
You will need to open an area in the frame to drop the upper arm's mount a slightly (roughly an 1-1/8" or so) lower position.
I believe the Granatelli's did this to one/some of their Avanti's also.

Mike
While I'd love to solve some of the geometry woes the stude has (suspension is a bit of a hobby of mine. I'm a mechanical engineering student, so it just suits my nature I suppose), that will have to wait (because broke college student). For the time being, I'm more worried about the massive amount of slop in my factory steering setup. :(

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r1lark
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by r1lark » 11 Nov 2018, 08:40

Devon,

Dan Miller from Georgia (near Atlanta I believe) has a '64 Lark that he road races. I haven't seen him post lately, however. On the SDC Forum his forum name is ROADRACELARK. Not sure if he has posted on Racing Studebakers forum or not.

The '52 Stude suspension is essentially the same as the '64, with some differences in spindles and kingpins. A big difference in the steering is the use of the recirculating ball Saginaw steering box on the later Larks. This is a very good steering box that can be installed into an earlier chassis (not sure if it will clear your new exhaust however).

Anyway......it might be worth your time to look Dan Miller up to see if he has input to your steering questions.

Here is a pic of Dan's Lark at (I think) Road Atlanta:
road race lark.jpg
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Paul
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goodspeed
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Re: Upgrading factory steering for road racing?

Post by goodspeed » 11 Nov 2018, 17:46

r1lark wrote:
11 Nov 2018, 08:40
Devon,

Dan Miller from Georgia (near Atlanta I believe) has a '64 Lark that he road races. I haven't seen him post lately, however. On the SDC Forum his forum name is ROADRACELARK. Not sure if he has posted on Racing Studebakers forum or not.

The '52 Stude suspension is essentially the same as the '64, with some differences in spindles and kingpins. A big difference in the steering is the use of the recirculating ball Saginaw steering box on the later Larks. This is a very good steering box that can be installed into an earlier chassis (not sure if it will clear your new exhaust however).

Anyway......it might be worth your time to look Dan Miller up to see if he has input to your steering questions.

Here is a pic of Dan's Lark at (I think) Road Atlanta:
road race lark.jpg
Hrm. I do have a '66 chassis that's absolutely shot (rust). I'll take a look and see if the box is any good still. I vaguely remember trying to remove it from the car by disassembling it, so it could really go either way. I have also read that swapping the spindles will lower the front of the car somewhat, so I'll probably be blowing it all apart to steal those pieces, anyway.

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