If you've ever driven an old truck with manual steering and tires wider than 6.00x16 bias-plies up front, you know where the term "Armstrong power steering" comes from! Even when your bias-ply tires run a little low on air, you gain a great deal of resistance you don't need while trying to maneuver into a spot in the corner store's cozy parking lot to buy a lotto ticket. Let's not even get into doing this with radial tires.
Now you don't need a new truck to flip a U with ease or parallel-park without taking a rest first. Classic Performance Products has just the ticket for the '57-60 Ford F-100 crowd-POWER STEERING! Believe it or not, the cornerstone of their new kit is a compact, relatively light power steering box made by Toyota for only a few years. The Toyota box isn't much bigger than the stock side-steer Gemmer box that came installed in these trucks from the factory. Four-wheel-drive enthusiasts have snatched this box up for years because it easily adapts to confined spaces and it'll turn those big, gnarly mud tires with ease. We might not be driving monster trucks, but we need to turn our tires too, right?
CPP thought so, and they are actually manufacturing their own housings for these since they've become so scarce. That way everyone can buy one, and CPP can come up with more applications to use them in. The Toyota box is topped with a rag joint that attaches directly to the DD shaft in our ididit tilt column-no U-joints hooked to a mess of snaking shafts. We ordered our column in a plain steel finish that we painted black to match our black Lecarra '40 Ford 15-inch steering wheel, but you can order them in chrome or polished to add some sparkle to your interior.
A tasty spread of parts from CPP, ididit, and Lecarra. CPP supplies the power steering box
CPP makes things as painless as possible by including a plate to fill the stock hole in the floor that also mounts the bottom column support, a new drag link with tie rod ends, and a pitman arm. They have different power steering hose kits depending on what power steering pump you are using. Call them up and discuss your needs with them if you have questions.
This changeover does require some light fabrication, mostly drilling holes and grinding or filling. There's no welding involved, so most people should be all right; just follow CPP's careful instructions. The guys there really know what's going on since they develop and manufacture most of the parts they sell in-house. About the only thing we couldn't do at this point is wire the ididit column since the truck is currently void of most of its stock wiring, but that's another story-literally.
Read on for the gist of what could be the reason you keep your truck and finally really enjoy it. Then steer yourself in the right direction by calling CPP!
Jeff gets started on dismantling the "Armstrong" steering. Don't forget a steering wheel p
Once the wheel was off and the column drop unbolted, Abel worked on removing the pitman ar
With the pitman arm off, the three bolts that secure the steering box to the frame were re
With the old box out and the frame cleaned up, it is time to mark the one new hole you nee
The light shines through the holes in the frame, so it's a snap to get in the right spot.
With a center or transfer punch, mark the center of the new front hole according to the te