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32 Nash 1063 convertible sedan


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12 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Your turning circle may also be regulated by the limit stops on the axle-steering set-up rather than by the steering box and the length of the worm or whatever?


It seems that the Ross design of a single peg running in the worm groove, limits how many degrees that the sector/pitman shaft can rotate.  The peg can only travel (in it's arc) just so far, before it arcs away from the worm.  The much-later, and much bigger, twin-peg Ross box might have given more rotation, because as one peg starts to sweep off of the worm, the other peg is still in the groove of the worm.



I will try to buy the 33 box.  I spoke on the phone with the seller, and he wants to "think it over".  I never ran into this before.  Nobody else on the planet would want a 33 box, as nobody is restoring these cars anymore. 


Funny thing about the "small world" .  The 33 owner sent 9 pics.  One pic showed the painted grille shell, and I instantly "knew that car" as one I saw on YouTube years ago.  When I was talking with guy last night, he was surprised that I knew his car.  He had no idea it was on the video, which was made by someone selling it years ago.  The engine was missing, so I can see how the 33 box fits into the chassis in the beginning of this video:


I also should join the Nash Car Club, even though it says less than 2000 members, and that covers all Nash years, and into the 60s Ramblers, as well as Metropolitans.   That makes me think I won't have very many contacts for other 1932 owners in their membership roster, that is only accessible by current paid members.



I think the future of restoring/saving oddball makes from the early 1930s is dismal.  In the 8+ years since I found mine, I have not found anybody else trying to put a 32 Nash back to what it looked like when new.  I have found some people who street-rod them, and did find some very important parts that way. Interesting that all of these rodders have been in their 60s to near 70s in age.  The golden years of "restoring" seems long ago.  Any "stock" car that never was fixed up in the 60s-70s, will never be put back on the road except for street rods, it seems.

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We have a '32 Nash 1080 sedan.  It is slowly coming back to life with a freshly rebuilt engine.  I met someone this summer with a nicely restored '32 convertible.  They're out there and there are people interested.  But I do agree that people who embrace the oddball/orphan makes are few and far between.  It takes a lot of research, effort, time, and most importantly patience which seems to be where a lot of people find a least resistive path.






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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

That is cool and I don't think I have ever seen one in person.


I haven't seen one in person either.  There apparently were a high percentage of 32 bigger series that did not have the sidemounts. 


At some point, I will take a picture of a large 1932 sales poster I have here, showing very few sidemounts.   Here is just the corner of it showing the entry level 1060's..


5 hours ago, Olympic33 said:

 It takes a lot of research, effort, time, and most importantly patience


I still have patience, but seem to be at a point of futility with my non-restorable steering box.  I assume my offer on the 33 box was no where near enough, as no counter offer yet.


That 1080 must ride like a cloud.  Nice car.



I also added a complete pic of a similar, but much smaller 1933 poster I have.  I still find it amazing on how may different sizes (and engines) that Nash built during the worst of the Depression.






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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

So is the 1080 the Advanced and the 1090 Ambassador?   Or do those designations refer to wheelbase?


1080 is Advanced 8.


1090 is Ambassador...but..  There were two series of Ambassador chassis;


Look at the very bottom of that 33 poster; of 3 cars which are sedans on the massive 142" ? chassis.  The other 5 Ambassadors shown above those, in the right hand corner are smaller WB.


I could be very wrong, but I thought I read somewhere, that in 1932, there were 3 known convertible sedans built on the 142 chassis.  I honestly thought it said only one was known to exist.  My 32 full-line Poster does not show that, it shows only sedans on 142



The 33 poster does have an error:  It does not show a 1933 SIX 2dr convertible sedan, but there is at least one documented known survivor with 100% correct body series 1933 tag.  So, the Poster for 32 might not have shown these 3 purported 142" convertibles...if it was a model that was quickly dropped from the line-up? 


Maybe somebody can verify the existence of those 3.  I can't. 




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as to wheelbase. I forgot to say that the Advanced 8 is shorter than the smallest Abassador.


My 1932 Poster is Dutch/Holland market:


It gives WB in meters:

-Advanced is 3.25

-Ambassador base is 3.38

-Ambassador largest is 3.61  I just looked up the inches conversion: (142-1/8" )



Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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Thanks Frank.  I remember about 10 - 12 years ago a White Glove had a 1090 Ambassador with a rear mounted spare that I loved.  But he wanted 70k which seemed like a lot of money.  I think the car was resto-moded which is kind of a shame because it was a nice older restoration.   I could only find a small "before" picture.   Also what I think is the car post "restoration".



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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

White Glove had a 1090 Ambassador with a rear mounted spare that I loved.  But he wanted 70k which seemed like a lot of money.  I think the car was resto-moded which is kind of a shame because it was a nice older restoration.  


I recall it quite well, but I saw it on his Ebay list less than 8? years ago.   I am fairly certain that it was said to be original right down to over-polished paint that was showing primer.  I believe it was an original Arizona car that went to a collector named "Andy" in Europe for several decades. (maybe France or England).  It was then sold at auction in the UK, and it may have been Bloomie who bought it there, not sure.  He said in his ad after a relist, "come on people...this is the rarest Nash out there" or similar.   The 142 cars are where the nickname came from as the "Kenosha Duesenbergs", back when new.



I have no idea how few 142s were made in 32-33 (that look identical in those two years).  I only found one 1932 on the Nash Club "members photos".  It does not say if it is a 142, but it sure looks like one.  I'd bet it is.  Pics below.  I'd also bet you like the wheel and tire color :) ..me too.


Interesting that rear spares were more popular then?




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Just now, r1lark said:

Wow! What a classy looking car!! I had no idea that Nash produced cars like this.


We remember Nash from the 50s... :)   not the classic era...


When I first started going to Hershey in 1971, I never knew about them either.  One of those early years there, I saw a 1932 First Series 990 Nash long wheelbase Ambulance that really caught my eye.  I had no idea what it was until I looked at the grille emblem :)


and a few years later, I went to a sawmill in northern Mass, where a long time Nash collector had a huge original 4dr convertible sedan which from a distance, I thought was a Duesenberg...until a millworker told me it was a Nash.  Years later, Tom Lester (Lester Tire Co)bought it and pics are somewhere in my thread. 



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17 hours ago, alsancle said:

  I think the car was resto-moded which is kind of a shame because it was a nice older restoration.   I could only find a small "before" picture.   Also what I think is the car post "restoration".



The orange car with brown fenders is not the black one that White Glove had in your post.  The orange one was found in a field in Texas by Larry Woods "Mattel Hot Wheels" designer, back in the 70's?, and restomodded by him back then. It has since had a more recent refresh, with at least new paint. 


The White Glove car just might still be surviving "as found", because originality was starting to be a huge plus when it was sold by W.G.


A side note to the White Glove car; ...Side mount fenders and tire covers were located by W.G., but I am fairly certain the buyer did not purchase those, as I saw them relisted on Ebay after the Nash was sold.





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This car looks great with the rear mounted spare.  The only thing better would be double rear mounted spare.


As a Mercedes guy i was trained that the rear spare was always better but have noticed that some American cars do look better with sidemounts.


Hopefully it is getting a great period resto or has been left in nice original condition.

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It took me a while to find the earlier colors chosen for the Larry Woods 142" Town Sedan, aka Brougham.   The car was like this for 30+? years.. Tan with painted wheels.


I'm not sure the date of the last redo, but I think it was recent times. 


It seems like many of the bigger series (80 and 90)  32-33 Nash cars surviving today,(especially closed models) are tough to track down on the web.  It makes me wonder if there are many more that have never been on any website.


One model that I have never seen survived, is the Big Six 60 series cabriolet.  I've looked for nearly 10 years, and find no hint of any survivors.  There are 2 known-to-me survivor 70 series small 8 (flathead) cabriolets.  One in the Netherlands, one brought back to USA from France.  Might have seen a third, but I cannot recall for sure.  I wish there was a database for these 32-33 surviving Nash cars of all models.






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  • 3 months later...

Waiting for door skins for a customers 34 Ford truck, so I took the day off to try to find a donor steering box..


I missed out on a 31 Buick series 60 box in upstate NY on AACA this week, so then I recalled seeing a farm cut down 33 Buick midsize series at an old country wrecking yard an hour from here.  The owner did not want to part it out, but I did ask if I could lift the hood to see if it looked like the wrong-way 34 Buick box that steers so nice.  It looks identical to me, but turns the right way because it was the last year I beam axle before the new IFS in 34.


So he said: "go out back...behind the huge stack of crushed cars; there's an early 30s cut down Dodge up on top of a container body....and there is a late 20s early 30 Chevy cut down on the opposite side of the place, or just poke around..."


Found the Dodge first; it must be a 32, dual top cowl vents, sturdy X type chassis, motor is gone but it must be a six chassis, due to the length from firewall to front axle?  I tried steering it; the column bracket had rusted off the dash and they must have bent the column with loading it up there.  Ten feet off the ground!  Mountain climbing on a crane truck, then jump over to the roof of the container.. :)


Then got down to go hunt more.  Did not find the Chevy right away where he said, but found a BIG car doodle-bug, 31-32 GM, straight 8, the trans and aircleaner looked like 34 LaSalle, but I still could not ID it.  Dual headlight bars, dual sidemount braces, fold down convertible coupe windshield base, dash mounted ride-control to shocks.... , (he later said it's Olds). DUH me.... That is why some parts looked like 34 LaSalle, as I knew those cars used Olds straight 8's during 34-36. (it once was a 32 Olds 8 cyl sidemount conv coupe...very rare car)


That doodlebug is a disaster, it has two transmissions, and a welded-in Model A or 32 Ford 1.5 ton front axle, chassis cut off at 2nd trans.  The box did not feel too good at all, but the drag link was smashed against the frame and the front wheel rims were tangled in junk when I tried to steer it.  It looked beefier than the Dodge box, and seemed maybe easier to make it fit the Nash.


I was going to buy that one too, if I had time enough, but I wanted to take the 32 Dodge one out first.  I found the Chevy next, but those are tiny crappy boxes as it was a dirt cheap car.  It had a badly smashed column anyways, and frozen solid with rust.


Found out that my pitman arm puller can't fit these types of arms so close to the frame side, but I found a way to get it off on the 32 Dodge.  I decided to skip the 32 Olds box for now, too much work to get that one out today.


Here is the Dodge box, the one that still has the outer column tube.  The one without is the 32 Nash.  The Dodge turns the exact number of turns, but the Dodge Sector shaft (output shaft) turns more degrees than the Nash.  That will get the turning radius better than the Nash, just like the wrong way 34 Buick box did.


I'll take the wheel and column off to straighten the inner column shaft, then test fit it in the Nash. (you can see the bent column in one pic below) .... I need to get this steering ordeal settled before I'm too old to drive the car...  :( 



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I took the Dodge box apart yesterday to see why it felt a bit stiff when in the junked car, still hooked to the front wheels,...... but then it felt so smooth when out of the car, and the outer column tube was removed from the bent inner shaft.


I was washing out the bore hole where the two thick bronze bushings are for the sector(pitman) shaft.  After getting the black goo out, I saw something I never saw before:  See the sketch below.   The inner bushing was no longer pressed into the machined hole right near the sector teeth.  The bushing was flopping around in the cavity between the two bushing locations.


That inner bushing keeps the sector teeth firmly against the worm gear.  With the bushing "gone", and a heavy load applied during steering the front wheels, the sector shafts teeth tries to move away from the worm when you try to steer the wheels.  That causes a binding.


I can't figure out why, or how that bushing got moved sideways into that cavity in normal use.  It is a press fit.  I was able to get in from the outer end hole and press it back into the machined spot.  It fits very tight like it should.  If you look at the pictures of the two steering boxes above, the pinch-lock bolt near the column tube was missing.  I assume someone had this box apart?  There is no reason to loosen that bolt unless you are adjusting the worm bearings preload, or if you are taking the worm out.  Still does not explain if, or why, the guy rammed that bushing in way too far? A person would have known it was too far if pressing a new one in, as the bushing would "fall" into the cavity.


Anyways, there is not even one hint of rust on anything inside the box.  The worm has roller bearings instead of balls, so that is better design.  Also, all cars had the inner races of the worm as a machined-in part of the worm gear.  These are normally pitted/rusted or damaged.  These are mint, as well as the bearings.  My Nash worm races are chewed beyond repair, so that is one more reason that box could never be repaired;  It would need a new worm, and a new sector shaft and roller pin. 


I straightened the inner column shaft, reassembled and adjusted all 3 adjustments, and I guess it's time to get this box to fit the Nash.  I will not need to modify the Nash frame bolt pattern.  I will make a tapered wedge adapter plate to fit the Nash pattern and the Dodge pattern.  That way I have changed nothing on the Nash in case there is a need to scrap the Dodge system later.


Working on such an obscure orphan brand of car is a huge challenge that most people don't want to deal with. :(




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I had a good day.    I am keeping my build thread going to help me stay motivated.. :)


I test fit the Dodge box into the opening. There is no room for the adapter wedge plate that I was going to make. So, I will re-use the homemade 3 bolt triangular plate that I made for the 34 Buick box.  I now need to cut off the bolt hole wings on the Dodge flange, then weld the triangle to the Dodge casting, like I did with the Buick.


On thing worth mentioning:  1932 is when many car companies changed from the old ladder frames, to the new X center frames.  Many of these new X frames also then had fully boxed front frame rails.   This causes the steering boxes to be bolted to the inside of the boxed frame rail.   My Nash and that 32 Dodge were these same X chassis design with boxed rails....


When the box was bolted in the older open channel frame rail, right at the outer frame side, that meant that the very outside tip of the sector housing was very ridged when you hit a bad pothole, and the pitman arm then gets slammed.  The nice thing about the 32 Dodge, is that when taking the box out at the wrecking yard, I saw that Dodge machined the tip of the sector snout to fit firmly into the center hole in the outer frame side.  That really takes the stress off of the mounting bolts and inner frame sidewall because the box is now supported by both the inside, and outside of the boxed frame.


The Nash did not do that; the hole in the frame was larger than the Nash snout diameter.   So I made a adapter out of mild steel on the lathe.  Miracles do happen; first trial fit left a nice press fit into the Nash frame, (I will tack weld it later) and more of a miracle, the inner bore fit the Dodge snout perfectly.   Now it will be a very strong mounting. First pic shows the box has not been installed all the way into the new bushing..


Next was the pitman arm issue.  The Nash spline was larger.  I was assuming, when at the wrecking yard, that I'd need to cut/weld/splice the lower curved part of the Nash arm to the splined part of the Dodge arm.  But, I now see that I might be OK with the entire stock Dodge pitman; The S bend is almost identical down to only 1/8" offset difference.  


The center of draglink ball, to center of spline hole is 5/8" shorter than the Nash.  That could have been a bad thing, but the Dodge sector shaft rotates more degrees than the Nash box did.  So, it should steer "lighter", and basic math says it should steer to a tighter turning circle, compared to the Nash box that did not steer enough due to that Ross "worm & peg design".  I hope :)


I still need to graft the Nash outer column tube with ignition/steering lock, to the Dodge box.  Lucky once more, even though the outer columns are slightly different diameters.  All I need to do is cut off the very lowest 2" of the Dodge tube to fit into the box, and the Nash tube is a nice snug fit into that slice of tube.  That was nice to see.


I still don't have a good steering wheel to fit.  The 34 Buick wheel I restored years ago just looks too big and beefy, and it has a huge diameter taper at the keyway.


The Dodge wheel is junk as you can see.  I could not get a puller to get a good grab on the rotted underside, so I ran the sucker through the band saw.  Now this will fit into my press, to press out and save the Dodge taper and threads.  I could make a new one on my lathe with it's tapering attachment, but with also cutting new threads, and milling a keyway, I prefer to just weld the old one on.  And, since the Dodge shaft is too long, it needed cutting/welding anyways..



In first pic you can see most of the Nash design sidemount-iron base, and it's central post.  Looks as big as what a Duesenberg would need..



oh, and right before I quit for the day, I did reach in and turn the steering shaft... he. he, it steers the right way now.  LOL







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1 hour ago, r1lark said:

Don't you just love it when something like this works out this well? :)


Yes...but very hesitant to declare "victory" again just yet, because the last time...I ended up making probably the worst mistake ever with the "wrong way steering box". 


I should be done enough by later Sunday, to let the jack down to test if it steers light, or like a tank.   I could have tested the turning radius up on the jack, but I quit for the night.


2 hours ago, alsancle said:

Nice work!!!!


Thanks, I really like this type of work.  I've been stumped since last July on which direction to try next, but I miss trying to get this car done enough to use.  It's been derelict for 40+ years due to so many missing, wrong, or damaged items.  If this box works good, NOW comes the total teardown for the actual restoration :(


Last decision is the color of the cloth top.  I have never found any clues if 1932 2nd series 2dr ever used Black top.  ALL of the (restored)surviving  8 cylinder 2drs have black, but I don't think they were when new.  There was that early 1932 Auto Show B/W pic on ebay that shows all of the new 1932 first series, and a light body colored 2dr has a light color roof, just like the exact same car as White Glove had.... which also was first series with tan top.


I am pretty sure I will go light tan/beige or whatever that Hartz canvas is called.  I want the outside to be exact same colors as this exact car was when new, even if black might look sleeker. Paint color is easy, as I've said, the only standard color for the late 32 2dr was two tone dark blue body/midnight blue fenders and wheels, just like some paint is left on mine.  An all black paint job was the only (extra cost) option, but I have never heard of one.

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You really can never go wrong with Beige although I will admit my preference is black since it minimizes the top size.


Is it safe to say the worm gear is ok in your new box?  Obviously if it is bad you are back to square one.  I've been helping my dad with the box in his 180 Packard.  I think he's going to luck out and worm is ok but the bearings were shot among other issues.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Is it safe to say the worm gear is ok in your new box?  Obviously if it is bad you are back to square one.  I've been helping my dad with the box in his 180 Packard.  I think he's going to luck out and worm is ok but the bearings were shot among other issues.



The worm gears on most cars have a high spot "machined in", only when the box is perfectly centered,... which gives zero gear backlash in only one slight area. (straight ahead)


 Then as you slightly turn to either direction, the worm is machined to "positively" have backlash, or freeplay, to allow the front wheels to go back straight on it's own while driving out of a curve, without having to "steer it back" to straight.


Because that inner sector bushing had moved into that open cavity, the sector alignment could vary under a load; it must have made invisible wear on one particular area of the worm.   When I set the adjuster to have true zero backlash at dead center, the box then "bench steers" perfectly to the right.  However, when I turn to the left off of true center, I can feel two tight spots, but that is by just turning the 3/4" inner shaft with my hand, with no steering wheel or gripping tools.  It's not really excessively tight IMO.   I ended up setting the teeth/worm lash to what feels like 1 to 2 thousands of a inch, and those tight spots disappear. (that will allow the car to correct itself)


I honesty think I'm getting too fussy, as I thought about using valve grinding compound on just that one area of the worm, and lap it in by countless back/forth in just those spots.  I always wait till morning before trying something odd like that...to rethink....  I now know I should not do that, as it might take material off of the teeth, and might cause serious problems at dead center?.


What I did, is left it with the very slight backlash, then put the pitman arm on to see how much slop would be at the end ball.  It is under 1/64". That's with no lube or grease on the teeth/worm.


I only oiled the gears and bearings for the on-car test later today.  If I get the weight back on the front tires today, and turn lock to lock on concrete, I then will go a tick tighter on the lash if I can.   Then just get the car on the road for a few hundred miles to see if it "wears in".


What else can I do, really?   The 2 biggest issues with a worm, are getting one that can't be run with zero lash, and if the permanent machined-in (non replaceable) races on both ends of the worm are pitted or peeling.  My race areas are surprisingly 100%  mint, and the removable outer races are also, and both caged roller bearings look like they are NOS.  I think it will work out.


Today I hope to find out if the box/pitman arm ratio is "excellent" (hopefully), and if it steers to a tighter turning circle than the inferior Ross peg setup.



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Probably a silly question, but how much of that 32 Dodge is left?  I'm still searching for a rear seat footrest and the two hinges for the sun visor for my 32.  I bought the 32 bumpers and hubcaps from you a few years ago.  Let me know if enough of the 32 remains to get parts off of it.  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Taylormade said:

Probably a silly question, but how much of that 32 Dodge is left?


Nothing is there that you asked for:  It is: a unshortened chassis in seemingly savable condition, albeit no paint left.  The only body piece left is the closed-car cowl cut off at lower windshield posts.  Both top cowl vent doors are there.  Gauge/panel is there, but very poor.  Front axle is there, and the rear axle ass'y also there. I believe the wheels are 40s-50s, not stock.  A transmission that appears to be free-wheeling, but input shaft is rusty.  Pedals are there, no motor.



Can you do a favor?  I would like to know if any 32 Dodge Six owner has a car assembled enough, to count how many turns of the steering wheel, from lock to lock at the front spindles/tires? (there are axle stops that limit how far it can turn, not the box itself) 3-1/2 or 3-3/4 to 3-7/8 turns, etc.


The box when unhooked, turns just a tick under 4, but installed/connected in my Nash, it is only 3 exact turns.  I think I need to make mine turn at least 3-3/4 turns, by using a shorter pitman arm. 


and, how heavy/stiff is the feel at the steering wheel, if the car is parked, not moving?   Thanks.

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I had to quit for the day.  The box is in and welded to the triangle plate.  The Nash column tube and dash brace is on. Everything fits fine and looks factory stock.


The disconnected box turns a tick under 4 turns, but connected to the Nash front axle with the limit stops adjusted by eyeballing the front wheels, is then only 3 turns exactly.  That is wrong for sure.  A box normally must have more turns when not connected, so that when you go to full lock either way, it does so by hitting the stops at the axle, and not damaging the box. 


Less turns means the "installed" ratio is too fast, and by a lot in this case of "almost one lost turn", IMO. 


The car steers like a truck with flat tires when not moving.  I then put 90 weight gear oil in, which helped a lot, instead of the light film of oil I had put on each piece when apart.


Then I put the front tires on my Wheel Alignment ball bearing turntables, to try to tell if it steered acceptable if the tires are not scrubbing the concrete.  Not as definite as real driving test, but it's all I can do right now.  It still feels way too heavy.


I then went through all 3 adjustments again.  Backing off on the worm bearing preload a tiny bit did help, but the other 2 had no effect.


You start to get tunnel vision while constantly fiddling, wheels up, wheels down, and keep testing the steering wheel feel....


So, duh again, my 32 Ford is parked right next to it, and that car is decent enough while driving at any speed.  It has slightly wider bias tires set at 20psi.   I went over to test feel it, to find that it also feels heavy on same concrete, but the Nash feels worse IMO.  That Ford has a non-stock box which is insanely fast ratio at 2.5 turns lock to lock at the factory preset axle limit stops.  I have to run the tires at 20 because at 24, it over-reacts like a Formula One race car, or a twitchy go cart.  However, I honestly do like the way it feels while driving, it's just a tad heavy when parked.


I just asked Taylormade if he can find out how many turns it takes on a 32 Dodge car.  If I find out it turns much closer to 4, I will have to go with a shorter pitman arm.


No great gain, or great loss, just yet.  I only have 10 hours invested including the junkyard trip, and $80 for the box........and at least the car is now drivable again, but still not good enough for my taste yet.  Can I get it better? I am not confident enough to say.  Now installed with a load on the box, the "gears" now can give such a magnified ability to "feel" things that can't be felt on a bench test.


It feels like there is unequal wear, either on the worm or the 3 sector teeth, or both.  I'm just not getting very hopeful now.  That bushing being in the wrong spot, must have caused invisible wear patterns.  IMO


This is why I have never dared to alter anything on the Nash frame, or the Nash column tube, as things sometimes don't work out.


Sad to say the 34 Buick "wrong way" box just felt so awesome...  it spoiled me. :( 


I need to work on other peoples needs for a week or so, before getting to do anything more on the Nash ongoing steering problem.


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5 hours ago, alsancle said:

I'm sure there are a few guys here who knew that about the worm but I was not one of them.


5 hours ago, 36 D2 Coupe said:

X2 - I too did not know the fine points of setting up a steering box. Thanks!



If I can point out one huge difference in the adjustments that this 32 Dodge box needs, compared to a more typical box design of the same age: 


"most" boxes have just one main cast iron gear housing.  On those, the distance between the sector cross shaft centerline always will be the same distance to the centerline of the worm. (one hole bored for the worm shaft, and one bored for the sector shaft).  The gear lash/freeplay is tightened on those, by that common looking slotted screw with a locknut, at the engine side of the sector shaft.  You tighten that screw to force the sector teeth/(or sector roller on later 30s-up), deeper into the worm gear groove.  That removes freeplay.


Now if you look at the Dodge box, it does have that same screw, but it does not move the sector deeper.  It is only used to keep the sector shaft from moving out towards the frame, or in towards the engine.


However, this Dodge box uses TWO castings to make up the box.  The worm shaft is in one casting, and the sector shaft in the other casting.  There is a hidden adjuster at the bottom.  That moves the sector casting closer to the worm casting, which is how the freeplay backlash is reset.


If you look at my pics of the Dodge box removed on the floor, you see some holes drilled through the big mounting flange.  That is to get at the 4 nuts that hold the two castings together.  Loosen those, and you now can slide one castings center line closer to the other castings centerline. 


If you were familiar to adjusting freeplay on more common one piece type boxes, even up to semi modern cars, you'd be turning that Dodge back screw and not changing the freeplay at all.




Back to my post about "might need to use a shorter pitman arm, to get a better ratio to steer easier".  Some might wonder why a similar car like a Nash, when using the Dodge box with it's matching pitman arm, could steer less turns.. The reason is leverage differences, and this is because these two cars must have different lengths of the front drag link steering arm on the driver side spindle.  One must be longer/or shorter to cause this.


You normally do not want to alter the length of that front arm, especially making it shorter.  That causes the back inside edge of the driver side tire to rub on the drag link in a full lock turn to the left.  That tire closeness on some makes of cars, made the car companies use a drag link bent in two places, to avoid hitting things like the tire.



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It figures I don't have the steering box hooked up at the moment- waiting to put on the body.  I can copy the pages in my owners manual for instructions on adjustments and diagrams if that would help.  Phil Kennedy, the chap who came with me when I bought those bumpers from you, lives in your neck of the woods.  I'll get in touch and see if he can help as he also has a 32 DL.  You might even be able to go to his place and check his car out.  I think he's only 30 or40 minutes away if I remember correctly - maybe even less.

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WARNING...if you are one of those armchair "safety nuts",  DO not proceed ...hit the "back button" instead.


That should handle the disclaimer...


Taylormade's car is not together enough to measure the steering ratio...and I have a bit of spare time today. ...So I went ahead and started the precise measurements of how far the draglink moves to full locks, then the very fussy system of making marks on the pitman arm without the link installed on pitman arm.


You need to know how much horizontal draglink travel is needed on the steering to get to full locks, that was 8.5".  You must measure to the ball.


Then make a estimated mark on the lower part of the pitman, now find a precise object on the frame side, and I used the tiny ball on the shackle grease fitting.


Turn the steering wheel to full lock, and get a measure from ball to that reference point.  Now swing the pitman over to the opposite limit of the box.  You want to end up with just slightly more than the 8.5 I need.  That is so the axle stops will hit before it hits the limits inside the box. (the dodge box moved the ball 10.5")  That shows how far off the ratios were, using "wrong" parts from another car.


It takes a few tries to find the exact point on the arm that will give a correct "total center of sector, to center of lower ball" to be able to change the ratio as much as possible.  It's fussy, as just moving the mark on pitman will change your travel a lot.  You must make sharp lines, and measure closely.


3 arms below, Nash is in front, then Dodge, then a donor part that has a MINT ball.  The Dodge ball is junk, worn away in two spots, the Nash is not perfect, but I refuse to cut that one up anyways.


Look at the middle Dodge arm for red circles.  The one on the ball is an X to leave a precise way to measure from.  Then the file mark at the other end is a precise spot to measure from, as the cutting and fitting begins. 


the mark in in between those, near that X, is the mark I made with a jewelers file when I figured out where the new ball centerline needs to be while on the car.  That is in reference to the true center of the sector hole.... the "working length".


Now I will cut that donor piece off about where I red chalked an angled cut.  I laid the arms together to find out the best possible cut / graft locations of BOTH arms, so when it goes together, it all flows, rather than cockeyed.


This will be what I describe as a very short pitman, for a side steer car.  NOTE:  Changing length causes a steering  geometry issue, but I will explain that later when I do another post....and also how to correct that geometry back to stock.


By the way...ask any pro welding shop about how forged steel welds,... like steering arms and axle beams.  It welds fantastic, and I still use my same Miller welder for 40 years so far. I have never heard of a welded arm breaking in all the decades that I have been around dirt track race guys and hotrod guys.  I have no worries there.  I worry about the texters on the roads instead.


Oh, I used my machinists clamp there... I made that in High School over 50 years ago.  It was a mandatory project, like other items were.


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Time for a coffee break up at the house, to think a bit before going further..


It took an hour at least, to calculate the cuts / splice locations of both arms, and finally align both pieces for the first temporary weld.  "Temporary", as I needed to put it back on the car to look for issues, as well as do yet another measurement from the new ball, when the box goes lock-to-lock without the drag link on.   I needed a tick more than 8.5" horizontal travel.  I was shooting for a very close spec there, to "gear-down" the box ratio to the absolute max.


I ended up at 8-11/16", I was hoping for 8-5/8" but geez, not bad for building a pitman on the bench, only using common sense, and common measuring tools.  The tricky, or time consuming part of aligning the two pieces, is both arms are curved differently.  And the ball needs to end up precisely the same distance away from the framerail, so the draglink can clear any obstacles during that 8.5 travel.


So, I wanted to count turns of the steering wheel.  The box itself is just a tick under 4.  The stock Dodge arm made it 3 exact turns.  I wanted 3-3/4 to 3-7/8 turns.  This gets talking too much, but I can't get an exact count yet.  That is due to not having an adjustable length draglink like trucks have.


The way you set up a box in any car with even stock parts:  You install the box, but not the pitman. Then count total turns of the box, then go exactly 1/2 way back. At this point with a properly adjustment on the freeplay, you should definitely "feel" the machined-in high spot at that center point.  If you don't feel it at 1/2 way go a little each way to find it. 


Now that you found the box center point, turn your front tires to point perfectly dead ahead.  Then, with draglink connected to the pitman arm, you try to slide the pitman onto the sector splines, without moving the tires, or the sector.  It needs to have the splines exactly line up.   Mine did not, yesterday, when I first installed the Dodge box.   It still does not.  My draglink is bent up really bad; it was run that way for years, as it lays "hard" right on the tie-rod and wore a huge divot in both parts.  It also is bent in another direction, because it always rubbed on the shackle.


Being that the spline will not line up, this makes one axle stop still hitting at lock, but turned to the opposite direction, the other stop does not hit. The box is at it's limit in that direction, because of the spline mismatch.  I am now at 3-5/8 turns, and I could very well end up at 3-3/4 or 3-7/8 turns if I can straighten the draglink, which will definitely alter the length of it...and maybe it will end up just right.


So all that talk, I had time to think.  I now think it is foolish of me to cut the weld, and try to go closer than the 8-11/16 travel.  That's not too bad, so trying to get down to 1/8" over the needed 8.5 seems really silly....and it probably should not be set that close IMO.  I think I'm good to go.


So I tested the no-load feel with tires off the ground, much, much better.  (I don't feel the roughness as much). Then dropped the tires down on the turntables and it feels so much lighter, very good IMO.  Then, I took a chance of possibly snapping my small weld by setting the tires on concrete for a true full-load feel, and I think it feels pretty darn good.  Not as good as the Buick box...yet..


I noticed when I did the no load test that one of the two "high/rough spots" on the worm disappeared, there is now only one spot that feels sketchy.  I wonder if now that the sector shaft is lined up correctly with that bushing installed properly, that my constant spinning of the worm on the teeth, is maybe wearing off whatever roughness was made by the sector flopping around for years?


So, it just might get better.  If I get the car restored and drive it for a few hundred miles, I might be able to finally set the freeplay to dead-zero, without feeling those dragging spots... I hope.    ..I wonder if there is some super slippery lube for gears?  anybody here know? 


Anyways, I'm definitely going to stick with the Dodge box, so I can get to the cosmetic restoring!  I hope to find someone to sandblast parts, to save frustration and time.







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1 hour ago, alsancle said:
  • Frank, I admire your focus and dedication to documenting the process. I find it very educational.


I write stuff and sometimes when I read it, I sometimes get a better view of what I didn't do, or perhaps did wrong, and maybe what I should try.  I'll do another post soon, explaining on how I gained some modification/design experience years ago.  It now allows a way to rescue things that need parts that can't be found..


Ok, the NASH: I stayed away from the car for 1.5 hours.  Then I went right out there with a total clear mind, dropped the car back down on concrete, and pretended it was the first time I ever tried the steering resistance.  It's fine, I was suffering from tunnel vision again, by over concentrating.


Also during the rest break, I thought of looking to see if someone put the draglink on backwards decades ago...No, it can't be, as the front bend that can reach-around the spindle parts on a hard left, is right there.


Next time the sun is out, I want to take 2 pictures of different Nash 2 dr Convertible sedans in a 1977 Automobile Quarterly book.  These cars were restored back when tan tops may have been in vogue?   I'd like some opinions on especially the dark blue one, as the other car is light color paint.  (I can't find any pics of the short chassis Sixes),...  one of these is on a 70 small eight, the other is bigger yet, on a 80 series. Both are tan tops.


I get what you said about black making the top "smaller".   And you might be right on my "short nose" Six, as maybe the top will be even more out of proportion with tan roof.


I might have posted this one before:  32 2nd series, but the 70 small flathead 8.  My car has 4 hood vent doors, the 70 has 5 doors due to the extra engine length/hood length.  It just looks better proportioned than a six to me,... or maybe I got used to seeing so many different pics of this car for many years.


I'll try to get those other pics up in a day or so. Indoors with flash does not work on book pictures, so I'll wait for daytime photos.


Not too many 32 Nash cars of any model, had the twin trumpet option...I've always wondered why my "already overpriced 6" due to the most expensive body style, would have been built (for even more money) with twin horns, and sidemounts. Seems so strange to me. Maybe a sales tactic test?.. in the worst year of the Depression...


It reminds me of that Model A custom bodied that Gordon Buehrig had built for himself at LeBaron?....a pint sized custom bodied, short coupled 2 dr conv sedan :) ....Interesting to me, his design sketch shows the same very misleading low roofline and short windshield, but ends up much taller in the real version.....just like sales brochures and ads did...








Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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It's the rear of the roof, mounting below the body line that give the impression to me that the roof is higher. Both the drawing the the bottom picture show the roof attached at the belt line. You car seems to have the roof drop about 4" below the body belt line. I think that is what gives the vision of the differences. But the rear of your car drops that low so the drawing is wrong but what about the picture? Is that a different make but a similar model?

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, chistech said:

But the rear of your car drops that low so the drawing is wrong but what about the picture? Is that a different make but a similar model?


Sorry,  I did not make it a clear explanation:


The white car belongs (or did) to the Editor of Skinned Knuckles magazine.  It is the next bigger series than mine.


That design sketch was drawn by Gordon Buehrig, who was a designer for I believe LeBaron back then.  He wanted to design a body for himself, and then had the shop build it.  Why he chose a Model A, I don't know.   The B/W photo is also that car, but after he later changed a few things like the wheels.   The point I tried to make, is that Auto Illustrators always drew proportions that were very deceiving, compared to the actual car.  The drawings always made the car lower to the ground, lower roof, and shorter windshields and side glass, as well as looking like they were longer.


I can't tell for sure, but the B/W photo of it, makes me think they cut the cabriolet windshield down just a tiny bit.  I think the A was ordered as a cabriolet, but not positive.


My Nash has a very short windshield; people that visit here often ask if I chopped it :)


I envy these early custom body shop designers and workers.  If I could have lived as a young guy back then, I'd be begging for a job there.


I lack the serious tooling/skills to do what they did, but I just had to try my hand at a minor conversion myself, with what I had.  I took a 32 Ford wrecked 5 window coupe body shell that someone decades ago, cut the roof and door tops off.


I always wanted to change a few minor design things on a stock 32 cabriolet, but I'd never wreck a good one, so I built my own from scrap.  See my next post :)




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Continuation of the above two posts about body design proportions, etc...



When you really intensely study the glass heights on early cars, the door glass bottom edge is lower than the bottom of the typical windshield bottom edge. I knew I wanted a shorter windshield than stock, but when you do that (chop the posts), the door glass still looks too tall.  If you chop the posts a lot, to get a better looking shorter door glass, then the windshield is simply too low, and looks awful.


So, I used simple logic; I had to create new cabriolet type door tops to repair what was chopped off at the top of the beltline anyways, so I simply made the door tops taller.  I am happy with how it turned out.  When raising the door tops, you need to add transition metal at the top fronts of the rear quarters.  Then, you drop down with a curve to meet the existing quarter beltline.  I love the look of that curve...men are said to be attracted to perfectly curved lines...no jokes intended.


I also made a different windshield post design than a real 32 cabriolet.  The posts on a real one seem to angle/splay out slightly at the top when viewed from dead front, It just looks wrong to me.  Mine are straighter, and I also made mine a bit beefier looking. My windshield opens, but the stock cabriolet is a fixed glass frame.


I think Ford had no room up top at their ultra thin body header above the glass.  I decided to build a taller header, but some of it tucks up under the front part of the roof.  Tucking it up out of sight makes the header blend right in, but taller header allows room in the car for windshield wiper motor, mirror, and windshield hinge, strength, etc.  Looking at the side profile, the lower edge of the roof material immediately drops down a bit at front, like some roadster tops do.  I did that to lower the top edge of the door glass frames that I made. That makes for even a shorter side glass, which was a design goal.  A LOT of planning and ideas went into this conversion, and seeing it appear in the end was worth working with such a hopeless rough body.


It's so difficult to mock up what shapes you need for a roofline, using wood strips, tape, metal tubing or whatever.  Then some people cover this mock skeleton with paper or colored cloth. Stand back at different views to see what it looks like.  I am not really 100% happy with my roofline, but it was my first time.


I really like the whole process of trying to experience what it was like to be at a early 30s Custom Coachwork shop, the customers or designers original concept, the planning, and seeing it come out of your visions, to reality. 


Some people may dislike what I do, but life is far too short to not do what makes you happy.  I simply "need" work with my hands, my eyes and my ideas.   Lacking proper funding, enables me to learn how to do almost everything right here at my shop, the only one item that I did farm out was bringing my window frames to have the glass cut.  I never farmed out anything else.  My son and I even mixed our own color from surplus(free) PPG Lacquer toners...in a 5 gallon bucket :)  That's how I learn, and keep learning new things.




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The low windshield is a great feature on these Nash bodies and I have always liked the convertible victoria body style.   My general rules for picking colors:


1.  Canvas should be black or tan with a preference for black.   Colored tops are out (my dad is the master of this one). 

2.  Mono tone body & fenders to make the whole look synergistic.    If you feel obligated to two tone, goes with darker color on the fenders. NO Metallic.   I don't care about fish scales I know they used them but rarely and they are incredibly fine.

3.  Dark colors on the wheels if painted. Consider body color.   The wheels should be darker than the fenders.

4.  Consider period colors in general.  Colors go through fads and picking the lastest fad (think red in the 80s) and you date the car to when it was restored.   If you know the original colors and you can stomach them consider it.  I'm a bit of a hypocrite because I have a car that was factory red (including the chassis) with period documentation talking about it.  I could not bring myself to paint the car red.


I have mixed emotions about painting raised body mouldings different than the body.  Often pin striping does a better job.  The more different colors you use the greater chance the body is viewed in disjointed pieces instead of a holistic or harmonious single piece.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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