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Chevy 454 into 1960 f250?


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Welcome to the AACA Discussion forum. AACA is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique automobiles as they were originally manufactured.

This is one of the strangest questions that I have seen on here in a while.

While I am not an expert, I would say that with enough money (crazy money in this case) just about anything can be done. Just because something can be done does not mean it SHOULD be done.

Not trying to be offensive but, why in the heck would you want to do this?

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Here is my dilemma, and I am not an expert nor a mechanic. I need to put a power steering capability and I was told to drop an engine into the f250 that has power steering. Someone (same person) told me the 454 chevy would accomplish this????

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In my opinion, You should find a mechanic who knows what they are doing. If you want to modify your truck, you have no need to swap to a Chevrolet engine to add power steering. I suspect that if you simply rebuilt the front end properly, you should not need power steering. It was a daily driver for a lot of years without power steering. If you are not able to drive it in a properly restored condition, I suggest that it woud be cheaper to sell your truck and buy something newer to drive.

Where are you located? Perhaps there is a forum member near you who can look at what you have and give you some advice about how to meet your needs.

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If you really need power steering, it can probably be done. Was it an option on 1960 Fords? If not, when did it become an option. You have the advantage of owning a very common truck with plentiful parts and expertise.

The only solid advice I can give you is to never again listen to the person that told you to swap your Ford engine for a Chevy in order to gain power steering. That makes about as much sense as replacing the manual transmission with an automatic in order to make the radio sound better.

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Here is my dilemma, and I am not an expert nor a mechanic. I need to put a power steering capability and I was told to drop an engine into the f250 that has power steering. Someone (same person) told me the 454 chevy would accomplish this????

The type of engine is not the issue with putting PS on a 1960 F250.

A PS pump can be adapted to whatever size Ford engine you have now.

The PS gearbox that bolts to the frame is what you need to be looking for. Most old cars and trucks of that age that had the optional PS had a non-PS gearbox which actuated a hydraulic cylinder with a built-in valve body which was mounted in the steering linkage.

I would be looking to swap in a newer Ford pickup "integral power steering box". Those later types of PS really are far superior in handling and road feel. That integral box should be from maybe the very late 60s through the 70s. I have done the swap on Chevy trucks, but never did a Ford, so I don't know which donor truck would have the correct box.

I have read that there are many hot rod shops and 4 wheel drive shops around there. I would contact those to find a shop that can do that swap. There must still be many donor parts trucks in your area that would have the parts for the swap. The box would be from a pickup, but the pump for your motor would be the same as Ford cars because the motors are the same. (just need to find the correct Ford pump to fit your series of Ford engine)

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If your problem is with hard steering then have you first checked the original box?

Does it have oil and is it properly adjusted?

Then I would go on to ask if the suspension was in good shape or had issues. Too many people neglect the basic idea of restoring the mechanicals to original tolerances. Instead they think they need to change to something modern.

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Power steering was a regular production option for the F250 in 1960. It was added to the line as an option in 1959. The easiest conversion for this truck would be to find a donor truck as close in year of production as possible with a power steering system, and swap everything from it.

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I used to have a 59 Ford pickup, very similar. It was not hard to steer once I rebuilt the front end and had it aligned. In fact it steered easily.

Would suggest you have your front end aligned, new shocks installed and if necessary pump your tires up to 32PSI. Try this before you do anything drastic.

If you still want power steering maybe you can find the original setup from one of the antique Ford specialists. If not, I have heard of replacing the original steering box with one from a 1985 4 wheel drive Toyota or Nissan pickup, but forget which one. One of them has a steering box similar enough to yours that a skilled welder and fabricator can make it fit, for a price.

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There is one more trick. If you install a steering damper you can have the alignment job done with little or no caster. This will make steering easy and accurate but you must have the damper to control shimmy. The steering damper is a common accessory used on many 4 wheel drives.

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Here is my dilemma, and I am not an expert nor a mechanic. I need to put a power steering capability and I was told to drop an engine into the f250 that has power steering. Someone (same person) told me the 454 chevy would accomplish this????

Candidly, that has got to be the most stupid and unlearned reason I've ever heard for swapping an engine and it wouldn't give you power steering anyway without the matching power steering box and possibly steering column, which isn't going to match up with any of the 1960 Ford steering linkages/components.

Power steering is more than just a stinking P/S pump mounted on an engine. Ford power steering of the era of the truck used what was defined as a power piston (actually just a hydraulic cylinder) The easiest way to get to where you want to go would be to find the power steering components from a Ford truck of the same year along with the power steering pump and engine mounting bracket. Note: different brackets were used with an inline 6 cyl. verses a Block V8. The pump and bracket could come from any Ford engine of the same type (car or truck) V8 through 1962. You will also need a crankshaft pulley with the extra grove for the power steering pump belt.

Jim

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In other words either someone was kidding you or they know absolutely nothing about cars and trucks.

I suspect the latter is more likely the case. There is no such thing as an easy engine type swap involving an older chassis and a more modern engine. All sorts of issues with motor mount positions, oil pan clearance, exhaust routing, radiator hose routing, transmission adapters and/or swap, and at least half a dozen other potential issues. One of those things bearing more cost in doing than the vehicle would be worth.

Jim

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Unfortunately, there are thousands of ham-fisted butchers out there who feel that the only way to fix any old car is to put a Chevy engine in it. I drove a friend and her dad to her wedding in my Franklin a few years ago. As we were riding down the road the dad commented on how well the car ran, and then asked me what kind of engine it had in it. i said it was a Franklin engine. He said, "No, what kind of engine does it have now?" He was amazed that it actually has the original engine under the hood.

I got the same line of questions last summer while on a long trip with my family. So many people don't realize that car makers have always employed engineers that might have known more than we do about how to build a car. They (the cars) usually work very well if they are as the factory built them. If they don't, there is something wrong (worn steering, suspension, engine, etc.).

Maybe this is why I never understand the hot rod people. Yes, a SBC will make your model A much faster, but if you want to go faster, why not just buy a fast car? A home-built street rod will NEVER perform as well as a factory built car.

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you can bolt a power steering pump on any motor with a little fabrication a pump off a later model car or pu. the steering gearbox is the biggest problem there are assist setups that are installed in the drag link you don't even change gearbox. ford pass cars same vintage early mustangs even early chevys. requires some welding but not that hard. check into it. Daryl

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you can bolt a power steering pump on any motor with a little fabrication a pump off a later model car or pu. the steering gearbox is the biggest problem there are assist setups that are installed in the drag link you don't even change gearbox. ford pass cars same vintage early mustangs even early chevys. requires some welding but not that hard. check into it. Daryl
Here is my dilemma, and I am not an expert nor a mechanic. I need to put a power steering capability and I was told to drop an engine into the f250 that has power steering. Someone (same person) told me the 454 chevy would accomplish this????

Setting aside the intent of this forum to promote authentic vehicles, I'm afraid Ikanteraz does not sound like someone who'd profit from experimenting with welding in a new steering system on his first project. This is especially true since simple bolt-on systems are available for his truck using original/compatible parts.

If he/she wants to make a street rod out of it, of more likely have one made out of it, it won't be for the power steering.:rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fact is; I did read all the replies, and I am back! I guess you know I am not a mechanic and some of the advice given to me has been, well, let's say a tad left of center, if you will.

So, OK I will put aside the power steering issue as I have rebuilt the (someone else has) front suspension, put in a steering damper (as suggested), and increased the PSI in tires (as suggested). Also, some other slight modifications which have helped many of the initial problems.

Before I get sucked into any old chain -- who do you suggest for a quality alignment? Are there methods or techniques I should look for?

Finally, the brakes (original drums) are the question at hand. Does it pay to put disk brakes (aftermarket kit) in or just repair the ones I have? Both are about the same cost.

And thanks to each of you who responded, especially those who understood I am new to all of this. I look forward to your responses -- and I will read them all with great interest.

Thanks

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You will have to ask around to find the best front end shop in your area. If you deal with a reliable garage they should know. Or other old car enthusiasts.

Your truck has a solid beam front axle which may be a problem. Ask the front end shop, they may not be able to handle it.

If necessary you can go to a truck garage that aligns big trucks. They still use beam axles. Your truck would be child's play to them.

Ask them to align it with the minimum caster for easier steering.

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Stock rebuilt drum brakes work fine...but make sure your drums are not worn oversize, because the new shoes will never get full contact.

Discs would be a better choice if your truck is goung to be hauling heavy loads more often than not, unless you live where there are no long steep hills. I live in the hills. My 63 work truck is fine with drums even if loaded up...but If I were to be hauling overloads down a mile long, winding road, the brakes may fade a bit if I were to ride the brakes all the way down the mountain...overloaded.

Just putting a booster on a rebuilt drum system, makes it really stop well for today's driving in traffic.

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It always amazes me at the anger that can be stirred up by a simple question. He asked a simple, albeit, uneducated question and some have chosen to draw and quarter him because of it. The simple answer is a resounding , "no". You say that you have limited mechanical skills. No engine from another manufacturer will ever "drop" in. There is a great deal of fabrication involved in an engine swap. It is not for the faint of heart or the financially challenged. Unless you have some physical reason that requires power steering, I would check the entire steering system and rebuild as necessary. Those early trucks weren't that hard to steer when everything was up to snuff. One thing that I can agree with, don't take any more advise from the person that told you to "drop" a 454 in your Ford.

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With regard to the brakes, it was suggested that it might be advantageous to install disc brakes if you intend to haul heavy loads in the truck. I don't have any experience with your particular brakes, and it may well be true. However, I seriously doubt this is a working truck in that sense, and I believe that this vehicle is being rebuilt for show or fun.

If you are having this truck redone as a nice antique or weekend driver, I would suppose that you're planning to register the truck as either an "antique" or "street rod" if it isn't already registered that way. The cost advantages of doing so are HUGE. Please be advised that if you do register this truck in any specialized category, then hauling of almost anything it is verbotten by virtually every state agency in the U.S. A person I know paid a $500.00 fine for carrying a picnic table in the bed of his registered antique '65 Ford truck in PA. Someone else I knew was pulled over and almost ticketed for a picnic cooler in the bed of a '34 Dodge truck street rod, which was carrying his lunch and was painted to match the truck!

As regards to the alignment, be advised that almost no shop around will have on hand the alignment specs for a 1960 vehicle. Almost all garages today use computerized systems that automatically adjust to specs for cars in their system, which almost never goes back as far as 1960. It would be best if you brought your shop manual or some other printed form of the alignment specs for your truck to the garage for their use. If they have the specs almost any experienced alignment tech can do the job on anything.

Do ask around for the best place locally. If you have or belong to a local club for your truck or other vehicle that would be a BIG advantage.:)

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My suggestion would be this.

Find a shop that has been around for many years, (as has been suggested), probably one that works on large trucks which share similar suspension systems to your 1960 Ford.

Hopefully, you will find one that has an old guy that has been doing alignments for many years. You will be best served on this job with an old guy who looks things up in a book instead of a slick new place with a computer on the work bench.

For the brakes, that same shop can probably solve your problems with the brakes. Rebuild whatever needs to be rebuilt like it was originally and you will find that it works for you just fine.

What you are looking for is a good old fashioned mechanic, not a young guy who just knows how to change parts.

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The original brakes are quite large and well up to the job of stopping your truck. However if you can really put on disc brakes for the same price as rebuilding the old ones, now would be the time to do it.

In other words, the drums are fine but the discs are better.

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