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Saginaw or TRW

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How do I tell whether my 1962 D88 Olds has a Saginaw or TRW steering/suspension setup?

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Good question, but probably one without a definitive answer. I can't say for sure but I don't think there was a unique complete setup from either that was installed on any Olds in 1962 as a unit. For example the power steering gear box might have been paired with other steering components from either Saginaw or TRW. To further illustrate the power steering box was not unique to Oldsmobile and interchanges with the same year box for Cadillac and Buick, with some exceptions. Additionally there is nothing in any of the manuals I have that would indicate any differences in major steering components regardless of whom the supplier might have been. No reference to specific vendors.

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Back then, ThompsonRamoWoolridge was a major reputable automotive/OEM supplier of parts and components. I believe they built power steering pumps and other replacement suspension components, but I rather doubt they built steering gears. Considering how "internal" GM was back then, I suspect that everything on an Olds of that vintage would, where applicable, have been purely Saginaw. Steering gears, power steering pumps, steering columns, etc. The designs would have been specific to Oldsmobile, though, for that particular model. As mentioned, the basic designs of the steering gears would have been the same for some other similar GM vehicles (especially the inner "guts"), but might have had different mounting lugs and such for certain frame/chassis configurations.

IF there might be something in this area where I'm not fully up to speed on the TRW items, I'd like to expand my knowledge base.

Considering the HUGE amount of tech lit at www.wildaboutcarsonline.com (free registration required), you might find some additional information in this area.

What were the specific/general concerns about TRW items on the '62 Oldsmobiles? Just curious.

Take care,

NTX5467

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The shop and parts books specifically point out both were used and that they don't interchange. Easiest way is to look and see if there is a small "S" on the component in question, which is supposed to indicate Saginaw. The TRW tie rod pieces also have a larger dust boot than Saginaw.

I have never understood why Oldsmobile did this. At one time the supposed difference was power steering cars got one, non-power got the other but I don't think that holds true.

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Glenn, thanks. I do not understand it either.

The "S" I can try and spot. Kind of hard to tell whether my dust boot is large or small, with nothing to compare it to?

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If you look at the end of the tie rod with the ball-stud - on the bottom there is a plate (for lack of a better term). On one design, the plate is made of metal, and is flat. On the other design, the plate is made of nylon and has a nipple on it.

Paul

Edited by Oldsfan (see edit history)

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Here you go -

From the May 1963 issue of the Oldsmobile Service Guild - how to identify steering components.

post-41439-14314184808_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for posting that page, Oldsfan! Quite informative!

Might some of these things have been related to the location of the assembly plant and its correlation to where the vendor's plants/warehouses might have been? Just curious.

NTX5467

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Paul, At last, info one can readily understand and use. Thanks!

I know now I have TRW components on my 62 Dynamic 88.

Interesting that it took Olds until May of '63 to publish this tidbit, I do have the '62 Service Bulls, and they do not address the subject.

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Probably because it took until about that time for failure units to start showing up (notice lack of lubrication provision on 61-62), and the dealer techs and parts men were going nutz trying to figure out which car had what and what kind of inventory to keep. I still don't understand why they did it.

Then the 63-64 cars use two different center links depending on which oil pan the car came with.

Rocket Science, is what it is...:P

Edited by rocketraider (see edit history)

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