Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

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Posted (edited)

 

Ok, so the pittman shaft is 90 degrees to the column, right?

 

Is there just too much frame in the way? Is the steering box taller? What kind of pittman arm are you using? Buick? Jeep?

 

Unless it is just too tall, there should be a way, You need to get the end of the pittman arm (and the arc that it swings) in the right place, and the drag link in the right place, or it just introduces bump steer. Maybe a different pittman arm? There should be a bunch of different ones that will fit on that Saginaw box.

 

Basically the pittman shaft needs to run at the same angle the idler inner pivot point does. The box has to be at the correct height (up/down) to aim directly at the column. The Pittman arm is just gonna have to be the right length, and the right amount of up/down at the end, If it isn't, you need a different pittman arm. if the spline on the pittman shaft is so high or low at that point that a pittman arm cannot be had, then you need a different steering box.

 

If you can get that much right and you are running into the frame or something you probably CAN get away with having the box off center a little. Do you mean the spacing away from the frame would be 1/8" off? You can fudge that a little! Yes. I know it isn't right. It means that the pittman arm would be slightly off from straight ahead, and (without any correction) the steering wheel would not be centered. Correct the steering wheel centering in the column somewhere. Yes, I know there is a necessary tight spot at the center of the steering gear. That tight spot might be wider than you think!

 

I converted a Chevy truck decades ago. I put in a variable ratio Saginaw box. The frame was not made for it. In order to get the box in exactly the right spot (right/left), I would have had to cut and section the frame to accommodate the bulge in the side of the steering box. I elected not to because I did not want to weaken the frame where the steering attaches.

 

In that particular case, the original manual box had one of its tabs on an aluminum spacer. It was about 1/4" or 5/16" thick. I went to the junkyard and got 2 or 3 more of those spacers. Also, I had to redrill the frame to get the steering box where I needed to be. This mounted the new box with the bulge just barely touching the frame. So, the pittman shaft wound up either 1/4" or 5/16" too far to the left (the steering box is outside the frame on a Chevy truck).

 

This meant that the pittman arm was not quite straight ahead (but almost!) with the steering straight ahead. It also meant that rag joint was 1/4" or 5/16" left of the theoretical correct center of the column.

 

I was afraid I would be off of the tight spot at the center, and it would be loose all over the road. It also theoretically screws up the Ackerman. I was just sure I was going to have to go back and section the frame.

 

In practice, the steering column mounted and hooked up without even enlarging any factory holes (I did have to put in a shorter center shaft), The Ackerman error was negligible. The steering box remained tight at the center. It drove great.

 

In one of the Chevrolet truck forums, someone now sells a bolt-on plate that does that same conversion I did. The steering box has to be shifted EVEN FURTHER left than what I did. Why? Because there is an adapter plate between the box and the frame, but my steering box was touching the frame. People rave about how great the adapters are. Apparently you can get away with EVEN MORE right/left offset than the 1/4" or 5/16" I had.

 

I sure wouldn't worry about 1/8" of sideways shift until you have tried it. IMHO it will probably work.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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I don't understand why you don't ask for a refund nothing lines up it's not as advertised.. In fact if you paid with PayPal you could open a case through them and win...500 bucks is a lot for an adapter let alone one that isn't even correct.

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On 5/8/2019 at 9:03 AM, 1956322 said:

I don't understand why you don't ask for a refund nothing lines up it's not as advertised.. In fact if you paid with PayPal you could open a case through them and win...500 bucks is a lot for an adapter let alone one that isn't even correct.

 

Asking for your money back is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. And at least in my case, despite opening claims and cases several times over the 4 years I've had this car on the road now, I have yet to see a cent returned to me for negligent work. So I just keep adding to the list. When I say this has been the worst hobby to be a part of,  I really mean it. You meet quite a bit of genuine people along the way but an absurd amount of crooks, too.

 

1/8" off was a typo, it should really be 1/4". I feel like that's just going to stretch and stress the rag joint. I couldn't even get a bolt through. There's also no side to side adjustment for the steering column, just up and down and front to back so i'm not sure how i'm going to get it aligned in the first place. Since the steering box is metric, the metric bolt wouldn't even go through one of the slotted holes so my next challenge is to helicoil the steering box with the correct thread and try again. 

 

Maybe when I make it big I can use an indexing tool to make my own pitman shaft. 

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I know it's not as easy as it sounds and I definitely understand the frustration with self claimed experts... But if you paid through PayPal it should be an easy case.. Not as described..I deal with PayPal and eBay regularly and trust me they'll take your side.. You have 6 months with PayPal to open a not as described case.

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I've been out of it for a while now but here's some progress: 

 

State Farm re-evaluated the car and raised the cost of repair to about $9000. The car is now at a metal working shop since Tuesday to get everything back to where it should be, including paint. This is another summer without the car. 

 

I'm considering adding an oil cooler. Going up on my way to home, the oil pressure would drop to unsafe levels. Im assuming the rod bearings are worn and the oil is overheating, thinning out. I need to put the engine off another year... and with an IR thermometer, the oil pan sits around 250F give or take 5 degrees. Your oil shouldn't exceed 230F in most cases. 

 

Regardless, anything I do will be at a later date. I have decided not to take the car back with me my last semester unless I have to. 

 

Speaking of going back to school, the last winter trip I did, my 02 Jeep with the 3.7L developed a tick or knock on off and part throttle deceleration, like ignition timing. Well I got that back Thursday and it has rod knock. So now i'm car-less this summer. Although it has nothing to do with the Buick, I'll be looking at an 82 K5 soon as a replacement 4x4 to get home from school. 

 

Truly fun times. 

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20 minutes ago, Beemon said:

I'm considering adding an oil cooler. Going up on my way to home, the oil pressure would drop to unsafe levels. Im assuming the rod bearings are worn and the oil is overheating, thinning out. I need to put the engine off another year... and with an IR thermometer, the oil pan sits around 250F give or take 5 degrees. Your oil shouldn't exceed 230F in most cases. 

In the absence of noise, it is more likely a worn pump or cam bearings.  Put a real gauge on it temporarily or permanently.  Oil viscosity you use?? 

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Get some Valvoline 20W-50 oil (for the Buick, not the Jeep) and see what happens. You might be surprised.

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

In the absence of noise, it is more likely a worn pump or cam bearings.  Put a real gauge on it temporarily or permanently.  Oil viscosity you use?? 

 

I have a real gauge on there now. About 25 at idle and 37 driving, which I was told was normal. I've been using 10W40.

 

 

1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Get some Valvoline 20W-50 oil (for the Buick, not the Jeep) and see what happens. You might be surprised.

 

I will try 20W50 but it most likely won't be until the end of July. 

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10 PSI per 1000 RPM is acceptable.  Looks like your pressure is fine.

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Posted (edited)

I have a real gauge on there now. About 25 at idle and 37 driving, which I was told was normal. I've been using 10W40.

 

Well, thats fine. If you can hold pressure at idle and low RPM, the oil probably doesn't need to be thicker, unless that all goes away with the oil hot, or it starts falling off when wound up. The 37 is most likely the setting of the relief spring in your oil pump bypass.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Assuming you're saying 25 psi at hot idle (in Drive) then that sounds perfectly fine.  If it dropped to 10 ~ 15 in Drive, then I'd be more concerned...

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10-15 is still acceptable.  Oil lights are built to come on at 2 psi....yes TWO 😳😂

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6 hours ago, EmTee said:

Assuming you're saying 25 psi at hot idle (in Drive) then that sounds perfectly fine.  If it dropped to 10 ~ 15 in Drive, then I'd be more concerned...

 

Yes this is the issue, while driving the oil pressure drops when getting hot. This is why i'm considering an oil cooler with thermostat. 

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