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Can I adapt a 1952 PS unit to our car?


our51super
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Hi again,

Well if you can't tell it's a slow day at work so I've been thinking about our Buick. I saw a vintage ad for a 1952 Buick that promotes the new power steering unit available for that model/year. I was curious as to how difficult it would be to adapt that power steering unit to our '51 Super? Would it even work? As far as I know, the differences between the two years are minimal.

Sorry for all the posts but I've been saving all my questions and comments - I guess.

Thank you in advance.

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Crin & Teresa,

I think you can do it. According to the Hollander manual, the '51 and '52 series 50 manual steering gears are interchangeable. To me that implies that the '52 series 50 power steering gear will fit the '51 series 50 frame. Your problem will be finding the '52 PS gear. I added PS to my '53 series 40, using a gear from a '53 series 70--couldn't find a '53 series 40 or '52 PS gear to save my soul. Although it bolted in, there were several details that needed modification, such as accelerator and tranny linkages and engine belt pulley. (If you find the parts, be sure to get the harmonic balancer/pulley from the donor car.) I suspect that because your donor and recipient cars would both be straight-8's, rather than V-8 and straight-8, your mod would be easier than mine. Anyway, parallel parking is now a dream. BTW, the gear ratio for PS was the same as for manual back then, so don't expect the quick response that you get with modern PS. Good luck!

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It was '52. In checking this, I discovered that the Buick shop manual claims that PS was available only on series 70 in '52. But the Hollander manual does show PS for the '52 series 50, and further shows that the series 70 and series 50 manual steering gears are not interchangeable in '52, so my earlier statement about '52 PS fitting '51 series 50 may not be true in all cases. The lack of interchangability may be cosmetic rather than mechanical, as was the case in my conversion. You'd need to be careful and take measurements. If you wish, I can send photocopies of all the Hollander and Buick info that I have on the subject.

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