1950 STEERING...SO BAD

49FLAMER

Active Member
I have posted about this before but I need to again due to the purchase on my new 1947 Oldsmobile. I have had 2 1950 Buicks and still have one. both were the same with terrible steering only a bodybuilder would be happy with. One has radials the other had crossplies both had professional wheel alignments.
The steering on the olds is very similar or the same design to the Buick so why is the Olds fine...what the hell went wrong at the Buick factory ?
 
Assume all cars had manual steering boxes and still have the original large steering wheel.
The car should drive nice and straight and go around corners without effort while travelling on the road. When you jack the car up, everything turns nicely without a load on the wheels?
 
excessive Camber would make a manual steering car extremely hard to turn, did the alignment guy give you a number for that?

another thing, get in the habit of not trying to turn the wheel unless the car is in motion. obviously there are some situations where turning the wheel at a full stop are impossible to avoid, but with a little forethought you'll usually be able to at least allow the car to start creeping forward or backward before you really start cranking on the wheel and this motion will make the turn a LOT easier to execute.
 

322bnh

Active Member
Move the seat close to the steering wheel (as your belly allows :eek:). Those cars will be impossible to steer with your arms extended with the seat all the way back.
 
Vehicle weight could also be a factor. A '50 Roadmaster at 4300 lb outweighs a '47 Olds 66 by 800 lb.
 

49FLAMER

Active Member
my cars are 2dr 56s, not a roadmaster, tyres pumped up hard to try and help, steering boxes fine, of course they are worse ( a lot ) when stationary so I try to move wheel while rolling as I always do in any car. The CASTOR may supposedly help ?? but the drag link setup is almost identical to the 47 so ??????
So is 322bnh agreeing that these are just bad. (impossible )
 

322bnh

Active Member
So is 322bnh agreeing that these are just bad. (impossible )
Just referring to any manual steering car if you have the seat all the way back. Your difference may be differences in steering ratio, angle of steering wheel, pitman arm length...
 

322bnh

Active Member
excessive Camber would make a manual steering car extremely hard to turn, did the alignment guy give you a number for that?
As will positive caster. Check the setting on that "professional wheel alignment" Modern cars are set with lots of positive caster for directional stability and return to center with radial tires. Not a problem with power steering.
 

49FLAMER

Active Member
I wish I could find someone who knows how to set up old cars alignment. He gave me no figures on it but as you know you can't vary the camber much with that pin.
 

49FLAMER

Active Member
I will measure the pitman arms, maybe the st. Box ratio is different? Either way the factory should have got it better.
 

322bnh

Active Member
Take your service manual and show them the specs and procedures...then take the car.
The camber should be set at near zero; every 180 degree turn of the eccentric pin gets you to zero; use the zero camber setting that gets the caster near where you want it; then set the toe in (not rocket science). If there was front end damage from a wreck it may not work...but you need to know that.
 

49FLAMER

Active Member
I do have a shop manual, the setting shown is for crossply tyres or course. Just remember my other 50 was just as bad ..it had crossply tyres. I will check camber as I have a camber tool.
 
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