POWER STEERING IN A 1957 CHEVY NAPCO PICKUP WITH 348

donsz

Well Known Member
#1
I have a 1957 Chevy NAPCO pickup with a 348 Chevy installed. My question: Has anyone with the same setup as myself, tried the CPP power steering install (CPP5559PSK-OC). The problem is the clearance between the header and steering box. Also, if so, what steering column did you use?
Thanks, don
 

427John

Well Known Member
#3
Don,I'm not sure how different the chassis are but my 64 K-20 had been converted to power steering years ago using the column and steering box from a late 60's impala,a frabricated pitman arm (welded) and shortened tie rod was used to interface with the the original front axle.When I swapped to an open knuckle Dana 44 with disc brakes from a squarebody I also swapped to its steering box with its pitman arm and a shortened tie rod.The rag joint coupler half mated up fine with impala column coupler half.
 

donsz

Well Known Member
#5
Update on my install:
Thanks for all input regarding my power steering upgrade. As a reminder: the truck is a 1957 Chevy 3600 NAPCO (1/2 ton NAPCO suspension). The engine is a Chevy 348, and this was the major problem; no space for the power steering box at the exhaust manifold. Special thanks to Bartamos (from Stovebolt. com) for his guidance.

The power steering is installed and works fine (it is wonderful to have easy steering and a reduced turning circle). I went with Bartamos's approach; a 1968 Saginaw steering box located outside the frame rail. I used some parts from an install kit made for this (Pitman arm, top bracket, drag link). Some tidbits, in no particular order for this install:
1. I used an IDIDIT steering column
2. Saginaw power steering pump (chrome so the vehicle can go faster)
3. A collapsible steering shaft; makes it much easier to install and re-install when making adjustments (you don't have to loosen the column each time)
4. The shocks need to be reversed: so the lower shock mounts from the right and left side need to be switched. I also had to modify the mounts a bit to obtain clearances. Also the top mount on the springs need to be reversed so the shackles for the lower shock mounts can be installed.
5. The exhaust (stock manifold) at port 7 required minimal grinding for u-joint clearance. It is difficult to see in the attached picture, but there is plenty of room.
6. The install kit I used provided standoffs to mount the steering box to the frame. Instead, I did just a little grinding on the steering box to even both ends and used half-inch plate stock on each end (about 4"x5" each). It is much more solid.
7.The e-brake pivot mechanism interfered with the shaft, so it need to be modified and re-welded (but not to the frame)

I thought this would never end because my first approach was a CPP sector box located inboard with modified headers. That did not work, I couldn't find anyway around it that appealed to me until found this approach (new to me, probably old stuff for may others). There was nothing really hard about this, just lot of work.
don


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