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Author Topic: Should I install Shepard Power Steering?  (Read 2042 times)
Dave Siegel
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« on: July 20, 2006, 05:38:03 AM »

Our 1948 GMC Silversides is a real bear to drive. Manual steering and 4 speed (on the column). With that said..... We have our house here in Naples For Sale and when we sell it we plan to travel in the bus for a while. I have been thinking about having power steering installed (we have a straight front axle with front to rear positioned leaf springs). Should I? Is there a place you might recommend? What do you think the cost should be?

Whew! That's a lot of questions, I hope someone can answer them.

Thanks, in advance.....

Dave Siegel   1948 Silversides
Naples, Florida
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
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Ross
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2006, 05:47:15 AM »

I can't really comment on the power steering, although I'd love to install integral steering on my MC9....But...I did just sell my house.  Accepted the offer two days ago.  It was on the market for one week and I got asking price.  That's good news other than the fact that I thought I'd have a couple months to get my act together.  Now I'm faced with finding new digs, getting some not so small projects done on the bus and moving...all in the next 45 days...Ummm...43, and counting.

What I'm saying is if your house is on the market, this may not be a good time to start a big bus project, unless you're hiring it done by someone who will do it in a timely fashion.

Ross
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RC4U
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2006, 06:28:35 AM »

when you say "integral steering" what is the difference and is it stock in any MCI?
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 07:27:37 AM »

My AMGeneral transit came with manual steering with air assist (8.5 turns lock to lock).  While driving in town wasn't bad (what the bus was designed for), driving at freeway speeds made for being quite busy keeping the bus going straight down the road (yes it is aligned correctly).  With the air assist, there is a built in slop to it with the actuating valve.  I could live with it since my first truck drove this way, but my wife simply freaked out when she drove it.  So I located a Sheppard box for sale from another AMGeneral.  I had Star Dust Maintainence install it.  I had to get the box overhauled and use a bigger pump, so the parts cost around $2000 and about 25 hours of labor.  But WOW what a difference!  The steering went from a loose 8.5 turns to a tighter 4.5 turns.  Although it still has about 1.5 inches of steering wheel play, it is a fraction of what it was before.  Now, it doesn't quite freak out my wife as much, although she is intimidated by the size.  I have to back my bus into my warehouse that is a very tight backup.  With the old steering, it took 3 or 4 tries.  Now it is usually a one shot deal.  Amazing what happens when you go from two hand steering to finger tip steering.  If you're going to keep the bus for a few years, get full power steering (not power assist since that too has slop), you'll have a big smile on your face every time you drive it.  Now on a Silver Sides, I don't know quite which steering you'd use, unless your steering box is mounted on the axle.  Then the Sheppard can be used.  When I changed mine out, I also changed the 90 degree mitre box gear box since the manual used a 1.5 to 1 ratio and the power steering used a 1 to 1.  If you're box is frame mounted, there are a bunch of boxes you can use from trucks.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Dave Siegel
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 09:21:45 AM »

Thanks Tom,
The steering box is mounted on the frame right under the drivers feet. There is NO WAY that I would ever attempt to install something like this. It would have to be professionally installed.

As for several boxes to use , I wouldn't even know what to look for. (I am really showing my dummy side now. Sorry)

I would wait until after the house is sold and I would probably drive to the install facility and stay in the bus  (if posible) while the work was being done. We will have a toad so we could escape in the day time.

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
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JackConrad
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 02:11:17 PM »

Dave,
   Check with Fred Hobe in North Florida. His name and phone number are in the SE Cruisers roster.  Jack
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 07:42:20 PM »

         Over the years on the boards, Babs has been given very high marks. They have several locations including the southeast. they have a web site at   http://www.babsteering.com./contact_us.htm  Hope this helps.   Nelson
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Ross
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 04:18:58 AM »

when you say "integral steering" what is the difference and is it stock in any MCI?

Integral steering came on MCI's after 1983 (I think).  The earlier version had the external hydraulic cylinder.  That's what I have on my MC9.  Integral steering has a tighter feel to it.  Fred Hobe did an article on switching it over.  It's not too involved, but low on the list at this point.
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gus
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 12:37:48 PM »

Dave,

I have a '54 PD4104 with factory hyd power assist. I think the steering is the same as on your 3751 except for the hyd assist cylinder and the number of turns.

I've had a bit of play at the wheels straight position since I got the bus and it is a pain on long trips. I recently gave the steering a big shot of grease and it sure made a difference, I was amazed. The fitting is on the bottom of the steering box. It didn't take out the play but it seemed to keep the wheel from sticking in position as much and cut down on the constant correcting.

I also found in the Manual that the center steering position can be tightened up without affecting the turning positions. It has to do with the worm gear grooves being smaller at the center than at the sides.  I'm going to do this as soon as this heat lets up a bit. It is a pretty simple adjustment. This is a very clever design, somebody was thinking when this was designed.

I know you have the manuals so I won't go into detail. It requires jacking up the front axle. It also says to disconnect the pitman arm but I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to tighten it a tiny bit at a time until it feels right.
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PD4107-152
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Ash Flat, AR
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