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Username Post: 41 Coupe- what mechanical improvements are recommended ?        (Topic#346815)
ceejay-sri lanka 
Poster
Posts: 60
ceejay-sri lanka
Reg: 03-25-09
08-25-17 09:43 PM - Post#2705631    

HI all,

I just bought a 1941 Chevrolet "sport coupe"
The car has been restored some time back but not used due to a very bad steering box.

The car has sat unused for many many years so I am going to fix it up and get it drive-able.

I have read that the standard steering box was not very good even when new and now that this car's box needs replacement, I may as well adapt a small power steering box to this car.

What are the standard brakes like when functioning correctly ?
Can the car be slowed down hard and stopped easily with little pedal pressure ? or should I add a power brake booster to it ?



 

Chevs of the 40s

raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-25-17 11:57 PM - Post#2705635    
    In response to ceejay-sri lanka

Before you plan any modifications or upgrades, you first need to decide how you will be using the car. Possible examples are shows, parades, cruising, city, highway, daily driving. Obviously, the requirements will be different.

As for your specific questions, the steering box is an obsolete design (worm and roller). By modern standards it steers slowly and hard, but it wasn't particularly awful for its time. If I were going to spend much time behind the wheel, I would want PS, but any PS install I am aware of involves fairly major surgery.

The brakes are a similar story, but not quite as extreme as the steering. If you have any experience driving old cars without power brakes, they really aren't that bad. Fortunately, upgrades are easier than for the steering and not nearly as disruptive.

For safety reasons, the least you should do is to replace the single pot MC with a dual chamber one. Conversions are available which fit under the floor and allow you to keep your stock pedals, so nothing shows inside. This won't make the car stop any better, but at least you won't have to worry about a total loss of brakes. It will take only one failure on a single pot system to make a believer out of you.

Beyond the dual MC, several levels of upgrade are possible. Basic would be the Bendix design drum brakes, first used on Chevy in 1951 and still used today on vehicles which have drums. After that are discs, either front only or on all four wheels. A booster can be added to any of these, and you have the choice of vacuum, hydraulic (off your PS pump), or electric.

The stock power train is fine for in-town use. If you plan any highway driving that involves sustained speeds over about 50 mph I strongly recommend replacing your torque tube assembly with one from a 50-54 Powerglide car. This is a totally bolt-in swap which replaces your stock 4.11 gears with 3.55. Underneath the car it will still look completely stock.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-26-17 11:07 PM - Post#2705731    
    In response to ceejay-sri lanka

In my previous post I neglected to mention this possible solution to your PS question.
http://www.unisteer.com/electric-power-steeri ng/se...

It is far less disruptive than most other ways to install PS because no modification is required to your stock steering gearbox or linkage. All cutting is done on the steering shaft and mast jacket under the dash.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
ceejay-sri lanka 
Poster
Posts: 60
ceejay-sri lanka
Reg: 03-25-09
08-27-17 09:56 AM - Post#2705766    
    In response to raycow

Thanks for your input Ray !

I do have experience driving old cars. I drive a 1946 Buick, 60 Pontiac, 58 Buick as well as a whole range of classic British cars.

Experience doesn't really come into it. Here in Sri Lanka, the driving is very unruly and people slam their brakes in front of you randomly. One needs to be able to stop one's car very quickly.

There are components available to add a dual circuit brake pump and booster as a bolt on swap and still using all the same pedals and mounting positions etc. i would use a kit like that, Still keep the stock type of wheel cylinders, shoes and drums.

The steering I hope to convert to a power steering box while keeping the stock appearance of the steering column inside the car.

From what I can see, a power steering box can be added without making any permanent modifications to the body or chassis of the car.

Make an adapter plate to bolt onto the chassis where the stock box bolted on. Mount a small power steering box onto that adapter plate while positioning the pitman shaft to be in the same position as the stock box.

Make up or adapt a stock pitman arm to fit onto the new power steering box. That should do it.

I am an automotive engineer and I have extensive fabrication and workshop facilities at my disposal so making up the parts needed will not be an issue.

The unisteer inline electric power steering is not a good idea with a 41 Chevy or with any of the older manual steering boxes.

All it does, is let you put a small effort to turn the steering wheel, while it converts that small effort into a lot more torque to forcibly turn the stock steering box.

Now if the car had a strong manual box like a recirculating ball type, that's ok because those boxes are strong and can take that kind of treatment.

The much older worm and peg or similar boxes just can not take that kind of treatment. They will wear out or break up.

Specially if you turn the wheels while the car is not moving. Like when trying to park in a tight spot.





 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-28-17 11:41 AM - Post#2705886    
    In response to ceejay-sri lanka

Ceejay, I apologize for underestimating your experience and abilities. If my earlier replies seemed demeaning or insulting, please believe that I said what I said only because I was unaware of your skills.

With your background and facilities, you very likely won't have any difficulty designing and installing the type of PS conversion you described. Also, living in Sri Lanka, you probably have access to a lot of UK and other automotive components that I am not familiar with. There could very well be other PS gearboxes which would work better for your intended purpose than anything from the US.

Lastly, I need to take back what I said about cutting off your mast jacket. If you want to keep your stock column, but not the gearbox, you could cut the jacket at any point you choose with no problems. All you would have to do is find or make a bushing that you can press into the cut end of the jacket to support the shaft.

Good luck with your project, and please keep us posted about what modifications you decide on and how they are coming along.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 372

Reg: 09-30-15
08-28-17 11:43 AM - Post#2705887    
    In response to ceejay-sri lanka

CJ,

I made the 3.55 rear gear and tandem MC conversions recommended by Raycow on my '36 Chevy PU and I can enthusiastically recommend them. The one other suggestion I would make is to use asbestos brake shoes rather than the "organic" junk that parts stores sell now. Asbestos has a higher friction coefficient, stops more effectively and is still readily and inexpensively available on ebay and elsewhere.

Ray W



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-28-17 11:55 AM - Post#2705891    
    In response to Ray P W

  • Ray P W Said:
......The one other suggestion I would make is to use asbestos brake shoes rather than the "organic" junk that parts stores sell now. Asbestos has a higher friction coefficient, stops more effectively and is still readily and inexpensively available on ebay and elsewhere.


Ray W, are complete, ready-to-install shoes available, or would you have to start with bulk lining that you then drill, countersink, and rivet to your stock shoe cores?

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 372

Reg: 09-30-15
08-30-17 10:07 AM - Post#2706152    
    In response to raycow

Good morning Raycow.

I see a lot of linings on ebay suitable for attachment to 1936-50 Chevy car and pickup Huck shoe cores. Occasionally complete shoes from the asbestos era are on ebay as well.

My wife and I have a sbc-powered '32 Ford roadster street rod. Changing from "organic" friction to asbestos was like adding a booster, no exaggeration. The front brakes are GM "Metric" calipers and Aspen/Volare rotors mounted on a Ford beam axle and the rears are 10" Ford drums on an 8" Ford rear axle. It stops really well now.

Ray W



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-30-17 11:55 AM - Post#2706166    
    In response to Ray P W

Ray W, back when I was a kid (and I'm old), you could still buy pre-drilled facings for some cars. A few of the older shops still had the machine for riveting them to the shoes. However, this was considered pretty exotic even back then, because you could get commercially relined shoes for almost anything.

I am a total believer in asbestos, but I doubt that I have the skill to rivet the facings without the machine, and I don't know where I could find a shop which still does it. Do you know of a place that can do the riveting, or do you rivet the facings yourself?

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 372

Reg: 09-30-15
08-30-17 03:16 PM - Post#2706188    
    In response to raycow

"Do you know of a place that can do the riveting, or do you rivet the facings yourself?"

Ray,

I can highly recommend Chuck's Brake and Wheel Service in Santa Rosa. Phone 707-549-6012. Brothers Steve and Tony Chisea own the place and their dad owned it before them. They are incredibly knowledgeable and well connected. They got me the asbestos friction for my roadster street rod.

I live near their shop so if you need something dropped off or picked up I'd be glad to do that.

Ray W



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27993
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
08-30-17 03:42 PM - Post#2706191    
    In response to Ray P W

Thank you, Ray W. When I talk with Chuck's, may I and should I use your name as a reference?

I am planning to be in the Santa Rosa area sometime in the next month or so in order to ride the new SMART train. Trains are another of my interests, in case you were wondering.

Ray


Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
Ray P W 
Contributor
Posts: 372

Reg: 09-30-15
08-31-17 08:44 AM - Post#2706296    
    In response to raycow

"When I talk with Chuck's, may I and should I use your name as a reference?"

Sure, but they probably won't remember my name. I'm probably in there once a year. The last time was last Fall when I went in looking for a tandem MC that could be squeezed into my '36 PU.

Ray W



 

Chevs of the 40s

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