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WICruiser #1468032 Sat Sep 24 2022 07:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,334
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
How about using the 305 and/or 350 manifolds with the flange near the firewall? Some of them have a 45 degree exit, and others drop straight down. Either way, that gets away from the rams' horn flange and the steering gear trying to occupy the same space. I was able to get good exhaust flow and plenty of torque on the dyno with the rear exit manifolds up to 6K+ RPM on the round track claimer engines I built, where headers were not allowed in the class we were running.

For instance: []


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WICruiser #1468039 Sat Sep 24 2022 08:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 378
The original 350 manifolds (1991 Chevy Silverado) could not be mounted on either side as the exit flange interfered with the frame. I think the exit flange needs to be closer to the block than most standard 305/350 manifolds and I don't have the ability to fit check a lot of options to find one that will clear. On the passenger side there is not much room to get past the starter (although I am only visualizing as I don't have the starter mounted yet).

I have reviewed some other's efforts and determined that because the vertical bolts that held the steering gear to the frame will interefer with the frame vertical section with anything less than 1 1/2" movement and the forward bolt needs to thread up from the bottom meaning a socket head bolt I am anticipating moving the box out 1 3/4". I am anticipating making an L-shape bracket that will bolt to the top of the frame in the original steering gear holes, having the horizontal gear mounting bolts attach the bracket to the frame with solid spacers between the vertical portion of the L and the frame. I should be able to bolt the vertical gear mounting bolts to the bracket before I install the bracket on the frame. I plan to sketch this approach up and spend a little time evaluating it before I jump in but that is the direction for now.

I will make the hole in the firewall wider by about 1 1/2" and flange the opening to provide some stiffness. The steering column will be less than 3 degrees off the original which I don't think will be any concern.

The 1 3/4" offset should allow me to locate the drag link ball on the inside rather than outside of the pitman arm putting the link bascially in the original location. I need to get the rest of the crud off the pitman arm to confirm but it appears at some time the ball stud was welded to the arm although I do have another steering gear I can look at to see if that pitman arm could be used. Other wise it may be better to place the drag ling with all new including ends.

I have looked at some of the power steering options and the ones that potentially clear a V-8 engine are generally mounted in front of the axle, require the shocks to be relocated to the rear of the front axle, as well as pieces/parts related to getting the column connected to the gear. I am not planning to go with wide tires and the added complexity of going to power steering does not seem justified so for now it is not part of the plan.

1949/50 3600 Project
WICruiser #1468225 Mon Sep 26 2022 12:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 378
I cut the firewall and was able to set the steering gear/column on the frame with the column in the correct location at the dash. It appears that 1 3/4" movement is not enough and even though small the angle of the gear box relative to the frame will require that the two vertical mounting holes be different dimensions from the frame. Current estimate is the rear hole needs to move out 2" and the forward hole needs to move out 2 1/4". the angle of the gear box will also result in the horizontal mounting bolts that need to pass though the gear box, extension plate, spacers, and frame will be at the same small angle meaning the heads and nuts will not be square to their respective contact surfaces.

The good news about the further out forward bolt location is that the vertical bolt that screws into the gear box from below can be the original hex head as it will clear the frame easily.

I still need to get the pitman arm pulled off the gear box and determine the best option to reverse the ball stud from the outside to the inside. I looked at both of my gear boxes and both pitman arms have the ball welded in place.

I need to get the steel to fabricate the extension plate and spacers but I think I have a path forward that is still reversible if there is something I am not thinking about correctly.

If anyone has input regarding my plans it would be appreciated.

1949/50 3600 Project
WICruiser #1468978 Fri Sep 30 2022 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 378
I fabricated a mounting/extension plate to relocate the steering gear box 2 to 2 1/4 inches away from the engine. I also replaced the original gear cover mounting bolts with button head bolts to provide more clearance with the exhaust. The movement out is 2" at the rear horizontal mounting bolt location and 2 1/4" at the front horizontal bolt location to obtain the required column angle to be located correctly at the lower dash mount. The mounting/extension plate is bolted in place using the original gear mounting bolt locations with the gear bolted to the plate (vertical holes) and through the plate and frame with solid spacers (horizontal holes).

I still need to clean up and flange the column clearnace hole in the firewall and fabricate a panel to close the majority of the hole around the column pass through.

The steering wheel to seat height seems good and the angle of the wheel due to the column angle is not noticable.

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1949/50 3600 Project
WICruiser #1469010 Fri Sep 30 2022 08:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,655
I think that bent plate provided to relocate the steering box should be at least twice as thick as shown!


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
WICruiser #1469012 Fri Sep 30 2022 09:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 378
Ed, the bent plate is 3/16 thick, a little thicker than the frame. Granted the frame is a channel rather than an angle but the bent bracket is bolted to the frame in both the horizontal and vertical planes (vertical is through heavy wall spacers) The steering loads acting on the gear box are significantly fore/aft rather than side to side.

1949/50 3600 Project
WICruiser #1469014 Fri Sep 30 2022 09:40 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,098
Sir Searchalot
Angle plate is thick enough, but depends on the spacers being where and what I think they are, but are not shown. Please show.
I am talking about spacers between down leg of angle plate and outer frame face. Needs long bolts, right?
Good job so far.

WICruiser #1469090 Sat Oct 01 2022 12:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 378
The spacers are hard to see but they are Chevy 350 piston wrist pins with a long bolt going through the steering gear, angle bracket, the spacer, and the frame (original horizontal holes). The spacers are snug but not a tight fit over the 1/2" bolts. I did not measure the outside diameter but I think it is roughly 3/4"

Attached Images
20220930_102852.jpg (213.69 KB, 97 downloads)

1949/50 3600 Project
WICruiser #1469121 Sat Oct 01 2022 03:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,985
WICruiser When I first moved the steering box out in 1967 on a 53 3100 it was 5/8 of an inch. Didn't cut the floorboard hole didn't even dent it. Never did use the front outlet 55 car manifold,did have a wrench I made to get the no/ 5 spark plug out. Later on helped friends do the same to their trucks 5/8 inch on those. So don't know why it now takes 2 1/4 inches on the steering box !! Also never moved the whole drive line off of centered in the frame.

WICruiser #1469126 Sat Oct 01 2022 03:38 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,098
Sir Searchalot
Originally Posted by WICruiser
The spacers are hard to see but they are Chevy 350 piston wrist pins with a long bolt going through the steering gear, angle bracket, the spacer, and the frame (original horizontal holes). The spacers are snug but not a tight fit over the 1/2" bolts. I did not measure the outside diameter but I think it is roughly 3/4"

That is what I thought. I would suggest about a 3 x 6 flat backer plate inside frame rail. two holes for the spacer bolts. Spreading the load on the frame web.

I need to mention:
There will be a good amount or torque out on the end or steering box at pitman arm. Possible flexing of your bracket. This is due to the very small "land" area/support that the spacers give. While they do provide rigidity in one direction, they may allow twist flex when steering. The better design would be gusset style bracketry welded to your bracket, flanged and bolted to frame or a redesigned gear box bracket.

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