Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

Power steering in 50 Olds

Old April 21st, 2018, 04:57 PM
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Power steering in 50 Olds

Did Olds offer power steering as an option in 1950?
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Old April 21st, 2018, 08:24 PM
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I don't believe they did. That is why they have that large diameter steering wheel. I often wonder how little old ladies drove those cars back in the day. With no power brakes or steering they drive like an old truck.
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Old April 21st, 2018, 08:29 PM
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I have a friend that is looking to buy a 50 that the owner claims has factory power steering. I have my doubts.
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Old April 21st, 2018, 10:14 PM
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Nope. Not until '53.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 06:24 AM
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1952 actually. 1952 power steering can be retrofitted to 1950 76 and 88 which is Fisher body, but on 1950 88 the pump and generator mount in the same place on top of engine, generator in 1950, power steering pump in 1952/53. 76 is six cylinder factory but the power steering box and mast jacket assembly could still bolt in to car. Never heard of this happening on a 98 which is Fleetwood body in 1950 but I imagine it could happen. 1953 steering shaft/mast jacket is a little bit shorter or closer to dash which can help if the driver isn't skipping any lunches. Also 1953 does not have a mast jacket mounted shift indicator quadrant, is in speedo cluster in 1953.

One guy I know of was going to try to use a 1959 Corvette power steering pump/12v generator combo in the stock mounting on top of engine. The mounting bosses on the earlier intake manifold for generator is not exactly the same layout as the 1952/53 PS pump bosses layout, so some light fabbing is needed. As a footnote, if one wishes to use a 1949-50-51 generator and mounting brackets on a 1952-53 engine and intake manifold which does have the PS box bosses, as some 1952 do not, Cragar made a aluminum hot rod bracket which is needed to shift the generator bracket slightly towards the valve cover which is needed for proper belt alignment, and potentially front carb clearance for a guy running dual quads. A guy could also use the 1952/53 passenger side manifold having factory mounting for the generator, then the head pipe for those years or right side pipe for duals then needed, 1950 exh manifold is different outlet layout. Inner fender clearance is very tight or perhaps more clearance needed for generator. Existing pair of pulleys might work depending on the finished install of pump and generator, and then able to eliminate the factory idler/tensioner for 1950. I am almost certain the existing drag link will work with the later PS box. Your buddies 1950 might not have factory standard column shift because there is little room for the clutch/shift linkage and power steering box both, but I haven't tried that (yet), but I might. Whew.

Power steering equipment for 1952-56 Oldsmobile have become scalpers price parts as the drivers of these cars age, and also the current use of wide footprint radial tires at 30PSI making the car more difficult to steer at stopped or at slow speeds has factored in.

So no, your friends 1950 is not factory equipped with power steering but it can get done with GM parts.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 07:43 AM
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Although not factory, if has power steering installed and working I would be thankful for that.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by redoldsman View Post
I often wonder how little old ladies drove those cars back in the day.
Don't underestimate some of those little old ladies. The ones that worked in the plants during WWII developed some real muscles.

P.S.: The Olds parts book confirms there was no power steering before 1952.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 11:00 AM
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Ozzie, I am sure Rosie The Riveter would have no problem steering. She probably would have been driving a Chevy or a Ford though. I was thinking more of the ladies going to a tea and driving a big old Olds 98. Hard to imagine them parallel parking one of these cars.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by coldwar View Post
1952 actually.
Damn you, Wikipedia!
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by redoldsman View Post
Ozzie, I am sure Rosie The Riveter would have no problem steering. She probably would have been driving a Chevy or a Ford though. I was thinking more of the ladies going to a tea and driving a big old Olds 98. Hard to imagine them parallel parking one of these cars.
You're probably right about the high society "tea" group. For them, no P.S. would have been a struggle. I guess that Olds heard their agony and responded to keep their business. I suppose that's another reason most of the country clubs didn't use parallel parking.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by '69442ragtop View Post
Damn you, Wikipedia!
Wikipedia can't beat Ozzie.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 03:42 PM
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