1955 Studebaker Ross Steering Box Rebuild
Even though this technical page specifically targets a 1955 Studebaker President sedan, the procedure is basically the same for all Ross Steering box equipped Studebakers.
Procedure: When no amount of adjustment to the Cam-Lever (pitman) Shaft adjustment screw corrects a loose steering situation, It's a pretty safe bet that the steering box is worn beyond repair.
9. Once the column is out, you need to put it in a vice to continue the dismantling.
10. Remove the Pitman arm using a good quality puller. Leave the retaining nut on the end of the cam lever shaft- to help prevent damage to the threads.
11. Next, loosen the cam lever shaft adjustment screw locknut- and remove the adjustment screw. Remove the side cover. Studebaker used a lightweight gear oil in their steering boxes. It should be quite gooey if it's never been changed. Use a small plastic 1 pint tub to catch any grease or oil that comes out. Once the cover is off- and the oil drained- pull the cam lever shaft out of the housing. You can use a rubber or leather mallet, or hammer and block of wood to drive it out if necessary.
12. Remove the (3) or (4) bolts that hold the housing top cover (the shaft goes through here). This cover will have several shims- used to adjust the clearance of the steering post's bearings. There may even be a brass gasket. Slide the top cover, shims and gaskets off of the steering post, and remove the steering post and worm gear. On some models, the bearings will come out with the worm gear as an assembly. You can see in the picture below right- there is a small tube through the housing. This tube is for the horn wire to run through. It is pretty fragile- and can be bent easily.
13. Use a dull punch or chisel to drive the (2) bushings and (1) seal out of the cam lever shaft housing. The bushings are soft and have a slot in them, so they are easily removed. DO NOT plan on saving them- you will never get them out without damage.
14. Clean all parts, inspect the cam lever shaft's PIN/PINS for wear. If you notice flatspots, the shaft or pin/pins need to be replaced. Later Ross boxes used a single PIN mounted inside tapered roller bearings. Often this pin will freeze up and wear. This assembly is available, and replacing it is not too difficult. This saves you from having to replace the whole cam lever shaft.
15. Reassembly is the reverse of the above procedure. It is very easy to damage the new bushings trying to put them back in without a proper bushing driver. When reinstalling the steering post and worm gear, do not tighten the top cover bolts unless you have the proper endplay set by using the shims.