1939 Plymouth P8
The owner of this Plymouth was an older gentleman who was finding it increasingly difficult to drive his car because of the heavy steering. The car was still his pride and joy and he wished to continue using it, so we had to come up with a solution

The solution was to add power steering to the car but the car was a very original, un-restored car with only a few minor upgrades such as a 12 volt electrical conversion and alternator conversion so we were limited as to what we could do with the car to try and retain as much of the originality as possible:

We didn't want to change anything inside the car or have anything aftermarket showing or change the steering wheel etc so we had to work with limited space we had under the bonnet. We didn't want to change the steering box for a later model power box as it would have required alot more work and mofications and possible changing out the entire steering column, so we looked into the electronic power steering conversions:

We did some measurements and because the steering column was quite short there wasn't many options available but luckily we found a kit that uses quite a short motor:

The first thing we did was fabricate a bracket which would support the upper half of the steering column to the bulkhead, we needed to do this because the factory column is supported at the bottom where it goes onto the steering box and we would need to cut the column which would leave the top half free to move about:

Once the bracket was made we installed it onto the column and bulkhead:

Then we measured and cut away the outer column tube:

Next we had to source some adaptors that would go onto the motor's splined input and output shafts one side and then the original round smooth steering shaft the other side:

We slid the adaptors over the motor's shafts and made a slight notch in them for the adaptors grub screw to bite into properly so that it would be held securely:

With both the input and output shafts now wearing their adaptors we had a total length of the motor assembly that we needed so that we could cut the original steering shaft:

With the measurments taken we cut a section out of the steering shaft:

Then installed the motor assembly in its place:

Happy with the fit of the motor we then welded the adaptors to the steering shaft on the car:

Then installed the motor back into the car and positioned it the correct way up:

Next we fabricated a bracket that would support the motor and hold it still so that only the shaft through the motor would rotate when turning the steering:

Once it was made we painted it black along with the other bracket we made for the bulkhead support:

We installed the motor and bracket on the car for the final time and then also painted the steering shaft black to match:

Next we installed the control box for the power steering on the bulkhead close to the motor and ran all the wiring for it:

The system uses a speed sensor that you can set at a certain speed which will shut off the power steering so that the steering doesn't become too light at higher speeds. The only place on this car that we could mount the sensor was on the rear axle to pick up the propshaft spinning round, so first we had to fabricate another bracket:

Then paint it black:

Next we installed it on the rear axle and installed the sensor, adjusted it and ran the wiring for it back up to the control box at the front of the car:

The final thing we had to do was come up with a solution for the horn. We encountered a problem when cutting the column as the original horn switch wire ran through the original hollow steering shaft and out the bottom of the steering box, since we added a solid motor half way down the shaft we could no longer run the horn switch wire the same way. The most simple of solutions was to add a small aftermarket horn switch under the dash close to the steering wheel. With that taken care off all that was left to do was to hand the car back to the owner, who was very pleased with how light the steering was and happy that he can continue to use his car now for many more years to come: