Forums General Counties Cars Discussion Advice sought for late 1953 Austin Hereford with heavy/very heavy steering Reply To: Advice sought for late 1953 Austin Hereford with heavy/very heavy steering

#8149
PeteJS
Keymaster

Hello John,

The steering on these cars is inevitable heavy – you shouldn’t really expect to be turning the steering wheel unless you are in motion. I sympathise as I have an Austin Sixteen, which has even heavier steering. It also, like yours, has radials – which although a) cheaper than crossplies and b) afford much better road holding, make the steering at parking speeds even heavier.

I keep mine at 35 PSI all round, which helps somewhat.

There is also a needle roller bearing kit that I believe you can fit to A70s (but not sadly to Sixteens), which I’m told makes a big difference, and such kits have certainly been fitted to A40 Somersets and A90 Atlantics in the past. It’s worth talking to Longbridge Motor Spares to see if they do the kits, or failing that, try AH Spares who do them for Austin Healeys (no doubt at a price!).

There are also kits to add electrically-assisted power steering to classic cars. Not cheap, and I wonder if the extra force being put though old steering parts would cause more wear – I have no reports, good or bad about these to rely on.