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The CPP steering boxes have threaded holes, eliminating the nut. They supply hex head bolts, the square hole for the carriage bolt head isn't needed or used. I don't know if you can drill out the threaded holes in the steering box, probably can, but two wrenches will be required to tighten the joint.
There we go. i do actually recall this now.

The bolts supplied with my 500 box were long enough to put a nut on the "box" side too.
i'm gonna look into this, as my bolts had gotten loose over time, and i would prefer they stay in place, and tight.
 

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Here are pictures of my '57 steering box mounting holes and original hardware.
Jaw Automotive wheel system Snout Art Helmet
Automotive tire Gas Bicycle part Auto part Wood


There is some sort of stiffener inside the frame around each mounting hole, but it doesn't look like they are cylindrical.
Seems more like flat stock pieces or perhaps a few bent into the form of a 'V'.
And they're not immediately next to/around the holes -- they appear to be set back a small amount.
Looks like the square holes are easily large enough for 3/8" bolts, so I don't think you'd need to drill it out, unless you need 7/16" or 1/2" bolts for some reason.
Given that the reinforcement inside the frame isn't tight to the holes, you could conceivably use larger bolts, if that were to be necessary.
If you weld a plate over the recessed holes in the frame and add the new bolt heads, I'd think that would add close to an inch, which could very well affect tire clearance.
If the existing stiffeners are still in place, you could test-tighten bolts through the frame to make sure the frame resists crushing. If it holds up well, you should be fine with getting new original style bolts and putting the steering box back in place.
I had to put a shim between the frame and the steering box on one of the bolts (see the cut washer in the picture) to get the steering shaft to be centered in its dash mounting clamp.
 

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Suggest checking that pitman arm is not fouling the chassis throughout its full rotation/cycle.

I had the same symptoms (bolts that would loosen over time, and chassis cracks around the bolts) and it was found that the spline in the pitman arm was 'off centre' causing the pitman arm to foul the chassis during part of its rotation cycle, resulting in the steering box trying to 'pull itself off the chassis'. This resulted in cracks around the 3 bolts that hold the steering box in place.

The cracks were on both the outside and inside of the chassis (hard to see on the inside), so I would recommend steering box removal/relocation and careful examination.

No need for strengthening, we just removed and clearanced the pitman arm (a quick linish), welded everything up and refitted. A short time later I noticed that there was a creaking sound coming from the same area. The spring washers supplied with the steering box conversion (CPP) were small diameter standard spring washers that allowed a tiny amount of flex = creaking sound. We replaced these with Belleville style washers, its been great ever since.

Hope that helps.
 

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I have a customer's 1956 Bel-Aire that was complaining of the steering feeling loose. Besides some front end parts worn, we found one of the steering gear bolts broken, and the other one was beginning to pull through the frame as you can see in the picture. The car does have a power steering conversion kit, but not sure what company. Any suggestions for repairing the frame? Does anyone make a patch that can be welded in? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Would eliptical washers used on shock absorbers work? Looks like they would fit into the recessed area of the frame.
 

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When I purchased my car, a new 605 box was supplied with it along with mounting instructions and a template for a plate to go on the outside of the frame. A local fab shop cut me a 1/4 in. plate from my template, I used 3/8 NF GR. 8 bolts with nylock nuts. I check them during my yearly nut and bolt check, still nice and tight and no sign of any fatigue to frame rail. Had I known then what I know now, I would have installed a 500 box.

Larry.
 

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I have a customer's 1956 Bel-Aire that was complaining of the steering feeling loose. Besides some front end parts worn, we found one of the steering gear bolts broken, and the other one was beginning to pull through the frame as you can see in the picture. The car does have a power steering conversion kit, but not sure what company. Any suggestions for repairing the frame? Does anyone make a patch that can be welded in? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
well, what did you find?
any pics of the repair?
 
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