Classic Mustangs (Tech)Technical discussions about the Mustangs of yester-year.
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$233.93 rack and pinion w/pics (updated 5/20/2009)
From the beginning of my 1970 Fastback project I knew that I didn't want to deal with the factory power steering system with it's leaks, on-center deadspot, wandering, etc. I also didn't want to pay the high price of the store bought rack systems. Besides, I like to build stuff and decided I could do it myself. So I did.
First let me say that some of this design is my own and some is based on websites and pictures of other designs. I haven't driven the car yet, so it isn't road tested. I have no doubt in my mind that it will work, but I want everyone to be aware of the facts. I think that anyone that has some fabrication skill and can weld can build this system pretty easily
The first step was to decide on which rack to use and off of which car. I knew I wanted a power rack and had to deal with the mustang rear steer system. A little internet hunting revealed that the GM rack and pinions used on cars like the Beretta and Cavalier was not only a good candidate, but has been used on the Mustang and is the basis for some of the store bought systems. I called up my local junkyard and they pulled a rack for me complete with the mounting straps.
I then went about figuring how mount the rack. I decided to mount it like a website that I found that has since disappeared. I think that design is now being sold as the Steeroids system and mine is similar with a few differences. I had to pay attention to the angles that the u-joints would have to make to hook from the steering column to the rack. I also had to disassemble the steering column to shorten it. I then made the driver side bracket which is just a piece of steel angle and 2 pieces of steel flat stock. It took a few tries with modifications to the bracket to get the u-joints to work smoothly. After mounting this bracket and making sure the rack was level and ran straight side to side, I fabricated the passenger side bracket which is a piece of angle and a piece of flat stock.
All that remained was to get it hooked to the spindles. I decided that I didn't want to mess with the factory steering geometry and thought that it would be rather convenient to just use the stock tie rods and center link. I cut the center link just outboard of the inner tie rod mount and positioned it where the factory system put it. Then I made a bracket that bolted on to the rack and welded the center link to it.
The system works smoothly. The last items I need to do are finish weld the brackets, trim some excess from them, paint them and either make or have made some power steering hoses that will mate the factory pump to the rack. If I make some hoses using AN fittings and hose they will cost me about $125 more than what I have already spent bringing the total to about $360.
All that I don't know is whether headers will clear. I figure since my setup is similar to the Steeroids system, the header limitations will be similar. I plan to use shorties or mid-length myself, but have some long tube headers I will give a trial fit. BTW my engine is a 351W.
Here is what I have spent so far:
Steering U-joints and DD shaft - $178.80 (Summit)
3/4" ball bearing - $4.63 (for steering column)
Steel for brackets - $5.00 (from local fabricator's junk pile)
Misc bolts and nuts - $3.00 (hardware store)
Salvage yard Rack - 42.50
Here are some pictures:
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Very nice! What is the thickness for the steel for the brackets? The passenger side bracket looks a bit thin.
The Driver side bracket is all 1/4" thick. The passenger side is 3/16, but the driver side bracket takes ALL of the side to side load. The passenger side bracket only holds fore-aft and up-down position of that end of the rack.
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