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Cheapo Rack and Pinion?

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Old 06-21-2011, 01:23 AM   #1
OldSchoolSpartan
 
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Default Cheapo Rack and Pinion?

Hey ya all, I figure the old steering box has go to go but I am turned off by the cost of the bolt in kits. Any one know of a bracket or way to use a cheap $250 pinto or Mustang II rack? I am not too concerned on fabricating the rest of the system that is half the fun. Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:29 AM   #2
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Why not just replace the box with a new unit from Flaming River? The new quick ratio boxes have better bearings and gears, faster steering ratio, same effort as stock or slightly less.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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Cheapest way I found to do a decent rack was $775 (shipped) for the Unisteer from summit.

The "What rack to build my own" thread comes around about every two months but not many follow through on it so we dont have much hard data to go on, sorry.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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Thanks guys just wanted to put my feelers out and see. Looks like I might have some fabricating to do. Of course $775 is pretty good if it comes with tire rods and all that jazz.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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I built my own using the "J" car rack. My cross member is similar in design to Randalls Rack. It wasn't that difficult. I just need to finish up the inner tie rod setup and adapt a pump. I have around $180 into it right now.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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tweet66 I guess I am unfamiliar with what a 'J car' is outside of the old 1980's GM fwd cars (am I correct?). Did you weld up your own cross member out of plate steel or use an off the shelf unit? Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Yep that's it. J-car rack and pinion started in 1982.

Cavalier
Beretta
Cimmaron
Skyhawk
Sunbird
Sunfire
J2000
Firenza
Probably a couple more.

I built my own cross memeber out of 1/4" steel plate, using the steering box, idler arm, and cross-member bolt holes. It's a little overkill compared to some on the market but I tend to over-do things anyway (according to the wife)...
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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A brand-new stock box would cost way less than that rack. Then you'd have like-new steering, and enough money left over for several nice dinners out with the wife or sweetheart (but not both).
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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New rack cost me $85 and change at Autozone (daughter works there so I got the discount). Material, nuts, bolts, etc.. for cross member cost another $50. My labor is free (for me anyway...) U-joints came from my old TCP r&p setup, which sucked and was nothing like their latest versions. Extra 24" length of double "D" shaft was another $45. So far it's been cost effective for me...and I like trying to figure out ways to build my own stuff. That's half the fun of these cars for me.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
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The only factory racks that will come close to working have a sucky ratio to them.If you want it to handle better cheapest way is rebuilt steering box.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #11
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I also suggest going with a new or rebuilt quick ratio steering box. Thats what I did and it works great.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:12 AM   #12
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A lot of debate on this subject but that is half the fun. Yeah the J car idea sounds pretty cool and I worked for GM for a number of years as a mechanic so I don't doubt the idea and my fab skills seem up to par. I really don't care for the stock steering boxes of the day (the one thing I almost hate as much as drum brakes switched to Willwoods on all four corners and never looked back ,but I digress). I rebuilt the box a few years back and I still can't get over the old 'floaty' feeling. I guess I am really and going for a BA home brewed street fighter look for this car since I got bored with the stock rebuild some time back. A fabed steering system would match the Frankensteined turbo engine I got in it ha,ha,ha. Just saving my pennies for a TKO 5-speed since the C4 keeps on getting destroyed every time my foot gets a little bit of lead in it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:34 AM   #13
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Drive a j car tho they are not known for handling same thing with a ford taurus.Talk to http://www.lee-powersteering.com/ they rebuild steering boxes in any ratio you could want.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #14
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I drove (I'm ashamed to admit this...) a 89 Cavalier for a few years and no they are not the greatest handling vehicle, but they did have a higher ratio (2.5 turn lock to lock) rack available. That is the rack I used in my setup.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:16 AM   #15
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I doubt that the J-car's R&P deserves much of the blame for that platform's perceived level of goodness(?).

Assuming that the J-car R&P has enough travel, the real trick is getting the R&P pivots in the right places so you don't end up with too much bumpsteer. Having to saw away at the steering wheel to keep the car somewhere near centered in your lane on a long curve with something like frost heaves in it gets a bit old after a while.


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Old 07-01-2011, 11:21 AM   #16
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I mocked mine up with the original center-link in place so the rack would at least be on the same plane as the original setup. I then raised it another 1/4" for ground clearance and to help alleviate some bump steer because the car is lowered 2" up front.

Hey Norm, where are you in Cherry Hill? I'm right around the corner in Pennsauken.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #17
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Not too far from the Cherry Hill "Library Mahal" on King's Hwy.

OT - since you're kind of local, do you know anything about Steve's Auto Body (opposite the Cherry Hill Mall)? Wife got the Subaru's driver door tagged by somebody in a parking lot this last week and I've got that as a suggestion from the ins. co.


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Old 07-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #18
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There is a fair amount of planning involved in getting a rack, and the tie rod ends in the right place. Some literature on the subject might be in order.

I am not making judgements on anyone's work on this board, but I am certain that somebody somewhere has added a homemade R&P to a Mustang making it handle and drive far worse than the stock setup.

Just sayin....
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
Not too far from the Cherry Hill "Library Mahal" on King's Hwy.

OT - since you're kind of local, do you know anything about Steve's Auto Body (opposite the Cherry Hill Mall)? Wife got the Subaru's driver door tagged by somebody in a parking lot this last week and I've got that as a suggestion from the ins. co.


Norm
Haven't really heard anything about the place. I pass by it all the time on my way to the Wednesday night cruises as the Silver Diner. I usually stop in places like that to check prices but haven't had a need lately. I've been trying to find a place that'll rent me their booth so I can spray my 65 Falcon. Doubt that will ever happen in NJ though....
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:25 PM   #20
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I might sell a truck I have and go with a rack set up from Summit that was previously mentioned along with a tubular suspension/coil overs but we will see if that happens I still need to finish blocking the body and spray it. After all is said and done i might keep the truck.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:25 PM
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03, 1982, 2004, cobra, gm, jcar, kit, labor, mustang, pinion, quick, rack, ratio, rebuild, svt

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