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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2005, 10:16 PM
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1st Hot Rod Project, Steering Question

I am new to the Site, and also planning my first hot rod project. I have a 59 Plymouth and a 2004 Viper engine with a 6sp transmission. Guess what I want to do?
I haven't pulled the old V8 out of the Plymouth yet but I have been doing some measuring. The Viper motor is similar in dimension except it is about 4" longer. The only area that looks like trouble is the oil pan on the V10 is deepest in the rear, right where the steering link crosses about 7" in front of the fire wall. The viper oil pan is cast aluminum so I don't want to modify it. What can I do? Could I install a rack and pinion further forward to clear the oil pan hump? It would have to go about 8" forward from the current link.
I have a professional welder who would do any of the work.
Thanks for any help!
Jim

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Old 12-23-2005, 07:25 AM
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As a Moderator here, I would like to

WELCOME YOU HERE...


Without seeing the 59, it is difficult to say which route of modification would be best. Sometimes a dropped drag link works out. It depends on how low the engine would sit and how much the pan interferes.

I have a friend with a 426 HEMI in a Duster and his oil pan has a tunnel like affair thru the pan.......

Again ....WELCOME..

DEUCE.
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:24 AM
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Thanks Duce. I have done a couple of frame off restorations on Corvettes and Chevelles and with those you just followed the assembly manual. I can see this project will take a lot more creativity. Are there any good places to read about how to do a proper rack and pinion conversion?
Jim
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Jimbo
I can see this project will take a lot more creativity. Are there any good places to read about how to do a proper rack and pinion conversion?
Jim
Big Jimbo,

Welcome to the world of rod building. There is a lot of fabrication and creativity required. Changing one item will drive change in other components.

You mentioned the center link will be running through the pan and are thinking of changing the steering to rack and moving it forward for pan clearance. Probably will be more complicated than it sounds. The placement of the rack and rack width are critical so you don't get bump steer. Also the steering arms would have to be fabricated, etc. Do a search on this forum for bump steer and rack installation for a lot of good information.

I don't know '59 Plymouths. Is the vehicle a rear steer? And is it possible to use Mopar parts that are front steer? Just another possible consideration.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:41 PM
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He's right.... geometry changes can be dangerous as well as inconvenient.

You might have to consider a suspension change to maybe a MII type, either front or rear steer are available. I could not guess about subframe changes.

If you can't afford the time or money to do it right the first time.... how much will it cost to do it over?


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Old 12-24-2005, 09:50 AM
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Would it be possible to set the engine back a bit or would you still have the same clearance problems? Dan
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Old 12-24-2005, 03:30 PM
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The Plymouth is a rear steer. I could move the engine back but I would have to modify the firewall.
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Old 12-24-2005, 04:34 PM
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I think that you should consider a later model suspension, maybe a Volaire clip. With that much motor, you are going to want it to handle better than that old 59 suspension would.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:27 PM
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you said you have done restorations on vettes....look at the Steeroids set up for the C2 and C3 vettes it will give you some idea of what needs to be done on a vette and is a frame of reference that you are use to i think the company was speed direct. not that this will fit your application but you should be familar with the vette setup and can relate to the setup easier


www.speeddirect.com
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:56 PM
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Thanks! That looks like the kind of suspension I might need. I am going to have a local guy who builds hot rods take a look at the car so I can get a better idea of what needs to be done. This may be more than I can handle for my first hot-rod project.
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Old 12-27-2005, 08:01 AM
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You may wish to go to a front steer crossmember and steering that moves the link forward of the crossmember..that will help a bunch in the clearance dept..

OMT
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:13 AM
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I like poncho62's suggestion for using a Volare clip. (Hey it's Mopar) You'd have to check the width. If it's close you can use wheel backspacing to get it right. The Volare clip is good if you are on a budget and gives you disc brakes, modern suspension and power steering and you can retain the original frame out to the front. The torsion bar has some adjustment so you can play with the final height. I'm old school and I use no kits when there's wrecker parts aplenty. If you've got cash to burn go with the M11 conversion kit.
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:50 AM
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One of the members here put an LS1 in a 57 Belvedere. He converted to a front-steer rack and pinion on a mustang II type setup, but it was complete custom from start to finish.

Walton Fabrication in Upland, CA did the work and it is impressive to say the least.

http://hotrodders.com/forum/journal....ournalid=20939
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:51 AM
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A good representative photo...

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Old 12-29-2005, 07:36 AM
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I just had some great luck! I found out the Ram Truck Viper engine has a different oil pan than the Viper car! The truck pan I have has a 5" deeper sump in the rear where it hits the steering link, and the car pan does not. I just found an oil pan on Ebay from a guy converting to a dry sump and should have it next week. This pan may solve the steering problem and save my project! I will let you know. Thanks for all the other suggestions. If I could do the work myself I would probably try to do the Volare clip. That Mustang clip is really a work of art.
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