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Old 10-06-2007, 11:08 AM
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cavalier rack

Hi new to this forum . I have a 41 dodge coupe with a 400 sbc .I put in a cavalier powersteering rack and didn't like how it handled. Someone told me I could just remove the pump and tie the two lines together . wasn't a good idea . need to know if the cavalier manual rack will interchange with the power rack without too much trouble?

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Old 10-07-2007, 07:24 PM
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cavalier rack.

Almost interchangeable. The power rack is longer. In the original car, the mounting points on both racks were the same. -In custom applications, the passenger side mount is often moved out further, to match the cars frame.
I think the mlounts on the manual rack can only be 24 inches apart.
Why didn't you like th power setup?
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:26 PM
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cavalier rack

BTW. You know the manual rack is about $250 compared to 100 for the power rack right? If you are going the slavage route - cavalier manual will be next to impossible to find. sunbird, lemans, several others are interchangeable and easier to find.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:10 AM
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cavalier rack

I have the stock suspension with the fatman steering setup and disc brakes by eci .The frontend was rebuilt but the handleing just was a little too soft for me at highway speeds. thanks for the info. just wanted to know if it would fit before I laid out the bucks
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:04 PM
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cavalier rack

A little soo soft, how? If it is too sensitive may need to reduce the pump pressure a bit. If it sort of wanders a bit, may just need more caster.
Not saying a manual rack isn't the answer, but I think your car may be borderline too heavy for a manual rack.
I just put power rack and pinion in my 41 Pontiac. Just had it aligned today. drives good, but doesn't quite have the heavy feel I like, so we may be in the same place. I used shorter steering arms to keep the turning radius, that may be making it a hair sensitive. Hard to describe the sensation, doesn't wander, doesn't dart, "soft" may be a good word. Real curious to understand your symtoms and see if it matches, and we can improve it.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:20 PM
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cavalier rack

It's a bit sensitive ,drifts a little and I have to "drive" the car if you know what I mean can't just sit back and relax . It's tiring on a long trip
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:47 PM
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cavalier rack.

we may be talking about the same thing. It doesn't drift right or left, just seems like straight ahead is a very very narrow place on the wheel. It steers so easy I can turn it with one finger. seems like it should have more resistance.
Have you measured the distance between your mounts? Are you going to put a manual in it? don
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:34 PM
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Sounds more to me like your alignment is off, not enough toe in.

a manual rack won't change the wander. It wil just make it harder to controll.

Make sure you have 1/8" toe IN, Check your camber and caster too.

If it is too sensitive, you need to restrict the pump flow, speedway I think sells restrictors ( though they may have AN fittings...)
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:40 PM
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cavalier rack.

Had it aligned today. Wander is probably too strong a description, too sensitive is more like it. Can you tell me more about the reduc ers? How do they work? Something that would reduce the power assist sounds like the answer. but it needs to be a lot, not 10% or whatever.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:03 PM
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cavalier rack

sounds like the same problem.I'll probably switch to manual after the season still have a couple of months of good weather left
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:03 AM
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I just went through this with My '69 Corvette.
I put a Grand Am Rack on it, I think it's the exact same rack you are using.

The Vette forum has a member that used to work at Delphi and knows steering systems inside and out.
According to him, and it works, flow is what determines the sensitivity of the system, pressure determines the max assist and at small steering angles doesn't matter much.

So you want to reduce the flow from the pump.
There is a restrictor that screws into the back of every saginaw pump. different restrictors for different cars.

You get at it by unscrewing the big nut on the back of the pump that the high pressure line screws into.

Yes you have to drain the system.

The whole thing comes out. the spring is for the pressure relief.
If you look in the end of the fitting that was inside the pump you will see the oriface that determines the flow.

You need one with a smaller hole.
Either take your's out, weld it up and drill a smaller hole or Speedway sells them except like I said above, they all have AN fittings I think.

It may take a couple of tries, but it's a cheap and fairly easy fix

Keith
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:37 PM
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cavlier rack

Thank you for a concise, informative and practical explanation. I have more than one pump, so I'm going to start by comparing orifices.
And I'm sure you are right. The Grand Am rack should be the same as the cavalier from all outward appearances. However, there are 2 cavalier racks, standard and performance. You can tell by counting the lock to lock turns, but I don't remember the numbers off hand. ( I think the standard rack is about 3.8 turns) The performance rack is a little quicker and I suspect that may be the one used in the Grand Am. The sunbird, lemans etc. use the same one as a standard cavalier rack.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:02 AM
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There are different ratios and sensitivities of the rack but they are basically the same rack.

I used a 92 grand am with the sport package, works great once you fix the sensivity problem
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:35 PM
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What year ranges do they recommend for a donor rack on your 41? I have a 48 Chrysler that should be about the same width. Can you post any pictures of how you have it set up? Thanks
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:30 AM
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cavaler rack

Somewhere I was pointed at the 88-92 cavalier rack. Basically because it is a center take off unit (inner tie rods come off the rack about 3 inches apart right in the middle) Simple to manufacture a bracket that accepts tie rods that match your lower control arms, and eliminates bump steer. Have seen the same unit on sunbird, lemans, even foreign cars (mitsubishi I think) .
As stated above, there is a standard and sport (performance) version.
I'm working on a submission, with pictures. Almost have it put together. Have some pics, should have taken more, but it may help.
So far, the only complaint is the steering is too light. I'm looking for smaller fittings, as suggested here, and have also heard a pressure reducer helps. Kind of waiting to post until I have it right, just in case the problem is not what we think it is.
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