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Old 07-29-2014, 03:58 PM
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Narrow Rack and Pinion?

I know this has been covered on various forums and articles, but thought I would ask for any current advise / experience.

What I am working on is a 1955 Chevy with stock a-arms / suspension, but with rear steer rack and pinion steering from a 1986 Buick Century. I am trying to get the geometry correct as whoever put the steering in before did it incorrectly by just cutting the tie rods etc. I am looking for something I can just install in as I do not think narrowing a Buick rack is the best option. Any advice other than buying a rack already narrowed / customized for several hundred dollars?

Thanks!!

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Old 07-29-2014, 04:45 PM
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You could try a Cavalier rack as those are used on 55 chev rack and pinion setups but then it is your labor or your money to get what you need. the cavalier rack should be at the local pick-a-part..

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Old 07-29-2014, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for the idea. I am actually thinking about going back to an original style setup also, but with a power steering box to get back to the original geometry. Just a thought.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:55 PM
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Going back to original may be the thing to do as that may be a lot easier and with good tight components the handling will be fine. Now if you are going auto cross or something then spending lots of cash makes sense..

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Old 07-30-2014, 03:53 PM
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This is just a cruiser / driver and not a show car or track car. Just want it to be safe and correct. The more I research the more I am leaning towards going back to OEM style steering, but biggest question is how will that work with non OEM style spindles.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:38 PM
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I vote for the stock style set-up. I ALSO vote for stock (or two inch dropped) style spindles. There are many kits out there for the tri-fives to add power steering and disc brakes and the brake kits may also include new spindles.
I amazes me how many "builders" cut up a car to "make it better" without having a clue as to what kind of mess they are making.
Take all of the mis-matched junk off the car that doesn't belong and make it into a driver again.
My 2 cents
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:08 PM
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. What makes you think the geometry isn't correct?
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzLOL View Post
. What makes you think the geometry isn't correct?
Your question should be "What makes you KNOW the geometry isn't correct".
A well designed suspension incorporates many key points into the design to make it viable. When the OP said the tierods on the '86 rack were simply cut to make them work that is a HUGE red flag pointing to incorrect inner tierod points and a steering situation with massive amounts of bumpsteer.
The issue here is tossing on a rack that the stock steering and suspension geometry were not designed around. Upper and lower control arm pivots and inner and outer tierod points are ALL very much interelated and just throwing components together does not work.
Many people think that a "rack and pinion" steering system is the quintessential mother of all steering systems when it is not. If the suspension is not initially designed around a rack and pinion any kind of kit or cobbled together install is NEVER going to work as well as the stock steering design. The whole package needs to be considered and the suspension design should actually start with the rack.
Mark
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:42 AM
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The guys at Woodward Steering know their stuff. Although this is for short track modifieds it is well worth the read.

http://www.woodwardsteering.com/imag...df%2064-79.pdf
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for posting that. Longacre Racing also has a good article on bumpsteer and what is involved in designing a steering sytem to eliminate it. I always point to this article if anyone is interested in learning about this stuff.
Technical Articles Tech - Back to Basics
Mark
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:06 AM
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More good stuff. Now it's up to the OP to put all this info to good use!
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:41 PM
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Yep. Thanks for all the help! I really think going back to OEM steering is the way to go, but just do not want to pay the cash to do so. At the same time, you cannot put a price on safety.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:50 AM
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Safety is the main concern yes, but, you also have to be able to comfortably drive the car or it is not worth owning. Here is a link to a current thread on trifive.com. I think you can get everything you need at a reasonable price here.
Looking for manual steering linkage - TriFive.com, 1955 Chevy 1956 chevy 1957 Chevy Forum , Talk about your 55 chevy 56 chevy 57 chevy - Belair , 210, 150 sedans , Nomads and Trucks, Research, Free Tech Advice
Mark
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engine24355 View Post
Yep. Thanks for all the help! I really think going back to OEM steering is the way to go, but just do not want to pay the cash to do so. At the same time, you cannot put a price on safety.
Pick up a copy of Tune to Win, by Carroll Smith. He was the crew chief for Ford Motor Company when they went to LeMans and whipped Ferrari and he can line it all out for you, how independent front suspension and steering works. Understanding his mind helped me to build an IFS from scratch. Most fun part was the "paper dolls" how-to in the back of the book. It really comes clear to you when you can see the whole mess working up and down with paper parts. The guy who installed the rack in your car qualifies for this statement: You don't know what you don't know.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:46 PM
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