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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2007, 09:01 PM
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Need power rack & pinion for '57 Belair

This may have been posted already, but I couldn't find it.

Other than paying $500-700 out of magazines for a power rack & pinion kit, is there a good 'donor' vehicle I could swipe the power rack from to where it will work on my Belair?
I know I will need to do some custom bracketry, of course. Will a Mustang II fit? Firebird? Camaro? Vette? etc?

Help!

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Old 11-21-2007, 09:02 AM
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A couple of thoughts from the snowy hills of Colorado. I'm still searching for the right rack for my project.

Pick a rack from a car that is representative of the weight of your car.

Racks came in a variety of designs..... yes I know Paris, that is obvious. I only said that as a lead-in to my explanation of what to look for.

Racks that have the pinion mounted above the rack are designed to fit behind the axle. Racks with the pinion under the rack are designed to fit in front of the axle. Look at the ads, for an example, Heidt's independent front ends.

The next thing I look for is the a rack that has the pinion to rack intersection angle at as close to 90 degrees as I can find. In my case, a Track T, having that angle close to 90 degrees means the steering shaft won't be sticking way out the left side of the hood side panel.

Next, I look at the overall length of the unit. In your case this may not be critical. In my case, I have to get the thing in between my quarter elliptic front springs.

I'm not paying too much attention to rod end sizes - that is to say taper and threads for now as I can make adapters or re-thread inner tie rods. I do pay attention to the inner rod diameter to try find a rack that has sufficient material to re-thread.

Next, I look at the general design and layout of the power lines to see if the will interfere with my cross member or something I've overlooked. I've become quite experienced at overlooking things.

The lads down at NAPA gave me their old NAPA Chassis Parts Catalog which has been a help in reseaching this matter.

I have a CTO (Center Take-Off) rack from a GM car that I like because it's different, ugly and the CTO design means the use of rather stout and longer inner tie rods that look to be more easily adaptable to my steering arms.

Ahh.......... as a matter of fact Paris, I am still looking, but have another rack on the way from an ebay purchase.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:51 AM
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ummmm..... ok.
Thank you for your reply. Very, VERY informative.
I was just wondering if anyone with a Tri-5 has done this before & what did they use. That would save me alot of time from crawling under dozens of cars at salvage yards.
BTW- Who's Paris?? You refer to them several times.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:07 PM
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Paris is my imaginary friend who would be much like talking to some super-dippy blond who would point out the most obvious and mundane comments I might make. It might be like talking to Paris Hilton about her previous experience in the design of space craft propulsion systems.
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:52 PM
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I've seen where guys use the 85-92 Buick Electra steering gear.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dugg
Paris is my imaginary friend who would be much like talking to some super-dippy blond who would point out the most obvious and mundane comments I might make. It might be like talking to Paris Hilton about her previous experience in the design of space craft propulsion systems.
You don't have a patent on using Paris, do you? I think I would like to have her tagging along with me sometimes, specially at work. My boss won't let me carry a hammer no mo. Dan
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:28 PM
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Hey Dan,

Like my flight instructor told me, "Fly the big ones".

Go for it........ and the real Paris is so cute. Well, they're all cute when they're young.

Mind you, be somewhat careful with the young ones 'cause some of'em have that 727 gene...... you know, when they turn 27, their butt blows out like the escape slides on a 727.

Oops, a tad off topic here, sorry.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:29 PM
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re: Need power rack & pinion for '57 Belair

Check out the 88 - 92 Cavalier power R&P. (cross references to Sunbird, Lemans, Gran prix, many others) It's a center take off unit, rear steer, easily adaptable to many rides. Around $20 bucks in the salvage yards. Rebuilt replacements are around $100. There is also a wiki that covers many basic issues with power R&P swaps.
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