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Old 08-03-2013, 12:58 PM
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Rack and Pinion steering for a 66 Corvair suspension

I have a 66 Corvair front suspension installed under a 31 Chevy and need some help with the rack and pinion installation. I realize the Corvair front end is old school but this is a relatively low cost build. I have a Pinto r/p that I narrowed with the pivots the same distance apart as the lower control arm inner pivot points. Mounting wasn't a problem but bump steer is terrible! I have the short "quick" steering arms on it. Any suggestions/help would be appreciated. If this combination won't work, are there other front ends that can be adapted such as the Pacer? Mustang II will not work because the upper control arms mount above the frame. Thanks in advance for your input. Ron

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Old 08-03-2013, 09:50 PM
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I once had a Corvair front suspension under my deuce that had rack 'n pinion steering. What I used, and it worked with no bump steer, was a rack from a Triumph Spitfire (where do you find one now?). I did this in the '70's and so the rack was probably from those years. I also quickened the steering by purchasing Eelco shortened steering arms. These were about 1" smaller in length that the stock ones and gave me quicker steering. Hope this helps somewhat.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for your reply 27TallT. I realize the 70's were a long time ago, but do you remember roughly how wide the rack was? I have heard the pivot points on the rack should be the same as the lower control arms so they move in the same vertical plane. Obviously that is not the case or the rack needs to be moved closer/further in relationship to the suspension. Thanks again. Ron
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:03 PM
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Its been so long ago that I did the installation. However, the pivot points have to line up or you get the bump steer. If I recall correctly, the rack was almost a perfect match for the pivot points. It was mounted to the Corvair cross member. What I used was the half of a muffler clamp (not the u-bolt) welded to the cross member and the rack sat nicely into it. From there the ends of the rack went slightly forward to mate with the arms.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:22 AM
kso kso is offline
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Is the rack mounted at the right height? Meaning that as viewed from the front, is the line between the inner and outer tie rod pivots parallel with the line between the a-arm inner pivot and (outer) ball-joint pivot c/l? Factories don't necessarily make them dead-parallel (they may wish the outer wheel in a corner to steer out slightly when hitting a bump for stability) but it should be close.

Secondly, if the rack is placed correctly, are you positive about the bump steer? You pretty-much have to have the spring out and be running the suspension up-and-down with some-type gauge set up against the wheel to be sure it's that and not some other issue.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:31 AM
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KSO. I mounted the rack so the joints on it were parallel with the tie rod ends that go into the steering arms. Also, mounted it so looking from the top, it was straight out to the arms from the rack. The info that 27tallT just posted lead me to believe that I need to move the rack back closer to the crossmember with the tie rods going more forward to the steering arms. Your question about bump steer or something else, the movement is really severe when I jack the front up. About three or more inches!!! It is quite obvious that I have it mounted in the wrong place. I will shoot some pictures to show what is going on. Thanks for the input. Ron
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:49 AM
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27TallT. If I understand correctly, you mounted your rack much closer to the crossmember than what I have. If the clamp was welded directly to the crossmember, mine is about three inches too far forward. The centerline of my rack is 4 1/4" in front of the crossmember. I will post some pictures to try and give more information on what I am doing. Thanks. Ron
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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Here are the pictures I talked about.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:21 PM
kso kso is offline
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That rack positioning in relationship to the inner a-arm pivots (where the bolt heads are at) looks similar to what it would be on a Mustang II but the Mustang's spindle has the steering arm up much higher than with the Corvair spindle. You gotta bring that rack down to where it's centerline is the same distance from the inner a-arm pivots that the spindle's tie rod ball joint is from the a-arm ball joint, as seen from the front (i.e., about an inch as it looks).

Basically as it is, in the last pic at ride-height, draw a line between where the actual pivot on the outer a-arm ball joint would be, and the inner a-arm pivot (the bolt head). Do the same for the tie rod. As it is they are not parallel and there's going to be bump-steer.

Sucks as you'll need to do some re-fabbing on the mount and steering shaft clearance area, but it would be worth the trouble.

Last edited by kso; 08-07-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:54 PM
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Thanks kso. That's the kind of input I need. I don't mind changing the mounts, etc. These were the first try for placement anyway since I figured they would need to be moved. I will lower them and see how it comes out. Thanks again. Ron
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:58 PM
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You might be able to retaper the steering arms from the top to get the pivot points to line up better.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:47 PM
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Thanks enjenjo. I will look at how it lines up by inserting the tierod end from the top even though it won't be all the way down, I may be able to see if tapering the hole from the top might work. I get nervous about changing the taper angle or retapering from the other side where I am not positive it will work and I will screw up the arms. This sure gives me something to look at. Thanks. Ron
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:42 PM
kso kso is offline
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Putting the tie rods in from the top would sure work...having only half a tight-fit taper (which would happen by reversing it) should be fine as long as the nut's cranked down. But, I think that would get too much movement, probably over 2". People talk about bending steering arms...I've never done it...but bending them up an inch or so (with the tie-rods otherwise as-is) would be another way.

At any rate, that's just another option along w/ moving the rack.

BTW I've got a Pinto rack w/ Camaro spindles in a Mopar pro-street car which is dialed-in and works excellent so it all can be done.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:00 PM
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You might look for a tie rod end with a larger taper too.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:27 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. I am tied up on another race car project right now so it will probably be a while longer before I can get back to the front end. I am anxious to try your suggestions and see if I can get it closer. Sure would like to make it work. Ron
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