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Old 04-12-2007, 10:48 PM
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steering

I am still needing input on changing my 1965 Mercury comet ,over to rack and pinion steering . I understand it's a lot of work and there's a lot of things I need to be careful about, but isn't that what Hotrodding is about. I don't want to buy a kit . THANKS PS. I KNOW SOMEONE OUT THERE HAS SOME GOOD IDEAS

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Old 04-13-2007, 01:04 AM
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OK...Here is the low-down. If you want a rack in your car, it is going to be GM...

Your present steering can be modified to turn as quickly (and with the correct turning radius as unlike the rack conversion) by using SHELBY MUST pieces.

I have been GM FREE for many years and do not wish to go back to that lifestyle....

KULTULZ...Recovering Multi-Make Mechanic...

...one day at a time...
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:23 AM
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The rack you use will depend on whether the original is front or rear steer. You need to be sure there is adequate space for the pinion shaft, in most cases there will be a need for a universal steering joint, dont use a rag joint on an angle more than 5 degrees. The rack itself needs to be robust enough to handle the job at hand racks from Nissan Skylines and the like are good prospects. You can rotate the rack to help in this alignment without any problems.
Okay now you need to make mounts up to hold the rack into position, I have found that duplicating the OEM mounts is the best way, lots of racks have cast alloy ends which contain a mount, and freeze fitted steel tubes which can be modified. make sure the driver side pivot is in line with the lower control arm inner pivot then calculate the amount needed to be removed from the length to align the other side rack pivot to the other lower control arm pivot. Most machine shops can shorten a manual rack in a lathe and duplicate the original end fitting method thats why I suggested the Nissan rack before because the ends are a simple female thread. If you can score a rack that has its pivots within half an inch of your ideal distance it is okay to install it as is; but you must stay as close to this dimension as possible. I f the rack is too short or too long across the pivots you WILL have dangerous toe change steer which is what happens with independent front ends as the front rises and falls through its travel and your car will not steer correctly. It sounds daunting at first but a little research in junk yards will usually produce a good rack .
Now you need to make adapters to convert the tie rod ends to ones which will fit your steering arms, usually its just a matter of making a spacer from HT steel with the same thread as the original tie rod end on one end and the same as the rack tie rod on the other end. In most cases you will need to add thread to the rack tie rod. You must use a locking nut on one end of the tie rod adapter at least because the tie rod is free to rotate.
These are just a few things to consider but I hope I have guided you in the right direction.

Cheers from Oz

Rob
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:01 AM
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your manual steering box is 19/1

the Shelby GT350 quick steer arm and idler arm ($150? from any of the Mustang resto parts houses) is about (?) 15/1.....(try that before doing a $XXXX rack swap to prove out all the steering and suspension parts condition?....one hour to install?)

the power steering box* ($300? rebuilt) is 16/1....used in place of the manual box it's "just right" in my opinion for parking/cornering/hwy

*can be from a Falcon/Mustang/Comet

Last edited by red65mustang; 04-13-2007 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:44 PM
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Steering

Thanks Everyone, For The Input On My Steering Swap . You Have Some Good Ideas, I'll Keep You Informed On My Progress.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob (chuck) Berry
The rack you use will depend on whether the original is front or rear steer. You need to be sure there is adequate space for the pinion shaft, in most cases there will be a need for a universal steering joint, dont use a rag joint on an angle more than 5 degrees. The rack itself needs to be robust enough to handle the job at hand racks from Nissan Skylines and the like are good prospects. You can rotate the rack to help in this alignment without any problems.
Okay now you need to make mounts up to hold the rack into position, I have found that duplicating the OEM mounts is the best way, lots of racks have cast alloy ends which contain a mount, and freeze fitted steel tubes which can be modified. make sure the driver side pivot is in line with the lower control arm inner pivot then calculate the amount needed to be removed from the length to align the other side rack pivot to the other lower control arm pivot. Most machine shops can shorten a manual rack in a lathe and duplicate the original end fitting method thats why I suggested the Nissan rack before because the ends are a simple female thread. If you can score a rack that has its pivots within half an inch of your ideal distance it is okay to install it as is; but you must stay as close to this dimension as possible. I f the rack is too short or too long across the pivots you WILL have dangerous toe change steer which is what happens with independent front ends as the front rises and falls through its travel and your car will not steer correctly. It sounds daunting at first but a little research in junk yards will usually produce a good rack .
Now you need to make adapters to convert the tie rod ends to ones which will fit your steering arms, usually its just a matter of making a spacer from HT steel with the same thread as the original tie rod end on one end and the same as the rack tie rod on the other end. In most cases you will need to add thread to the rack tie rod. You must use a locking nut on one end of the tie rod adapter at least because the tie rod is free to rotate.
These are just a few things to consider but I hope I have guided you in the right direction.

Cheers from Oz

Rob
Rob thanks ,I like your idea . The steering is rear steer .Anything you think of that will make this A better swap will be apprecated . I'm collecting racks now. I'm in recycling , so many good parts are being crushed . I have to try to save some ,people say i'm strange, but I love cars
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