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Old 06-18-2006, 02:57 PM
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willys has rack and pinion

Several weeks ago I posted a question about rack & pinion installation for My 1950 Willys Jeepster. I received a lot of opinion, but very few facts. After much research and being fortunate to work with a mechanical engineer with over 30 years experience, the rack is installed. This engineer is also a long time SCCA sports car driver and part owner and crew chief for a blacktop modified car. We discussed bump steer and Ackerman at length. The installation all but eliminated bump steer and doesn't alter any factory steering geometry. The Willys tie-rods were cut off and socket welded to a Saturn rack(tie-rods were removed from rack for welding) and mounting brackets were fabricated. The rack was loosely put in the car and the engine and trans were installed to compress the suspension. The brackets were tack welded in the same plane as the steering arms, the engine was removed and the rack was finished welded. The rack and pinion is light years ahead of the old gear box. I would advise anyone with good mechanical skills to do a conversion if they want to. It is important that you read and understand bump steer geometry before you attempt the conversion. If you car is old like mine, it will may have a lot of bump steer from the factory. Attached are two photos of the process.


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Old 06-20-2006, 12:06 AM
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Cool post- good job.
Lots of people ask about putting a rack and pinion under their car but most are discouraged because of the difficulty in getting the right parts and installing them in the right place.

How did you go about selecting the rack? Did you have to open alot of boxes and measure or did you have access to a list with the inner rod end center dimensions of various racks?

Was the positioning of the rack determined by mocking up the unit and checking bumpsteer with a gauge or did you and your engineer calculate it somehow?

Thanks for putting this up,
mikey
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:46 AM
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junk yard parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
Cool post- good job.
Lots of people ask about putting a rack and pinion under their car but most are discouraged because of the difficulty in getting the right parts and installing them in the right place.

How did you go about selecting the rack? Did you have to open alot of boxes and measure or did you have access to a list with the inner rod end center dimensions of various racks?

Was the positioning of the rack determined by mocking up the unit and checking bumpsteer with a gauge or did you and your engineer calculate it somehow?

Thanks for putting this up,
mikey
Thanks, Mikey
I went to pick-a-part and measured rear steer racks until I found one the proper length. To reduce or eliminate bump steer the tie-rods must be the same length as the a-arms. This ensures the tie-rod and the A-arm travel in the same arc as the wheels move up and down. The total cost to include new Willys tie-rod ends was less than $50. To position the rack you must load the suspension and put the rack in the same plane as the steering arms. Do your home work and the results are great. I loaded and unloaded the suspension until the toe in/out did not change, that translates as no bump steer. Some people try to make this difficult, but you don't need a lot of equipment or have to be a rocket scientist to do it. The conversion took two weekends to complete. I see the photo of the finished project did not link?
take care, Dave
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:02 AM
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That's awesome.
I wonder if there is a list somewhere that has the rack lengths so a guy doesn't have to lay in the dirt under a bunch of cars to find the one he needs. (That's just me being lazy)
later, mikey
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 PM
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hi what year saturn did you use ?
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jeepfan1974 View Post
hi what year saturn did you use ?
This post is 7 years old and the OP hasn't posted since 2009...

Russ
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