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Part 4: Corvair Steering Gear
A staple of hot rods of the 60's and especially Gassers is the use of the Corvair aluminum steering gear. As it comes from the car, it is set up for cross steering (steers the passenger spindle) so it can't be used for the classic parallel drag link common on cars of the era. Fortunately, converting the gear for hot rod use is easier than passing a Congressional wage increase. The two pictures below show what is needed.
(Click photos to enlarge)
Take the gear apart and bore a 7/8" hole in the pot metal worm screw adjusting nut. Tap a new shaft lip seal in this hole. Remove the old shaft seal and put in a 7/8" Welch plug, with some Permatex in the hole in the other end of the gear where the sector shaft used to come out of. Both ends of the unit already have identical bearing races so that isn't an issue. Then, reassemble the gear with the sector shaft coming out of the new hole. Now the gear will sit on the frame just right and the three mounting tabs with threaded bolt holes are perfectly placed.
If you are concerned with the strength of the aluminum gear (recommended for cars less that 3,000 pounds), they also made a cast iron version which is a bit stronger. Now you can see why it was (and is) so popular with the hot rod crowd.
Click here for Part 5: Hemi Ignition Upgrades
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