Hot Rod Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I am building a very small car, a 61 Morris Minor (English) with a custom chassis. I am using a 2 X 3 back half 4 link kit from Checkered Racing and the front will be a 2 X 3 Pro street front end kit from Checkered Racing as well. My problem is that this car is extremely tiny, the track width is only 46 inches wide. Once I ordered the front frame stub, they called me and told me they couldn't get a rack and pinion from their supplier (Flaming River) that was small enough to fit their parameters. In order for the rack to fit and have the geometry be correct, the pivot points on the rack have to be only 11 3/8 inches apart. That is almost impossible to comprehend as far as size. I've been trying all over the web to try to find someone who could build me a rack that tiny, to no avail. Tried Flaming River, Unisteer, Latest Rage, Empi, Strange Engineering, Appleton and few other I can't remember. I even looked at racks for Can Ams (the 3 wheeled trikes???), racks off of golf carts and racks from UTVs/ATVs. with no real luck. They either wouldn't fit the parameters or the manufacturer wouldn't recommend them for use on a street car.

So, I need a rack that is LHD (left hand drive), front steer, 32 inches overall in length, the pivot points need to be 11 3/8 inches apart and the mounting points (I was told) are 3 3/8 inches apart (???). I may have gotten that last number wrong, not sure. Any ideas of builders/suppliers of custom length racks or ideas of how to circumvent my rack and pinion length problem.

Have considered using a rack from 95 Eagle Vision / 95 Dodge Intrepid and custom fabbing my own bracket to space the tie rods for it to get my 11 3/8 pivot points, if I cannot find a bolt on solution. Pictured below is an Intrepid rack used in project that popped up in Google images under Intrepid rack and pinion.
616975
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
616 Posts
That Eagle Vision rack install looks like kind-of an afterthought, judging by the fabrication, but seems like a path to go for your project. Probably only power-assisted units available? Once you're good with the scheme of using a bracket such as shown, or something attached to the ends of a conventional rack and bridging across, you can put the pivots wherever you want but the rack will have to go rearward to have the pivots in the right place "as seen from above", generally back a bit from the line between the pivots at the spindles for front-steer and right in the space the crossmember would normally be. Likely the frame will have to be designed around whatever steering you come up with, not the other way 'round, and then you have to fit the oil pan/damper around/above/behind that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I've got the stock rack for this car, but since the original car had 3" wide wheels on it (4 bolt), I cannot use it. I am replacing the entire front frame stub with one based off of a Mustang II setup and the smallest width wheels that I would run with that would be 5" wide. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a rack small enough yet.

Stock track width was 50", with using the 5" wide wheels, I shrunk that down to 46". Then you include the length of the A-arms and the width of the SBF engine and it's cradle size and it ends up giving me the geometry of trying to find a rack with inner pivot points that are only 11 3/8" inches apart. On the stock Morris rack, they are 27" apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
One option:

If that is to wide here is another option.

Look at the pictures. It can be flipped around to be used on the passenger side. You might need to modify your spindles. But it should work.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One option:

If that is to wide here is another option.

Look at the pictures. It can be flipped around to be used on the passenger side. You might need to modify your spindles. But it should work.

Not sure I want to go that route. The average golf cart weighs less than 1100 lbs. I don't know if parts designed for something low speed and half the weight of my car would be wise to use on a full size, street driven car. Just my opinion though. I appreciate you trying to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
The MII rack pictures I posted are not from my car. That is a modified unit that was cut and welded by the owner (I believe). The inner Tie Rod Pivots are 20" apart. Call Fatman to discuss what they can do for you. There are other people that shorten MII racks for race cars. Google to find them. As you probably know, with front wheels pointing straight ahead, the pivots of the lower control arms and inner tie rod pivots must line up to avoid bump steer. If you go crazy narrow, how is the engine going to fit between the upper control arm pivots? I narrowed my MII set up 8 3/8" and fitting an LS engine with accessories was a challenge. See pictures below of my car. I added 1 1/2" spacers to move the water pump (water pump spacers are from Ebay) and crank pulley (spacers I made and modified crank Serp pulley) forward to allow AC compressor and Alternator to mount in front of the cylinder heads instead of below them or outside of them. This provided room between upper control arm pivots for the engine. I made the AC and Alternator mounting brackets and added the idler bracket and pulley to clear the serpentine belt from the radiator hose and thermostat housing, which I also made. The idler also provides more serp belt wrap around the AC compressor and crank pulleys. The AC compressor is a Sanden SD7 which is the smallest unit I could find. I now have 4000 miles on the car and all works great. The car is the '48 Austin A40 in my intro picture which is about the same size as your Morris Minor. Big drive trains in small cars are very challenging but the driving results are amazing.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Seems like you could get something meant for a Sprite or Midget?
I've already checked into that. They don't recommend their rack and pinions for street use. Sprint and midget racks are not sealed units and require teardown and cleaning after races, from what I was told. Not something I would want to do on a regular basis on a street driven car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
I've already checked into that. They don't recommend their rack and pinions for street use. Sprint and midget racks are not sealed units and require teardown and cleaning after races, from what I was told. Not something I would want to do on a regular basis on a street driven car.
M.G. Midget / Austin Healey Sprite / Mini Cooper

British Victoria....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
If you use a vega box mounted on the passenger side you can have a very short link going to the drivers spindle then a tie bar between the drivers and passengers spindles.
If you keep the vega box low having your links near flat that will allow for very short links to be used. Using misalignment heims will allow for greater suspension movment. But if flat enough you may be able to use traditional joints.

No it is not a rack. But it will work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you use a vega box mounted on the passenger side you can have a very short link going to the drivers spindle then a tie bar between the drivers and passengers spindles.
If you keep the vega box low having your links near flat that will allow for very short links to be used. Using misalignment heims will allow for greater suspension movment. But if flat enough you may be able to use traditional joints.

No it is not a rack. But it will work.
I know about the cross steer setup. I have a VW Beetle box on my '26 T hot rod that I am using as a cross steer. Hoping that I can maybe go with the Eagle Vision rack and just fabricate my own bracket/bar to mount the tie rods to.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top