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  • Rack and Pinion conversion

    Ive seen a Number of threads on this and the ones linked in the Technical Recource Page but Iím donít see where anyone lists any specific pat number of a rack and steering colum connection parts they used. I see a mention about using a K car rack and a Taurus, but no details. Does anybody have details?

    Iím also wondering about the pump, Iíve read where the OEM pump will not have enough pressure, but can I use it and if steering is to hard replace it? I have the newer style one piece pump, like in rye mustang, does it also have too little pressure? Is there a replacement pump tgat works well?

    I welcome all input on this subject.

  • #2
    Boris, I got your email and I tried to reply but your email address kept failing. Make sure your email address is correct.

    CLICK HERE for answers to your rack and pinion questions.

    I did NOT use any K-car parts in mine although I would imagine it's possible. Go through the linked thread. I explained my conversion in detail. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

    Comment


    • #3
      I am working on this conversion among many other things. It is a big project, but if you get you take time and think it through nothing is really that difficult. One thing that I did was use some small pieces of scrap and tack weld them between the engine crossmember and tie rods so I could keep the steering geometry as close as possible.
      To me the hardest part is holding the new rack up so you can mock up brackets. The brackets simple L shaped, I welded mine out of metal I had laying around but could have had a Lot bent and only had to drill holes for the mount.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        I see a few months have passed since your last post. I am planning on doing the same thing (rack and pinion) so would be interested to see if you have made progress since May.


        Thanks, Mike

        Comment


        • #5
          So far I have remade the mount brackets to shift the rack over so the tire did not hit it and fabricated a mount for the new power steering pump.
          Right now I am waiting for the new steering column to show up so I can get everything connected.

          Comment


          • #6
            Were you the guy who had adopted the TBird steering wheel to the aftermarket column? I have been looking at those too, but with column shifter and key on dash.

            Which wheel was hitting the (Cavalier?) rack? What motor do you have? Got any pics of current version of pieces fabricated so far?

            Thanks, Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              Another Corsica rack

              Back in 2000 I put a Corsica rack in my wife's 60 hardtop. We had the car since 1993 and the steering was a mess. (Leaks, slop). I saw that rack with the movable center and no integral tierods while walking thru my favorite junkyard and thot it looked interesting. I removed everything from the column to center link on the 60 and "just started". Derbird mentioned having trouble holding up the rack to mock-up the mounts. So did I. I finally wired (you know, bailing wire) it up to anything I could find on the firewall or the engine. I put pieces of wood wherever I wanted space from other parts, like the oil pan or Bell housing cover. Then I was able to make cardboard mount patterns up to the steering box and idler arm holes. The rack sat right where the center link was. Welding the mounts was the easy part.
              Tie Rods: I made a 8 inch long 1x1 solid bar with four holes in it to hook up the original tbitd tie rods. Two center holes to match the moving member in the rack and the two outer holes at Ford original width were tapered holes, to take the tie rods.

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              • #8
                continued

                The column was a real treat. I cut off the steering box and used the shaft. I made an end cap that held a bearing. I made a floor mount to support the column. Noticing that there was going to be a pretty sharp angle needed to reach the rack, I also shortened the column (and shift tube, etc.) to allow for a lesser angle. This brought the shift lever at the bottom of the column inside the car. So an aftermarket shift cable runs outside from down there. Mike S.

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                • #9
                  Corsica rack

                  Just to finish up: I used two Borgensen joints and a connecting shaft to hook up the column to the rack. I had to re-route my left side exhaust header pipe. You may not need to, cuz my pipes are for a 61-63 Bird, (don't ask me why) which slope differently and have a short crossover farther back. I used my original pump, which groaned when you grind the tires at a standstill, but drove quiet. I had the pressure hose made locally. I probanly left something out, so ask anything. I might even remember what else i went thru. Hope this gives you some idea of how one guy did a rack. Mike S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bygrace View Post
                    Just to finish up: I used two Borgensen joints and a connecting shaft to hook up the column to the rack. I had to re-route my left side exhaust header pipe. You may not need to, cuz my pipes are for a 61-63 Bird, (don't ask me why) which slope differently and have a short crossover farther back. I used my original pump, which groaned when you grind the tires at a standstill, but drove quiet. I had the pressure hose made locally. I probanly left something out, so ask anything. I might even remember what else i went thru. Hope this gives you some idea of how one guy did a rack. Mike S.
                    I am going to do this with the engine and trans out for the most part and using a 460, with 429 PI exhaust manifolds - if they fit.

                    Those have a rear dump both sides so I don't anticipate any clearance issue by the gearbox area that usually is the tight spot.
                    Could run into one at upper A arms though...

                    If you are using the older FE pump and it mostly works, wonder if a 71-73 Lincoln 460 pump would have a little more pressure and maybe save me the work of making brackets for a more modern pump..

                    Maybe that pump doesn't put out any more than the 1960 era pumps though, IDK.. Somebody here probably does know though..

                    I noticed the u-joint angles were pretty tight on some pics I have seen and that Borgeson tells you not to go past 30 degrees, but you can probably get by with a little more than that.

                    Was thinking that if I cut my column real close to the firewall it might help that issue, but you went even further back than I was thinking. Know what length your steering column ended up being?

                    Have been looking at aftermarket columns too and they are available in different lengths, with a column shifter and with key on dash, where I prefer it.

                    Switching to a cable shift is another idea that might help with clearance issues too. Never would have thought of having it inside the car. Creative..

                    Know roughly what year Corsica, so I can compare the racks?

                    Do you have pics of any of the work or parts you completed?

                    Thanks, Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      pump, u- joints, etc

                      Right, the newer pumps that are built to run a rack would be a better match. I just didn't know that at the time, and once it was together, you know... Making a pump mount can't be that hard, I've done it and a/c and alternators on other cars. Just find one old enuf to be driven by a v- belt, right?
                      And yeah, 30 degrees is the limit on the u-joints. I didn't cut the actual END off the column, I cut some of the middle out, in order to keep the shift mechanism and end bearing intact. I just scribed a line lengthwise to keep the alignment true, and cut both tubes. I rolled the scrap smaller to join them for welding at the scribed lines. Another piece of scrap became the cup to cradle the column in the floor mount, which is secured with a muffler clamp. The end of the column just clears the firewall. The whole idea was to get two joints inside 30 degrees, as you say. I didn't want to go to the extra joints and supports needed if you have more than two. It barely made it. Afterward, I realized I could have cut it even shorter to reduce the angle. So what if the shaft between joints came clear inside the car? Duh. It would take a more elaborate floor mount. Anyway, I got by with two joints. Borgensen makes the metric joint to fit the rack. The 3/4 double-D fits the column once you grind the flats. Or maybe it was a single-D...?

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                      • #12
                        forgot about your questions

                        Oh, the rack. I'll find the rack. It came in a couple of ratios I recall. It's shown in all kinds of articles now on the web. It was actually in a little Buick when I found it in a yard. ( abt a 93 skylark?) Corsica is what the articles call the rack.
                        I took some pix back then. I might have yet. I'll look.
                        It would concern me doing this without an engine - Clearances, etc. Although I guess if you used the vacated center link location you'd be OK. This rack may solve some of your exh chearance problems, what with the motor. That big motor will be hairy. My wife just tools around in this one. Its a repl motor that has '63 casting numbers and i think is a 390. I should measure. Bygrace is her vanity plate so shes not pushing it. Besides, shes alnost my age and I'm 78. Lotsa luck.

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                        • #13
                          rack, pictures, etc.

                          Just Google "1994 Corsica steering rack". The Auto Zone #6448 & 6449 comes up plus numerous others. Some have good pictures of the rack. I found my pix of mounts, clamps, and the tie rod mount, but I can't post pix here. I keep intending to pay up. I can email from this phone if you want.
                          Some folks show how to make new tie rods, with Heim joints and all, maybe you want to do that to not have to make the center bar I did to take the original tie rods.
                          Note: I rotated the rack upwards toward the column to make the two-joint connection work.
                          You might want to visit a junk yard. You could pick up the core you'll need. It will serve as your mock-up dummy. And you can nab the center bolts, clamps and stuff. This rack mounts on the firewall of these cars, with the tie rods coming into the engine compartment thru the inner fenders. So it's stand- up work.
                          78 and still getting under. (Just did 2 mufflers)
                          Mike S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bygrace View Post
                            Just Google "1994 Corsica steering rack". The Auto Zone #6448 & 6449 comes up plus numerous others. Some have good pictures of the rack. I found my pix of mounts, clamps, and the tie rod mount, but I can't post pix here. I keep intending to pay up. I can email from this phone if you want.
                            Some folks show how to make new tie rods, with Heim joints and all, maybe you want to do that to not have to make the center bar I did to take the original tie rods.
                            Note: I rotated the rack upwards toward the column to make the two-joint connection work.
                            You might want to visit a junk yard. You could pick up the core you'll need. It will serve as your mock-up dummy. And you can nab the center bolts, clamps and stuff. This rack mounts on the firewall of these cars, with the tie rods coming into the engine compartment thru the inner fenders. So it's stand- up work.
                            78 and still getting under. (Just did 2 mufflers)
                            Mike S.
                            Hope I am still around and can install a muffler at age 78...

                            Good idea to go to U-Pull and get bolts and straps instead of hunting for them.

                            I compared 22137 Cardone Corsica rack and 22109 Cardone Cavalier rack. Almost the same, but not quite.

                            Differences are:

                            Input shaft diameter on Corsica rack is .66" Cavalier .79"
                            Rack length on Corsica rack is 33.50" and Cavalier rack 33.25"
                            Turns to lock is 2.38 on Corsica rack and 2.31 on Cavalier rack

                            So, I'd say the Cavalier rack strong point is the thicker input shaft, the Corsica rack has a very slight edge on turns to lock for a heavy car.

                            Length difference of .25" probably doesn't matter when building brackets anyway..

                            Yep, I gathered that rack had to be tilted to get U joint connections closer in line, but haven't figured out exactly how the tilt is maintained on pinion end. Bracket must have that built in..

                            Rubber bushing on other end of rack is round, so should have no problem pivoting there, but pinion end rubber bushing wants a flat surface that lines up with flat side of that rubber bushing to keep rack in correct pivot plane it appears..

                            Yeah, if you can email me any pics that would be helpful..

                            Thanks, Mike

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Certainly, there are a HOST of rack gears that will work. Don't get one too long. The '83 Cav rack gear is under 33" long and works well on our classic Fords. Again, I'm sure there are others that fit as well.

                              The idea of using center tie rod mounts is to use long tie rods, to come as close to stock geometry as possible and to keep bump-steer at a minimum. Rack gears with inner tie rods will end up being shorter which is terrible for our long control arm suspension but are ok for a small cars like a '84 Escort.

                              The 'center plate' allows your heim joints to be separated comfortably and hole placement can be as high or low as you want. My rack gear is completely above my #2 crossmember for maximum mechanical protection.

                              For frame mounting holes, I used the steering box and idler arm for patterns. Transfer punches work well or clamp your new steel to the box and use the holes as drill bushings. My brackets were simple 'L' shaped with no spacers or offsets.

                              Rack gears are CHEAP. Rockauto wants $64.79 + shipping (minus discount and no core) for the A-1 CARDONE 2210, 1983 rack 'with Firm Ride-Handling Suspension F41; with Splined Input Shaft'.

                              I made a short angle iron bracket and mounted it to the clutch's "Z-bracket" hole. Then, a clearance hole in my bracket to mount the first heim joint on the top of the frame for the steering shaft's first angle. If you don't see the factory hole at first, look again. It's there.

                              Old and weak power steering pumps ain't gunna make it. I happened to have a pump from a 1990 Mustang (with integral reservoir) that I used on my Y-Block. A simple 'C' bracket wraps around the pump, so I could drill mounting holes wherever needed. For the high pressure hose, my auto parts guy went through his stock and came up with a hose that was nearly perfect fit. The pump side has a steel tube that I tweaked but the AN fittings were right and so was the length. There are tons of car models out there with power steering pumps and hoses of every kind. No need to custom make one. The return hose is under no pressure so simple hose and clamps work well for that. - Dave
                              My latest project:
                              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                              --Lee Iacocca

                              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                              Comment

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