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Old 11-27-2012, 01:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY Rack and Pinion '65

Another Rack and Pinion debacle... I mean project, hooray!

I'm doing a I6-351w swap into my '65, and since I needed to buy new V8 steering, I figured this would be a good time to try getting the rack and pinion setup to work. I got a setup from the j/y out of a 1992 Pontiac GrandAm, it has roughly 6" of travel and the inner tie rods pivot at 25.5". From what I've found searching around and some quickie measurements on the car, the stock steering pivots at 25.75-26" and has 7" of travel. So, this would probably be a decent swap I'm thinking.

I ran across a random post on an engineering forum where a guy said his Volvo 940 steering rack had 7" of travel. Does anyone have one of these in their driveway to check out?? I may have to go back to the j/y and check before I start bolting in the GrandAm one.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is a good starter thread:
Rack&pinion

And a second thread with pictures of mounting brackets (into a 69/70).
1969 Mustang Supersite Web Forums - View Single Post - My Ugly Floorpan.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wonder how I missed that first link, I think I must've read 50 threads on putting in rnp on this forum alone! Must've been #51 . On the 69stang site, did he use the center take off rack? I'm not a member there, and it drives me nuts when I have to sign up for another forum just to see a few pictures. Are these worth it?

I completely tore down my rack last night and I think I might be able to squeeze another 0.25" of travel out of it by turning down the internal stops, but no more. I probably should get a rebuild kit for it while I'm at it, at least seals, as all the bushings feel good. It wasn't leaking yet, but after 80k, and 20yrs, it would probably be cheap insurance while it's apart.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowoctupus View Post
On the 69stang site, did he use the center take off rack?
He uses a J-rack, as well. I don't recall off hand what his donor vehicle was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowoctupus View Post
I'm not a member there, and it drives me nuts when I have to sign up for another forum just to see a few pictures. Are these worth it?
I would not have provided the link, if I did not think them useful.

Here is another link to his work (non-69stang). I will also attach the 69stang pics to this thread.

You can also look up the Steeroids rack and get the installation instructions for it. They use an unmodified J-rack.

Here is one last thread (an Aeroform rack install, which is identical to the Steeroids rack).

Chuck

PS: The attached photos were stolen from Silver_69_Coupe on the 1969stang.com forum.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rack-1.jpg (54.9 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg rack-2.jpg (57.4 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg rack-3.jpg (74.9 KB, 132 views)
File Type: jpg rack-4.jpg (69.8 KB, 127 views)
File Type: jpg rack-5.jpg (60.9 KB, 134 views)
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1969 Mustang Fastback (work in progress)
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Last edited by MustangChuck; 11-27-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I too used a J-rack, with 2late's guidance.. I bought a new (reman?) rack though. It was a lot of work.. but.... I haven't tried it yet, except on little test jaunts up and down a street. The hardest part is actually the PS hookup! If you're going manual, no probs.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For me, it will be a power rack (from a 94 Sunfire). I also plan to install hydroboost from a 96 Mustang GT, so power steering is a must. ;-)
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My problem was hooking up my Fox PS pump to the J body. I couldn't do it with connectors. Finally I had to buy a hose for a J-body, and a Fox hose, and silver solder the connector together.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah, those are good pictures. Thanks for thieving them for me. I was also considering putting in a hydrobooster, I missed getting one off the 96 GT I stripped for the engine (in my Z).
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyK View Post
My problem was hooking up my Fox PS pump to the J body. I couldn't do it with connectors. Finally I had to buy a hose for a J-body, and a Fox hose, and silver solder the connector together.
I ended up building my own hoses out of AN fittings. Super easy and only cost about $100 for both the high pressure feed and low pressure return. The part numbers are in my link that MustangChuck posted. Aeroform rack and pinion kit install & review.

Yellowoctupus, if you go to speeddirect.com, they have the Steeroids/Aeroform brackets for sale. You could easily piece together a kit for well under what Steeroids and Aeroform sells them for. Check out my link, it's got part numbers listed for all the tie-rod and hose parts.

Last edited by wilit; 11-28-2012 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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wilit, I just saw on Speeddirect's installation 'Troubleshooting Guide' that their rack travel is identical to mine at 6.1"! Although of course I want to limit the increase in turning radius, somehow I do feel better knowing that the aftermarket racks are no better. Btw, nice write up post, I'll most likely follow your lead on the hose selection. Looks like that worked well. Gotta check my big box of hoses first though, I know I've got some high pressure braided stuff in there from some other project....

I'm planning on running the stock 1970 Ranchero tie rod ends I have and adpating the rack's threads/ length to make it work, but I'm surprised at how many of these kits are put together with heim joints. Seeing how little play there needs to be in a standard tie rod end, I would think the heim joints would have too much play almost upon installation, or very soon afterwords.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilit View Post
I ended up building my own hoses out of AN fittings. Super easy and only cost about $100 for both the high pressure feed and low pressure return. The part numbers are in my link that MustangChuck posted. Aeroform rack and pinion kit install & review.
I'll check it out, but I tried that (Did all this in the same hydraulic store), but we couldnt' make anything match up to the 5.0 pump because it seems to have some strange proprietary fitting for the high pressure line.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You guys shopping these Cavalier/J-car racks might want to keep in mind they come in "quick" and regular ratios. When going power, getting the quicker one is no-brainer. There is no particular RPO designation (option code) for these but they are standard with particular suspension packages. Parts stores sell them rebuilt for about $120. All you have to do is pick a year and model and say "not FE1". If junkyard shopping then you want to be looking for Sunbird/Sunfire GT's, Cavalier Z24's, stuff like that. If you find the RPO sticker (often in the trunk on the spare tire cover board) you do't want to see FE1. A few different models use these racks and have different codes. Any of these will do- FE2 (firm suspension), FE3 (sport), F41 (firm AND sport), or FE7 (Heavy duty).
Incidentally, the pressure fitting on Ford pumps unscrews. Somewhere in the early '80's Ford went from a standard thread to metric. An early fitting might be easier to match aftermarket hose fittings to. Maybe. I've had to swap these when putting late pumps into earlier cars. I've also had to take two hoses to the local hydraulic shop and have them cut an end off each. They then crimp them onto a new hose of whatever length I like.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good info on the J Car Rack P/N's GypsyR.

Volvo rack is a no go, it's front steer. Doing a front steer conversion (flipping the spindles Left/Right does not look like a good solution with the stock shock towers, they're very much in the way for the universals and shaft).

I've got my stock steering to the point where I have to cut the shaft to get it out...and I'm not really looking forward to doing that. It looks like you could MAYBE sneak it out without the engine OR frame mounts attached. Maybe. I have the column out, that was pretty easy, but just hesitant about cutting that shaft. Definitely a one way street, once it's cut, there's no going back!!

By the way, with a rear sump oil pan, it looks like I can put the rack between the bellhousing and the oil pan, there's a 3" gap between the two. It does angle the tie rods slightly, so I'll have to look into what that does to my steering. Doesn't look too severe, but of course any angle there, is additional angle added to the equation (angles in two planes are *somewhat* additive).
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Don't cut the shaft. If you can get the car up on jack stands fully extended, you can wiggle it out. Especially if you remove all the other steering components first.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, that's what I had read (about wiggling it out). The car is up on stands, all steering linkages, etc have been removed, however I will need to cut the shaft at some point to hook up my universal joints, etc for the rnp setup at some point anyways.....

Once the box is out, can the shaft be removed then? I was wondering if I could disassemble the shaft from the box on my frame rail. I have no exhaust or Z bar, so there's plenty of room to work on it, just....not to get it out somehow.
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