Cheap Rack-in-pinion conversion

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by sabersimon, May 13, 2009.


  1. unrealmach1

    unrealmach1 New Member

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    What about the Taurus rack conversion? I started to build one and I have the cradle almost finished. I have the rack and the tie rods, but I decided to go Unisteer. under $1200 for the kit with a new pump and well under$1000 for manual unisteer. Maval(Unisteer) has been the best company I have ever purchased from. Great customer service. I purchased the manual rack before the power rack came out and they took is back for full credit towards a power rack after a year. Great Tech support too.
     
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  2. htwheelz67

    htwheelz67 Member

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    I've been looking at RNP but in my 67 vert I have a 408 stroker, rmp drop engine mounts and a canton oil pan so I'm sure none will bolt in, I've been looking at the ABS power brakes quick ratio power steering box, its based on a toyota corona/cressida power steering box, gets rid of the ram and control valve and has like a 13-14-1 ratio.

    Anyone use one?
     
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  3. 109jb

    109jb New Member

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    The randall's rack IS NOT THE SAME AS A J-CAR RACK. The attachment for the centerlink to the rack is on the back side of the rack on the randall's unit. On a J-car rack, the attachment is on the front side. BIG DIFFERENCE.
     
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  4. 109jb

    109jb New Member

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    From what I have been able to research, the Taurus rack will work, but you will lose a good amount of turning radius, much more than the J-car rack. Also, the distance between the two inner tie-rod ends on the Taurus rack is too far apart and will result in worse bump steer.
     
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  5. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    well actually you are right AND wrong. the Randalls rack is in fact a J-car rack, however they are specially modified J-car racks with the tie rod attachment point relocated from the front of the rack to the backside, otherwise it is a basic off the shelf J-car rack. i believe the unisteer rack uses basically the same modifications to their J-car rack too.
     
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  6. 109jb

    109jb New Member

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    The randall's rack is based on a J-car rack yes, but as soon as it is modified it is no longer a J-car rack and an off the shelf J-car rack won't work as a replacement. The rack body has a long narrow window in it under the bellows where the attachment of the centerlink travels. In order to attach the centerlink to the back side a similar window needs to be cut into the body on the back side. If you were to cut this window in a stock J-car rack you would significantly weaken the body, therefore you would also have to weld a cover on the original window to maintain the strength. Another option would be to make a custom body from a casting like the original. Either way, a J-car rack IS NOT a direct replacement for the randall's unit. Far from it.
     
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  7. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    i never said an off the shelf J-car rack was a direct replacement, however knowing what all is involved in modifying the J-car rack it wouldn't take too much to make an off the shelf replacement work just fine, yes it would cost a little more but still totally possible.

    also, there are CV joint/rack and pinion/steering gear rebuilders in most good sized cities and even large towns that could rebuild the Randalls unit so long as the housing itself is still in good shape and they are usually cheaper than buying a rebuilt unit from the local parts store or at least don't cost much if any more anyway.
     
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  8. 5280/4

    5280/4 New Member

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    i designed a rack for my falcon after being disappointed with the TCP i put in my drag car, 65 mustang. I lost a little turning radius and i spent a lot. I believe its a great quality rack, best that you can buy and bolt in. I acutally gained a little weight as well. so that was disappointing.

    but there is no OEM rack out there that will have the same travel as a stock mustang.

    i decided to go with a Appleton or Woodward rack. Both are aluminum housings and any ratio is available. with a little bit of searching the racks can be found for around $400 (manual). that is cheap for an awesome rack. The actual racks on OEM are very small in comparison to one of these or woodwards/appleton. THe first TCP rack was a woodward rack and pinion. Now TCP just uses the Pinion and servo.

    For my falcon, its going to be a handling car. I already custom designed and fabricated my suspension. i went with a manual stlye rack, here is a pic.
     

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  9. dbfarr

    dbfarr Member

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    I'm not pulling any sharp u turns anymore, that's for sure....

    so the loss in turning radius is slightly annoying, but not crippling.

    I just have to plan for parking a little better.

    It's just not a perfect world :shrug:
     
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  10. dbfarr

    dbfarr Member

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    I imagine, by the time I have a second project car, and am willing to build a cradle from 3/8 steel, machine a center link, build the offset block, and so on... modifying an R&p housing won't be too much more of a stretch.

    Then again, by that time, 4 - 5 years, I imagine there will be a better solution.

    Not that I am offended, I should have made myself clearer.

    :D
     
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  11. chanthemann

    chanthemann New Member

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    You might want to re-think your design a bit since Appleton and Woodward circle track racks are front steer and your design looks like you plan to use the rack in a rear steer setup, like your original falcon suspension. It might work I guess, but when you turn your sterring wheel to the right, your car will go to the left! Hey, that might be fun. DO IT!
     
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  12. rhyno9

    rhyno9 Founding Member

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    Woodward offers a front mount right hand drive rack that can flipped over for left hand drive rear steer.
     
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  13. 5280/4

    5280/4 New Member

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    thanks rhino9 at least someone knows whats available out there.

    chanthemann,

    I am new also, i see thats your first post, welcome. just wanted to let you know, I have already talked with engineers at these companies. they have a rack that will work for my set-up. I appreciate your concern.
     
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  14. prn

    prn New Member

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    rack and pinion

    how well did your set up work and were there any other problems? Do you have any more pictures?
     
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  15. jamison42166

    jamison42166 Member

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    Imagine the idiot who trys to steal that car lol
     
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  16. 1992MustangGT

    1992MustangGT Member

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    I'm interested in converting my 67 & 68 Cougars to rack and pinion steering and I've been doing alot of researching and reading threads like these trying to get an idea of which rack to use and so on. I read alot about guys using brand X style r&p setups on their Fords and even having to fabricate them to mount and function properly. My question is why doesn't anyone use a stock Ford rack when converting their classic Ford's suspension? What's wrong with using a 5.0 Mustang rack or a Mustang II rack or a number of different Ford racks? The rack in my 92 Mustang GT seems to function just fine without any issues. Why not use a factory Ford rack that you can get replacement parts for at your local parts store? Are they inferior to the Brand X racks? If so, what are the differences between the Fords and all the other Brand X racks? Someone educate me, please....
     
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  17. Bullitt

    Bullitt Packin' Heat Founding Member

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    It's a problem of rear-steer vs front-steer. If you used a fox-body rack the wheels would turn opposite of what you wanted.

    That and rack travel play into it.
     
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  18. mroed

    mroed New Member

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  19. mroed

    mroed New Member

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  20. chanthemann

    chanthemann New Member

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    This is a copy of the Aeroform r&p (1967-68 Mustang Rack & Pinion Eleanor Steering with Chrome Column) and they even call themselves something close with "Aerosport". I don’t know if that is typo or what but I would find out before I slung any money their way. It could be the same kit, a copy, or just as good a kit if the pics are a true representation of both and it looks like that is a reputable seller. As far as a j-car based r&p goes, it seems to look as good as any and certainly cheaper than about all. I had a similar setup on my 68GT350 except I made my own billet aluminum brackets and billet aluminum inner tie rod mount instead of sheet metal ones. I took if off (will sell that stuff cheap) in favor of a front steer circle track rack (Appleton) with late model spindles (NOT like the cockamamy setup factory5 racing uses with their Cobra kit car). The taller spindles give me a better camber curve, a sealed wheel bearing, better brakes, and enough turning radius because of shorter steering arms, not to mention the advantages of a front steer rack anyway. I also do not have to deal with the instability of the center tie rod mount on the j-car rack setup. The front steer rack also gives me more header clearance for my 351c which is very limited with the j-car setup. The turning radius will ALWAYS be reduced with ANY j-rac rack and stock spindles, I don't care what anyone advertises. This is really not as big of a deal as most people make out of it tho, unless you are parallel parking your classic Mustang out on the streets everyday. CCR
     
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