Cheap Rack-in-pinion conversion

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


  1. '65stanggirl

    '65stanggirl New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I have a '65 2+2 that I just installed the unisteer manual rack and pinion. The install was pretty straight forward. The only thing was that we had to do a tad bit of grinding to get it to bolt on right, but that didn't take but 5 minutes. My problem now is headers.... I REALLY would like to put some tri-y's on but unisteer says they won't fit without modifications, which I'm trying to avoid. Unisteer is said to have used hooker super comps on their built from what I've read. Does anyone have any advice or know about what the best option to go with would be?
  2. chanthemann

    chanthemann New Member

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    Just talk to unisteer. If they say the tri-y headers won't work without modifications, you can bet they are right. However, to know that they must have at least tried them so they should be able to tell you what modifications they are talking about. Getting ANY headers to fit ANY aftermarket r&p is ALWAYS going to be a challenge. You won't really know for sure until you've tried them and saw where they hit to know for sure if there is a workable solution or not. I wasted a good set of long tube Headman headers, tried a set of Hookers, and finally got a set of Sanderson shorty headers to work on my Cleveland. Even at that I had to add an extra u-joint to the steering shaft to get it away from the exhaust. After all that I canned everything and fabricated my currect front steer circle track rack and gained a ton of header clearance. I hope to get all this stuff together before they come get me to take me to the rest home, but I better quit changing my mind so much or I ain't gonna make it! Good luck!
  3. Wildbill3

    Wildbill3 New Member

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    Looks like a nice setup has anyone done one for an earlyr 66 We want to use our 408instead of the current 289 setup..
  4. 69gmachine

    69gmachine Member

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    AMEN!

    How big a deal it is is somewhat subjective, and depends on how the car is used. But it's much more than just a pain parallel parking. The u-turn radius can leave you exposed to oncoming traffic as you have to reverse against the grain when turning around on a road with even 2 lanes each direction. Making a u-turn can be pretty scary when you're blocking traffic. Parking in a crowded parking lot is a headache to say the least, not to mention embarrassing.

    I just went for a test drive yesterday with my short, rear steer drop steering arm Wilwood spindles. The difference is night and day. I parked in a crowded lot between two cars in a single move, I made a u-turn into the middle lane with no problem. I'm lovin' it. Before when I got gas at Wawa or Sheets, I had to plan which pump to use so I could be sure I could get out without having to back up. Now I can pull out like any other car.
  5. Illinois2

    Illinois2 New Member

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    109jb,
    What is the status on your homebrewed rack and pinion? Have not seen an update recently and am very interested in any clearance issues you may have had with the 351W. Thanks,
  6. Fstbk

    Fstbk Member

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    FWIW I went with the New Unisteer model 8001110-01 and I got it from Summit. It was around $775 shipped. Its the center take off rack and I cant see headers having issues but I am still on manifolds for a while.
  7. 69restorod

    69restorod New Member

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    I also have the new Unisteer model 8001110-01 from Summit. It cleared my Flowtech long tube headers just fine. It was not even close to touching anything. The Flowtech header were really tight to the old gearbox before the swap.

    The only problem I have was with the Unisteer support bracket. On my car, I had to trim some metal from the backside of the channel where the lower control arm sets. I also had to wide the holes in the unisteer support bracket for the cam eccentric bolt. I am using an Ididit tilt column. I had to get another u-joint to connect to the Ididit column, but I originally ordered the rack and pinion with the intent of using the stock column (can't remember if there was and option for non-stock column). Once I got the correct upper u-joint, the steering linkage all went together really ease.

    I am still finishing the restoration / build so I haven't driven the car yet. However, there is no play in the steering. You move the steering wheel a millimeter the front wheels move a millimeter. I look forward to driving the car and trying the new steering.
  8. Gud T.B. Blown

    Gud T.B. Blown Member

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    I agree, the Saginaw box is a great starting point. Plus they still use them in Nascar so you can get them upgraded. I had a guy in SoCal rebuild my standard box to a 12:1, Lee Engineering IIRC. What a difference and only cost me $350.

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