Ok, so the rack&pinions suck... What are we gonna do about it?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by DarkBuddha, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Screw the racks. :notnice: I emailed Detroit Speed and Engineering about their box (see link above) and whether it will work or if they're doing any development for vintage Mustangs. I'll post what I hear back.
  2. the detroit speed box is a gm copy? if it is that would make it for a front steer system.
    could you just flip the pitman arm around?
  3. Oh never fear, at this point I am in agreement with you. Unless someone can design one w/o hideous bumpsteer, increase turning radius and header friendly at a respectable price, then new steering box, here I come.

  4. yes
  5. Nope, won't work, when you turn left, the tires will turn right. I thought I found an answer to this situation. The steering box from a late 70's jeep is a intergal power unit that fits in the early Mustang with just a small amount of modification, new mounting holes, and using a column with a rag joint. But it is front steer, when I hooked it up the wheels turned opposite of the steering wheel. Kinda tough to drive that way!
  6. mr fix it,now that i think about it,that makes perfect sense.lol...i wonder if there is a worm gear in the box that could be rotated 180 degrees to give the desired direction?
  7. I have never understood why so much effort is put into the front when you actually use the rear to get the early models around the corners. Nothing more than "rear steer" involved here.

    OK, let the arguments begin as I am here for nothing more than to get you thinking about low budget performance and having fun with these early models. Mine has a stock front end except for the Granada swap.

    NASA top ranking early model in 2003.



  8. historic,what i want is a street car with power steering that has at least some "road feel".my car now steers like a forklift...
  9. historic, what we are trying to do in this post is discuss different options for early model power steering without using the original "hang-on" bendix style power steering and without resorting to a rack and pinion, basically looking for an integral PS gearbox that can be installed without cutting into the shock towers like you would have to do if you were to use a 71-73 gearbox.

    not all GM boxes are front steer and depending on where the box is mounted on the original vehicle you can sometimes turn the pitman arm around.
  10. Historic, I can completely respect your desire to do stuff on the cheap and have a good time, but you've got to be absolutely unbelieveably ****ing nuts to think that "rear steer" on the streets is a good idea. Your narrow view of "performance" is limited to what happens on a pretty and smooth track. You may run your car hard at the track, but there the conditions are controlled and consistent (even if some drivers aren't). On the street, the road is hard on the car and the conditions are completely uncontrolled and always inconsistent. What works on the track often doesn't translate well to the streets. Just something to consider.
  11. Back on topic....

    How much fabrication or cutting is involved with installing a 71-73 Mustang/Corvette integral power box? Are we talking a 5 pound sledge to "massage" things a bit, or are we talking a plasma cutter and major welding?

    The Corvette boxes are 12:1 ratio and available in Summit, Jegs etc for reasonable cost.
  12. we're talking plasma cutter and welding, and even then there is a very good chance you won't get it to work because it will probably hit the lower control arm, and that wouldn't be good
  13. Well, that sucks! I guess I knew that would be the case since no one is using those types of boxes. :notnice:

    Oh well, I guess I will have to settle for the best manual system I can get. I don't want the problems associated with the stock, leaky, balky, pain-in-the-you-know-what type power steering.
  14. OK Buddha, we will keep the thread going.

    Who here believes that street performance is not a direct result of what takes place at the tracK? Power steering, no power steering, radial, no radial, rear sway bars, no rear sway bars, etc.

    These things are not Porsche's, you do not have to worry about "oversteer", you do need to worry about "understeer". In order to get these things to perform whether it be on the street, in an emergency or at the track the rear has to be made to perform. It has nothing to do with spending money up front.



    (Yes, that is HistoricMustang in the white one at Road Atlanta.)

    Attached Files:

  15. Looks like a good time to kick in an off the wall idea. I (and some others) tracked down a rumor of a shop in New Zealand that fitted a power box out of something called a "Sigma" (IIRC) into a classic Mustang. A Google search will turn up evidence of this. One guy emailed them about it and they replied that it was a big pain in the butt to do and we pretty much ought to forget about it. Plus the donor vehicle is one that was never sold in the US.
    This made me think, if the Sigma box is out there, surely there is something else. I had in mind about a 1978 Dodge Challenger/Sapporo. Little boxes, and rear steer. Unfortunately it seems power steering was a fairly rare option on these cars and the junkyards around here hardly have any of these cars at all. I've yet to see one with power though they do exist.
    What I did find was a 1985 Mercedes 300D. The box mounts in the same place as in a Mustang in almost the identical way. Even the rest of the linkage looked quite familiar. Though the one I examined was power, it was surprisingly small. Whether small enough that a V8 header could squeeze by, I couldn't really say though. It appears a bit "fatter" than the Mustang's manual box. I spun the wheel around and found it had 3 turns lock-to-lock. Ratio? Who knows, the 300D is a medium size Benz, maybe it's not too bad like you'd expect in a larger car such as a 450.
    And that's as far as I got. I've since been distracted by a bunch of other stuff. I've never driven a 300D so for all I know it might steer like a pig. The pitman arm might be impossible to change, and who knows what other problems there may be. It may be utterly impractical and a waste of time, but then again...
    If someone would care to look further into such a thing, by all means go ahead. (And of course report back any findings) :rolleyes:
  16. gypsyR, you are correct about the "sigma" being the same as the sapporro/challenger cars and i have actually seen one with power steering and i actually i know the guy who owns it, but i haven't seen him in a couple of years i think he finally got his degree and moved, but i can tell you with some certainty (although not 100%) that the mitsubishi mighty max/dodge d-50 uses the same power steering gearbox. and i think the dodge conquest/mitsubishi starion is the same as well so that should help the junkyarding some. interesting idea about the benz, but i swore off benz's for life when i was in high school because they were such a pain in the ass to work on and that was what the majority of the cars we worked on was, because our shop teacher used to be a benz mechanic and had a lot of clients that still wanted him to work on their cars so he made a deal with them and the school that we would work on some of the cars and the customers only had to pay for parts. if you were a benz owner how would that sound to you? needless to say we had at least 3 or 4 a week that needed something done. i'll never a touch another one as long as i live especially since the last one i did was my neighbors 280D that had a cracked oil pan, i replaced the oil pan for her and had to take a bath in gasoline and trans fluid to get all the diesel crap off of me and then she broke it again within 2 weeks and locked up the motor so guess who got to pull the motor out of the car and tear it down? another gasoline and trans fluid bath for me. but i there was one positive thing i got from that experience, i now know how to build a skid plate for my stang so i don't crack another oil pan on it (that was actually my 70 cougar, but it was the motor out of the stang that i did that too.) so have fun with the benz box and let us know how it works out, but i ain't using one. :rolleyes:

    edit: i can't spell and can't from a sentence for crap tonight
  17. I contacted that guy last year and got the same info... In fact, here is the text of the email he sent me:


    Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Its the middle of summer down here so have been away on holiday.

    Anyway, regarding this Mustang Steering system. This system is a total Fabrication!!! the Sigma Steering box is out of a mid 80's Right Hand Drive Mitsubishi,"Not sold it the US" these cars are get old down here and hard to find. The ratio is the same as Mustang, 16:1 ratio, but been a more modern *** Powersteering box the "Feel" and "Response" is alot better than the old Mustang system. I have used this steering conversion in our "Classic" racing Mustangs only and not for "On Road Use" as there is too much liability!! For me to do this conversion i need the complete car an also need to remove the engine!! "abit difficult with you been in the USA" and Yes, i have had lots off interest from the USA, a complete drive in drive out conversion is around $3000USD. If you have any further questions please get back to me.

    PS, Im at the Portland Swap Meet in April.


    Dale Mathers
    Coastline Automotive
    Mustang/Nissan Race Car Fabrication
    Spares and Repairs
    42D Koromiko Street
    New Zealand
    Ph: (07) 578-8852
    Mobile: (027) 4949-342
    Fax (07) 578-4999
    [email protected]

  18. Interesting... one of the first restomod R&P swaps that was offered for sale was the one designed by Danny Bahn. As far as I know, he still uses the Dodge/Mitsu rack - if anyone knows different, please correct me.

    IIRC, Danny used to work for Kauffman in California before going out on his own. Years ago, when I saw the first magazine article about the conversion, I e-mailed Kaufmann to inquire about availability. In response, I got a fax of a crude crossmember diagram and some R&P source info.
    I've probably still got that fax around here, somewhere.
  19. i remember kaufman products.i used to have a catalog from them.they had the first cable clutch system that i'd ever seen.i tried ordering one about 10 years ago and they quit making them or selling them.

    does bahn's rack work ok?