Randall rack install...

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by dbfarr, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. And Canada isn't the 51st State?

    But seriously, I guess what I should have said was North America (Not USA).
    I'm all about spreading the wealth...on our continent.

    Anyway, The rack install went well. Had to do a little tweeking to get the full turning radius possible. I'm within 1/8" of hitting the stops on both sides now. It is so smooth and tight. Doing a bunch of other work and was only able to do a couple of figure 8's out in front of the house.
    Here is a thread with a couple of pictures of the brackets and a shot of the rack from the front.

    As a side note, Randy is looking to incorporate a Z-bar bracket into the drivers side mounting bracket. That would be really clean and strong. Much better than my "hack" job.

  2. Turning Radius

    I wish that I could drive a before & after. I am really curious how bad the turning radius issue is... Do you need to turn the wheel more to turn a corner?
  3. Steering wheel turns less

    Lock to lock is just under 3 turns. So you would actually turn the wheel less. This also makes the steering "quicker", hence MDjays post about being too quick for his liking.

    After spending a bunch of time to tweek things, I'm within 1/8" of hitting the steering stops each way. Took some work to get it all balanced, but I haven't lost much at all that I could tell from what little I've driven it. I just pulled out the rear end for the 8.8 swap, so I won't be able to drive it for a while.
    When I get it all done, I plan to test the turning radius. I'll post the results, and hopefully someone will post the stock numbers. I forgot to check before I tore down the car.
  4. One year later

    Ok, so things got sticky during the original install. At the time this was our only car and taking pictures and writing were just options that got lost in the shuffle.

    So here we are a year later, the rack has been used daily and is still functioning quite well. Nonetheless, as you can see from the photos, the oil pan needed to be dropped. So, some photos regarding how the system works over the long term seemed appropriate.

    This is from the passenger side under the car. The inner tie rod boots didn't hold up so well, I am looking to replace them soon.


    Here is the original passenger side view of the steering.

    passold.jpg .

    Here are the mounting points in comparison


    Here are the driver side mounts. Note that if you hit a curb, you get to put a new inner tie rod on. Anyone who owns this rack and wants to let me know how they installed their inners would recieve my gratitude. I ended up at the machine shop, the guy used a lathe to align them. 66Runt, anyone??


    And one thing I thought I'd mention, if you have welded your header ram extension, you get to cut it off...


    So, I have to reinstall the rack soon, or after the new pan goes in. If you have specific requests for angles/information let me know and I'll do what I can.


    Attached Files:

  5. Pros:
    Ease of installation(?).

    It looks heavy.
    Also appears to have poor ground clearance.
    What's the deal with the bent outers?
  6. edbert, the bent adjusting sleeves are supposed to help with bumpsteer i believe. they may work well but i'm with you i don't exactly like that method however, he offers more than one centerlink option and you can actually use a modified stock centerlink. not sure how heavy the randalls kit but i can tell you that a tcp power rack is no lightweight, i have one sitting in my garage that i got an unbelieveable deal on on ebay and it's pretty damn heavy actually. i think i'd still rather use the randall's rack kit.
  7. My kit is a little different

    in regards to the tie rod sleeves mine are straight. This did necessitate beveling the trailing edge of the cross brace starting about 3.5" in from the end on each side. Otherwise the tie rods would have hit at full lock with the suspension fully extended. Like coming out of a tight corner hard on the gas (think auto-x). Not cutting back the cross brace would have limited the turning radius in this condition.

    As to replacing the inner tie rod, I'm not sure what your question is. I tapped the inner tie rod mounting nut to accept an allen set screw. For me to replace the inner tie rod end, all I'd need to do is remove the set screw. Unscrew the inner tie rod mount nut, then screw the tie rod out of the sleeve. The sleeve remains lock nutted to the outer tie rod.

    Whose brand are your tie rods? Mine are Moog and the rubber is still in really nice shape. Then again, I've only had about 6 months and 1,500 sunny dry miles to abuse the car :p

    For Edbert, The cross brace sits above the height of a road race pan, and as it sits between the front wheels is not an issue over bumps driveways, etc. As to weight. Not sure how it compares to the TCP, but it does replace the stock cross member. All up I'd guess it's somewhere between even money and 5 lbs heavier as compared to stock.
    The only *real* advantage I can see for TCP is the steering is not as quick. According to Psydwaze there is slightly more than 3 turns lock to lock. Randall's Rack is about 45 degrees short of 3 turns. Makes a very quick steering car.

  8. My experiences

    By the way, my application is a 68 cougar.

    Ease of installation(?).

    It looks heavy.
    Also appears to have poor ground clearance.
    What's the deal with the bent outers?


    It is cheaper,...

    In my experience, the rack is much easier to install as compared to the original system; especially with headers. Installing the old steering gear is not much fun with headers, twisting the gear around and about while trying to get it past the headers is dificult. The Randall's rack bolts in at six places, two at the crossmember mounts, two at the idler arm mounts, and two at the steering gear mounts. It is adjustable if your frame, read: mine, is a little tweaked.

    The feel of the steering is excellent, I would recomend going with Randy's pump or using a gm pump and finding/fabricating mounts as the stock pump makes the steering way too easy. The rack travels smoothly and presents no bump steer by itself.


    I think the ship wieght of the entire system was 55 pounds. Seems about the same as the old system. The rack itself is not heavy, it is the steel crossmember/mounting that seems to create wieght.

    My old crossmember had a number of hits on it from ground collisions. The rack has no scratches from ground collisions whatsoever, it appears that it clears better.

    The bent outers sleeves are included for 67/68 kits in order for the tie rod assembly to clear the rack's crossmember. This is a point I've had some trouble with. Alignment tech's seem to fail to understand that the sleeve needs to be level and pointed towards the rear of the car. Also, the fact that the inner tie rods have to be adjusted instead of the sleeves seems to freak these guys out a little. Unfortunately, shop labor goes for much higher rates out here, so alignments can either get costly or be a pain to get them done right. Finally, if you hit a curb, one of your inners will bend. Period. It doesn't matter which brand, Moog, autozone cheapie, whatever, you bought. I bent a Moog, and then a cheapie, all the same. Of course, it's not to say that the Moogs don't last longer or hold up better, just that they bend just as easily.

    My problem is that the inner tie rod ends use a very fine thread. I can't seem to get them seated without stripping threads. I am not referring to the threads which attach to the sleeves, but those which attach to the centerlink.

    The rubber boots came apart. Of course, I installed them differently than I was advised to... I pulled the entire inner portion over the innder sleeve of the inner tie rod instead of cinching them down with zip ties. Also, the passenger side got chewed up from the retaining bolt on the starter. I turned the bolt around and the problem was resolved.

    Anybody want different angles for the pics? If so, which?
  9. I'd much rather have the inner tie rod bend. It's cheap

    Yeah, the threads are fine. I keep a real light touch, and make sure I get at least one full easy turn by hand. The other thing that can throw you off is not having the tie rod and nut in a straight line.
    You hit the nail on the head for why the boots tore too. That was an easy fix. :nice:
    I am going back and welding up the whole bracket assembly though. Once installed there's no need to have all the brackets bolt together anymore. I will also fill and chamfer the two mounting holes that use the stock chamfered bolts. At that point I will tie it to the LCA mounts. This will really strengthen the whole front frame structure, for very little additional weight. The whole thing will still bolt in, and be one solid structure. (IMO) this is a huge advantage over the TCP setup.
    I didn't do that originally because I wasn't sure if my car was straight. Now that I've had a 4 wheel alignment check, I'm good to go.

  10. You mentioned oil pan, did you have an oil pan clearance issues ( I have a 428 with the cobra Tee pan)
  11. Good to hear about the clearance, must have been an optical illusion on the photograph (which is why I said "appears to have"). Carry on guys, good work!
  12. Just thought I'd chime in. I installed Randalls Rack in my 69 Cougar (351W, hooker comp headers, Canton 9 quart road race pan) about a month ago. Install was super easy (no clearance issues even with the big pan). Car drives like a new car...finally. I am using Randalls pump and like the feel of the steering. I did loose 3 ft of turning radius like Randall informed me that I would (not a real big deal in my opinion). I've made a couple 100 mile road trips and some blasts down the quarter mile and I'm very happy. Next some autocossing! I'll gladly answer any questions or send some pics if needed.
  13. pics would be awesome
  14. Oil pan

    No, there are no clearance issues. However, I have a stock pan and a 302 block. Still, it seems that there are no problems with the windsors.

    My original oil pan suffers from thread insert failure at the plug. Besides, I am in the middle of replacing the timing chain, and everthing else in front of it, so lowering the oil pan to ensure proper installation of the on piece oil pan gasket is not a bad idea; especially since the cover took the old one piece, an entire year old..., with it.
  15. Here are some pics of my install.

    Attached Files:

  16. Finally added a page on the web site to cover the rack install

    and all the mods to the front suspension.
    It's Page 6 of the web site in my signature. I might try and take a couple more shots, as I've got the car up on ramps and stands in the rear, so you can see the relationships at ride height.

    69Merc, Looks sweet with that Canton oil pan.
  17. 66Runt, nice website and car! I need to update mine with new engine and randalls rack install.
    Yeah, I was concerned about clearance issues with the Canton pan (drain plug in back even!), but Randall was very cool in helping me measure dimensions before even buying the rack. And if it didnt fit he would gladly take it back and refund me. More than happy with the rack and the customer service.


  18. there are great people in Mustangs

    Thanks for the compliments. Guys like Randy, and John (AKA Opentracker) and Jay from Mustang depot have been really helpful. And there is a wealth of knowledgable folks and info on this forum. This is probably the funest build I've done. All the rest were way too formal and almost snobish, where the emphasis was on form. Seems like classic Mustang folk are much more relaxed, willing to share and just out to have fun.
    Ronstang is (going?) to be working on a rack that he is pretty sure will not degrade turning radius. I think that would be really great. If I ever get the engine and roll bar in, I'll probably revisit this rack. I really like the cradle on this kit. Welded up with attachments to the LCA points and you'd have one seriously solid structure. I think it would be an excellent base to mount any rack.
    From working with Randy, I think he'd be open to looking at alternatives for future upgrades as well. When I sent him pictures of the install with the clutch linkage, he figured out a better way and is looking to incorporate that into the bracket for folks buying his rack in the future.
    I thought that was pretty smart on his part.
  19. Good pics at the website. Have you been happy with the operation of the Classic Auto Air system as far as gotting cold etc.?