Steering rack

87Fox351W

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Dec 27, 2019
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Hey,
Bought a 87 Fox drag car to go racing with my kid before college. Has factory power steering rack. Loose and Leaky. I dont want the PS pump on belt drive anymore, and I dont need to to turn much either. Seems a manual rack would be best. Looking for opinions and tech advice. Maybe some thread links to this subject as Im sure Im not the first. I will continue to read through the site also.

Thanks
 
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96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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Swap from ps to manual is pretty straightforward. One rack out, one rack in. I like the flaming river racks. Had 3 of them.
 

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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You don’t need to turn much? What the hell does that mean? Do I need to turn more than you do?

A manual rack comes in two ratios: The standard replacement 20:1 rack that’s been in every manual steering car since there was a fox. And the 15:1 sport rack.

One takes bull balls to steer in the Walmart parking lot,..the other takes Elephant balls.

Its not about driving that’s so bad when considering a manual rack, it’s parking. I had the standard one on the red car, and with a 255/17 front tire, you’d swear you’re gonna shear the three little bolts that keep the steering wheel centered right the fck off.

Keep your power steering if you have a street car with street tires. A drag car with front skinnies isnt so bad, but a fat tire on a fully weighted front end is a bitch.
 
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96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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Definitely get the 20:1 rack if you’re going that route. I had 245s on the front In a sn95 and it was definitely a 2 handed job maneuvering in parking lots. This was rare though as the car wasn’t something I would drive to the store very often. With the skinnies on the fox now it’s a breeze turning, even when not moving.
 

Rcdgl

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Feb 19, 2018
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Your best bet is a Flaming River manual rack and their intermediate steering shaft. I have their manual rack in my 82, will bet the shaft soon.

With skinnies, I don't notice any problem turning. My 66 Chevelle also has manual steering and normal size 15 in tires.

The hardest part is getting a pully to hold up the serpentine belt without the ac and ps pump on that side.....
 

Rdub6

So while I wait to figure out my rear end issues
Dec 29, 2017
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There’s a reason the old cars with manual racks had steering wheels two feet in diameter...... leverage!!
I learned the hard way putting a “cool looking” Grant wheel on my ‘65. I was young then, so I didn’t mind. Approaching 50, I’m done manhandling a steering wheel to park the car!
 

TOOLOW91

If you're the village idiot what's that make me?
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No reason to remove it . I’d fix what’s there and make your life and driving the car easier . If you insist on it , the maximum MOTORSPORTS steering shaft is light years better then the flaming river with all the set screws
 

96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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No reason to remove it . I’d fix what’s there and make your life and driving the car easier . If you insist on it , the maximum MOTORSPORTS steering shaft is light years better then the flaming river with all the set screws
Unfortunately the maximum shaft doesn’t work with the newer flaming river racks. Would be nice if they redesigned it to work.
 

TOOLOW91

If you're the village idiot what's that make me?
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Unfortunately the maximum shaft doesn’t work with the newer flaming river racks. Would be nice if they redesigned it to work.
It does . I just ordered one for a car I have to finish .

672F109C-FB33-4F96-8520-7543EA8F41C3.png
 
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junkyardwarrior

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If you like junkyarding like I do, find a Fox body whether it be a Fairmont, Zephyr, or Mustang from the late 70's or early 80's, grab the manual rack AND shaft out of it. Might have to put a new rag joint on it but that's easy enough to do (parts stores have a kit for it in the help aisle). They are cheap and they work. I don't care for a "solid" steering shaft on a drag race car, the steering gets kind of "twitchy"; so you have to play with the alignment settings to remove some of it. A lot of those old fox body cars that didn't have power steering also didn't have power brakes, so if you find one, take the master cylinder off and then remove the adapter plate on the firewall. Even if you don't use it, you can sell it. Our problem out here is that finding ANY fox body in a junkyard is getting TOUGH. Local yard is a few miles from me (or about 3/4 mile as a crow flies), I check them out almost daily and they have a '93 calypso hatch that had a 2.3; and it is (and has been for over 5 years) nothing but BARE (and I mean bare/stripped) sheet metal and nothing else. Doors, glass, trim....everything is gone, and I'm surprised that the top and floors aren't gone yet. Oh, there's also an '82 GT and an 81 out there, the GT is complete except front bumper assembly (hit hard in the rear end) and the 81 is mostly a shell with tons of rust. And a FOX capri...I need to run over there & grab a bunch of stuff off of the crapi for a friend of mine. maybe new year's day.

A power rack can be modified to work just fine but it involves disassembly of the entire rack assembly which is not that much fun. I have not done it in years.
 

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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This morning I'm reminded that it's my plan to convert my car over to EPS using a Prius, or Yaris donor to do it with.

That mandates that I first concert my hydraulic PS rack over to manual.

I'm looking at a 20:1 stock replacement from Summit to provide the rack..( unisteer) about 220.00.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Let's make this easy. Years ago when I was racing the car I just had to swap to a complete Flaming River manual setup. Nothing wrong with it but like everyone says....tough to steer in parking lots and such. Went back to power for a few years. Got tired of all the leaky hoses. Did some actual research. I then ordered the complete Unisteer kit (mentioned above) from Summit. This has the solid steering shaft and all needed parts in one kit. My Flaming River setup was with "bicycle tires," as we called them, on the front. It still was tough. The Unisteer kit, which is still on the car right now, is with my normal wheels and tires. 245/45-17. At times I can't even tell it's not power. Very few times do I have to work at turning it. I drive with one hand most all the time. You can't spin it with one finger of course. The other thing after owning both brands is the Unisteer kit is made much better. I also went to the junk yard back then and bought all the parts to convert to electric steering. All those parts are still in the box. After driving it I saw no need to fool with it.
There ya go. Both kits...build quality....skinny fronts vs fat fronts....parking lot driving. The only thing left is doing it!
Oh yeah....it's my only car.
 

87Fox351W

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Thanks for all the input. I will continue the research. Just in this thread I have learned of 2 alternatives to the FR.Thanks again.
 

87Fox351W

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I see that unisteer has a manual rack for the 87 mustang that has a quick ratio model with a tall pinion. Does this help for header clearance and shaft geometry? Any body use this one?