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Started front end rebuild
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Started front end rebuild Reply with quote

Dad and I got the front end apart on the Nova today. It was basically in horroble shape. The passenger side control arm bushings didn't look bad, but the drivers side (which are covered up by the supercharger) had basically squeezed the rubber out of one side of the rear one on the upper arm. The idler arm had some play in it also. The tie rod ends were o.k. The upper ball joints were o.k., the lower ball joint weren't loose yet, but they would pivot really easy so they were about gone too I'm sure. Here are a couple of before pics of the rack and pinion conversion, maybe by next weekend, I'll have some after. The first picture is of a brake upgrade I did about 6 months ago and it was fantastic. It is a rotor and pad kit from SSBC. It goes for around $220. I added the braided lines ($60). Initial cold stopping power is similiar to the factory disc setup I had, but once speeds get higher, they have much more bite after they build heat for a second or so. Well worth the price. Clay




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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you going to have any issues with steering shaft to header clearance ? restomod had to modify his headers to install his rack in a similar configuration. cant wait for the after pics.
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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm kind of wondering the same thing myself. Just doing a quick eyeball before I took everything apart, it looks like it might be close. We'll see. Clay
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a few pictures of the reassembly. I think I'm going to order the steering shaft because I think it must have 3 joints with some sort of center support. It looks like too much of an angle to do with the standard 2 joint setup. We'll see - I'll order it next week maybe and hopefully have time to wrap this project up for now. Clay




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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got around to ordering the steering shaft and finishing this thing up. It is a 3 joint set up with a center support. However, after driving it, I am not impressed. Even with 3 joints and proper phasing of the joints, there is still a notchiness in the wheel when turning. It's just too much angle still. Another thing I absolutely hate is the loss of turning sharpness. Turning out of a driveway, you can use full lock fairly easily - that sucks. At full lock, it leaves the arms on the spindles almost an inch off of the stops on the lower control arms. Rack is centered, it just doesn't have enough travel. Steering is quick, but too stiff. It is just 3 turns lock to lock. I'm going to call whoever I have to (Unisteer or Jegs) and send this crap back and finish rebuilding the factory manual stuff. For $300 I could put up with a quirk or two, but for what this stuff cost ($472 for rack + $272 for shaft), I expected better. Clay
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can not recall what board I was on at the time (I think Team Camaro) when David Rehr corrected a comment I made about another person who had asked about the advantages of rack and pinion steering. I had mentioned the only advantage was rapid response with good road feel; he stated I was wrong and that the only reason the race cars he uses employ rack and pinion was to save weight, otherwise they are not as good as the factory steering boxes perfected over the last seventy five years.


Big Dave
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beersngars
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Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 390
Location: Ohio
13369.80 points


1948 Chevrolet Coupe

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you're not happy Clay. I know a few guys that went the rack route on custom street rods and have the same to say. For a street car, I agree the way to go is factory stuff. After all, the manufactures spent a LOT more time and money making the geomerty work out than the companies selling conversion kits. Thought about doing away with my power steering and using a factory non-power box when my friend said "why not go rack and pinion" like his. The longer we looked at each other, Rolling Eyes the reality became apparent, a factory box was the way to go. His 40 Chevy street rod is so mismatched I doubt he will ever be happy.
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think the problem is in the spindles. the arm on the spindles, where the tie rod end bolts, on a car with a rack is shorter than those with conventional steering. thus giving the car a better turning radius with less steering movement. i would have thought that the aftermarket racks would be built to compensate for the difference in geometry. that really sucks. especially after all that work to get it installed disgusted
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10sec.et wrote:
i think the problem is in the spindles. the arm on the spindles, where the tie rod end bolts, on a car with a rack is shorter than those with conventional steering. thus giving the car a better turning radius with less steering movement. i would have thought that the aftermarket racks would be built to compensate for the difference in geometry. that really sucks. especially after all that work to get it installed disgusted


Good to hear someone is thinking Geometry! You can have the pivot points the same as stock and have the arms pointing towards the rear of the car? That is not even close to being right!

I am using a rack also. But with a straight axle! Big difference because there is no A arms to deal with.
The cars my Uncle builds are with A arms and Rack. The time spent setting them up is ridiculous! He does have it down to a science though.
There is more to a Rack than a bolt in!

Sorry that setup was a POS but most are because there are many other factors they either don't care or they don't know?
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One problem they have is in order to put the inner pivot points in the same location as the inner control arm mounts, they just don't have enough distance between the control arm inner mounts to put a long enough rack (hope this isn't too confusing). I'll have to say that everything was very well made and I can't call out bad craftsmanship at all on this one. I called Jegs today and I had to get pretty riled up to get them to take it back (they haven't yet, I'll ship it to them tomorrow). They said that since I had installed it, they couldn't take it back. My reply was how was I going to know it would drive like crap until I installed it? Their reply was that it was a manual rack and for drag racing only and I should have known that. I asked if it said that in the add in the catalogue and she said "I'm sure it does" to which I replied "I have your catalogue right here and let me read the description to you". One sentence where I think I really have them is that it says it "replicates the stock steering" and it didn't take 2 football fields to turn it around before and it said nothing about being for drag racing only. We'll see what happens - I really didn't expect to catch any grief from them - oh well, live and learn. Clay
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Houston,Texas
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1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heres the ad from the Jegs website. i would be pissed too.

https://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productitem_10001_10002_756512_-1_312428

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nwcc
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Posts: 453
Location: Pacific Northwest
158.80 points



PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This kit is a geometrically correct rack and pinion which replicates the stock steering box geometry."

Obviously false advertising!!!!
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steeryourite
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Ohio
146.42 points



PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clay,
Sorry you are having so much trouble. Im a little confused though. I agree that using the manual steering shaft is a little tricky. Since we did narrow the pivots points on the rack to match the control arms, the pinion is quite a bit closer to the center of the car. But that is the price of not having bump steer. The only suggestions I can give you is keep changing the phasing of the u-joints, and try to move the shaft support around. You might also see if you can pull your column back a little. As far as the turning radius is concerned, I dont understand. That kit has 6" of rack travel. The test vehical we installed them on had tires rubbing the fenders. To you have the same amount of turns in each direction? As far as this kit being for drag racing, this is not the case. We dont suggest using it for street use only because we dont think the steering effort is ideal for that purpose. The power kit is much more enjoyable for cruisin. Feel free to contact me directly for any assistance.
Dave Batke
Unisteer Performance Products
800-338-9080
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clay
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 3209
Location: South Carolina
318129.23 points


1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump steer wasn't the prime reason I ordered this kit - a nice plus, but just not really my particular reason. I wanted it for simplification over what the factory setup was plus hopefully making it easier to get the drivers side header out (which it did do). I did have to put a small dimple in the front header tube (1 3/4" Hooker Super Comps on a small block) to clear a joint, but again, this wasn't a big deal either. I had the rack centered when I installed it and did a double check after I drove it a few miles by measuring the distance between the arm on the spindle the tie rod end attaches to and the stop it should hit on the lower control arm and they were the same. This was originally a power steering car and I don't know if the arms are a different length on the factory manual steering setups or not but I don't think they are. This is what 10sec.et was talking about maybe being shorter on an original rack and pinion car. Shortening these would decrease turning radius but would also make steering effort higher however and in my opinion, it was already pretty stiff. I wouldn't have sent it back based on steering effort alone because after all, I did order a manual rack and this does mean high steering effort. I can't really run a power rack because all of the room on the drivers side is taken up by the Procharger bracket and belt (these add too much fun and take absolute priority Very Happy ) and no room left for a pump. Pulling the column up would help with the middle joint angle slightly, but wouldn't help the angle at the rack itself. I had the joints phased 45* apart like the installation instructions said and didn't play with them any more due to the turning radius thing. Like I said before, I was impressed with the quality of the actual parts, everything was very well made, I just didn't see an easy solution to all of the little quirks associtated with it with out spending any more money and I was done doing that on this little project. One gripe that I have and this doesn't concern your product is that the add in Jegs doesn't say anything about having to order the shaft seperate. The only shaft listing in the catalogue is for a shaft that is described as "power rack only" which implied the manual rack might include the shaft. An assumption on my part and it bit me. Then the manual shaft kit plus adaptor was and additional $272. Granted, I do see why it costs this after getting it, but this was one of those blind side expenses that just suck. I am impressed that you are looking around on the net and trying to help your customers though, thank you for that and thank you for coming to Smokemup. Unfortunately I sent everything back this morning before I saw your reply when I got home tonight so I can't benefit from your customer support. If you want any more information from me, feel free to ask, I'll help if I can. Clay
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I have to say is holly shit!
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