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Old 01-03-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
riggs 74
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Another home made Rack and Pinion

First off I need to give a special thanks to, Vette427 sbc, 69myway,
MRvette, and all other forum members that I may be forgetting.
To do a job like this it takes time which is what I have very little
of but I finely got this far.

I started out getting all my need to know info from the greet
forum members
we have here, thanks guys.

I bought a 98 Grand Am rack and pinion with both brackets and
tie rods. and a 2004 Malibu steering shaft from the local junk yard.



I then bought new Inner and outer tie rods for a Grand Am, They work
out well.

After tearing out the old system, I built the bracket to hold the
rack. I used the original hole in the frame to bolt in the new setup.
The material I used for the brackets is 3/16 flat steel.





I then took the steering column out of the car and altered the
end to except the Malibu steering stem.





Then reinstalled the column and the steering shaft into the car along with the rack.

I was getting a little resistance when turning the wheel every
1/2 turn so I had to collapse the column alittle, will I went a little
to far and can't pull it back down so I will either extend the steering
shaft or I will get a longer setup.


Now I built a center bracket out of 3/16 flat steel cut two pieces
2'' wide by 5'' long welded it at a 75 to 80 degree angle, drilled
for the mounting and tie rod bolts, and installed it and the tie rods.





Every thing is in and looks like it will give me no problem. I am
taking most of this back apart to replace some hard ware and
I am tearing out the control arms to put new bushings and ball
joints in. after all this is done I will align it and give a post on
how it performs and what, if any changes I make. I also have to get hoses and I think I will get them from speed direct for
$62 for both hoses.

Thanks to all who has helped.

For right hand drive vehicles, See Frank A's build at post #90

Riggs.

Last edited by riggs 74; 04-08-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:06 PM   #2
iburke
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Looking good...
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riggs 74 View Post
riggs74/P1030721.jpg[/IMG]
....
Now I built a center bracket out of 3/16 flat steel cut two pieces
2'' wide by 5'' long welded it at a 75 to 80 degree angle, drilled
for the mounting and tie rod bolts, and installed it and the tie rods.
....

Every thing is in and looks like it will give me no problem. I am
taking most of this back apart to replace some hard ware and
I am tearing out the control arms to put new bushings and ball
joints in.
Riggs.
Wow - That seems fast!

While you have it all apart - it would be realy cool if you could:
Measure,
diagram, or
sketch the brackets and dimensions.

Would be VERY helpful in building my bracket (maybe others too.)

Like your scrounging for the other bits too. You'll be in this for under 500 I bet. Maybe 1/2 that? Fine work. Thanks for sharing the pics - very helpful too.

TIA , and
Cheers - JIm
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #4
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Good job. You can run these as manual units too, right?
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomjock View Post
Wow - That seems fast!

While you have it all apart - it would be realy cool if you could:
Measure,
diagram, or
sketch the brackets and dimensions.

Would be VERY helpful in building my bracket (maybe others too.)

Like your scrounging for the other bits too. You'll be in this for under 500 I bet. Maybe 1/2 that? Fine work. Thanks for sharing the pics - very helpful too.

TIA , and
Cheers - JIm
Nothing fast about this, it took me longer than I really had time for.

I do have some templates that I started but did not make all templates
necessary to reproduce these. I fit the driver side vertical bracket on
then applied the horizontal bracket and gussets and welded it on the
car to get the fit right. I my be able to post the templates for the flat
main bracket, left and right side, but the rest would be up to you, if
I still have them.



rtj,

Yes you can run these as manual units as well.




Riggs.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
vette427-sbc
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Looks great
I really like your driver and passenger side brackets- very clean.
I'd like to know how the grand am tie-rods work out for you, bump-steer wise

See? I told ya it wasnt too bad

Really nice job overall.
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'69 Vette- T56, Drysump'd 427SBC, 12pt chromo cage, RSRT front frame clip, custom C4 rear suspension, Teves MK60 ABS, lots of weight reduction. Drive it to the road course, beat on it and drive it home.

@AutoWorksNJ
Old 01-04-2010, 09:09 AM   #7
lsejlowe
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great work, I like your brackets

Do they both bolt straight on without extra holes or just the driver's side? Are the shims under the rack mounts to get extra clearance around the pan?
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Awesome fabrication werk!

Um, forgive my ignorance, but could someone explain to me the benefits of a rack & pinion system over the stock power steering system? I've always thought my 78 steering was amazingly tight (once I rebuilt everything). What are the advantages of the rack & pinion system, or "why would I want to do this mod?"

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riggs 74 View Post


rtj,

Yes you can run these as manual units as well.




Riggs.
Thanks, looking forward to your "driving impressions."

For some reason, you made this look easier than some of the other posts, possibly since you studied the other threads before your effort.

This might go on the to-do list.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #10
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalkid View Post
Awesome fabrication werk!

Um, forgive my ignorance, but could someone explain to me the benefits of a rack & pinion system over the stock power steering system? I've always thought my 78 steering was amazingly tight (once I rebuilt everything). What are the advantages of the rack & pinion system, or "why would I want to do this mod?"

Thanks!
Quicker steering ratio and a more reliable modern power steering setup
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'69 Vette- T56, Drysump'd 427SBC, 12pt chromo cage, RSRT front frame clip, custom C4 rear suspension, Teves MK60 ABS, lots of weight reduction. Drive it to the road course, beat on it and drive it home.

@AutoWorksNJ
Old 01-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #12
riggs 74
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Vette427sbc,
The tie rod set as is should bring great results as far as minimal
bump steer. The tie rods run along the same angle as the lower control
arm, so I shouldn't see the toe change much, if at all with the
suspension travel.


Isejlowe,

Yes both support brackets are bolted through the original bolt locations,
I didn't want to weld any thing to the frame in case latter I go with
anther setup/system I can just on bolt everything and I wont have
to clean up any unwanted welding.
The shims are to lower and push it forward just a bit, When I built
the brackets I didn't get the rack location as close as I once thought
so the shims were the safest way to move it forward with out
having
to re-due the brackets.

rtj,
with the help and the existing post that are here once you get
a game plan together it not bad at all, the hardest part was getting
the angle right on the bracket.




I wont get to test this until spring but I will post my results.

Thanks for all the great feed back.

Riggs.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:28 PM   #13
riggs 74
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Center link Update

have made another center link for the tie rods to be able
to move with the suspension travel.


The tie rod mounting bolts are temporary, they will be replaced with 12 mm grade 8 bolts.





I also was able to take the shims out, that were behind the rack
on the mount, to close the distance on the steering stem to column,
this made the steering stem fit much better. I will have to dimple the
header at the lower u-joint and wrap the header in that area to
keep the heat away from the rack so it does not heat up the fluid.




I also like the tie rod angles, I believe bump steer shouldn't be a problem
for me.




I will update this latter as I am going to tear out the control arms and
install new bushing. When I do this I will check the suspension travel clearance
to make sure all is well.

Riggs.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:51 PM   #14
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super job!

Awesome job man! Great write up too. How far does the rack stick out past the frame on the driver's side? Did you have to notch the motor mount frame for clearance? I am currently fabricating and measuring for my 73 stingray rack conversion.
(which has been inspired by the amazing talent found on this forum) and would appreciate any other pictures or measurements you may have of the main bracketry. Thanks again for the great write up!
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #15
riggs 74
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luera1,
Thanks for the complement. No, I did not notch the motor mount
The rack sets about 3/4'' away from the motor mount frame section.
The rack protrudes out past the drivers side frame rail by less than
one inch.
I don't think this will be a problem with the tire rubbing it but
I won't know until I get the car back together, right now
I'm rebuilding the control arms.

I do have the main brackets trace onto a piece of cardboard
some where, I will have to find it and see about posting it. I don't
want to post it until I have the system back together and test it
out before I start posting info that my not be helpful, It will be a few
weeks before I get it back together and test it.

As soon as I get this completed I will do a follow up post.


I would like to add that this project, with these components has been
a very easy project to take on. You will need a welder, grinder,
drill and something to cut the steel with, I used a portable hand
held band saw. Clamps and straps are nice too to hold the rack
in place for measurements until you have the support brackets made
and bolted in.


I hope this helps,

Riggs.
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