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Rack and Pinion sizes - please help.
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fendered freddy
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Joined: 04 Feb 2021
Posts: 13

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2021 6:41 pm    Post subject: Rack and Pinion sizes - please help.

can anyone out there help me out?
i'm looking for a rack and pinion setup that has the following measurements. please note these are +/- 10mm.

knuckle to knuckle - 470mm
tie rod end to knuckle - 350mm
overall tie rod end -> tie rod end - 1170mm.

i've tried the VB commodore rack ( 550 knuckle to knuckle, 350mm arms), the FWD 323 rack (520mm kn->kn, 345mm arms) and a FWD pulsar rack (505mm kn->kn, 350mm arms). all are too long in the centre, which means having to shorten the arms which increase my bump steer to +/-6mm toe at 110mm rebound. i'm using CAD to work all this out on, so it's all pretty accurate.

anyone know the length on the VL-VN-VR rack? what about ford sizes?

i'm getting desperate to find something that will fit my application.
i have done numerous rounds to the wreckers, to the point where four seperate owners see me rock up and say "so what car is it today mate...?".
if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

cheers.
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FRANK BASILE
200rpm



Joined: 07 May 2021
Posts: 253
Location: MELBOURNE

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject:

freddy,have you considered the option of shortening the Commodore rack?.There is an article in"HOT ROD FEVER" #3 dealing with this issue in detail.The publisher is Adrian Taylor of Stawell, 3380 Vic...........Frank.
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fendered freddy
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Joined: 04 Feb 2021
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Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2021 11:26 am    Post subject:

shortening the arms to 300mm (which is the length required), i get +/-6.0mm toe at full rebound (110mm). that's exponential from +/-1.0mm at just 60mm rebound. that's some serious bump steer

i think i'll start looking at shorter racks, like a ford escort.

time will tell i spose. i might just have to make a custom rack.....
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Pep
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Joined: 14 Jun 2021
Posts: 624
Location: Georges Hall, NSW

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2021 12:06 pm    Post subject:

There is an option of an early Torana rack with the steel housing. You can cut and shut that easily and weld it back up. Option 2 is a a Austin 1800 rack...rarer than the the Torana...I don't know what front end you are using which would help. Also, most racks I've seen are a bit hard to measure at the knuckles...they appear to be about 20mm inside the case so take that into account when you calculating widths.. The tie rods are no worry, you can cut them to length, that doesn't affect the geometry.
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Pep
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Joined: 14 Jun 2021
Posts: 624
Location: Georges Hall, NSW

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2021 10:05 am    Post subject:

I have the definitive answer for you. Ive been helping a young guy here at work in converting his Valiant over to R&P.; I gave advise and explained what to look for in setting it up. He went away and done the hard yards. He too needed a narrow rack and after many trip to the wreckers he documented all his findings .This seems fairly accurate and measures right at the pivot point on the tie rod at the rack end.
The distance for a VL is 62 cm, EA Ford is 62.7 cm, VB is 58 cm

I get the impression you are concerned about the tie rod length...that is not an issue. Its the pivot point at the rack end in relation to the lower contol arm and upper control arm pivot points. The knuckles have to be at the intersection of the imaginary line drawn between the control arm pivots.
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FRANK BASILE
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Joined: 07 May 2021
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Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2021 2:37 pm    Post subject:

Freddy,reading the response to my post you are talking about shortening the arms,I was talking about shortening the rack itself,to line up the pivots in their correct position.This of course entails shortening the housing,and then the rack,then any machine shop should be able to cut a new thread for you.................Frank.
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fendered freddy
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Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2021 6:15 pm    Post subject:

trying my best to avoid any cutting.
my engineer will allow things to be cut, but not re-welded.

for example
_if i have arms that are too long, i can cut and re-thread them.
_if i have arms that are too short, i can't lenghten them. i have to have billets made up... icon_cry.gif

i understand what everyone is saying regarding cutting the rack, but honestly, i don't have
_the time
_the patience
_the trust in other people to do a good job.

not worried at all about tie rod length, it's easy to make them look like a factory part if i have to lengthen/shorten them. i'm worried about the centre rack from knuckle to knuckle. that can't be any wider than 470mm.

so far i have these to check out

LC/LJ torana rack
Austin 1800 rack
Alfa GTV rack
Ford Escort rack

cross fingers eh?
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Pep
600RPM



Joined: 14 Jun 2021
Posts: 624
Location: Georges Hall, NSW

Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2021 8:28 am    Post subject:

fendered freddy wrote:
trying my best to avoid any cutting.
my engineer will allow things to be cut, but not re-welded.

for example
_if i have arms that are too long, i can cut and re-thread them.
_if i have arms that are too short, i can't lenghten them. i have to have billets made up... icon_cry.gif

i understand what everyone is saying regarding cutting the rack, but honestly, i don't have
_the time
_the patience
_the trust in other people to do a good job.

not worried at all about tie rod length, it's easy to make them look like a factory part if i have to lengthen/shorten them. i'm worried about the centre rack from knuckle to knuckle. that can't be any wider than 470mm.

so far i have these to check out

LC/LJ torana rack
Austin 1800 rack
Alfa GTV rack
Ford Escort rack

cross fingers eh?



I sure would like to know what your building...thats one narrow rod...its not the first Baby Austin with a small block is it?
As far as cutting a rack, well its quite legal...all your welding is the outside case....The tie rods can be cut and the threads run up to wherever you want...no welding there. Seems like your doing a lot of running around in the effort to save time when I honestly believe your wasting time looking for a rack that narrow...but hey...that just my opinion...good luck
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FRANK BASILE
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Joined: 07 May 2021
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Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2021 9:07 am    Post subject:

What front end are we using here Freddy?.............Frank.
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62slantsix
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Joined: 16 Mar 2021
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Location: Sydney

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2021 9:20 pm    Post subject:

Hey pep,

If you don't mind me asking, what type of valiant was it for, and secondly which did he end up using???
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Pep
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Joined: 14 Jun 2021
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Location: Georges Hall, NSW

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2021 10:00 am    Post subject:

62slantsix wrote:
Hey pep,

If you don't mind me asking, what type of valiant was it for, and secondly which did he end up using???


He has a 71 VG hardtop with a 318. He used a VL power rack but also required a sump modification. The steering shafts are made up of commodore sections from a few models..VB top I think he said mated to the Valiant steering column. He now has an issue with clearing the oil filter plate.It looks like he will tap the oil lines and connect using a banjo type fitting and run a remote filter. He made up a jig to get the exact position of the rack to have the least amount of bump steer. It looks like he has it sussed out pretty well.
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fendered freddy
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Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2021 11:55 am    Post subject:

it's actually not for a rod. it's for my daily that i'm building. i can't keep the recirc ball steering because the engine i have fouls on the box.
it's an 'a' arm style front end - similar to a kingswood. i can use kingswood springs and shocks in the front end, that's how similar they are.

i do see your point Pep, i mean, i know running around is costing me time. but my time is free, and paying someone else for their time to cut the thing is expensive. and i'm running outta money fast.
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Pep
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Joined: 14 Jun 2021
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Location: Georges Hall, NSW

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject:

fendered freddy wrote:
it's actually not for a rod. it's for my daily that i'm building. i can't keep the recirc ball steering because the engine i have fouls on the box.
it's an 'a' arm style front end - similar to a kingswood. i can use kingswood springs and shocks in the front end, that's how similar they are.

i do see your point Pep, i mean, i know running around is costing me time. but my time is free, and paying someone else for their time to cut the thing is expensive. and i'm running outta money fast.


Still would help if we knew what your building..The Torana rack can be cut by you...no cost there. The outer case welded by any shop with a welder..that may be your only cost and I wouldn't expect that to cost more than 20 bucks. There are custom racks being slotted under old Mustangs and Falcons or anything that has a wishbone IFS that needs more engine bay clearance. They graft in a strut IFS and custom fit a special rack. That rack is a universal fit thing that they adjust to fit and keep the geometry happy...I would think they would be expensive....I can find out the place that does them if you are really interested. I believe they are in Sydney on the north shore.
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fendered freddy
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Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2021 10:24 am    Post subject:

it's not the rack that is too long, it's the centre shaft (if you will...) from knuckle to knuckle. i would have to cut the throw shaft INSIDE the rack too, along with the nylon sleeve. that would most certainly reduce my steering throw, and cause a potential fracture point.

this is my problem. the ends of the steering arms are too far apart. i have to bring those together. i also talked to some workshops about it and all of them (including Rotomotion) said it couldn't be done.

i am checking out a VW Golf setup today, a common conversion for 1st gen RX7s, along with a number of Alfa setups (the GTV is pretty narrow). if all else fails, i think that a little suzuki cappucino (a 660c 3cyl turbo convertible kei car) may have what i'm after.
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need a 37 ford.
that is all.
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FRANK BASILE
200rpm



Joined: 07 May 2021
Posts: 253
Location: MELBOURNE

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject:

Freddy,there are two items that require the shortening,first is the actual rack itself to line up your pivot points,this is done by cutting the LH side and then having the thread cut to re attach the locking cap for the tie rod arm [If you take a rack apart or look at a diagram of one this will be clearer]. Secondly the housing is then cut and narrowed the same amount,and welded[this is basically a piece of exhaust pipe for want of better description].The steering travel is not affected,as you will not have touched the tooth travel section of the rack.I suspect by now,you have spent more time and fuel hunting around than the actual cost of mods would be.............Frank.
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