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Manual rack and pinion or factory manual steer?

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  • Saz
    started a topic Manual rack and pinion or factory manual steer?

    Manual rack and pinion or factory manual steer?

    I've never driven a car with a manual rack and pinion, and the factory manual steering in my 67 firebird is a little sloppy, needs an overhaul. Is it worth the $$$ to convert to a manual rack and pinion or just refresh the factory setup?

  • SuperBuickGuy
    replied
    the box came from an 84 GNX.

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  • Saz
    replied
    What steering box did you use? I have a list of parts similar to yours, with the addition of viking double adjustable shocks.

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  • SuperBuickGuy
    replied
    The steering box seems to be very solid, just need to tighten up all the linkage. I've never driven anything with a manual rack, and from what I have read can be prone to bump steer with a mismatched width. The front suspension will he getting a rebuild as well, so o think I'll put the money towards a nice set of tubular a arms, coilovers and adjustable shocks. Thanks guys!
    This is the 90% of the potential for 10% of the cost route. I've built a bunch of cars and trucks - the current fleet is a clean sheet redesign of a C3 Corvette, and a tubular arm/quick steer box/coil spring suspension under an A-body Buick wagon.

    For the Buick the reason is simply this works - I built a 1970 Skylark and did the same updates, it was a new car but without the unobtainium or cost. This time I have about 3k in a full suspension rebuild with tubular arms, new springs, great shocks, quick ratio steering. I could have done the rack and pinion but I don't think most people could tell the difference between what I did and if I used r&p....

    the tl;dr, I think you're making a wise choice.

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  • Deaf Bob
    replied
    My wife drove a 65 Skylark for 200,000 miles, manual steering box.. Slow as all get out trying to turn into a "T" intersection..
    Like SBG says..after 20-25 mph it is pretty unnoticeable.

    My 46 Dodge Power Wagon running gear under a 51 cab had the steering arm made longer Metal added to.. Made it easy to wheel in the woods/mud
    While the stocker wad a screaming beetch to steer..

    My son now has his mom's Skylark and put a 455 in it.. He is talking of another steering box that is easier and quicker.
    My 57 has a manual box. It is not the 57 one. Drives great with 10" wide tires up front and. Smaller steering wheel

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  • RockJustRock
    replied
    If you're going "ground up" on the suspension no reason to keep the stock steering.

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  • Saz
    replied
    The steering box seems to be very solid, just need to tighten up all the linkage. I've never driven anything with a manual rack, and from what I have read can be prone to bump steer with a mismatched width. The front suspension will he getting a rebuild as well, so o think I'll put the money towards a nice set of tubular a arms, coilovers and adjustable shocks. Thanks guys!

    Leave a comment:


  • SuperBuickGuy
    replied
    Sloppiness would be from suspension parts, not the steering box.
    actually, it can come from either...

    as for the OP's question. Manual box is harder to steer in parking lots and such. On the road (above 25 mph), you'd be hard pressed to find a flaw with it. Most rack systems are adaptations of a rack from something else - so while the getting the geometry really isn't that difficult, most rack conversion give up some turning radius. Manual v. assisted rack systems.... to be honest, I've driven and built both and continue to wonder why manufacturers bother with power assist for rack and pinion.... even with a BB your Pontiac weighs 3000 lbs, which is about 2k less then anything built today.... manual rack is cool because it feels more precise and the steering effort tends to be more linear - that said, a properly built box system is every bit as good as the rack.... and in that vein, I prefer quick steering boxes to rack systems....
    Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; July 5th, 2019, 09:42 PM.

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  • RockJustRock
    replied
    Sloppiness would be from suspension parts, not the steering box.

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  • squirrel
    replied
    If there is some specific reason why you want to change the steering, such as weight reduction, header clearance, or something, then it might be worth it. Make damn sure the installation ends up with the correct geometry so you don't get bump steer. The tie rods have to travel the same arc as the control arms, for the most part. If they swing in different arcs, then the car will steer when you hit a bump.

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