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Post Info TOPIC: rack and pinion for '61 Pontiac


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rack and pinion for '61 Pontiac


Has anyone had any experience with selecting and installing an aftermarket R&P system? I see FR has a kit, but its like $2100.00 bucks! ouch!



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daddys_61 wrote:

Has anyone had any experience with selecting and installing an aftermarket R&P system? I see FR has a kit, but its like $2100.00 bucks! ouch!


         With all due respect   Why?       theres lots of aftermarket to improve the 1961 performance   why wreck the car ?   



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because its my money and my car anyone else?



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A rack and pinon replacement on a contemporary car, like a Cadillac Deville for example, runs $1,500 easily so the price for a retro kit doesn't seem out of line.



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daddys_61 wrote:

because its my money and my car anyone else?


 biggrin



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I did say with all due respect      car must be a drag car or hot rod       I wish I had more money  



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Poncho Master!

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rack and pinion is definetly the way to go if you want the car to handle, especially on the 64 and earlier cars, that goofy ram set up was never quick and always leaked, and this even help the 65 up cars as well but pricey



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I Know a fellow out this way that converted his Chevy.II to R&P but it turned out to be a disasster, handled awfull, & wouldn't go down the road straight after many frt end aligments & trouble shooting!!! Think he ripped it all out, other than the tubular A-Arms & went stock with all strg. componants!!! Works "GOOD" now?????

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dualquadpete wrote:

I Know a fellow out this way that converted his Chevy.II to R&P but it turned out to be a disasster,

handled awfull, & wouldn't go down the road straight after many frt end aligments & trouble shooting!!!

Think he ripped it all out, other than the tubular A-Arms & went stock with all strg. componants!!!

Works "GOOD" now?????


          Penny wise and pound foolish     Experience is a great teacher  



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We installed a c4 corvette front clip on our 61 pontiac race car.  The rack works great. I love the way it steers and handles.



-- Edited by jim_ss409 on Tuesday 28th of January 2014 03:29:09 PM

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dualquadpete wrote:

I Know a fellow out this way that converted his Chevy.II to R&P but it turned out to be a disasster, handled awfull, & wouldn't go down the road straight after many frt end aligments & trouble shooting!!! Think he ripped it all out, other than the tubular A-Arms & went stock with all strg. componants!!! Works "GOOD" now?????





My neighbour's 66 is the same way apparently. He hasn't pulled the R & P off yet though.

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I think that anything that can be done to improve the handling, steering and braking in the X frame cars, and the 65-70 B Bodies is worthwhile. Of course, provided it doesn't actually make it worse.

It's exciting to finally see, companies are now actually producing the high quality handling components we can use. And for those who aren't interested in a points correct car, although pricey, it's certainly a safe and relatively easy way to bring the car in line with more modern standards.

But doing nothing, leaving it bone stock, while putting more power to it, is surely inviting trouble. Let's face it, in stock form, they pretty much handle like crap and can be a handful. I won't go as far as to say unsafe, but add some worn parts and you're getting close!

The more improvements we make, the more fun they are to drive, and if you ask me, the more likely they'll be seen on the road as well.

Does the Pontiac of 61 share the chassis with Chevrolet?

rack.JPG 



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if carving up the frame is too scary i think the 805 steering box is a direct bolt in which atleast gets rid of the power ram and speeds up the ratio, 65 and later the monti box works and you can get then new for around 200 bucks, bump stear is bad on both variations though



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Rack and Pinion was put in modern cars because it was light and cheap, not necessarily better.
Now it can be better than what was there, careful attention has to be paid to where the tie rod ends are in relation to the lower control arm pivot points, other wise you are just creating bump steer, which is no fun at all. The picture Mark posted of the R&P conversion, doesn't quite look right, inner tie rods are too far in, could just be picture angle. A lot of these "hot rod" conversions are dreamed up by guys that really don't know what they are doing, it fits and sorta works, then gets sold to tons of guys that know even less.
The Corvette setup that Jim used is great as it uses the whole system as designed.
I've seen too many of theses "upgrades" that just don't work.
For an X frame car, new bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends and an integral power steering box conversion are the way to go.
Food for thought.
Just my opinion and observations, as you said, your car your money.

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Right on Dano,  totally agree,  this sounds like a total disaster in the making.



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beaumontguru wrote:

Right on Dano,  totally agree,  this sounds like a total disaster in the making.


          don't think thats what Andy wanted to hear cry     


 

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because its my money and my car anyone else?

 



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65wagon wrote:

if carving up the frame is too scary i think the 805 steering box is a direct bolt in which atleast gets rid of the power ram and speeds up the ratio, 65 and later the monti box works and you can get then new for around 200 bucks, bump stear is bad on both variations though


Yeah, I used a 605 box on my 62 Impala and didn't have to alter the frame in any way. I think I might have had to lengthen or shorten the steering shaft a bit but it was no big deal.

It's a good way to go.

 

I like rack and pinion steering but like Dano said, you have to get the geometry right or you'll end up with bump steer.

If you look at the C4 Corvette setup we used on the race car, you can see that the inner pivot point of the tie rods on a line between the pivot points of the upper and lower control arms. (it's actually pretty hard to see because of the rubber boots)

I'm sure that someone builds a bolt in kit with all the details worked out but beware of any "universal" one size fits all kits.

I'm sure there are racks in the wrecking yard that could be made to work perfectly on our X frame cars but you'd have to find something with the right amount of travel and more importantly, the inner pivot points of the tie rods would have to be in the right place.

It's not rocket science, but there are some rules of geometry that have to be followed in order to avoid bump steer. There's absolutely no reason a proper rack system shouldn't work perfectly.

 

By the way, one of the reasons these X frame cars have a vague feel to the steering is because they have little or no positive caster. You usually can't get enough adjustment out of the factory A arm shafts to get as much caster as you'd like for power steering but I see that Speedway Motors has both upper and lower shafts with an extra two degree of caster built in.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1958-64-Chevy-Inner-Shaft-Kit-with-Poly-Bushings-Upper,25059.html

I've also noticed that most of the aftermarket tubular A arms tend to have some extra caster built in.

 

 

 



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cdnpont wrote:

I think that anything that can be done to improve the handling, steering and braking in the X frame cars, and the 65-70 B Bodies is worthwhile. Of course, provided it doesn't actually make it worse.

It's exciting to finally see, companies are now actually producing the high quality handling components we can use. And for those who aren't interested in a points correct car, although pricey, it's certainly a safe and relatively easy way to bring the car in line with more modern standards.

But doing nothing, leaving it bone stock, while putting more power to it, is surely inviting trouble. Let's face it, in stock form, they pretty much handle like crap and can be a handful. I won't go as far as to say unsafe, but add some worn parts and you're getting close!

The more improvements we make, the more fun they are to drive, and if you ask me, the more likely they'll be seen on the road as well.

Does the Pontiac of 61 share the chassis with Chevrolet?

rack.JPG 


 Hi Uber Guru

That looks like the kit I was considering, is that the FR or Unisteer kit?.. yes, my Pontiac uses the X-frame chassis...



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A Poncho Legend!

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daddys_61 wrote:

 

Does the Pontiac of 61 share the chassis with Chevrolet?

 


   YES   


 



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I'm no expert but I agree with DANO65, the inner tie rod pivot points look to be too far in on that particular setup.

If the geometry is wrong you'll get bump steer and the car won't handle right at all. It will be fine on a straight flat road but it will dart to the left or the right when you hit a bad bump. 

Rack and pinion steering is great and I think it can be safely adapted to a 61 Pontiac without making major changes to the frame of the car,,, but the geometry has to be right.

I don't like the looks of that particular kit for more than one reason. If it was me, I'd do some research and try to come up with something better, or if not just go with an upgraded steering box.

I was going to try and explain the whole bump steer thing but I'm sure somebody must have good info posted about what to look for when converting to rack and pinion. It's not rocket science but you have to get an understanding of what causes bump steer.



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I just finished installing a borgeson Delphi 600 box into my 61 ,bolts to stock location and uses stock manual pitman arm. It,s a newer GM box ,all you will need is a power steering pump. The box is 3 turns lock to lock ,will need to check alignment this spring . Cost me $484 from summit to my door This box comes on 2003-06 cadilac escalade 2 wheel drive, Gm price $650 could not find used one , this model has 1 1/8 inch pitman shaft.

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Gregory wrote:

I just finished installing a borgeson Delphi 600 box into my 61 ,bolts to stock location and uses stock manual pitman arm. It,s a newer GM box ,all you will need is a power steering pump. The box is 3 turns lock to lock ,will need to check alignment this spring . Cost me $484 from summit to my door This box comes on 2003-06 cadilac escalade 2 wheel drive, Gm price $650 could not find used one , this model has 1 1/8 inch pitman shaft.


 Hey Greg.......can you send me a link to the exact box you got from Summit......looking

at doing the same to my 63 Belair



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Greg, if you could like all the info here that would be great! PLUS saves everyone from filling your PM box (like I was about to do). I just redid EVERYTHING on the front of my '61 BUT the PS stuff. So after getting some actual seat time and seeing how this car handles, will let me know if I should consider this upgrade as part of my winter makeover.

Thanks, John

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Addicted!

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The power steering box from summit is #BRG-800106 for 58-64 chevy, the price was $388.55 last fall ,$484 with HST and delivery to my door. It could be more now with dollar difference. I don't know about any link. I just went on summit site. If you have manual steering it bolts right in . You will need borgeson joint and 16" round splined shaft to hook up to stock column, also a pump. If you have the original power steering you will have to change centre link to a manual link. Because I have a 348 engine I had to use a newer Type 2 GM pump with remote fill because less room . Any type 2 pump can be converted to remote fill. Recently I had to install a remote power steering cooler. The type 2 pumps have been used since the 80's, I got my pump from a full size buick and reservoir from a 90's chevy van. Summit sells everything but I bought borgeson joint and shaft from Hortons in Milton. If you have any more questions PM.

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Poncho Master!

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Here's the link.......thanx for the info......I will have to do the same as you with the 348

as my 63 has a 409......may PM you with some questions



-- Edited by bjburnout on Wednesday 11th of June 2014 10:18:58 PM

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