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Rack & PInion Install

ANYTHING TO DO WITH STEERING, FROM STOCK TO RACK AND PINION UPGRADES
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Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

Well, here goes another mod. and will be the last for me. I know, you've heard it all before but my better half says this is it so ya know what that means.lol
First I'd like to thank Skip (smiliesafari) for helping me out with this. Without him and the details he has supplied it would not be on the list of things to do. He has done all he can do for me from 600 miles down the road. From sending multible pics and details of he and his son Walley's conversion to cutting templates for the rack brackets and picking up a spherical fitting for the shaft. I could just see the face on the guy at the hardware store here in Evergreen if I asked for a spherical fitting.lol

The first pics are what I'll be removing from the steering assembly, which will be everyting related to the Astro other than the section to the first u-joint coming out of firewall. Everything from there down will be trashed.

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The above removal will include the shaft from first u-joint coming out of firewall, the steering gear, both idler arms and center link.
The next two pics are the 98 Mustang rack and same year shaft which will have to be modified. I'll get into that later down the road when I get a couple more parts in so I can get started.
The tie-rod ends are from a 2000 Plymouth Voyager.
I removed the stop limiters from inside both ends of the rack to add more turn distance. The limiters are very easy to remove. They're just inside the boot on each end and are round blue plastic pieces about 1/2 in thick. You can't miss them when boot is removed from rack end.

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I'll pick this up again later with more pics and details.
Last edited by Rebel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

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Mr_Roboto
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Mr_Roboto »

Hate to be a PITA, but do you mind weighing the parts as you go along? Just curious what the difference in weight is. Keep the pics coming, should be a good deal.

Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

Hate to be a PITA, but do you mind weighing the parts as you go along? Just curious what the difference in weight is. Keep the pics coming, should be a good deal.
Not a problem. Will weigh what I pull and what's going on.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

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If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words
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peter
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by peter »

Great idea, Robo!

Curious to see what this swap looks like, Larry. Smiley had posted some pics, but I was never really sure what I was looking at...
"Just keep swimming..."
97' 4wd Safari
ZZ 502 Ramjet
4"L"80E/NP241C
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Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

We aren't to sure about things down here either.lol Skip's pictures were good but the ones he sent of his son's conversion were even better. At first I thought there wouldn't be to much to this mod. but after getting into it and reading up on the subject of bumpsteer I decided there were a few things I didn't want to guess on. It's kind of like playinig golf, the more you study about the game, the worse your score will be. Anyway, after reading a few things I found there were two areas I didn't want to guess on and that was how far forward of the crossmember to mount the rack and how far up or down from center. In theory the inner tierods should be on the same angle as the lower control arms but that's not always possible and can be off and have little bumpsteer.
Here's a few drawings I ran across showing the lines parts must be on to be correct.
http://www.mustangandfords.com/techarti ... index.html

So, instead of going through all the drawings, measurements and possibly having to redo this a couple of times, Skip has been so kind as to make up templates of his rack brackets which will put rack in correct location, up/down and distance forward of crossmember. The only angle in question will be the gear shaft but that won't have anything to do with bumpsteer but will have to be in correct position where u-joints won't be in a bind.
Be taking a bunch of pics as this thing goes along.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

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If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












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If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words
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Merlin
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Merlin »

I am sure a lot of us are watching this one close. I know I am. Looking forward to the pictures and your write up on it and maybe the templates too.
1989 RS Astro, V-8 and maybe a shift it myself tranny, still deciding on this one. Dutch doors, Cad tail lights, shaving the rest now. 12 bolt rear end was in the van when I got it but changing how it sets to lower.

91AWDAstro
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by 91AWDAstro »

Awe come on, last mod? Does that mean you'll have to finish the rest of it? Oh and why does it look like your balancer paint is chipped?

Definately keep the posts coming. Based upon what I've seen from you this should come out looking sweet.
---------
I don't understand all I know about that.
----------
Chris
91AWD 350
and a bunch of other wrecks...

Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

You guys don't miss much, can tell ya that. See if I can touch that up a tad before any future pics are made.lol

Larry,,I'll talk to you about templates a little later down the road. Skip has been kind enough to make these up but I'm kind of funny about passing on anothers design, no matter what it may be. I also have a concern about passing them on because of the liability. It's kind of like the IRS bracket I designed and my friend Steve built, I wouldn't give that to anyone untill it had alot of hours on it. No reflection on Skip, he's 100% comfortable his templated are ok and I believe him but now I will be the one making them,, will mine be the same thickness, same weld pattern and a few other questions may come up due to my install that Skip didn't run across in his and weren't a concern for him. I hope others who may want to do this mod. understand my thoughts and with Skips permission later, I'd be glad to pass on the design.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

Image





If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words
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Merlin
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Merlin »

I totally understand and will be watching this carefully. You said this will be the last, for real? We all know that we are never done just slowed down a bit while we think about it.
1989 RS Astro, V-8 and maybe a shift it myself tranny, still deciding on this one. Dutch doors, Cad tail lights, shaving the rest now. 12 bolt rear end was in the van when I got it but changing how it sets to lower.

Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

You're probably right Larry. Something else will pop up. I have this nightmare once and awhile,,in it, Peter delivers a real slick stock early no window cargo to my doorstep, then leaves, headin up the highway with this sick :muhaha: on his face, screaming at the top of his lungs as he throws out what's left of a pickled pigs foot, It ain't over till the fat lady sings Redneck. :yawinkle:
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

Image





If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words

Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

Finally got my :butthead: in gear today and got a little done on the rack install.
No big deal today, just removed the old steering assembly.
You'll notice I've got a slight over kill on the safety side of things. Have the van up on ramps and rear tires chocked. The jack stands and floor jack aren't supporting any weight but there just in case. I'm really not a fan of ramps, composite or steel.
The first pic is before any of the old steering assembly was removed.
Image

After getting everything set up so I won't have one eye on the ramps, floorjack and jack stands the first thing I did was measure from tierod end center to other tierod end center. I'll use this measurement to set up same on rack tierods before install to keep alignment as close as possible. I then dropped right and left tierods then both idler arms. From there, removerd connection at pitman arm(steering box). The complete lower steering section will drop after this last step.
Next, remove the 3 bolts that hold steering box to frame.

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After removing the three bolts, I then removed top bolt that connects Astro shaft at firewall.

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From here, just spray a little PB Blaster on the upper connection and tap shft off. Be carefull that your foot isn't under the steering box as your tapping shaft. When the assembly comes off, the shaft and box will fall to floor.

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This shot is after entire Astro steering assembly has been removed.

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Guess I didn't get a pic after box removed. You can see it's still bolted to frame but all else is trashed and now to clean up crossmember and a few other places.

Here's a pic of all that was removed. Will weigh and post total weight removed tomorrow.

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Before attaching tierod ends I ran rack from stop to stop to see how many turns and then went back half to center tierods.
This next pic is after connecting tierod ends and adjusting rack using wire ties to get close to location the rack will be attached to crossmember.

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One other pic of approx. rack location to crossmember. Rack will be a little higher than this so both tierods will be on approx. the same angle as the lower control arms which would be about a 3 to 5* drop on ends from rack level. Have started the clean up on the corssmember and other areas and will paint or undercoat after rack bracket install.

Image

That's it for now. Tomorrow will be working on filling slider, then back to rack install.
Last edited by Rebel on Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

Image





If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by mdmead »

Rebel wrote:Image

Geeeez!!! Look at all that JUNK! Nevermind the fact that a rack and pinion set-up is more precise, but the elimination of all those moving parts is such a GOOD THING!!

Of all the mods and swaps folks have done to these vans, this one is the most logical and useful.

(No Petey, a 502 isn't logical. You missed by not going with the 572!) [-X
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
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-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
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Mat Mobile
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Mat Mobile »

I've been following this project since you first started talking about it. Honestly, it never occured to me that the easiest way to do this project is by installing the tie-rods at the proper distance and THEN, building the bracket to hold it up. Seems obvious now...

Good luck!

BTW, the ramps, the jack stands and blocking your wheels aren't over-kill. But your rolling Michelin jack thing is. I've used mine as a "safety measure" too and it ends up going down in the night or busting a seal over time. Plus, it's always in the way. You better keep it out of the way to use in case of an emergency to lift it up... Some people say more is better but I think those things should only be used to lift or drop...
Mathieu
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My '91 Astro.

Topic author
Rebel
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:24 am
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.

Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by Rebel »

Hey Matt, thanks for the words. You're right about the floor jack,,they aren't for holding things up forever and should never be used by themselves while working under a vehicle. I just left it there this time after lifting van to put ramps under the front tires. No weight at all on anything but the ramps for proper rack install,,almost like it's sitting on the ground,,almost.
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

VIDEO

Image





If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words
User avatar

GEJ
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Re: Rack & PInion Install

Post by GEJ »

I totally agree with the conversion and I love the way you have put together the thread.Great job Larry.I understand the reasons why the rack needs to be on the same plane as the a-frames.I might just the angle of the picture,but it seems like the rack sets is low in the frame.Can you explain more and give measurements how that is going to work out for ground clearance?.Also,how does the GM power steering pump work with the Ford rack?.Must have like pressures I guess.Got to admit I wasn't a fan of this at first,but now that I see it being put together,I might consider it for Ole Yellar.Once again,great job Larry.
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1985 Astro-"Ole Yellar"
1994 LT Astro
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