AXLE, RACK AND PINION STEERING
This is the
second truck I've fitted with the Rack and Pinion steering. A customers 1958 Transtar 1/2 ton pickup with a 429 Cobra Jet
Ford engine that steered really hard and had a lopsided turning radius.
It would turn in a 20-foot circle going to the left but needed 60 feet
when turned to the right. Let's fix it.
rack is a custom built unit from Maval Engineering in Twinsburg Ohio.
They started with a Thunderbird Rack and replaced the inner tierods with
modified pieces that would allow a direct fit to the original LH an RH threaded
Studebaker outer tierod ends. The
length of the inner tierods was adjusted to be the correct width for this truck.
This rack was a front mount unit. EG
it mounts forward of the axle. The
pump was a model 2 GM unit with pressure adjusted to match the needs of the
To use it I
had to fabricate the rack mount frame, a new steering shaft and mount the power
steering pump, hoses and cooler, as well as redesigned front shock mounts.
I was able to retain the original steering column.
at some pictures with some brief explanations in text:
The subject truck:
The right and left spindles are swapped to cause the steering arms to point forward instead of aft.
A rack mount
was fabricated from steel plate to mount the Rack to the forward side of the
the rack mount bracket from the LH and RH sides
of the rack forced relocation of the lower shock mounts. New ones were fabricated from angle iron as shown below.
looked like this when installed
column was modified with nylon bushings and cut off to correct length to fit as
engine bay the shaft runs as shown here. These
photos were taken while the wooden dowel used for mock-up was still in place.
In the final
installation the shaft consisted of a vibration absorbing u-joint of both the
upper and lower end and a telescoping segment in the shaft.
This combination seemed to "soften" the road feel considerably,
mostly eliminating the harshness experienced in the first effort at this
customer is pleased with the overall result and the truck steers and drives well
on the road there is room for improvement.
Stand by for the next iteration of improvements.
Ackerman is off slightly resulting in minor scuffing of one front tire
when the wheels are turned sharply either direction.
This will be fixed in the next iteration of this project.