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Rack and pinion steering rack for XB? 

 

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 Post subject: Rack and pinion steering rack for XB?
Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:20 pm 
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Hi guys,
I would like to put a rack and pinion setup on my XB - sick of the sloppy ol steering box - but I'm put off by the cost of RRS etc type made up conversions. I'm a fitter so can do some machining etc, does anyone know of a rack off something else that's reasonably close size and geometry wise? I've heard early Commodore racks are close - any ideas?

 

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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:23 pm 
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E series racks mate.......
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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:25 pm 
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Serious? Which model? Wow didn't even think of the obvious.... Any idea how much work is involved?

 

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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Serious? Which model? Wow didn't even think of the obvious.... Any idea how much work is involved?

 

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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:50 pm 
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I would use EF/L, would be a piss easy conversion too. Could possibly even use the total tilt/telescopic column out of an ED too. EF/L ones have the square shaft at the top.
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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:00 am 
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I can tell you that you will loose turning circle, I measured up 100's of racks back in 96 to fit to a XF, E series was one of the worse for total travel, from memory (which is bad) a E series rack has about 150mm from lock to lock, a XF has roughly 170mm from lock to lock, 20mm is a lot when it come to turning circle and X series have shocking turning circles. (Back in 96/97 I didn't find any appropriate racks either)

I have never meet anyone with a RRS steering conversion but if it has the same amount of travel as stock and the fact it reduces bump steer due to tie rod length, it might be worth the extra money and the reduction in headaches.

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:58 am 
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Thank you macca, I thought it a bit odd that if an ef rack was such a piss easy conversion, then there'd be a zillion of them around. Thanks for the wise words.

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:25 am 
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I've been doing a steering conversion on a datsun and had headaches trying to find a rack that matched, the closest I got was about 10cm too long any recommendations on how you would modify your rack if it came in too long also.?

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:32 am 
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Frankly I wouldn't want to modify the rack - i'd rather find one that fits or remake other components to suit. I was reading a site called www.twintorino.com and they are talking about using a 2002 Mustang rack. I'd love to know what rack RRS use... they must use something commercially available - I doubt they'd manufacture their own.

The other thing I read recently was a guy using a vb commodore rack in a VF valiant - not a ford, i know, but I'm thinking overall dimensions might be close?

 

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 Post subject: front suspension
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:22 am 
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Why not go all the way get a ef k frame check the rail measurements and fit the complete suspension thats similar 2 XH ute

Gassa

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:28 am 
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yeh, I reckon thats the go - do a whole front subframe...what about an AU or BA even? nice handling, brakes etc.

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:30 pm 
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would this also apply to XC as im looking at doing this aswell, i read somewhere the XD/E/F are the way to go and u use the power steering pump off them aswell. all that needs to be done is collapse the steering column bout an inch?

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Yeh, there is quite a bit of interchangeability with XA thru to XF - steering box should pretty well bolt in. BUT theres the problem - its essentially the same steering box. I was at a you pull it type wreckers, went through about 50 XD-XF fords looking for a steering box that wasn't totally screwed - they all have slop in them. I want to get away from steering boxes completely and go for a rack.
I've just received the free DVD from RRS and honestly the r&p setup looks pretty simple - but the $64 question is what rack are they using?

 

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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:51 pm 
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The steering box was good enough for bathurst so it should be good enough for the street...would not bother with this crap, just rebuild the box and it will be good for another 20 years :!:

The overpriced RRS gear does nothing anyway except lighten your bank account, as the geometry and more importantly the chassis (or lack there of) are the main contributing factors to bad handling. Adding the RRS stuff to a 70's car chassis and basically using the same suspension pick up point, and drilling into already weak chassis rails does nothing to impoove anything except in your mind.

Save your $$ rebuild the suspension and steering box and enjoy cruising for another 20 years....you will never find the limit of what you already have on the street....these are classic cars that should not be stuffed with like that, you are spending big $$$ to ultimately de value your car.

If you want new chassis feel in your ride buy a BF GT and be done with it...I own an XB coupe, and also an EL and a BF, all V8's so I know what I am talking about, enjoy each one for what they are and what they have to offer..
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Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:22 pm 
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xb-coupe-351 I agree with you up to a point....if my XB had a new or recond steering box, I'd probably be reasonably happy. But its worn, like most from that era. Add to that the cost of a new or recond box (around $400) and the fact that they really aren't all that great to start with, I wanted to see if there were relatively easy options which could be more or less bolt on (so that the car could be returned to stock)

Now to say the rrs stuff is a waste of time is a bit silly - if you are worried about other aspects of handling etc they've got all that covered too. My only concern with their stuff is cost.

And as for saying that XB's were good enough for bathurst? They coped - juuuust...I had an interesting conversation on this very topic with a passenger in my taxi years ago - fella by the name of Allan Moffatt - his opinion was that those cars looked the part and went like hell, but their handling, steering and brakes were crap - he stated that he would have loved to be able to upgrade these cars with the kinds of mods we are talking about.

I too drive an XB and also have BA pool cars at work so I drive them pretty regularly too - there's nothing wrong with wanting the best qualities of each - and I respect someone wanting to keep his car stock - but alot of us on this forum are hot rodders too who want to improve our vehicles - is the motor in your XB bog stock down to the aircleaner and exhaust or have you modified it for better performance? What is the difference with wanting to make your car handle steer or stop better too?

 

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