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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

The time is getting close for me to make a choice about upgrading the steering. Some kind of upgrade is a part of the project goal. The car must drive nicely. It must be responsive and not wonder around on its own. It is not a Corvette but I want to feel in control when cornering. Much of this of course depends on he overall suspension but steering is also a part I want to work correctly.

Flaming River offers a Power Rack & Pinion kit with Column. This seems to be an advantage simply because both components come from the same company. Flaming River also seems to have a good reputation.

This kit is not exactly inexpensive. This being said, what does everyone think of power rack & pinion upgrades? Is the benefit there?

Any other implications you can point out would be appreciated.

Thanks folks,

Don Copeland
 

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I have never heard a complaint about rack and pinion. It will make the car drive nice and be more sure footed. I didn't go rack in my 55, but that was just because I built a 605 box and realy didn't want the rack hanging under the car. That is just a personal choice and reflects nothing but my preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike,

Good consideration. Not sure how low the unit sits. Have not found a good photo that shows the unit mounted. Do not even recall paying attention to that at shows. Will start looking around for something that would show ground clearance (assuming that is what you are refering to).

Stay safe, and thanks..

Don Copeland
 

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Rack&Pinon

I put a r&P in my 57 and it works great. I went from a worn out no power steering to a power rack set up and what difference it made. It used to be about 4 turns lock to lock and now it is about 2 1/2 turns lock to lock. What ever set up you go with buy the whole kit. It will save you a lot of headaches and time
Tom:
 

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For whatever its worth, I just completely rebuilt my front end (on jack stands in a one car garage) and I went with the CPP series 500 power steering box instead of R/P. I liked the idea of keeping it more true to the original look, and I was also concerned that the R/P linkage was a little bulky underneath my oil pan. If I ever had to pull the pan, it seemed like it would get in the way. Anyhow, I found I was able to rebuile my entire front end, from the steering wheel, column, power steering box, spindles, power brakes, coils...everything without any help, and with basic tools. The car handles great. Bella57
 

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Rack and Pinion

I went with a Jim Meyer Racing rack & pinion and front suspension combo which also lowered the front 2 inches. Check out their web site.
Just another possibility and not exactly inexpensive either.
It turned out pretty good though and you could use Flaming River or Ididit column. Mine is Ididit painted black and I replaced the turn indicator knob and the 4-way flasher knob with original '56 turn signal knobs. I just didn't like those aluminum knobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Jim Meyers package is a nice one. I have been considering this kit also but as you pointed out, it is expensive. The price sheet they sent me puts it at $2,695.00 but that was last years price sheet.

I wonder, their add claimed "your wife could put it in over a weekend." What do you think...possible? I gotta know!

Thanks for the comments.

Don C.
 

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They couldn't even have put it in over a week-end.
First of all, the car had the standard steering box and column. The new rack and pinion is a power unit.
I had to find a GM power steering pump that mounted in the lower drivers side position on my 327 SBC.
I had to find and order and install pump mounting hardware.
I had to order and install a different lower crank pulley (dual belt).
I had to go to the parts store and match a new belt to my set up.
If I remember correctly the R&P has metric hose threads so I had to get a pump with metric fittings.
Then I had to find a place (in San Jose, CA) that could build me the custom hi-pressure hoses with fittings that go between the pump and the R&P.
I had to find and purchase Flaming River U-joints and shafts to go between the end of the Ididit column and the rack and pinion unit.
A lot of trial and error involved and pretty vague instructions from Jim Meyer.

The A-arms and everything else are very well made and fit the frame well, but part of the frame also had to be modified as I recall.
The parts come un-painted so you have to do that unless you want bare metal parts.

Then you will have to have the front end aligned of course.

I doubt that I could get my wife to even understand this post in one weekend.

Overall result. The car handles, turns and corners very well. It runs down the freeway at speed (70 plus) just like a new car, no pull, wander or anything like that. I personally would prefer it to have remained at stock height in the front but with 5-leaf stock springs in back the stance is OK. My power steering pump or one of the hoses leaks somewhere and I have to find and fix that. The tires rub on the anti-sway bar at lock to lock turns. This suspension is one inch narrower than stock so I used wheels with 1/2 inch less back spacing to bring the width back to stock.
Right now the front suspension is a little stiff but that can hopefully be adjusted out with the coil over shocks. It is not like the stock suspension as far as softness of ride.
The car has a Tremec five speed and 3:73 posi. I drive it every day, the more I drive it, the more I like it and I don't have air or even a radio yet.

When I win the lottery, I plan on having the body and paint work done and putting in one of those new LS2, carburated GM crate engines.
 

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I am going to go the power rack and pinion route on my '56. I'm still not committed to Unisteer or to Flaming River. At the present time I'm leaning toward the Flaming River Kit for the Tri-Fives. I'm thinking that that is what I will be using. If I go with Unisteer I'll have to play around with the shafts and U=joints to hook them together. From what I can see the rack will fit in the same area as the crosslink and idler arm.
Dave
Just my 2 cents.
 

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I think I read that some of the cheaper rack unit kits had a bump steer issue but I may be wrong. Has anyone ran into that problem with a particular unit?
 

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I've been looking at the FR one too. I agree with the thought that one complete unit would be the way to go. I am not into fabricating things to make it work. The bolt in and fit idea of FR seems so much easier that my wife may even understand the directions so she can tell me what to do. Oh like she doesn't already!:D
 

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If you start to consider the CPP products, I'm happy to send you a copy of my parts list and prices, to see what I bought and the total price. I spent A LOT of time comparing every option out there for traditional power steering (not the R/P) so if you decide to go that route, I can at lest show you what it cost me 6 months ago. John
 
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