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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am needing some opinions on what rack and pinion to buy for my 55. I have investigated the Flaming River setup and if there are any opinions on any other brand I would appreciate your feedback.
 

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R&P

Using a Unisteer REQUIRES absolute orginal stock oil pan any later units including stock appearing pans hit on the bottom. Rack boots can hit the back of none original a arms. Unisteer's steering arms require careful clean up of powdercoat inside mount holes and some grinding on steering arms and spindle to sit flush on spindle. Do Not Try to pull these on with the bolts bad things can happen they must slide to flush position. Been There .
 

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I know it's not what you asked, and maybe you've already worked through all the possible options and the problems each might create while solving others; but putting R&P where it's not designed to go can be considered a last resort, when other fitment problems can't acceptably be solved any other way.

What are your goals?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know it's not what you asked, and maybe you've already worked through all the possible options and the problems each might create while solving others; but putting R&P where it's not designed to go can be considered a last resort, when other fitment problems can't acceptably be solved any other way.

What are your goals?
My goal is to have the steering of a more modern car. My 55 has everything new in my front end except rack and pinion. I am currently using the chevy 605 box which has too much play for my comfort zone when going freeway speeds.
 

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It's certainly debatable, but hanging a rack behind the crossmember probably won't improve your steering and handling any more than a new high quality steering box. And because the suspension isn't designed for it, the installation is an engineering compromise, not really an engineering improvement.

The kits are popular, people buy them and install them, once you get the right oilpan, headers, U joints and brackets to turn the steering column almost straight down, and don't make any minor adjustments with fitment (that screw up the geometry), it can work fine.
But for the parts and labor you might not get any improvement, aside from the worn box being out of there.
I expect someone will post pro R&P arguments, I've done stuff just because I felt like it. Worth thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's certainly debatable, but hanging a rack behind the crossmember probably won't improve your steering and handling any more than a new high quality steering box. And because the suspension isn't designed for it, the installation is an engineering compromise, not really an engineering improvement.

The kits are popular, people buy them and install them, once you get the right oilpan, headers, U joints and brackets to turn the steering column almost straight down, and don't make any minor adjustments with fitment (that screw up the geometry), it can work fine.
But for the parts and labor you might not get any improvement, aside from the worn box being out of there.
I expect someone will post pro R&P arguments, I've done stuff just because I felt like it. Worth thinking about.
Thanks for your input, I have been thinking about it for quite some time. I have read decent reviews of the CPP 500 box replacement, but I am not sure if I will be gaining a much better steering feel. I drove a few of my friends rides that had R&P and the difference was night and day from what I have now. My GM 605 box is not horribly bad by any sense, but if I could get a much more stable feeling on the freeway then I will spend the money and time it takes to do it.
 

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The advantage of the 500 box over the 605 is the recirculating ball design, where there are ball bearings between the worm gear and sector gear.
The 605 has no ball bearings there, and at best has comparatively poor response and road feel.
If you can drive a TriFive with cpp500 and all new linkages you may find it does what you want.
My complaint with either of these boxes is they take up too much space where my big block sits. There are headers that squeeze in there, but for a number of reasons I decided to go to a complete C4 IFS with R&P front steer. At this point it looks very nice on a dolly in the corner of my garage...
 

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r&p

Maze, I,ve had aJim Meyers racing r&p in my Nomad for about 5 years ,it is great, very precise, it also is a complete boltin no modification, so down the road if someone wants to change it back it,s not a biggie.Also Jim is in Oregon,I,ve had a few minor problems which they told me how to fix. Great tech support, I know a lot of guys say it,s not worth it but the ones I know that have love it, can,tsay anything about the other r& p,s as Meyers is the only one I,m familiar with, Do the homework ,check out the other ones on- line ,,etc.. Good luck DICK:anim_25:
 

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I have a power rack from dutchman motorsports. I was very happy with the install and with the way the steering feels. I have a zz430 and the oil pan cleared the rack fine. For headers i used thorley tri-y full length for a first generation camaro and they fit like they were custom made. I was also able to use mechanical clutch linkage with this setup. I did take some of the pressure out of the pump by adding shims from borgeson. I have no regrets in going with a rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maze, I,ve had aJim Meyers racing r&p in my Nomad for about 5 years ,it is great, very precise, it also is a complete boltin no modification, so down the road if someone wants to change it back it,s not a biggie.Also Jim is in Oregon,I,ve had a few minor problems which they told me how to fix. Great tech support, I know a lot of guys say it,s not worth it but the ones I know that have love it, can,tsay anything about the other r& p,s as Meyers is the only one I,m familiar with, Do the homework ,check out the other ones on- line ,,etc.. Good luck DICK:anim_25:
Thanks for the info. Is your Nomad a stock frame and cross member?
 

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Thanks for your input, I have been thinking about it for quite some time. I have read decent reviews of the CPP 500 box replacement, but I am not sure if I will be gaining a much better steering feel. I drove a few of my friends rides that had R&P and the difference was night and day from what I have now. My GM 605 box is not horribly bad by any sense, but if I could get a much more stable feeling on the freeway then I will spend the money and time it takes to do it.
Honestly, using the R&P option and maintaining all of the remainder of a stock vehicle regardless of updates to upper and lower control arms, spindles and the addition of an anti roll bar (AKA Sway Bar) pails in comparison to a true update to either a C4, C5 or other makers of front clips. Progressive Automotive, Classic Edge Designs, Jimmy Meyer or a couple of other manufacturers would be the better approach to consider.

Just adding an R&P is just giving you a pinch of an upgrade and the felt quickness of the unit in your hands. Comfort, ride height and adjustability are all features of a clip and in my humble opinion the rout for additional consideration - more expense, YES but worth it in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honestly, using the R&P option and maintaining all of the remainder of a stock vehicle regardless of updates to upper and lower control arms, spindles and the addition of an anti roll bar (AKA Sway Bar) pails in comparison to a true update to either a C4, C5 or other makers of front clips. Progressive Automotive, Classic Edge Designs, Jimmy Meyer or a couple of other manufacturers would be the better approach to consider.

Just adding an R&P is just giving you a pinch of an upgrade and the felt quickness of the unit in your hands. Comfort, ride height and adjustability are all features of a clip and in my humble opinion the rout for additional consideration - more expense, YES but worth it in the long run.
Thank you Nick, now I have some real thinking to do. The only thing on my 55 that is a 55 is the body and frame, everything else is brand new. I checked out Jim Meyers and they do have an econo kit for the stock frame that replaces the A arms and adapter plates, steering arms, and pivot shafts, plus all other mounting hardware. At $1600, it looks like it will maintain a good steering geometry as intended. I don't want to spend considerable money and invest a lot of time into this with just minor results, so I thank you for your suggestions.
 

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Thank you Nick, now I have some real thinking to do. The only thing on my 55 that is a 55 is the body and frame, everything else is brand new. I checked out Jim Meyers and they do have an econo kit for the stock frame that replaces the A arms and adapter plates, steering arms, and pivot shafts, plus all other mounting hardware. At $1600, it looks like it will maintain a good steering geometry as intended. I don't want to spend considerable money and invest a lot of time into this with just minor results, so I thank you for your suggestions.
It should give you some increase in performance however, it's still a rear steer that may, depending on oil pan and other items, cause issues. Of course, the key here is ones budget and how extensive one want's to modify the chassis/drivetrain. I know they have engineered it with all of the solutions ready for your application. My only suggestion would be to build a spread sheet of ALL of the choices out there and list every nut and bolt, brake fitting and hose, oil pan, steering column attachments, headers etc. that will be involved in the modification to determine which gives you the best bang for your bucks.

JMHO & 2


 

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R&P

MAZE, SOR:anim_25:RY DIDN,T SEE YOUR? UNTIL JUST NOW, YES MY FRAME & CROSSMEMBER ARE STOCK, I HAVE BLOCK HUGGERS ON A LATE MODEL,350, SWAY BAR ALSO. I AGREE ABOUT THE C4,C5, FRAMES BUT IT WAS OUT OF MY PRICE RANGE, DICK
 

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I have read decent reviews of the CPP 500 box replacement, but I am not sure if I will be gaining a much better steering feel.
I think you'll find the CPP500 box will have a good "feel" to it, similar to a rack.

The other thing is that it will have a much better "feel" than a 605 box.

The reason for this is that the hydraulic valve that controls assist is what gives any power steering setup its "feel". Modern racks have a "tight" p/s valve, and a CPP500 has a similar "tight" valve. In contrast, a 605 box has a "loose" valve. It has too much power steering too soon. The more modern stuff has limited power assist close to center, but plenty of assist when you're parking, etc.

Taking Nick's thoughts a bit farther, R&P makes more sense installation-wise when you combine it with an engineered package. Also, the simplest R&P kits can have bump steer problems. Most require a steering arm change too, and not all of them include the steering arms in the kit. If you don't have the right steering arms, you won't get the "feel" you're looking for, and you won't have full steering travel either.

Last thing about an R&P - routing the steering shaft past the exhaust headers or manifolds can be problematic. Not that it can't be done, but the time and expense adds up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MAZE, SOR:anim_25:RY DIDN,T SEE YOUR? UNTIL JUST NOW, YES MY FRAME & CROSSMEMBER ARE STOCK, I HAVE BLOCK HUGGERS ON A LATE MODEL,350, SWAY BAR ALSO. I AGREE ABOUT THE C4,C5, FRAMES BUT IT WAS OUT OF MY PRICE RANGE, DICK
Thanks, I will investigate all the manufactures thoroughly. I'm glad to hear your frame and cross member is stock, it helps with my confidence of knowing it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think you'll find the CPP500 box will have a good "feel" to it, similar to a rack.

The other thing is that it will have a much better "feel" than a 605 box.

The reason for this is that the hydraulic valve that controls assist is what gives any power steering setup its "feel". Modern racks have a "tight" p/s valve, and a CPP500 has a similar "tight" valve. In contrast, a 605 box has a "loose" valve. It has too much power steering too soon. The more modern stuff has limited power assist close to center, but plenty of assist when you're parking, etc.

Taking Nick's thoughts a bit farther, R&P makes more sense installation-wise when you combine it with an engineered package. Also, the simplest R&P kits can have bump steer problems. Most require a steering arm change too, and not all of them include the steering arms in the kit. If you don't have the right steering arms, you won't get the "feel" you're looking for, and you won't have full steering travel either.

Last thing about an R&P - routing the steering shaft past the exhaust headers or manifolds can be problematic. Not that it can't be done, but the time and expense adds up.
Thanks, knowing the CPP box is far superior to the 605 is a plus. My 605 box is fairly stable up to 65 or 70 MPH, but after that is when I can feel the float which is not a comfortable confident feeling, especially if the road has any lines in it.
 

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before going the c4 route, I was looking at Oldedays R&P (they are a sponsor). It includes the steering arms as mentioned by Rick. Seems to have relatively good comments if you search and is a fair price for what you get. Just another option to consider...
 

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My goal is to have the steering of a more modern car. My 55 has everything new in my front end except rack and pinion. I am currently using the chevy 605 box which has too much play for my comfort zone when going freeway speeds.
I had a 605 box and my 56 wagon steered terrible. Could not keep it straight going down the highway without make some constant steering corrections. I changed to a Borgeson power box and could not be happier. It handles great and is a joy to drive and park.
However, no matter what box you deceide on, make sure you install a front stablizer.
 

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I put the Flaming River power rack in my 57 many years ago before the newest 500 boxes were well known. I wanted to go with a rack to get the big old steering box out of there, especially with a power set up so I choose the power rack. I went with Flaming River cause I liked the cradle set up verses the unisteer where the rack is the support unit itself. I had not even heard of Dutchman when I did mine, might have used their system if I had.

The rack went in fine except I needed to change headers since the knuckle of the rack went right where the collector was at, Sanderson makes some small and big block headers for the racks. I also lost a bunch of steering radius with the rack, had to buy some knuckles for a few hundred dollars and then do the alignment again. This greatly improved the turning, but most places won't tell you how bad the radius is without them. Its just more money right?

Well I loved the install, very easy, yes its close to the pan, but it fits fine. The cradle is the lowest part of the car, but it keeps the rack up above the crossmember. My only concern is that after 6 years of driving now the rack is a bit sloppy, I contacted Flaming River and they said they had problems with the earlier racks and are now using better ones. I asked them if there was a replacement plan and they said yes they would sell me another one.....oh and knock off 10%. Not what I call a great warranty plan.

If I was doing it all again I would check put the 500 boxes and see what you think, I know I would consider it since it would be close to half the cost.

Regarding using a complete C4 set up would be great, but I have rode in cars with them, way too rough a ride for me.......they ride like a Corvette:sign0020: Not to mention the 20 grand for one.
 
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