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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
Newbie here. I need to do a DIY rack and pinion conversion on 69 Mustang.
Ive been searching through the site for the last couple of days but seems I cant grab anything solid.

I actually need to do a RHD conversion (please dont ask why, and dont tell me how good is LHD because the car MUST be converted to RHD before the registration). The car was originally exported from USA and now in a RHD only country. No exceptions ! Period :)

But for the moment I hope someone could atleast guide me through a good write up on the rack and pinion conversion (LHD at least so I can learn how its done where I should be careful) adapted from a readily available rack.

Dont wanna spend $$$$ on racks which are bolt on kits. I just want something adaptable and fabricate around it.

Cheers
 

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Many before you have attempted to adapt an existing R&P, particularly the Pontiac Sunbird unit, to the early Mustang in order to save money. Every attempt that I am aware of was unsuccessful and eventually an aftermarket unit was purchased. I'm sure if anybody had been successful this forum would be proliferated with threads about it, much like threads regarding EPAS adaptations.
 

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We did a couple of R&P conversions back in the day long before there were any "kits," but
nothing right hand drive. We did one on a Boss 302 that was super slick that incorporated
the rack in the #2 crossmember and looked factory stock. It was fantastically expensive.
They are a pain in the neck to do correctly, just for LHD, without even getting into what you're
trying to accomplish.
If I was capable of doing it, I wouldn't be on VMF giving free advice. I'd be charging the
significant dollars such a job is worth to Do It For You.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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i more impressed that some one was able to convert it to RHD

wow.
 

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I have seen a lot of post saying most of kits are not that great as the turning radius is too large. This was because the original front end was used with existing rack. I would lean towards eps if I was you.
 

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If you can find a center take-off rear steer RHD rack (Honda Civic, maybe?) you should be able to fabricate something. On the other hand, does it HAVE to be R&P? It would seem easier to simply use something like a RHD Aussie-Ford steering box, Pitman and Idler arms.
 

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I have seen a lot of post saying most of kits are not that great as the turning radius is too large. This was because the original front end was used with existing rack. I would lean towards eps if I was you.
This seems to apply only to the power racks for some reason from what I read(no firsthand knowledge here, but those with the manual racks claim to keep their steering radius)

As to rack suggestions for the OP to work with:



Dodge Neon racks came in RHD for export cars(LHD for domestic of course) with ratios varying from 14:1-18:1 in both manual and power versions...all depending on the trim. 1st gen neons had a 56.5" track width and 2nd gens had a 58" track width...which really doesn't say much for rack adaptability, but its something to look at anyway
 

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I did a write up on a R&P kit that is no longer in production, but was based on the Steeroids kit. The pics are missing, but the part numbers exist. But since you're trying to do a RHD conversion, I don't know how much help this will be.

 

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I did the Taurus R&P swap on my 67 15+ years ago and still drive it today. Yes the turning radius is lessened, but for the 2% of time spent navigating parking lots vs the remainder of time carving through canyons, its well worth it! EPAS is an easy way to add power steering to an antiquated steering system; a rack and pinion is another step up in steering precision and feel, they are two very different animals. Your RHD is gonna make it even more of a challenge, but if you are handy and can fabricate parts (drilling, tapping, welding, etc), then it can be done.

I had a very old webpage that documented what I did which is unfortunately long gone. I will dig on my home computer to see if I have any old documentation of what I did with (grainy) pictures. Basically, I made a new engine crossmember that I attached the rack to. I had to cut the inner tie rod ends and drilled and rethreaded outer tie rod ends to mate the spindles. I ended up on using two steering couplings from the Taurus to connect the rack input shaft to my steering column, and I think I even made an adapter plate to bolt the two together. I can't remember what I did for the power steering pressure hose, but the return hose was easy (recycled the fitting where it connects to the rack and hose clamped the hose to the metal tube and routed it back to the power steering pump). One other thing that needs to be done after the install will be to crank in as much positive caster as you can. It really improves the steering feel and allows the steering wheel to return to center with ease.

My upcoming R&P swap for my wife's 66 will use one of the center take off racks (Chevy Cavalier) since her car is much narrower than mine (the Taurus rack is just a hair too wide for the 67, which makes it way too wide for the 66). Since hers is a 6 cylinder I am going to try an electro-hydraulic PS pump because finding the power steering pump brackets for the six is proving tricky. I have most of the parts sitting on my garage floor already, I just need to make the time to start the fabrication. Such is life.

You will have your hands full with this RHD version!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow ! Thats a heavy load of info flowing through. Thanks everyone. Gonna read everything giving time to digest them in and do some background research and will be back for each of you.

Thanks again really appreciate it.
 

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I have seen a lot of post saying most of kits are not that great as the turning radius is too large. This was because the original front end was used with existing rack. I would lean towards eps if I was you.
I AM planing to do EPAS on this later on. At the moment I am working on a EPAS conversion on my 240Z. Its not difficult and looks very promising.

EPAS or not, I still need to find a suitable rack if I were to go with rack and pinion setup
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had a very old webpage that documented what I did which is unfortunately long gone. I will dig on my home computer to see if I have any old documentation of what I did with (grainy) pictures. Basically, I made a new engine crossmember that I attached the rack to. I had to cut the inner tie rod ends and drilled and rethreaded outer tie rod ends to mate the spindles. I ended up on using two steering couplings from the Taurus to connect the rack input shaft to my steering column, and I think I even made an adapter plate to bolt the two together. I can't remember what I did for the power steering pressure hose, but the return hose was easy (recycled the fitting where it connects to the rack and hose clamped the hose to the metal tube and routed it back to the power steering pump). One other thing that needs to be done after the install will be to crank in as much positive caster as you can. It really improves the steering feel and allows the steering wheel to return to center with ease.

My upcoming R&P swap for my wife's 66 will use one of the center take off racks (Chevy Cavalier) since her car is much narrower than mine (the Taurus rack is just a hair too wide for the 67, which makes it way too wide for the 66). Since hers is a 6 cylinder I am going to try an electro-hydraulic PS pump because finding the power steering pump brackets for the six is proving tricky. I have most of the parts sitting on my garage floor already, I just need to make the time to start the fabrication. Such is life.

You will have your hands full with this RHD version!
I would be in debt if you could find me those pics !!! I will be upgrading this to a EPAS system with time (already doing it on my 240Z which I found not difficult). So thats one reason why im looking for a R&P.

Looks like you have mastered this. Would love to see what you are coming up with the R&P. Let me know if you plan on a build thread and sharing the knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did a write up on a R&P kit that is no longer in production, but was based on the Steeroids kit. The pics are missing, but the part numbers exist. But since you're trying to do a RHD conversion, I don't know how much help this will be.

Had a look at the write up and it looks elaborating. Nice work there. Any chance of finding those pics ? Neednt point which is where. Just send me the pics and i think i can relate it to the text since its description is in detail.
 

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On this subject...if you are considering using an existing rack...don't settle for what is available off the shelf:


You always have the option of putting some time in to take an off-the-shelf rack and SHORTEN it to make sure it fits a vintage mustang correctly without "gaining" steering radius.
 

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Yeah, if only it worked that way in our old Mustangs. (It doesn't.)
 

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On this subject...if you are considering using an existing rack...don't settle for what is available off the shelf:


You always have the option of putting some time in to take an off-the-shelf rack and SHORTEN it to make sure it fits a vintage mustang correctly without "gaining" steering radius.
That is some serious business. Thanks a lot for sharing. (y)(y)
 

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Yeah, if only it worked that way in our old Mustangs. (It doesn't.)
Maybe, maybe not. I am not a steering expert...but rack and pinion conversions do work obviously and if you had the software to figure out exactly the rack length you needed presumably it "could" work(and I am sure someone sells the software). All the rack and pinion conversions I have ever seen for our mustangs side-mount the tie rods...but is there a reason for this? Other than the fact that those kits want to double the rack as a crossmember? I don't know, but its a question that is worth asking. Would a sufficiently shortened rack with end-mounted tie rods work? Though even I can see end-mounting might cause issues with steering shaft input location. From a technical standpoint, shortening a steering rack would be dead easy(well, just as easy as shortening a rear-end housing anyway)...the difficult part would be getting the correct length, mounting height, and position to minimize bump-steer and ackerman issues.
 
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