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Old 12-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
tlmartin84
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Default "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

I couldn't find much on this, so I had to fumble my way through it. Thought I'd offer this up for help to some of the other guys.

This is a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria rack going on my 56 F100.

This is how it started:


I narrowed the crossmember 1.5" so in order to keep the geometry correct I need to narrow the rack.

First thing I did was disassemble it. Not too hard to do. You need a large set of Snap Ring Pliers, a dental pick, and a seal puller (I made mine).



3/8" rebar with a sharpen piece of 1/8" steel welded to end. I had to sharpen it and quench it several times to get it hard enough. Had to have it to pull this seal. It was about 10" down in that cylinder.





After disassembly, I had 1.5" cut out of the center of the shaft. I also had the machinist make a set of V Blocks to weld it back together.



I then used masking tape to mark 1.5" on the aluminum housing and cut it with a hacksaw so I had good control of the cut. After cutting I used a LARGE flat file to finish the last bit off to have perfectly square butts. I used a flap disc to bevel back the edges for welding and a diegrinder with a sanding drum to get into the grooves on the housing.

It was then bolted to a piece of 1" tubing to hold in place. When welding I slid a piece of pipe inside the housing to help hold it straight also.



Then they were tig'd.



I had the shaft turned down and polished. I reassembled everything using new seals I got from pskits.com. All of that went back together like it came apart. They provide you with all the soft parts, new dust caps, and nuts to assemble.


http://www.pskits.com/catalog/rackki...0cc247c2f64800

I ran into one issue. Getting the teflon SQUARE orings to seat properly. They stretch when you put them on. So they have to be shrunk down. I used a hose clamp, I line the inside with a piece of solid hose clamp and placed them around the seals. Then I tightened TIGHT. Next heat them with a butane torch until they are to warm to touch and cool in water. this stiffens them up. Worked real well.

Here is the final product:



Lastly I had to shorten the hard lines. I cut 1.5" out of them and then used couplers to put them back together.




I wish I had taken more pics, I just get so involved in something I forget to. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
sdluck
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Very nice
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Well done.
You dont find too many folks wanting to do this shortening of power racks work.

I am curious to what you did to the actual rack for shortening?
I assume you did both ends!
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Nope cut 1.5" right outta the middle of it. See the pics above, cut it out, put it in the Vee blocks and welded it back together. and turned the weld off.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Not bad, but ya wimped out on not welding the hard lines back together after you shortened them ;>)

jack vines
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

You couldn't have just taken 3/4 off each sides of the inner or outer tie-rod ends?
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

sure I could have shortened the tie rods....but the geometry wasnt right

when I dropped the springs out of it and raised and lowered the front end with the tierods up tight i was getting toe in and out of the tires of about 1/2"

just didnt like it
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Nice tech, thanks for sharing. Could you share some more info on the selection of the Crown Vic, how come you picked this one? just curious.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
one37tudor
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

By taking the 1 1/2" out of the center, didn't that change the point that the rack centers on the pinion? Wouldn't that make it have more travel in one direction than the other?
Or am I just looking at this wrong???

Scott...
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Well the rack came withmy cross member and IFS.

Scott, by taking it out of the housing and rack at the same place it has no affect...

Had I taken it off of the opposite end of the piston it would have affected it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

you narrowed it the correct way and turned a "pretty good" crossmember choice into a "great one" with this modification. subcribed!
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

well done! great work, i hope it work as good as it looks.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Thanks, check the link in my signature to see the whole setup on the f100.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.



We did the same thing on a '56 F100. In the second picture you can see we moved the "piston" on the rack to center it.

Nice work on the frame................Amazing stuff there.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTFuzz View Post


We did the same thing on a '56 F100. In the second picture you can see we moved the "piston" on the rack to center it.

Nice work on the frame................Amazing stuff there.
nice! did you simply machine and reweld the piston after moving?
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

No , we had to make a new piston because the old one was ruined when we tried to remove it........
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

The original piston appeared to be press fit, welded and the turned down to a taper. I am not 100% on that though, It may just be pressed. Regardless I don't think you can cut the old one off and reuse it.

It would be nearly impossible to get welded back. So you have 2 options, make a new piston like CT did, shorten the shaft, weld the new piston on, and retap the shaft to accept the inner tie rod.

OR do as I did, cut the shaft in to and reweld it. It's a lot less work,and just as accurate if done properly.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:29 AM   #18
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

The old piston is also designed to be used to properly seat the inner seal.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

Nice job and great tech. Thanks for sharing
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: "HOW TO" Shorten a power steering rack.

2 ways to do it is always cool!
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