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Technical Old Mopars and rack and pinion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rocknrolldaddy, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    My '54 Dodge Royal steering is shot. I've been driving it with a busted-ass, original power steering unit, and worn out steering box. I put in a new steering box kit from oldmoparts.com before I got it back on the road, all it did was confirm the steering box is useless. I was never able to find a rebuild kit for the power steering unit.
    Today the steering just got plain dangerous. I have a 318 poly in it and really need to address this. I can fabricate a cross member, or any brackets I may need.

    Is there a rack and pinion that anyone can recommend, that I can adapt to my car? Is there a certain car that has one for an easy fit? I'm not counting on anything to bolt right in, but, the less fabrication, the better. I'm sure someone has done it before, I just haven't found a build thread or something I can go off of.

    Thanks in advance, Art.
     
  2. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,478

    abe lugo
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  3. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,580

    73RR
    Member

    The Cavalier is most often a power unit and the Pontiac Sunbird (???) is most often a manual.
    Both have been used in late 40's and early 50's Mopar.
     

  4. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,629

    1959apache
    Member

    I will post the info I have received from Plydo regarding the rack and pinion. No sense on spending $200 on a "kit" Fatman bought from Plydo, who designed the kit. All Fatman does is sell you instructions and a couple specialty parts, everything else (tie rods, r&p,etc) you have to buy on top of that.

    I just did this on my 40 Plymouth coupe. If you would like to make the drive you can look at one in person that is already done and if need be I can give you my cell and you can ask any questions while doing it
     
  5. i used a 1990s GP unit in my 52 ply some shots in my albums
     
  6. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    Thanks guys. At least I know where to start now. I mentioned the Poly I'm running, will the weight of the Poly mater, considering Cavaliers and Sunbirds are mostly 4 and 6 cylinder cars? I will be going manual and not power.

    By the way, it looks like Ply-do is out of business.
     
  7. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,478

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe the cavalier swap is used on other full sized cars with V8, including '57 Fords.
    Im working on a '33 Plymouuth and may go the unisteer route if I cant fit the stock steering box, which sound like it may the case. Im running a Poly too.
     
  8. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl
    Member

    You will need the center steer Cavalier rack from an early car. Unless you shorten your steering arms you will lose a lot of your turn radius. You need to plot the travel of the existing steering arms from lock to lock and obtain the amount of travel required to do so. I think you will not find a rack with enough travel. By doing this you can calculate the amount the arms need to be shortened to obtain the same lock to lock travel with the rack.
     
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,580

    73RR
    Member

    OK guys, what are the Poly plans? Stock-ish or a nasty stroker piece?
    So nice to see folks using these engines.

    .
     
  10. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    I'm staying stock. It has 57k documented miles. And I love the scallops on the valve covers.
     
  11. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,103

    4woody
    Member

    I run the Cavalier R&P on a '38 Mopar w/a big block 383. It's a big, heavy car but weight doesn't seem to be an issue . As others have mentioned, you'll be making more 3-point turns than you used to as the turn radius will be bigger.

    Something to keep in mind running the Cav rack with the typical Saginaw canned ham pump: The pump came set up many different ways with regard to both flow (gpm rate) and pressure, and almost all of them are too high for the rack resulting in a twitchy, over-assisted feel.

    There is a "Low flow" valve available for the pump that reduce flow from 3 gpm to 2gpm, and a shim kit to take down the psi. I'd plan on using both. They are easy to install as you set up your system.
     
  12. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    To the th guys running the cavalier R&P in a Mopar, what tie rod ends did you use?
     
  13. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,103

    4woody
    Member

    The tie rods & inners are from the Cavalier. I bought the kit from Fatman which included an adapter that goes from the Cav tie rod to a Datsun 510 outer tie rod end. A clever guy could make up his own tie rods, skip the adapter, and use the tie rod end of your choice. Standard 7* taper in your steering arms. Cav rack is metric.
     
  14. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    4Woody, do you have a picture of the adapter? I didn't see anything about a Cavalier on the website.
     
  15. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,103

    4woody
    Member

    [​IMG]

    The 510 tie rod end (marked 555) is female threaded, and the Cav tie rod (black part coming in @ the upper left corner of the photo) is also female thread and has a clamp/collar. The adapter is male threads on both ends with a hex in the middle to adjust it, and you can see it here joining the TRE to the TR.
     
  16. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    All you guys running POLYs, and Cavalier R&Ps, are you sportin' front sump oil pans?

    Picked up a manual Cavalier R&P and ran into an oil pan issue.

    If I move the rack back, the starter blocks the steering shaft and the inners are angled forward. If I move it forward, the rack is up against the oil pan. So I'm thinking of switching to a front sump oil pan. But I'm not sure if the pan drops straight down, in front, behind the pulley. If it does, it will be up against the cross member.

    Thanks for the input so far, fellas.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. I've had a 318 poly in my Oz 1940 Dodge since 1973 and a 9" narrowed Austin 1800 Rack & Pinion as that was all that was available back then, I have also had the steering arms shortened 2" to return the steering radius to a usable amount.........however I have seen in the past couple of yrs where when a Cavalier rack(Holden Camira here in Oz) was used that the steering arms have been mounted further forward, effectively reducing the distance from the king pin to the steering arm eye and therefore accommodating the rack & pinions smaller "throw" and giving a normal steering radius.......this only works when a steel disc brake caliper adaptor is used and the steering arm is moved 1 bolt forward on the lower two bolts on the stock mopar stub axle and the steering arm front bolt is bolted onto the disc caliper plate..........make sense?.......lol.............andyd.
     
  18. So I'm just curoius here, anybody know why Fatman uses a Cavalier rack for the stock front end conversion, but a Fox bodied Mustang one for his Mustang II front ends on the same car?

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  19. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl
    Member

    It is all about front end geometry , The MII lower and upper pivot points are perpendicular to the front cross member. The original front suspension mounts the lower trunnion bars on an angle. If you draw a line through each trunnion they come together at some point behind the cross member. The two pivot points on the Caviler rack will line up on the extended lines. That is where it should be installed and the tie rods should be parallel to the rear edge of the lower A frames when connected to the spindle.
     
    pitman likes this.
  20. They make one I think it is called a unisteer that is dead on one side. That is what you really want in our old cars as a rule. No real problems with steering geometry like a normal rack, you mount it and go with it.
     
  21. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    Who makes "unisteer"?
     
  22. "Unisteer" does. :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)

    Unisteer Performance Products

    http://www.unisteer.com/

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  23. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    4woody, I looked up those 510 tie rod ends, they are both different. Did you get two of the same?, or did you get the right and the left?

    Also, the adapter that you mentioned and use, was that because the stock Cavalier part a different size or thread, than the 510 TRE's?

    Unisteer, $400? Ouch! And I still have to fab everything else? It looks like a nice, quality product but, that's too much lettuce for my sandwich.
     
  24. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    It looks like I'm headed to the J-yard for a front sump oil pan tomorrow.
     
  25. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,580

    73RR
    Member

    Keep in mind that if you move the sump then you must also move the oil pick-up.
    Can you notch your existing pan to provide enough clearance?

    .
     
  26. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,078

    pitman

    I've used in years long past, MG, Jag and more recently VW Rabbit racks.
     
  27. rocknrolldaddy
    Joined: Aug 24, 2006
    Posts: 336

    rocknrolldaddy
    Member

    Pittman, I already have a Cavalier r&p.

    73RR, I have a mid sump now. The original power steering unit was obstructing the motor, so I cut off 3 inches. I shifted the back part, where drain plug is, of the oil pan forward, to make room for the power steering unit. I lost a little oil capacity, but it worked for the time. I think if I can fit a front sump, I can gain my oil capacity back.

    Thanks.
     
  28. My 318 Poly has the LA series engine oil filter block plate that allows the LA engine to have the oil filter mounted remotely, up front.......therefore I used this LA plate with aftermarket hoses going to a standard Z9 type remote oil filter bracket which has hoses also going to an oil cooler from a 1960's BMC Mini( these coolers are a UK design but still available)........the extra oil line length and oil cooler help with extra capacity....you can just make out the 2 lines pointing out from the oil filter bracket....one goes to the front mounted cooler and the other curves around behind the filter and down to the side of the block......the other hose at the top is the return line from the cooler.........the oil flow is to the filter, then to the cooler and back to the block......the standard poly oil pump handles this fine and runs at 40psi as indicated on the stock 1940 Dodge mechanical oil guage.......regards, andyd
     

    Attached Files:

  29. Heres a couple of pics of the Austin 1800 rack in the 40 Dodge, it has been narrowed 9", however one day the Cavalier style rack will be installed.......andyd
     

    Attached Files:

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