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Technical T-bucket steering help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by a12, Feb 18, 2022.

  1. Here's a tierod end that will keep you from needing new spindles. It's Ford and you can get them from Speedway as well as many others. The cross steer link just bolts direct into it. Works very well.
    Tim_with_a_T, ClarkH, MO_JUNK and 5 others like this.
  2. a12
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 31


    Excellent. Thanks for that! He’s delaying getting it up here due to me trying to finish up a 62 Corvette for a lady, and I don’t want it sitting here if I’m not working on it.

    Once here, I’ll look into the box position in regards to the axle and it being too far forward. I did see that diagram before as well.

    bchctybob likes this.
  3. nobby
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 841


    Last edited: Feb 24, 2022
  4. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,678


    Before ordering anything, I would turn the spindles around to the correct position and check the tie rod fit. If the tie rod goes through without interference, then you may have room for the cross-steer drag link barring interference with the damper or oil pan, but you'll need to figure in a Panhard bar also. My '29 roadster had the Pete and Jakes four bar/Mustang steering box setup and it worked great, nice steering feel. I take it you've checked out their catalog for the front suspension tips?
    Just Gary, Pist-n-Broke and X38 like this.
  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,031


    I doubt it. After you turn the spindles around so the arms point rearward, and if you are lucky the tie rod fits under the spring and other hairpin stuff, you will then find the cross steer box would probably mount to the inside of the rail right about where the radiator is. With the stretched out front suspension that is common on Fad T's, there is no room for a cross steer box. That's why it is most common to use a side steer like a Corvair (repro Corvair boxes are produced, even reversed which was the common mod to fit it into the T). Maybe a Mustang would work too, but it's quite a bit bulkier than the Corvair.
  6. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,427


    Here is a picture of the car I am working on now, I don't know what steering box this is....I think the car was purchased from Speedway as a kit in 1995 and I am not sure how much came with it, the drag link is not perfectly parallel to the tie rod, but close, there is just a tiny bit of radiator (a big old brass T style one) clearance between the cross member and the steering box. I hope it drives right once I get it on the road. IMG_4496.JPEG
    John Lee Williamson likes this.
  7. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,265


    Good call:eek::eek:
  8. a12
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 31


    Ok, got it all. Thank you guys! I’ll get it here then post up what I find.

    Yeah, starting over for him isn’t an option, so I’ll make it right for him somehow! It’ll be a T-Bucket learning curve for sure!

    Snicklefritz65, ClarkH and bchctybob like this.
  9. Don't over engineer it. There are a few different ways to keep it simple. It don't need to be beautiful to work well.
    1 t bucket2.jpg AAo7OtZ.img.jpg Kookie Kar @ Roy Brizio Street Rods (37).jpg Kookie Kar @ Roy Brizio Street Rods (48).jpg
    Driver50x, Max Gearhead and bchctybob like this.
  10. nobby
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 841


    Speedway Stainless Steel 4-Bar Rod Ends, 5/8-18 RH Thread, Polished (
    they make rod ends
    7 degree
    11 degree

    I think its something to do with the width of the frame at the cowl
    -say on a 1932 ford the frame is wider here = use the 7 degree rod end
    on a model A its narrower here, so use the 11 degree.

    something like that
    do away with a maxed out spherical rod end with small teflon liner
    and run a angled rod end with 'more' isolation

    just how goofy does a fad - T look when you run them spring over axle with a suicide perch?
    if the axle went back a few inches so it was spring over
    29 1/4'' reversed eye spring
    4'' dropped tube axle painted yellow
    spring perch - 4 bar batwings
    46'' wide axle 36'' perch
    stock 40 spindles
    the steering arms would go through the bars
    the input taper from the steering gear to the spindle will be 7'' back from axle centreline - easier to mount vega or 525 steering gear box?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2022
  11. Ford Pickup steering stabilizer from any auto parts, bolt it on and the problem is gone.
    gary macdonald likes this.
  12. I think I missed something here. Exactly what problem are you referring to?
  13. The page topic problem.
  14. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    from illinois

    He lost me ...?
  15. T-BUCKET STEERING HELP? A dampner is going to fix this?
  16. Seems to me side steer would be the best bet. I've used early Econoline, Mustang, and Corvair boxes on T buckets with no problems. The area where a Vega box would best be mounted is usually occupied by the radiator on stuff I've built.
    2OLD2FAST likes this.
  17. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,165


    How about some photos of the steering column angle etc.
    Everybody is here helping but there could be an issue with a lot of [too many] universals in the Column.

    You need to swap the spindles/ knuckles side to side to have the tie rod behind the axle [and restore a bit of common sense to the Ackermann]

    If your steering column is similar to most T buckets, I would recommend you to KEEP THE RACK.
    BUT mount it longitudinal below the steering column and remove the rear tie rod. [only use one end]

    Then up near the axle mount a [1984] Toyota Van steering Bellcrank.
    If you mount this directly to the axle , you could use 2 short tie-rods and there still will be zero bump-steer issues [the axle , bell-crank ,tie-rods move up/down together so there is no change in Toe angles]

    The bell-crank can be "clocked" 90 deg or flipped [etc] over to get the steering wheel rotation in phase with the front wheels.

    I've seen the exact steering system on an early Jeep body swap onto a Suzuki Samurai frame. [the Samurai had a front steering box which required cutting a large notch in the Grill surround]
    rod1 likes this.
  18. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    from illinois

    There's always a way to overcomplicate things , I always thought part of the beauty of a tbucket was the unadorned simplicity ?!
    Jibs and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  19. [​IMG]

    Oh My!! There are so many ways to do things, but nothing is better than thinking for yourself and the K.I.S.S. method.
    2OLD2FAST likes this.
  20. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,165


    Try weaving the steering column from near vertical steering wheel to a front mounted cross steer box.
    Especially with T Bucket headers in the way.
    [if the OP sent us photos, I know of another Toyota part that can remedy this with a standard cross-steer box]

    It all depends on his existing steering column [which I asked for photos]
    The simplest most uncomplicated easiest method is to leave the P.O.S steering as-is and put up with it .
    The most complicated system would be a full R & P IFS [with rocker suspension] which will handle best

    I just offered a method using his existing components [but adding 1 more] that will not cause bump steer issues [which is critical with cross steer]

    The biggest issue on a T bucket is the stupid steering wheel angles they seem to have [especially "Fad T's"]
    As I said previously, I've seen this done on a 4 x 4 with ridiculous amounts of suspension travel and no bump steer issues [and it was tough enough for bush trails]

    In Fact early WW2 Jeeps had the same steering system [but with a box]
    phelan9251 likes this.
  21. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,011


    That is the poster car for cobbled together front end on a T bucket.
    It's not just the power rack stuck on the Model A axle and out in front at that. That steering shaft setup looks like it will bind 7 ways from Sunday going down the road,
    Steering arms in front of the axle that make most rigs with an I beam drive like crap to begin with. Some will argue but unless you put a lot of time in reworking the steering arms to correct the Ackerman you are going to be dragging a front tire around every corner.
    It is the spring shackle setup that is pretty suspect and what appears to be a 4-leaf trailer spring itself.
    There are no safety washers on the Heim ends on the 4 bar. That is an absolute safety issue.
    You can cut that mess off the front of the axle and grind the scabs away, swap the spindles back to their correct sides and put a proper tie rod in it by maybe having to heat and bend the steering arms up or down a tad and put either cross or side steering in it and make a half way decent car out of it along with fixing some safety issues.
    OR, and that is a big or, Shit can everything in front of the heim ends on the 4 bars except the spindles and brakes, get a dropped front axle with spring on top and proper set of batwings to run the 4 bar and steering box of choice.
    Tow Truck Tom and X38 like this.
  22. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,768


    One thing I noticed from the original post is that the owner brought the vehicle in to change a few things. He had the spindles swapped in an attempt to correct a toe issue? But one thing is its never mentioned that the car drove terribly. I wonder how it was to drive. I wouldnt put any of that stuff on a hot rod but someone drove that thing. It doesnt look like a fresh build. Haha Maybe it worked. Crazy man.
  23. It was nice to see Norms "T" and to explain that a steering stabilizer will stop symptoms from sloppy steering. Ditch the rack and add a stabilizer. It did drive in I guess?
  24. nobby
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 841


    is the wheel base 114 inches
    model a axle width stock to king pin centres 50.5
    1942 axle 50.5'' to king pin centres
    1942 wheel base 114''

    so IF your car is 114'' wheel base , the axle width is correct, steering arms are correct

    IF not, then you need to change your front axle and / or spindles.
    I think you have to get the basic hard bits correct first

    oh, and no ones said track locator
  25. a12
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 31


    So, exactly like adam401 said. My father-in law bought the car and honestly, we don’t know if he even drove it before buying it. He’s not the most flexible guy, and this car doesn’t even have a tilt column or a door to enter. Yes, I know, believe me, we all roll our eyes but it’s his and now he needs it fixed.

    I know what you are all thinking and I could start an entirely knew thread of the history of bad decisions on his end, but this thread is about a fix to this issue. All the other issues? We’ll, probably a psychiatrist.

    Anyway, the picture showing the steering arms facing forward is one taken at some local shop that swapped them around to see if it was going to correct the issue. It didn’t, and now they are back on the car facing rearward. He drove the car several times and complained of the steering “not being right”. When he showed me the pic of the arms facing rearward at a 45degree angle to the rack, my gut reaction was like everyone’s here: YIKES!!! Enter me and trying to fix this mess for him.

    In addition to fixing it I plan on installing a tilt column for him and at some point, fab up an inner door frame and cut a door out so he doesn’t look like a bowling ball hitting the gutter getting into this thing. Poor guy, he just wants to drive the car and I plan on making it happen for him sometime in the next few months.

    I have to get this 62 Vette out of my shop before I can take it and just waiting on a few more parts for that and then I can take this in. Then the real fun posting up will begin.
    Thanks fellas…

  26. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,644

    from Minn. uSA

    vtx; that's a vega box.

    al2; depends on what you n fil want. Mimilans' suggestion is good, just requires a bit of thought & application. Not a traditional "traditional" method of steering, but it'll work. In addition to the ww2 jeep use, stude used steering bellcranks since at least '51->'64. So the idea of a bellcrank fits the time period, if not the "common" t-bucket useage.

    For a fairly cheap steering box, you could use the stude. Probably no more work than redoing a 'vair or other somesuch. The studes used a Ross box w/the pitman arm & draglink running inside the frame, so you could, flip the box over 180*, then re-install the pitman arm rotated 180* from stock. Should get you proper draglink operation. I think. You'll probably have to shorten the steering box input for correct length, fit, n comfort. You could also use the stude box in an oem configuration, proper steering will depend on how steering bellcrank is oriented also. But this is back to more money again.

    All in all, probably a toss-up on either for the amt of work to get steering done properly, but using parts you have would probably be cheaper. Only "advantage" I could see on using the rack, is if done correctly, people would be scratching their heads as it'd appear that there wasn't any visible steering linkage(s).

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2022
  27. 55Belairretrorod
    Joined: May 2, 2013
    Posts: 119

    from Australia

    Am I missing something here? I understand the spindles have now been swapped back side for side so the steering arms are now facing rearwards again. When the first shop swapped them to 'front steer' would not the car have turned left when you turned the wheel right? I can't offer any suggestions to correct this, above my pay grade. Just checking that I'm not going crazy!
  28. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,768


    If I had to make that work I think id put the spindles the right way around, heat the arms so the tie rod passed between the 4 bar and convert it to a conventional push pull steering. Once all the steering rack shit is cut off I bet its not as bad as it looks.
    2OLD2FAST and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  29. No, direction of turn is determined by several things. Where the movement is coming from and the direction of Gear cut be it Steering Box or Rack. And yes you can screw it up by changing Pitman arm up or down with a Drag Link or placement of Rack from front to rear of centerline. The last Shop to have there hands on it must of just had Dumb Luck getting that part right.
  30. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,041


    Power steering on a t bucket makes no sense.
    RICH B and Pist-n-Broke like this.

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