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to change from manual steering to .... ???

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to change from manual steering to .... ???

Post by Jimboquick on Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:50 pm

Our current steering is manual {4+ freakin' turns lock to lock} ... which drives me nuts at every turn !! 'Mod'd' ZZ4, SBC engine / TH350 transmission.
I know that the FoMoCo rack is some form of a "Mustang II" variant {Maverick / Pinto} thingee, but what should I replace it with??
What choices and ... have you actually done the deed ??
Going crazy !!
JimboQuick

Jimboquick

Posts : 133
Join date : 2014-06-16

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Re: to change from manual steering to .... ???

Post by Hotrod on Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:32 pm

I haven't done the swap on a Sebring, but I have worked on MII equipped street rods.

The stock Ford MII power rack "should" be a direct bolt on as far as the frame is concerned.  I believe the outer tie rod ends are different threads between the manual and power, but you would probably want to replace them anyhow.

The input shaft splines are different (larger) on the power rack, so you would need a new u-joint or rag joint depending on your current setup.  I would recommend replacing the steering shaft with a street rod type piece with u-joints on both ends.  Not really required, but I tend toward overkill. Smile

Several hot rod companies sell brackets for the power steering pump.  You will need to know if you have a short or long water pump and you will need the pulley for the harmonic balancer if you have v-belts.  If you have a serpentine belt drive,  you will need to find out who made it.  Contact that company and see what they recommend for a pump bracket. If you want drop a big bundle, there are some unbelievably nice front drive kits that have AC, alternator and PS pump included.  Several companies sell them.

The pumps come in two styles.  Integral reservoir and remote reservoir.  In the tight confines of the Sebring engine bay, I would probably go with a remote unit unless the pump is mounted high on the engine.

I would use -6 braided stainless Teflon hoses.  Kits are available that have all the fittings and hoses.  The best part is that you can make them yourself.

You should consider going with the Fox body Mustang rack from the 80' and 90's.  They can stand higher pump pressure than the early MII racks.  The original MII systems were low pressure and have problems when combined with the higher pressure GM pump.  The rack seals usually fail and leak.  Even if this doesn't happen, the steering will be very light and twitchy due to higher boost.  I have experienced this in a street rod and it is a dangerous situation.  Heidt's (street rod supplier) sells an adjustable bypass valve to help with this.  I have one on my MII equipped 46 Ford. The Fox racks are much better at handling the high pressure.

The Fox unit will require an offset rack bushing on the passenger side as these units have slightly narrower mount.  The driver side bushing is in the correct location.  Can't remember the splines on the input of the Fox racks, but joints are readily available.

Check with someone like Flaming River.  I think they will have everything I talked about except maybe the engine brackets.  Their racks are available in different ratios and may be available in standard MII configuration with all the Fox advantages.  Their tech department may be able to make a recommendation based on the weight and use of the car.

If you're planning on auto crossing the car, you may want to consider an oil cooler on the return line.  The oil can overheat with a lot of sawing the wheel on a tight course.

BTW-Summit Racing is good to do business with and can often save you some money on parts and shipping. I use them a lot.  Jegs is good too, but their web site is a pain to navigate unless you know exactly what you want. Pick up a copy of Street Rodder magazine and it will have ads for just about everything you need.

Sorry for the extra looooong post.
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Re: to change from manual steering to .... ???

Post by Jimboquick on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:45 pm

All of your input is really appreciated !
Thanks,
JimboQuick

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Re: to change from manual steering to .... ???

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