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Old 07-13-2016, 03:54 AM
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Coasttocoast Coasttocoast is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 291
Tom, Frank, and 97,

Thanks much for your conversations today.

Oahu does not have salvage yards like the mainland. I'm not sure if it's for environmental or financial (due to high real estate prices) reasons, but no acreage of salvage cars. So combing wrecked cars is not an option. For both my Jeep/Vortec and Mercedes/Vortec build I've had to buy from the mainland and ship over. Not only no availability, the largest "Salvage Yard" salesman didn't even know what a Chevy Vortec engine was. So trying to get their help looking for steering racks would certainly be futile.

In the many hours I've spent so far reading forums on steering swaps it seems the most prevalent R&P is from the Chevy J-bodies. A few aftermarket companies even base swap kits on this rack.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

I can buy locally, rebuilt racks for under $100 from OReily. Basically this rack has 2.8 or 2.5 to 1 ratio, 6" of travel, for rear steer, and it's two mounting points are pretty close in width to match the W114 frame rails at the point of installation. This rack, as mentioned, connects to the steering arms from the center of the rack, not each end.

So to keep the same W114 geometry a bar needs to be fashioned to attach to the racks center point with connection points at each end to match the existing inner tie rod bolting locations, approx 19 1/2". So a modified drag link, if I have my terminology correct. Similar idea to the pic above.

I need to re-install my steering box and map out all the existing points, so when I make all the new parts and mounts I can duplicate the existing.

I'm planning on buying one this week and checking to see if what I have read matches my estimations.

The only downside I see at this point is going to be a reduced turning radius. This is the common complaint with the swap. And the fact that it seems that even with all the posted swaps and companies that make conversion kits, no one offers a rack with more than about 6 3/4" travel.

In some swaps I've read they move the tie rod connection to the wheel closer to the spindle, as previously mentioned. I need to measure this out before I cut everything out to see how far inward I would have to go to achieve the same turning radius as stock with only 6" of travel.
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