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Center steer Rack & Pinion for a 59 Lark

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  • Steering: Center steer Rack & Pinion for a 59 Lark

    I am looking for what would work best to put a center steer rack & pinion in my 59 Lark wagon
    1958 Transtar 3E6-122
    1958 Transtar 3E13-31
    1959 Transtar 4E7-122
    1959 Lark 2 door Wagon
    1960 Transtar 5E28-171
    1960 Lark Gasser
    1963 Daytona

  • #2
    Just a little heads up...
    What are you thinking that you will/may gain by using a rack & pinion steering (in a stock Stude suspended front suspension) ?

    Many have gone down this road, with very little success.
    A LOT of work for very little, or no real gain, especially if you aren't familiar with how to set the "bump steer" . Do you know what the pivot point width is on your desired R&P is ? YOU know this or the car will drive horribly in any sort of corner. It NEEDS to be VERY close to the suspension pivot points on your car.
    If you don't understand this up on some suspension books, or preferably, just rebuild the OEM components !!

    Just rebuild what you have in the car now. Easier, MUCH cheaper, welding..! Your car will be happier... a complete front suspension swap to a later design. I used a complete C4 Corvette front suspension in my 60 Lark Wagon. Again...a LOT...of work. I used a "shortened" Mustang rack & pinion assembly.



    • #3
      Take a look at the Rack for a '87-'96 Chevy Corsica, Cavalier, Olds Achieva, Cadilac Cimmeron,Pontiac Grand Am, etc... They use to be real easy to come by but not so much anymore. Your stock steering links can stay right where they are from the factory.


      • enjenjo
        enjenjo commented
        Editing a comment
        If you don't shorten the steering arms on the spindle it will limit your turning radius to a minimum of about 40 feet. I have done a Caviler rack conversion on a 50 Champion using similar geometry and had to do the steering arm modification. As long as the tie rods don't get significantly shorter the geometry will be okay.

      • bensherb
        bensherb commented
        Editing a comment
        Even with the stock steering it takes three lanes minumum to make a U turn with my Hawk anyway!

    • #4
      Agree to all above - Plus my 1990 R&P (Buick Skyhawk w/ mid-1970's GM pump): hard to get, have not been able to find one (for a spare) for over a year, using all the search sites. Rebuilding is possible but somewhat expensive and hard to find someone to do it the (parts, mainly seals, are still available but for a proper rebuild the hydraulic thrust cylinder should be checked for scratches and other defects, and at least polished on a lathe possibly ground true (if damaged) all expensive shop costs.
      ABOVE ALL - Custom attachment brackets must be custom fab'd by a serious (professional quality) welder - Do NOT skimp on the weld quality, your car (and possibly someones life) may depend on it, The "fast - turn (shortened steering) arms will probably be needed to maintain a usable steering circle. And, exact placement of the Rack mounts must be maintained to keep the steer rods in a close-to-original alignment. As noted above, it is not for a quick weekend job - I'm on the third (or is it fourth) set of Rack brackets to get it to satisfaction.
      Do a search for "steering" on the Forum site (use a general search engine for quicker, more complete results). One of the most critical changes that would provide steering improvement is the re-location of the upper "A-Arm" pivot location (according to those more knowledgeable than I), There is also a reference of that on the one of the Forum exchanges.
      Great project if you want to learn about the ins and outs of steering geometry - Not, by any means, an easy weekend modification.
      There are retro-fit projects that provide a more complete conversion (using a complete Dodge Dakota, Ford Mustang II, or the above Corvette system), which also provide for an engine swap (HERESY!!), disc brakes and improved handling. If you do not feel completely comfortable w/ the project, you will probably be better off staying w/ a rebuilt stock system.
      Last edited by Paul Keller; 11-08-2022, 04:39 PM.