Steering Rack or New Manual Box

Discussion in 'Race 400/430/455' started by offbrand Racing, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. offbrand Racing

    offbrand Racing Platinum Level Contributor

    Hey Guys,

    I am torn between going rack n' pinion or staying w/ the GM manual steering box......car is a 65 skylark w/ a 555 Supercharged Tomahawk. Car has all the best....Mini tubbed, TRZ front and rear, Strange 40 spline 9", Wilwood 4 wheel discs, Menser custom shocks, CM cage etc....

    Car has enough power to push it into the 8's if i have the stones. This car will still be driven on the street.

    Thoughts/comments/suggestions?
     
  2. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Are you having any clearance issues now???

    Racks can take some custom work to install, the box stuff will bolt right in

    How quickly can you get repair parts for the rack setup compared to the box if needed
     
  3. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Rack will be more responsive,..will come at tge expense of turning radius

    Will really not weigh much different
    Will more than likely require header rework

    I woukd just stick with a fresh quick ratio manual box I got a 14to1 on my dads car and a 66 chevelle I done for a guy,...i like the feel and a good compromise in ratio
     
  4. offbrand Racing

    offbrand Racing Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks guys for the comments. I was planning on custom headers but I am not sure how long I will keep the car once it is done. So I am trying to make good choices/also not regret not doing something if I do keep it. I have lost my racing partners of the years and this build has taken way longer than I expected.

    I have a 20.1 box i believe now I got from a board member that Carhex rebuilt. Ethan where did you get the 14.1?
     
  5. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I would think a ratio that is too aggressive would make fine adjustments needed on the track and driving mske the car darty.......I can see it when racing through the corners......but going straight???
     
  6. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    Having driven that vintage A body with both a flaming river Rack&Pinion setup, and also a quick ratio box, and having worked on both one with a Tomahawk just like yours.. I can say this..

    The Rack will simplify the headers for sure.. you have so many more options for the steering shaft, which will be the issue. Loved how the car with the rack drove, other than a bigger turning radius to pull a u-turn.

    Rack install is much more work, and will require precise placement, it is very, very close to the Tomahawk oil pan.

    Fast ratio box does not feel as nice going down the road, but is much easier on both install, and the wallet.

    On car you your not going to keep, put the box in it.

    JW
     
  7. offbrand Racing

    offbrand Racing Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks everyone. Good view points.....going box also frees up money to finish a few other chassis items. Decisions....decisions....decision.

    stay safe everyone!
     
  8. BQUICK

    BQUICK Well-Known Member

    Also quick ratio box will be a bear at low speeds or parking....effort wise......if manual box.
     
  9. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Not with narrow front tires,...
     
  10. Steve Reynolds

    Steve Reynolds SRE Inc

    I can't comment on how the rack feels or responds on the road as my 64 is not road ready, but I can comment on the installation.
    Mine is a "AutoFab" conversion. If I were to have installed it per their instructions I think it would have went "OK", but you know I can't leave anything alone!! LOL

    I want my car to sit low, so I installed 2" drop spindles and quite simply, the AutoFab unit will NOT work with them "as delivered". I had to fabricate new custom steering arms in order to bolt them to the drop spindles. The ones from the kit could NOT be modified to fit. I also had to add pretty good length spacers at the outer tie rods to minimize the bump steer. This kit clears the "extra deep front sump" of my custom oil pan by a mile. It sounds like the Flaming River ones comes pretty close to a standard pan?

    I'm pretty confident that it'll work great, but the real proof will be when I get it on the road........... All in all I think I'd do it again if I had the choice.
     

    Attached Files:

    1972 Stage 1 and BuickGSrules like this.
  11. BrianTrick

    BrianTrick Brian Trick

    I have manual boxes in all of my cars,and I have done a few of the AutoFab rack conversions. I am currently building the chassis for my 70,and decided to stay with a stock ratio manual steering box.
     

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