WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

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Harry Lillo
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WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by Harry Lillo » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:13 am

A number of years ago Gene Wright from the Portland area had marketed a Honda rack and pinion
steering setup for a Model T. I knew a couple of people who used the unit on Model T speedsters and
were happy with the results. Would anyone have one sitting on their shelf that they would be interested
in selling? Or alternatively advise on the conversion?
Thank you,
Harry Lillo, Calgary


feelsharp
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by feelsharp » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:37 am

Check out Unisteer Co., Twinsburg, Ohio. they make a rack & pinion cross steer unit for 28--32 Fords. I have one on a 1926 Ford Coupe and it works wonderfully. Had to modify their mounting bracket. It works very well, can turn the wheel lock to lock one handed while sitting still.

Feelsharp


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Harry Lillo
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by Harry Lillo » Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:28 am

Thank you for your response John,
That looks really interesting. Does it come with the correct connections from the ends of the rack to the T steering arms?
Does it mount to the back of the T axel?
Harry


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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by Craig Leach » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:39 pm

Speedway motors sells the same unit. No it is intended for 28-32 so the mount will need to be made, the connection is different at the box and tierod end. Mounts to the frame not the axle. should work very good as John said. You will need to make a new steering shaft so that connection should be a snap. Speedway also sells a stub for a T steering wheel. I would like some info on what Gene Wright was doing if anyone has any.
Thanks.
Craig.

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TRDxB2
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by TRDxB2 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:44 pm

The system was designed to put on a 1928-30 Model A not a Model T so no adapters
From https://www.unisteer.com/collections/fe ... ck-bracket
"The Cross Steer is essentially a small half rack and pinion that bolts into place exactly where the Vega style steering box would bolt on. The system still uses a draglink between both wheels. The Cross Steer was specifically designed for solid axle cars and trucks of this era with a mono leaf spring suspension. Since the Cross Steer pivots only off the one side, it matches up perfectly with the stock suspension of the solid axle Fords.
Note: You must have split wishbones (at least 12 inches) or hairpins for the Cross Steer to properly work."
R&P.png
Note: I am confused by them saying 'The system still uses a draglink between both wheels" (A tie rod is the link between the two wheels)
And then saying it would replace the Vega steering box. See diagram below - I suspect they mean it replaces the Vega steering box, pit arm? and drag link.
Cross steer.png
Another caution mentioned in modifying Model T steering are the stresses on the frame. Here is a discussion about mounting a Vega steering box to a Model T https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... &view=next
vega.png
vega.png (602.22 KiB) Viewed 546 times
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by elliott1936 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:56 pm

Harry:
If this will help, my son Scott put a rack and pinion on his speedster and it was not too big a job. He will be here at my home today and I will ask him to contact you with his information. Tom

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TRDxB2
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by TRDxB2 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:07 pm

Craig Leach wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:39 pm
Speedway motors sells the same unit. No it is intended for 28-32 so the mount will need to be made, the connection is different at the box and tierod end. Mounts to the frame not the axle. should work very good as John said. You will need to make a new steering shaft so that connection should be a snap. Speedway also sells a stub for a T steering wheel. I would like some info on what Gene Wright was doing if anyone has any.
Thanks.
Craig.
I found a discussions with pictures -
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/188185.html
rack 1.png
This may work in that configuration
Attachments
vw.png
The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either.
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by tselliott » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:50 pm

Hello Harry,
I have done the conversion you are talking about. I talked to Gene about the conversion before I started mine.
I did not buy a conversion kit from from him but he did mention to me that he used a rack from a Geo metro.
I did not wi g weeks want to mount mine to the axle, so I built a cradle that mounted to the front motor mount with some additional supports that bolted to the frame. I had to drill one additional hole in the frame on the passenger side. I have some pictures in my phone but I will have to do some searching to find them. Of course there are other components that need to be modified. I pressed in some new bushing in the spindle arms that I taper reamed for the outer tie rods of the Geo rack. The steering gear needs to be locked. I built a plate mounted on the pins were the gears usually go.
I will take a look at what information I have and post it as I find it.

Scott Elliott


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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by tselliott » Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:36 pm

Here are a few pictures.
Attachments
4E736CD2-89F7-4A27-AD9A-19977C8EE06B.jpeg
AD539FED-60B7-4660-B0F9-2E9ED768D567.jpeg
35F86460-1BD9-425F-BE5B-90C908FBC58F.jpeg
4EAEC7BC-FFC2-44E0-9844-65A6B7D37A33.jpeg


feelsharp
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by feelsharp » Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:15 pm

Harry,
Sorry, been away. I used the Unisteer bracket with modifications to hold the unit where I wanted. Made a connector to attach to the unit which accepted the original steering gear connecting rod. The original steering rod was discarded and a new shaft holding the steering wheel installed
to just clear the firewall where I attached a 2 U joints to go around a header and continued to another U joint at the steering box. All the U joints
were required because i installed a little V8 60 in a stock appearing coupe and the exhaust header was in the way.

Feelsharp (John)


Topic author
Harry Lillo
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by Harry Lillo » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:04 am

Thank you to everyone for their information .
Using the terminology in Frank's post above, did you dispose of the drag link
and tie rod and connect the ends of the racks directly to the spimdle arms?
What did you use for those connections?


feelsharp
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Re: WTB Rack and Pinion Steering

Post by feelsharp » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:37 am

Harry,
I used the drag link rods supplied with the unit, cut the mounting clamp end off the original drag link and welded that onto the supplied arm.
So, the drag link function is the same, the spindle arms and tie rod are used as original. From all angles, except looking up from completely
under the car, all steering arms look original.

John

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