Rack and Pinion – Possible?
Steering precision and lightweight are not the first things that come to mind when you thing of 2nd Gen Camaro Steering. Between the drag links, the huge steering box, and overall complexity there’s some significant slop in the steering not to mention weight…
Surprisingly if you look online there don’t seem to be many options for a rack in a 2nd Gen. About the only one I’ve found is from TRZ and it’s a manual rack… not something you want with 13″ wide front tires! There has to be a better solution.
And here’s what I hope is the solution. It’s a Z-51 C4 Corvette Steering Rack. Selected due to the 13.0:1 steering ratio it’s one of the quickest and most compact racks you can find. Unfortunately it has some really wonky rack mounts which make actually bolting it into the car somewhat difficult!
I had had Todd strip the tie-rods off it before I took the rack for modeling, but I’m inclined to think that was a step in the wrong direction.
The engine crossmember isn’t modeled, but luckily I can notch/clearance it as needed.
It’s a snug fit, but that’s the whole point of 3D modeling… With the Camaro up on a lift the rack does actually fit in this space.
Two challenges still exist. First is whether to use tie-rods or if I need to custom make something with rod-ends. This may wait until we actually start mocking things up. Second is steering shaft clearance and getting a U-joint into the rack itself. It’ll be interesting to see!
This poor Firebird is donating it’s front subframe to the Camaro so that I can mock up the new front suspension while we keep racing the car. A big thanks to Mike Peters for finding the car and letting us have a subframe! We’re actually partnering up with Mike to help him put together a front suspension package for his ’70 Camaro which he’ll be drifting. Todd will be pulling the subframe, cutting out the spring buckets, and shipping it down to me over the next few weeks. After that I’ve got to start making a jig to make sure all those suspension points end up in the right spot!
What CAD program do you use? Looks like a cool project.
Dave, I am using Alibre Design. Works good enough for my use and is only $200 compared to Solidworks which is well over $1k!