There are two major systems that require the utmost attention when being restored or modified: brakes and steering. Any faulty components on either one can result in catastrophe. A loose stock gearbox, broken tie-rod, or other steering component is a sure way to destroy all your hard work building your Vette-why take the risk? Then there are the performance issues. Stock recirculating-ball steering boxes wear out over time, resulting in loose steering and making driving less enjoyable and certainly not responsive, as a loose gearbox absorbs all the input from the road. There's a better solution than simply Band-aiding the stock components: upgrade to rack-and-pinion. Almost every modern-production vehicle uses the rack-and-pinion steering design-why not retrofit your Corvette?
SpeedDirect offers the Steeroids rack-and-pinion kit for the '63-'82 Corvette. This conversion replaces all of the stock components, using a reconditioned GM rack-and-pinion unit. The Steeroids kit allows the builder to choose either manual or power steering. A rack-and-pinion brings enjoyment and performance back to the table with much improved response and road feel. The GM rack features quicker turn ratios (2.5 turns lock-to-lock for power, 2.9 for manual) allowing you to cut corners hard-faster than a recirculating-ball gearbox. On-center control and response is also greatly improved.
A stock C2/C3 Vette's steering...
A stock C2/C3 Vette's steering is full of potential disaster. The Steeroids rack-and-pinion kit solves those issues. It installs the same way, whether it has the power-assist like the one shown here or a manual unit with the shock absorber.
The gearbox comes out, too....
The gearbox comes out, too. Red Line was in the middle of a full-blown frame-off install and had the body removed, which made getting to a few components a little easier, although the job is a simple task with the body on as well.
The lower steering shock absorber/power-assist...
The lower steering shock absorber/power-assist bracket must be removed as well.
The rack-and-pinion not only improves performance, but it also helps correct a problem inherent with the stock steering. The kit features an adjustable tie-rod end. Using the supplied varying-thickness washers, the installer can remove the annoying bumpsteer from the steering, creating a better handling and more enjoyable vehicle.
To illustrate the process, we spent a day at Red Line Auto Sports, while its crew converted a '67 roadster from a manual gearbox to a rack-and-pinion. The installation process is straightforward, easily accomplished in less than four hours with basic hand tools. There are a few processes that are important to be mindful of when installing this kit. For example, one component not supplied with the kit but that is important is a tube of high-strength thread locker. The last thing you want is to lose a steering component while taking a hard corner on the street.
Install a rack-and-pinion and see how your Corvette handles better and is more responsive, safer, and all-around more enjoyable.
| DIFFICULTY INDEX ::: NN |
|ANYONE'S PROJECT | no tools required || N |
|BEGINNER | basic tools || NN |
|EXPERIENCED | special tools || NNN |
|ACCOMPLISHED | special tools and outside help || NNNN |
|PROFESSIONALS ONLY | send this work out || NNNNN |
A pickle fork is used to pop...
A pickle fork is used to pop loose the tie-rod ends, pitman arm, and idler arm joints. Keep the components together; they'll be needed for measurements later.
The idler arm is removed....
The idler arm is removed. Make sure you keep the hardware; some of it will be reused.
The next step is to install...
The next step is to install the supplied brackets in the stock steering component locations. No holes, welding, or other modifications are required to install this kit; only factory holes are used for mounting points. This way, if the original steering setup needs to be reinstalled later, it can be done easily.