Rack and Pinion Steering for the Malibu
We decided to go with a custom steering rack setup instead of buying a kit, because when we purchased the rear differential at such a great price, it also came with a steering column from Sweet Manufacturing and some other steering components. The steering shafts and u-joints come from Speedway Motors, the manual steering rack assembly comes from Innovative Racecraft, and the bump steer kit comes through Innovative Racecraft, but it is a TRZ component.
We started with the steering column assembly first. The Sweet Manufacturing firewall bearing assembly is attached to a custom aluminum bracket that is fastened to the firewall.
The first mock-up of the Sweet Manufacturing steering shaft assembly and accessories had the steering wheel too far back and down. We made a custom bracket to remedy this.
The custom bracket had to be fabricated in such a way to relocate the original mounting point for the steering column while using the original bracket for the aftermarket column. By using this custom bracket, we are able to bring the steering wheel further forward and up. This makes things more comfortable for our driver.
For the final touch, we threw in the fiberglass dash from Featherlite Composites. It is not permanent right now, but it fits great. We will handle that after the car returns from Chris Terry Racing.
The Innovative Racecraft manual steering rack is going to be a great addition, but a lot of custom fabrication is needed for a solid install. The steering rack and bump steer kit were first attached to both steering arms with the steering rack supported on the frame.
A custom bracket was made to secure the center of the steering rack to the frame.
The upper and lower holes for the steering shaft is cut out and the u-joints and steering shafts are assembled.
It did not take long to realize that we had some u-joint problems at the steering rack. Back to the drawing board with some more modifications to the frame and more custom parts. The frame section that the steering rack was sitting on has been removed to lower it for a better angle for the u-joint and another custom bracket to support it was welded to the frame. A larger hole had to be made in the frame to better accommodate the u-joint.
With the hard work completed, the steering rack fits very well and no binding in our steering shaft u-joints. We still have some touch up work to do when the car returns from Chris Terry Racing, but for now, this will work very well.