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Old 03-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Switching to Power Steering?

After 5 years on the road with a quick ratio manual rack, I think I'm switching to power steering.
Is there a de facto or preferred rack to select? I am probably going with a remanufactured auto-part store rack but they offer different ratios. Is the 2.5 turns lock to lock the one to get, or is there one quicker or better?
I will be using a KRC pump and a diy mount off the water pump below my a/c compressor.
I plan on using an additional pulley off the water pump and short belt.

Any and all thoughts suggestions are welcome

TIA

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Old 03-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It helps that you already have a lot of seat time with your manual rack. How many turns lock to lock is it? Do you want something quicker, slower or about the same? Here are the numbers for the various Autozone offerings:

#6406; 3.0 turns lock to lock
#6439; 2.5 turns lock to lock
#64163 2.25 turns lock to lock

FWIW, I do a bunch of autocross and track time using a 2.25 turn rack. I built a strictly street cruiser for a client and installed a 3.0 turn unit.

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Old 03-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I made the conversion a couple of years ago, should've done it from the get go:

Here's what I did (My Power Steering Conversion - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum)
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not to high jack the thread but does anyone have any idea what ratio the 1998 gt rack is.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jeff - Bill, exactly what I was looking for. Presently the car has a slow 3.1 ratio lock to lock. I thought it was quicker, then I remembered specifically going to a slow rack to reduce the Popeye arm syndrome. I'm thinking that 2.5 is what I'll go with, as that puts it line with daily driver. I don't really autocross too much as it was a bear with manual steering. That may change.
Bill, beautiful install a real show winner. Thank you for the link to your page, very helpful.
Jeff, the links to the Autozone site is right on the money.. with part #'s too.

Thanks Michael S.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The '98 GT rack is 2.4 turns lock to lock.

Mike, If you get a rack from A-zone (or anywhere for that matter) before leaving the store check to verify that it is the requested ratio. I've heard reports of the units being mislabeled; i.e. a 2.5 turn rack in a 3.0 turn box or vice-versa.

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Old 03-04-2012, 01:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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#6406; 3.0 turns lock to lock
#6439; 2.5 turns lock to lock
#64163 2.25 turns lock to lock

i had the 2.25, now i have the 2.5.

i liked the 2.25 much better, but i'm a street and autocross guy. i rarely have my car above 100mph because it's too twitchy, and that's with the 2.5.

it was worse with the 2.25

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Old 03-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Eddie what in your opinion makes it twitchy? Is the alignment setting / over assisted or the wheelbase of the car? Now with the manual rack 120mph rock solid and thats with only 2.75 degrees caster.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can't answer for Eddie's car Mike but I've been north of 120 at Gateway International and Putnam Park in mine with the 2.25 rack. 8 degrees caster, 2 degrees camber 1/8" toe in and an air dam. I run a Heidts valve with the assist dialed back a little on track (I dial it back even more on the street but use full boost for autocross). Not twitchy but it goes without saying that you can't be asleep at the wheel 'cause it's 120 flippin' miles per hour!

Cheers,
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I prefer the 3.0 turns rack for the street but it does show itself to be too slow about 3 times per year at an autocross w/ a 4-5 cone slalom. I think you will be OK w/ the 2.5 as long as you add a ton of caster.I run about 9 deg. Read the post about the sleeves being too short so you are aware.One trick i did on my MkII to avoid that problem is drill another mounting hole for the rear bolt of the LCA. My car has two sets of holes, the second being for pin drive width setup. I drilled my new hole in between the two rear holes. This pivots the entire LCA so the balljoint moves rearward.Also you may need to adjust the top mount for the coilover if you have the 2.5 inch springs as the front leg of the LCA gets too close to the OD of the sprung.Try running a thin spacer rear of the top coilover mount bolt and long spacer at the front.HTH
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It is my understanding the there are only 2 OEM rack ratios (18:1 and 15:1)

The 3.0 turn-to-turn has the 18:1 slower rack gear.

The 2.5 and 2.25 turn-to-turn racks have the same rack 15:1 gear, but differ by the thickness of $2 plastic travel limiting spacers under the rubber boots.

These spacers can be swapped out for others to make the 2.5 into a 2.25 or various other amounts of total travel to stop just before tire/wheel rub occurs for your particular setup (combo of rims, spindles, alignment, etc).

The stock mustang powersteering pump way over powers these racks for FFR applications. There are threads on how to shorten the pressure regulating spring under the output line fitting to reduce the power assist. The stock 5.0 PS pump pressure makes for a twitchy car even with all the caster you can dial in.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wantin2B View Post
It is my understanding the there are only 2 OEM rack ratios (18:1 and 15:1)

The 3.0 turn-to-turn has the 18:1 slower rack gear.

The 2.5 and 2.25 turn-to-turn racks have the same rack 15:1 gear, but differ by the thickness of $2 plastic travel limiting spacers under the rubber boots.

These spacers can be swapped out for others to make the 2.5 into a 2.25 or various other amounts of total travel to stop just before tire/wheel rub occurs for your particular setup (combo of rims, spindles, alignment, etc).

The stock mustang powersteering pump way over powers these racks for FFR applications. There are threads on how to shorten the pressure regulating spring under the output line fitting to reduce the power assist. The stock 5.0 PS pump pressure makes for a twitchy car even with all the caster you can dial in.
Thats interesting. I did notice on my 2.25 that it does have limiters installed. If I understand what you're saying, then the 2.5 and 2.25 have the same ratio.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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when i used to say "twitchy" i meant that sometimes the car would kind of dart back and forth a bit: L-R-L-R-L that was when i had the manual specs with my power steering. that's been fixed.

now, when I say "twitchy" I mean the car is more sensitive to the slightest movement of the steering wheel. I am afraid of losing control of the car at high speeds over 100mph (even though I probably won't - i am just not a confident & experienced driver.) it's not as bad as my first rack (the faster one.)

so if I were a Willow Springs "big track" guy most often, I'd want the slowest rack. I'm an autocross most-often guy, so I wish I had my old rack, the faster one.

I'm positive the alignment specs are set up properly, I know because at first they weren't.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info on the 18:1 vs 15:1 and the limiting spacers that on what is called," 2.25 turn lock-lock". I was at the Parts store yesterday testing the racks they had in stock and the 2.5 vs 2.25 really did seem the same to me when turning by hand.
The hypersensitivity of the rack by being over driven by the stock FOMOco pump is what pointed me to the KRC pumps as they offer pressure reducing fittings. I was going to start with greatest reduction and see how it feels.

The alignment info is interesting because the stock Mustang has about 0-1.5 degrees positive caster. I had one to about 140 mph and just as steady as my BMW?
There must other factors involved, right now with the manual rack and about 2.5-2.75 degrees positive caster I feel fully in control at 120 mph. The front end feels light for sure.
I theorise that down force and assist pressure of the rack are the biggest culprits not the actual rack ratioor caster setting.

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Old 03-05-2012, 05:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Mike,
The 2.5 is fun but requires your attention all the time. Casual tugs of the steering wheel however can send you in a new direction. What made me switch to the 3.0 was that I just could not navigate longer high speed turns without numerous corrections. The 3.0 carves a smooth steady arc through fast turns and feels very solid at high speeeds. The 2.5 would be my choice for autocross. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. It's just a case of picking the one that suits your purpose best. HTH
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wantin2B View Post
It is my understanding the there are only 2 OEM rack ratios (18:1 and 15:1)

The 3.0 turn-to-turn has the 18:1 slower rack gear.

The 2.5 and 2.25 turn-to-turn racks have the same rack 15:1 gear, but differ by the thickness of $2 plastic travel limiting spacers under the rubber boots.

These spacers can be swapped out for others to make the 2.5 into a 2.25 or various other amounts of total travel to stop just before tire/wheel rub occurs for your particular setup (combo of rims, spindles, alignment, etc).

The stock mustang powersteering pump way over powers these racks for FFR applications. There are threads on how to shorten the pressure regulating spring under the output line fitting to reduce the power assist. The stock 5.0 PS pump pressure makes for a twitchy car even with all the caster you can dial in.
I was planning on switching to a stock 2.5 rack with a factory pump.
I currently have a manual 3.0 rack, I think going to a 2.5 would help on the autocross.
How big of an issue would it be to run a factory pump?Is the mod really needed?


John
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The factory pump works fine. I run a 2.25 turn rack with a Heidt's valve so that I can vary the assist depending on what I am doing with the car; reduced somewhat on the street, full boost for autocross and somewhere in between on a road course/track. Sometimes I forget to dial it back down after autocross but the car drives and behaves well with full assist on the street---I just prefer a little more resistance. I built a street only Mk4 for a customer with a factory pump along with a 3.0 turn rack---he loves it with full assist.

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Old 03-08-2012, 12:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I was looking at the prices of the factory pump and rack from autozone.
For the price of a aftermarket pump I can do an entire factory setup.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I just picked up a Ford Focus pump and reservoir for $50. on the web. Since I have an A/C compressor on the driver side head the Mustang unit wouldn't work. So I'm gonna freestyle it with the Mustang 2.5 rack / Focus pump.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm going to see if I can install in under the alternator.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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That's the same spot I'm going to use.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:44 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That's the same spot I'm going to use.
let me know how you make out.
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