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Old 12-16-2018, 05:18 PM   #1
Paul Bjarnason
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Default Improved steering box choices

I want the best possible steering setup for my '29 Tudor, to go along with a 4-inch dropped front axle, Posie's super slide leaf springs, tubular shocks, Lincoln brakes, and 1935 Ford wire wheels. I know it sounds like I'm building a hot rod, but other than the forward rake and 16 inch wheels, the car will look stock from the outside and I'm keeping the 4-banger which has been"warmed up" by Schwalmes. I see mixed reviews of the following options:1 - rebuild the stock box; 2 - Ford f-1 or F100 steering box; 3 - Vega steering box; and 4 - rack and pinion steering setup (offered by Speedway and maybe others, too). Here's a link to the rack 'n pinion offered by Speedway: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Unist...RoC7OEQAvD_BwE The customer reviews and Q's and A's make it seem like the rack 'n pinion setup is the way to go, as with this setup my Tudor will handle like a sportscar! LOL
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

The rack setup looks like a cross steer replacement.

Of course, the Australian designed variable ratio rack would be better, but I guess you have to take what you can get over there.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:12 PM   #3
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

Ck out Randy Gross's F-1 conversions. Great reviews on his product. He has ads on the A swap site.
Paul in CT
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:45 PM   #4
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by 1931 flamingo View Post
Ck out Randy Gross's F-1 conversions. Great reviews on his product. He has ads on the A swap site.
Paul in CT
I would also go with the F1 from Randy. If I saw a rack and pinion under the bumper I would expect a late model engine under the hood and a late model rear end, none of which I am in favor of.

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Old 12-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #5
Dave in MN
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

I have installed two of Randy's F1 steering units. One, I have used for about 7,000 miles. No issues and the steering is very good.
Good Day!
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by updraught View Post
The rack setup looks like a cross steer replacement.

Of course, the Australian designed variable ratio rack would be better, but I guess you have to take what you can get over there.
https://collection.maas.museum/object/73822
Wow, That looks sweeeet! RHD, too. A real chicken dinner!
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:19 PM   #7
Paul Bjarnason
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by updraught View Post
The rack setup looks like a cross steer replacement.

Of course, the Australian designed variable ratio rack would be better, but I guess you have to take what you can get over there.
https://collection.maas.museum/object/73822

Wow - where do I order one for my '29 Tudor with a 4" drop, Updraught? Seriously?

Looking at the other posts on this thread, I can only say that the idea of a rack 'n pinion setup fascinates me. All the cars I have owned with r&p steering have handled much better than the worm 'n roller crowd have done, over my many years on this planet.



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Old 12-17-2018, 01:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

I think they are made here
https://www.mvousa.com/de-en/products-services/

There is Retrorack which is probably a standard rack type for older cars. Not sure about the 4 inch drop in a 29 tho.
http://retrorack.com.au/videos
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

While R&P steering can be made to work on a solid front axle, it is NOT a good thing from an engineering standpoint. There are several different ways to do it but none of them are ideal.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

Elvira (mostly stock '28 tudor) has the F100 box, and it is a lot better than the stock box, but not even close to nervona. My '29 CCPU has a Suzuki Samurai box in a cross steer configuration, which provides excellent steering, very easy steering (with my 12" wheel) and tracks true, but it does require a Panhard bar and some magic performed on the column to look stock. (I just went with an after market column, with removable steering wheel, since it is mostly not stock except for a model A look.) Also, you have to be comfortable with welding on steering components to use the Samurai box, which many people are not. But it sure works good.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

Go with Randy's solution. Works well and does not detract from an original appearance. Rack and pinion just looks horible on an A.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:40 PM   #12
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

I shortened the pitman arm on my wide-bed 60 tears ago, big help! I put an F-100 in my tudor about 10 years ago and was disappointed until I shortened that pitman. I inherited a Vicky a couple of years ago, it has a Mustang box, bought from Speedway. It steers easier than any of my other cars. My cars also have dropped axles and juice brakes.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:49 PM   #13
Paul Bjarnason
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

Thanks to everyone for the input. The Australian solution is very interesting, but $2500 is more than I want to spend, plus an F-100 box will look similar to the stock box. So, I will go with the Mel (or Randy) Gross F-100 box with the short pitman arm.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by Paul Bjarnason View Post
Thanks to everyone for the input. The Australian solution is very interesting, but $2500 is more than I want to spend, plus an F-100 box will look similar to the stock box. So, I will go with the Mel (or Randy) Gross F-100 box with the short pitman arm.
Be sure to ask Randy what he thinks about the short pitman arm. Maybe put the box and add the short pitman arm later if you feel you need it.

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Old 12-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by Paul Bjarnason View Post
Thanks to everyone for the input. The Australian solution is very interesting, but $2500 is more than I want to spend, plus an F-100 box will look similar to the stock box. So, I will go with the Mel (or Randy) Gross F-100 box with the short pitman arm.
Is that $2,500 Australian dollars or $US? Big difference.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:32 PM   #16
Paul Bjarnason
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

[QUOTE=Charlie Stephens;1706827]Be sure to ask Randy what he thinks about the short pitman arm. Maybe put the box and add the short pitman arm later if you feel you need it.

Charlie - I spoke with Randy today and he said the longer pitman arm would provide quicker steering but at the cost of a larger turning radius. He didn't exactly say so, but I think he was recommending the short one. But, when I order my box, I will raise the issue again just to be sure. Thanks. Bj
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

I take it this is what Pete means about putting a rack and pinion on a solid axle. Doesn't look ideal.


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Old 12-17-2018, 09:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

The longer pitman should give you a shorter turning radius. The box only turns so many turns, end to end, the longer the pitman, the more the steering moves. Some did not like the shortened pitman due to a longer radius.
I also would try the standard first. I talked to one guy that used the f100 box and ended up going back to the longer pitman. It was too squirrelly. He is happy now.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

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Originally Posted by 1931 flamingo View Post
Ck out Randy Gross's F-1 conversions. Great reviews on his product. He has ads on the A swap site.
Paul in CT
I have one on my 29 Tudor. Along with a rebuilt front end and Bill Stype shocks, I have no fear of rail road tracks or wash board roads!

Oh and also That is not a generator, buy a "gener-nator", an alternator custom built in a model A generator case. EXPENSIVE, but sweet!
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: Improved steering box choices

I have used the F100 box with both the standard Pittman arm as well as the shortened one. Can't really tell much difference either way. If the turning radius is shorter, I guess I don't make that many 360 circles with my pickup.
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