1968 Chevy Camaro Steering - Rack ’Em Up

A Power Rack-And-Pinion System May Be Just What Your First-Gen Has Been Screaming For. Ours Was.

Tony Huntimer Jun 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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We then torqued down the two lower control arm attaching bolts that hold the steering rack to the subframe to 85 lb-ft. Don’t forget to make sure the spacers are sandwiched between the bracket and subframe.

Camp 0906 17 1968 Chevy Camaro Steering Lower Control Arm 2/27

It’s easier to plumb the power steering line to the rack before you re-install the steering linkage and header. Because of space constraints, we test-fit the lines and tightened the -6 AN banjo fittings for the rack to the low (aluminum hose end) and high-pressure (steel hose end) hoses.

The two banjo fittings attach to the inside face of the rack on the side closest to the oil pan. The high-pressure port on the steering system has larger threads (shown with wrench on it) and the low-pressure, return fitting is the one with smaller threads. Torque to 20 lb-ft.

We installed a new set of Remflex graphite header gaskets. We’ve had huge success with graphite gaskets in the past, so we thought we’d give theirs a try.

With the header installed, we performed final fitment for the steering shafts and U-joints. It’s necessary to grind a relief in the steering shaft in order to thread the locking allen bolt through the U-joint. It’s easiest to test-fit the steering joints on the car and use a black permanent marker through the bolt hole to mark the shafts in order to find where the bolt relief needs to be cut. Safety Note: If you don’t have ¼-inch between the relief slot and the end of the shaft, you’ve cut the shaft too short. If you can’t get more material by moving the U-joints on the rack or steering column, you’ll need a longer shaft. Mark and dimple the steering column adapter shaft for the safety set screw to safely hold it in place while driving.

Camp 0906 23 1968 Chevy Camaro Steering Final Fitment 6/27

After confirming we’ve properly phased all the U-joints 45 degrees from each other, we turned the steering from lock to lock by hand. It’s important that the operation is very smooth and doesn’t bind. If it does, find the culprit and you may need to re-phase the U-joints a little and confirm the shafts aren’t protruding too far into the U-joint, interfering with its operation. Adjustment of the steering support bearing may be necessary too.

With the steering operating smoothly, we tightened the allen bolts in the U-joints, the steering shaft support bearing and bracket, steering column adapter, then re-confirmed smooth operation.

It was time to remove the stock steering arms from the spindle.

To fit in the recess for the tie-rod end we used a thin-walled ¾-inch socket to install the new steering arms onto the spindles and torque them to 85 lb-ft.

Camp 0906 28 1968 Chevy Camaro Steering Spindles 10/27

We put on the tires and hand-tightened the tie-rod nuts, then lowered the car to the ground and checked the alignment by using our original measured specs that we took before we got started.

We raised the car back up and torqued the tie rod to the steering arm to 35 lb-ft, while the tie-rod end jamb nuts were torqued to 40 lb-ft.

With the steering rack completely installed, we double-checked every nut and bolt to make sure everything is tight. We then added steering fluid, and with the car running, turned the steering system from lock-to-lock in order to get the air out. If the steering does not turn when the engine is running, you’ve installed the hoses backwards. Remember, measuring alignment with a tape measure is not an exact science, so take your car to the alignment shop so it can be properly aligned for proper function and safety.

Sources

Goodies Speed Shop
San Jose, CA 95126
8009940930
www.goodies-speedshop.com
Unisteer Performance Products
800-338-9080
www.unisteer.com
Pacific Fabrication
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
408-250-1772
www.pacificfab.net
Pro-Werks
231-873-9252
www.pro-werks.com
Remflex Exhaust Gaskets
Mineral, WA
866-641-7325
www.remflex.com

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