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.
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.