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saturn rack swap


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#1 clow340

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 10:53 PM

ok, after months of reading and ridiculous amounts of research on how to correctly make a McPherson strut steering set up correctly i kept coming back to the same conclusion. Some caster is good, anything more than 5 degrees of camber is for show and bump steer is bad. the factory set up really isnt too bad but you cant modify much (easily) for more steering angle other then shorten the knuckles, which in turn adds bump steer and incorrect ackerman. our lower control arm pivot point on the cross member is about 22 inches hole to hole. the pivots on the stock tie rod set up are at 20 inches and parrellel with the control arms vertically and horizontally with the wheel straight. that means the knuckles have an inch of offset of the ball joints for an ackerman effect while turning. theory suggests that the control arms and tie rods be same length and angle(s) so that means that the rack and pinion must have pivots at 20 inches. one of few cars that have that is a geo metro, and that rack looks pretty pathetic to me. there is almost nothing that has a rack that is of decent steer ratio, strength and powered that is 20in or less (you can make anything longer). after looking at tons of cars in the pick and pull and measuring and checking and comparing i noticed the same thing on every vehicle i looked at. none of them use the theories ive read. not a single car had the rack at the same tie rod angle as lower control arm angle while looking at it from the top. they did how ever have the same angle while looking at it from the front. on some cars this changes with suspension movement because the tie rods are a DIFFERENT LENGTH then the control arms (honda pilots are about 6 inches longer on each side). that means that some manufacturers are intentionally adding some kind of bump steer to the steering for normal road handling.

this basically got me thinking. people are using 240 racks (with success) and i know the pivot points are wider than the quest cross member pivots, but narrower then the 240 cross member pivots. ive heard of honda racks being used and none of them i found (darn near all yr civics and accords) are under 22 inches for pivots and the control arms are close to 24in pivots on the cross member. 99-03 grand ams and related plateforms are at 23.75in for racks, 25.5 for cross members. 98+ sl/sw/sc saturns are 23.5 at the rack pivots and 25.5 cross member. this list could go on forever but the gist is is that the quest is narrow (ironic to wide body owners i know ;)  the fact is is that if we want to use a super common rack on our car we have to figure out more than how we are going to attach a rack to the cross member, we must figure out tie rod angles, lengths, and adjustability but above all there will be two things we must deal with. some amount of bump steer and the amount of ackerman you want while turning. these two things go hand in hand and are important, but i will not be explaining all of this here, you have the internet and i believe in you :) instead i will show you what i used and why i used them. if there is anything here needing correcting i am more then happy to change what had been written





#2 clow340

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:03 PM

i used a power rack out of a 00 saturn sc2 because its somewhat narrow, extremely common and the way it mounts is oh so simple (and super easy to take out of the car). some pictures are crummy and im sorry..

//i first used a piece of 1.5x1.5 angle iron to mount the rack too. its just two holes for some 9/16 bolts. the rack holes were enlarged too. this is it clamped to the cross member
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i was using bolts to center the rack TO THE LOWER CONTROL ARM HOLES, NOT THE CROSS MEMBER. the cross member is not centered in our cars for those who do not know.
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weld that baby on to the top of the pinch weld and make sure its at a 15 degree angle or so. this will come in later.
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the gap at the top should be filled with a chunk of metal and welded in place too.
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Edited by clow340, 20 April 2015 - 11:08 PM.


#3 clow340

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:26 PM

(the car gets oiled every year before putting it away so its supper dirty, just fyi)

make sure it all looks right before you weld everything up, here i have the arms and lower knuckles on the wrong sides and i caught it before i made any mistakes :)

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i probably cut off a good 1.25 inches off the inner tie rod and an inch off the ball joint to get the length close. i will be getting a die and running the threads up higher on the inner tie rod so i can use an unmodified ball joint but for now, i made due.
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this is the first test fit. it worked pretty good but the rack is too close to the lower control arm mounts and causes negative ackerman. its also too high and causes negative bump steer(its literally less than a quarter inch too high for my liking). these are both cured with a spacer.
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no spacer, just more pics
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a couple different sizes, never know what you need till your down there. i made some 1 inch, some half inch and some quarter inch and figured id mix and match till i found the settings i liked.
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with the spacers. this is where the 15 degree angle comes in, not only are you spacing it out but your moving the rack down, thus correcting both the ackerman and causing some positive bump steer. positive is the lesser of the two evils, but both kinds of bump steer are bad...

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here is what the length of the inner tie rod came out to after cutting
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Edited by clow340, 20 April 2015 - 11:47 PM.


#4 clow340

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:43 PM

i will have to get pictuers of steering angle on wednesday, for some reason i didnt take any. but the set up is all done and works good, had to completly grind the stops off of the knuckles, and that made me happy. its very smooth and takes up about the same amount of room as the stock set up does underneath but far less next to the frame rail, because theres nothing there anymore. im also using the UNMODIFIED steering joints out of the saturn with the stock steering column shorted (that will be another post). hope this helps someone with their own project.

on a side not, the lower knuckles are made of steel and can be shortened like what the 240 guys (and many others) like to do, but its safer, because its steel, not iron. steel. which can be welded safely. unlike iron. which isnt steel. welded iron scares me. ok im done.


p.s.can someone please post a pic of stock steering angle lock to lock to compare? i was a dummy and didnt take any before shots. thank you

Edited by clow340, 20 April 2015 - 11:51 PM.


#5 Fuze

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 08:25 AM

Nice R&D work, thanks for doing the homework on a rack that isn't a 240 rack. Also, a clean garage is a sign of a sick mind. Heh heh.

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#6 jmactenn

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 09:09 AM

Are you trying to say something, Fuze?  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Edited by jmactenn, 21 April 2015 - 09:10 AM.


#7 mbruneaux

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 11:37 PM

Was this ever finished?
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1989 Chrysler Conquest TSi (Project Race Car) Build thread http://www.starquest...opic=147910&hl=
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#8 aconro

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:20 AM

Any updates on this setup?  I am looking to do a rack and pinion swap as well.  How does the Saturn rack compare to the s13 rack, size and steering ratio wise?  I much prefer how the Saturn rack mounts to the cross member.
1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI Auto (Sold)
1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI 1JZ Swap
1997 Honda CBR F3 600 (Sold)
2004 Volkswagen Golf GTI VR6 (Sold)
2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

#9 aconro

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 05:24 PM

View Postmbruneaux, on 01 February 2017 - 11:37 PM, said:

Was this ever finished?

I messaged clow340 about this topic.  He has not finished the project.  He actually started a motor swap thread where he decided to go a different direction with the rack and pinion swap.

http://www.starquest...howtopic=150677
1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI Auto (Sold)
1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI 1JZ Swap
1997 Honda CBR F3 600 (Sold)
2004 Volkswagen Golf GTI VR6 (Sold)
2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

#10 88351wtsi

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:15 PM

I am accumulating parts for one. Hoping to have it done in the next few weeks. Will post more details as the build progresses.  I bought a Saturn rack with tie rods for $90.25 re manufactured by Detroit axle since the 240 racks are over $300 now.
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        Sophia white MS2 full sequential with BW S257sxe in the middle of a full tear down

Hers: Red restored and on the road, mostly stock

#11 speedyquest

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 11:03 AM

I plan on doing this as well as de-powering the rack. Thank you for all this information man!

1987 Flatty Starion -- Widebody Conversion -- V-Mount Setup --  JDL Tubular Manifold  --  MX-6 Intake -- MS3-Pro -- AEM FPR  --  ARP head studs -- 3" hood exit exhaust -- Hahn Racecraft 16g --  Tial F38 Wastegate -- Tial Q Bov -- Short route piping -- 5 lug & LSD conversion -- Tubular Front End -- Manual Steering Rack Conversion -- Manual Brake Conversion -- Stack Digital Dash -- AEM UEGO -- D2 coilovers -- full GNT poly bushings & mounts -- four 8" rears -- car lightened significantly...  More to come!


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Build Thread --->  http://www.starquest...opic=143564&hl=


#12 88351wtsi

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 10:50 PM

Got the rack, outer tie rods and intermediate shaft in. Looks  like most of it will work. One swivel will need to be replaced but at least have a starting point. Have a few other things to do first and I go on call next week at work so looking like I should get more involved with it the week after.  Going to need to get 2 fittings for the rack in the mean time. Will post pics and details after I know more about what works.
1988 Conquests  

His:  Durban maroon with 351w  
        Sophia white MS2 full sequential with BW S257sxe in the middle of a full tear down

Hers: Red restored and on the road, mostly stock

#13 88351wtsi

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:57 AM

Here's what I have in my Saturn rack swap

Rebuilt rack from a 2000 SW2 part number 249 from Detroit axle. $69.95

2 M14 x 1.5  RH rod ends from Midwest controls $8.95 each.

2 M14 x 2  10.9 grade flange bolts from ace hardware $5.50 each. Have to use these for the rod end bolts 9/16 is too big

2 M14 x 2  grade 10.9 flange nuts $1.20 each

2 M14 lock washers $.50 each

2 grade 8 flange bolts I think they were 3 inches long used to mount rack to bracket

2 lock washers and 2 nuts these are used to secure rack to bolts on the mount

I used an intermediate shaft from a Saturn for $20 local salvage yard and used another piece from an old chevy van to make it long enough to work  someone could buy the swivels from summit but this worked good. I drilled out the center and ran a grade 8 bolt into the shaft of the steering column

Also needed a piece of angled steel from TSC to make mount then used some flat steel to support it to the cross member. This was around $20.

Haven't hooked up the lines yet but did order a couple to try first from the Saturn. The return should work fine

So far I have around $150 in it counting the spray paint

Also after removing the steering gear box it makes the steering column "loose" because there isn't anything to support it where it goes thru the rubber boot at the firewall. I found that a small 1.75/2 inch exhaust hanger worked perfect inside the cabin.  All I did was remove the end that goes around the pipe by drilling out the rivet that attached it to the rubber piece of the exhaust mount. Put it in a vise to bend to the correct angle and used the top righ bolt hole of the rubber piece around the steering column. I had to use a longer M8 bolt to attach the bracket to the firewall and ran a 1 1/2 inch bolt thru the clamp to secure it. Will post picks

I had to drill out the spindles on the car to 9/16 for the new heim joint/rod end bolts.

Hope this helps someone

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Edited by 88351wtsi, 27 March 2017 - 09:21 AM.

1988 Conquests  

His:  Durban maroon with 351w  
        Sophia white MS2 full sequential with BW S257sxe in the middle of a full tear down

Hers: Red restored and on the road, mostly stock

#14 slowquest

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

You'll need to flip your outer tie rod end to the bottom of the spindle.  You want to keep the control arm and tie rod at similar angles throughout suspension movement to help with bump steer issues.

#15 88351wtsi

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:28 AM

^^^ great point. After I get the motor and transmission back in after it gets back from paint I will take it back to get it lined up and address any issues.

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Edited by 88351wtsi, 13 April 2017 - 04:06 PM.

1988 Conquests  

His:  Durban maroon with 351w  
        Sophia white MS2 full sequential with BW S257sxe in the middle of a full tear down

Hers: Red restored and on the road, mostly stock

#16 aconro

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:15 AM

Thank you for the right up!  I'm planing on doing this rack swap in the near future.  Keep us posted on how it works!
1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI Auto (Sold)
1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI 1JZ Swap
1997 Honda CBR F3 600 (Sold)
2004 Volkswagen Golf GTI VR6 (Sold)
2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

#17 IntercooledFlatty

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:33 AM

that sway bar won't fit with a 2JZ


























:ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:
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          MOPAR POWERED

#18 88351wtsi

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:21 AM

Ha ha Larry.  I'll be sure to shoe horn on in there after the G54B give up the ghost.
1988 Conquests  

His:  Durban maroon with 351w  
        Sophia white MS2 full sequential with BW S257sxe in the middle of a full tear down

Hers: Red restored and on the road, mostly stock

#19 speedyquest

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:08 PM

I'll be adding pictures of my own version of this swap soonish...

1987 Flatty Starion -- Widebody Conversion -- V-Mount Setup --  JDL Tubular Manifold  --  MX-6 Intake -- MS3-Pro -- AEM FPR  --  ARP head studs -- 3" hood exit exhaust -- Hahn Racecraft 16g --  Tial F38 Wastegate -- Tial Q Bov -- Short route piping -- 5 lug & LSD conversion -- Tubular Front End -- Manual Steering Rack Conversion -- Manual Brake Conversion -- Stack Digital Dash -- AEM UEGO -- D2 coilovers -- full GNT poly bushings & mounts -- four 8" rears -- car lightened significantly...  More to come!


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Build Thread --->  http://www.starquest...opic=143564&hl=





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