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Thread: Clocking the steering rack on a C4 conversion frame

  1. #1
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Clocking the steering rack on a C4 conversion frame

    DSCN2299.jpg
    I've been asked several times about how to get the engine to sit as low as possible in the C4 frame conversion, with the way the rack & pinion fluid lines stick "up". I learned how to do this via ChevyTalk forum, and am passing it on to folks who want to know here.

    The stock rack has the fluid lines exiting straight "up" from the body of the rack. This gets in the way of mounting the engine as low in the cradle as possible. In my case, the front LS1 crank pully was going to hit those lines. To gain an extra approx 1 1/2 inch lower engine position, consider "clocking" your C4 steering rack.

    To do that, you'll need to remove the rack from the crossmember.
    Mount it carefully in vice. Then remove the 2 hard fluid lines. Then remove the 2 "pins" in the outer housing. These are short pins with a knurled thread that have been pounded in...rotating as they are inserted into the inner housing to hold the left and right housing tubes together. So you twist 'em out by tightly securing vicegrips around the head of the pin, then tapping the vicegrips counterclockwise with a hammer. They "unthread" right out.
    DSCN2302.jpg

    Once both pins are removed, the spin the passenger side of the housing 90 degrees to make the fittings "point forward". Then carefully drill new holes in each of the 2 pin locations and then re-install the pins (vicegrips + hammer in a clockwise position). Once they get started they kind of make their own thread in the new hole you just drilled in the inner housing...so just hammering the top of the head will seat it.

    To reinstall the rack back into the cradle, you'll need to notch the passenger side mount, to make room for the fluid fitting/line.
    DSCN2300.jpg

    Then you'll need to make up new fluid lines because the old ones won't be long enough. I had some made out of stainless and used banjo fittings on the actual rack housing.
    DSCN2301.jpg

    Bolt it all in and you can now set your engine lower into the cradle.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/57%20Chevy%20Nomad%20wagon[/URL]

    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/59%20Apached%20Fleetside%20Big%20Window%20Shortbed[/URL]

  2. #2
    Registered Member 56-210Sedan's Avatar
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    Great advice thanks for sharing
    55 Belair 2dr Sedan 350/350 loving every minute of it.
    56-210 2dr Sedan c4 front/rear suspension, and not sure when the ride will roll.
    Marty

    http://www.picturetrail.com/56-210sedan

    http://saccc567.com/

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics, Paul. The pins are actually pretty easy to pull out. I know of at least one guy who was able to re-bend his stainless lines to work. But I like how you did it. Where did you find the correct tube ends for the rack fittings? Did you just have the tube flared?

    Also, did you ever look into using high pressure hose there? I don't know where you would find the metric hose ends, though. Adapters, perhaps?
    Last edited by chevynut; 04-18-2012 at 12:31 PM.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

  4. #4
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    Larger hydraulic shops have metric steer line fittings for that Corvette rack , and can bend new lines w/metric fittings as needed . Years ago , it was nigh onto impossible to find metric hydraulic fittings without going to Europe or the Far East , but North American hydraulics has come a long way toward standardization in the last 10-15 years. Be safe...Bob.

  5. #5
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    hi i am new to this site and i pulled out the two pins and can not get get the housing to rotate , is there something i am missing

  6. #6
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Hi guys. I am having the same problem as Brians55 had almost 4 years ago. I had a junk rack that I pulled the pins out of and it wasn't too hard to rotate the housing. But now I have a rebuilt C4 rack and can't get it to turn. I've tried a pipe wrench on it but I'm afraid I'll damage something.

    Any advice Paul or anyone else? My rack seems to have a thicker-walled cylinder than others I've seen.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

  7. #7
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Hmmm...mine turned fairly freely. Put a cheater bar on the end of your pipewrench and see if you can get it to budge. Spray the inner oring area with lubricant. maybe it's gummed up a bit.
    I just looked for a disassembled C4 rack diagram on Google search with no luck.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/57%20Chevy%20Nomad%20wagon[/URL]

    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window- [URL=http://s78.photobucket.com/user/pcardey/library/59%20Apached%20Fleetside%20Big%20Window%20Shortbed[/URL]

  8. #8
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Paul, I don't see an o-ring on the junk rack I took apart. The cylinder sleeve just slides onto the aluminum housing and is pinned there with the rivets. There's a seal inside the cylinder just inboard of the fitting, so there's no need for an o-ring there. I put a pretty big pipe wrench on it and I'm afraid to put much more torque on the cylinder, not to mention the marks the wrench makes. I'm actually wondering if they epoxied the cylinder in place when it was rebuilt. There were some small yellow o-rings under the heads of the rivets but I don't know why you'd need them since there's no fluid in that area. I've read about 2-3 others having this problem, but they never did update to say if they got it resolved.
    Last edited by chevynut; 02-23-2016 at 07:15 AM.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

  9. #9
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Did you try putting some heat on it? If there is some kind of sealer heat may help to loosen it up. I wouldn't use much though. Maybe just a propane torch.
    Good Luck
    Brian

  10. #10
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custer55 View Post
    Did you try putting some heat on it? If there is some kind of sealer heat may help to loosen it up. I wouldn't use much though. Maybe just a propane torch. Good Luck
    Brian
    Yup, tried that. I got it about as hot as I thought the steering fluid would make it. Not sure what to do with it.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

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