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Rack & Pinion for a '57 Bird

 
Tbirdg
New User
Posts: 6
Joined: 10/15
Posted: 10/23/15 10:17 AM

I'm Ba-a-ack. I searched but couldn't find a post of a Unisteer Rack & Pinion install into a 2 seat Thunderbird, so I'm going to document my experience here. My last major project was swapping in an FE/AOD into our 57. The kit I've ordered through CPP is for a stock 55-57 Thunderbird with an FE power steering pump mounting bracket substituted for the Y-Block that normally comes with the kit. Wish me luck... Wink  

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Tbirdg
New User
Posts: 6
Joined: 10/15
Posted: 10/23/15 08:11 PM

I removed the steering wheel, then the steering column, loosened the idler arm bracket, the tie rods from the spindles, the control valve from the pitman arm, then removed the whole assembly. Three more bolts and the steering box was loose. The steering column was a bit stubborn, but the removal was otherwise very straight forward. I will be cleaning and painting the frame and detailing the wiring while waiting for the re-rebuilt engine and the Unisteer kit to be delivered.

The Unisteer rack is supported by a sturdy steel bracket that bolts to the existing holes for the steering box on the left and the idler arm bracket on the right. I'm trusting that it will fit as advertised.  

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Tbirdg
New User
Posts: 6
Joined: 10/15
Posted: 10/25/15 01:27 PM

I started working on the required steering column modifications and hit my first snag. Removed the C-clip at the top of the steering column to remove the shaft or bearing or whatever came loose and nothing came loose except the C-clip.

I've been using the Unisteer kit instructions from their website til the kit arrive. It seems to indicate the shaft will stay with the steering box when the column is pulled out. Mine has an adjustment feature (Don't they all?) with a short splined male section that stayed connected to the steering box. The longer top female splined section stayed with the column when I pulled it out. My 1957 Ford Car and Thunderbird shop manual doesn't offer any additional detail. Guess I'll see how good the Unisteer support staff is.  Tongue  

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Tbirdg
New User
Posts: 6
Joined: 10/15
Posted: 11/01/15 08:49 AM

Before I bothered the Tech Staff at Unisteer, I decided to disassemble the adjustable feature on the T Bird steering column. I'm fascinated by the lack of info in the Unisteer instructions, in the Ford shop manuals or on the web. The ribbed chrome tightening collar on my steering column was stuck tight. Every thing I found said to turn "Counter clockwise", that's "Clockwise" as you face the steering wheel because it screws on to the back side of the steering wheel. It came loose when turned the proper direction... Crazy..then I had to hammer the inner steering shaft out of the chrome steering column head piece. The bearing is evidently pressed on the shaft, then pressed into the chrome steering column head. Unisteer should add these steps to their instructions...with pictures. Confused  

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Tbirdg
New User
Posts: 6
Joined: 10/15
Posted: 11/01/15 11:12 AM

I'm ready for the arrival of the kit which should arrive Mon, 11/2/15, and anxious to see if the new stuff fits the old stuff.  

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