Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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34 n Performance & Hotrod Business n July 2015 HOTROD I t will never be necessary to explain why the steering system is one the most critical elements of any vehicle, no matter who's driving or how. What might be more useful is know- ing what's available, and then applying the laws of geometry and physics in order to make the best and safest steering system choice for the project at hand. The good news is that today, there are plenty of ways to do that. Here's what a few of our sources had to say on the subject... Blake Foster Speedtech Performance, St. George, Utah PHB: What steering components are available for your popular front suspensions? We use a variety of steering options depending on the vehicle. For the 1967- '69 Camaro, for instance, we can upgrade the stock steering box to a Lee Power Steering box. That box uses a new 670 Saginaw casting, all new internals and a balanced torsion bar, which is available in two common ratios: 12.7:1 for autocross, and 14:1 for the street. We also offer a rear steer rack and pinion unit that is a bolt- on to the factory subframe. This is a great upgrade to lose some weight and really add modern steering feel to a Camaro. For the 1970-'81 Camaro, Speedtech offers a full system upgrade, which includes a forged aluminum spindle that utilizes Corvette hubs and brakes, all new geometry and reconfigured steering link- age, (which "fixes" some of the factory geometry). For this new steering geom- etry, we have used a low-KPI spindle to help with the scrub radius and designed the steering arm so that at 35 degrees of inside tire steer angle, we have 100-percent correct Ackermann angle. PHB: What options are available for different types of driving? We currently are evaluating some upgraded steering racks for the Speedtech ExtReme chassis line; one that we are testing is the Sweet MFG rack. This rack should allow us to lower the engine and rack assembly, and—due to the unique outer tie rod attachment—raise the inner tie rods, so the steering and suspension geometry is not compromised. Plus, this unit is much heavier-duty and will survive the punishment that a road racetrack or autocross will give it when using a huge sticky front tire. Another advantage is that you can cus- tom-tailor the steering ratio (speed) from 1.75 inches of rack travel per revolution (this is considered slow) all the way up to 4.5 inches of rack travel per revolution (super-fast). You can adjust the "feel" of the rack or heaviness of the steering input. PHB: Explain how linkage adjust- ments might be different for different applications. In a true "street rod," there will not be any linkage adjustments other than toe. Even with a lot of serious Pro-Touring cars StraIght talk on SteerIng Compiled by Eddie Wieber

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