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I have a '63 Avanti that I purchased new. It was a daily driver until about 5 years ago and has about 360K miles. It's rest period began because of power steering leaks, and I really don't think I want to continue to live with the recurring leaks. There are just too many sources. I am considering going to rack and pinion and would appreciate any input. Is it a good idea, or not? With this many years of driving, I have little concern of trying to keep it original; I want it drivable and reliable. I have seen the complete front end kits for going to custom control arms, finned brakes, and rack and pinion, but it does not appear to be complete, and there are several uncertainties. Any help or input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Eddie

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I have a '63 Avanti that I purchased new.  It was a daily driver until about 5 years ago and has about 360K miles.  It's rest period began because of power steering leaks, and I really don't think I want to continue to live with the recurring leaks.  I am considering going to rack and pinion and would appreciate any input.  Is it a good idea, or not?

Rack & pinion has its advantages, but since it wasnt originally on the car, it wasnt

considered during the design of the suspension. The BEST way to go on your high

mileage Avanti would be to rebuild the front end, and replace hoses and steering

parts, and keep the original setup. There was an article in a past issue of Popular

Hot Rodding explaining the drawbacks of swapping a 2nd Gen Camaro to a Rack

and Pinion setup. I dont remember all the little details, but they touched on quite

a few areas that become affected. Studebaker has VERY long tierods, and the

GM setup in the 2nd Gen Camaro has a center link. They were explaining how if

you hit a bump in the road and the angle of the tie rods to the a-arms and.... well

like I said .. its pretty complicated. If you make the swap, you are married to how

well the place you buy from did their engineering. In other words, you solve one

problem, and open the risk of new DRIVING problems, which are worse. The stock

setup in your Avanti apparently worked VERY well to rack up all those miles, just

bring all parts back to new, and enjoy another 360k miles. ;)

Tom

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Rack & pinion has its advantages, but since it wasnt originally on the car, it wasnt

considered during the design of the suspension.  The BEST way to go on your high

mileage Avanti would be to rebuild the front end, and replace hoses and steering

parts, and keep the original setup.  There was an article in a past issue of Popular

Hot Rodding explaining the drawbacks of swapping a 2nd Gen Camaro to a Rack

and Pinion setup.  I dont remember all the little details, but they touched on quite

a few areas that become affected.  Studebaker has VERY long tierods, and the

GM setup in the 2nd Gen Camaro has a center link.  They were explaining how if

you hit a bump in the road and the angle of the tie rods to the a-arms and.... well

like I said .. its pretty complicated.  If you make the swap, you are married to how

well the place you buy from did their engineering.  In other words, you solve one

problem, and open the risk of new DRIVING problems, which are worse.  The stock

setup in your Avanti apparently worked VERY well to rack up all those miles, just

bring all parts back to new, and enjoy another 360k miles. ;)

Tom

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I have a '63 Avanti that I purchased new.  It was a daily driver until about 5 years ago and has about 360K miles.  It's rest period began because of power steering leaks, and I really don't think I want to continue to live with the recurring leaks.  There are just too many sources.  I am considering going to rack and pinion and would appreciate any input.  Is it a good idea, or not?  With this many years of driving, I have little concern of trying to keep it original; I want it drivable and reliable.  I have seen the complete front end kits for going to custom control arms, finned brakes, and rack and pinion, but it does not appear to be complete, and there are several uncertainties.  Any help or input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Eddie

Hello, Eddie,

AOAI magazine issue #71, Winter-Spring, Part 1, 1990, had a very detailed article about a conversion to a rack and pinion system. It was not an easy conversion, and there was some trial and error work involved with it. The author reported final satisfaction with the effort.

Best regards,

Paul Eikenbary

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