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Steering Box question


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SO I was toying with the idea of trying to install a rack and pinion setup from a 200sx into the dime. After spending the day under the car i realized that it was gonna take alot more time and work than I wanted to put into it right now. The angle on the tie rods was gonna be about 20- 30 degrees. With that idea scrapped for now, I started cleaning up the stock setup and went to throw the steering box into the car. The issue I ran into, is the header I have for the KA-24e only clears by about 1/4". I thinking that is a no go as it will probably hit when I get on the gas. Other issue is I'm thinking it will probably cook the poor steering box.


Now I know the obvious answer is to bend, rebuild the header for more clearance. However I got to thinking and did not know if anyone knew of a smaller steering box that could be put in in place of the stock one. Thanks for any ideas, I did a search on the forum with no results.

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I was given a heatshield off a Ford F350 exhaust, not sure what part it actually came off of though. Can attach it with hose clamps over the exhaust. I'm not quite sure it would fit over the steering box, however.


Sure something similar could be found off a junkyard turbo exhaust. Would work in a pinch and be dirt cheap.

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people have problems boiling them with blown out gaskets on the stock manifolds. d shape the headers in the area. wont make any noticeable difference in performance. that heat reflecting foil would work great in this sort of application.

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I also went the ceramic coating route, worth the $$ for several reasons. Then I also ground off about 1/4" at an angle from the mounting surface of the box to tilt it slightly for even more clearance. If you have soft, old rubber engine mounts, you will probably still have occasional contact, so put some fresh mounts in, or go semi-solid with a link between the frame and the engine to prevent engine rotation.

I have found other Datsun steering boxes with the same bolt pattern, but they did not give more clearance. Also I use a thicker oil in my box even with all of the above techniques in use.

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Troyt, Thanks for the information. I like the idea of shaving the mount. I also thought about boxing the sub frame in that area to give more clearance, but this sounds like an easier solution. You haven't had any issues with the steering box gettting too week? I am also going to look at changing the angle of the header to see if I can get it to hug the engine block a bit tighter. I will look into getting the header ceramic coated. The one I have is stainless, not that it really matters to me either way. I guess I might spend sometime in the junk yard to see if I can find a steering box that may be a bit smaller. These seem really big for such a light car.

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Why is your O2 sensor on #4 tube and not on the collector?


That was just where it was during mock up and testing. (I think it's actually the port for the EGR system if you run one, lol). When the all stainless exhaust goes in, it will be moved to the down pipe. (it actually works fine there, but I'm sure it will read much better, when relocated to get data from all 4 cylinders).

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Yeah, Thats what I figured out. You got to turn the steering knuckels around and mount the rack in front. Also I dont't know about the angle on the tie-rods, I think you want it to be more inline. I also flipped my cross member for the KA conversion. Thanks for the intell.

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Hi guys, If I were in your situation I would probably just have the header modified and put a heatshield on the box if you're worried about it (less vibration than on the header).

I have to say though I am in the middle of doing a rack and pinion conversion right now on my 510 and its cool to see that other people are interested in experimenting too. I'm not any sort of fabricator nor can I weld so I've been having a friend weld stuff up for me. Other than that handicap I must say there IS a lot of info out there on how this can be successfully done. As long as you have the crossmember flipped, and you use a rack that is about the same length (inner pivot to inner pivot) as the LCA pivots (280zx rack) and you mount the rack close enough to the crossmember you can maintain ackermann and have minimum bumpsteer and clear a front sump. The other thing you need to do is put some kind of bushing in the steering column or a support bearing of some sort, I made one out of copper. In my case I started off with S12 front suspension just like you thought ,except when i put it all together I realized the rack was too long. Lucky for me a 280zx rack bolts in the same mounting bracket (pretty much) and is the correct length.

Heres my car with a s12 rack, too long.



I swapped to a 280zx rack and shortened the tierods up a bit and it works now.


What I'm thinking though was that it might have been easier in the first place to just try and modify the s12 crossmember to fit and use the whole s12 front suspension and struts, I think I've heard of someone doing this?

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