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Thread: Converting 84 van to rack and pinion

  1. #1
    Van Fan
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    Converting 84 van to rack and pinion

    Since it's close to impossible to find a new center arm I've been playing around with this idea. Has anyone tried this, or know if it's even possible without massive fabrication? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Van Enthusiast
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    (2) 1989 2WD LE VAN Wagons
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    Re: Converting 84 van to rack and pinion

    Anything is possible but to what cost?

    Not having been under the Van in a while and going from memory, You would probably have to fabricate and weld the brackets that support the rack and pinion on the 86 and up chassis. If you could find a complete steering system in the junk yard from an 86-88 the tie rods on an 89 are different , that would be helpful because not all parts for the rack and pinion are available. You would need the complete rack and tie rods inner and outer. The bevel gear assembly and steering drive shaft from the bevel gear to the rack. I do not know if the high pressure hydraulic hoses are interchangeable . The power steering return from the reservoir to the pump is the same though. I imagine the steering column shaft could be needed as well as the connection between the steering bevel gear in an 86 and up and the steering column connection to the recirculating ball steering gear in the 84 and 85 have different couplings.

    It would probably be cost prohibitive only in that the parts for the rack and pinion are getting hard to find so why spend all that time and money on another system that will have a parts availability problem soon if not already as many parts are discontinued and the limited after market availability is shrinking as well because their are fewer cores available to rebuild because the Van is so rare now

  3. #3
    Van Fan
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    84-85 centre steerng arm

    somewhere in this forum Tim mentions a place that rebuilds these steering arms for about 3 hundred dollars, in California. I was contemplating this approach before I was lucky to find a used one that was still tight. I drilled and tapped it and installed a grease nipple..............still working well after ten thousand kms....it is important to get the grease in there. I replaced my original centre arm at 470000km with one from a local wrecker..i tried injecting grease into it with a hypodermic needle but I guess it wasn't a good enough job, as it wore out within 3 months.........so I found another arm[ 350 miles away] and did the grease nipple mod...............I guess I mention the zerk mod just in case others have found used centre arms.........but anyway there is an info link here, on this site for rebuilt part. NIk

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