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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
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    Country Flag: United States
    For the steering, I wanted to follow the same direction/theme as the brakes....simple and functional with good feel/feedback. There are a bunch of good power steering conversion kits out there, but I feel like most of them are over-boosted, and I didn't want the added complexity of the pump, reservoir, and lines going to the steering box. A rebuilt factory style box was also considered, but I've always found those to be numb on center, and the steering effort with the sticky Avon tires, even at only 7 inches wide would be significant. For all of the above reasons, I decided to use the Speed Direct manual rack and pinion conversion kit. The benefit will be precise feel throughout the range of travel, while resulting in approximately 20% less effort compared to the factory manual steering box. The kit consists of a remanufactured rack and pinion (not sure what model it comes out of), and all of the required brackets and hardware to mount the unit in the C2 chasis.

    When the kit arrived, I was immediately impressed with the quality of the Speed Direct parts, and equally unimpressed with the quality of the rack and pinion itself. The R&P was clearly a POWER R&P junk yard take out, that was rebuilt as a manual unit, the line plugs cut off and bent over, and then hit with a black rattle can. It looked terrible. I called Speed Direct, and to their credit, the customer service tech rep was extremely up-font and helpful. He said that they outsource the rebuild R&P units and simply provide the kits to bolt them into the car. He assured me that despite the raggedy exterior, everything was 100% new inside the R&P, that it was in fact a MANUAL unit, and that they had never had a unit returned due to malfunction/faulty rebuild. Based on that conversation, and some members over on the Corvette Forum who have used the same kit and absolutely love the steering feel, I decided to rectify the cosmetics myself and roll with it.

    I stripped the entire unit, and then repainted it with POR 15 grey paint. I then removed all of the bent over power steering fittings and measured all of the ports that needed to be plugged. Of course they were odd size and thread pitch metric fittings, but I was able to find all of the plugs I needed from AeroFlow out of Australia in nice black anodized aluminum.

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    The rack bolted up with supplied brackets and hardware without an issue.

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    In the below photo, you can see the adjustable steering rods that will eventually connect to the spindles. I've left them free at the moment as I need to get the car on the ground and then use the supplied spacers to ensure the rods are parallel with the lower control arms. This helps to minimize/eliminate any bump steer in the C2 chasis.

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    I also haven't yet connected the steering column to the rack and pinion yet. Other users of this kit have suggested trimming the steering column about 1" and then using a longer intermediate shaft in order to make the angles on the U-joint less aggressive, thus reducing any chance for premature wear.

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    Attached Images Attached Images  
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    640
    Country Flag: United States
    The period trans am styling looks so perfect on a C2 coupe. Great looking car!
    -Chris
    '69 Corvette
    '55 Chevy Hardtop
    AutoWorks Middletown, NJ
    @autoworksnj for corvette and shop car pics
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...e-Build-Thread

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by vette427-sbc View Post
    The period trans am styling looks so perfect on a C2 coupe. Great looking car!
    Thanks, and agreed! Looking forward to getting home and getting it back on the road!
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kennewick, WA
    Posts
    220
    Country Flag: United States
    Love where you're taking this one, hands down the sexiest car ever made!

    Looks like a Cavalier rack, it's a popular conversion for Mavericks and sure looks like the same unit.


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by RMMiller View Post
    Love where you're taking this one, hands down the sexiest car ever made!

    Looks like a Cavalier rack, it's a popular conversion for Mavericks and sure looks like the same unit.
    Thanks.....that sounds right actually. A couple guys on the Corvette forum are running this kit and love it. Strikes a good balance between the low speed lat work out of the manual box and the over boosted numbness of the factory power set up.
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    640
    Country Flag: United States
    I ran that same rack (Pontiac grand am) with the ports plugged... I liked it, although a wide sticky tire might make it undesirable at low speed. I think youll be fine with your setup.
    -Chris
    '69 Corvette
    '55 Chevy Hardtop
    AutoWorks Middletown, NJ
    @autoworksnj for corvette and shop car pics
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...e-Build-Thread

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Yea, the Avons are an R compound tire, but at 225/60/15, I don't think it will be too bad.
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Last update until I get back to the states in another 6 weeks or so....

    Being 6'6/210, the small cabin of the C2 Corvette is obviously a little cramped for me. Additionally, the factory seats are just about the least supportive seat ever installed in a sports car. In order to address both issues, I decided to go with an aftermarket seat. After looking at a number of options, I settled on the Cobra "Stuttgart" seat. They're small enough to fit in the cramped C2 cockpit, offer excellent support and bolstering, and have a period correct look....almost carbon copies of the Recaros used in the late 60- early 70 Porsche 911s.

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    The seats aren't yet mounted to the floor in the above pictures....I'm working on fabricating a bracket that will mount them directly to the floor as low and as far back as possible. The final version should gain me an additional inch both in head and leg room. Once that is all sorted, I'm also going to send the seats out for some upholstery work. I've always loved the seats in the Singer Porsche and thought the two toned Navy/White interior of this car was the perfect color combo to incorporate a little European sports car flair to an American classic. I found the fabric from a dealer in Scotland and ordered 5 yards which should be more than enough to do the inserts on both seats.

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    I also wanted to do something with the steering wheel. The stock, 16" wood grain steering wheel is classic, but it feels extremely thin and flimsy...especially when you really crank on it in a parking lot due to the lack of power steering. Much like the Recaro seats with tartan inserts in the old 911s, I've also always liked the Momo Prototipo steering wheel in classic Porsche's. Unfortunately, the 14" Momo wheel just doesn't look right in a C2. Its small enough that it restricts visibility of the gauges, and in my opinion, looks too "European" for the car. What I decided to do was take a little bit of that style, and apply it to a more GM looking wheel. I found a 15" wheel from a 1969 Corvette and sent it out to have 1/8 inch padding added, and wrapped in the same leather that BMW uses on their steering wheels. Besides the aesthetic and tactile improvement, the wheel has 1" less dish than the factory wheel, and 1" smaller diameter so I picked up some much needed legroom as well.

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    The last upgrade to the interior was to add 3-point seat belts. They were a factory option starting in 1965 but were not available in '64. This meant drilling into the fiberglass to mount the anchor for the reel in the back....classic example of measure 12 times, drill once. Thankfully, I got both reels mounted in the correct place. I decided to go with Navy blue belts as opposed to the factory white for a little bit of contrast....and because they won't look dingy after a few years of use.

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    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Forney, TX
    Posts
    114
    Country Flag: United States
    interior is starting to look real classy, very nice!
    88 Ford Mustang - The Grey Ghost
    11 Subaru Outback
    18 GMC Canyon Diesel
    Instagram

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
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    Quote Originally Posted by frink84 View Post
    interior is starting to look real classy, very nice!
    Thanks very much...Im very excited to see it come together. I also have a black leather shift knob with a white pearl Corvette logo (looks classier than it sounds) that my dad originally had in his 1978 Corvette. Its been in all 5 of my prior Corvettes, to include the 1999 that was wrecked by a body shop employee who took it joyriding while it was in for some paint work. I had to break into the wrecking yard that night in order to "steal" the shift knob back before the car went to the crusher.
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Finally back at it....

    Heres the new steering wheel installed
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    I also got the rest of the steering buttoned up. Wheel and rack are perfectly centered (after much adjustment)....just under 1.5 turns either direction with no binding in the U-joints. In the second pic, you can see the steering arms attached to the spindles (although not torqued). You can also see the stack of shims on the under side of the outboard bearing, moving the rod as high as possible. The steering rods are supposed to be as close to parallel with the lower A-arms as possible in order to minimize bump steer.. I will probably need to adjust the shim a bit once the car is one the ground and under load...but for right now, the full stack on the bottom has the arms as close to parallel as possible.
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    Lastly, the wheels and tires finally arrived! The 15x6 just barely clear the Wilwood D8 calipers, and the 215/70/15s are probably a touch on the conservative size, but I figured Id rather be safe than sorry, and if it looks like I have room, I can always go one size wider the next time I need tires. The tire stickers also arrived....I got one wheel done today just to see how they look. It is exactly the look I was going for. Once the glue dries, and you wipe away all the excess with a billow pad and some brake cleaner, they look like vintage raised white letter bias ply tires...you'd really have to be an expert to figure out they're actually stickers. It will be interesting to see how they hold up over time.
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    Also got the seats back from upholstery....most Corvette guys cringe at the look, but I love them. They fit the interior look I am going for perfectly, afford more head and leg room than factory, and are far more supportive and comfortable. I'm hoping to get my mounting brackets back in the next day or two so that I can get these mounted in place over the weekend.
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    Thats it for now. The plan is to get the brakes bled this weekend so that I can get the car on the ground and start working on the alignment.
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Brackets weren't finished yet, but I wanted to throw the seats in the car to get the full effect....many won't get it, but for me, it perfectly hits the happy marriage of Outlaw Porsche meets American sports car.

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    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    640
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLYNAVY53 View Post
    it perfectly hits the happy marriage of Outlaw Porsche meets American sports car.
    I think you nailed it!
    -Chris
    '69 Corvette
    '55 Chevy Hardtop
    AutoWorks Middletown, NJ
    @autoworksnj for corvette and shop car pics
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...e-Build-Thread

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Thanks Chris. The crowd over on the Corvette forum HATES it....you'd think i had lit an L88 on fire and danced around it naked!
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    957
    Country Flag: United States
    One of my favorite builds! Nicely done!

    What's next?
    SMSgt Ty Ingle, USAF
    "CF71" - Freedom Bird
    Hoodpins.com, Inland Empire Driveline, Billet Accessories Direct, Modo Innovations, AutoRad Radiators, Morris Classic Concepts, Marquez Design, Anvil Auto, Fesler Billet, US Collision (DOOM), AGR Performance, Pro-touringF-body.com, Phoenix Transmission Products, Shiftworks, ACC Carpet, Hedman Hedders, BMR Fabrication, American Autowire, MityMounts, TIN INDIAN Performance, Kauffman Racing Equipment, Pypes, RobbMc Performance, WMC, Holley, NOS, PST

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    493
    Ya I think itís pretty cool !
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Forney, TX
    Posts
    114
    Country Flag: United States
    Brilliant combo on the interior, can't wait to see more progress. Those vette dudes should best remember that the car came about to compete with those damn Euro rides like the 911...
    88 Ford Mustang - The Grey Ghost
    11 Subaru Outback
    18 GMC Canyon Diesel
    Instagram

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    355
    Country Flag: United States
    Thanks guys. Right now, I'm down to a bunch of little things....brake bleeding, front sway bar, suspension grease, then get it on the ground and start working on the alignment. After I get that close, it'll go out to a pro and then Ill start making shake down runs, bedding the brake pads, etc. The plan is to drive it the all summer and fall, then dive into phase 2 of the project this winter with the full electrical system and fuel injection swap.
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Southern IN
    Posts
    85
    Country Flag: United States
    Very nicely done! I love the plan you laid out and the execution as well. Such a clean starting point too. Looking forward to seeing more!

    Btw, Thank You for your service.
    Shane
    #theanchorholds
    Link to my build thread:
    http://lateral-g.net/forums/showthread.php?t=56387

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    16
    Country Flag: United States
    Love the vision and enjoying the build so far!

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