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Old 12-09-2015, 03:23 PM
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Default Rack and pinion

Just by accident I discovered that the 1975 super beetle has rack and pinion in it.

It got my curiosity going so I was wondering if it could be installed in a regular bug(without a whole lot of modifications).

Found this picture of one
Rack and pinion-rack_and_pinion.jpg
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:07 PM
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Could, but no real advantage. The only reason it was used on Supers is the front end was entirely different and the "regular" steering rod and box wouldn't fit.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
Could, but no real advantage. The only reason it was used on Supers is the front end was entirely different and the "regular" steering rod and box wouldn't fit.
Interesting comment Rick.

Super beetles had the "regular" steering from 1971-74 and then went to the rack and pinion setup in 1975-79, and as far as having no advantage why then has every car manufacturer changed over to it.

I think a better reply to this would have been it wont work because the connection points for the tie rods are located at opposite sides of the spindles.

That info would have been helpful but I caught that after researching it more.

The tie rods on a bug are located behind the spindle where as the super beetle tie rod connections are located in front of the spindles. So if you turned right you would go left. That would make driving interesting.
Rack and pinion-type-1-steering.jpg Rack and pinion-sb-suspension-diagram.jpg

How ever a Porsche 914 steering is configured the same way as a beetle so that would stand a better chance of working. I've never seen one up close so I have no idea if it would work.
Rack and pinion-914-steering_suspen_big.jpg

One thing also to consider is these are manual rack and pinions so there is no pump involved at least from what I've researched so far.
Just thought I'd throw out another idea for the car.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:06 PM
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Or at least a not-well-tought out response. I've never been accused of thinking before I type

The early SB's still had the worm and sector drives. When new collision standards were imposed in '75, they went to the rack and pinion to save space - the spare tire now layed flat on the floor of the "trunk" and served as an impact protection device - much like our cars have a place for a spare in the front. Same idea. And yes, in moving to the R&P the cars had to be turned into "front steer" with the arms in front of the wheels. You technically could flip the spindles side for side but then you have tie-rod interference. One other reason it's difficult - not impossible - to do.

There are several kits for sand rails and baja's that utilize a rack and I assume they could use the rear steer links if engineered correctly. You'd still have to figure out Ackerman angles and all that or it could be quite a mess.

IIRC, Supers and early Rabbit/Golf shared the same rack and pinion. I'm thinking Porsche 914 as a similar model if not the same - it was shared with the 356 and early 912's. The VW parts bin was pretty well strewn across several brands back in the day.

And why convert to R&P? I've heard and read it has more direct feedback than the worm and sector. Just me personally, I've never found that much of a difference. Other than a slightly "tighter" feel, I found no difference between driving either one of my Sterlings versus my old '85 Cabriolet with manual rack and pinion. And the worm and sector was way easier to turn from a dead stop than the rack on the Cabby.

I would think without researching too much that "every" manufacturer has/had R&P simply for the fact it can be powered and is a lower profile unit.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
And why convert to R&P? I've heard and read it has more direct feedback than the worm and sector. Just me personally, I've never found that much of a difference. Other than a slightly "tighter" feel, I found no difference between driving either one of my Sterlings versus my old '85 Cabriolet with manual rack and pinion. And the worm and sector was way easier to turn from a dead stop than the rack on the Cabby.

You just said it.

No slop in the steering, better road feed back, And the number of revolutions of the steering wheel to get from full stop left to right and right to left is reduced so you don't have to turn the steering wheel 50 revolutions to make a turn.

Yes the rack and pinion does have more friction.

Yes its not for everyone but if your looking for a more precise steering then rack and pinion is the way to go. and since these units aren't powered assisted the guys with VW engines can use them and not worry about any power lost.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:11 PM
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Hmmm... I've always had about 3 1/2 turns lock to lock on each car... not as "precise" but I'm not road racing it, either. And look into electric power steering...
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:59 PM
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As someone who HAS fitted R&P to a std 1966 bug I can say even with 235/60/15 on the front I can turn the steering at stand still very easily, no effort at all and the number of turns is reduced making driving very pleasant with our 'sports' driving position, the last thing one wants when half reclined to the horizontal is loads of arm movement.

I use a Citroen C15 unit (but most small European cars should do) with the track rods cropped by 2 1/2", quite easy as it just requires further threading of the track rod tube internally and the fitting is easy, just a 3" angle welded to the frame head to take the two mounting bolts and fitting 'bump steer' bushes to reverse the track rod ends to get the rods in line.

Lower parts of the steering column had to be made up but that's not difficult using standard joints and a FWD drive shaft boot fits in the bulkhead to make it all nice and neat.

Rack and pinion-front-brake-m-cly.jpg
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Last edited by Peter; 12-10-2015 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
As someone who HAS fitted R&P to a std 1966 bug I can say even with 235/60/15 on the front I can turn the steering at stand still very easily, no effort at all and the number of turns is reduced making driving very pleasant with our 'sports' driving position, the last thing one wants when half reclined to the horizontal is loads of arm movement.
Your not the first person Ive heard say this, peter. Coming from people with running and every day driving cars, a steering upgrade is almost a must! Its not the going down the freeway that is the problem. Like you said its when your trying to navigate into and out of parking areas at little to no speed that will test your physical fitness. The typical seating position makes things worse.

I contacted a few companies and found a solution for those of us running modern engines for a power assisted steering rack to be transplanted into the car. Source parts are plentiful, mods are easy with minimal tools, and it mounts right back into the stock VW location (with custom made mounts). As a side effect, since the new rack is configured with equal length push arms, now bump steer is a thing of the past. The steering is said to be quicker, and more solid feeling than the old school pitman arm style steering box.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:15 PM
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I fitted R&P from a triumph dolomite in mine, although its been so long since I drove it with the old steering box I can't remember exactly what my first impressions where after the switch. I do seem to remember I was very happy with it compared to the steering box. As has been said, tighter feel, better road feedback etc..
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:54 PM
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Here is the link to what Ive done so far with the power steering rack (if anyone is interested).
The metal for the mounts is in the shop, I just havent had any time to get to it.
Sterling GTR PRoject
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