Anyone use a steering quickener?

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. Cowet

    Cowet Active Member

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    I've been doing some digging on how to tighten up the steering ratio and Im aware of the pitman arm clearance limitations. Does anyone actually run a steering quickener on our cars? I'm aiming for 12:1
     
  2. Professor Fate

    Professor Fate Push the button, Max...

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    The longer arms usually hit on the headers or downpipes. I'm assuming you've got manual steering, power would feel way too squirrely if you got it to 12:1 even if you dropped the pressure IMO, although Borgeson's 14:1 power box is a different animal entirely and works well. for a manual box just go to PST or Firm Feel and get yourself an all new, non-worn out manual box in 16:1 and you'll be shocked with the difference. Either of those gets you closer to your 12:1 target without the clearance issues.
     
  3. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The Hotchkiss Challenger runs a 1.5:1 steering quickener for 12:1. I have seen a picture of it somewhere, it’s mounted right at the steering box with a shortened steering column. The reviews I’ve seen from drivers were all positive, at least on AutoX courses.

    The AAR and T/A cars ran the longer pitman arms on the power steering cars, those were also 12:1. I don’t think that ratio is an issue with power.

    With manual steering it’ll break your arms. But really, it would slow the steering down. Even with my 16:1 manual steering, 275’s up front and +6.5*’s of caster my arm strength limits how fast I turn more than the steering ratio does.
     
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    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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      What is your intended use?
      Autocross?
       
    • Professor Fate

      Professor Fate Push the button, Max...

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      The only A body I've ever personally seen with them was a '69 Swinger and he had problems with them hitting the headpipes- he switched to headers (forget which brand, sorry- it was probably 20 years ago) and they were still hitting. Ended up putting standard arms back on. Not saying it can't be worked around (I have heard of it, so never say never! But that is also where I heard the lighter As got twitchy with PS) but do expect some clearance issues on As.
      Oh, jeepers, maybe I made a wrong assumption- when he said "steering quickeners" I assumed he was talking the longer idler and pitman arms, and on an A body... Color my face red if I jumped to the wrong assumption... :(
       
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      • Oldmanmopar

        Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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        Most SS Darts and Barracudas are doing this with bearings and going to heim ends. This is Ray Bartons Dart. They have to run a steering box by rules. Otherwise a rack & pinion would be your best choice. Less moving parts .

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      • 72bluNblu

        72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Hey look, it’s not a steering quickener.

        All I see is a welded pitman that shouldn’t be used on a street car and a lot of work done to eliminate the tie rod ends and replace them with heims that won’t last as long on the street.

        You always post that car like it’s the pinnacle of suspension work, but it’s just a drag car that’s not street worthy anymore. And most of the modifications are completely based on class rules, which often means there’s a better way to do it if you’re not in that race class. For a 1/4 mile at a time in perfect conditions it’s probably great. On the street that car would not hold up. And you of all people should know how dangerous broken suspension parts can be.

        This is a steering quickener like the OP is asking about

        Howe Steering Quickeners 5225

        It’s NOT a lengthened pitman arm like the fast ratio steering arms available.
         
        Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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        • Oldmanmopar

          Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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          Sorry I offended your know it all A$$. Its not street car but an old school race car. extending the arms were what was done. But what the hell would you care

           
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          • Oldmanmopar

            Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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            We extended these for On and off road 4 wheel drive. Back when you had to make parts. You can make them stronger then the sets you buy. If you know how to weld and figure in geometry.

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          • Oldmanmopar

            Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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            Bluboy your link don't work
             
          • 72bluNblu

            72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Hey look, a bunch more posts that are completely irrelevant to the OP's original question. And you're right, I wouldn't care a lick about a cobbled together 1/4 mile car with old tech that's good for one and one thing only, which is going in a straight line with suspension geometry that's terrible for doing anything but that.

            Fixed, grumpyoldman. Did you need to find out what a steering quickener actually is?
             
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            • 72bluNblu

              72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Here's a picture of the Hotchkis Challenger's set up for the steering quickener. It's a Coleman unit that's mounted under the dash. It's a little hard to see it, but these are the only pictures I've found of it. There's a thread over at moparts on it where @autoxcuda talks about it, maybe he'll chime in here. They're his pictures

              7034865-CopyofPICT0531.jpeg

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              https://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/1163164/2.html

              I would think that it could also be mounted to the inner fender right near the steering box, it would be easier that way because you could leave the upper part of the steering column alone. It might require a bracket to be fabbed up for the mount to have the strength required for it, but shortening the column down there would be easier.

              Here's a link to the Coleman piece

              Steering Quickener, Lightweight, Mini
               
              Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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              • Oldmanmopar

                Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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                Well I know what they are and I wouldn't suggest using them on a steering box let alone a street car. Like I have told you many times parts for my car came from a NASCAR modified shop. And we also raced a sprinter . That is where you would use a quickener on a race car with long arm box or a rack. And they are not recomended by good car builders. Just a cheap fix. Notice the advertisment you have posted shows a listing for heim joints for steering joints that you said are junk.

                These billet quickeners are good for coming off the turn with a winged car. The wing steers them in planting the left rear on entry. A good setup carries the right front on the straights

                Only an idiot would put this billet aluminum system like this on a heavy street car with a box where they have road bumps and hazards. And then in place of your collapsible shaft and column. Take notice this is a race part. And is illegal for the street in many states. Don't use this system on a steering box car. Buy extended pit-man and idler arm. They are iron and are much safer even if you make your own.

                And check out the underside of the gobbled together 1/4 mile car with old tech. sure looks as though safety was a priority to me.

                To the OP stay away from this junk for a street car. Think Safety. Would you really trust your life to this system. Now this is my opinion you do what you want. Maybe talk to someone that designs complete suspension kits first.

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                • Cowet

                  Cowet Active Member

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                  I appreciate everyone's info here. I'll clarify a couple of things. I do indeed have power steering currently and was indeed talking about the steering quickener that was shown installed under the dash.
                  I do indeed prefer using the extended pitman/idler arm due to the simplicity. Does anyone have anyone have any good methods of dealing with header clearance issues? That was the main reason why I was asking about the quickeners.

                  I'm also curious to hear more about how going to 12:1 with powersteering could cause squirrellyness.

                  Lastly, a steering rack would be ideal but getting decent Ackerman seems to be a challenge unless I heavily modified uprights to allow for front steer. I wouldn't mind doing some welding as I already have qa1 k-member but deleting the torsion springs will make this conversion very expensive.
                   
                • Cowet

                  Cowet Active Member

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                  Also does anyone have any more details on why exactly quickeners are considered dangerous? They seem commonly used in rally racing as well. Functionally speaking, I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to build one that is stout. Aluminum can be extremely strong if the correct alloy is chosen.
                   
                • Professor Fate

                  Professor Fate Push the button, Max...

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                  I'll try to clarify what I said about possibly being "squirrelly". Just remember, this was a guy I met a few times and NOT firsthand experience. I only mentioned it because he was an honest, well-respected guy in my area...
                  His Duster was running the 340 manifolds, and he said he got the longer pitman and idler to clear everything by having differently routed headpipes welded up, and I believe he used oval tubing. When he got it on the road, he claimed that the A's light nose weight (?) made the handling feel too "twitchy", and not very smooth when turning, no matter how he had his alignment set... I had suggested he either find a different alignment shop or reduce his pump pressure. Don't know if he ever got it sorted out, haven't seen him in close to 20 years. I only mentioned it because it was the only reference I had to on-road use in an A body.
                  The one guy I did work with that tried them decided he didn't want to deal with the issues and went back to stock parts.
                  This is just for what it's worth, and your results may vary.
                   
                • autoxcuda

                  autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                  This is in the Hotchiss Yellow Challenger T/A car.

                  It’s a power steering car.

                  They made a cage around it. IIRC, that cage was then integrated to the brackets to the steering column support.

                  I just took the picture for reference since I had the unique opportunity to get under there.
                   
                • Krooser

                  Krooser Reform School Graduate

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                  Late 90’s Jeeps had 12-1 boxes. Most of the dirt stock cars run 6-1... I dont see an issue with 12-1.
                   
                • Oldmanmopar

                  Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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                  Here is what I can tell you. I have 2 inch tube headers and installed them on a 71 Duster with the 71 steering link. I had to cut and move the one tube because the pitman and idler fastener nut were on the top. After I cut the header my son noticed that if we would have used the 73 and newer steering link they would have fit with no problem. Close but would clear.

                  Also one thing to consider is that the AAR and T/A cars were available with extended power steering arms and will work with the later 73-76 steering link. You can weld the arms or put them in a press and bend them if they are close. If I was doing your car I would use this advise and make things work. Do not rely on that cheap steering quickener under the dash. You'll turn your column into a spear and also make it unreliably dangerous.

                  The one picture below you can see the difference in the steering links. The straighter bar is the 73-76 style. As you can see the attachment points are moved down. The center of the bar is the same distance from the pan when installed. I remember the early cars always having problems with the steering hitting the exhaust. They changed it over in 73. Also eliminates some bump steer.

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                  • autoxcuda

                    autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                    Have you put a longer T/A pitman arm on a 73-76 centerlink or 68-72 centerlink ?

                    Major interference. You will be doing a lot of bending. And the pitman will have to be bent down the same amount.

                    Bending pitman and idler that much will surely change bump steer. So you’ll have to measure that when done. Heeting up the arms might weaken them if not done properly.

                    I understand the issue of not having a slip joint in a steering column. I’m not sure if the Hotchkis Challenger modified the OE slip joint, eliminated it, or used aftermarket.

                    E-bodies do have a collapsible can on the steering column, but that doesn’t fully replace slip joint.

                    Here’s some aftermarket telescoping columns:
                    Sweet Mfg. 405-10325 Collapsible Steering Column, 32 - 42 Inch

                    JEGS 607102: Telescoping Double "D" Steering Shaft 3/4 in.-DD x 1 in.DD x 26 in. Long | JEGS
                     
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