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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - chrome steering mod

reading roger william's book the chrome steering rack needs to be modified to accept two rubber bumper joints, does anyone have the exact details as i want to modify it myself. The lengths and dimensions would be really good.

G Roberts

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "two R/B joints". There are two issues with the chrome car's steering. One is that it needs to pass through the engine mount, and the angle is wrong, and the other is that the large UJ on the chrome column is too big and too far into the engine bay to clear the exhaust manifold bolts.

Ken Costello used a very short shaft out of the rack with a UJ on it, and then an intermediate shaft up to the original UJ at the bulkhead. Unfortunately these parts are no longer available.

I'm intending to follow Chris Betson's advice, which is to use a R/B rack on my C/B crossmember, and to alter the angle of the mounts on the crossmember to make the (longer) R/B shaft pass through the engine mount. I will then use a R/B universal joint (smaller), and will shorten the upper column to retain the correct location of the steering wheel.

The Americans have done this in numerous different ways and I expect you'll get lots of ideas.

Mike Howlett

If the size of the u-joint is the problem, why not look at a new u-joint from Flaming River Industries. The stainless ones have a real small outside diameter.
Jim Lema

I have always liked their 'low profile' version...

You can lengthen the CB shaft to the same length as RB shaft & shorten the in cab part accordingly. Take into account any difference in the length of the smaller uni joint. This work should only be carried out by a competant machinist. The best way to lengthen the shaft is to splice a new section into it thus saving the cost of resplining. It needs to be done in a lathe using dowel or spigot joints before welding it all together. It still requires a lot of work to make it fit into the car. Clive Wheatly is in your neck of the woods ( Bridgenorth ). Why don't you speak to him ? good luck, Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

Those are nice u-joints, but note the "not for street use" disclaimer. Choose carefully.
On my car I was able to splice a CB pinion to a RB shaft and substitute an RB joint with no other changes aside from elongationg the bulkhead mounting holes. YMMV
Jim Blackwood

Hi Jim,
Just last week I asked Flaming River about their low profile joint. They said that it was OK for street use as it is stronger than any OEM joint but that it wasn't as strong as the billet one.
Tony Bates

I've often though that if you were makeing your own extractors you might be able to locate the steering UJoint in the gap between the two rear most exhaust pipes.


Thanks for your comments. One other posibility I've thought of is maybe there is a pinion gear and short shaft from another car's rack that could directly replace the original pinion and long shaft. I thought i read some where that the one fitted to the triumph 2000/2500 series of cars would do, any comments.

G Roberts

Gary I have a Tri 2ooo rack somewhere I will see if its suitable
Dave Lowe

First, I'm doing a LHD model (Canada), in a C/B body with the C/B X-member. This may be useless, though I believe the RHD is a simple mirror image.? Perhaps this may help on this side of the pond. I did it Mike H's way, but I also used the bulkhead "cone" from a R/B car and the rack mounts to immitate a R/B car: I cut the bulkhead/firewall cone from a R/B body and welded it in my C/B body. Then I fabricated rack mounts a bit longer than the C/B ones (and stronger 16 guage) which extends them forward, with the right mount slightly longer than the left (probably the other way round for you). Canting the rack slightly causes worry, but the factory did it this way when the ride height was raised for the smog ingesting safety electing Callifornians. As long as the rack is CENTRED laterally, the cant won't matter. The whole thing was very fiddly using carboard templates and carefull measurments, levelling and eyeballing to get the rack mounts welded to the C/B X-member centered and at PRECICELY the same height as the C/B car. Variation in the mount hieght will alter steering geometry with regard to suspesion compression and lead to "bump steer". Costello's method may well be easier, and if were to build 5 of these things, I'd fabricate parts as he must have done! However, 2 X (UJ) = 2 X (wear) = 2 X (slop) to the second power. The reward for the fiddling is that the setup looks like it was meant to be there and I can use stock replacement R/B racks.
On second thought, go the Costello route!
A. R. Davies

Gary,the Tri 2000 rack I have looks like it is no use,shaft dia is smaller and is also too short for MGB.
Dave Lowe

This thread was discussed between 03/12/2004 and 12/12/2004

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