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Post Info TOPIC: Steering conversion


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Steering conversion


Dear forum members,

as the steering of my Peerless Phase 2 does not work properly anymore, I think a conversion to rack and pinion  could be reasonable.

Has anyone done this before?  Is it a kind of easy to do job an eager enthusiast can manage, or does it require a lot of work?

What is the best address to get the conversion kit? Moss? RimerBros? The Club?

Looking forward to your answers,

Best regards from Hamburg,

Marek



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Rack conversions are not common.  They involve a lot of work, and lots of opportunities to make a mess of it.

Eric De Vries can probably help with dimensions, I think he used a TR4 rack.

Unless you really know what you are doing however, fixing your existing steering is easier.  What part of it does not work?

Frank



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Hello Marek,

Before deciding to change to rack and pinion you need to be clear about what you're trying to achieve.

To help you decide, these are the key points based on attempting such a conversion with the intention of keeping the original indicators in the control head, which is not possible without considerable machining and a clever wiring solution that is not available off the shelf from specialists.

1. Have you driven a standard steering box Peerless set up correctly?

2. Do you want to keep the original indicators and control head? If yes, stay at point 1.

3. If you are happy to move the indicators to a column stalk this is possible using off-the-shelf stalks available new from Moss, Holden etc.

3. The Moss rack conversion bracket (and any made for the TRs will need extending for the wider Peerless chassis and geometry). Not impossible and I did get that far successfully.

4. The Moss upper column conversion kit uses different splines to those in the original steering wheel boss so that would need changing too. The length will need adjusting too.

5. If you haven't given up yet and chosen point 1, you're just the kind of maverick we encourage to own a Peerless!

Good luck!

Gary



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Hello Marek,

Yes, Like Frank mentions I did the rack conversion on my Phase 1.

This was when I was building my new chassis on the build rig and had great access without the body on the car.

It took a LOT of measuring to find the correct position of the rack, it took some three months.

The height of the rack influences the bump steer, and in the horizontal plane it influences the Ackerman principle.

I had threaded rods in stead of shocks and springs to simulate ride height and with my laser tool I could check for bump steer.

The steering column is TR4, for which I had to make a custom splined shaft, rack is TR4/5/6, with modified TR6 steering arms.

I know it's not original, but I also already had the telescopic rear shocks :)



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great work Erik and I think we need to have a set of drawings here at Peerli Towers.......but I must point out your failing on this design.......... the steering wheel has ended up on the wrong side of the car!



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Hello Frank, Gary, and Erik!

Thank you very much for your answers. I really appreciate it.

Thinking about a conversion was born out of the naļve assumption that it would be an easy job, done between breakfast and BBQ.   That it should not be that difficult and a reasonable thing to do was suggested by some articles, and Roger Williams TR book.

Reading your post, Erik,I think it is too much work for me at least, as I want the Peerless back on the road as fast as possible. But the conversion you have done is great, though. Very nice work, indeed. Thanks for the photos.

 Frank you are right, it is the better choice to fix the old one.  And I am used to kind of heavy steering anyway, but the Peerless got hardly movable, it was like riding a drunken rhinoceros, or to be more precisely : riding two drunken rhinos running in opposite direction. . . .

 Gary, thank you very much for your eye-opening answer and your nice questions I should consider before doing some foolish things.

I dissembled the whole steering. 1. The idler box was not working properly, so I will change it 2. There is a light resistance in the steering box itself. Just a little. I hope I can fix it, when I set it up correctly.

As I never owned a car younger than 25 years old, driving only classic cars since I got my license (30 years now), and enjoying my Peerless from the first day on (I bought it from Frank Jones), I hope I am that kind of maverick you have in mind :o)

And Nigel, I wonder why you do not answer my mail or my question, if you are active involved in that matter anyway?

 

I will let you Know, when all is done, or if there are more problems as expected . . . .

Thank you, and greetings from Hamburg

Marek



-- Edited by Marek on Saturday 8th of June 2019 07:30:02 PM



-- Edited by Marek on Saturday 8th of June 2019 07:33:14 PM



-- Edited by Marek on Saturday 8th of June 2019 07:34:34 PM

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A well set up Peerless shouldn't resemble a rhinoceros!  Things to check..........

Because they are "square" threads, the idler and trunnions are always suspect it they haven't been regularly lubricated. 

Replacements are easily available and not expensive. Grease is cheap. Get the uprights crack tested whilst it's apart, these fail sometimes.

Replacing the upper and lower bushes in the inner wishbone joints with nylatron should be a priority.

The rubber silentbloc joints in the cross shaft deteriorate and fall apart, phosphor-bronze replacement joints are available.

The steering box worm wears but the Revingon upgrade RTR3075LK will eliminate most of the slop.

Finally, check that all the steering locating bolt holes in the chassis have not worn oval.

And finally, are the wheel bearings OK?

If it still steers like a camel, the problem is probably the rear suspension.The

F



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Hopefully I am more successful fixing the steering compared to my incapable attempt editing my last post, changing the layout / space between the lines.

Thanks Frank, I really appreciate your advice. 

If the Peerless behaves like a camel, that would be fair enough for me :o) 

Best regards,

Marek



-- Edited by Marek on Sunday 9th of June 2019 09:46:33 AM

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Marek,apologies for not replying on this thread but have very little to add to all the great technical support you have had as I have never done this conversion...or even seen one to be honest.

My only other contact I have had is when I sent you an email at the beginning of July, 2015 shortly after you bought the car from FJ and you replied in August.

 

If I have missed an email please, once again accept my apologies.



-- Edited by nigel c on Sunday 9th of June 2019 04:58:15 PM

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Hello Nigel. Thank you for your answer. I was just wondering; I did not want to sound offensive.

Best regards, Marek



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Everything is fixed and done as recommended, and the Peerless is back on the road. 

It is now absolutely better than riding a rhino, even better than a camel. It is more like being on a horses back - not a tippling arabian or andalusian horse, more a good old cold blooded battle horse.

Just great.

The conversion is off the topic, and I am looking forward to the next problem.

Thank you all, again.

Best regards,

Marek



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i have to say I have just re-shod (keeping the horse theme going!) my car with 185 Cintarato's and it drives very well and whilst parking up I really did think, what is all the fuss about rack & pinion.....but then I have used this car for over 20 years in all weathers and I guess I'm used to it....... and at higher speeds it is a joy.



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Well done Marek. Glad you have fixed it.

 



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What steering rack do you need to buy When doing a conversion? There is a tr3 conversion kit, but also TR4 early, TR4 late or TR4a-TR6 steering racks you can buy. What is the best one to start the job?

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None of these kits fit "out of the box" because a Peerless has a wider track than a TR3,

and the spaceframe chassis doesn't have the same mount points as a TR.

 

A TR rack can be "made to fit" if you can design and construct your own rack mounts and fabricate longer tie rods.

This still leaves you to sort out the jointed steering column, steering wheel and the horn and indicator wiring.

Get it wrong and you'll have a restricted lock and bump steer to die for.  If anything breaks you don't get to choose what you hit.

 

Liability issues mean that even hot rod shops get evasive when you want to start modifying steering components.

 

Fixing the existing steering is far, far easier, and the bits (apart from the worm) are not expensive.

Good luck!

F



-- Edited by Frank on Wednesday 10th of March 2021 12:49:40 PM

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Dear Erik,

do you still have the drawings or measurements of the conversion bracket you made? Is it Really an improvement, or would you Just go for a rebuild of the original steering unit as suggested?

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Hi Julo,

I did this build back in 2005, and unfortunately i did'nt make detailed drawings.
If needed i can make some measurements off course.
And to be honest the car is still not road going, so i can't really tell you how it drives.

The only experience i have is from steering the car while being towed from house to storage and that felt really good i can say.

On the other hand it should be good because i have spent a lot of time setting it up correctly to eliminate bump steer and Ackermann principle.
Also, the R&P system contains much less mechanical components and points to wear.

There are long and short steering racks and different lengths of tie rods.
I used the long rack and long tie rods, no need to modify so safe to do.

I am NOT being negative about the original W&P steering as i will retain this system on the Ph2, albeit LHD.

 

 



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Hi All,

I converted our Phase 2 to rack and pinion steering about 10-12 years ago (memory fading...), as follows:

Parts were a TR6 rack and steering column, TR4 lower column with splines both ends and 2 metal UJs, TR6 upper and lower wishbones, uprights, trunnions, hubs and front brakes.  I used TR6 standard track rods and steering arms, which gave very close to the same width as the original steering gear.

I drew up and fabricated a new crossmember to mount the rack so that the track rods were as close to the line of the originals as possible, reasoning that this was the way to minimise bump steer with the steering close to straight ahead (as it mostly is when driving at any speed).  The cross member has a sloped step up at each side to raise the rack to the right height, and the rack ended up quite close to the diagonal chassis tubes that run down to join the fronts of the bottom rails just ahead of the radiator.  The cross member is braced and attaches to the tops of both the inner and outer parallel chassis rails at each side.  The original Triumph steering rack gaiters were rubbing on the chassis and looked likely to fail so I did some research and identified a later slimmer gaiter (from a Metro I think) that fits the rack and track rods well, without touching the chassis tube.

The car is actually my wife's and was her daily transport for the school run and getting to work for about 10 years.  She had been developing arthritis in her hands and other joints and found the steering was literally painfully heavy at parking speeds, even with all the standard components in good shape.  The conversion gave her a car that was once again manageable, although the steering wheel and indicator switch had to be changed to fit the new column so the cabin looks a little different.

Bump steer has never been a problem, and to me the feel of the car is transformed - the steering is a bit lighter, a bit more precise, gives great feedback and is so responsive to the driver's input that the car's handling just inspires confidence.  The turning circle isn't fantastic, but not much bigger than it was - never a problem getting parked for either of us.  My own classic is a TR5 with some performance upgrades to brakes, steering, suspension and engine, and the Peerless feels sharper due to its light weight and lovely steering, even if a little slower in a straight line...

We haven't looked back; the change in how the car is to drive has been overwhelmingly positive, and for us the move away from originality in the cabin is less important.

I'd recommend this change if your wants / needs are similar, and I'm sure with some ingenuity the original wheel could be retained - although making the indicator switch functional would be tricky.

Nick



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Hi Nick,

Good to hear from you, hope the family are well.

By fitting TR6 upper and lower arms and trunions how are you for Castor angle now ???? as its built into the chassis on a Peerless (about 2.5*) and built into the suspension on a TR6 (about 2.5*)



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I realised we would end up with a castor angle of around 5-6 deg, the sum of the Peerless and TR numbers, but thought it was worth a try as the remedy if it was a nuisance would involve some messing around with bolt-on parts rather than anything more intrusive.  In the event, there doesn't seem to be a noticeable difference in how the car drives / steers, so it has never been an issue.



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