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Question: C1 Side Motor Mounts and Rack & Pinion Steering

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
I'm looking for advice from anyone who has installed side motor mounts in a C1. I have a 383 stroker (430 HP, 520 ft-lb) in a 1969 block, in my '62, with a Tremec 600 5-speed and 3.36 posi rear end. The bell housing was dialed in per Tremec's specs. The flywheel was resurfaced prior to installing the 383. I re-used a pressure plate that had 4000 miles on it, along with a new clutch disc.

Even with new, properly torqued front engine mounts, and a new transmission mount, I'm getting quite a bit of engine rotation and associated clutch chatter when taking off in first and reverse, and when downshifting. I've fought this problem all year, and after trying everything to reduce the chatter, I'm taking the engine out and welding in side mount brackets from Corvette Central. I'm planning to use Prothane mounts.

Because I fought the chatter issue all season, and knew I had to take the engine and trans out this winter, I decided to make a desperate attempt to "wear in" the clutch before shutting down for the year. I slipped it between 2nd and 3rd, 3rd and 4th, and going into 5th up hills. That didn't make the chatter go away, and I know I hurt the disc. Maybe I can tell, after disassembly, whether the slippage is coming from the disc and pressure plate, as opposed to the disc and flywheel.

I know I need to go with rack and pinion steering in order to accommodate the new mounts. I'm looking at a Steeroids kit. While I'm at it, I'll install power disc brakes. Because of the chatter, I plan to install an entire new clutch and flywheel kit to eliminate problem sources once and for all. I don't drive the car hard, and McCleod told me that a good street clutch kit will give the best chance of eliminating chatter.

Have any of you done this conversion, and are there any suggestions you have to pull it off successfully? And has anyone installed the rack and pinion system without power assist?
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,205
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I'm surprised nobody has commented on this.

Here's my opinion. I like the Jim Meyer Racing bolt in front suspension. It has a front mount rack and pinion and the whole thing can be reverted back to original if you would want to in the future. They also make a weld in side motor mount for a stock frame.

Jim Meyer Racing
Tom ​
 

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
I'm surprised nobody has commented on this.

Here's my opinion. I like the Jim Meyer Racing bolt in front suspension. It has a front mount rack and pinion and the whole thing can be reverted back to original if you would want to in the future. They also make a weld in side motor mount for a stock frame.

Jim Meyer Racing
Tom ​
I'm also surprised that no one has advice on the conversion, or experience with it that they're willing to share. I bought the side frame mounts from Corvette Central and have them pop-riveted into position for welding, after I pull the engine. I'm using Prothane mounts for the best chance of reducing engine movement.

I've looked at the Jim Meyer kit and am considering it as an alternative to the Steeroids setup. I'm really curious whether the power rack-and-pinion option is that much better than the manual kit. I suppose if I want a smaller steering wheel, that I should go with power assist.

I will be pulling the engine and trans soon, and am hoping to see some evidence whether the clutch chatter is coming from the disc/pressure plate interface, or the disc/flywheel surface. I'm going to a lot of trouble to eliminate the clutch chatter.
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,205
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I've never driven a C1 with ball joints and a steering rack. They say there're easy to steer. I see them with and without power steering on these conversions at the shows. You should call Jim Meyer and talk to them.

Tom
 

Bwmurph

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
367
Location
Conway, SC
Corvette
'59 Blk/Red, '71 Blk/Red
I'll be interested to see how this thread goes: I've wanted to put the Jim Meyer front end kit under my '59 for years, but have never had the $$$ to pull it off. I hope to get around to it this year, so I'll be checking in to see how it goes. The side motor mounts seem like a good idea as well - getting rid of the water pump/motor mount situation would be great !

Let us know how it all works out.

Bernie O
 

Big Block 60

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Flint,MI
Corvette
1960
rack and pinion

I Just got done putting a Steeroids power rack and pinion along with 4 wheel discs on my 60. I'd recommend it to anyone. If anyone plans to do both, I'd recommend you do the brakes first. The power rack and pinion comes with a Ididit column. If you want to run headers, you have to pick from 3 or 4 that Steeroids will list for you. I went with Hooker Headers. If I had it to do over I would have stuck with my rear drums. Just not sure it was worth doing all four. I'm now running a 383, 435 hp, 450 ft lbs. Original 4 spd with 411 gears. Best thing I ever did. Wasn't hard job to do at all. Good winter project.
 

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
Steeroids with Side Mounts Caution

Thanks to all of you who have responded since I started this thread. After welding in the side mount brackets from Corvette Central this winter, I received the Steeroids power rack and pinion and started to install it. I was shocked to find that the rack input shaft was routed through the front part of the top flange of the new left side mount. I called Steeroids, thinking I had the wrong rack, and was told that they do not support a side mount installation. Nowhere in any online sales or technical information was that restriction mentioned during my research. I haven't gone back into their website to verify that a restriction against side mounts has been added.

So, since I had gone to all the work of positioning the side mount brackets, removing the engine and transmission, and welding the brackets in, I was determined to make it work safely. I had to make modifications to the side mount to make the Steeroids shaft system fit. After carving out an arc in the interfering top flange of the mount, I welded in two additional vertical supports for the bracket cross-tube. I then boxed in the entire bottom of the mount, tying together the three uprights into what is basically an H-beam with three webs. So the left side mount bolt tube is now supported across its entire length from the bottom, while having 2/3 of its original support on the top.

Once all the side mount mods were done, the new steering column and shafts, with the center bearing, fit up nicely with no binding. The only complaint that I have with the center shaft bearing (Heim joint) bracket is the outside adjusting nut for the Heim joint is boxed in by its bracket. You can't adjust the bearing in or out without either freeing the outer nut, or removing the shaft from the Heim joint so you can turn it. Once the shaft set screws are loctited and tightened, the shafts don't come free very easily.

When the engine was installed I found that the left exhaust manifold was too close to the OD of the Heim joint. So I had to remove the lower end of the shaft assembly from the rack, then back off the Heim joint locking nut until the boxed-in nut was free. After several attempts, I was able to pull the joint outward to clear the exhaust manifold.

The power steering reservoir fits nicely in the recess in the left inner fender. There is just enough room next to the coolant expansion tank. The steering pump aligns nicely with the front groove of the pulleys. With the front engine mount removed, the balancer spacer at the front of the crank has to be pulled out. I had to move my alternator to the rear pulley groove.

Because of all of the extra work, I am just now ready to get the '62 back on the road and enjoy the power steering and front disc brakes. I'm looking forward to the less intrusive 15" steering wheel also!
 

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
Serial Number Tag with Aftermarket Column

I forgot to ask in my previous post - with the Ididit column installed as part of the Steeroids kit, where should I put the S/N tag? There isn't enough space to rivet it to the Ididit.
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,205
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
It sounds like you got a handle on the extra fabrication work needed to make this a clean modification. I'd like to see a picture.

As for the VIN plate, that's a good question. With all of the modified late C1 cars I've looked at I've never paid any attention as to what they did with the VIN plate. I always thought that the steering column was stupid place to put it as it isn't actually on the body. About the only place there is enough room is on the firewall inboard of the drivers side hood latch. I don't know if it would be a problem to mount it on the drivers hinge pillar like they did up to '59 or not.

Tom
 

firstgear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
Sorry I didn’t see this before.....my car has side mounts and Jim Myer Racing front and rear suspension. On his website that red ‘60 with the white doves is my car after it was built.

Here is a link to a book I put together on the build of my car. The link takes you to the free to download ebook version....

Red Hot Updated Ebook by a Herb Turner creation | Blurb Books

After you look the book over I can answer any questions you have.....
 

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
You have a beautiful project there! Thanks for sharing the excerpt of your book. I'm in Sandusky, OH so we're only a few miles from each other. Let me know if you're going to be at any local shows so I can see your Vette.

I finally got all my issues resolved with the fitup of the Steeroids system and the car is on the road. With the side mounts, the engine now sits rock solid. And with all new clutch components from the flywheel back, I no longer have clutch chatter. I've been fighting that for 4 years since I bought the car.

The front end alignment is being done next week, and that's going to be really important for proper handling, according to Steeroids. On the road currently, the slightest movement of the wheel causes the car to move. The Steeroids rack is a rebuilt post-1980 GM unit with 2.7 turns lock-to-lock. If, after alignment to Steeroids specs, the steering is still too darty, I will consider replacing the rack with a less aggressive one.

In retrospect, I should have spent the extra money and bought the Jim Meyer setup. It would have saved me all the modifications to the left side mount and be an overall better performer. But I'm done now and really enjoy the power steering. I also like the uncluttered look with the front engine mount removed.

The front disc brakes are a big improvement also. I still find myself anticipating the pull to the side when I hit the brakes, from when they were drums.
 

delray56

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
21
Location
United States
Corvette
1962
One other question - Where did you mount your serial number tag after removing it from the original steering column?
 

firstgear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
You have a beautiful project there! Thanks for sharing the excerpt of your book. I'm in Sandusky, OH so we're only a few miles from each other. Let me know if you're going to be at any local shows so I can see your Vette.

I finally got all my issues resolved with the fitup of the Steeroids system and the car is on the road. With the side mounts, the engine now sits rock solid. And with all new clutch components from the flywheel back, I no longer have clutch chatter. I've been fighting that for 4 years since I bought the car.

The front end alignment is being done next week, and that's going to be really important for proper handling, according to Steeroids. On the road currently, the slightest movement of the wheel causes the car to move. The Steeroids rack is a rebuilt post-1980 GM unit with 2.7 turns lock-to-lock. If, after alignment to Steeroids specs, the steering is still too darty, I will consider replacing the rack with a less aggressive one.

In retrospect, I should have spent the extra money and bought the Jim Meyer setup. It would have saved me all the modifications to the left side mount and be an overall better performer. But I'm done now and really enjoy the power steering. I also like the uncluttered look with the front engine mount removed.

The front disc brakes are a big improvement also. I still find myself anticipating the pull to the side when I hit the brakes, from when they were drums.
I have been working on my 63swc so I don’t have a lot of time for shows. I will have the car at Fisher Titus Medical Center benefit car show. Non judged event with proceeds to help with purchase of equipment.

I believe that car show is Sunday, August 19. I will have the car in Carlisle inside building T. That’s it for the rest of the year. I had it at Cleveland Piston Power Show and it came in second place, missing first to a fresh build by 1/2 point. I will be better prepared next time.....

I don’t have power steering in my 60 as the rack and pinion is a dream to have. Huge difference over the stock setup.
 

firstgear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
You have a beautiful project there! Thanks for sharing the excerpt of your book. I'm in Sandusky, OH so we're only a few miles from each other. Let me know if you're going to be at any local shows so I can see your Vette.

I finally got all my issues resolved with the fitup of the Steeroids system and the car is on the road. With the side mounts, the engine now sits rock solid. And with all new clutch components from the flywheel back, I no longer have clutch chatter. I've been fighting that for 4 years since I bought the car.

The front end alignment is being done next week, and that's going to be really important for proper handling, according to Steeroids. On the road currently, the slightest movement of the wheel causes the car to move. The Steeroids rack is a rebuilt post-1980 GM unit with 2.7 turns lock-to-lock. If, after alignment to Steeroids specs, the steering is still too darty, I will consider replacing the rack with a less aggressive one.

In retrospect, I should have spent the extra money and bought the Jim Meyer setup. It would have saved me all the modifications to the left side mount and be an overall better performer. But I'm done now and really enjoy the power steering. I also like the uncluttered look with the front engine mount removed.

The front disc brakes are a big improvement also. I still find myself anticipating the pull to the side when I hit the brakes, from when they were drums.

I may not be going to FTMC car show....there are some issues going on right now with FTMC and my family...I will leave it at that....
 

Big Block 60

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Flint,MI
Corvette
1960
I'm running a '60 with a 383 with 430 horse and 450 torque. Tremec 600 5 spd and a 410 rear. 4 wheel power discs and steeroids power rack and pinion. Love it. I have clutch chatter in first and reverse but not real bad. I believe it's because it's an organic clutch. If you go with the above do the disc brakes first. Then the Steeroids. Save ya some work.
 

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