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280z Steering Rack Options

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Hey Guys!

I am in the process of reviving a 1977 280z coupe that has been sitting since the early 90s outside (must be a minor miracle cause there is minimal surface rust underneath and on the body). Anyways, the rack and pinion didn't get so lucky, looks like hell. Both boots are basically plastic and have fallen off. There is slop bust mostly on the outer tie rod ends that I can see. It needs some serious TLC and I was wondering if I should rebuild it, or if there is an option to buy a new one. I can't seem to find much information out there for buying a new 280z rack and pinion. Found tons for the 240z, but it seems like the 280z rack is a little different. I also cannot find any kits out there to rebuild the 280z's. Is a 240z rack pretty much plug and play? Wondering if I should maybe just put one of those in there, but I am not sure of the drawbacks. Or, does anyone have any experience rebuilding the 280z rack and what parts they used; I will never turn down the challenge of a rebuild, just need some tips. Trying to find the best approach I should take at this point. Thank you everyone in advance!

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The best one I remember was @Captain Obvious's but his photos went away because "Photo Bucket sucks", as per Captain Obvious.

Here's quite a few, his is in there too. I rebuilt mine without any problems. Bought the accordion boots with those stainless straps from a motorcycle parts department. They were for some kind of 4-wheeler, sorry I don't remember. I bought Moog tie rods with the grease zerk from rockauto.com. The driver's side is left hand threads FYI.

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1BOFA_enUS494US494&ei=KZYqYLycD83G5gKF3ZjgDQ&q=steering+rack+restore+classiczcars.com&oq=steering+rack+restore+classiczcars.com&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAM6BAghEAo6BQghEKsCUPgjWOJEYJdUaANwAHgAgAG9AogB5A6SAQgxNC40LjAuMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwj81JuOnezuAhVNo1kKHYUuBtwQ4dUDCA0&uact=5

Here his is. He says later on in the thread the important photos are there.

 

Edited by siteunseen

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33 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

The best one I remember was @Captain Obvious's but his photos went away because "Photo Bucket sucks", as per Captain Obvious.

Here's quite a few, his is in there too. I rebuilt mine without any problems. Bought the accordion boots with those stainless straps from a motorcycle parts department. They were for some kind of 4-wheeler, sorry I don't remember. I bought Moog tie rods with the grease zerk from rockauto.com. The driver's side is left hand threads FYI.

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1BOFA_enUS494US494&ei=KZYqYLycD83G5gKF3ZjgDQ&q=steering+rack+restore+classiczcars.com&oq=steering+rack+restore+classiczcars.com&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAM6BAghEAo6BQghEKsCUPgjWOJEYJdUaANwAHgAgAG9AogB5A6SAQgxNC40LjAuMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwj81JuOnezuAhVNo1kKHYUuBtwQ4dUDCA0&uact=5

 

Awesome thank you! This took me to several different threads that I found helpful. Didn't realize that Rockauto sold the smaller worm gear seals which is super helpful for me. About how long did it take you to do the full rebuild?

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I was doing a motor rebuild and suspension refresh, all kinds of small stuff popped up so it was a month long at least. You could do it in a day or two once you get all the parts together. The steering rod is kind of a pain if the motor is in the car. I used polyurethane bushings for the steering rack.

Here's what I used for reference way back when I did my '77. @240260280 always has some good photos which help me better than reading directions so THANK YOU! Phillip.

https://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/steering.htm

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On 2/15/2021 at 10:08 AM, siteunseen said:

I was doing a motor rebuild and suspension refresh, all kinds of small stuff popped up so it was a month long at least. You could do it in a day or two once you get all the parts together. The steering rod is kind of a pain if the motor is in the car. I used polyurethane bushings for the steering rack.

Here's what I used for reference way back when I did my '77. @240260280 always has some good photos which help me better than reading directions so THANK YOU! Phillip.

https://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/steering.htm

Ok! Do I need to get any specialty tools like a slide hammer for the bearings or anything? Also, how did you paint the housing? Did you get it powder coated somewhere, or just use the standard enamel paint process. Thanks!

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I have a slide hammer but honestly don't remember using it. I bought a quart of chasis satin black from Eastwood and used it on everything on my 280 and 240. Great stuff in my opinion. Bought a cheap gravity cup hvlp gun from Harbor Freight, $15 small gun. I can dial the pattern down to spray the size of a dime, low air so no overspray. Still use it too.

p10043ZP.jpg

92126_W3.jpg

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If you decide to use a small spray gun instead of rattle cans I highly recommend another $15 for a small moisture separator right before the gun. I have a pretty good one right of my compressor but still get moisture after the 25 ft hose. That's fine for most everything except painting and sandblasting.

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20 hours ago, siteunseen said:

I have a slide hammer but honestly don't remember using it. I bought a quart of chasis satin black from Eastwood and used it on everything on my 280 and 240. Great stuff in my opinion. Bought a cheap gravity cup hvlp gun from Harbor Freight, $15 small gun. I can dial the pattern down to spray the size of a dime, low air so no overspray. Still use it too.

 

Speaking of that, I plan to powder coat my cross member. Is gloss or satin the closest shade to original? 

My control arms are aftermarket and look gloss. I may go with that.

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On 2/16/2021 at 7:00 PM, siteunseen said:

I have a slide hammer but honestly don't remember using it. I bought a quart of chasis satin black from Eastwood and used it on everything on my 280 and 240. Great stuff in my opinion. Bought a cheap gravity cup hvlp gun from Harbor Freight, $15 small gun. I can dial the pattern down to spray the size of a dime, low air so no overspray. Still use it too.

p10043ZP.jpg

92126_W3.jpg

That stuff is awesome. I have a can though I only used it to paint the outside of my gas tank so far. Would you recommend spraying the bottom of the car with that stuff, and then putting like a bed liner type paint over it? I still am not sure how I am going to paint the car. Mainly just trying to get the car moving so I can horse around with it for a little before I tackle refinishing the body. Also when I get to it, do you recommend stripping the entire car to the shell and stripping everything off and then painting. Or can I just seal the surface rust on the bottom of the car by painting over it.  Just curious what you think.

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I painted only things that I had off to work on. You're going a lot further than I did. I got lucky and found cars with original paint and little rust underneath.

I agree with the "get them running good and drive" philosophy. LOL

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:05 AM, siteunseen said:

I painted only things that I had off to work on. You're going a lot further than I did. I got lucky and found cars with original paint and little rust underneath.

I agree with the "get them running good and drive" philosophy. LOL

 

Lucky you! Mine is pretty good, but there are some surface rust spots starting to show in some areas though underneath. Don't you worry, I plan on driving the **** out of it before it is painted and I have to worry about keeping things looking "pretty".

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