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As the engine and transmission are located in the rear and front of the car is
very low and short we where looking for a steering rack that could be mounted
right on the foot well firewall to maximize as much of the trunk space as
possible where by some of it would had been tucked under the lower windshield
sill which would also provide easy access to windshield wiper motor and
regulator, we would just have to make sure to properly weather seal it to
prevent any water/moisture penetration. Problem with that is that the car is
very wide and there is no OEM of the shelf racks that could fit without making
any modifications, therefore we had to resort into putting uprights with
steering knuckles facing forward as in Corvette from which they had been taken
from and utilizing the C5 steering rack and luckily it fits perfectly in. Doing so
we unfortunately are loosing the planned space in front of the firewall thus
loosing approximately 3 cube feet of trunk space. On the other hand we are
gaining better space for air compressor and tanks, easier access to steering
rack and possibly easier access to wiper regulator and motor and as bonus we
don't have to worry about making the hole area weather tight.
Not wanting to use typical dated Fiero steering column then having the wheel replaced with something more modern and also that the steering column is too long and the corresponding linkage would not clear the brake booster and pedals we got lucky to utilize 2nd generation Acura TL / 7gen Accord steering column and wheel. The setup is short and features telescoping with up and down adjustments which will help in entering and exiting the car. However as the steering wheel is 14" in diameter we may need to look for a smaller diameter wheel. Other benefit from using the steering column is where as the Fiero column would most likely had to be compressed were by crash zone of the column would be removed the Honda/Acura column still has crash zone undisturbed.
To link the rack with column we had to split U joint on the Honda/Acura shaft in front of the the rubber shock absorbing coupling and splitting and removing mounting U clamp from the corvette shaft at the U joint. Now the Corvette U clamp was mounted onto the Acura/Honda shaft with U joint. One problem with the Honda shaft is that it is originally mounted at the firewall where all the seals are between firewall and steering rack. Since we are spreading steering rack and column now through open air, the steering shaft with the crash section is exposed to elements where buy loosing any protection from water and being suseptable to rusting and loosing integrity for the crash zone. Therefore we will need to find or make protective boot to prevent any water penetration to the crash zone of the column.
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