Although we haven’t had to have the car tested as yet, one rule that was recently changed for scratch built cars is that there must be an area in front of the steering rack that is “crushable” in an impact. To help meet that specification we had to chop off the chassis bars that were on the car and we will replace them with some smaller bar that has thinner walls so it will be the weak spot in a front on crash. Reasonably straight forward fix for what is an important rule we need to follow !
The only thing mounted forward of the steering rack is going to be the radiators and a few body supports and that is about it so it’s not a big deal thankfully. It’s probably going to be something we leave till quite late in the build once we get the body back on and we can see what the “frunk” (front trunk as Tesla call it) is going to look like. We’re having to put a fuel tank where most of the space will be, but we’ll have some storage space for the odd shopping bag!
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, we have settled on the steering rack from an NZ V8 super tourer. This class has been blended into the NZV8 series but they’re still running these racks and they’re made by Flaming River in the USA so they’ll always be easy to get parts for or even get a replacement if needed.
I’d already been able to borrow a rack from the guys at M2 motorsport to test for size and ordered my own unit, but in the meantime I was able to make the steering rack mounts using M2’s rack. It’s actually quite nerve racking to do something like this when you’ve never done it before, but with some hours spent researching steering rack placement and some conversations with a few people “in the know” I felt like I was going to be OK.
I started off by running an orange level tie between the left and right steering uprights to give me the ideal level of the centre of the rack. You can see the line in the photo’s running between the silver rack mounts.
Got everything tack welded in place and made some threaded inserts for the rack mounts to bolt into. Just have to weld in the threaded inserts for the top bolts now and it’ll be done !
I have also ordered some custom steering rack ends from the USA. These will connect the rack to the steering hubs, but I wasn’t able to find anything that was from another car that would suit. I’m sure there was something out there, but I wasn’t going to go through 100 catalogues trying to find something that’s already out there, so I just got some made to the correct length etc and ordered 4 so I have spares if anything happens later on !
Still a little bit of tidying up to do just capping the top of the mounts etc, but basically all done as far as mounting the steering rack.
There’s still some more to do with the front end such as mounting the front anti-roll bars, but that should be reasonably straight forward and we are pretty sure that the OEM units we purchased from the USA from the Corvette C5 will fit and it’s a good starting point as we don’t really know what we need on that front so it’s only going to be a starting point.
There’s a newer entry in this story, please click here – FZ12 – Part 14
If you’ve missed the last part of our story then click here FZ12 – Part 12
or if you want to go right to the beginning then click here FZ12 – Part 1