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Thread: Rack & Pinion Conversion using a VW Polo 86C Rack

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    On my build the new set-up doesn't foul the Nova body, however my body is mounted 30mm higher than a stock build, on a on a stock build the Rack and tie-rods will run pretty close to the body.
    There are no adjustable end-stops on the Polo Rack (to prevent the wheels turning too far and fouling the arches), I believe end-stops will be needed on a Nova, the fix isn't too bad - but another welding job on the list.
    Steve, since my recent MOT I'm thinking about options for my rack. Do you think its possible with your set-up to fit it with the body on the chassis, enough space to get it all bolted up?

  2. #12
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    Well done on your MOT mate.
    To answer your question, I think it is possible to intstall the bracket and Polo rack with the body on.
    The bracket is nominally a bolt-on fit, however like any off-piste job on the Nova, there will probably be some fun and games getting it in and working.


    I found this picture which gives an indication of the clearance, as previously mentioned I have more space due to the 30mm raised body. I think a body-on install is tight but doable.





    IMG_20180829_145031.jpg

  3. #13
    Thanks for the photo Steve, its helpful.

    Are the trailing arms you used the Polo ones mated to the VW ones?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandman View Post
    Thanks for the photo Steve, its helpful.

    Are the trailing arms you used the Polo ones mated to the VW ones?
    Hi Dave, I assume you mean the Tie rods.
    They are a custom length, so you need to cut-and-shut 2 ends together, or cut down the longer VW Rod.
    Flatlands did this for me, but I think you can use the VW or the Polo rods interchangeably.

    The Polo uses tie rods of the same thread as the Beetle M14x1.5, and has the same arrangement with the centre 'ends having a reverse (left hand) thread.

    To get the centre tie rod end, i.e. the Polo item which bolts to the rack, you have to buy the full rod with both 'ends. The VW part number is: 871419802, you'll need 2 of these.

    The centre bracket which holds the 2 tie rods is: 871419313.

    Forgot to mention earlier that, while the bracket is fixed (well, it allows some lateral movement only) The Polo rack itself can *rotate* in the bracket, allowing you to raise or lower the tie rods to get them level, there is limited movement though.
    Last edited by steve; 22-04-2019 at 01:41 AM.

  5. #15
    Thanks Steve for the information.

    I did wonder about the angle of your rack input shaft, but sound like some rotation can make it less of an aggressive angle

  6. #16
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    Yes there is some adjustment to the angle of the input shaft (i.e. the shaft that goes to the steering wheel) by rotating the rack in the bracket, there is a compromise to be struck here between getting the track rods as level (horizontal) as possible and setting the angle of the input shaft correctly.

    Having said that, cars that use the stock VW Steering box have the same issue.
    Last edited by steve; 22-04-2019 at 10:17 AM.

  7. #17
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    When you purchase the Polo Mk2 Steering Rack Bracket (see link in the first post of this thread) you don't get a parts list or instructions, but its nothing you can't handle.

    I will outline the process I went through, I'll break it up into multiple posts to make it easier to read.

    Part I - To Attach the Steering Rack Bracket to the Beam.

    You need a Steering box clamp (this is the stock VW beetle part) you can re-use the one you have or buy one here:
    https://www.machine7.com/product.php?xProd=10555

    Assuming you want new bolts, buy 2x M10x60mm length bolts, full-theaded are best for this.
    These bolts need to be 'locked' with locktite or lock washers, or use stock VW tabs:
    https://www.machine7.com/product.php?xProd=10556

    The other end of the Bracket attaches to the steering damper mount on the front beam, you'll need an M10 bolt 25mm length + lock washer.

    I would recommend drilling a drain hole in the 'square block' of the Bracket (See Pic in Yellow) and paint the inside with waxoyl - it's a potential water trap.


  8. #18
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    Part II - To attach the Steering Rack to the Bracket.

    The donor car is VW Mk2 Polo (or 86C) 1981 until 1994. Other VW Cars use these parts as well e.g Derby.



    You will need part 9 and (two of) part 14 on the above pic.
    I don't believe these parts are available new anymore.
    I found someone breaking a Mk2 Polo on Ebay, and sent him the pic so he knew what I was talking about. All the parts were rough and needed shot blasting & powder coating.

    You can get these parts from a RHD or LHD Car. If you obtain part 9 from a RHD car, it makes the End stop install easier (more on that later) but there is not much in it.


    Bolts Needed:
    4x M8 25mm bolts required with washers and lock washers.
    1x M10 65mm bolt with washers and Nylock nut.
    1x M10 25mm bolt with washers and Nylock nut.

    You will need 2x Rod ends that attach to part 9 above.
    You need to buy TWO of these (you can' buy the Rod end separately.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1X-TIE-RO...MAAOSwAEhd87d8

    It is probably worth getting part 23 on the diagram below (there is a clamp with it as well) it fits the Rack input and it gives you something to weld your existing Steering setup onto...





  9. #19
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    Part III - Track Rods
    Both the VW Polo and Beetle use track rod ends with a M14x1.5 Thread.

    So you'll use stock Beetle (ball joint) track rod ends at the outer (wheel) end, and stock Polo tie rod ends at the Steering rack end.

    Your new tie rods should (both) be 15 Inch/380mm in length.

    I bought my tie rods from here:
    https://www.kartek.com/parts/kartek-...oth-sides.html (Choose FK Bearing from the drop-down list).
    BUT these were too thick @26mm (it says that in the small print) so I had them machined down to 21mm at a local shop.

    If you purchase from Kartek, you may be able to ask them to machine them down to ~21mm for you.
    I am happy with my rods, but maybe you can find a better/cheaper supplier.
    The key point is length, and the M14x1.5 thead (one thread is left-handed of course).

  10. #20
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    Very nicely detailed, thanks for sharing looking forward to some detailed commentary once you have driven it a bit. Keep up the great work and posts.

    Dirk

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