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Pros and Cons to a Steering Rack Conversion

Scotsman

Jedi Hopeful
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59 TR3

I need to rebuild front suspension. The bearings in the steering need to be replaced, and I may need a new CAM. Trunions OK.
I have been told that under the above circumstances I might want to consider a Steering Rack Conversion.
There is an earlier discussion on this but with new parts and kits coming out I am hoping there may be additional info.


Questions:
1 Does converting to R and P significantly improve handling
2 Will converting adversly effect value of car
3 I have an adjustable steering column. Can I still use this?
4 Are there quality kits out there for a 59 tr3 that will allow me to use original horn and signal assembly. Britannia parts have one but the web site states its for 55, 56, and 57 model years (https://www.britanniaparts.com/conversions/triumph-tr3-a-b/steering-rack-conversion-kit-lhd-2.html) . Moss Motors kit requires converting to an electric fan and will not accept original horn and turn signals.


Any other input would be greatly appreciated.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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1 Does comverting to R and P significantly improve handling
2 Will converting adversly effect value of car
3 I have an adjustable steering column. Can I still use this?
4 Are there kits that will allow me to still use the original horn and turn signals. They look cool, and I want to keep them if possible. (Moss Motors kit requires converting to an electric fan and will not accept original horn and turn signals.
1 - Over what you have now? Sure! Over what it could be, not so much, IMO. I believe the original steering box gets a bad rap, because so many of them are either in advanced states of wear or else people don't know how to adjust them. (Hint: It's practically impossible to do a good job of adjusting on the car.) My TR3 is wearing wide, relatively sticky tires and I still steer with one hand at a time unless the corner is very hard or the road is very rough. Revington claims their kit reduces bump steer though, so that would be a good thing. (Other kits may not improve bump steer, and I believe some even make it worse.)

2 - Likely depends on how original the car is otherwise. I certainly wouldn't pay as much (and I'm by no means a purist restorer).

3 - Sorry, I don't know that one.

4 - I believe there are kits that will let you keep the control head functional; however the head turns with the wheel and the turn signals do not self-cancel. There is a brush and commutator assembly that keeps the wires from getting twisted. I believe all the kits require an electric fan, though, as there just isn't room for the rack otherwise.

Then you may want an alternator conversion as well, since the stock generator has a hard time keeping up with both headlights and radiator fan at the same time. I've been getting by OK, since my fan only runs in stop-and-go traffic and even then for only 30-40 seconds out of a minute; but it is a concern.
 

Jerry

Luke Skywalker
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My wife and daughter loved to drive our old TR3A. Restored car so the front end was in good shape, but the steering was tough for them. Our current project is getting the conversion. I kept the last one for 15 years, so who cares about value of the car. Do what you want and enjoy it. My belief is that once you put a spin on filter, or anything else on the car, it is no longer original, but it is YOURS. My current project does not have the original engine or transmission. I am not going to worry about the steering rack.

Jerry
 

glemon

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Couple guys in my club have done it and love the change in steering feel, in fact if any complaint that it is too tight an quick, and you change direction if you sneeze, kind of like in a Bugeye Sprite.
 

HerronScott

Darth Vader
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Most TR owners who convert to R & P add a black button on the dash from an MG-TC to honk the horn.

Heck, I think that was standard procedure in the 70s on TR4's and Spitfires if your horn brush broke. I can't tell you how many I've seen that had the horn button clamped around the steering column.

Scott
 

Jim_Stevens

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I did the whole thing: aluminum radiator, electric fan, R&P and a barstuck slip ring so I could keep the trafficator. Pretty straight forward. You need the split column for the conversion. My only complaint is the opposite of glemon's friends- I expected a tighter rack, so I guess there must be variations in the units from one company to another.

I am a fan of Revington TR, and did most of the mods he has with the old worm and roller gear, but never was able to tweak it in so I didn't have some play.

As for value, just retain all the old parts for the next owner. My opinion is that these aren't XKE's or DB-5's, so doesn't really matter, unless your showing. Even then, there is a modified class, I think. My two cents... Jim
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Most TR owners who convert to R & P add a black button on the dash from an MG-TC to honk the horn.
And the self-cancelling trafficator switch. (MGA used them, I assume the TC did as well.)
 

martx-5

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When I did the R&P conversion on my TR3, I changed the steering wheel and got one with a horn push. I rigged up a coily wire like telephones. That wire operates a relay for the horn so that I'm not carrying a lot of current through it. I also used the MGA directional mounted on the dash which has a 20 sec delay for the turn-off. The delay is adjustable. It's not as good as having a directional that cancels with turning the wheel, but it's better then not having any canceling like the slip ring option has.

Here's a link showing how I did the horn button...

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf...t-Hurdle-w-TR3-Rack-amp-Pinion&highlight=horn
 

Jim_Stevens

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To update my post-- I went with a Moss R&P unit. The slip ring unit is from www.bastuck.de. Part number is L97BTR3, and ran €164 with shipping. Note that the self-cancelling is removed, but that has become second nature for me now. The catalog is in German, but they'll speak and write in English. Think of it as an adventure... PM me if you want. Jim
 
OP
Scotsman

Scotsman

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. To continue this discussion has anyone done business with Britannia Parts and Conversions? If so do you have any comments with regards to their customer service, and the quality of the rack and pinion kit they sell for the tr3. https://www.britanniaparts.com/triumph/tr-3a/steering-rack-conversion-kit-lhd.html Their description states that their kit allows you to keep the original wheel and controls.

Also where is Britannia Parts and Conversions located. I have tried calling the number listed on their web site and it rings off the hook.1-866-758-2984. If its out of country maybe I need to dial a different number.

I understand conversion kits can vary with regards to quality, the amount of steering lock that you end up with, and whether you have to replace cooling fans etc. The kit listed above is considerably more expensive than the Moss kit, but if I dont have to replace other items the price comes closer and may involve less work.

Your thoughts and recommendations please....
 

macilona

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hello---i am not familiar with the company you mentioned, but you might want to contact britishautorestoration.com in roanoke virginia. i bought a conversion kit from them a few years ago---not sure if they still carry it---but would be worth a call. my installation was very simple and straight forward, although it does require the use of an electric fan, and relocating the turn signal switch and horn button, but these were easily accomplished. it is efficient to consider replacing the radiator when you have the fenders (wings) opened up, and i installed a new aluminum radiator with the electric fan attached, which has made a huge improvement in driving in hot weather. another good resource is bill close at eagle gate llc in arizona----i do not think he carries a kit, but he is very familiar with them, and he is eager to talk with any triumph enthusiast. regards, mac
 

Got_All_4

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I'm with Randall. My 3A's steering was going bad and I was looking into RP systems. With advice form this forum (mostly from Randall) I kept the original set up. I was able to find a very nice used worm gear and replaced the other parts new. Wow! I didn't realize that TR3 steering was tight and responsive. Mine must have been worn a lot from the get go. I like my 3A as original as I can keep it. I even talked myself out of a alternator conversion too.
 
OP
Scotsman

Scotsman

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Thanks "got all 4" I am leaning towards a rebuild. What I'm getting from this is that a r&p will be significantly better than my worn worm and peg with lighter, but a rebuilt w@p will be close to the r&p. Being that I won't have to replace fan, adjustable steering column, generator and signal unit, the rebuild looks the way to go unless anyone can give me more compelling reasons

Question. On an earlier thread on this topic the use of a spring loaded adjustment screw for the w&p box was discussed. Should I be using this in a rebuild or is it more appropriate for worn units
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Question. On an earlier thread on this topic the use of a spring loaded adjustment screw for the w&p box was discussed. Should I be using this in a rebuild or is it more appropriate for worn units
I know several people that have installed them and been unhappy with the results. So I would say no, don't use it.

The peg is tapered, so any motion of the spring represents lost motion in the steering. And the force from the spring increases friction and hence steering effort. About the only thing good that I see about the design is that it reduces the need for careful adjustment and can be installed without removing the box from the car.
 

glemon

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My only complaint is the opposite of glemon's friends- I expected a tighter rack, so I guess there must be variations in the units from one company to another.

Jim

The conversion I spoke of was done by a couple of members of my club, there is a guy in the club who fabricates brackets to attach a TR7 rack, which is narrower than an early TR rack, or so I am told. Other than that I don't know a whole lot about how they were installed, but have talked to both quite a bit about how it is to drive.
 
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