Conversion to Rack & Pinion Steering for Mk II Cortina
This conversion is based on Ford Mk II Escort parts. Specifically, the parts used are:
Mk II Escort - cross member, slightly modified and seam welded
Escort Mk II 2 litre (Pinto in US?) struts, complete with discs (bigger) and steering rack, with new tie rod extensions. I put in a quick rack conversion commonly available in Oz or from Britain.
Escort Mk II 2 litre strut tops, same pattern as the old Cortina ones and fit perfectly.
Escort Mk II 1600 engine mounts (boxed)
Escort Mk II 2 litre engine mount rubbers (and maybe a couple of packer washers).
Standard Cortina Mk II brake hoses. I cut the flare off the strut end of the brake short steel pipes (metric) on the Escort struts and substituted the Cortina nut (imperial) and re-flared the pipe. The pipes had to be slightly reshaped by hand.
Mark II Cortina pressed steel control arms. These are the British ones and not the Australian cast ones (same ball joint & pin dimensions). These have to be shortened.
This is the only tricky part as these can be hard to find in good condition. However, there are two possibilities here;
a) It may be possible to secure a new ball joint unit for them somehow, as they are really only tack welded in on these steel arms and could easily be changed.
b) There is a Nissan/Datsun ball joint with the same pin dimensions and as this is a bolt-on job, a new complete control arm could be fabricated, with replaceable ball joints. I am sure other alternatives could be found here. For racing, just make an adjustable length arm with rose joints.
Ford Lazer (front wheel drive) steering column, complete to second Uni joint.
A section of Escort Mk II steering column, between the second Uni joint of the Lazer column and the Escort rack flexible coupling. You need to get a short spline put on the other end to fit the Lazer Uni joint after determining the correct length and cutting. However, the shaft is the correct diameter material for the job and doesn't require machining down.
I cut my own spline in a lathe by indexing. I would think you could adapt many types of 2 Uni FWD steering columns if the Lazer one wasn't available.
One advantage of this set-up is that I now have the Lazer adjustable steering column (vertical plane only), which is also a collapsible column (I hope I never need to test this out). This column bolts up beautifully to both the underside of the dash and the old Cortina column brace on the pedal mount (cast alloy type). The only modification here was to weld a bracket on the Lazer outer column tube to bolt to the old pedal based Cortina column mount. By the way, I put an Escort rack boot on the lower Uni joint (both are inside the car) to keep it clean.
Modified Mk II Cortina sway bar
Escort Mk II sump with Escort dipstick mounted in external tube, like many Japanese motors.
Two steering rack arms to tie rod extensions (i.e. short length of hex steel with male and female threads to match rack steering arm and tie rod end). These are virtually the only bits you will need to have engineered (I made my own in a lathe). You will need to use a suitable type of steel:- 3/4" AF Hex (K1040) and have them professionally heat-treated after machining.
I used the standard Cortina master cylinder
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