It's hard to believe-and it won't be long now-but the El Camino is nearly on its feet, literally. Originally, our plans for Project Brutus blueprinted a corner-carving street car. However, as with any project, budgets rule the roost and they can dictate where parts begin and the wallet ends. So for now, we have brought the El Camino back down a bit to a more moderate budget with ties to basic street/strip duty.
The rack-and-pinion we installed previously wasn't going to do it any justice on the strip, especially the extra weight. Also, some issues with the larger aftermarket steering shaft left little room for 2-inch headers. We were back to a modest approach and favored a manually steered vehicle. Moreover, this would give us a chance to get some great baseline numbers on the car once it's up and running. That's not to say we won't be throwing this thing through the cones, but we are after simplicity and won't have to worry about running power steering lines or adding more accessory drives to the engine.
With our new manual steering box from PST painted, we could go ahead and install it to the
Unfortunately for us, though, we didn't have any of the original manual rack. We needed a complete rebuild kit, including new tie rods, centerlink, and adjustable tie-rod sleeves. We picked up the whole lot from PST, which also offers up a 16:1 manual steering box. While our old steering shaft got cut, we found a universal shaft, coupler, and joint from Flaming River. As for this install, we won't be covering how to remove the old hardware; we begin at the steering box and end with installing the shaft last. As our step-by-step opens, we've removed the front sway bar for better access and rattle-canned the tie rods and steering box to protect them.
To ensure that our parts were fastened securely, we got a hold of a complete hardware kit from Totally Stainless. It comes with stainless bolts and all of the nuts, washers, cotter pins, and zerk fittings we needed to button up the frontend. All in all, this install took less than half a day. With the steering in, we can finally get the motor back in and get Brutus rolling under its own power.
All-new tie rods, drag centerlink, pitman arm, idler arm, and manual steering box with a Flaming River universal joint, coupler, and shaft
All you need is a couple of hours and some basic handtools
Next was the idler arm. Using the stainless hardware, we lined up the two holes on the pas
To transfer steering inputs from the driver to the linkage, a pitman arm is used. While th
The PST centerlink came powdercoated so all we had to do was install it to the idler arm.
Following up on the driver side, we installed the pitman arm to the centerlink. A crown nu
For the tie rods, PST provides an inner and an outer rod, one larger than the other. We in
Next, we took the driver-side tie rod and installed it to the centerlink. We inserted the
We took that same driver-side tie rod and matched it to the spindle. Again, we put the bal
Using Flaming River's Universal Shaft Kit, we measured to fit and cut the excess. We also
With the set screws loose, we slipped on the shaft to the splined box. Then locked the cou
Our last step was to thread in each new zerk fitting from the Totally Stainless kit along