The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
Steering Rack Mount
By Ed Nauman
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My Pantera was getting real loose in the steering and fatter tires were exaggerating it. I had already done the bushing replacement and it didn't help much. I pulled the rack and tore it down. Someone had gone through it before and did a sloppy job. The shims inside the box were not quite right and the pinion bearings were worn out. So I shipped to the rack to Byers at Precision-Proformance for a complete rebuild. While it was out, I decided to stiffen it up the mounts by replacing the cheap little sheet metal bracket that ties the two mounts to the frame.
I started by fabricating doubler plates for the frame where the mounts attach and MIG welding them in. Then I fabricated end plates the same shape as the doublers and match-drilling 3 - 3/8" mounting holes on each side. Then I made a cross bar out of .120" wall 1" square tubing. I inserted a 2.5" solid piece of square stock in each end and welded in place to prevent the tubing from deforming when the through- bolts were tightened.
The end plates were bolted in place and the rack clamps (sans rack) were bolted to the chassis with the top bolts only. The cross bar was marked to align the lower bolt holes with it ant it was drilled. Next the angle brackets were fabricated and clamped to the end plates aligning the holes with the lower mounting bolts and tack welded. Then the end plates were removed and the angles were TIG welded all around. I had to buy longer bolts (120mm) to replace the lower ones since they now have to pass through the stock clamps, angle bracket and the square tubing. When assembled, the new mount anchors the rack really solid and acts as a chassis stiffener for the front end.
The rebuilt rack and the new mounts improved the feel of the steering 100%. Oh yeah, I forgot I had previously fabricated and installed 10 shims for the "bump steer thing. While everything was apart, I welded them to the clamps so that I didn't have to juggle too many parts during assembly. One added benefit to the 3 piece bracket / brace is that it goes together real nice instead of trying to thread the old one piece job through the frame around coolant tubes, sway bar, etc.
Images of the Rack Mount