Custom R&P


Well-known member
Aug 21, 2009
I'm new here and was asked to post some pictures of my just finished R&P project. I hope this works. The design is based on the Saginaw CTO power R&P used by the commercial vendors and most who have gone before me. I tried to address most problems that have been previously reported.

The biggest complication was low ground clearence ( about 3 3/4 inch at the bell housing). The motor had a 6 qt. GM pan which does not accomodate the R&P and had to be replaced. I didn't want smaller oil capacity and max depth was only 7 inches so I used a 7 qt 7 in deep Canton unit with baffles and side kick-outs. The old pump had a welded pick-up that would not fit the new baffles so I used the new style Melling select pump and no commercial pick-up exists for this pump/pan combination so some fab was needed. The pan was also dimpled for just a little more vertical clearance.

The left bracket was bent from the same size bar as used in the idler arm mount.
The right bracket was CNC plasma cut from 3/16 stock, bent and TIG welded into one piece with full gusseting back to the frame attachment top and bottom of the rack mount block.
The center bracket is fabbed from a machined center link (with same basic dimensions as the stock piece) and CNC plasma cut plates. The bracket to rack mounting holes are reinforced with turned 17-4 PH spool pieces.

I used a double upper u-joint becasue I wasn't sure if a single would work. I did cut a clearance eyebrow in the rear flange of the motor mount to keep the unit as high as I could. It's probable that a single joint would be OK but the job is done.

I used 2 piece TFE linded rod ends for packaging/maintenance reasons. They are installed with seals and big safety washers. OE tie rods would have been marginal on fit.

The original steering was not power so I chose to run a late model pump with remote reservior. I also chose to use a cooler because of reports of track day failures in C5s.

Some file size posting troubles I'll try and work out with some of the pics.



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OK, I think I can post 'em now. 5 shots of components and install


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Sweet job, looks good, I see you are using that center support on the input link, so you have 3 universals there, I lost my clutch bell crank in a auto conversion years earlier, so I doubt my setup with 2 universals would work with that there....when I collapsed the column to get it to work, I still have a good stiff angle on that upper joint....with the column extended, I dunno you can get smooth action with just one upper joint...maybe the pix is deceiving....

how long have you had it in service?? :yahoo:
Is that one of those Lee MFG U-Weld-It reservoirs? Nice fabrication on the rack.

The installation is just finished this week. I've only got a few low speed test miles on it for leak checks and obvious problems. Need to do a basic alignment before any serious driving. I'll will check the bump steer to set the outer tie rod end height after I get some driving in to enjoy the all the work.

As to the u-joint solution. The design compromise on the locating the rack and keeping the total angle down to use a two joint solution was pretty tight. I didn't have a 3D frame model available to be sure total angle would conform and I couldn't come up with a practical way to mock it up with enough accuracy to be sure of 2 joint success. So, as a failsafe design, I went with the steeroids solution which I knew would work.

The option of rotating the rack to flatten the angle of the input shaft to reduce the total angle was not practical in my case because the rack cross over tubing would have hit the oil pan. That would required either lowering the whole rack ( not and option as I wanted minimum 4 inches of ground clearance) or of fabing some custom tubing. The GM bubble flare O-ring end was something I couldn't reproduce and I didnt want a bubba'd up weldment. I rolled the input shaft back as much as I could.

I don't have a collapsible shaft but I can move the whole column +/- 1 1/2 inches. Now, with everything in place, using all the column adjustment I think a 2 joint design will work but as I already have the three joint solution in place and working I'm not gonna change now.


The reservior is a Canton unit with internal baffle plate. I got it at the same time as I got the new oil pan. The mount is fabbed from 0.040 stainless sheet and is rubber mounted.
I did mine from junkyard parts in winter 01-2 I managed to bend the lines down lower then the bellows on the rack, then ding the pan in the same area it looks as if you did too....

I was nervous about cutting that crescent in the rear of the engine mount horn for input coupling/bolt clearance...but all is fine, it's a SBC....I barely got the angles correct/functional on the 2 universal setup...but it been working for since then....your rack mounts are much more secure than I have, ...

I do like your center link adaptor better than what I have....but I used stock tie rod ends figgering that design been on all cars since day one, so why change?? and besides they were I extended the coupling tube...they are not equal length due to rack offset 19 & 21" center to center on the joint...

I wound up using my '72 valving at ~1000 psi/whatever flow, and so it seems to have better road feel, from comments I have heard....