W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

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kimrh
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W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Sat 09 Aug, 2014 4:17 pm

I have heard that the rear mount rack & pinion steering out of a W210 E-Class is the best match for our W126 if you want to undertake the conversion and keep it all MB factory parts.
Its also meets the requirement for lock to lock travel required and turns of the the steering wheel and clears the W126 castor rods.

What i don't know is exactly what particular chassis model and year had the rear mount R&P steering fitted so i can source a RHD version over here or out of UK for a project i am researching into.

I don't want any input on why change it from the factory steering box.
The reason behind this is purely driven by the fact of researching engine swaps- means more clearance room required and the W126 steering box would have to go.

The E-class R&P conversion has been done with great success required for the travel required by the rack arms but hard to find out specific details, mods required, mounts needed to fab up, mods to tie rods (i would assume) and connecting to the end of the W126 steering shaft via a Uni joint like the example attached in the link if necessary.
http://www.flamingriver.com/index.php/p ... 06/FR40024

Pics and tips would be great as to fabrication and mount brackets required to fab up.
It only requires adapting at the end of the steering arm with a Uni joint etc, so no change to the W126 steering arm inside the cabin.
All mods are just in the engine bay area in getting the steering geometry set up correct.
It has been done with great success but hard finding out exact detail
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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by AMG » Sat 09 Aug, 2014 4:25 pm

Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 9:17 am

Joe need your advice/opinion here if you are at all familiar with the E-class
I would assume from looking at the diagrams that most W210 R&P sets appear the same
From what i can gather it comes down to the one that as going to clear the W126 castor rods
Would there be any slight difference in the ones you posted up?
I just don't have access to get a visual on a rack and measure but the ones i have seen pics of just seem to fabricate a few mount plates to adapt it to the W126 cross mount
87 White Euro 500SEC "ECE" 195kw
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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by AMG » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 12:38 pm

Not sure if this will help - diagrams are a little more detailed. Screenshots from different models and they all look the same.

I'd be quite sure that all RHD racks use the same mounting locations, but the part numbers would obviously update throughout chassis updates...
Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.30.15 pm.JPG
Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.31.26 pm.JPG
Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.32.12 pm.JPG
Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.33.48 pm.JPG
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Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by Mercmad » Sat 23 Aug, 2014 9:54 am

The only time I* have seen where a R&P into a W126 made sense was where a guy here in Queensland was trying to fit a Chev LS1 into a SEC. The only way it would fit was to weld brackets to the crossmember under the engine,bolt a R&P to that (ex comode i think) and then make a sort of shaft with three uni joints in it. What are you looking to achieve? :book:

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 12:34 am

I spoke to an engineer based in Sydney who has done a few of these conversions to R&P steering on W126 SEC's
Necessary for later model engine swaps into the SEC where the steering box takes up too much room for a decent fit with headers etc
He stated he prefers to use the W210 E-class rear mount R&P to keep it all MB parts and it works fine with a few mods -
Problem is he runs a business doing conversions regularly and will not just sell fabricated parts he has developed unless he does all the work and fits it himself (well his team of workers do)
Same as later model engine/trans conversions he does as he has developed test beds and self designed electronics engineered parts to enable factory wiring /ECU's & various factory input sensor workarounds to enable the retrofit of later Merc engines/Trans into earlier model Mercs like the W126 and much earlier.
Only problem is you need a "big cheque book" as he us used to doing high end concorse type work and his clients come from all around the globe shipping cars in to have the work done- so he is way out of my league.

Anyway with my M119/722.6 backburner future project for the white coupe it is best to convert to R&P for the needed room for headers/downpipes as the M119 takes up a lot of room.
I have two M119 5 litre engines an R129 KE 960 and a later W140 ME 980/722.6trans/TC (need the front mount sump off the 960 engine)
Easier if you read this thread (pics of engines page 6)
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s- ... ing-6.html

Would be running the trans via an independent trans controller from the States designed for the 722.6 box and the engine via a Haltech 2000 tuned by Haltech Tuner over here who advised they can do the work and the variable cam timing is not a problem- http://www.rpw.com.au/index.php?option= ... Itemid=530

So at this point it is just a parts gathering exercise and this would be most likely a 2015 project after the black 560SEC WB conversion is completed with the 560EFI engine fitted
Rack is sourced and just thinking i could use that W210 E-class mount bracket by adapting it and welding it the crossmember as it has the rack bush mounts
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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by drew56cus » Tue 26 Aug, 2014 5:20 pm

Hi Kim, your projects are awesome and ones that I have thought of myself. So thanks for saving me the hassle of another few unfinished projects by tackling these, and letting me vicariously complete them!
In your various research, are you aware of any trans controllers to suit the 5 speed auto out of a 2000-ish W210 E55 AMG (M113)? I may also need to pick your brains on the engine management. Mind you, I am a little bit off being ready to tackle any of this.

Cheers,
Drew
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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by Mercmad » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 8:41 pm

Have you had a look at Satish's old site where he put a quad cam engine into his AMG coupe? This was before he installed the V12.
I guess the bloke you are talking about is in Ryde?. Not much point paying top dollar for work you can do yourself. :laughing6: I find the problem with USA sites is that the info only relates to LHD cars and the layout of steering ,exhausts etc is often different to what we can do here.
I would sooner just build manifolds than try and re-engineer the steering as AMG did when they did this conversion
Image
Image
Heres another AMG conversion which was for sale in the USA a few years ago. (2008)
Image
Image
These are M119's not AMG M117 conversions.

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by AMG » Thu 28 Aug, 2014 7:43 am

Interesting to note they are all CIS-E conversions, so minimal wiring disturbance in most respects.

The understanding is that the 126 RHD steering box is like a boulder in the bottom of a funnel. i.e. leaves stuff-all room for anything to get past.

It's not different in the 107 engine bay even with the standard m117 engines. LHD cars got fancy tri-y's and the RHD cars got naf in the way of upgrades.

All is not lost however. If you can fit a tubular header from a 16v in a 201 RHD engine bay, then sneaking 2 downpipes past the engine mount and steering box in a 126 is a cakewalk.

I suppose Kim may be looking to have 30" primaries or something for his tri-y setup. Getting 4 2.25" primary tubes past a steering box and an engine mount is a pretty big undertaking.

In fact, I am not actually sure that a Rack & pinion conversion would actually increase the space. There is still going to be a steering shaft in the way.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see the fabrication of the headers. I've been sitting here with my 107 for years, thinking about the exact same thing, drawing up layouts, fabricating bends, doing dummy designs.. There is always a limitation.

Kim, I'd suggest you grab a few different factory RHD headers - w140 & R129 and see if you can modify those first, before throwing out the steering box. Call it phase 1... just getting it all in and running first is a decent task. Pulling an engine and refitting headers and fabricating an R&P conversion is definitely phase 2. There will be a bunch of little things you will want to change between the first fitment of the engine & trans etc, before you actually get it 'nailed'.

You have all the time in the world on this one, so taking the time to work out how you can do it all yourself is probably the best possible outcome. Paying someone bucketloads of cash to do a half-arsed job is not what I call worthwhile, especially once you have the fabrication skills and time on your side. If you can build a shed, doing the geometry and math for the positioning of an R&P conversion is a doddle. Just draw it up, measure the area of articulation, make sure the tie-rods do not introduce bump-steer (check alignment through roll centre) and you are home.

If you want to look at an 'ideal' example of an R&P setup, check out a Lotus Exige. Not so much for the rack positioning, as that is difficult to achieve in a front-engined car, but in terms of the fore/aft positioning relative to the steering arm ends, and note the arc of movement from lock to lock and through full compression to completely unloaded. You'll notice that the tie-rods do not move through an excessive dimensional window, and the position of the rack, as well as it's length is the critical factor.

I suspect you will also be altering the suspension ride height on your project also. Do your calculations after the car is sitting at it's natural height (another reason to tackle this in phase 2) so the static position can be assessed correctly.

You also have the option of fitting rod-ends to your steering knuckle. like this:
20130119_161710.jpg
20130504_151557.jpg
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Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Mon 03 Nov, 2014 3:18 am

Update
I am still awaiting my mate in the UK to ship the steering rack out to me. I purchased it in the UK and had it delivered to him and he has been a bit slack in arranging its shipment for me but he promises me it will be sorted soon (he has been too busy with work)
My parts car is cut up and front chopped to make it my test bed for trial fitting parts (even though it was a LHD 86 coupe).
It will come in handy for trial fitting an engine/trans swap in due course if i go down that path in the white 500 coupe.
I can work out engine and trans clearancing required and muck around easily with the steering rack positioning/mounting etc
I have compared the M117 & M119 engine mounts and gee they are close in dimensions -
The M117 arm will bolt up to the M119 block and i need to see if that idea would work or mount an M117 rubber mount to the M119 arm -in both cases use the M117 rubber mount/base plate

I tried to contact Axelwulff in USA who had the M119 engine swapped into his white SEC a few years ago by Satish Tummala who pulled it from his SEC and mounted the V12 instead - but not luck so far.
Perhaps i should try and get hold of Satish Tummala himself as the next step
The guy in Sydney who claims he does this work does not want to divulge anything as he wants to do all the work himself or no deal -said to truck the car over and back - "no thanks"

The black coupe is getting the EFI M117 560 engine currently at Gav's place in Vic so that swap will be easy
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89 Midnight Blue Euro 560SEL hydro 220kw AMG Kitted
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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by DMD1000 » Tue 24 May, 2016 7:56 am

Kim , i know its while ago but i have a good memory ,in your post on fitting rack and pinion i can see you are referring to me " the Engineer from Sydney" AKA DMD Autowerks , cant understand why you on one hand are happy to use info that i tell you on the phone then post that you need a Big Cheque Book on the other , especially as we didn't quote you on any costs. with all the time and money you would expend with the R&P conversion i would have it done in one day so i am very very sure a " Big Cheque Book" would not be required. the constructive info i gave you on the phone is the reason why you even know about fitting R&P. you have put up over thousand posts on this forum ? will leave it at that.

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Tue 24 May, 2016 2:14 pm

Sorry please don't jump in on this forum all guns blazing.
Some very old posts you have recently dug up. on here.

I did source the correct tie rod ends after that, but shelved the whole idea when reverting to sticking with a chassis correct M117 engine in lieu of swapping in the later M119 where limited space for headers/downpipes was going to be a major headache.
I spoke to a few guys in the States that were more than helpful in providing various options and where to source parts back then.
Decided in the end it was wiser to keep to the same engine that came with that chassis.

The W126 steering is well engineered for the W126 chassis when all the components are up to scratch and it has a better turning circle than a rack for parking and for weekend only road cruising use is fine. For track use it would obviously be a different story.
Moved on well truly since and see no need for you to go on a rant now in 2016.
Be nice if you did have a website with a gallery displaying the end results of your many conversion projects
Last edited by kimrh on Tue 24 May, 2016 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
87 White Euro 500SEC "ECE" 195kw
88 Black Euro 560SEC 220kw
89 Midnight Blue Euro 560SEL hydro 220kw AMG Kitted
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/krh2013/albums/72157668572599252

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by DMD1000 » Tue 24 May, 2016 5:38 pm

Kim , no one cares except for me so chill out, be it old or new posts is irrelevant, people still read it. once you put it up its there to stay for anyone to read, one of my customers read it and told me. Ranting = You have written 1081 Entries on this forum, be nice.

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by merc-304 » Sun 28 Aug, 2016 4:08 pm

W126 listed on Ebay fitted with a Ford v8 and a EL falcon steering rack ?
380 SEC

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by adzspace » Fri 14 Apr, 2017 1:32 pm

Hi guys
Im so new to this form but have been keeping a eye on this topic as i would like to convert my old mans w126 to rack & pinion to accommodate a ls1 and a 4l60e trans.
I to have spoke to the engineer that has replied on this topic but after discussing what power plant i was using he bluntly told me he was not interested in talk to me ( thanks for your help not )
So i would be very graceful for as much info and photos as i can on this steering conversion..

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by kimrh » Sat 15 Apr, 2017 2:16 pm

It is not that hard
Have a read of this on BW forum (you may have to sign up to see the pics)
Two coupes both converted with LS1 engines and R&P steering
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s- ... ering.html
87 White Euro 500SEC "ECE" 195kw
88 Black Euro 560SEC 220kw
89 Midnight Blue Euro 560SEL hydro 220kw AMG Kitted
http://www.flickr.com/photos/krh2013/sets/72157632548663623/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/krh2013/albums/72157668572599252

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by Mercmad » Sun 23 Apr, 2017 3:56 pm

adzspace wrote:Hi guys
Im so new to this form but have been keeping a eye on this topic as i would like to convert my old mans w126 to rack & pinion to accommodate a ls1 and a 4l60e trans.
I to have spoke to the engineer that has replied on this topic but after discussing what power plant i was using he bluntly told me he was not interested in talk to me ( thanks for your help not )
So i would be very graceful for as much info and photos as i can on this steering conversion..
Some years ago my Dad picked up a really nice W126 coupe with a blown engine. A quick look on ebay found an engine on the gold coast. The guy selling the engine said it broken a chain but had been completely rebuilt 10 years earlier. He had a LS1 and trans to replace the merc V8 . He had also fitted a commodore rack . He had to cut the crossmember out and replaced it with another made to fit the steering rack. His biggest issue was the collection of uni joints required to hook it up. Somewhere here i am sure i posted a pic of the engine bay here .
he never finished the project because the body was full of rust. There is nothing wrong with original steering and it clears everything so why do you want to change it?

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Re: W126 Rack & Pinion Steering Conversion -Options

Post by merc-304 » Sun 23 Apr, 2017 5:21 pm

That was cashalbe i think.
380 SEC

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