I was just being cynical.
I have seen extensions done before, both with and without bracing. The bracing has been in the form of a pillow block style mount, but I am not sure how they addressed the wear issue. The comment about many variables, well the rack could possibly hold up to the stress of added extensions if the rack is very large to begin with and the extensions are of a strong material, but there are also suspension geometry factors involved. If the steering geometry is not perfect to begin with, there could be built in deflection that would exacerbate matters.
Short extensions are pretty common, but I don't know at what point the extensions become too long. My thoughts are all theory, as I have never dealt with this, but I am "in the industry" so my mind is continuously going, looking for potential pitfalls and possible solutions.
Thanks for sharing. I've done a bit more research on deflection. I also think i've got a solution but i'll start with deflection.
• Front steer tends to be the stronger than rear steer because when cornering the outside tire takes exerts the most force due to body roll/momentum pushing out. In a front steer vehicle the tie rod on the outside of the corner will be under tension not compression. This is why rear steers tend to bend rods more than front steer.
• I was also playing around with a deflection calculator but im not sure how much force is normally exerted on the steering. probably differs per vehicle.
Although, i've come up with a method that will keep the stock geometry as well as keeping the center takeoff close to stock config.
Earlier i mentioned the idea of replacing the steering box with an idler arm and attaching the center link to the rack. I quickly realized that the center link would pull away from the rack as it rotates around the idler arms radius.
The solution is to use the center takeoff with cententral pivot points to connect the idler arms to the rack.
the next problem is that the stock tie rods off the center takeoff rack are too long. the solution is a short extension bar with some 10-11" tie rods. It would look like this but the tie rods would connect to two idler arms.
I just need to check if an idler arm will bolt up in place of the steering box or if a custom mount needs to be made.
What's the point of center steer if you move the inner tie rod connecting point so far outboard that a traditional rack and pinion would not only work better, but be significantly simpler?
I think there's some mis-information being spread here, not understanding the difference between Ackerman Angle and bump steer. Moving the center pivot inboard will likely reduce extreme bump steer angles, but it WILL have an effect on Ackerman (the different angles the tires must turn in a corner to turn their respective radius.) That has a bit more to do with the rack placement than the inner tie rod angle, but both are important. We totally screw these all up anyway when we lower the truck, so whatever design you come up with will have to be sorted with the end ride height in mind.
Simply offsetting the tie rod height will correct bump steer. Ackerman is MUCH harder to fix, generally done by changing steering arm length and at least one control arm length.
On any R&P, you can build extensions or cut the inner tie rod shorter. I have a 2000 Chevy rack in my '49 Willys truck. Just takes minor modifications to the tie rods as described above, and custom steering arms for front steer. Chose the wrong rack and your steering wheel turns the opposite direction of your front tires. Oops.
MGB racks may be a viable option, and relatively tight ratio steering. They are front mount and plentiful. Too narrow, which is easier to fix than too wide.
As lock leaf mentioned there is no stock rack narrow enough and modifying a center takeoff is easier than shortening a rack.
You can look for one but many others have tried without success so far. I would love to be wrong.
However, the solution above would keep the stock geometry because the outer tie rods are still connected to an idler arm. solving the problem of akerman angle and bump steer.
And in regards to lowering i totally agree. additionally lowering without drop spindles also ruins the roll center because if the negative wishbones. Im working on ball joints and coils and though i might as well do R&P while i'm at it.