Tell me about racks (steering ones)

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Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by djoptix » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:36 pm

Just wondering about converting to non-PAS - not because I think there's anything wrong with PAS but it's one of those things recommended for better steering feel. This would only be on a non-daily driver car.

* Can it even be done sensibly on a BX? On other cars you just ditch the PAS pump and fit a manual rack, but I don't think there's a PAS pump as such on a BX is there...?
* If so, is it easy, or a complete ballache and not worth it?
* If doable, what's the quickest non-PAS rack available? And/or would I be better off somehow making my rack non-PAS?
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by frog » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:20 pm

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1993 Citroën BX 16v project

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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by JayW » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:24 pm

I'm in the process of doing this on the 16V.

Manual racks are cheap to buy recon and you can ditch the FDV, the only issue is reconfiguring the pipework, which if you have the tool (or someone who does) then making up replacemeents is easy.

Failing that, find someone breaking a non-pas and get the bits off them.

The upper stering column is a different length, so if converting you'll need one off a non-pas or add an extension to the Hardy Disc (which is what it looks like i'm gonna have to do).
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by djoptix » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:58 pm

OK. Thanks for the info and sorry if that duplicates other posts, although that other post is about a conversion to a quick rack whereas it seems I already have the quickest possible (2.8 turns on a PAS rack). So what I should be asking is, can I disable all of the PAS stuff on a PAS rack, thereby making it a non-PAS, 2.8-turns-lock-to-lock rack?

I'm getting the pipe tool so no problem there, ditching the FDV is an appealing idea; does it only do PAS-relevant stuff? This will be for a track and hillclimb car so I can live with heavy steering at low speed.

Frog, I like your wheels.
Jay, have you got any details/a thread on your conversion to manual?
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Dollywobbler » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:15 pm

Having had the assistance cut out on a BX, I don't think non-PAS on a PAS rack is a good idea. It's monumentally heavy. I wouldn't go for a non-PAS rack either, as the feel isn't necessarily any better. I've driven a non-PAS BX and it was much like my Pug 309. Weight varied enormously depending on cornering/how much turn is on, and I really didn't like it at all. Nowhere near as linear as my 2CV or a PAS-equipped BX.

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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by citsncycles » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:42 pm

In theory, removing the ram from a PAS rack would lighten it a bit, but I dunno if it would be enough. I'm not sure whether the pinion valve requires LHM for lubricant, but if not, it'll simply be a matter of disconnecting the pipes.

I've driven a couple of non PAS BX's. The 14TGE was wonderfjully balanced and light, especially after the GS! I also drove Kieran's 19RD last year, probably as far from the 14 as you can get nose weight wise, and only noticed the heavy steering on a couple of really tight bends, but I was taking it steady due to the roads and it not being my car.
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Way2go » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:51 pm

Agree with DW above. In addition using the power rack without power, is likely to put the Hardy disc under too much stress. I've had a hardy disc fail (crack) on a power rack when straightening the wheels after the ignition is turned off.
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by JayW » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:26 pm

I have some pictures somewhere of where i got to with the conversion, but TBH it was just the rack swap so far as i was stalled by the need for the upper column and i can't find one. My collumn is currently held to the Hardy by a couple of long bolts & spacers (only for moving around and not fit for the road).

If i could get the column from a non-pas motor it would make life a lot easier but no-one seems to have one or be breaking one.

Incidently, i should add that as my car is destined for the track and the conversion was more for reliability than anything else (infact if i could fit a servo and new pipes i'd ditch the powered brakes too)! But that's too much work at the moment.
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by djoptix » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:57 pm

Sounds like it's best if I leave well alone :)
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Stinkwheel » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:17 am

Im afraid i disagree with the points above about not ditching the PAS.

Its a good feel full system and the steering isnt that heavy at anything above crawl speed.

Also the non pas racks are so cheap recon that if you can get the other bits from a scrapper then its a quite easy job.
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Kitch » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:48 am

The PAS rack is quicker geared than the manual one, do what you gain in reducing drag on the pump, reliability etc you'll lose enjoyment, as you'll be hoofing around with it like a ship's wheel if you start pressing on. The standard PAS rack is actually quite quick. I think it's 2.8 turns lock-to-lock versus 3.6 on the manual.

Also, having had a manual-steering car I'd say you won't gain much feel from it. Some, sure, but you're not going to turn it into a driver's car as such.

The steering is one of my favourite bits about the 16v. It's not completely full of feel, no, but the gearing is great and it's linear with all the other controls like the brakes (which are light to use), the clutch (which is quite light) and the throttle pedal (which is, guess what? Quite light!) I lost PAS in it for about 2 years and it totally ruined the car, though obviously a car with non-PAS setup isn't the same as one with PAS that's stopped working.

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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Vanny » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:51 pm

Personally I find the BX PAS far too eager at speed (with either set of tyres), its like one of those stupid Fiats with the 'girly steering' button (or city steering as they call it). Steering should get heavier at speed, not lighter, which is why i would love to have DIRAVI on the valver, but it wont fit.

Plumbing wise, swapping to a manual rack is quite straight forward, especially with the flaring tool. But as mentioned it will be an absolute nightmare to move at low speed, you can forget parallel parking. On a track BX I would really really want manual steering, okay it's going to be tricky and not very flattering in the slower corners, but a lot happier at higher speeds.

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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by djoptix » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:16 am

Well, I think I'll defer the decision on it until I've driven it a bit then. I was just mentally making a list of things to do if I had the engine out.
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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by Tinkley » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:30 am

Don't all the 14s have non PAS? so raiding a scrapper might be good. TBH I liked the road feel on my 14, however the 16s with PAS are OK the steering 'weight' is OK and not neutral. Unlike some of the modern electronic assisted systems which have no useful feedback. Not fond of C4 system which is heavier for small adjustments on fast roads than when actually going through a series of bends...

The diesels ie 19RD only had PAS as an option up until about 87/88, and some people found that hard but mainly when parking. As usual they were probably trying to turn when static, when it is much better to turn with very slight movement front or back :wink:

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Re: Tell me about racks (steering ones)

Post by RobC » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:36 pm

I never had a problem parallel parking in my BX 14, and i'm hardly Geoff Capes.
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