Author Topic: sooooooo close!  (Read 1686 times)

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Gadge

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« on: January 10, 2006, 01:45:31 PM »
I am so close to owning an early chrome bumpered 126  :D  and i was wondering if anyone knows if the later rack and pinion steering rack will fit stright on instead of the 500 type steering box? and how much of a mission is it to convert it from dynamo to an alternator?
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hudsonhenry

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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2006, 04:59:53 PM »
It is possible to convert to a rack and pinion, I did it on my 500R which is the same floorpan as the very early 126's.

Its a quite involved conversion, you need to either cut the inner front panel (with the mounting brackets for the rack) off a later 126 and weld it in place of the existing panel or buy pre fabricated brackets from www.fiat500sport.com

The fabricated brackets need to be carefully positioned (ideally with a later car for reference) in order to get the geometry correct and welded, I would recommend putting in some extra metal to strengthen it up as well. A new hole will need to be made for the shaft of the rack to go through the footwell. Once this is done you will need a later 126 steering column which has a different mounting at the top (compared to the 500R – not sure about the early 126) some extension of the bracket may be required to mount the column.

On my 500R the I welded the bottom 2/3 of a 126 column to my existing 500 column and made a hefty support/bearing to support the top of the column (the mounting at the top of the 500 column is a simple hanging bracket, this is nowhere near strong or stable enough to support the articulated 126 column)

Converting from dynamo to alternator is by comparison a very simple job.

I hope this helps

Nigel
http://www.retro500.com the site dedicated to modified Fiat 500's

ChrisRLewis

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 05:26:15 PM »
Was the rack and pinion conversion worth it?
It seems a very big job, my 500 steering seems fine using the standard steering box!

hudsonhenry

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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 06:42:05 PM »
The steering box on my car was worn out and I replaced it with a quick rack – 2.2 turns lock to lock – At the same time I fitted a reverse eye spring and AVO adjustable shocks, so I went from having super sloppy steering to super sharp and quick.

One of the big advantages the standard 126 has over the standard 500 is the steering, the 126 feels much more stable at speed and rides more like a go-kart
http://www.retro500.com the site dedicated to modified Fiat 500's

 

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