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Two Steps Forward…

Omni steering rack mocked up in place

Omni steering rack mocked up in place

…three steps back.

Despite whacking myself across the bridge of my nose with an end wrench while adjusting the motor mounts from underneath the car I still managed to successfully install both the front sway bar and the Dodge Omni steering rack as well as mock up the new steering rack cross member. All in all, not a bad day . But all was not bliss. In addition to the blood spilled, there a few minor set backs.

The steering rack, while it seemed almost made for the car, is too wide despite my several attempts to narrow it sufficiently. Ah well. A couple of new inner tie rods and a trip to the machine shop will make it right. On the good news side of things, the Chrysler  outer tie rod ends fit perfectly. I was also able to mock up the steering cross member (which the rack will bolt to) and Jeremy (my mobile welder friend) will come by this week to assemble the steel parts for me.

Sway bar installed

Sway bar installed

The sway bar required only a pair of 3/16″ spacers be fabricated to provide enough clearance for the oil pump drive gear. Other than that, it bolted right in. Unfortunately, it interferes with the spindle-mount front brake ducts so I’m going to need to come up with something new. On the plus side, I kept the original backing plates which will make a great starting place to fabricate new duct plates.

The real bummer in this weekend’s outing were the headers…my attempt to fit the tri-y style pipes was an utter failure. Thankfully, they were cheap enough so I there’s not the additional sting of the financial loss and, thanks to Pete Mantell, I know where to buy an out-of-the box solution. While I’m saving up my nickles to buy a pair ($500), I’m going to busy myself with finishing up the front brakes, plumbing the power steering system and hooking up the electrics.

All that will be left to do for the first start will be the exhaust system and a few oil system connections. Getting very, very close to the first start…

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