I am trying to get my steering shaft routed around my headers. I have a Mustang II Front end and a Tbird rack. Is there reason why I cannot shift the rack an inch or two towards the driverís side of the truck to help get around the headers?
Moving the rack to either side from center changes toe angle. This may not seem like much but it will change how much inner tie rod shaft and outer tie rod have in contact on threads. Have you looked into the universal knuckles ( don't know what the actual name is) ? Personally I would not shift rack over. Just my 2cents.
Yes, there is a big reason why you should not move the rack. The steering geometry is designed for the rack to be in the exact place for the tie rods to move with the control arms. Altering that will induce bump steer and dangerous driving conditions. Do not move the rack. Move the engine, get different headers, or work with steering linkage, but do not move the rack.
Pictures would help us give you suggestions of what you can do. If the engine and headers fit with the stock box, then the shaft should be able to be routed around. What engine, headers, and column + length are you using?
Once you've got your cross member installed, rough in your steering shaft. My setup clears my exhaust headers by about 1". I modified my left motor mount so that my steering linkage passes through it, with two Borgeson U-joints and a steady bearing off the frame.
I used a wood dowel rod the same diameter and cut it to make it a double D so it would go in to the U-joints. Mine has a SBC so it is different, but I made my own motor mounts that avoid the steering shaft.
I am trying to post some pictures, but I think the ones I have are too large. I will take new ones tonight. What I have is a 56 F100 with a Mustang II front suspension. I have a 4.6 DOHC engine out of a Mark VIII. The steering column is a modified (steering box removed) stock column with a Fordomatic shifter. The headers are Sanderson. The way it sits now, the shaft from the rack is pointing directly at the collector on the header. The collector is heading straight down at that point. The rack shaft is only a few inches from the collector. If I ditch the headers, and use Cobra manifolds the issue goes away. That may be what I have to do.
OK, I see your problem. First thing I'd suggest doing is contacting Sanderson. Since this is a relatively new, but gaining in popularity engine, I'm sure they would like to hear about interference issues like this. I have found them to be very responsive and helpful in past dealings, and they may even offer to make you a new header that will clear, or at least be willing to take back the ones that don't fit.
I just got a response from Sanderson and they stated "We do not have anything that would work, and our custom build schedule is backed up right now. I spoke to Francisco and he said we could offer you a "kit" where you could have someone build a header for the driver's side. If interested, please call . . ." I asked if I could return the headersa and they said yes! That is the kind of company that I like to deal wiith. I am very impressed with Sanderson and would deal with them again in an instant.