Power to Manual Steering Conversion
The upgrade from power to manual steering has many benefits; shorter lock to lock, less clutter, weight and more upgrade options. Manual steering is an often overlooked but very important and helpful upgrade for any serious driver. Be warned - the actual install of the rack may be the easiest part of this upgrade as many parts are discontinued and extremely rare. Often times the challenge lies in sourcing the components. Manual steering was an extremely rare option for the AE86 through all years and all models. Regardless, you will need to figure out where to find yours! Hopefully we can help save you some time in sourcing these parts.
Manual Steering Rack
- Don't bother calling your local Toyota/TRD dealership as they won't be able to order the steering rack for you as its been discontinued. You will need to find a used one in a junkyard or order an aftermarket rack. Finding one in a junkyard can be hit or miss as they are so rare. The easiest (but most expensive) way to source a manual steering rack is to order them re-created to O.E. specifications. The most reliable company to source the manual rack from is ACDELCO the rack itself will cost in the $300 range and come with boots and inner tie rods, the part number for the manual rack for the AE86 application from ACDELCO is; P/N#3612296
Manual Steering Shaft
- The manual intermediate shaft is a couple inches longer than the power steering intermediate shaft. It will be required for the swap. Unfortunately this part is no longer available through Toyota. Some alternatives are to use a intermediate shaft from a mk3 Supra (86-92) or cut and weld in a spacer to lengthen your original power column. Any credible fabrication shop will be able to easily make this modification for you.
- The power steering left hand side bracket & bushing are interchangeable between the manual and power rack. They can also be ordered from any local Toyota dealership. The right hand side power steering bracket and bushing are not compatible with the manual rack. Toyota will be able to sell you the right hand side manual rack bushing but not the brackets(2x). You will need to source right hand side manual brackets. Some options are; to make custom brackets OR use an aftermarket over-sized bushing that allows the use of the power rack bracket. (available from T3 Automotive )
- The flex joint between the power and manual steering rack is different, the power joint has a larger slip joint than manual joint. So this piece must also be swapped. The manual joint is available new from Toyota (PN:45209-10020) with a price tag of $165. If you plan on going the route of sourcing the parts from the junkyard, be sure to include this part in your purchase. Another alternative is the use of the AW11 (84-89 MR2) universal joint with manual steering.
- There is a difference yet again between the power and manual steering knuckles. The manual knuckles are longer than power knuckles. The manual knuckles, being longer make for an easier turn at the steering wheel for the driver. While the power knuckles allow for greater steering angle. This part is not a necessity for the swap.
Some of the benefits of the swap are:
- Total weight reductions are in the 30-40lb range once the full conversion is complete.
- The manual rack is the only rack that accepts the Quafe quick-ratio steering rack.
- Power rack has a 3.5 turn lock-to-lock whilst the manual only has a 3.25 turn lock-to-lock.
- The manual rack can provide more steering angle with the use of power knuckles.
- Without the need for a pump that comes with the power rack, a great load is taken off the engine.