MK2 Power steering revisited

There are lots of posts about the differences in early and late Mk2s, the lousy Burman vs the later Marles or Adwest, necessary mods to cross-member noted. Because I couldn’t find a later PS box when I restored my car 10 years ago, I worked up a manual rack and pinion conversion by using a spare front suspension with the springs removed to figure the ideal length and location of the rack so as to minimize bump steer. I wanted a power rack, but the length turned out to be too short to allow for one As I recall, 4" shorter than the xj6 based kits), and I had to go manual. This has worked ok, but I’m having a few issues. The clearance to the pan is very tight, and with a bit of engine mount settling, I note that a bracket bolt is now starting to erode the oil pan (yikes!). Two, I used e-type metalastic mounts between the rack bracket and subframe, and I think it’s too soft, as I have some straight line wander that is uncomfortable. Last, I’m getting older, and it really would be nice to have power steering - yes I know that I could add electric assist, but I dread working under that dash - it’s a tight fit already.

So, I’m considering options and wondering if there is anything new? If I keep my current setup, I’ll put 1/2" shims under the engine mounts and replace the metalastic pieces with urethane. If I could find a good late ps box or an aftermarket box that would work, I’d think about ditching the manual rack. I rejected the XJ6 rack conversions initially as I thought (still do) that it’s just too long to give proper steering geometry.

Any thoughts? Thanks

personally I don’t like the xj rack conversion kits that use a modern electrically driven hydraulic pumps. the later jaguar marbles/adwest units do come up for sale on eBay here in the UK quite often these days so that might be the best option?

I have to admit that I haven’t been bird-dogging the ebay listingss, but I will put a watch on it. I’m guessing that most of the UK units are for RHD, although I believe the Pitman arm might be the only difference - I don’t have one of those for lhd either unless it’s the same as Burman. Anybody know?

What is your beef with electrically driven hydraulics? All the modern cars are that way now, I understand. I’ve no experience personally. It’s important here because I have an alternator conversion, so I’d need an electric drive on the Marples.

its all about personal preferences and sensitivities. I’m particularly sensitive to steering, I like to feel very much in control and know the car is ‘planted’ on the road. my experience with the electro hydraulic units with this rack modification make the car very vague in anything but a straight ahead position, some of that must be attributable to the geometry but the hydraulics normal get an input from the cars ECU so it can vary the power assistance, that’s not possible on the mk 2.
some guys on here have made this set up work to their satisfaction so hopefully they will comment.

double check the Parts Manual…I think the Marles body, and pipes are different part nums LH/RH

from what I have heard, fitting a Burman PS could be imprudent, as they tend to leak…a lot

Yes, You are correct, different part numbers.