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Quick Ratio Steering Rack Review

Joined
18 January 2010
Messages
1,763
Location
All over CA
Reviewing the Quaife ratio rack I purchased from Charles at NSXRackRepair.com

I purchased this rack and pinion kit from Charles from his first batch of kits and only recently have I had a running car to review it so that’s why this review has been delayed, but better late than never right?

My setup disclosure -

So a few specific things on my car that will effect the rack’s performance and feel overall

Alignment-

My preferred alignment spec has an effect on steering effort: I run ~9 degrees of caster usually. This compounds on the “heavy” steering of the quick ratio rack. I could have adjusted my caster down to lessen the effort, but I prefer the heavier steering and handling characteristics that high caster provide. So if you’re nervous about the steering being too heavy you can have your alignment tech set the caster as low as your car will allow and that should minimize the increased effort required on the wheel.

Wheels and tires-

My current wheel and tire setup is a crucial piece of information for most. As this is posted I am running 17x8 magnesium front wheels with 215/40/17 200 tread wear tires (Falken RT660). My skinnier width tire makes steering easier, the sticky rubber adds effort. If you’re on a similar setup you should expect similar feel as the one I’m posting.

Wider tires will require more effort, less sticky rubber will lessen that, heavy wheels will increase the effort. Seems like common sense, but figure it doesn’t hurt to mention it.

Installation -

Since I opted to have Charles install the new rack and pinion into the housing I can’t say too much about this process except I’m glad I had Charles install it as he does these every day and that kind of experience is invaluable.

Removing and installing the rack is the same as an OEM unit as nothing is changed externally on the rack.

Driving impression

Since my car is a track rat I will separate this section into “street” and “track” impressions as I feel the differences in driving conditions, needs and versatility are very different comparing the two styles of driving.

Street driving impression

To say this mod was “immediately noticeable” would be a huge understatement. The steering effort coming in and out of the shop was definitely more than with the OE parts, that said it wasn’t terrible, just a noticeable difference.

5mph-15mph “parking lot driving”

The new rack makes navigating parking lots fun with the minimal effort in degrees required to make the turn. The slower you drive, the more physical effort required to steer. Still true here, but it isn’t terrible. Reversing into a spot feels like the most obvious display of the advertised 20% increase in effort is felt. The days of one handed maneuvers are over with the added increase in effort.

15-55mph “city street driving”

Once you’re off at a more reasonable speed, the steering feels great; super communicative and lighting fast response. It feels like the NSX should have had this ratio from the factory it’s THAT good. If you’ve ever driven an EVO 8/9 the steering response is very similarly lovely. U-Turns are a delight, quick and precise

55+mph “highway driving”

Here is where I feel like the majority of owners will be split. Once you approach highway speeds the steering is blatantly obvious. The slightest input has an immediate effect on the car’s direction. At these speeds the heavier steering input required acts as a gate keeper to prevent you from making an unnecessary lane change or veering off course. Once the driver decides it is time to alter the car’s course tip in is immediately followed with scalpel-esque accuracy.

Why would this split some owners? The less hardcore of drivers might enjoy lazily changing lanes or minimal input required to navigate their morning commute.

Others, that may have more than a few screws loose, relish the fact that zero energy is wasted from wheel to driver. The resistance to alteration is nice over the less than ideal road conditions in Southern California.

For now I haven’t taken the NSX out on track to review the steering there, and once I have I will definitely update this review, but for now I wanted to give people the partial feedback I have experienced while it is still imprinted fresh in my memory.
 
I think you've nailed it with the idea that people will be split on the highway. I felt this way about my S2K vs NSX. S2K AP1 has a very fast rack, which is fantastic on track and in the city at low speed, but actually kind of annoying on the highway. I think it'll come down to how you use the car. If it's a track car, I can imagine the quick ratio rack is a good thing. Otherwise, probably not.
 
Yay! Glad you like it. I’ve had mine in for 6 months or so and have totally forgotten about the effort at low speeds. I def prefer the slight effort increase at higher speeds though. It always felt light above like 50 with the stock rack, but now it feels perfect

Agree that it should have come with this shorter ratio from the factory.

Looking forward to your track review. Curious how it is in general, but also how easy it is to like correct for oversteer
 
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