• Forum membership has its advantages....

Crown victoria dirt car build

Hello, this is my first post here and I'm looking for some direction to take my build. I purchased a 2004 crown victoria to turn into a prerunner. (Yes I'm crazy, but it is a super reliable drivetrain and fits my budget.). I plan to narrow the front cradle and build custom long control arms. My question to those with customizing experience is what direction to take my steering. I could do rack and pinion from a narrower car, ( I'm on a budget, think roadkill with a lot of fabrication) or do a steering box, pitman/idle arm setup.
I'm leaning toward the steering box option and wonder if I should get a Saginaw box from an early silverado, if that fits my column. Or use a early crown Victoria box, or some other good option? ( I currently have the world's widest steering rack.)
As for the rear. I'm pretty good with triangulated four links.

Crusty Shellback

Well-Known Member
You can go saginaw box and use a steering shaft from a jeep cherokee XJ, not a grand cherokee. The jeep shaft has a U joint on each end so it gets rid of the rag joint. You may have to modify the end that connects to your steering shaft. Both GM and Jeep use the saginaw box so parts are somewhat intechangable. Jeep uses a pitman arm with only about 1" of drop. GM has more drop. Also there is a difference between the 2WD and 4WD boxes. 4WD boxes are keyed differnt. 2wd is probably easire to use.
On the old square body trucks/blazers, to do a cross over steering, we use a 2WD box and pitman arm. I have a jeep one on mine as I needed the clearance. Just had to notch the frame a little to clear the swing.


Well-Known Member
This will probably wind up in the shop section. A good offroad rack, like a Howe, has the advantage of easily putting the tie rod points at whatever the location needs to be for bumpsteer control. The disadvantages are getting the steering shaft to the center-located pinion input, plus the cost. A saginaw truck box is cheaper, but then you have to fab a pitman arm and idler, which can be harder to get just right. Why not a solid front axle, leaf spring or linked? Much easier, plus 4wd.

Rack & Pinions | Parts Categories | Howe
Ha that is sweet!^^ same with trophy LTD. I will be doing an interesting body swap... it really is just to mess around with my fabrication. @Crustyshell that is good to know about the jeeps. I'm going to go to the junk yard this week and see what I can find.


Well-Known Member
There were a number of them that finished the Baja XL/4000. Throttle down attitude got them through some amazing stuff!
You are correct.^ qgmfter a lot research and shopping, I will be purchasing a 97-03 f150 2wd. And using a 4.6 and then swapping my desired car body on that. And using my f150 single cab body on my road car crown vic frame after extending it 5". 2 cars for 1.


Well-Known Member
Absolutely please keep us posted on your progress! You’re my kinda guy.. this will be a fun build and probably learn a lot.. good that you’re on here these guys have a sh*tTon of knowledge, I’m a “nonConformist” too! I try to build everything I can because I enjoy it and can’t afford to buy anything LOL .. but it’s a hell of a lot more satisfying to DIY... those rangers are a damn good alternative tho! Way cheap too.... anyway good luck brother!