'79-'85 RX-7 Steering Center link Modification...
The '79-'85 RX-7 has it's steering linkage located in back of the axle, so the steering center link frequently causes problems with oil pan clearance. Here are a few possible solutions...
...mount the engine higher (downsides- reduced hood clearance, higher CG)
...move the engine back (downsides- firewall modification and hvac re-location)
...modify the oil pan (downside- extensive modification often required)
...modify the center link
As you can see, modifying the center link is most likely the quickest and easiest solution. It can also be done with the link in place on the car, removal is not required. The original center link is made from forged steel, so welding to it is very easy. Here's a pic to give you an idea of what is involved...
What makes this modification so easy is that it can be welded to the existing center
link while it is still intact. After the welding is completed, the original center portion can be cut out. By doing it this way, all of the original steering geometry is maintained without any special fixtures. It also gains you an additional 2-1/4" of oil pan clearance.
If you are doing the mod with the center link on the bench, it's pretty easy to put the parts together and start welding. If you choose to do the modification with the center link still installed in the car, a simple hoseclamp can temporarily hold the parts together in the correct orientation for welding.
The pic below shows an area that is not and should not be welded. A weld placed around the topside here would introduce an undesirable "stress-riser". Seal this area with silicone sealer before painting to keep out moisture.
As you might expect, any modification such as this should only be performed by an experienced welder.