Z-Bar Mounting Issue

Ran across a problem with installing the frame side Z-Bar mount. I have a 68 Cougar with a 390 FE that I am converting from automatic to toploader 4 speed. I also have the TCP manual rack and pinion steering and FPA headers to further complicate things. When I went to install the frame mount z-bar mount I discovered the rack and pinion shaft prevents the installation of z-bar if I use the designated holes in the frame with the welded in nuts.
See the picture below. Note that there is a third unthreaded hole closest to the firewall.

If I add a weld in nut to this third hole and move the mounting bracket towards the firewall all is good and I have plenty of clearance for the z-bar as shown below:

Since the big block engine side z-bar mount does not screw into the engine block like a small block does and uses a bracket that I believe I can add a pacer block to move its mount rearward also to align with the frame mount side. Here is a picture of the big block engine mounting bracket:

Has anyone else mounted their z-bar in this fashion and does it cause any issues with the clutch operation? Since moving the z-bar back towards the firewall will tilt the top of the z-bar forward and the lower part backward I know the lower linkage will be shorter but that rod is adjustable anyways so I don’t see that as an issue. If this does not work out I will have to go with the hydraulic clutch route which I would like to avoid if possible.
Thanks for any input or advice. Jim R.

What if you put a bearing rest in to support a second u joint for the steering shaft?

Hello Bill, thanks for your response. I will take a look at adding the suggested support bearing and second joint to the equation. Hopefully the geometry of the final link will be OK and not too steep of an angle. Thanks again for you help. Jim R.

I think using the two rear mounting holes is correct orientation for big block

Hi fecats. I certainly hope so. It seems this is the simplest way to solve my issue anyways. Thanks for the reply. Jim R.

I am pretty sure about this.I had a 69 4spd Elim with TCP rack and had no issues.Also have another 69 Elim 4spd and it has the nut in the rear most position.,easy to see because currently no engine in car and is original car.

Thanks for the confirmation on the mounting location. How do you like your TCP rack? Thanks, Jim R.

It was good,no issues . only put about 5k miles on it and had to sell car.Didnt work too well with stock pump so I wound up using the KRC pump.Steering was definitely nice and tight.I have another one going in 68 428 car in not too distant future.