Steering upgrade options??? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Steering upgrade options???

My son has a 67 cpe w/289, T-5, 8.8/3.73. He's done many upgrades over the past few years. We have replaced much of the steering system, but we have kept it completely original. It woefully under performs and will not stop leaking no matter what we replace!


We are looking for recommendations and ideas on how to upgrade the steering system without breaking the bank. Just in the little bit of searching I've done, I've ran across ideas that range in price from around $500 to upwards of $3800! We're very much into DIY projects, and can do most anything mechanical (my son is a mechanical engineering student going into his 4th year). And we are very interested in electrical power steering. I ran across an article about it a few years back that was largely a DIY project, cost around $500 to $600, and used the steering column from a Toyota Prius. Now I can't find it!


Ideas PLEASE
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 06:00 PM
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You could try and go with modern power steering from a salvaged car at an auction. Parts there are a bit cheap and may not break the bank.

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 06:56 PM
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 07:20 PM
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1st thing I did was pump up the front tires. That's all it took. It's like power steering-ish and free.



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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 08:31 PM
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I know rack and pinion is a bit pricey, but you'll be amazed at how easy the car will steer and you won't need a power steering pump.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:01 PM
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Your factory power steering does not have to leak under normal driving conditions although mine pukes some while autocrossing from the pump. I had Chockostang rebuild all the factory stuff. I then added a larger PS pump pulley Ford part number 5Z-A1A "85 Ford truck with a 302-351" to eliminate the over boost feeling and high rpm puking. I then added officially "unapproved for power steering" Opentracker roller quick steer idler and pitman arms. I'm now at or really close to 3 1/4 turns lock to lock with the arms actually hitting metal to metal spindle to LCA bracket at full lock. It works very well. I'd love to go rack and pinion but you lose turning radius. EPAS is probably the most popular way to go currently, and something I'm considering for the future.

I don't know what your sons goals are for the car are but I think the factory system with some mods can work pretty good for a street car.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 10:23 PM
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I'm guessing you've never replaced the tube seats and tightened everything to within an inch of rounding the tube nuts....

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 04:52 AM
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I've never seen a power rack and pinion setup that made these cars better. Even if they 'feel better' than what's on it now, they are made of 'unobtanium' later, when they wear out. Every single one that I've seen will not turn as sharply, and many of them require significant modification to the car that is not easily switched back.

They typically do not last as well as the original steering setup either.

For a car that you intend to keep, determining what the actual problem is with your system and fixing it would be the best possible solution, and the least expensive. For a street car, the factory stuff works pretty well! It's annoying when you've got leaky hoses, pumps, or PS actuator valves, but once you get it working, it should stay that way for a long, long time.

EPAS (electric power assisted steering) can work all right, but it looks like a knee-knocker to me on every setup I've seen, so I've been reluctant to consider putting it in my own car. It would also require elimination of the original actuator valve through an elimination kit, or by replacing your power steering drag link with a manual setup.
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Last edited by Grimbrand; 05-24-2019 at 04:55 AM.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:52 AM
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I'd give Dan @ Chokostang a call for his rebuilt parts.

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:33 AM
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I agree with the above. There's no reason for your system to be leaking. However, replacing the seals and getting a control valve to quit leaking is tough. It is one of the only jobs I tried on my mustang and failed completely. Finally bit the bullet and sent it off and had it repaired. That was about 15 years ago. It hasn't leaked since.

I'm still running my orginal style power steering pump and it works fine. You have to keep the fluid level pretty exact (not too much not too little), but once you get the leaks fixed...that's not an issue at all. If you let the pump run dry for even a minute, you'll wreck the pump. I've had to get a couple over the years. Just bought rebuilt ones at the local car parts store and they've been fine (and cheap). Once the pump starts whining it needs replaced. If it's not whining...probably is good to go.

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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 01:53 PM
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If you're really tired of lackluster *handling*, and not just steering problems, you need to consider the Shelby/Arning drop, and do an alignment more suitable for modern tires. Stiffer 1" swaybar, some good shocks, and BAM! It'll feel like a new car. =)
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:33 PM
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I'd give Dan @ Chokostang a call for his rebuilt parts.

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Danís got a Great board reputation.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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The Shelby/Arning drop is definitely in the near future. And we have already rebuilt most of the front end, new quality shocks and added the Hellwig 1" or 1 and 1/8" swaybar. And it did make a huge difference. It's not that we are dissatisfied with the performance of the steering, the thing just won't stop leaking.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangGrande302 View Post
You could try and go with modern power steering from a salvaged car at an auction. Parts there are a bit cheap and may not break the bank.
Ok Iíll bite. What modern car power steering fits these old cars?

And you would buy a whole car at an auction for this?

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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post
Your factory power steering does not have to leak under normal driving conditions although mine pukes some while autocrossing from the pump. I had Chockostang rebuild all the factory stuff. I then added a larger PS pump pulley Ford part number 5Z-A1A "85 Ford truck with a 302-351" to eliminate the over boost feeling and high rpm puking.
I don't know what your sons goals are for the car are but I think the factory system with some mods can work pretty good for a street car.
Use this mod for the fill cap. (1/4" round head carriage bolt about 2.5" long, two stover lock nuts, one hex nut,
a couple of fender washers, round washer cut from rubber sheet and an appropriate slotted nut & cotter pin)
Won't puke out the fill no matter how hard you run it.

A remote reservoir also stops that crap but it's ugly as sin under hood.

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