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Fox-Body Mustang Steering/Handling - On The Right Track
Is That Tired Old Fox Of Yours Suffering From Steering Issues? Well, There's A Cure To The Wandering, And It Won't Cost As Much As You Might Think
Tech | Fox Frontend Rebuild
If you own a Fox Mustang, chances are that at some point, the frontend will need rebuilding. High mileage, hard driving, and simply plain-old age, cause the steering components to wear out, particularly the factory rubber bushings, the tie-rod ends, the sway-bar links, the steering rack, and the ball joints.
Take the case of our '86 GT. Having been in regular use for the last seven years under our stewardship, the car has seen many miles and a variety of road conditions, including many cratered and potholed streets that are characteristic of the Great Lakes region. Although these cars are known for their somewhat lifeless steering, as the years went by, the '86 developed a tendency to wander, especially over bumpy roads. Previous attempts to correct this problem resulted in new outer tie-rod ends, an alignment, followed by replacing the ball joints, and then another alignment. Now, while this improved the car's tracking, it didn't eliminate the problem, and the Mustang still felt sloppy, particularly through corners. While changing the oil one afternoon, yours truly decided to perform a frontend inspection. Visually, mangled factory sway-bar bushings and a small leak from the power-steering pump indicated that perhaps it was time to tackle the frontend once and for all.
Aiding us in our quest was Latemodel Restoration Supply. That gold mine of all things for '79-and-newer Mustangs came to the rescue with its '83-'93 steering rack kit (PN LRS-3504A-KIT). Included within this are a remanufactured 15:1 power-steering rack, brand-new sway bar links, brand-new outer tie-rod ends, brand-new polyurethane sway bar bushings, brand-new polyurethane upper strut bushings and bumpstops, and polyurethane non-offset steering-rack bushings. Because we're not intending to lower the ride height on our Mustang at any time in the future, we opted for the kit with non-offset rack bushings. However, for those who are lowering their '83-'93 Fox and want to eliminate bumpsteer, Latemodel Restoration Supply also offers a kit with offset rack bushings (PN LRS-3504B-KIT). In addition, before you order either one of these kits, the folks at LMRS recommend that you measure the diameter of your front sway bar so they can order the correct-size bar bushings. So, now that we've talked about fixing our steering problem, let's get to work.