Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
July 7, 2010

Tech | Power Steering Install
Try walking into a Ford dealer today and asking for a stripped down Mustang. Whether it's to save a few bucks, save weight, or just to keep the car "simple," it's simply not possible to order one as such like you could four decades ago. As times change, people want comfort, features, and ease of use. Even the 2010 Cobra Jet factory-built drag racing Mustang comes with power windows. Why? Because Ford doesn't even offer manual windows in the Mustang anymore. Matter of fact, the Mustang has had power windows, power steering, power brakes, and more as standard features since the '05 model and before that the Preferred Equipment Package (PEP) option, which included all of these items, was checked off on the order form about 90 percent of the time. That says something.

Now, a lot can be said about hopping into a classic Mustang and having manual steering and brakes for that "nostalgia" feel. That's fine if your classic sees a once-a-month ride or parade duty. Though if you drive your car regularly, be it as a daily driver or on the weekends, having some of these modern conveniences brings much more driving enjoyment and safety to the table when wheeling around on modern roads in modern traffic conditions.

Also think how upgrades such as power steering, power disc brakes, air conditioning, three-point belts, and so forth, when done correctly and within reason, will increase the value of your classic (none of us want to think about selling our projects, but if it comes to that you can rest easy knowing these upgrades will add value). Most of the classic Mustangs on the road today are not your concours paint-daub trailer queens. They're owned, built, and driven by people who want to recapture the fun of their youth, drive the car they've always dreamed of owning, and generally enjoy the drive. This is why restomodding is so popular; it adds enjoyment, safety, and convenience to your classic ride without taking away the general look of a classic Mustang or Ford. That's about perfect in our book (otherwise we wouldn't be working on this magazine!).

Adding power brakes has been a pretty popular, and easy, upgrade for going on two decades now. With many kits available from several sources, it's a no-brainer weekend upgrade. Power steering on the other hand, has not been as easy a project to tackle. First and foremost is the original style of power "assisted" steering, which used a hydraulic ram to apply pressure on the steering linkage in the direction steered. The system is bulky, prone to leaks, is expensive, and really makes it hard to upgrade to free-flowing exhaust and other modern upgrades. While Ford ditched the system, eventually moving to integral power steering (high-pressure fluid running directly through the steering box) and then rack-and-pinion steering, there's really not been an effective way to upgrade to power steering short of finding all of the non-integral parts, bolting it in, and hoping it doesn't leak.

Now, thanks to the folks at Borgeson, a name known for U-joints for nearly a century, they have released a simple, yet effective bolt-in solution that offers easy driveway DIY installation, better road feel, and better packaging. Systems are available for '65-'70 Mustangs, both manual and factory power steering-equipped, for six-cylinder as well as small-block V-8 engine models. Individual parts are also available if you have a big-block or custom engine/trans/exhaust setup and you only need the steering box, let's say. Check out this '66 Mustang with manual steering that we bring into the 21st century with a Borgeson power steering conversion at Classic Creations of Central Florida.

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