Ford Mustang Steering - Rack And Pinion Steering Guide
Rack-And-Pinion Steering Choices For Vintage Mustangs Are More Diverse Than Ever. Here's A Look At The Numerous Options.
Total Control Products
Total Control's line of high-performance, center-takeoff rack-and-pinion packages enable correct geometry and an optimum level of positive and direct steering. Both manual and power versions feature quick-ratio straight-cut gears, requiring only three turns lock-to-lock. Standard OEM steering is often more than four turns, while performance OEM setups are often 331/44 turns. The unique modular design utilizes an assortment of mounting brackets and center-links to adapt to '65-'70 Mustangs as well as other Ford and Mercury cars, including Cougars, Comets, Falcons, and Rancheros.
Existing factory mounting locations are used whenever possible to simplify rack installation. Once installed, the rack becomes a rigid crossmember bracing the lower control-arm mounts, an improvement over the original, bent tubular design. Mounting brackets along with the centerlink are specific to engine type and are used to vary the height of the rack as needed for oil-pan clearance. TCP also offers stainless steel tilt-steering columns.
Revelation Racing Supply
RRS offers a rack that is functional, and most important to some, basically a non-invasive application. The company, based in Australia but with offices here in the U.S., has both manual and power rack applications for '65-'70 Mustangs.
Both the manual and power racks include all mounting hardware, stainless steel U-joints, a stainless-steel mid-shaft, and a hardened double-D shaft with column bearing and support for '65-'66 Mustangs. Speaking of '65-'66 Mustangs, the RRS rack kit also includes an upper shaft (with bearing) to allow use of the stock column and wheel. Both feature a rebuildable steering head and over-the-counter inner tie-rod ends. The power rack also includes the hoses. Prices are $1,895 for manual '65-'67 applications and $2,095 for '65-'67 power-steering setups. Applications for '68-'70s are slightly less at $1,850 and $2,050, respectively.
The RRS rack uses two separate mounting brackets to physically mount the rack system to the car. The end with the steering head is captive, while the passenger-side end piece has some leeway for movement prior to final tightening-a good idea since unit-body construction is not exactly a precise science. The rack essentially mounts in the stock location.
RRS uses the factory drag link to configure its tie-rod mounting position on the aircraft aluminum tie-rod bar to maintain factory geometry all the way around. To that end, both the power and manual racks use stock Mustang manual-steering inner tie-rod ends. This setup assures bumpsteer is minimalized in a stock front-end configuration. The one drawback to its stock mounting location is that some brands of long-tube headers won't fit with the rack. RRS also says that four- or five-speed manual-transmission applications require modifications to the stock equalizer bar or the use of a hydraulic clutch. Those issues aside, the pluses are a near-stock turning radius when coupled with the stock spindles, a fast ratio, and 2.88 turns lock-to-lock. The rack's stock inner tie-rod ends assure correct alignment, and all shorty and mainstream brand Tri-Y headers will clear RRS rack installations. RRS also offers a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty on all parts.
RRS systems are available from National Parts Depot (www.npdlink.com) and Auto Krafters (www.autokrafters.com).