Miles Cook
January 1, 2009

We know many of you have a new Mustang parked alongside your vintage pony. We do; in addition to our '05 GT, we also have a '69 Mustang in the stable. We enjoy the newer Mustang's excellent handling characteristics and precise steering. After jumping from the '05 to the '69, one of the first things we notice is the significant contrast between the steering on the vintage car compared to that of the late-model one. The older car has good alignment, so it tracks adequately, but the on-center spot is vague and the steering wheel moves from side to side for an inch or two before any change in vehicle direction occurs.

Here's the TCP rack-and-pinion steering kit. Above the steering rack is a pair of new factory-style tie rods since we don't want to put any used parts back onto the car. Below the rack are all of the required mounting brackets and fasteners needed for the installation. The spherical ends will attach the tie rods at the spindle eye to eliminate slop in the steering connection. The kit also includes excellent instructions.

Our car also has power steering, so both the slack and time lag in the control-valve function, combined with the worn steering box, creates imprecise steering. This factor is magnified as vehicle speed increases. The time-lag caused by the power-steering control valve between input and response is very disconcerting at higher speed, and maintaining lane position can be a challenge as the driver tries to compensate.

We'd like our vintage car to steer with the same composure and confidence as the '05 Mustang GT, and wouldn't mind getting rid of the extra weight and problems that go along with the factory power steering. And while this is a tall order, we also know that the Total Control Products division of Chris Alston's Chassisworks offers both power and manual power rack-and-pinion steering for early Mustangs, a setup that offers top-quality components and a sturdy mounting arrangement. Because our car is primarily for high-performance usage, we've decided to eliminate power assist and install a TCP manual rack-and-pinion steering system. Although the steering effort will be higher at low speeds and while parking, we feel confident that the TCP manual rack-and-pinion steering will work well at higher speeds.

For fitment, we turned to Reenmachine in Ventura, California, where owner Pete Waydo performed the installation. Pete is a former NASA engineer whose love of Mustangs caused him to redirect his career to Reenmachine, which also happens to be a TCP dealer.