Jim Smart
June 1, 2009

There was a time when rack-and-pinion steering for classic Mustangs was unheard of. Along the way, there were false starts. Total Control Products, which pioneered rack-and-pinion steering for vintage Mustangs, went through quite a teething curve early in development. When you buy a TCP rack today, you're getting the result of more than a decade of research and development. Call it the perfect rack-and-pinion steering system for classic Mustangs. It bolts right on. It comes with virtually everything you need. And, it performs better than expectations.

Here's everything you'll need to get into precision power rack-and-pinion steering from Total Control Products. The power rack takes center stage with its billet construction and good looks. Billet mounting brackets, installation hardware, eccentric block outs, and adjustable tie-rod end assemblies are also included in the kit. Optional bumpsteer kits are also available.

When developing its rack-and-pinion steering system, TCP engineers asked important questions and came up with real world solutions, not just pie in the sky. They wanted a crisp rack-and-pinion steering feel without losing the classic Mustang's original character. What they created was their own "Mustang engineered" system. These were some of their objectives:

  • Tires must turn in as far as factory worm and sector steering.
  • Steering column and shaft must provide adequate header clearance.
  • Correct steering system geometry must be maintained.
  • Installation cannot reduce ground clearance.
  • Frame stiffening crossmember must be provided.
  • System must allow comfortable road feel.
  • System must have unequalled component strength.
  • Centerlink must be stable.Must include all steering column components to get the job done.

Our friend at Scott Drake Enterprises, Jerry Choate, is building a '67 Mustang big-block restomod convertible. Based on what Jerry knew about classic Mustangs, the ancient worm and sector steering wasn't going to cut it, especially with 600 pounds of 390 sitting in the nose. That's when Jerry decided to switch to a TCP power rack-and-pinion. Chris Alston's Chassisworks shipped us one of its Total Control power rack-and-pinion systems, Jerry provided the labor, and we went to work perfecting classic Mustang controllability.

This is TCP's power steering control valve, which is a spool valve that takes your steering input and puts it to work down under. Steer right and this steering-actuated valve directs pressure to the left side of the rack, and vice-versa, offering precise amounts of pressure to make steering easier.

TCP also sent us a power steering pump kit complete with an adjustable aluminum pump that delivers consistent, adequate pressure regardless of engine rpm. Our pump kit also includes a polished aluminum reservoir, blue fiber high-pressure hose and fittings, and all mounting hardware. Pump installation is easier than a factory Eaton or Thompson pump. Only some modification is required and only in some applications.

Quick Facts: Power Rack-And-Pinion
Patented high-performance center takeoff rack-and-pinion enables proper steering geometry and a level of positive, direct steering not always possible with conventional OEM-style steering racks.

Features quick ratio, straight-cut gears, which means three turns from lock-to-lock. With factory manual 19:1 worm and sector steering gears, lock-to-lock was 4 5/8 turns.

The TCP rack-and-pinion is not some off-the-shelf rack system, but something made specifically for classic Mustangs.