Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 18, 2010
Photos By: Team MM&FF

The steering wheel connects the driver directly to the road, more so than any other system on a vehicle. With only a few mechanical components in between the driver and the pavement, every component is vital. So when something is wrong with the steering system, like excessive play, it's easy to detect and is very unsettling.

This is what we noticed recently while driving our '01 GT, Project Icebox. We were experiencing about 45 degrees of play before the wheels would turn. With the stock steering shaft still on duty, we figured the rubber rag joint had failed. So we called up Maximum Motorsports for one of its high-performance steering shafts.

Maximum Motorsports offers a full line of steering shafts for Mustangs from '79-to-'04 with manual or power steering. The shafts feature twin universal joints, which are welded onto the shaft, eliminating the need for a rag joint.

Other than the possibility of the rag joint failing, it also flexes, reducing the driver's feel when driving. The rag joint is also known to soften over time, especially when used in conjunction with aftermarket headers. Replacing the rag joint with a universal joint gives the driver instant feedback from the wheels, without any of the energy being absorbed by the rubber rag joint.

Upon removal of our shaft, however, we found that our rag joint wasn't the major flaw with our stock shaft. Though the rag joint was very soft, we were feeling slop in the telescoping portion of the shaft itself. The MM shaft is telescopic as well, but utilizes a D-shaped shaft as opposed to the clover-shaped original. This increases durability and responsiveness.

Follow along as we remove the stock piece and replace it with the MM shaft. The procedure is very similar for Fox-body Mustangs as well. Maximum Motorsports high-performance steering shafts are available for '79-'04 Mustangs with manual or power steering.

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