Modified Mustangs & FordsHow To Tech Qa
Garage Q&A, Tech Answers - May 2014
Keep Those Classic Ford and Mustang Tech Questions Coming!
Hi Dave, love your column. I have a '67 Mustang I've restored. Everything went great, but my steering sucks. I added disc brakes and added a power steering upgrade from Chockostang (www.chocostangclassicmustang.com). My problem is my car darts real bad while I'm driving. I'm on edge the whole time I'm driving, as I don't want to whip the steering wheel and possibly lose control. I didn't replace the steering box during my restoration. My question is howa do I fix this problem where my car will be enjoyable and safe to drive? I haven't let my wife drive it yet because I'm scared she might lose control. Do I need a new steering box, such as a Flaming River, or a power rack-and-pinion system? If so, what brand do you recommend? I've been looking at TCP or TCI and Rod & Custom Motorsports. Any help solving my problem will be greatly appreciated.
Cerro Gordo, NC
Assuming everything is tightened up properly, you are correct in thinking your old steering gear is causing you grief. Two different things are going on here: 1—the old ball and sector gear got sloppy and it is like driving a bus with a mind of its own, and 2—the power steering system is designed to work with a 16:1 ratio box, and your manual has a very good chance of being 19:1, which was standard for manual steering. The power assist allowed Ford to reduce the ratio and make the steering a little tighter. Your higher ratio is going to feel a little too easy to turn.
You have two options; you can go back to Chockostang and have the guys set you up a nice original 16:1 gear (your '67 may have a long shaft or short shaft—make sure you tell them which), or you can go to the aftermarket rack-and-pinion systems. Make sure you use the rack designed for original rear steer and not for the Mustang II. Randalls Rack (www.randallsrack.com) and TCP (www.totalcontrolproducts.com) both make a rear steer rack system that really works. I would recommend using a newer power steering pump though. The old pumps will work, but pressure-wise they aren't designed for rack-and-pinion.
Torq Thrust Fitment
First off, I have to say that you guys put together a great magazine. I got my first issue when I was about 12 or 13 and have been reading every issue since. Ever since that first issue I have been addicted to Mustangs, and now that I'm older (26), I'm really starting to see all Blue Oval models in a new light, especially the fullsize models. The reason I'm writing is that I'm working on a '66 Mustang. I'm getting closer to finishing it, but I'm hoping you could help out with the wheel and tire fitment on the rear of the car. Since I'm building my Mustang in an SCCA B-Production theme, I want to run American Racing Torq Thrust Ds in a 15-inch diameter. What I'm not sure of is whether I should or can use a 15x8 wheel in the rear. I would also like to know if I can run a P245/60R15 tire on either the 15x8 or a 15x7 wheel if the 8-inch wheel will not fit. I have looked all over the Internet but can't find a definitive answer. I'm not using any kind of special rear suspension setup, just a stock replacement from Mustangs Plus with four-leaf, standard-eye leaf springs and a rear antisway bar. Your help would be greatly appreciated, as I'm getting ready to order wheels and tires soon. Again, great magazine, and keep up the good work.
Xavier F. Rodriguez Jr.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Thanks for the kind words on the magazine. The magazine did a chart back in 2006 and you can check it out here. I think you're OK with the 15x8 Torq Thrust D if you get the 4.5-inch backspace (PN 10558065). As far as the tire, I personally would back off just a bit on the sizing to the P235/60R15 and be sure. As you say, it's pretty unclear and half of the people running that larger combo make a comment about mods needed to make it work, so go with the 235-series tire. Torq Thrust Ds on a '66—it doesn't get much better.
When MIG welding, at what tank pressure should you replace the tank? I run about 30 psi at the welding tip. At what pressure will the tank fail to maintain adequate tip pressure? I still love the new all-inclusive classic Ford format. Have a great day.
Since MIG gas is stored at much higher pressures, your regulator is only allowing 30 psi to escape at a time. So in theory, you can successfully weld until the pressure inside the tank falls below your regulation setting. I think your real question is when is it good to replace the tank and leave a minimum amount in the bottle and not waste gas? A lot of that will depend on how big your tank is, how often you weld, and how close to the redline you want to get.
If you look at a standard set of regulators for a MIG welder, you notice the gas in the bottle is in 1,000s of psi, with gradients of about 250-psi per dash. I usually change mine when it gets to the last dash. I use a number 2 cylinder, which holds 40-cubic-feet. If you're using a number 1 cylinder, you are only holding half that amount, and if you are trying to finish a late night project, you may run out. When I used to use a number 1, I ran out frequently. So I change it when it hits the last dash before bottom. Yeah, there is some left in the tank, but not enough to justify the frustration of running out in the middle of a project.
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