Flaming River rack and pinion installation
Choosing a power steering system can be quite a task! There are many venders selling their version. I felt the Flaming river was kind of in the middle and chose to go with their brand. I also purchased the Flaming River tilt steering column, but this blog mainly focuses on the rack installation and issues that arose.
As with just about any aftermarket install that I’ve done so far, some problems arise, but are solved by common sense and tech support!
Let’s get started!
Factory power steering as an option?
- Early on, I was contemplating going back with the factory original power steering setup. The price wasn’t too bad for the entire setup, but I remember having some problems with my ’67 Cougar(back in the ’70s), leaks, a little slop, so I kept shopping.
- Keeping in mind, this is what this Mustang came with!
Below~ this view shows how the rack bolts up. It uses the existing holes where the idler arm and steering gear box used to be. The mounting bracket is actually a heavy piece of metal that mounts to the frame, then the rack bolts to it.
Note from yours truly~ it is so nice to work in a clean engine compartment!
Below: Seen better here, the three bolts holding the rack bracket to the chassis, drivers side. Also obviously seen here are where the power steering hoses will go.
Below: This view is from taken from the passenger side
Below: pic of the bracket which holds the Flaming River rack. I was a little concerned about the bracket that hangs down, but I got over it.
I had purchased my entire Flaming River Power steering rank and pinion through Laurel Mountain Mustang. There are many vendors that sell Classic mustang parts, but Kevin was so nice to deal with~ I bought the majority of parts from him. 😉
The Flaming River tilt steering column was a tad longer than I wanted, so take it back out!
Just figuring how much do I want to cut?
Plumbers saying, “I keep cutting it off and it’s still too short!”
The next few photos are self explanatory, but they just show the process of shortening the Flaming River tilt steering column.
Installed the U-joint, set screws set and red loctite to ensure no backing out!
Looks very nice!
Time to install my engine!
At this time, I had no one to help me install my engine, but I was confident that I could do the job! At this point, for exhaust headers, I installed shorty headers from Summit Racing. They were so nice and new! HOWEVER : (
The engine would not go in! The left header was hitting on the Flaming River Rack! I guess I didn’t do my homework!
However, I really wanted long tube headers anyway, but since I have the Flaming River Rack, they required a header specifically for the Flaming River rack! ching ching! but the headers look great!! I’m happy! ; ) Also in this photo, you can make out the steering shaft and heim joint, plenty of clearance. Also the steel braided power steering lines look nice going to the reservoir and PS pump. As for the power steering hoses, I had my choice of steel braided or rubber, I wish I had gone with the rubber lines. The steel braided look nicely, but tend to leak slightly, even with double hose clamps.
The steering pump is a small GM pump, and takes up very little room, the reservoir would be mounted on the fender apron, or wherever you may desire.
The power steering reservoir can be seen here, the aluminum cylinder looking thing on the Drivers side. by the windshield washer bag.
A picture of the power steering pump.
A serious problem encountered during a test drive
Once the Flaming River power steering rack and pinion was installed, it was a while before actually driving the ’67 Mustang. I still had plenty to do before the Stang would be roadworthy. Finally, after a year or so, I put the Stang on the ground, rough set the camber, and set the toe, but I couldn’t set the toe in/toe out! The tie rods were too short! I called Flaming River tech, and they sent me some long tie rod ends~ no worries!
Gets a little dicey here!
Finally received the tie rod ends. Installed them and went to set the Toe. I backed off the lock nuts, roughed in the Toe with a makeshift homemade toe in gauge. I back the Stang out of the driveway, went forward, something felt funny in the steering. I got to the end of the street to turn around to go back to my garage, but I heard a clunk when I went to go forward! I got out of the Stang and the left front wheel was turned all the way inward! CRAP! I looked under the stang, the inner tie rod was unscrewed from the rack. It destroyed the dust boot in the process. Luckily there was no traffic~ I would have been embarressed!
I had to straighten the wheel so the Stang would move, but when I did, I forgot I hadn’t put the stang in park, it was still in Drive!! When I got the right front wheel straightend out, the car started moving forwardly! S—t!! It was headed right for my neighbors ditch! I made it around to the drivers door, and stuck my long leg and was able to hit the brake!! Thank Goodness! I painstakingly got the Stang back to my garage, but had to get out, move the tire, go 3 or 4 feet, get out, straighthen the tire, etc, it took me a while, but I got it back in my garage!
So, here’s what happened! When I went to set the toe in, instead of the outter tie rod turning as it should, the inner tie rod where it attaches unscrewed from the rack, hanging by a thread or two! just enough to where I could get a few feet down the road!
I called Tech at Flaming river and told them my horrible story, but they didn’t seem to be too concerned. Probably they thought this dumb female doesn’t know what she’s doing! ha! Luckily, the threads were ok! I made sure the inner tie rod was ok, and moved the way it should for Toe adjustment.
I was amazed that there was no means for the inner tie rod to be secured to the rack! No signs of loctite either. I drilled holes, and taped the holes inserting tap screws. I used red loctite and put it all back together.
All in all, the little Mustang coupe drives fine, the power steering is quiet and steers effortlessly! My only complaint would be is the turning radius is relatively poor, but tolerable.