Rack and pinion power steering is a significant improvement to ride quality on any classic car. It makes it smooth and silky to turn so you’re not wrenching on the wheel just to get the car to turn at slow speeds. Flaming River is a champion of rack and pinion steering and the company put together a detailed video on the install of a rack and pinion power steering system into a 1965 to 1970 Mustang by way of an install on a 1965 Mustang.
The parts list for the install includes the Flaming River cradle assembly (which comes in black primer or optional powercoat), the rack and pinion system itself, the hardware kit (with floor mounts), the steering shaft, the support bearing/bracket, and the steering column. In this case the column is powdercoated white, but it comes in a paintable milled finish so you can make it match your car’s interior or can be purchased polished. The kit also includes U-joints, a power steering reservoir, brackets, a new power steering pump, and a new pulley. Optional equipment shown in the video includes a swivel floor mount and a power steering line kit.
The video starts by going over the relocation kit to give you an idea of how you can move the rack and pinion steering in the cradle. After a quick overview of that, they move onto measuring the original steering travel. Start by cranking the wheel all the way to the right against the stop and measuring from the grease fitting on the outer tie-rod end to a stationary point. After doing that on the right, do the same thing turning all the way to the left and measuring to the same point. This will tell you how much overall travel you have from left to right.
Next, Flaming River covers the standard front-end parts and equipment that is factory to the car. If you are new to this, or just want a refresher in the steering components on a classic car, this section of the video includes some really good information for getting familiar with the undercarriage of your car.
After going over the factory steering, it is important to measure ride height. This is critical if you are installing the Flaming River adjustable coilover shocks. Regardless of the look you are going for, you are going to want a benchmark to go off of so you know where you are starting. These nitrogen-filled, fully adjustable shocks mount directly to the factory location and holes.
The rest of the video details the science behind the way that the steering works and the process for installing the kit from start to finish. If you’re planning on installing one of these kits, we highly recommend watching the video in its entirety for the full scope of what you’re going to be doing. The folks in the video do a great job explaining the entire process and it would benefit you greatly to carry your tablet or laptop with you into the garage so you can watch the video while you install your new Flaming River steering system.