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STEERING SYSTEM
STEERING CONVERSIONS
Many Mustang owners want to change their Mustang suspension and steering over to a V8 configuration or want to add power steering to their car. The linkages from several other model Fords will physically bolt onto a Mustang, but in many cases will provide seriously wrong geometry and leverage. There is a proper way to convert a Mustang over - use critical Mustang only parts. Below is listed the parts needed to do certain popular conversions on the early Mustang.
Convert 1965-1966 Mustang with 6-cylinder steering and suspension to V8 style:
There are several reasons for this conversion - (1) it converts a 4-bolt wheel to a 5-bolt wheel, (2) it upgrades the drum brakes from a 9" drum to a 10" drum and allows conversion to front disc brakes, (3) it upgrades the weak 6-cylinder spindles and wheel bearings to the heavier V8 style pieces, (4) it is a must when converting to a V8 engine to cope with the extra weight involved, and (5) it upgrades the steering linkage pieces to the much heavier V8 style.
To do this properly, you will need the following parts from a 1965-1966 Mustang V8 equipped donor car:
a) Spindles, Brake Drums, Backing Plates with all attached brake parts and hardware
b) Centerlink, Idler Arm, Pitman Arm, all four Tie Rod Ends and Adjuster Sleeves
c) Front Coil Springs
You will not need the following parts because they are the same between 6-cylinder and V8 Mustangs:
a) Upper and Lower Ball Joints & Arms
b) Coil Spring Saddles or Strut Rods
c) Steering Box
Convert 1965-1966 Mustang with V8 from Manual Steering to Power Steering:
While there are a few parts that can come from other model Fords, the critical parts must be from the correct year Mustang to work properly. Maintaining proper factory linkage geometry is important for proper operation. Using linkage assemblies from Falcons, Mavericks and Granadas will not work properly, even though it may look similar and physically bolt up.
To do this properly, you will need the following parts new or from a 1965-1966 Mustang V8 equipped donor car:
a) Centerlink with Control Valve Assembly, Drivers Side Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends and Adjusting Sleeve
b) Hydraulic Power Cylinder, Short Hoses and Bracket & Hardware where cylinder attaches to the frame rail
c) Pump with Pulley, Pump Mounting Bracket with all attaching bolts and hardware
d) Both hoses that run to the pump along with the support bracket & insulator that secures them to the frame rail
e) Double-groove Water Pump Pulley
f) Crankshaft Pulley
g) Two threaded frame inserts to mount frame bracket
Notes and Substitutions:
a) All 1961-1967 Fords used a Control Valve Housing with a 1/4" pressure port. A valve housing from one of these cars may be substituted if the original is not rebuildable. Although much easier to find, use of a post-1967 valve with the 5/16" pressure port is not recommended because it would require a non-original style pressure hose or an adapter, which would cause an original hose not to fit correctly.
b) Power Cylinders from other models may look the same and physically fit in place of the correct cylinder, but they are not usually the correct length at rest or at full extension. This can throw off the leverage of the power actuation and limit linkage travel. The bracket that connects the cylinder rod to the frame is basically the same on all 1965-1970 Mustangs and the early Maverick brackets will work as well.
c) The control valve doesn't care what pump is providing the hydraulic pressure. It is possible to use the pump and mounting brackets from another car in a conversion. A common setup is using the pump and brakets from a 1967-1969 Mustang/Falcon/Fairlane with a 289/302 engine. Just keep in mind that original application pump hoses may no longer correctly fit the pump of be the correct length, and special hoses may need to be made.
d) The power steering pump is powered by the second-from-the-back pulley on the crankshaft and runs over the water pump. A double-groove pulley is required if you do not already have one on your car.
e) Likewise, you may need the donor car crankshaft pulley if your car doesn't have the proper pulley to run the accessories.
f) The frame bracket threaded inserts are not found in Mustangs that did not come with factory power steering, but the holes for them are already there. Since these are not removable from the donor car, you must purchase new ones to install.
g) Always check the alignment of the pump pulley with the other pulleys on the engine. Ford often used different pump pulleys depending on other accessories used on the engine. While these were generally pulleys of a different diameter, some pulleys had different depths and alignments.
h) You could retain the original left-hand power tie rod ends since they are only curved to clear the control valve, but it is best to replace them with the correct manual tie rods to keep the system correct and accurate.
You will not need the following parts in the conversion:
a) Idler Arm or Pitman Arm
b) Steering Box (the steering box is physically the same, only the ratio inside is different. Using a manual steering ratio box in a car with power steering will make the steering effort even easier than a regular power steering and will lessen the sensitivity of the system).
c) Passenger side Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends and Adjusting Sleeve
Convert 1967-1970 Mustangs from Manual to Power Steering:
Since the 6-cylinder and V8 equipped cars used the same steering linkages, this is an easier conversion than for the earlier model Mustangs. The only thing to keep in mind is the implementation in 1970 of larger diameter studs on the Tie Rod ends. Using linkages from Fairlanes, Torinos, Mavericks and Granadas may look similar and physically bolt up, they are not the same and will cause geometry and alignment problems.
To do this properly you will need the following parts from a 1967-1970 Mustang donor car:
a) Centerlink with Removable Control Valve/Ball Stud Assembly
b) Idler Arm and Pitman Arm
c) Hydraulic Power Cylinder with Short Hoses, and Frame Mount Bracket with all attaching bolts and hardware
d) Pump with all mounting brackets, bolts and hardware
e) Both pump hoses along with the support bracket and insulator that secures them to the frame rail
f) Double-groove Water Pump Pulley
g) Crankshaft Pulley
h) Two threaded frame inserts for the frame mount bracket
Notes and Substitutions:
a) When using a 1967-1969 Centerlink, you must use 1967-1969 Inner Tie Rod Ends. When using a 1970 Centerlink, you must use 1970 Inner Tie Rod ends.
b) Originally, the 1967 Mustang Control Valve/Ball Stud Assembly used a valve housing with a 1/4" pressure port. All 1968 and later Mustangs and Fords used a 5/16" pressure port. If you use a 1968-1970 Control Valve/Ball Stud Assembly on a 1967 Mustang, use the 1968 Mustang pressure hose.
c) All 1967-1970 Mustang Power Cylinders are the same, as are the frame mount brackets. You can also use 1965-1966 Mustang frame brackets and early Maverick brackets.
d) The control valve doesn't care what pump is providing the hydraulic pressure. It is possible to use the pump and mounting brackets from another car in a conversion. A common setup is using the pump and brakets from a 1967-1970 Mustang/Falcon/Fairlane with a 289/302 engine. Just keep in mind that original application pump hoses may no longer correctly fit the pump of be the correct length, and special hoses may need to be made.
e) The power steering pump is powered by the second-from-the-back pulley on the crankshaft and runs over the water pump. A double-groove pulley is required if you do not already have one on your car.
f) Likewise, you may need the donor car crankshaft pulley if your car doesn't have the proper pulley to run the accessories.
g) The frame bracket inserts are not found in Mustangs that did not come with factory power steering, but the holes for them are already there. Since these are not removable from the donor car, you must purchase new ones to install.
h) Always check the alignment of the pump pulley with the other pulleys on the engine. Ford often used different pump pulleys depending on other accessories used on the engine. While these were generally pulleys of a different diameter, some pulleys had different depths and alignments
Convert 1965-1966 Mustang with V8 from Power Steering to Manual Steering
While there are a few parts that can come from other model Fords, the critical parts must be from the correct year Mustang to work properly. Maintaining proper factory linkage geometry is important for proper operation. Using linkage assemblies from Falcons, Mavericks and Granadas will not work properly, even though it may look similar and physically bolt up.
To do this properly, you will need to install the following parts:
a) Centerlink for 1965-1966 Mustang with V8 and manual steering
b) Although the drivers side Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends and Adjusting Sleeve is different for power steering, they do not really have to be replaced during the conversion. They are merely curved to clear the control valve, where as the manual versions are straight.

The pitman arm, idler arm and passenger side tie rod ends and adjusting sleeve are the same and can be retained.  The steering box can also be retained but keep in mind that it has a quicker ratio than a manual steering box and will make the car harder to steer at slow speeds.
Convert 1967-1970 Mustang from Power Steering to Manual Steering
Since the 6-cylinder and V8 equipped cars used the same steering linkages, this is an easier conversion than for the earlier model Mustangs. The only thing to keep in mind is the implementation in 1970 of larger diameter studs on the Tie Rod ends and that 1970 Shelbys were left-over 1969's and used 1969 linkage parts. Using linkages from Fairlanes, Torinos, Mavericks and Granadas may look similar and physically bolt up, they are not the same and will cause geometry and alignment problems.
To do this properly, you will need to install the following parts:
1967-1969
a) Centerlink for 1967-1969 Mustang with manual steering
b) Idler Arm for 1967-1970 Mustang with manual steering
c) Pitman Arm for 1967-1969 Mustang with manual steering  NOTE: In 1967 there were two different pitman arms depending on the diameter of the sector shaft of the steering box. You must check the diameter to be sure of getting the correct pitman arm. All 1968-1970 Mustangs used the same pitman arm for manual steering.
1970
a) Centerlink for 1970 Mustang with manual steering
b) Idler Arm for 1967-1970 Mustang with manual steering
c) Pitman Arm for 1968-1970 Mustang with manual steering

The tie rod ends and adjusting sleeves are the same 1967-1969 regardless of manual or power, six or eight cylinder, and can be retained. The tie rod ends are the same on 1970 Mustangs regardless of manual or power, six or eight cylinder. The steering box can also be retained but keep in mind that it has a quicker ratio than a manual steering box and will will make the car harder to steer at low speeds.
There are also power steering to manual steering conversion kits that do not require steering linkage pieces to be replaced. On the 1965-1966 Mustang kit, the control valve is removed and a modified ball stud assembly is installed. On the 1967-1978 models, the control valve and ball stud assembly is removed from the centerlink and replaced with a modified ball stud and sleeve assembly. Click on the links below to go to pages describing these conversion kits: