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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, new here and this is my first post. I am interested in a DIY R&P for a 65 coupe with a 5.0 and EFI and after doing a search I found some info on using a taurus set-up which is what I would like to use because I want to keep all Ford parts and I have a complete unit on hand. I am not interested in any of the aftermarket conversions as the whole point is to do it on my own and time/money savings are unimportant to me. The unit I have is from a 93 Taurus but I would buy whatever model year would work best or if the Taurus has too many problems I would go with the GM unit if necessary. What model years would be best with the Taurus? How about the "J" car rack? I found the thread on using a later model "J" car rack (end tie rods instead of the center take off) very interesting. I am using Hi-Po exhaust manifolds so header clearance is not an issue nor is clutch linkage with the Hydraulic set-up I have. I am a retired heavy equipment rebuilder and I have a lathe, mill, etc on hand so I am no stranger to fabrication and infact I did one of the first EFI/T5 conversions done on an early Mustang since I have been driving mine since 1998. I think this would be an interesting project and seems to be a popular conversion and I would really like to keep an ongoing discussion on progress and problems since input from many would be very helpful to all who might be interested in doing this.
 

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I went down the same path as you are going when I started my project 3 years ago. I used an 86 Taurus rack (can use up to feb 87), 1981 Granada inner tie rods and mustang II outer tie rods. The outer rods fit my Granada spindles I had at the time. I made a crossmember that mounted to the engine crossmember location. I constructed it out of 1.5" tubing 3/16" thick and then used 1/4" * 2" straps to mount the rack to. The straps went from the crossmember (welded to the bottom) and extended back far enough to get the rack to line up. I have a 68 and had to shorten the tie inner rods and I you will have to do the same since the 65-66 are even narrower. I got a hose kit from Gotta Show. I just called them and they sent what I needed to make my own. I purchased a tilt column so I wouldn't have to mess with making a busihing for the end of the column and I wanted a more comfortable interior.

The problems I had were with the headers and clutch. I am running Headman long tube and there was a definate clearance problem. The steering shaft needed to go where one of the header tubes was. I had to either offset the rack or buy new headers. I had my headers coated and did not want to scrap them. I offset the rack and then started thinking what problems I would have with suspension geometry so I bagged the whole system and purchased one from Steeroids. I also had to change from a cable clutch to a hydraulic setup. That is my $700 lesson on fabricating my own r&p setup.

You will notice a definate turning radius reduction. In an effort to help this problem I purchased a bump steer correcto kit to move the tie rods in 1" and had a machine shop ream out them to fit the Mustang II tie rods. (Another part that will eventually go in the garbage since it is now useless to 99% of all people.)

Here is what everything cost me IIRC.

steel $20
hardware $5
rack (rebuilt off ebay) $60
Hose kit $150
Ujoints and shaft $160
bump steer corrector $220
Tilt Column $320
machine work on BSC $40
inner tie rods $60
outter tie rods $35
Total $1,070 $750 less column

Steeroids kit less column $1,150

Now what is your time worth?
 

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Much more depressing when it comes from your own check book. :( I wish someone told me that info before I started.
 

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Befor you start, I'd suggest reading up on suspension geometry. I came aross a good book last year by a guy name "Bob Bolles" called Stock Car Suspension Setups" or some thing like that. He covers the topic of converting a drag link to R&P. There are some issue with that Ackerman angle and toe changes as the wheels turn. Placement of the rack and angle of the tire rod arms are very important.
 

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All I know is there has GOT to be a way to do it cheaper than the aftermarket companies are doing it for.. Yeah, R&R, but a little friendly ripping off never really hurt anyone.. :LOL:
 

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I can handle anything you can dish out JohnnyK. If I were to do it again I would go with the J car as a starting point. I did not know these forums were around when I did the Taurus setup. If most of the aftermarket setups are based on the J car rack there must be a reason huh? I don't think it is impossible to do. I lacked the confidence on the safety part, especially with two girls under 4 years old. I don't want to risk it. There are a lot of guys much brighter than me on this forum so listen to them and try a search for J car and you should come up with some good threads.
 

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ANything I can dish out? Wait.. Do you mean questions, or did you think I insulted you somehow?! :LOL: Yeah, J-body is where I was going to start, if I attempt my own.. Safety is a concern, but I mean, some of these aftermarket ones only bolt to the crossmember bolts. I'd go much more overkill than that.

I noticed today my 03 Mitsubishi galant is rear steer............. :LOL:
 

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Just yank it off the Galant and get to town this evening. Wouldn't you rather drive the mustang anyways? On a side note Johnny, let me know if you need help bending brake lines. :rofl:
 

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When you consider how hard this is, the aftermarket kits suddenly seem cheap. In addition to the fabrication skills and tools that you have, there is a lot of knowledge required to get it right. You have to consider turning radius, bumpsteer, ackerman angles, ackerman gain, steering shaft angles, and u-joint locations. Then add in the cost to do it 2 or 3 times, with a first prototype, a second prototype, and then the final version. I can assure you that the kits you purchase have been thru multiple prototypes before the first unit is sold to a customer.

I researched it all, and decided that Steeroids or Randalss are a far better choice.

Brian
 

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Ive installed Speed Directs Steeroids on a few Mustangs and they install very easily. They did their home work on these. The early cars 65-66 are a bit more time consuming than the later ones.
 

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You are correct. It is based on the J car rack like Randall's system.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well as I said cost in time or money does not mean much to me and I want to do this for the same reason I built the rest of my car myself. Back in 1988 (I think I said 1998 earlier but that was a typo) when I installed the 5.0 EFI everyone told me I could'nt do that! The whole point is the fun of doing it myself although with some scrounging I am sure there would be some substantial cost savings unless time is figured in the equation in which case it would become expensive indeed! The rack I have is a 93 Taurus, this will not work? Does it need to be an earlier model? I am aware the turning radius will suffer but I have been told that it is not much more than some of the aftermarket conversions but maybe this is not true and the "J" car may be the better way to go. I feel I can do this and I am quite familiar with bumpsteer and what causes it and I can deal with that. I just thought it much better to discuss this with others that have done the same thing and maybe identify as many problems as I can before starting such as the best rack to start with. Seems like maybe the "J" car would be far better so I may scrap the Taurus rack I have unless a 93 can be used. I have a steering column from a 74 F100 that was modified to fit in the Mustang and from the dash out it looks completely stock except for the emergency light switch that the truck column has. This gives me a collapsible column already mounted- (this was done to eliminate the spear) -that would be easy to modify by adding a bearing to support the U joints and shaft. I have a hydraulic clutch with the line hugging the frame so the linkage would not be in the way and although I run Hi-Po manifolds I would like to design in clearance for headers if possible. As I said I enjoy doing this kind of thing a lot more than just bolting on parts, heck I even made my own clutch slave cylinder back when I did that conversion because not only was NOTHING available for this conversion everyone said I was nuts "you can't do that"! Well I did and I have been driving it for 19 years now. BTW I bought a totaled 87 Mustang LX with 6100 miles from an insurance auction for a parts car and the total cost of the conversion to 5.0 EFI and T5 was $1600 for the car with engine, T5 transmission and wiring then less than $200 for odds and ends, not bad for a 1 year old drive train with only 6100 miles.
 

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I agree.. I enjoy doing things, and not just because I'm cheap/poor.. :LOL: . I mean, if safety is a consideration, well then, but I don't imagine it would be. Anymore than aftermarket unit (Safety: assembly quality, not bumpsteer, etc, that would require some resarch on my part). But I think, from what i hear, a J-body is the way to go. Looking at summit catalogues and what not though, the U-joints for the column are pretty pricey, and you'd have to get power hoses made, and tie-rods, I'm not sure what the j-body has going on. I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult to take a tie rod that mounts there, and cut it, thread it, and make a sleeve that adapts to the stock mustang outer tie-rods, but again, I'm talking without having seen/tried it. But u-joints/rack/power hoses would seem to be the big cost investments.
 

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2late it sounds like if someone was going to do it you may be the man. I agree with you and using the J car rack. By using a hydraulic clutch and hipo manifolds you will eliminate a lot of the headaches I had to deal with. I don't think you would have problems with a taurus rack (clearance wise that is).

The Steeroids rack I am now using uses spherical rod ends for the inner tie rods mounted to a custom bracket connected to the rack. I would then use a tapered rod (like used on 4 link suspensions) for the tie rod sleeve. Speedwaymotors.com has a good selection. Order one of their race catalogs and you can pick up some parts for very reasonable prices. You should be able to duplicate the brackets used to mount it to the frame fairly easily. They don't seem to be that difficult or complicated. Let me know if you need a picture of my setup. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. :thumbup:

Speedwaymotors.com
 

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I'm not 2late, but I could use a picture or two! :D So your clearance problems were mainly caused by long tubes and clutch linkages? I'm running tri-y's, which really don't seem to take up much space, and I plan on running hydraulic clutch..
 

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I had clearance problems with one header tube and the original clutch cable had to be routed where the steering shaft was. The car is still at the body shop and I will get a picture as soon as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Johnny, Things like those U-joints and shafts are grossly over priced from the auto performance shops and having been in the machinery rebuilding business I did'nt even think of going to them for parts because these are off-the shelf items that can be bought for a fraction of the price those guys charge, check out places like Surplus Center and you will see what I mean. Hoses are usually not too bad, again if you go to an equipment repair shop and show them what you need they are usually much cheaper than an auto parts place. I am lucky in this respect because I can make my own hoses and I have a lathe and mill to make other parts. Actually on those U-joint shafts it is usually just a matter of buying shafts the right diameter with the proper U-joints and then cut to size, nothing in the way of special tools needed. However fitting it to the steering shaft and modifying the column/installing a support bearing could be a bit tricky without the right tools but not necessarily too difficult. That's what this is all about, I want to trade info and make a project out of this and it may be surprising what can be accomplished.
 
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