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Ok, so a while back I converted my '65 from manual to power steering, but my mechanic didn't swap out the steering gearbox. The car is obviously still drivable but it has a lot more "play" than my '73, that came with power steering from the factory. I'm pretty sure that there are some differences between the two (8 year difference in the cars), but there shouldn't be that much of a difference, right? It's getting to a point where it's kind of annoying, so I want to do that swap. I've seen the Flaming River boxes and others, but what's the advantage over the stock boxes? Any tips, suggestions, recommendations, are welcomed.
 

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I do not know the exact spec your cars would have originally, but manual steering cars would have a gear box ratio of aprox 19:1, while the original equipped P/S car would have one aprox 16:1.
It was thought that a 16:1 with manual steering would require too much effort for the average driver.
Along with giving quicker response, a 16:1 box will have better feedback than a 19:1 box.
It is possible that your control valve and/or gear box is out of adjustment as well.
If you plan on driving your car a lot, I highly recommend the flaming river box over a reman original Ford unit - you'll be happier with the end result.


73GrandStang said:
Ok, so a while back I converted my '65 from manual to power steering, but my mechanic didn't swap out the steering gearbox. The car is obviously still drivable but it has a lot more "play" than my '73, that came with power steering from the factory. I'm pretty sure that there are some differences between the two (8 year difference in the cars), but there shouldn't be that much of a difference, right? It's getting to a point where it's kind of annoying, so I want to do that swap. I've seen the Flaming River boxes and others, but what's the advantage over the stock boxes? Any tips, suggestions, recommendations, are welcomed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why would I be happier with the flaming river box? That's one of the things I'm trying to figure out, why/how are they better?
 

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Some of the parts required to rebuild the Ford box are not available new, so you wind up trying to find used components in better condition than what you started with. At least one rebuilder that I know of that specializes in Fords is trying to recondition them by welding and machining.
Either way, the end result is not as desirable as buying a gear box with all new components (i.e. Flaming River).
 

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I disagree with bigb, I'd much rather have a well rebuilt Ford box than a FR box cast in Argentina with poor quality steel. A few of the more 'hard-core' VMFers like roadracer have complained that the FR box was sloppier than their worn original. Also, the PS boxes typically didn't wear much thanks to the PS assist, so you could find a slow-ratio box and have it rebuilt, or fill it with grease, adjust it and install it.

FWIW the 71-3 system is the same one that's been used by GM for an eon and a half, the PS is built into the box itself and it works pretty well. The add on systems like the 65-70 Mustang will always feel different.
HTH
--Kyle
 

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gotstang said:
I disagree with bigb, I'd much rather have a well rebuilt Ford box than a FR box cast in Argentina with poor quality steel. A few of the more 'hard-core' VMFers like roadracer have complained that the FR box was sloppier than their worn original. Also, the PS boxes typically didn't wear much thanks to the PS assist, so you could find a slow-ratio box and have it rebuilt, or fill it with grease, adjust it and install it.

FWIW the 71-3 system is the same one that's been used by GM for an eon and a half, the PS is built into the box itself and it works pretty well. The add on systems like the 65-70 Mustang will always feel different.
HTH
--Kyle
I would rather have a properly rebuilt Ford box myself also. The problem is getting one.
I have had bad experience with gear boxes from a well know supplier of rebuilt Ford steering components, as have quite few people I know. The problem really is not his fault, as I said new Ford parts just aren't available.
I could adjust my rebuilt Ford box until it had perfect backlash, turn it some then the adjustment would be way out of spec again. That's the type of problem your looking at.
It's hit or miss as far as I'm concerned having one rebuilt. Removing one from a low mileage car would be a better option.
If you don't give a darn about originality, a rack & pinion conversion would be the way to go in my opinion
 

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bigb427 said:
I could adjust my rebuilt Ford box until it had perfect backlash, turn it some then the adjustment would be way out of spec again.
Could you explain what backlash you are talking about and how it wouldn't hold? Do you mean you set the center gear mesh and it didn't stay the same throughout the travel of the box, or do you mean you would set it, turn the box, come back to center and get an out-of-spec reading?

I have seen boxes where the rack block is welded up (usually spray metalizing) to build up a worn surface and then machined. I would never trust a steering box that had that kind of heat applied to the machined internal parts.
 

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I purchased a Flaming River box after many recommendations on this forum. One member even said the steering response and feel was very similar to a rack and pinion unit. It was a TOTAL WASTE of money. It was NO better than my stock unit. I will eventually fabricate or purchase a rack unit.
 

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The simple solution is to have Stanger53 rebuild your Ford box. About $125-150 and he does a GREAT job. I was shocked at how well a properly rebuilt box feels.

www.stangerssite.com
 

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stanger53 said:
bigb427 said:
I could adjust my rebuilt Ford box until it had perfect backlash, turn it some then the adjustment would be way out of spec again.
Could you explain what backlash you are talking about and how it wouldn't hold? Do you mean you set the center gear mesh and it didn't stay the same throughout the travel of the box, or do you mean you would set it, turn the box, come back to center and get an out-of-spec reading?

I have seen boxes where the rack block is welded up (usually spray metalizing) to build up a worn surface and then machined. I would never trust a steering box that had that kind of heat applied to the machined internal parts.
My answer would be yes to everything you mentioned as far as problems AND repair methods.

I am not familiar with Stanger53 as 68RcodeConv mentioned. I have used as well as several people I know a place in Ohio that I won't mention by name.
You would have to have an incredible stock pile of used parts and the time, patience, and willingness to inspect, and trial fit a bunch of pieces to come up with a few gear boxes that have been rebuilt to "as new" specs. Something few people are willing to do in my opinion in the interest of making money or running a buisness.
If there is someone out there supplying a QUALITY
reman, and not just a quality cleaning & painting of a used box, then by all means, spread the word!!!
 

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I also 2nd Stanger53's rebuild

Mine took 3 months to rebuild...I believe you are probably correct in regard to incredible patience...He rebuilt mine and although it was fine to send back, he was not pleased with a tolerance issue (technical hardware issue, did not meet his exact expectation)

He took the time to find a correct part to do the repair correctly. At the expense of my time and his , he rebuilt an new old system That exceeded my expectations.

I was going to go with Flaming River too...as usual I do allot of digging to find any positives about a product. FR has allot of pleased feedback...but very hard to find negative because of the way Google works. I found some though. No reason to spend 3 times more than a rebuild...Yes it is more of a hassle but the end result is what matters when you are searching to feel the road with confidence (Classic feel of course)
 

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It is possible to rebuild a box to where it is just as good as it was when new. The only problem is the three major internal parts need to have little real wear in critical areas. If these conditions are met, then a properly rebuilt box is almost good as new. The only difference is the parts will have some wear to them, so maybe they will only go 100,000 miles instead of new NOS parts that may go 150,000 miles or more.

Yes, it takes time and a quality mentality to do a good rebuild. It certainly takes me a while to rebuild a part. It is basically done when I feel it is right. My customers can verify that it does indeed take me a while to do a rebuild, and I am not known for my speedy service :p

If the internal parts are too worn or damaged, then they have to be replaced with better ones. A large stockpile of parts would be nice, but unfortunately, over the years, my stock has dwindled considerably, so now I really require an acceptable core to do a rebuild. A lot of parts come in that I can not do anything with, but that is to be expected after all these years. Acceptable used original parts are still better than new repro Argentine parts.

I have seen parts rebuilt by some of the other rebuilders out there, and if the small sampling I have seen is representative of their work, I have not been impressed. I know at least one of them who stop-watches his employees to see how long it takes them to do a certain task, so I know turnaround is sometimes more important than quality.

I think all of this is common in many areas of the Mustang business, so it pays to do some research before you spend your hard-earned money on parts and services. The regulars on this board are generally more knowledgable and particular than the average Mustanger, so I think any advice or recommendation you get from here can be valuable.
 
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