For this write up my approach is to share how I modified the set up to work for me and my 6’4” stature while also removing one of my 'ghosts in the machine'. A good amount of the work I have put into the car has actually been more tweaks or improvements rather than pure ground up building and this is the approach here - adding some TLC to really make the setup work for me.
The manual clutch linkage on a ’65 uses a Z-bar setup which requires that the steering connection for the power steering rack is routed around the Z-bar to the steering column. With the aftermarket Unisteer rack the original linkage is replaced with two U-Joints.
Here is a picture of my original setup WITH THE WRONG DD shaft installed (hence the shaved out portion of the shaft). I inherited this set up and I assume that the original idea was to extend the shaft as long as possible in order to position the steering column in the right spot in the cabin. At the time of inheritance the steering column had a nice height for driving, however was also not secured at the firewall partly because this longer shaft pushed the column bottom away from the firewall where it was suppose to be secured by a T-Clamp. This setup was also no fun to take to shows as anyone 'in the know' would ask about my crazy DD shaft. The excuse of 'Saber tooth rodents' (you should see what they do to wiring) only goes so far!
Obviously the rubbing Z-bar was not right, however it took some time to figure out what the overall solution would be and what needed to change. By comparison to another VMFers car (thanks @Kelly_H
) it becomes obvious that the shaft is longer than stock/recommended configuration. I’m not really sure how this got this way, but started by installing the correct Unisteer DD shaft to eliminate the Z-Bar rubbing. The only problem is that the correct shaft is shorter at about 7” replacing the 8 1/4” shaft pictured. This resulted in the steering column being too short in the cabin and the wheel running up very close to the dash and also left little room for my legs under the wheel while driving.
So first step here is the correct DD bar installed. The extension is also shown here which I detail next.
Here is the tilt steering wheel position without the extension installed.
From the factory the IdidIt column is 30 inches long when measured from top to bottom of spline. Here I was simply verifying that my column had not been cut down to a non-standard size.
The parts list that I am working with:
Unisteer 8010890-01-01 - 1965-66 MUSTANG POWER RACK & PINION FOR SMALL BLOCK
1965-66 Mustang Power Rack & Pinion for Small Block
Unisteer 8150290 - IDIDIT STEERING COLUMN, 1965-66 MUSTANG, STEEL
Ididit Steering Column, 1965-66 Mustang, Steel
IdidIt 1120647110 - Retrofit 1965.5 - 1966.5 GM Style Mustang Tilt Floor Shift Steering Column - Paintable Steel.
LeCarra Mark 8 steering wheel
Unisteer 8023320 - 9-BOLT ADAPTOR W/ HORN, CHROME
Borgeson 313434 – Steel coupler ¾”-36 spline ¾”-36 spline (Splined through)
Borgeson 409202 – Steel ¾”-36 splined shaft, 2” Long
- I cut about a 3/8 off of this small shaft in order to get exactly the fit I was after.
Lecarra B-26440 Long GM67-94
- Switched to this adapter in order to add 1” to overall height. 'Long' adapter is 3.5” deep
Gates 2 Inch to 2-5/16 T-Clamp – P/N 32754
Column Updates -
- This T-clamp is part of the Unisteer setup, but was missing so it was added back. This silly clamp was amazingly hard to locate at my local auto parts shop so sharing the number here in case anyone else needs it.
While I had the column out I added the following updates:
Gates PowerGrip 32954 (2”- 2 ¼”)
- 2” shrink tubing added to the bottom of the shaft to provide a buffer between the metal column and metal brace contact. It also keeps the column from getting the paint scratched off.
IdidIt Ford Style Plug 9201076250
- I just don’t like the GM style plug and found that it would sometimes disconnect on the end if the wire routing was pulled at all. Also, the male side of the plug is actually longer than needed and even though it works, when plugged together there is a curious amount of extra black plastic hanging out past the end of the plug. After all it is a Mustang so I changed to the Ford style plug.
I did a little extra research and found that these are the actual part number in case anyone needs any piece of this kit.
AMP 1-480285-0 Female CONN PLUG 10 POS MATE-N-LOK
AMP 1-480339-0 Male CONN RECPT/CAP 10 POS MATE-N-LOK
AMP 60619-4 Female CONN SOCKET 14-20AWG CRIMP TIN
AMP 60620-1 Male CONN PIN 14-20AWG CRIMP TIN
Horn Contact – Upgrade modification to reroute current flow through wire rather than through small spring which can get 'burned' in the wrong situation. I posted the details here:
A known weak spot in the horn circuit of the IdidIt GM style column is the small spring that pushes against the horn contact on the back side of the horn ring cam. This configuration consists of a spring pushing on a brass plunger, with the weakness being that if the current in the horn circuit...
Horn Button – The Ididit GM style horn button is a single wire setup while Ford has two wires. Since changing to the IdidIt GM style column requires rewiring and use of a relay for horn function, the single wire (GM Style) horn button is the correct choice here.
Adhesive Cork Roll - To ease the metal to metal contact. A metal spacer was also present (not pictured) to make up the size differential between the IdidIt and original column.
Added some paint to arrive at this setup:
And finally the result is a non-rubbing linkage that is sealed at the firewall and offers additional finger room on the steering wheel and just enough room on top of my legs while driving. "I like it a lot"
Interesting fact that I also noticed during this setup is that this final wheel adapter combination offers the same offset as the original wood grain wheel - though the column is obviously different.