Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Clemente, CA
Homemade 64 Ranchero Power Steering. Falcon/Ranchero/Mustang
As you can tell from the title, this thread does not pertain to anyone that is considering keeping their heap factory original; the car I am working on is a 64 Ranchero that my old man bought when I was 10 years old and already had a 200ci I-6 and a three on the tree out of a Mustang dropped in it. It has 500,000 miles on it and is FAAAAAAAAAAAAR beyond original, which is good, because originally they weren't all that great anyway IMO.
Anyhow, with that said, like many of you I decided that I wanted power steering on my 60's Ford. My options were to try and hunt down all the original PS parts (and worry about endless leakage later) or to spring for either a power rack and pinion or a Borgeson integral box.
From reading forums, tech articles and talking to Duke at MAAC (Mustangs and American Classics) I gathered that the racks cut down the turning radius and the way to go would be the Borgeson swap. But before throwing down 500 bucks on a box, I dug a little deeper and discovered that there was a better than good chance that the Borgeson box was nothing more than a warmed over AISIN box out of a mid 90's Isuzu SUV. This meant a trip to the junkyard was in order.
First expenditure was 2 bucks to get into Pick-your-part.
Locating a 95 Isuzu Trooper, I removed the box w/pitman arm as well as the u-joint coupler from the shaft. I also took the hose ends w/the box for fitting comparison. This cost me...30 bucks b/c I went on a holiday weekend where everything is half off. Next I located a pump out of an 80's Mustang. One thing that was a pain was finding the right brackets to use this pump with a v-belt. In the end I ended up cannibalizing two different junkyard brackets w/some scrap metal and making my own. You may want to spring for the PS pump kit for 200 bucks if you aren't feeling that creative or do more searching b/c Ford made 284728924887708787289742300901887 different combos of pumps, pulleys and brackets for their 5.0 V-8 between 1964 and 1990-whenever they quit making it (their bad).
Once I removed the old box I had to chop the steering shaft, aka, "spear of death" and grind the end of it into a double D to get it to fit into the Isuzu coupler, as well as chop, grind, weld and paint the steering column to make it mount to a hard point off the brake pedal bracket. For an added bearing I took the shaft bearing journal off the old box, machined the threads down w/a brake lathe and made it into an insert to fit inside the end of the column.
Here's where you may say to hell with this guy, he's Frankenstein with a blow torch and a mig welder, or decide that you don't feel like you have it in you to go through this much trouble, either financially or skillwise, and that's okay, a sick tilt column from Ididit would look rule nice in there, if you got the cheese, but then again, if you got the cheese you wouldn't be going this route anyway :P
So...with that done, I got a cheesy seal kit from Kragen for the box and the pump and rebuilt them myself with a lot of P&P, (patience and profanity). This was of course after I took the boxes and compared them to eachother and found that the AISIN box is almost an EXACT fit onto the frame rail where the old one mounted (AH-HA BORGESON! I GOT YOU SUSSED!) The difference being the bolt hole pattern of the box and that the shaft of the Isuzu box is about 1/2" from the firewall. No big deal, I gotta drill and a Lowes up the street.
Once the box was mounted I had a machine shop combo the pitman arms. This is where it gets tricky-the sector shaft on the Isuzu box is almost as big as the entire mounting boss on the Ranchero's pitman arm. So either find someone who can mill a hardened shaft or is competent enough of a welder to mig those suckers together. Ask them to destress it too, which will make it less likely to break in a wreck or if the old lady pops it into the curb one too many times. Once again, you may not be comfortable with the idea of trusting your potential safety to a weld like this, which is fine, neither am I, and I will be taking it slow and steady for a while until it earns my trust.
For plumbing I used a pressure line from an 86 Ranger with a 2.8 V-6. I had to take all the bends out of the steel portion of it using a cheezy torch and some more P&P so you may wanna look into a line a bit longer. A couple adapters and some bulk hose later and viola! Power steering!
So, to break it down...
30 for the box
50 for the seal kit (wtf kragen?)
40 for the pump, pulley and brackets
20 for the pump seal kit
15 for the ps pressure hose
8 bux for a can of spray paint for the column
20 bux in misc. fiddily bits, bolts, fittings, etc,
FREE for the combo'd arm (I found a guy that took pity on my poverty)
Total = 183 dollars.
As you can see, if you're on a shoestring budget and got some skill you can easily swap any manual steering setup from the 60's to a integral power steering box and not have to deal with dislocating your shoulder pulling into the liquor store parking lot. As for the finished product, I am having issues with getting full use out of the turning radius of the box b/c of the @!?#ing full-length mustang headers I installed back in 1998 before shorties for the Falcon bodies were readily available. Looks like its too early to put the welder away just yet....
Last edited by amchine; 08-14-2011 at 08:35 AM.