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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi group,

I am new to this forum, and my first post. I own a 1964 Gal that I wish to eventually change over to (non-factory) power steering. I've done some post back-searching here, other forums, and just online in general, but if I missed a previous thread on this, my apologies! I'm looking for feedback from any of you fine folk who have either done this already, wanna do it, and/or have extra tidbits and caveats that would help make an intelligent decision. At my age and with limited room (and no lift), I am looking for 'painless' as possible, and yep, I know, I know.... that is also not very realistic.;) I will be happy to post info I hear about, and always enjoy trying to 'pay it forward' when it comes to this hobby. I am a former Ford parts man (1975-2000), and am ready to decipher parts or lend a hand any way I can. Hey, the part numbers still dancing in my head might as well get some good use, haha.
 

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Hi group,

I am new to this forum, and my first post. I own a 1964 Gal that I wish to eventually change over to (non-factory) power steering. I've done some post back-searching here, other forums, and just online in general, but if I missed a previous thread on this, my apologies! I'm looking for feedback from any of you fine folk who have either done this already, wanna do it, and/or have extra tidbits and caveats that would help make an intelligent decision.
Let's look at the considerations involved.

So far as I'm aware, there is no rack-and-pinion kit that has (a) something close to a factory turning circle and (b) keeps the inner tie-rod end pivots close enough together to avoid bumpsteer problems. So I'd rule that out.

The Ford steering box location puts the nose of the box fairly close to the frame rail, so GM Delphi/Saginaw boxes that have a big valve housing on the front of the box will, at best, require significant frame surgery to fit. This is true even of the otherwise very nice late-model 670-series boxes widely used on '98-02 Jeep Grand Cherokees and commonly retrofit to lots of '60s GM hardware.

Below: left is a Catera/Omega ZF box (more below), middle is an '02 Jeep Delphi 670, right is a stock '63-64 Ford box. ZF output shaft 1/2in longer than Ford, Delphi 1/2in shorter. ZF output shaft 28mm-36 spline, Delphi 1 1/4in-36, Ford 1 1/8-36 (slightly smaller than the ZF):



There've been conversions done with the smaller Saginaw 605-series box, this is a 'cheap' box and the conversions involve cutting up a Ford sector gear and putting it in a modified 605 housing. The ones I've seen have not had workmanship I'd trust.

Borgeson does a conversion:

http://www.borgeson.com/xcart/catalog/19591964_Ford_Galaxie-orderby_0-p-1-c-120.html

that uses an Aisin steering box commonly used in some '80s Toyotas and a variety of other Toyota and Isuzu vehicles. I don't know anyone who has this kit in a Galaxie, but I know of several in Mustangs (including my '65) and it works well and the hassle-factor is low (with one caveat I'll discuss below.)

For my '64 I'm going a slightly different route, I've got a couple ZF Servotronic steering boxes out of '98-03 Cadillac Cateras. These are an exceptionally high-quality box, similar to those used in 7-series and some of the V8 5-series BMWs from the late '80s through '02-03 (don't bother with the BMW box, though, the case shape is wrong and in most cases the pitman swings the wrong direction.) It fits very, very well on the frame rail:



all the power gubbins are on the input-shaft end of the box so it's quite bulky in that direction (in fact, the Catera rubber boot mates right up to the Galaxie firewall, and the rag joint goes inside the car just as in the Catera) but very short in front so it has no frame rail clearance issues. As you can see the bolt holes are located differently and in fact the top bolt holes are right at the top of the frame rail - I suppose someone could make an adapter plate but since my car's apart I'm going to weld a couple tube bushings into the frame for it. I managed to have a couple Ford manual-steering pitman arms resplined to fit the 28mm-36 shaft, and with the Ford manual linkage it's a perfect 3 turns lock to lock.

The caveat for both this box and the Borgeson is that no conversion is going to work with column shift, at least not without a fair bit of clever reengineering (correction: Borgeson now says column shift will work with their setup.)
 

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Nice reply. How and who resplined your pitman arms? What does that cost? Are you planning to use Ford pump or some thing else?
I gave up on finding anyone local to cut a metric tapered spline (or just an oversize 1 1/8in tapered spline) but meanwhile I'd been in communication with a gentleman in Turkey who's put the Opel/Catera ZF boxes in a few different vehicles:

http://www.mustsed.com/wp/

so I sent him a couple arms to have resplined. The cost per arm was quite reasonable, though you've then got to factor in shipping cost and the time lag involved.

PM me for more contact info if you're interested.

The ZF box in the form used in the Catera (sold in the rest of the world as the Opel Omega MV6) has a cube on the side of the input housing, it's a PWM (pulse-width modulated) solenoid that regulates hydraulic fluid flow for Servotronic speed-sensitive variable assist. The ABS system feeds wheel speed data to a little solid-state controller in a relay package that then drives this solenoid. The assist curve is in the Opel shop manual, at parking-lot speeds you're at high assist, above 20mph or so it starts cutting back assist and you're at minimum assist around 38mph. If you leave the cube unplugged you're at minimum assist all the time, which should be fine; lower-line Omega models did not have the Servotronic system but those boxes are not readily available in the US.

For Mustangs Sedat also redrills the passages in the input-shaft housing to rotate the housing to point the hose ports and Servotronic cube up for better exhaust clearance. He did one for me, but I'm not sure if I'll need it; the cube mostly ends up in about the space the column-shift linkage would be in.

The ZF box expects a 1600psi pump, in the Omega/Catera the pump is one of the late-model small GM pumps. I'm planning on using this pump as-is, but my engine setup is a 460 and I'm hoping to use most of a late 460 truck serpentine-belt setup - the Catera pulley is even the right diameter and rib count.

I can't imagine the early Ford Eaton pump would work; Lee Mfg or someone similarly capable could probably valve one of the earlier Saginaw ham-can pumps to suit, if it fits your bracketry better than the newer pump.
 

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Has this been considered for a steering alternative?
60-64 Ford Galaxie Rack and Pinion Conversion

Any decent machine shop with a confident edm programmer or wire edm shoudl be able to re spline the pitman arm. however the way that i say it is very unconventional, it still works. Its time consuming and costly this way aswell. If i wasn't packed with work i would say send one over and i can give it a go..
 

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Has this been considered for a steering alternative?
60-64 Ford Galaxie Rack and Pinion Conversion
The Wurth setup uses a GM J-car rack, it shouldn't have bumpsteer problems but I've heard (never driven one) that it's kinda limited on travel, leaves you with a big turning circle.

There may be an answer for this, wouldn't be applicable to Wurth's kit but might be to J-car racks in general.

I'm a little reluctant to mention this 'cause I haven't turned it into hardware yet but I'm reworking a set of late ('70-72) drum spindles, removing the steering arms from the forging and designing a set of machined bolt-on arms because the calipers I'm using will not clear the stock arms, I need the arm to go behind the caliper. The arm design will actually be pretty straightforward and quite beefy, and it might be possible to shorten it 1.5in or so to get a little quicker ratio and more travel out of the rack.

But, as I said, I'm using the ZF box and at 16:1 in the box the travel's perfect with the stock Ford manual-steering linkage.

Any decent machine shop with a confident edm programmer or wire edm shoudl be able to re spline the pitman arm. however the way that i say it is very unconventional, it still works. Its time consuming and costly this way aswell.
Yeah, that's basically what I was told.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks JEM for your detailed and highly informative reply! I'm watching this thread as often as I can to see what other tidbits come in. Right now my Gal is verry driveable and in sleepy-bye winter mode (still), but as we warm up, my itch to start the various projects I have planned will turn into a rash, lol. Ideally, I would love to come up with something in a 'kit' form, one reason being, if I need to recruit help a kit is more likely to show some appeal. I've looked at various conversion kit suppliers such as Gearheads, CPP and another that eludes me -I cannot find my bookmark. Finding a gear that would go in without column surgery, and still be of some kind of quality, seem elusive in what I am finding in my research. I've even considered finding a donor integral steering era Ford and seeing if going that direction might work.
All of this is mainly wish-list stuff at this point.
Again, your knowledge and insight, plus the effort and detail you put into your reply are MUCh appreciated here. :))
Norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...... I've looked at various conversion kit suppliers such as Gearheads, CPP and another that eludes me -I cannot find my bookmark. Finding a gear that would go in without column surgery, and still be of some kind of quality, seem elusive in what I am finding in my research. I've even considered finding a donor integral steering era Ford and seeing if going that direction might work.
All of this is mainly wish-list stuff at this point.
Again, your knowledge and insight, plus the effort and detail you put into your reply are MUCh appreciated here. :))
Norm[/QUOTE]


ABS Power Brake Kit #587 is the other one I couldn't think of -natch, as soon as I hit 'send', I find it. :) I can't find a lot of info about this kit number on their site --may just call them.
 

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I've looked at various conversion kit suppliers such as Gearheads, CPP and another that eludes me -I cannot find my bookmark. Finding a gear that would go in without column surgery, and still be of some kind of quality, seem elusive in what I am finding in my research. I've even considered finding a donor integral steering era Ford and seeing if going that direction might work.
I had one of the Gearheads kits, it's a modified 605 as I noted earlier and I wasn't happy with the workmanship - this was ten years ago, not sure what he's doing now. His control arms are beautiful but I'll leave the steering box alone. It also required a small dimple in the frame rail to fit.

I have heard good things about ABS Power Brake's stuff in other contexts, I believe he was doing modified Aisin boxes for Mustangs before Borgeson was, but I know nothing about their Galaxie kits or what steering box it's based on.

This is what the Delphi 670 looks like in a '54-56, note the frame notching required. I believe a '59-64 would require a similar notch though in a slightly different location.

THE H.A.M.B. - View Single Post - Technical 54-56 Ford Power Steering

The later Ford integral-assist boxes are quite large, larger than the 670. They also tend to have pinkie-finger valving typical of big '60s iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have heard good things about ABS Power Brake's stuff in other contexts, I believe he was doing modified Aisin boxes for Mustangs before Borgeson was, but I know nothing about their Galaxie kits or what steering box it's based on.

This is what the Delphi 670 looks like in a '54-56, note the frame notching required. I believe a '59-64 would require a similar notch though in a slightly different location.

THE H.A.M.B. - View Single Post - Technical 54-56 Ford Power Steering

The later Ford integral-assist boxes are quite large, larger than the 670. They also tend to have pinkie-finger valving typical of big '60s iron.

Lotsa goodies to ponder, thanks again. I agree as well on the pinky factor that Fords (and heck, all the 60s makes) suffered from. I can remember our Ford shop fixing several customer's LTDs and C/vics for that very issue, but that was more the C-I & C-II pump's fault. For my use I am considering something like a Heidts valve if I wind up going sans a kit of some kind. (of course, the first order is to find a gear that will fit, I can always deal with too much pressure later, lol).

10-4 roger dodger ...back to work for me now so I can get this Gal stuff going. ;)))
 

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There is a company in B.C. Canada who i'm sure is making a p.steering set up for the Galaxies & other 60's fords, maybe Randalls' rack & pinion is their name?
I. looked at them briefly for p.steering options for my Fairlane but ended up going with a Fatman Fabricators kit that uses an Escort rack & KRC pump, the KRC stuff is like works of art!
And don;t unisteer now make a p.steering conversion for the Galaxie?
also, look at RRS suspensions out of Australia, i know they cover Falcons, Fairlanes & were doing R&D on bigger ford suspesnion & steering using that GM rack
 

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Flaming River and Uni-Steer are making bolt in R&P kits for Galaxies and they say no bump steer. I looked at both at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona. Both looked good, but a little pricey
 

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Flaming River and Uni-Steer are making bolt in R&P kits for Galaxies and they say no bump steer. I looked at both at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona. Both looked good, but a little pricey
If the tie-rod ends are hung off the ends of the rack then it's going to have bumpsteer problems.

There's three ways to put a rack in a Galaxie so that it won't:

a) Use a rack with center-hung tie-rod ends (GM J-car, older Audi)

b) Use the rack to drive the existing steering linkage instead of connecting directly to the steering arms.

c) Cut the frame at the firewall and replace it with something else.
 

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JEM Go to their web sites. They make their own racks. Both told me a full 6" of travel and no bump steer.
When I go to the Flaming River site I see, as I expected, a cradle kit with end-hung tie-rod ends.

I don't care what they claim, those tie-rods are half the length of the lower control arms.

Tell 'em you want to see a chart of toe change per inch of bump/droop travel before you spend money on it. Then tell them you're going to measure it against your stock setup and send it back if it doesn't match up.
 

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What kit was it that Fakesnake has in his starliner? That probably changed it looks like since now he has a mustang II replacing the front. Think his was the wurth it setup and was like the test vehicle for it if i remember correctly.

Can check out his pics of the front end mods on his site though. Just click on the starliner at the top left.

Main Page
 

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Now, on the other hand, finally ducking over to the Unisteer site I see this:

Ford full size rack and pinion with popular small blocks 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964

which looks much better. Center-hung tie-rod ends. It is J-car rack based, so check out the travel and turning circle if it matters to you, but it should not have significant bumpsteer problems.

I'm assuming the reason they sell it for smallblocks is pump/bracket compatibility (you DO have to change the pump, the stock Ford/Eaton pump is nowhere near enough), and not because of engine/rack/exhaust clearance issues. Maybe someone with a close-to-stock big-block car ought to call them and see if they need a car to prototype a big-block installation on...
 
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