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  #1  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:03 AM
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LSC update

Last weekend I had front struts replaced along with new sway bar bushings with the help of Nick T.
Car rides a lot better, more composed and overall tighter.

So far, new Motorcraft back shocks and front Struts. ENS end links and regular sway bar bushings.

I have a little bit of free play in steering, most probably a rack replacement is in order. Any suggestions which one to get? I heard the rebuilt ones are a hit or miss and I am sure its not possible to get a Ford new unit, or is it?
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 92 LSC View Post
Last weekend I had front struts replaced along with new sway bar bushings with the help of Nick T.
Car rides a lot better, more composed and overall tighter.

So far, new Motorcraft back shocks and front Struts. ENS end links and regular sway bar bushings.

I have a little bit of free play in steering, most probably a rack replacement is in order. Any suggestions which one to get? I heard the rebuilt ones are a hit or miss and I am sure its not possible to get a Ford new unit, or is it?
Funny you should ask this now, I'm about to change my rack again. The used one I put in over two months ago is leaking now. I wanted to use a 94+ Mustang rack I have from long ago, but didn't figure out the shaft issue until after I got into the swap.

I'm going to do it this week, maybe starting today. The 94-04 Mustang racks are a little better(03/04 Cobra much better), and they are less likely to be worn out like our OEM rebuilt Fox units.

The trick is that to use the 94+ rack, the matching steering shaft has to be used. This only works for the 90-92 Mark VII, because they have the same newer short steering column. Older Marks have a long shaft column.

I read that this late steering shaft will clock the steering wheel 180*, and that a u-joint from it ha to be unpinned to turn that around. I will take pictures to show any of those differences.

There is a thread here from recently about upgrading the suspension and/or steering shaft. I'll try to find that also to post pictures.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 12:10 PM
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My rack had play when i got my car. Inner tie rods were slopped out. Also,the rack bushings were worn out, new poly bushings solved all the slop.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:47 PM
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Inner tie rods feel ok. not super tight but minimal slop. Too much play in steering wheel. 100k miles the original rack has to be on a worn side I assume.

So 94+ Mustang rack is a direct fit???
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  #5  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 92 LSC View Post
...

So 94+ Mustang rack is a direct fit???
Yes, when used with the 94+ steering shaft. The racks interchange except for the output connection. The 94+ shaft and rack fit each other.

I bought a used steering shaft when I was at a salvage yard to see what the differences were. I'll find out shortly how much trouble it is to take apart the joint of the 94+ steering shaft.

I read of another member doing that, removing the pin etc, so as yet I don't think there are any pictures documenting it.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Hello Dave, I just looked at my spare parts carefully, the 94+ Mustang shaft, a spare Mark VII steering column and wheel, plus a Marauder steering wheel.

The shafts have a u-joint that is very similar to a drive shat u-joint, except instead of the snap rings it is staked four times at each cap. I think removing those stakes for two caps to remove them, to rotate the joint 180*, would be a troublesome project. It might take longer than most people would want to spend, if there is another solution.

The steering wheels have two flatted sides inside the inner mount/hole. That means it will go on two ways. The steering column shaft has four flatted sides on its top end shaft, so I think the steering wheel will go on every 90 degrees.

I think I will leave the Mustang steering shaft as it is, bolt it on with the 94+ rack, and if the steering wheel is upside down, I'll flip that around later. I have plans to use a later model steering wheel anyway, this will be an excuse to make the swap sooner.
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91 Mark VII LSC SE 3.73's, with a 9.7:1 347 ready to go in soon.
98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
99 Explorer Limited SOHC A4WD old mail vehicle
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  #7  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:58 PM
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The tie rod on my Cougar's rack and pinion wore out and I just replaced the tie rod. Got an alignment afterwards, of course.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 92 LSC View Post
Last weekend I had front struts replaced along with new sway bar bushings with the help of Nick T.
?
What make and model of strut did you use?
Just wondering if you used the same Motorcraft struts that I used when I did mine a couple of weekends ago.
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  #9  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW6212R View Post
Hello Dave, I just looked at my spare parts carefully, the 94+ Mustang shaft, a spare Mark VII steering column and wheel, plus a Marauder steering wheel.

The shafts have a u-joint that is very similar to a drive shat u-joint, except instead of the snap rings it is staked four times at each cap. I think removing those stakes for two caps to remove them, to rotate the joint 180*, would be a troublesome project. It might take longer than most people would want to spend, if there is another solution.

The steering wheels have two flatted sides inside the inner mount/hole. That means it will go on two ways. The steering column shaft has four flatted sides on its top end shaft, so I think the steering wheel will go on every 90 degrees.

I think I will leave the Mustang steering shaft as it is, bolt it on with the 94+ rack, and if the steering wheel is upside down, I'll flip that around later. I have plans to use a later model steering wheel anyway, this will be an excuse to make the swap sooner.
Thanks for your input.
Yes I was hoping for a direct swap. I really don't want to start hacking things and going through junk yards.

Motorcraft struts and shocks I found were for a 92 LSC I got from Rock Auto about a year ago. New in a box. I wanted everything as factory stock as possible.
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  #10  
Old August 24th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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about the sloppy steering...

...before you go and spend $$$ and time on a rack, check the rag joint. Regardless of the mileage, it is rubber and the years take their toll as well.
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  #11  
Old August 24th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 92 LSC View Post
I wanted everything as factory stock as possible.
Funny you should say that. I got both a KYB strut and a Motorcraft strut and the KYB was closer to stock in design than the Motorcraft one.

I still have a pair of NEW struts if anyone is interested.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white lincoln View Post
Funny you should say that. I got both a KYB strut and a Motorcraft strut and the KYB was closer to stock in design than the Motorcraft one.

I still have a pair of NEW struts if anyone is interested.
I used the KYB GR-2 Struts and I am very happy with these also used KYB gas adjust for the rear.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 03:31 AM
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I used the KYB GR-2 Struts and I am very happy with these also used KYB gas adjust for the rear.
I used Motorcraft front and rear. All I know is it rides better than it did.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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...before you go and spend $$$ and time on a rack, check the rag joint. Regardless of the mileage, it is rubber and the years take their toll as well.
Well, i looked at that. With the hood open I can reach the steering shaft and turn it with my hand, very little but as you know the slightest slop will translate to band road manners.
I also think I am being a bit snobby about this, especially after driving the Lexus all week, but I feel the steering should be a bit tighter and more direct. I do remember it being better when i first got the car with 72k miles 4 years ago, it has 104k now.

What do you guys suggest as far as rack replacement? I am not in a rush to do this, but I do want to get to it at some point and do it properly.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Dave, if the goal is overall better steering, I think hunting a minor slop issue may be below what you are after. I took it that there was something wrong with your rack, but of course I let people decide what they want.

My steering parts also seem just a little less tight then I recall from 50k miles ago, but my rack began leaking badly. Right now I'm wondering if I will regret swapping another used rack in place, if the seals will leak in short order again.

The 2003/2004 Cobra had the best rack by opinion, and it bolts into any 79-04 Mustang, plus the Mark VII's using the right steering shaft.

That rack is still available from Ford as a rebuilt unit, for about $270 plus the core charge.

If improving the steering is a main goal, I'd begin with the 03/04 Cobra rack. Make sure if you do that that it has the proper casting number. The differences are all internal, and the casting number is all that can be seen outside. I found all of that information online, from the big Mustang handling sites, Corner Carvers etc.
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98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
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Old August 26th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW6212R View Post
Dave, if the goal is overall better steering, I think hunting a minor slop issue may be below what you are after. I took it that there was something wrong with your rack, but of course I let people decide what they want.

My steering parts also seem just a little less tight then I recall from 50k miles ago, but my rack began leaking badly. Right now I'm wondering if I will regret swapping another used rack in place, if the seals will leak in short order again.

The 2003/2004 Cobra had the best rack by opinion, and it bolts into any 79-04 Mustang, plus the Mark VII's using the right steering shaft.

That rack is still available from Ford as a rebuilt unit, for about $270 plus the core charge.

If improving the steering is a main goal, I'd begin with the 03/04 Cobra rack. Make sure if you do that that it has the proper casting number. The differences are all internal, and the casting number is all that can be seen outside. I found all of that information online, from the big Mustang handling sites, Corner Carvers etc.
Thanks again..
Cobra unit sounds sweet, but I really don't want to start changing steering shafts at this time.
Car is just a weekend cruiser but I want it to be in top notch condition.

Steering free play is just unpleasant in any car, but in this one its just gets annoying after a while. I love driving this car but on certain roads I find myself working the wheel more than usual to keep it going straight. It just ruins the experience.

Also I think I am done with my Dynomax Super Turbos. They are just too noisy for me. I got a pair of Dynomax Super Turbo Hemi mufflers that I'll install soon. Hope that quiets things down a bit, I still have the stock mufflers stored away, but thats last resort.
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Last edited by Dave 92 LSC; August 26th, 2012 at 10:46 AM.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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I believe that my steering shaft is as solid as any used one available. I will not ever need it again after I swap this rack etc, so if you'd like to try a small test I'll give it to you. That may tell you if you have more play in the steering shaft, or the rack. I'd bet it's most likely the shaft.

One other thought, how many miles are on your car, and the rear suspension? If the rear has typical high mileage/age wear, the back end is moving side to side a lot during any curves or lane changes.
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91 Mark VII LSC SE 3.73's, with a 9.7:1 347 ready to go in soon.
98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
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Old August 26th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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Im gonna have to play a bit more with the rack to narrow down the problem.

As for rear end, bushings are fine. There is hardly any play side to side, not sure about front to back movement...but I remember my 88 when it had worn out rear end bushings, I would notice the sway when I was braking or accelerating.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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Check the tie rods thoroughly, those are the weakest link in the steering. Usually poor front tire wear shows up soon though with loose tie rods.
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91 Mark VII LSC SE 3.73's, with a 9.7:1 347 ready to go in soon.
98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
99 Explorer Limited SOHC A4WD old mail vehicle
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Old August 27th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW6212R View Post
Check the tie rods thoroughly, those are the weakest link in the steering. Usually poor front tire wear shows up soon though with loose tie rods.
Agree, the rack teeth and pinion gear would have to wear quite a lot to be sloppy. Unlikely as the whole idea of rack and pinion is a tighter feel and they ride in oil. Any loosness in the steering will be more likely found in the tie rod ends, outer and inner and other steering and suspension componants.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 09:27 PM
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I started my front end rebuild about 110K. The Outer tierods were first. A good test is to have someone move the steering wheel back and forth while you hold your hand on the various steering components to feel for bumping. Outer and then inner. New parts are so stiff you think they are frozen. I bet the outers move easily. The next is the inners.

Most of the rebuilt racks I changed out had one or both inner tie rods go in short order.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 12:19 AM
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Super Turbos are quiet and flow well. I am not sure how quiet the Hemis are. Are they just a larger case? You may want to ensure you have two different length mufflers. I used 17734 and 17749 Super Turbos to reduce resonance or drone. Results were replicated with Jerry's (2ManyMarks) car.

For the steering slop, Ford never built in a lot of feel or weight. It's not lack of ability so much as lack of desire. I don't think they tuned in good feel until they started cross breeding the European Fords.

I Have an Motorcraft rebuilt '03 Cobra rack, a Maximum Motorsports steering shaft, and poly bushings in my '86, and Motorcraft tie rods from a Taurus. On the '89, I have an AGR rack, Moog tie rods, poly bushings, and a rebuilt rag joint. Neither have enough feel though the '86 has more weight and is more direct. I'd say start simple and replace the rack bushings and seriously consider rebuilding the rag joint first. I think there is a lot of slop there.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
I'd say start simple and replace the rack bushings
When you pull the inner sleeves note they have notches that have corresponding slots in the K-member they fit into.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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Super Turbos are quiet and flow well. I am not sure how quiet the Hemis are. Are they just a larger case? You may want to ensure you have two different length mufflers. I used 17734 and 17749 Super Turbos to reduce resonance or drone. Results were replicated with Jerry's (2ManyMarks) car.

For the steering slop, Ford never built in a lot of feel or weight. It's not lack of ability so much as lack of desire. I don't think they tuned in good feel until they started cross breeding the European Fords.

I Have an Motorcraft rebuilt '03 Cobra rack, a Maximum Motorsports steering shaft, and poly bushings in my '86, and Motorcraft tie rods from a Taurus. On the '89, I have an AGR rack, Moog tie rods, poly bushings, and a rebuilt rag joint. Neither have enough feel though the '86 has more weight and is more direct. I'd say start simple and replace the rack bushings and seriously consider rebuilding the rag joint first. I think there is a lot of slop there.
Thanks Nick, I just received the AGR 94-98 rack. That one was quicker to buy for me, a two day delivery. I'll get it on in the next couple of days.
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91 Mark VII LSC SE 3.73's, with a 9.7:1 347 ready to go in soon.
98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
99 Explorer Limited SOHC A4WD old mail vehicle
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Old September 14th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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I can make it work.
 
Join Date: August 5th, 2009
Location: Knoxville, TN.
Posts: 1,216
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Hello Dave, I'd like to post to recommend the AGR steering rack. I finally got it done and the toe reset(alignment) today.

The 1998 Mustang steering shaft I used matches the 94-04 racks, and the steering wheel remained straight. The previous report of the wheel ending up upside down isn't the case for my 91 LSC.

I like this new rack, but it does have a stiffer feel than the stock "Fox" racks. I didn't have any play before, so the change for mine is just having more feel, it takes a little more effort with the AGR rack.

I would probably take the time to order a Cobra 03/04 rack if I had the time to wait, and deal with the core issue. Some dealers will take any 94-04 rack as a core, maybe most or all of them do.


FYI, the 1990-92 Mark VII steering shaft is the same length as the 94-04 Mustang lower section of that shaft. The Mustang has two sections with a joint in the middle. We have two shafts, the short one at the rack, and the longer one which is very simple to unbolt from the steering column. Bolted together, the two Mark VII shafts match the 94-04 shaft in length.

So if anyone chooses to go with the 94-04 racks, the 94-04 steering shafts are also easy to come by.

I was rushed, sorry, so I never got out my camera.
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Don

91 Mark VII LSC SE 3.73's, with a 9.7:1 347 ready to go in soon.
98 Mountaineer project Saleen bumpers/wing
99 Explorer Limited SOHC A4WD old mail vehicle
72 Ranchero Sport

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