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Old 05-03-2004, 06:47 PM
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Mustang II IFS Steering Adjustment

Can anyone tell me what the procedure is for adjusting the steering (taking out the "play") on the FatMan Mustang II IFS?

Just curious. I've got about 1-inch of play in my steering and usually it feels fine ... but once in a while, it gets "sticky" -- I mean I have to push against it. Like if I'm making an adjustment while driving, moving to the left a bit, it'll kind of lock up there and when I want to turn back to the right, I feel resistance. Then, the next day I get in it and all that disappears and doesn't happen again. Any clues?

Thanks.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup

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Old 05-03-2004, 08:36 PM
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Are we talking rack and pinion steering?

Vince
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:20 AM
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Hey, Vince

Forgive me, but I honestly don't know!

I THINK it's rack and pinion ... but how would I know for sure? Here's the site for FatMan Mustang II IFS if that helps.

Thanks for your assistance.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:11 AM
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Arrow

It's a rack and pinion system...
  • Did they or you supply the rack?
  • New or used?
  • Is it power or manual?
  • Are you using a Saginaw steering pump?
  • Did they supply the steering and coupling kit?
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:43 AM
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Alan,

You need to check your entire front end. If your kit uses the strut rod eliminators have a qualified mechanic check the crossmember and all welds for cracks. If it's the bolt on system make sure all bolts are tight, and consider having it welded in. Make sure you check where the lower "A" arm bolts to the crossmember. This is a trouble spot when strut rod eliminators are used. If your setup uses strut rods then have him check where the strut rod mounts to the frame for the same thing. Don't be alarmed but there have been failures of these systems and they need to be checked on a regular basis (a couple times a year) to make sure everything is still working properly.

If all the welds are still good and there are no cracks anywhere then the rack would be suspect. Manual racks are fairly cheap so I would just replace it if that's the problem. If its a power rack then it could be the rack or the pump, or even the lines. One other possibility is the steering linkage from your steering column to the rack. The joints generally use hex screws with lock nuts on a double "D" shaft. If any of them have come loose you could have some play in the system. If they come off you'll loose steering control so have them checked as well.

How many miles on the front end? You might also check bushings and ball joints as well as checking for play in the front wheel bearings. It's always a good idea on any vehicle that was built using adapted systems to check them a couple times a year. It's the people who just assume everything's fine that run into trouble. Checking stuff on a regular basis can keep a small problem from becoming a catastrophic failure down the road.

Centerline
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:17 PM
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KULTULZ -- This setup came with the truck when I bought it, so I don't have any of the paperwork or spec's. It's manual. Steering is a Caddy steering wheel/column with Borgeson couplings.

Centerline -- I just had a good mechanic look everything over; no cracks ... it's welded in (good welds) ... crossmember bolts are 5/8" bolts. All seems to be in good, sound condition and installed well.

I'll have another mechanic look it over and get a second opinion.

THANKS all.

Alan
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by horvath
Centerline -- I just had a good mechanic look everything over; no cracks ... it's welded in (good welds) ... crossmember bolts are 5/8" bolts. All seems to be in good, sound condition and installed well.
If all is OK with the Mustang unit then it sounds to me like a rack problem.

Centerline
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:41 AM
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What would I look for? This is an area that's totally new to me ... but then so was wiring when I first came here last year.


Alan
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:45 AM
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I would disconnect the steering shaft from the rack stub shaft then check the play @ that shaft. That would isolate it from the rest of the system. If there is even the SLIGHTEST play there, I would replace the steering gear. They are pretty cheap and not worth trying to rebuild.
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:59 AM
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Thumbs up

Like willy's says...

What you are looking for is a tight spot/binding condition or excess play like you feel in a steering box when it is starting to go. Don't forget to check the rack mount insulators while at it. If you replace the rack, replace those just as a safety precaution.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:13 AM
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I was just about to post this same question... although mine is more about "too much play". I dorve my 36 Chevy to my shop this morning and all the sudden it started giving TOO much play.

Could this be the same problem as Horvaths?

Thanks
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:23 AM
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Yep.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:09 PM
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I would support the front end on both lower control arms. The try moving the wheels un a turning motion, and see if the rack moves. I have seen racks where they appeared tight, but actually moved on the mounting brackets/bolts. They did not appear loose while the wheels were hanging. Once the wheels were supported in normal position, they moved. If the rack is tight, then move the wheels, lock to lock, to see if you can find a tight or loose spot.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:59 PM
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Great info. THANKS guys. I'll give her a check today, if the weather is good.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:25 PM
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Red face

I had the same problem with my 41 Willys. Here's what happened.
I temporarily set up the steering column to make sure everything fit using a 3/4 wood dowel for the steering shaft. ( that way you don't hav to scrap the real thing). I removed the springs so I could go through full travel and steer at each spot. All was fine. i then drilled the countersinks in all of the shafts and assemble the whole thing. First thing happens is a bin/stick right at the middle. I wound up taking everything apart before I discovered that one of the U Joints was bottomed out on the steering rod. I cut about another 1/4 inch off the shaft and everything worked out perfectly.
Be sure the jamb nuts and set screws don't rub or hit anything like headers.

Please note that this is in addition to all of the other fine help above.

Be sure you have good rubber bushings in the rack mount and properly tighten the bolts.

If you have play in the rack itseld I think you are in for a new/rebuilt one. I got one at AZ for about 180 bucks.

bentwings
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