When you're building a car for the track and the street, there are many conflicting elements that must be resolved when combining these two functions. What's good for the street may be a poor addition to a race car, but sacrifices and compromises need to be made. One of them is fitting the car with power steering. It isn't too common to see a car out on the track with power steering, unless it's because it spends a lot of time on the street. The convenience of power-assisted steering on the street is impossible to overlook. The popular Pro Touring style of today's muscle cars usually includes a smaller-than-stock steering wheel and large sticky tires up front that make manual steering difficult to manage, especially for a smaller person like me. With so much focus on comfort in these rides, power steering is a no-brainer.
Our '66 Mustang, Project Street Fighter, is tuned more to the track than to the street when it comes to creature comforts, but this is one thing we had to have. So far, our front end is loaded with Total Control Products coilovers, sway bar, and quick-ratio power rack. Out back is TCP's matching coilover four-bar setup with a sway bar. This car is going to do some serious turning in its life, and a factory pump was not going to be able to take the heat. We're using an aluminum remote-reservoir-style pump with a KRC bracket and pulley to pressurize the system. We mounted Total Control Product's polished aluminum reservoir right next to the coolant overflow to keep things neat in the engine bay. From there we assembled the power steering hoses from TCP's line-and-fitting kit, mating the pump, rack, and reservoir together. For an additional $120, TCP will upgrade your hoses from the high-pressure blue lines to stainless steel braided versions. Both are plenty strong, but the stainless may work with your engine bay better. We stuck with the basic blue lines since there isn't a stitch of steel braid in our bay so far.
Routing the hoses was definitely the most difficult part of the project because you must take special care to avoid any place where they can rub or be heated. Because the Mustang doesn't run yet, we didn't get to bleed the system, but once Project Street Fighter is up and running, we'll get that taken care of.
First thing was to install...
First thing was to install KRC's pump and bracket, which we ordered through Total Control Products. The kit includes several sets of spacers to adjust the pulley's position to line up with the others.
We found a spot on the inner...
We found a spot on the inner fender next to the coolant overflow to mount the steering reservoir. The bracket goes in first, so we marked the bracket's holes to drill with a spring-loaded punch. Since the inner fender is angled, TCP produces a cool bracket to keep the reservoir upright.
Here you can see the inner...
Here you can see the inner Allen bolts that put tension against the reservoir. This whole assembly bolts to the angled bracket in the previous photo. The bracket gets tightened over the reservoir before it gets bolted to the inner fender.
Make sure that the fittings...
Make sure that the fittings at the base of the overflow have a clear path to their destinations before giving the bracket bolts their final tightening.
With the hard parts installed,...
With the hard parts installed, we can start to plan out our lines. Total Control Product's kit included more than enough high-pressure hose and line to connect the dots.
With tape centered over the...
With tape centered over the cut line we made earlier, we cut the hose with a cutoff wheel; a fine-tooth blade on a hack saw works well too, but power is more fun.
Now, time to assemble lines....
Now, time to assemble lines. We began by installing a fitting on one end of the hose so that we could thread that fitting on one end, and route the line exactly how it will be placed for a more precise measurement, which we marked with a permanent marker.
The nut side of the fitting...
The nut side of the fitting slips over the hose after the tape is removed. The male end of the fitting screws into the nut to create the seal. A dab of oil on the threads eases installation.
There should be a 1/16- to...
There should be a 1/16- to 1/8-inch gap between the two parts when tightened, but keep in mind that the orientation of the bends is also important.
To determine the orientation,...
To determine the orientation, we tightened the finished end of the hose to one end (the harder end to get to) and placed the second fitting near its destination and marked the nut showing which way the fitting should curve.
Routing should be kept away...
Routing should be kept away from anything hot, moving, or sharp. Zip ties work great for keeping the hoses bundled and away from danger.
TCP recommends using petroleum-based...
TCP recommends using petroleum-based power steering fluid for their racks and pumps. Do not use ATF or synthetic fluid. To fill and bleed the system, raise the front wheels off the ground and have a friend turn the steering wheel from lock-to-lock while maintaining the fluid level in reservoir. Once the system is filled, run the engine while moving the wheels from lock-to-lock, allowing air bubbles in the system to be forced out.
|WHERE THE MONEY WENT
|Power steering reservoir, pump,
|bracket, hoses, and fittings
|Reservoir 14-degree adapter
| (to mount to inner fender)
|ALL PARTS, DEAL
|THE COST SO FAR
|Battery replace and relocation
|Radiator and fans
|Spindles, front brakes, wheels tires
|Trunk rehab and tool box
|Rack-and-pinion steering, column, and wheel
|9-inch rear and brakes
|Engine bay cleanup with engine sale
|Smeding 427 Windsor
|Keisler five-speed swap
|Paint and body supplies
|JME gauge pod and glove door
|Interior overhaul with seat sale
|Subframe connectors, center support, and loop
|Power steering accessories