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Author Topic:   flaming river steering boxes
sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 2982
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-06-2002 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus   Click Here to Email sigtauenus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am about to make a large money decision on my car and am very hesitant to make it.

I would really like to tighten up my steering, and am willing to pay the price for a new flaming river box, but not so much for a rack and pinion setup. I've already paid $180 to have this box rebuilt once before and the rebuild didn't last a year before being sloppy again.

Has anybody tried the new FR boxes? I have replaced literally every single part in the front suspension and steering (except for having the steering box rebuilt vice new) and the steering is still sloppy and it pulls to one side with an alignment "within specs". Luckily it doesn't eat front tires right now although it has in the past. I would even be willing to replace all the dang tie rods and idler arm AGAIN with a new box for a tight steering system that drives straight and doesn't eat tires.

I know you can't have your cake and eat it too, but damn, these cars had to be straight at one point, right?

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mustang68mustangs
Gearhead

Posts: 466
From: pittsburgh,pa.usa
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 12-06-2002 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mustang68mustangs   Click Here to Email mustang68mustangs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check the archives on www.fordmuscle.com they did a review of the FR boxes.
Bob

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MrXerox
Gearhead

Posts: 348
From: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-06-2002 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrXerox   Click Here to Email MrXerox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might want to check out www.powersteering.com and get a quote from him as well. I had him rebuild my box in my 71 mach and get converted it to a quick ratio unit and his service and support was second to none not to mention the car steers like a dream now.

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Rory McNeil
Gearhead

Posts: 1615
From: Surrey, B.C. Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-07-2002 01:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rory McNeil   Click Here to Email Rory McNeil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sig, does your car have both headers and power steering? If so, the bracket used to lower the PS ram cylinder to work with most headers can contribute a lot of flex in the steering.

------------------
78 Fairmont 428 4 speed [email protected]
80 Fairmont 302 5 speed [email protected]
85 Mustang NHRA Stocker under construction, 302 5 speed
59 Meteor (Canadian Ford) 2 dr sedan 332, auto
74 F350 ramp truck 390 4spd

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sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 2982
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-08-2002 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus   Click Here to Email sigtauenus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My car steered awesome after the rebuild too, but it just didn't take long to get sloppy again.

Thanks for the links above. I didn't realize the FR boxes were re-engineered, not just a new casting on old blueprints.

I think I'll go for it and let you know how it turns out, probably won't happen until summer when I get back from Japan though.

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TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 6007
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 12-08-2002 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP   Click Here to Email TomP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alignment "within specs" is not a good thing... zero caster is within specs and makes a very spooky handling car that will feel like you are steering it with a rope tied to the spindles. Cranking in as much caster as possible by pulling the strut rods forward and shimming the front upper control arm bolt so it tips the arm rearward will help even if you exceed "specs" by 5 degrees or more.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 26813
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 12-08-2002 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The FR stuff is Top Notch. NO BRAG, JUST FACT! We use and highly recomend it.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
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The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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cobravenom71
Gearhead

Posts: 1042
From: Poinciana, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-08-2002 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobravenom71   Click Here to Email cobravenom71     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ditto the thumbs-up on the FR products. Expensive, but the money is well spent, and you get gratification every time you take 'your baby in hand'.

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sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 2982
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-08-2002 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus   Click Here to Email sigtauenus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomP:
Alignment "within specs" is not a good thing... zero caster is within specs and makes a very spooky handling car that will feel like you are steering it with a rope tied to the spindles. Cranking in as much caster as possible by pulling the strut rods forward and shimming the front upper control arm bolt so it tips the arm rearward will help even if you exceed "specs" by 5 degrees or more.

I've probably had my car aligned 3 or 4 times in my quest to get it to drive straight, and the last time I had it at the shop they got it all rigged up with the computer while I waited, and then the guy called me in to look at it and said they didn't have to touch it because it was already "within specs".

So, if there's a range that the different parameters can be in, caster, camber, toe in, where do I want the alignment shop to positively put them so that the car both drives straight and doesn't eat tires?

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blown 351
Journeyman

Posts: 68
From: Seattle, Wa. 98258
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 12-09-2002 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blown 351   Click Here to Email blown 351     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dont' be surprised if the FR box is tight after first put it in and for the next 2000-3000 miles. All the ones I've seen installed are. The sector gear adjustment will be WAY out also. I don't recommend any adjustment or disturbance to it. FR will not want to warranty it if it's cranked in. I believe the FR box it every bit as good as TCP's rack. If I did nothing but roadcourse with TCP's coil overs, then I might be inclined to switch to their rack, but it's not worth it for the style driving I do.

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horseballz
Gearhead

Posts: 291
From: LasVegas,NV
Registered: Dec 99

posted 12-09-2002 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for horseballz   Click Here to Email horseballz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
sig,
I have been led to believe that the alignment specs for your car were designed for bias ply tires and are not right for modern radials. Even though the cars mentioned at this link https://mustangsandmore.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/008317.html are different than yours it should give you a good general idea of what I'm talking about. Also "Within Specs" covers a lot of ground meaning anywhere between one number and another. With three different measurement specs times two (three for each wheel) this creates six variables, which means that depending on where the measurements actually fall within those ranges, two identical cars with identical tires could handle dramatically different from each other, even though they are both "Within Specs". Find out what the preferred settings should be and get a good alignment shop to set them to exactly that and you should be happier. Someone please correct me if this information I'm giving is wrong. Also if any one knows where to find the best alignmentt specs for sig's car and for '68 Mustangs it would be appreciated, incuding both specs for stock suspension and with the one inch Shelby drop.

Thaks to all,
Gene (horseballz)

[This message has been edited by horseballz (edited 12-09-2002).]

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Jeff
Gearhead

Posts: 306
From: Moore, OK USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-09-2002 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff   Click Here to Email Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm quite happy with the FR box in my '65. Have ProMotorsport vario-centric camber kit on my car and their variable rate GT springs (Eibach). FR box is a bit smaller in size than the factory box.

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seaweed
Gearhead

Posts: 134
From: MA.
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-09-2002 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seaweed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had same prob. Went w FR box & car was like new. I think all FR boxes have the 16 to 1 ratio. Easy to lnstall, no adjustments its a sealed unit.---Frank.

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sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 2982
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-09-2002 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus   Click Here to Email sigtauenus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
awesome. I'm sold on the FR box, just need to find out the alignment specs to go with.

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indyphil
Gearhead

Posts: 2690
From: Senoia, G.A. USA
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 12-09-2002 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indyphil   Click Here to Email indyphil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While we are talking about steering boxes can anyone tell me what the ratio is on a 68 with power steering?
Mine feels very easy to turn the wheel but I have to turn it like 4 and 3/4 turns to go from lock to lock. I would like it to be more like 2-3 turns lock to lock.

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seaweed
Gearhead

Posts: 134
From: MA.
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-09-2002 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seaweed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My car is a 68 shelby & the ratio w the orignal box was 16 to 1. & that is w power steer.That is all I can tell you. FR has a web page w phone #s.--I would call them & ask them.---Frank.

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seaweed
Gearhead

Posts: 134
From: MA.
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-09-2002 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seaweed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could be wrong, but I think on some models of 68 the ratio is 19 to 1.---If the car came w the 390 GT engine then I think it could be the 16 to 1 ratio.---Frank

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 7145
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-09-2002 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seaweed:
I could be wrong, but I think on some models of 68 the ratio is 19 to 1.---If the car came w the 390 GT engine then I think it could be the 16 to 1 ratio.---Frank

ALL 68 Mustangs w/power steering were 16:1, regardless of engine size-including 6 banger.

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hotboy1966
Gearhead

Posts: 151
From: Everett, Wa. USA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 12-10-2002 12:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hotboy1966   Click Here to Email hotboy1966     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sig,
Aligment with a computer is a waste of money on old Mustangs. Find a shop with a mechanic that knows how to use a Caster/Camber gauge and let him go to work. Most chain outfits will NOT have this kind of skill.
I spend quite a bit of time talking with the mechanic that aligns my car...and I am there watching through the entire process looking over his shoulder.
Have the camber angle set at -1 deg, Caster set at -3deg, and toe-in set to 0" This should get you a very "controlled" feel to the steering.
I saw someone mention -5 deg Caster is possible by shimming out one of the Control Arm mounting bolts...food for thought...I might have ot try that soon.

------------------
Dave
68 Coupe, 289, restomod in process
68 GT Fastback, resto in process
97 Cobra .vert, daily driver

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67coupe
Gearhead

Posts: 491
From: dallas NC usa
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-10-2002 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67coupe   Click Here to Email 67coupe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hot boy id have to disagree the computer machines are very useful with a technication that knows what he is doing i can align any car to drive right with one that is properly calibrated but u r right the old caster camber gagues are simple and usally are fairly accurate for these cars. and 5 degrees of caster isnt real stable on older stangs cuz of the short spindle geomentry i spent many hours expermenting with my car and 1 -2 degrees seemed to work the best on it with bout-3/4* of camber and a and -.05-.1* of toe

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Josh
67 coupe with 351c
8.41 in the 1/8
1.90 60'
at 82.03 mph
94 Explorer
30 model A currently rustbucket
in process 67 convt with efi 5.0 and t5

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68 S-code GT
Gearhead

Posts: 2968
From: Sayreville, NJ, US
Registered: Mar 2000

posted 12-12-2002 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 68 S-code GT   Click Here to Email 68 S-code GT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did you get a print out from the shop telling you what specs the car was set up as? I had a shop tell me that they couldn?t get it and I needed a whole new front end. I told them to look again because I had replaced everything! It turned out that they punch the code for the wrong car into the computer. So much for just looking up the specs in a book.

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