Power Steering Upgrade

I have owned this Mustang since 1974, and in all that time I always said I much preferred manual steering to power steering. I got much better feedback from the manual steering, and once I got used to it, I found the steering effort to be fine the majority of the time. Now that I have aged a bit, I find the steering effort required for parking to be more challenging for me as I don’t have the same upper body strength that I used to possess. This led to my decision to add power steering to the car.

In researching power steering systems for the Mustang I found several solutions. I immediately ruled out anything that required what I consider to be larger modifications to the car. This eliminated things like a Mustang II front end swap. I also decided to rule out any rack and pinion steering upgrades as my current steering system was in good shape and didn’t warrant complete replacement. This left me with three viable alternatives. They were factory power steering, a Borgeson replacement power steering system, and electric power assist steering.

  • Factory Power Steering: This has the benefits of being a direct bolt in swap and providing a faster steering ratio. The downsides are that it is a complicated system and would require me to add a power steering pump and pulleys to the engine.
  • Borgeson Power Steering: This system would also give a faster steering ratio and is a much simpler system as the assist mechanism is contained within the steering box. This system is also less expensive than the other two solutions. The downsides are that I would need to add a pump and pulleys to the engine and the steering box is known to have clearance issues with the clutch linkage.
  • Electric Assist Power Steering: This has the benefit of being electric not having a pump that mounts to the engine, so no new pulleys or engine modifications are required. It attaches to the existing steering box and utilizes the existing steering system, so no modifications to the steering system are required. The amount of steering assist is easily adjusted with a potentiometer mounted under the dash. Since the entire system mounts to the steering column, the steering column would require either modification or replacement with a pre-modified column. Also packaging under the dash could get tricky as there is limited available space. For a decent fabricator, junkyard parts would provide a low-cost version that is less expensive than the other two systems. If you purchase a pre-modified steering column this becomes the most expensive of the three systems.

In the end I chose to go with the electric power assist steering. Rather than attempt to roll my own I chose to purchase a kit that included a pre-modified tilt steering column, which now gives me the luxury of tilt steering in addition to the power steering. The downside is the cost of the kit plus the additional cost of the Ididit steering column. If I later decide I want a faster steering ratio, I can replace my existing steering box with a faster ratio steering box. I may choose to make that change at some point down the road.

There are three choices for the new Ididit steering column I’m ordering, paintable steel, chrome, or black powder coating. I chose the paintable steel, as I plan to paint the new column to match the existing dash color. With my decision made, I placed my order and am now just waiting for the new power steering system to ship. I plan to provide pictures and updates when I perform the actual installation.