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Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 03-25-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1965 Mustang-Steering column shaft length?

Hi all,

My first clue about a steering column problem was that when I got into the car, I could barely squeeze in b/t the steering wheel and the seat. (No, I do not have a beer belly.)

PO had changed out the steering column collar (right behind the steering wheel) to a size wider than the correct 1-1/4” wide collar. Shaft bearing was different also (subject of previous posts). After getting all the correct parts and putting it all back together, there remains a gap of nearly ½” b/t the collar and the wheel. (see pic)

My only conclusion is that the steering column shaft (with a slightly longer length) was added in some time in the last 45 years.

The car has power steering, but I can’t tell if it was original to the car. Maybe it was added later with the wrong steering column shaft length? Maybe the power steering unit is not original and required a longer shaft? Are shorter shafts available, or do they need to be matched to a particular steering box? Are the shafts even available at all? I don’t see them in the catalogues. Anyone know of a source?

Any help or advice much appreciated!
1965 Mustang-Steering column shaft length?-column-spacing-001.jpg
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Unread 03-25-2010   #2 (permalink)
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The steering shaft from the steering gear to the steering wheel is a fixed, solid shaft of equal length on all 65-66 cars. That collar is adjustable to change the gap. Just yesterday in Mustang Monthly there was a detailed article on it coincidentally. If you don't get the magazine, you should lol. If you don't here is a link to the article online How To Replace A Steering Gear - Mustang Monthly Magazine
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Unread 03-25-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info and link, Icerat. However, I don't see how the collar itself is adjustable. It is attached at the end of the tube with two square headed bolts (1/2" long, I think) -- the square heads fit into slots on the tube itself, then come up into the collar, then secured by two nuts inside the collar where the turn signal switch sits.

In other words, all the connections are of a set length.

What adjustment do you mean?
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Unread 03-25-2010   #4 (permalink)
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If you loosen the clamp under your instrument panel the whole column slides up, around the shaft, and moves closer to the wheel. The collar is fixed to where you position the shaft. Sorry if my original description was a bit confusing. The collar itself is not the adjustable part.
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Unread 03-25-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Get the Tag number, either post, or call.

This will assist in the ID of the box-Length, etc. Reason I'm asking, Is it a Mustang Box??

These old cars have been altered Many Times over the years.

Dan

Last edited by ScottHalliday; 04-01-2010 at 06:51 AM.
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Unread 03-25-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I will look at tube adjustment and will try to ID the steering box.

If I can move the tube upward, I'll close the gap, but I'll still have the problem of a tight squeeze between the steering wheel and my position in the seat, even when the seat's all the way back.

Chockostang: would a steering box from another mustang style or year, or maybe from something like a maverick or falcon be interchangeable with the original box? You may be right that the box has been changed -- that, or someone changed the column shaft itself. Is it "typical" that one or the other would have been changed separately?

Also, if I ultimately need to change out the box, do I specifically need a 1965 unit (my car built June of '65)? I'm assuming it will have to be a power unit? or can a manual box fit and/or be modified? Thanks for help and advice.
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Unread 03-25-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsa65 View Post
Hi all,
(No, I do not have a beer belly).
But he's trying Verrry hard!

Daniel, as mentioned the box and steering shaft are pretty much one piece unless you remove the box with the shaft and dissaemble the box, pics from Randy help a lot to understand:
http://www.stangerssite.com/HowItWorksSteeringBox.html

Here's how to read your gearbox tag:
http://www.stangerssite.com/steeringboxtagdecoder.html

PS gearboxes should be 16:1 and 'most' manual steer are 19:1. Use the chart to make sure you get the right ratio and output shaft sized (1"). You can find them on fleabay often, just make sure it's got the tag to identify it. Like any other used part it's a crapshoot if you're getting someting that needs a rebuild now or later, if yours turns out to be right you may want to have it rebuilt if it's sloppy.

By the way I'll be in FW next week if you want to work on that beer belly again
Jon
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Unread 03-26-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsa65 View Post
Thanks guys. I will look at tube adjustment and will try to ID the steering box.

If I can move the tube upward, I'll close the gap, but I'll still have the problem of a tight squeeze between the steering wheel and my position in the seat, even when the seat's all the way back.

Chockostang: would a steering box from another mustang style or year, or maybe from something like a maverick or falcon be interchangeable with the original box? You may be right that the box has been changed -- that, or someone changed the column shaft itself. Is it "typical" that one or the other would have been changed separately?

Also, if I ultimately need to change out the box, do I specifically need a 1965 unit (my car built June of '65)? I'm assuming it will have to be a power unit? or can a manual box fit and/or be modified? Thanks for help and advice.
Well I kinda blew my own theory. I was thinking the 61 62 Falcon box (Also C3DR) had a slighly longer shaft than the 65 66 Mustang---It is not, it is shorter, so that ended that.

The 64 65 Falcon is shorter yet.

As far as someone putting in a longer shaft,. No, none are avaiable, the 65 66 67 Mustang is the longest shaft installed in the C3DA Boxes, ALL Boxes 4 turn, 5 turn have same length shaft.

4 turn, 5 turn will work with without PS.

If you have a Non Power steering car with a 5 turn box "Manual", I'd advise sticking with it.

Putting a 4 turn "Power Steering" box in without Power Steering will make it turn HARDER.

Dan

Last edited by ScottHalliday; 04-01-2010 at 06:51 AM.
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Unread 03-26-2010   #9 (permalink)
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So, the great thing about this forum is that you get to meet such great people and get such great info.

The downside is that you can't even make the slightest exaggeration without someone calling you on it. So, since Jon is such a stickler for details -- steering box codes and waist line measurements -- I will say that maybe, just maybe, I have a slight beer belly. Relatively speaking, it is MODEST sized! OK, Jon!? I will NOT post a picture, which I'm sure you're all thankful for.

Icerat, I adjusted the tube and now have a snug fit. Thanks for that advice!

The stangerssite is great, Jon, so thanks again for the referral. Chockostang, my code is HCC AW // 5F01B. This would seem to be correct for my 6/10/65 mustang. But, stangerssite uses a "HCC AW" tag as an example and describes it as power steering, whereas the chart indicates it's manual. ?? I may contact him for clarification. (Mine is ps.)

BUT STILL, I have the tight squeeze into the seat, which I never had with any other mustang.

Jon, despite your reflections on my mid-section, I'm always up for getting together when you're in town! Give me a call! Look forward to seeing you. Daniel
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Unread 03-26-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Daniel, I didn't mean to infer that you had a beer belly at all, just that you enjoy working on one, as do I....hard to come across in writing that I wasn't pointing out physical attibutes, just liquid ones

Is that a stock type steering wheel? it looks really deep which would put it closer to your midsection. Maybe you could measure from the bottom of the wheel to a fixed point on the dash and see if others with a '65 get the same measurement, at least it would tell you if the wheel juts out any farther than normal. If you could extend your seat slide more than stock would that help?

I'll give you a text or call next week when I'm in town, maybe we should meet at a gym this time?
Jon
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Unread 03-26-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Randy (Stanger) is Correct. The AW is a Power Steering Box. Sorry if I indicated otherwise. Randy is a Very Professional, Very through individual, yes Carol and I know him personally.

The 4 Turn Boxes are 65 66--AW/AX, the 67 Boxes SMB B, or SMB J.

Dam sure not going to relate in any Fashion, to the Fit___ I'm out there.

Good Luck, Have Fun with your Classic, that's what it is all about. Yes, been doing it for 40 Years.

Dan @

ChockoStang

Last edited by ScottHalliday; 04-01-2010 at 06:52 AM.
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Unread 03-26-2010   #12 (permalink)
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All in good fun, Jon!

Like your idea about measurements, but car's back in the shop. Heard a "thunk" in the front end and found out they'd only run the nuts up half-way onto the shafts of the new LH upper control arm! whatever happened to qualify control? Glad they didn't shear off, but luckily I'd only driven a few miles since the R&R.

Chockostang, no question about Randy's knowledge and professionalism. But any idea why the chart shows a "HCC AW" as manual steering? Since I'm assuming mine's the original power steering unit, the chart code should be a "P" as Randy says, shouldn't it?
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