67 Mustang Tie Rods - Adjustment question. - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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67 Mustang Tie Rods - Adjustment question.

I'm getting ready to do the Shelby drop on my Stang this coming weekend. I'm also going to replace the strut rod bushings. To prep, I started spraying PB Blaster on the adjustment points. Something odd I noticed is the tie rod adjusters are bottomed out (screwed together) on the driver side and lots of threads hanging out on each end on the passenger side. What gives with that?

I do have an alignment tool that will at least get me close so I can drive it to the shop but I'm concerned I won't have enough adjustment on the tie rod ends to set proper toe in since the drivers side appears to be bottomed out.

Any ideas? Is there a way to recenter the tie rods to allow for a more even adjustment?

This is a 289 car with what looks like relatively newer suspension pieces and stock setup. I bought the car about a month ago as a project car (pics attached) and it feels like the steering isn't adjusted right. Wonders on the road and doesn't return to center. I thought I would do the Shelby drop and re-align the car per DazeCars recommendations. I'd like to upgrade to the Borgeson power steering or even rack and pinion at some point but not in the budget right now.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

This car also has a C4 tranny that is driving me nuts. I hate the RPM's it needs to drive down the highway at 70 mph. It appears to have a 2.80 rear gear. I'd like to upgrade to a T-5 soon but a full kit cost is about 4 grand. Damn. I thought about locating a donor 80's/90's mustang and sourcing parts but wondering if I would just be adding complexity by doing that.

Thanks all!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Ok, so it looks like I can turn both adjusters the same way to center but would then need to pull the steering wheel to recenter that?

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Yes, you will need to recenter the steering wheel. But I don't understand your comment about RPM's needed to drive 70. If I recall correctly, with 2.80 gears your RPM's should be around 2500. If they are a lot higher and you really do have 2.80, then something else is going on. But as I read your posting again, maybe you are complaining about the C4, not the gearing?

If you replace the C4 with a T-5, it would be a good time to change the gearing.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Charles Reeves View Post
But I don't understand your comment about RPM's needed to drive 70. If I recall correctly, with 2.80 gears your RPM's should be around 2500. If they are a lot higher and you really do have 2.80, then something else is going on. .
The C4 is a good tranny... and these engines are designed to run at the higher RPM's going down the freeway (as compared to the typical 1500 rpm of the new cars).. but, like Charles, I'm betting somebody changed the diff gears to either 3.50's or 3.75....which would then have your engine "singing" at 3k! Just cause it says it...that doesn't mean that's what it is.....jack the diff in the air, count the number of tire revolutions to the driveshaft revolutions... that will quickly tell you if you have the 2.80's.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Someone may have not put the parts together correctly. The steering gear box needs to be centered first before anything is installed. Unless something has been damaged the tie rods on each side should be nearly the same length with plenty of adjustment available in either direction for both. There are dozens of things that could be done wrong, or damaged, so you need to examine it all. Putting the steering wheel on in a correct orientation is almost the last thing you would do.

Don't blame your C4 for engine RPM unless its not shifting into high gear. Running in high gear a factory C4, 4-speed or 3-speed will all give you the same engine RPM. With a factory tire size and a 2.80 axle you should be at 2580 RPM at 70 MPH which is not at all high. A new car with a 9-speed automatic might run 1500 at that speed but there is no car from the 60s which did that.

From Beechkid's comment above mine it may be that we have driven the same new cars? The last Challenger I rented (2018) was geared for 1416 RPM at 70 MPH in 8th gear. But if you were in a hurry it could also do 40 MPH in 1st gear at 6k RPM.

Newer cars do 1500 RPM while cruising but if you put your foot down they very smoothly and nearly instantly shift and you will be doing 4-5k RPM. Its all done to improve MPG. A C4 can't shift that quickly or smoothly which is why no one expected them to cruise at 1500. 20 MPG from a C4 Mustang was also considered good while today if your higher HP car does not get nearly 40 MPG in cruise mode there is something wrong.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I disagree with the C4 shifting quickly or smoothly. In comparison to any other hydraulically governed transmissions, it's got fantastic shift quality. In comparison to the new electronic ones, of course, it's a little slower, but the shifts are one of the things I actually LOVE about my C4.

In stock form, a lot of older automatics tend to be mushy, indecisive, and either shift too soft when you're on it hard, burning friction materials, or else shift too hard, barking tires and slamming into gears with a vengeance when you're puttering slowly through town. Many, like the AOD, also 'shift by committee' and seem to take forever to decide when it's appropriate to shift.

In contrast, the C4's simple design works beautifully. Your RPM determines when it will shift, and your throttle position determines how hard. When you're gentle, it shifts gently. When you're romping on the skinny pedal, it slams into gear with authority. It doesn't dither when you use the kickdown (full throttle) and whether shifted automatically or manually, it is never indecisive or slow to change gears.

Its only downside is the fact that it has only three gears. This favors an engine with a broad torque band over a peaky race-only engine. Some of that can be overcome with a high stall converter, but then you lose a lot of efficiency and economy. For a car that sees a lot of highway use (80 mph) I would stick to 2.80-3.25 gears.

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Last edited by Grimbrand; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:28 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I don't disagree but I was comparing a C4 to the modern ones not to those of its day. Without a tach you will be hard pressed to tell when a modern ZF shifts or even what gear its in. It is so quick and smooth shifting, both up and down, that there is hardly any comparison to something from the 60s.
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First you need to center the steering box by counting the turns from lock to lock, dividing by 2 and turning back to center that many turns and lock the steering down. If the steering wheel is not straight at this point, remove and reinstall at the correct position. Then adjust the tie rods so that the wheels are straight and set your toe.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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If you have the factory steering box and column there may be a centering mark stamped on the top end of the shaft. Both of our '66s have a straight line stamped mark which will be pointing straight up when the steering box is centered. Of course, since the steering is not a 1:1 ratio it will also point straight up several other times as well. But if you are anywhere close to centered that mark can guide you to where the factory thought center should have been.
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