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Discussion Starter #1
I'm experiencing a massively loose steering issue ever since I bought my mustang. Shes a 289 w/ power steering and aftermarket headers. I want to do a whole suspension/steering change and I have been shopping around for a while but I'm still basically a novice.

Anyway I have been looking at the vector series suspension kit from speed direct and I have a few questions.

1) Is the kit worth the money?
2) Are there better options with similar upgrades?
3) Does anyone have experience with this kit (pros/cons)?
4) I'm a college student just getting into cars so if there is any steering/suspension advice in general, i'm all ears.

SpeedDirect.com - Vector Series Complete Suspension System

My budget isn't huge and this basically all I can afford. Are there any better options to consider. I'd like to go with rack and pinion.

Thanks!!!!
 

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I had major steering issues when I picked up my 66, mainly that I had a lot of lateral movement at high speeds and about an inch of extra play in the steering wheel. If I hit a bump on the freeway, I'd be wobbling for a few seconds before it would right itself... pretty uneasy feeling.

A few things to consider if you're on a tight budget: Check the ball joints. If they're bad, like mine were, swapping them could give you a huge improvement in handling and are only about $20-30 + your labor and not too hard for a novice. Your steering gear box may also need a rebuild. I ran across a guy at an auto swap meet selling reconditioned gear boxes, and picked one up minus my core swap for $100. A 1" or larger front sway bar (assuming you don't already have one) could help too, I grabbed a used one for $40 and just put new bushings. Shocks make a big difference if yours are at the end of their life, New end links if they're worn... etc. But you'd really need to narrow down where your problem is coming from before you start changing out random things.

I did the upper ball joints, larger sway bar, steering gear box swap and new shocks and virtually eliminated my issues. Those all came around $300 I think. Let us know more about your specific issue and we can try to help narrow down what the culprit(s) may be.
 

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I'm considering unisteer for my 66 - lot less money - a lot of peoplke have them - I heard they need a little massgaing to get to fit - but may be worth it from a price standpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a lot of slack in my steering wheel and at speed its very hard to keep my car going in a straight line. Bumps completely change the direction I'm heading too.

It looks like I'm not ready to plunk down the money for this since I don't know too much about it.

Any thoughts?

I do want to go R&P in the future but I wouldnt be against stuff like the ball joints instead of the whole swap.

Thanks!
 

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I'd start small, diagnose those issues and move from there. I'd love to get me a new RNP and complete kit too, but in the interest of other things in the meantime, a few quick (proper) fixes might serve you well enough while other stuff comes up that demands your money.

A few things you can try- jack up the front of your car, grab each wheel and try to wiggle them- side to side, up, down... if there's a lot of movement, that's a sign of bad ball joints. It should be relatively stiff with hardly any movement at all. A general inspection of your suspension components might show some obvious signs, too. Loose control arms, worn bushings, etc... are all things that can give you the wobble. Also consider greasing up all the joints that require it...

You can try adjusting your steering gear box (there's an adjustment screw on it), though I didn't try it. Mine was 45 years old and had never been touched, and coupled with the problems I was having and the fact that my engine was out anyway I figured WTH. After the swap, barely a movement and the wheels are turning, even without power steering.
 

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Do you have PS or manual now? You can replace your worn out stock stuff with upgraded pieces for ~$500, I think $3K on steering/coil over suspension is way overkill for a street car and a student budget.
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have power steering right now.

I've decided that I'm going to replace suspension parts with stock pieces as I see fit and probably switch bushings out just for good measure.
 

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This is a good primer article:
DazeCars, Suspension 101
and any parts from John at OTR as linked by Beri above.

Having made the mistake when I first got my car of buying one of the repop suspension kits I can say that I am now replacing all of those parts, AGAIN due to how fast they wore out. On redo I will use OTR standard prepped UCA Opentracker Racing Products - Upper Control Arms, Moog LCA (from John or elsewhere). For the cost/aggravation of replacing the bushings and balljoint on the LCA a new one is a good investement. I also added John's roller spring perches, which really make a difference in suspension travel, smoothing the ride and reaction. I bought all new Moog tie rods, etc. the first time locally. This is the min. level I suggest anyone replacing parts start at whether they are weekend or daily driving from a quality and longevity standpoint.
You can decide to convert to manual steering or have your PS parts rebuilt (I went this route as I figure it'll last another 40 yrs. before needing a rebuild).
Jon
 
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