Shelby GT350 factory steering too slow? There’s a kit for that.

When we first got our 1967 Shelby GT350, we had the car’s original power-assisted steering rebuilt by Orlando Mustang. That turns out to have been a waste of money as we still hated the original steering feel.

We hated it so much that we considered selling the car. So we (finally) called Borgeson for answers as it specializes in upgraded steering hardware for older cars.

The Borgeson crew suggested that we look at their power steering kits: better, quicker feel without resorting to the sometimes-problematic rack-and-pinion conversion kits.

This kit uses a powered box instead of the far-less-precise power assist used by Ford and others in the ’60s.

By the ’80s, this type of setup was popular on new cars that didn’t make the move to rack and pinion. Borgeson tells us its kit is built around a modified Jeep Grand Wagoneer steering box.

Early Mustangs like ours had a rather glacially slow 20:1 steering ratio, while power steering-equipped cars had a significantly quicker 16:1 ratio steering box. Borgeson boxes use an even quicker 14:1 ratio.

Before Borgeson came along with this setup, the trick was to use a power assist-type steering box but without power. While it did quicken the steering, as early Shelby owners will tell you, it took a lot of effort to park those pre-1967 Shelbys.

Borgeson suggests you call to get a kit configured, as there are a few variations offered. For one, what size steering shaft? Early Mustangs came with either a 1- or a 1-1/8-inch Pitman shaft. (Our car had the larger shaft.)

Second option: If the car already has power steering, the original Ford pump can be retained.

The kit for cars originally equipped with power-assisted steering run a little more than $1000 and include the steering box, lines and adapters needed for the installation. It does not include a steering box and bracketry. If the car never had power-assisted steering, that kit is closer to $1300 and includes a power steering pump and requires bracketry.

Note that Borgeson doesn’t sell the Ford-style power steering pump, instead using a GM-style pump that provides consistent steering feel at any rpm.

In the interest of originality, however, we initially retained our Ford pump. We were not totally happy with the update, we upgraded to the GM-style pump. End result: much more consistent steering feel.

Our car has air-conditioning, so the GM-style pump is essentially hidden from view. We painted the pump the same metallic blue used by Ford, and no one has noticed the changeover.

Finally, after all these years, we have a Shelby that delivers consistent steering with a ratio appropriate for a sporting machine. Color us quite happy.

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Comments
Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
5/8/24 12:58 p.m.

Is there going to be a detailed build thead or video of the install?

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