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Old 11-14-2014, 09:42 AM
cbnsingram cbnsingram is offline
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Default Power Steering upgrade options

I'm pretty close to diving into a power rack and pinion conversion on the '60 convertible, but am first taking a look at the Borgesson 800115 p/s box.

They say they've not tested fitment, but that some have used it on Squarebirds. They have confirmed fitment on Galaxies, Fairlanes and Customs of this era, but I don't know these cars well enough to be sure I can make it fit in the Thunderbird.

1. Has anyone converted a Squarebird to this box?
2. How much metal work did you need to do?

3. Were there any conversions required of the rest of the stock steering parts?

4. How does it perform compared to a power rack and pinion?
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:16 AM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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Full size Fords are completely different when it comes to the steering box. Here's a thread where someone tried to use an ABS unit and it wouldn't work. It was too large and the mounting holes didn't line up. I'm not sure about the Borgesson unit but unless I see a picture of one actually mounted I wouldn't attempt it.

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1959 Convertible

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Old 11-14-2014, 12:24 PM
cbnsingram cbnsingram is offline
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yeah, I've seen that thread and it made me leery. That's why I'm looking for someone who's actually used the Borgesson. If I can't find one I'll go with a power rack. At least I know generally how to fit that in and have received some tips on the forum.
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:29 PM
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scumdog scumdog is offline
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Big, meaty and properly engineered mounting brackets would be my recommendation, you certainly don't want THEM flexing and there's a collosal load going through them!
A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:08 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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Default Power steering Conversion

I'll attach some pics of a very clean conversion. Not rack and pinion. I sent a PM for contact info if you want to talk to the owner.
Also, has anyone ever had a problem with a rack and pinion conversion? I heard rumor of them not handling the weight and loads of our older Birds.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:56 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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I did a power R&P conversion on my '59 Galaxie and on the '55 Customline. Both rack gears are rebuilt and readily available over the counter. Actually, they are for a Chevy. I simply made mounting brackets to fit my frame holes and the rack gear housing simply clamps onto it. That's how they work on production cars as well. I used a Mustang pump with AN fittings to power it. Only one hose is high pressure. The return line uses a standard hose clamp.

For the steering column, I mounted a bearing in the housing and cut the shaft. Then, I ground "double D" flats in the steering shaft for my stainless Borgesson U-joints. It looks bone stock from inside.

The tie rods are purchased from They bolt into my stock spindles on one end and to the rack gear on the other.

All that original linkage, drag link and idler arm stuff is gone and so is the slop. My classic cars handle every bit as smooth as a new car. Handling really shines in a parking lot.

Rack and Pinion is easier than you think. Look at any modern vehicle. If you want to match a Squarebird's weight, look at an SUV. There is no mystery but to convert, you will need mounting plates with holes that match your sub frame holes: The steering box holes on the driver's side and the idler arm holes on the passenger's side. The rest is easy and when done, your exhaust will have more elbow room on the driver's side.

Others on this forum have converted Squarebirds to R&P as well. The steering part really doesn't need to be as heavy as you think. Again, look at a modern car or truck. The most stress on steering linkage comes from going up driveways. That's when OEM tie rods normally let loose. - Dave
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:35 PM
terribleterry terribleterry is offline
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I installed 82 thunderbird rack&pinion, pump,hoses easy install and all done! Have to get use to turning steering wheel right and the car going left! Told I should of used a rear steering rack. To old for this!
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:48 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Have to get use to turning steering wheel right and the car going left!
I remember a guy in our small town with a straight axle under a Barracuda with that problem. Drove it for years and thought nothing of it. Sure was strange riding with him!
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