Maximum Motorsports has reinvented the steering shaft assembly!
And you didn't even know there was a problem...
Improving Performance over the Stock Steering Shaft
The stock Mustang steering shaft has a rubber rag joint that flexes, giving the steering wheel a vague and imprecise feeling. As if the inherent deflection of the rubber wasn't bad enough, it is also prone to softening from the heat of aftermarket headers, especially on the 1994-2004 Mustangs. On many cars the flexing of the rubber joint causes enough play that the steering wheel can be moved an uncomfortable amount before causing the tires to change direction. Replacing the rubber rag-joint with a race-quality needle-bearing U-joint sharpens steering response. The car will respond much more quickly, and precisely, to the driver's steering inputs.
Aftermarket Steering Shafts: The Problems
Traditionally, the U-joints of aftermarket steering shaft assemblies were secured to the steering shaft with small setscrews. These setscrews protrude out from the U-joints, and are closer to the header tubes than the upper U-joint of the stock steering shaft. It is not unusual for the end of a setscrew to hit a tube of an aftermarket header. These setscrews also come loose over time, which causes sloppy and unsafe steering. Even when a thread-locking compound is used, the heat from the exhaust will cook it out, and the setscrews will eventually loosen.
MM has long recommended aftermarket steering shafts because they improve the car's steering response. We have endured their drawbacks in order to enjoy the sharper steering response they provide. We have suffered through not only the problem of setscrews hitting the header tube, but also the continued loosening of those setscrews. This is simply the wrong place to use setscrews.
MM's New Design
The MM Engineering Team designed a new steering shaft assembly that does not use setscrews. That's right, no setscrews! Instead, we secure the U-joints by welding them to the shafts. We attach the steering shaft assembly to the steering rack with a pinch-bolt, just like Ford did with the stock steering shaft assembly. An added bonus with the MM Steering Shaft is the addition of a telescoping center portion to the assembly. This collapsible section eases installation and improves safety in the event of an accident.
- The lower needle-bearing U-joint is secured to the input shaft of the steering rack with a pinch-bolt clamp, just like the stock steering shaft is attached. This is a much more secure attachment than a setscrew can provide.
- The center section of the shaft assembly is made of two telescoping pieces, with one sliding inside of the other. This allows collapsing the shaft to ease installation. The shaft can also be lengthened, up to 1.1” longer than a stock shaft, to allow repositioning of the steering rack. The unique design of the MM collapsible center section prevents the two halves from pulling apart.
- All U-joints are secured by welding. No setscrews to loosen!
- The top adaptor stub is secured to the stock steering column just like the original shaft, making installation a breeze.
Upgrading a Fox Mustang to an SN95 Steering Rack
New! MM now has a Hybrid Steering Shaft Assembly that allows the installation of an SN95 (1994-2004) power steering rack into a Fox (1979-93) chassis Mustang. The SN95 steering racks are a good upgrade for a Fox Mustang because they provide improved steering feel, with slightly higher effort and more linearity than the Fox steering rack.
With the new MM Hybrid Steering Shaft Assembly the SN95 steering racks can now be easily installed in a Fox chassis Mustang. The MM hybrid shaft assembly has the correct lower U-joint to connect to the unique triangular-shaped input shaft of the SN95 steering racks. This MM hybrid assembly also features a splined joint to allow correcting the orientation of the steering wheel. This feature is required to properly center the steering wheel with the SN95 steering rack. Without this unique MM shaft the steering wheel would be rotated nearly 90 degrees from center, which is far too much to be corrected by adjustment of the tie-rods. The stock steering wheel and airbag (if so equipped) are not disturbed.
The MM Hybrid Steering Shaft Assembly is constructed with all of the great features listed above for our other high performance steering shaft assemblies. No setscrews!
Tech Tip: Other Required Parts
Other items are needed to install an SN95 steering rack into a Fox chassis Mustang. Fox chassis tie-rods are required because the SN95 tie-rods are too long for the Fox chassis front control arms. The correct length tie-rods can be easily swapped into place because the inner threaded connection, where the tie-rod attaches to the steering rack, is the same. Note that the threads on the tie-rods, for attaching the outer tie-rod ends, are different between the SN95 tie-rods and the Fox tie-rods. This will dictate which outer tie-rod ends must be used.
For those using the longer SN95 front control arms on their Fox Mustang, and who will be using an adjustable outer tie-rod end bumpsteer kit, there are two options to choose among for tie-rods and outer tie-rod ends. The longer SN95 tie-rods can be used, which will require an SN95 adjustable outer tie-rod end kit. Or the shorter Fox tie-rods can be used, along with our MMTR-6 tie-rod end kit. This kit has a longer aluminum adapter sleeve that effectively lengthens the Fox tie-rod to match the longer SN95 front control arms.
MM's steering rack mounting bushings are also an excellent way to tighten up your steering response.