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You can see how the steering shaft is putting tension on the bottom left side of the column grommet. Also, see the tension that the steering column is putting on the firewall seal. Both of these will need a better solution.
The power steering rack bolted in easily. I bought the unit for around $90 including the $20 core at Oreilly's auto parts. Also, I bought tie rod ends for another $50 just to get it all bolted together. In the future, I may need a bump steer kit that will replace these tie rod ends, but I'll save that for later.
I also bought some bump stops for the top of the coilover shocks to keep the spring caps from rubbing metal to metal on the camber plates. The mustang can once again be set back down on wheels moved around using its own suspension and steering.
I had intended to use the original steering column and steering shaft to save money. But I ended up finding a great Black Friday deal on a new steering column from www.johnnylawmotors.com -- under $250 for a tilt column that included the bearing, firewall mount, and Ford turn-signal adapter. Additionally, this meant that I could keep my upper u-joint to use on the new steering shaft.
A view from under the car
A view with the wheel installed.
A view from the inside of the car.
Once the camber plates were in, everything else bolted together easily. Understandably, I'll have to adjust this later and receive a professional alignment when the car is completed.
I took the QA1 caster / camber plate that was designed for a SN95 mustang and laid it on top of the shock tower to mark where the tower holes would be drilled. This was a best-guess effort. I specifically paid attention to the upper plate so that at full camber it wouldn't hit the fender. I may take the car to an alignment shop to ensure that the camber/caster can be adjusted properly as installed.
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Here is the finished shock tower after cutting and grinding.
After the shock tower was cut out, it was just grind, grind, grind to make everything smooth.
We went low-tech and used a piece of cardboard to cast a shadow on the shock tower so we could create a straight line from the frame to the top of the shock tower. A laser line would have been perfect tool to use if available.
Here's where we'll cut out the shock tower. Notice how we left a bit of the lip on the upper shock tower. Again, I was constantly thinking of ways to provide strength to the upper shock tower if possible.
I ended up leaving the shock tower support on the inside of the shock tower. I can always remove it later, but I figure that it can only add strength to the top of the tower that will be carrying the load of the car.
My dad showed me how to properly use a blow torch to cut out the shock towers. The torch was quick and easy, but we'll have to clean up the rough cut with a grinder before we weld in new panels to close up the open shock towers.
The radiator support was rusted through in a few places as well. I'll patch in some good metal where this is rusted through instead of replacing the entire panel.
Export brace was removed. It's a MUST that something goes back in here to support the top of the shock towers since the coil overs will be putting the car's front end weight at the top of the shock tower.
Here is the shock tower that will be cut out while installing the AJE K-Member. Removing the shock tower makes for much easier access to the frame rails and eventually makes additional room for the engine and headers.
As is common in these classic mustangs, the battery apron was rusted out from spilled battery acid. Can be repaired by purchasing and installing two inexpensive pieces of sheetmetal at CJ pony parts.
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