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8/01/2023 3:14 PM  #1

Borgeson PS on 65-67 Mustang using MustangSteve BBK-1 column bearing

This is to show how to rebuild a 65-67 Mustang steering column, including installation of a new UPPER column bearing, a turn signal switch, the MustangSteve BBK-1 lower column bearing kit, shortening the column tube for the Borgeson conversion, and the fitment of the Borgeson rag joint to the shaft.

First, remove the old column tube from the car.
Once the steering wheel is removed, unbolt three bolts holding the steering column seal to the firewall. Remove two 1/2” hex nuts that hold the column clamp to the bottom edge of the dash. Remove the U-shaped clamp, then slide the column tube off the existing steering shaft.

You will need the column tube and steering wheel, the compression spring that goes on the shaft between the wheel and bearing, and the tapered split bushing that fits over the shaft and into the bearing.

Completely disassemble the upper column to remove the part where the bearing is pressed in. Drive the old bearing out from the bottom. Drive replacement bearing in from the top using a large socket that is big enough to NOT touch the inner race of the bearing. Pack the bearing with a light grease. Reassemble top of column as original. Be sure wiring lays flat before installing the bell, which is the last part of the upper assembly. The main ring where the bearing goes is held on by two square headed bolts where the heads stick into slots on the side of the column. The 3/8” hex nuts are visible from the top.  It is important to not omit this upper rebuild step.  Any slop in an old worn out upper bearing will make things loose, and what you are trying to achieve is a freely rotatin shaft within the column tube, with absolutely zero end play, other than what is possible by compressing the spring further.  If your upper bearing is in perfect condition, at least clean it with brake cleaner and pack it full of fresh grease.  But you won't know it is perfect until you take it apart.

white smiling face

Once the top of the column is completed and the turn signal switch is installed is lubricated and installed, then you can proceed to the lower bearing fitment. Pics below show where to lube the turn signal switch. Lube both horn contact shaft so they slide easily. Lube the pivot near where the lever attaches, this will make for smoother operation.

Now you are ready to determine where to cut the column tube.
Attach the steering wheel securely (tighten center nut really tight) on the new shaft. To hold the shaft from turning while you torque the nut, place the rag joint adapter on the lower end of the shaft and clamp the rectangular part of the adapter in a vise.

Once the steering wheel nut is tight, slide the spring on the shaft, then the tapered split sleeve. Big end goes towards the spring. Them place the MustangSteve bearing and sleeve on the shaft as shown. Add a washer (not included with bearing kit) then fully seat the rag joint adapter on the shaft and tighten the set screw.

The washer is there to provide some adjustability, but is not a requirement. More later on the washer…

Now comes the measurement part.
Lay the column tube horizontal so you can position the steering wheel tight against the tapered column outer housing. Pull the MustangSteve bearing out tight against the washer and rag joint adapter.

As shown in the pics, mark the column tube at the upper end of the ring on the MustangSteve bearing. Subtract 1/8” from the marked length. That will provide a 1/8” gap between the steering wheel and the tapered ring. Cut the column tube on that mark. I use a pipe cutter to mark the tube only because it will make a nice squared mark. Do not use the pipe cutter to cut the tubing as it will reduce the ID of the rubing end making it impossible to install the bearing. I use a cutoff wheel.

Drive the aluminum bearing retainer into the end of the column, being careful to not hammer on the inner race of the bearing. It is a snug fit but should not require alot of force.

Once the bearing is in the tube, SLIDE THE FIREWALL MOUNT ONTO THE COLUMN TUBE, reassemble the shaft into the column from the top with steering wheel attached. At the bottom, install a washer, then fully seat the rag joint adapter and tighten the set screw onto the splined shaft. Follow Borgeson instructions as to how to grind the splines and seat the set screw. I also prefer to weld the adapter to the shaft, which eliminates any worry of that screw backing out.

Use wet rags to keep the bearing cool while welding. Should you need to ever disassemble the shaft from the column, simply slide the shaft out from the bottom. That welded place should never require disassembly and this copies what Ford did on 68 and later columns.

Then reassemble the rag joint if you took it apart to do the welding. I use a drop of red loctite on the bolts.

After all that, you should have a 1/8” gap between the steering wheel and the bell, and the shaft should spin freely with zero end play in the column. If you have too big a gap between wheel and bell, add another washer at the bottom. If you have too small a gap, remove one washer. This gives some adjustability should you ever want to change steering wheels. Note this particular car had a billet steering wheel adapter , so the pics show that instead of a full steering wheel.

Now, some final pics showing the resulting column length. This can vary by car, so don’t just shortcut to this point and cut.

When mounting the column into the car, first securely mount the Borgeson steering box to the frame.  Then insert the new column into the firewall and align the shaft splines of the box into the rag joint adapter.  Fully seat the adapter and then tighten the setscrew.  Remove the shaft, grind the splines flat where the setscrew made a mark, then reinstall the column.  Bolt the column to the dash with the U-clamp,  Once that is lined up, then you will probably have to drill new holes for the firewall bracket.  The Borgeson box does not fit exactly where the old one came out, so the firewall bracket must be repositioned.  Use a worm-drive radiator hose clamp to attach the lower end of the column to the firewall bracket.  It is normal for the column to not protrude all the way through the firewall.  Fill that gap with insulating tape.
I find it makes for a much stronger mount if you add about 1" to the fingers (some later brackets only have one finger) so the clamp can go squarely around the column tube and fully capture the finger.
I will post a follow-up to this post (as a reply) below that shows the column sticking through the firewall at the steering box.


Money you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted money... unless your wife finds out.

8/01/2023 4:29 PM  #2

Re: Borgeson PS on 65-67 Mustang using MustangSteve BBK-1 column bearing

Pics of completed installation of MustangSteve BBK-1 lower column bearing with Borgeson power steering conversion.  The booster and mc shown are the 65-66 MustangSteve power brake conversion.

Notice that last pic? That is a piece of pvc pipe stuck between the seal and the pitman arm to take up all the gap where the wonderful borgeson lower seal does not fit. Meaning, it will never seal in as-delivered condition. A little tube spacer does the trick.

Money you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted money... unless your wife finds out.
     Thread Starter

Board footera

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