Here’s a quick bit of info on how we matched the rack to our 62-1/2″ Mustang II crossmember.
Theoretically, you could widen a Mustang II crossmember as much as you wanted… the key is protecting the control arm pivot points and tie rod geometry. When you’re thinking of widening a Mustang II rack, there are two ways to do it properly… outside the bushings and inside the bushings.
‘Outside the bushings’ refers to pushing the tie rod ball and socket joint towards the wheel. This has to be done the same amount as the crossmember is wider than stock – typically 2″ per side on a 4″ wider than stock configuration. Longer tie rod ends can also be used on a 58″ wide crossmember.
‘Inside the bushings’ refers to lengthening the actual rack and rack housing. For a much wider crossmember, this might be a good option… there are even racks available that are wider than stock for this purpose. Your crossmember will have to be set up or modified for a wider rack. Welder Series crossmembers are designed to use rack extenders – the ‘outside the bushing’ method.
On my 1968 D100 truck build, I used a Welder Series 62-1/2″ track width crossmember, with rack extenders from Heidts. I used two (4″ total) on the passenger side, and one (2″ total) on the driver side. Our rack mounts favor the driver side, so the steering input shaft is closer to the frame rail and will be more likely to be aimed away from your headers.
Note: the rack bushings mount with the shoulder against the crossmember, and the serrations biting in to the rack mounts. Use a bolt size washer (included in our #24410 power rack mounting kit) on the front of the bushing, and let the bushing mushroom as you tighten the nut.
Over 40,000 miles or so, the 32 had developed a little clunkle (“clunk” + “rattle”) that was driving me batty. The severity of the rattle was not dependant on the size of the bump, or how fast I was driving, or any other variables that I could vary. I could make it happen by jumping on the front passenger side frame rail, but not the driver side frame rail.
I tried to check the most obvious culprits first;
Are any exhaust brackets broken?
Are the emergency brake cables thwapping on the floor?
Is something clunking around under the seat? I have a power outlet built in to the front of the seat, and a while ago I noticed that the wires were not secured to anything and would click on the floor sometimes.
Is the heater/ A/C unit secure? Are all the vents secure in the dash?
Does the noise happen whether the windows are up or down? Sometimes the glass can clunk side-to-side when it’s down, if the whiskers don’t hold the glass as tight as the upper channel. Also, check the power window motor – maybe it’s come loose?
Moving to the outside, I checked every bolt I could see. Sometimes a click can be caused by a bolt that’s binding and just releasing at a certain point, or the threads are sort of riding at the edge of a hole. I checked the radiator support rod brackets against the firewall, I checked the air cleaner, I checked the headlights… I checked all those things again. Ready for the spoiler? When I was grinding the boxing plate welds where the engine mounts meet the frame, I must have sneezed at one point and taken off more than necessary. There was a tiny spot where the vibrations of the engine travelling through the mounts to the frame had worked a stress crack, and going over a little bump or jumping on the frame rail would cause the boxing plate to flex just enough to create a little click… kind of like a mason jar lid.
I was able to go over the spot with the tig, and now I’m no longer canning! It’s nice to be able to focus on something other than that little clunkle.
What are some noises that you’ve discovered in your hot rod?
Here are some pictures of the installation of a universal sway bar on a 1942 Chevy pickup. I installed it to the rear of the a arm because it gave me much more room. It was going to be very close to and possibly hitting on the tie rods for the rack and pinion steering. I was very pleased with the sway bar and the installation. I will and have recommended your products. Thanks so much,
The customer bent the arm to clear the tire in a turn.
I’ve put the welding tips videos in a playlist on YouTube… I hope it’s helpful, or at the very least entertaining. Not the most entertaining thing you do all day, but maybe somewhere around the 9th entertaining.
Well, I just learned something… had a message on the answering machine from a gentleman asking about a front sway bar for his bone stock 1950 Plymouth. I returned his call, telling him our kit would require quite a bit of fabrication on his car, and he told me that the station wagon of that year had a front sway bar and he had a line on one.
So I thought I’d pass it along… need a front sway bar for your ’50 Plymouth? Try a wagon.
John was in to the shop the other day and asked if we had a bracket for his 8-3/4 Dodge rear end to mount the Panhard bar. We don’t have one specifically for it, and after going over some pictures he had, we brainstormed and came up with something like this:
He used two Versatabs to mount the bar and formed a plate to box them in and to hold the bolts.
Occasionally, we'll be asked about a four link installation on a closer-to-stock-ride-height stance. We suggest adding a length of 2" x 4" tubing to the bottom of the frame rails where the four link frame bracket will mount, which will usually be enough to level the lower bar and make a happy four link.
Getting the ’40 ready for the road again, we decided to change the bushings on the coilovers because they hadn’t been done (that we could remember). The first challenge was loosening the lower mounting bolt. It’s not that it wouldn’t turn; it had attached itself quite strongly to the inner tube, and the whole assembly would just spin and spin. We soaked it, we hammered it, we impacted it… nothing was going to break the love that this little 1/2-20 bolt had with the tube it had got to know so well. We gave up being civil and cut the bolt in two.
Once the bolt was free (but severed), we popped the bushings out and here’s the damage:
Urethane bushing cold flow.
After cold flow comes elongation.
Over time (though it would probably be more accurate to speak of “miles”), the bushing had worked itself into the grooves in the Aldan coilovers which are there to give you the option of running spherical bearings instead of bushings. The grooves are for a C clip to hold the bearing in place. No harm done; we just replaced the bushings and will go for another xx,xxx miles. I’m not sure exactly how long these coilovers have been installed, but it’s probably in the 30 000 mile range or more.
Moral of the story: check your bushings. Cold flow happens.