View Full Version : My "Quick Steer Kit" from Cobraautomotive has been installed

12-16-2015, 09:13 PM
After doing much research on the net to find out what the difference is in turns lock to lock with the Cobraautomotive "Shelby Quick Steer Kit" is, I found NOTHING.

Sure, everybody had something to say the steering effort, but nobody got to the "meat and potatoes" about whether there was a noticeable improvement in the steering response, which is the whole purpose of the kit.

So I'm here to tell ya', YES, THERE IS A DEFINITE IMPROVEMENT in my '64 Falcon's steering response!

I did not measure turns lock to lock for reasons I won't go into but I intend to at a later date. What I did notice is that the steering is unmistakably quicker, the response sharper, and I can't wait till I have the proper tires on it and have an alignment done and I can really drive the car the way it's meant to be driven.

For the record, I swapped Granada disk brakes onto my '64 Falcon, and then I swapped over to the '65 V8 Falcon MANUAL STEERING set up.

Steering box is the 1 INCH sector shaft steering box for five turns lock to lock, this is the box from the later '64 Falcons or the entire year of '65 Falcons, this kit only works with this box, not sure if they make a kit for the larger diameter sector shaft used on earlier Falcons.

In case some don't know, Ford changed the steering set up on V8 Falcons around June or July of 1964 to a completely different set up. The '63 and early '64 Falcon V8 cars used one type of set up and steering box with a 1-1/8th inch sector shaft, and the later '64 and entire year of '65 Falcons used the box with the 1 inch sector shaft that served both six and eight cylinder Falcons.

I have a steering box out of a '65 inline six Falcon mated to my V8 steering gear, and my quick steer pitman arm is bolted to that box, for the record.

I drove the no faster than 30 mph today, and the steering, while not "fast" is definitely improved.

NOWHERE on the internet could I find this information. The only thing everybody wanted to know was whether the steering effort was greater. That was the last thing on my mind, what I wanted was BETTER STEERING, and I definitely got that.

Everything is new, so you know, new inner and outer tie rods, lower and upper ball joints, new center link, new idler arm, new pitman arm. I bought the center link, and all tie rods from Falconparts in California, I'm happy with the parts, they look like quality parts.

Having new components improves steering over an old worn out and sloppy steering set up, and the Shelby Quick Steer Kit from Cobraautomotive is a nice leap forward in improved steering.

I forgot what the cost was, I ordered the parts with some other stuff, but it's not much more than the standard pitman and idler.

Anyway, that's my little review and now FINALLY here it is in print, that the steering response is much better. That's a qualitative statement, I hope to add a quantitative statement later and tell you how many turns lock to lock works out to be.

12-17-2015, 05:52 PM
WOW...5 turns lock to lock? That seems like a lot. Should be really easy to turn with no PS. I just put the UniSteer rack and pinion on the 64 Sprint I'm rebuilding and it only turns 2.5 lock to lock but has PS. Can't wait to try it out. I went with the rack unit since it's designed to get rid of the bump steer these cars had. I couldn't find much info either when researching the steering available. Mine has the Granada brakes , also.

12-17-2015, 09:15 PM
After doing much research on the net to find out what the difference is in turns lock to lock with the Cobraautomotive "Shelby Quick Steer Kit" is, I found NOTHING.

Hello, Wilbur.

My notes for the steering on a standard 1963 Falcon say: "17-inch Lifeguard steering wheel with 4.6 turns lock to lock and a 38.8 foot turning radius."

I had never heard of a "Cobraautomotive Shelby Quick Steer Kit" so I looked it up.


See: http://store.cobraautomotive.com/1965-66-quick-steering-kit-idler-arm-pitman-arm-and-frame-pin/

Description: "This road race quick steer kit consists of a high quality forged steel idler arm and pitman arm. These were first introduced on the original Shelby GT350s. This will fit any 1965-66 Mustang steering box with a 1” sector shaft, and will enhance your car’s handling with increased road feel and response time while reducing the need for excessive steering input. This kit is a must for any early Mustang set up for handling." Price $214.95.

I installed all new front end parts on my Falcon and left everything stock. The 1963 and 1964 V-8 Falcons used a different pitman arm than the six cylinder cars and it was pricey ($259.95!!). So, you are right. The $214.95 price that you paid is not bad.

These are the parts I added:

12-17-2015, 09:22 PM
Soo glad it's working for you. I'll give an opinion of the UniSteer rack when I get the car done...:)

12-17-2015, 11:23 PM
Dennis, on my other Falcon, I have the same set up as you do on yours, the early components which are much more expensive. Sixty three til June or so in sixty four used the same V8 steering components. My idler arm bracket has three bolt points whereas the sixty five has only two, both being V8 manual steering set ups.

If I recall you had power steering or?

I just got off the phone with a buddy and we were discussing how we like keeping our cars "period stock", in other words, I may do minor modifications but I want only mods that I could have gotten in the early to late 1960's and when I find a "gem" Falcon I touch NOTHING and leave it bone stock.

I sold one of my nicest Falcons, and the main reason was I didn't have a garage for it. The Falcon only had thirty six thousand miles on it, was their grandfather's car who bought it new, beautiful interior, red, no tears, Raven black exterior, straight as an arrow and rust free.

It had original bias ply tires on it, had the window sticker, and unique options such as 14 inch factory wheels, back up lights, and the hood ornament.

It now resides in a garage where it is well cared for. I would not have touched that car, the ONLY mod was a bolt on anti-sway bar, otherwise it was bone stock, so I'm like you Dennis, I refuse to alter a nice Falcon.

My two black Falcons that I currently drive were rescued from junkyards, anything I did to them was a vast improvement. I keep them "relatively stock" with some mild mods.

Roger has recently seen my one black junker Falcon, it's a rough car but mechanically speaking it has new springs, new shocks, new suspension components such as springs, control arms, etc. etc. etc.

It also has the dual circuit brake fluid reservoir, and three speed manual toploader trans, which is non stock, a 200 inline six which is non stock. It has no interior, it is my "truck".

My blue V8 Falcon, also a sixty four, that one will remain pretty much stock, right down tot he drum brakes, though I'd like to add bolt on parts that are easily removed like fiberglass bumper, hood, alloy intake, alternator. The car is utterly UNMOLESTED and I don't want to screw it up, and I may not even do the mods I mentioned above.

Some of the Rainier Falcon's crew saw the blue car last spring at a meeting, it's seen better days but it's bone stock save for a few items like the aftermarket alloy radiator I just installed, and I want to get a proper Falcon radiator for it, in case anyone wants to trade my near new alloy rad for a stock rad. I don't like the non stock look.

One of my dream Falcons, Dennis, is a sixty three like yours BUT a convertible! I so much want a convertible again! Either a Falcon or a vintage MGB or MGC from the sixties.

Meanwhile I'm havin' a hoot driving my Raven black Ford Falcon "truck" as my driver these days, though I don't drive much really.

I enjoy the car because the front is so light, much lighter than the V8 Falcon and the car drives like an overgrown go-kart.

Raysir, I look forward to seeing more about your Falcon Sprint, and though I did consider rack and pinion steering, I opted to stay with the worm gear set up, which doesn't have the quicker steering of the rack and pinion.

I look forward to seeing photos of the Sprint, I've always wanted a Sprint, a sixty three in white, black, or red, in that order, and a sixty four in white or possibly other colors.

My dream car, though, is just what I own, a sixty four Falcon two door post sedan in basic black, which is why I used to own three of them in black and four of them total, and currently own three. :D

12-18-2015, 04:20 AM
Hello, Wilbur.

My car does not have power steering.

The re-build of my front suspension started from seeing that the front tires were wearing unevenly. A mechanic told me that the car needed a front end alignment, but that it needed new ball joints.

Then in classic Roger "while I am at it" fashion, I figured that rather than just replace the ball joints why not the replace the upper and lower control arms as a unit, and the sway bar bushings are bad also, and so on and so on.

I studied a steering diagram until I understood how all the parts worked with the idea that if I was going to make any modifications, now would be the time to do it. I read about Monte Carlo bars, under-engine braces, Shelby drops, bigger sway bars, and bump steer.

It seemed that while each modification did have benefits, they also had drawbacks. Whether the benefits exceed the drawbacks depends on how you plan on driving the car and one modification leads to another and it is a slippery slope.

For example - a heavier sway bar reduces body roll. True. But, it also gives the car a stiffer ride and adds a little weight. Now you can corner faster but the original 13-inch tires start breaking free. You can increase the wheel size to 14 or 15 inches to use bigger tires and get more traction, but you further increased the weight of the car, you raised its center of gravity, and you changed its appearance.

All of that seemed to be overkill to me because my Falcon is not racing at Monte Carlo. I drive it to and from work every day and will drive it on the highway but avoid taking it on Interstates. For the kind of driving that I do, the stock suspension is perfectly fine. That is because the type of driving that I do is exactly the the type of driving that the suspension was designed for.

I drive my Falcon almost every day, and really really really do like my stock steering and suspension. It gives a comfortable ride and the car corners as hard as I care to push it without any excessive body roll. The steering is really nice. It tracks straight as an arrow, I can steer it with one finger while the car is moving, and I love the road feel that the direct mechanical connections deliver to the steering wheel. I have been very satisfied with the results from replacing all the worn front end parts.

Thanks, Dennis.

12-18-2015, 05:16 PM
Wilbur....at the risk of hijacking this thread....(so it won't be hijacked...) I would love to see you put some pics of your three falcons in a show off my ride thread...any pics of that very original one you sold too.

12-21-2015, 11:26 PM
Today I drove my sixty four Falcon WITHOUT the quick steer kit, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! It feels like crap compared to the Falcon with the quick steer kit. Both cars are identical, both are sixty four Falcon two door post sedans with an inline 200 ci six cylinder motor and three speed manual transmissions. Both are also black with red interiors, what's left of the interiors.

The difference is so dramatic that once I have the money I intend to swap the other car over to the same front end set up. One car has the EARLY sixty four steering box and components, the other has the LATER sixty four set up. The change occurred around June or July of 1964. Actually, lemme see if I can find a link for that:

Well, I didn't find a link but maybe somebody else can provide the source for this information.

I'll say this though, having the quick steer kit is a quantum leap forward. I don't know how it compares to a rack and pinion or any other system, but comparing my two Falcons, with and without the quick steer kit, what a difference, what an improvement!

Is this for you? Depends on you. If you just want a cruiser, it won't matter and the BEST thing you can do for your Falcon in this case is simply ensure all the parts that wear are not worn or new. That alone is a vast improvement over a car with worn tie rods and steering.

I prefer a car that's a shade sharper, not that I'm a racer, nor are my cars anything special, but I do prefer a Falcon with a stiffer suspension, a heavy duty anti-sway bar, good shocks, and now that I have it, a Shelby quick steer kit.

dhbfaster, I can't wait til I can post some photos but I'm having computer issues right now, but sure, I look forward to posting more photos of my cars.

12-22-2015, 05:24 PM
Wilbur, I have to ask the "elephant in the room" question- how's the steering effort? Have you parallel parked it yet?

My '65 V8 Ranchero has manual steering, with the slow 19.9:1 ratio box (4- 5/8 turns). It's pleasant enough to drive, tracks nicely, and the effort is fine for me. However, I'm not sure I'd want much more effort to parallel park it everyday.

I've read that a roller-bearing idler arm reduces effort somewhat, but some have mentioned that the wheel doesn't want to return to center quite as well.

Did you need a puller to change out the arm?

12-23-2015, 09:11 PM
beerbelly, I took care of the steering improvement answer so your question is no longer the elephant in the room question. :-)

I should say first that I I do chin ups with 130 pounds chained to my waist, no joke, and I crank out about 5 to 8 chin ups with 100 pounds chained to my waist. With no weight chained to myself I crank out about 35 to 45 chin ups, and I was curling 70 or 75 pound dumbbells in each hand but I stopped that and switched to an 80 pound barbell because something was tweaking my back and just in case it was the curls with dumbbells, I cut that out.

Thus I don't know how relevant my evaluation of parking effort will be regarding the Falcon. I have no difficulty parallel parking the Falcon with the quick steer kit, but it is obvious that the steering effort is increased noticeably. I cannot quantify that, wish I could, but can only say the effort required is greater than before and it is noticeable, no doubt at all.

Whereas when I removed my steel fan from my V8 Falcon AND installed a K&N filter, I was constantly wondering: "Has there been an increase in acceleration or is it just my imagination?" I do believe there was an increase but nothing dramatic.

The steering effort, on the other hand, required with this new quick steer kit, there is no doubt about it, more effort is required.

I too read about the roller bearing vs. rubber bearing opinions, and I went with the rubber bearing because that's all my cars have ever had and I never had a problem with them. The messages I read about the roller bearing option not allowing the steering wheel to return to center didn't help, and I figured keeping the rubber bushing had near zero risks whereas the roller bearing option had the risk of not returning the wheel to center if those posts were accurate.

I did use a puller to remove the pitman arm, I bought mine at Schuck's in the late 90's, and it works like a charm, it's a simple device and though I don't know the current cost, I can't imagine they cost much.

Let me tell you something that will hopefully save you some time, something that consumed a vast amount of my time. What size is the socket that fits on the pitman arm nut? I searched high and low for that with no luck on the internet. I did it the hard way, trial and error at O'Reilly Auto Parts, the sale's people were patient with me despite my returning two sockets that did not fit, the third try was a charm.

TWENTY EIGHT MILLIMETERS, 28 millimeters is the size of the socket that fit over MY pitman arm nut on my steering box from a 1965 Ford Falcon with manual steering and the inline six of 170 cubic inches.

As mentioned earlier, the difference in the quickness of the steering is dramatic, I am so very happy with the results, so happy in fact that I intend to ditch the early 63-64 steering setup and steering box in my other Falcon and go to the later 65 setup that will allow the quick steer kit. When I go from my "quick steer" car to my 5 turn lock to lock car, it's awful.

I will say this, the 5 turn lock to lock car isn't really that bad, I've lived with that steering for some THIRTY YEARS in all my Falcons, but the quick steer kit is a nice improvement.

Whether this is something for you really depends, for me, though I drive conservatively, it's nice to have some performance, and keep in mind my quick steer Falcon is probably LIGHT YEARS BEHIND even a budget KIA or Ford Focus, regarding the quality of steering, so I really shouldn't call this "performance" that I have in my "new" Falcon, it's just a nice improvement.

You are welcomed to come by and try out the steering in my quick steer Falcon, just sit there and turn the wheels some as if parking, the car is drivable/driveable but still needs an alignment and small details. Just today I got the Ford Granada anti-sway bar installed. Lots of details to take care of.

By the way, my apartment parking is parallel parking and I've parked it numerous times now, no problem, and keep in mind, even if you keep the car moving at half mile an hour the steering effort is greatly reduced. I really don't recall any issue parking the car.

I hope this helps beerbelly! :BEER:

Wilbur, I have to ask the "elephant in the room" question- how's the steering effort? Have you parallel parked it yet?

My '65 V8 Ranchero has manual steering, with the slow 19.9:1 ratio box (4- 5/8 turns). It's pleasant enough to drive, tracks nicely, and the effort is fine for me. However, I'm not sure I'd want much more effort to parallel park it everyday.

I've read that a roller-bearing idler arm reduces effort somewhat, but some have mentioned that the wheel doesn't want to return to center quite as well.

Did you need a puller to change out the arm?

12-24-2015, 02:29 PM
Wilbur, I'm wondering if using a 16:1 power steering box as a manual would accomplish about the same thing? Certainly more work though.

I'm just thinking of ways to use factory parts to quicken my steering.

12-24-2015, 04:01 PM
I would like to use both a Flaming River 16:1 steering box and the Shelby quick steer kit together for the best steering response. First I need to drive my Falcon with the Shelby kit on the highway and see how it drives, maybe the Shelby kit will be all I could ask for, don't know yet but I'll find out.

I'm trying to find Flaming River Falcon steering boxes but no luck. I hope they still produce the box for the Falcon.

12-25-2015, 06:47 AM
Here's a screen shot from the Flaming River site. It appears that they can custom-make a Falcon 16:1 box, but it's not an off-the-shelf item, See the last bulleted item.

Also, here's some info about roller idler arms and how to adjust caster to help with wheel centering.

12-26-2015, 06:12 AM
Let's try those attachments again...

03-25-2016, 05:00 PM
Wilbur, any updates on the quick steer kit? I'm still interested in how it works in daily driving.

03-31-2016, 04:03 PM
Beerbelly, I've been driving the Falcon with the quick steer kit about twice a week now, and it is such a vast improvement over the original steering that I intend to change over the entire steering set up of my other Falcon which has the early pre June '64 heavy duty steering, just so I can install a quick steer kit on that car as well.

Yes, the steering will be heavier when parking but nothing I MYSELF would complain about, but bear in mind I do not drive a modern car and don't even know what power steering means, I've driven manual steering cars all my life and when I had a power steering Falcon I yanked that crap out of that car so fast it was all a blur to the naked eyes of onlookers! :D

I'm also a cave man, I grew up in a time when we had ONE wall phone, we had to get off the couch to change a tv channel, no microwaves, I literally did walk two miles to school in deep snow, we played with fire crackers, didn't wear bicycle helmets, built three story tree forts, and for real entertainment we built ramps to jump our bicycles fast and high.

We also got hurt, lost fingers (I nearly did), and broke bones (I did). We came from a different time, a different world.

All this is to say that the quick steer kit may not be for everybody, but for a hardcore driving enthusiast who enjoys performance benefits even at the cost of comfort, you bet the quick steer kit is a wonderful thing! :D:shift:

04-01-2016, 02:32 AM
...when I had a power steering Falcon I yanked that crap out of that car so fast it was all a blur to the naked eyes of onlookers!

Yaaaaay, Wilbur!