Without any further ado, let's introduce Part 2 of the Bumpside Build-Off. For those who missed last month's kickoff (March '07), I'm building a '68 Ford F-100 in friendly competition with Custom Classic Trucks Editor John Gilbert and his '72 F-100. Getting right into the issue at hand, the bulk of the Fatman Fabrications Mustang II IFS was installed last month, except for the steering. The Fatman kit comes with a power rack-and-pinion unit and all the components to mount it in the frame, so we needed to round up the parts to complete the rest of the steering system up to the steering wheel. Going toward the cab from the rack, Borgeson supplied the U-joints and steering shaft-they can help you put together a system with up to 10 U-joints!-and ididit has their Retrofit truck column ready to ship that bolts right in place of the stock unit.
I was going to use my stock column and adapt it to a double-D shaft, but it was shot to begin with. Plus, being in somewhat of a time crunch (who isn't), the ididit column solved a bunch of problems in one fell swoop. I don't really like contemporary-style steering wheels, so I picked up a Grant 15-inch wheel with a wood rim and drilled stainless spokes. Given the overall late-'60s/early-'70s custom mood I'm going for, this wheel seemed to be perfect for the period, and it's similar to Mustang wheels from the time I'm drawing from. I also got a set of '68 Mustang buckets that are actually the same seats used in the Ranger package F-100.
Installing all this is fairly straightforward and only requires light fabrication work, mainly C-notching the bottom of the frame to get clearance for the ends of the rack-and-pinion; Fatman includes the pieces to weld in. Everything else is up to good planning and careful measuring. All the companies in this story have very helpful tech lines, which I have called, and good Web sites to help you through the process or answer questions. Follow along with us each month, and go buy a Bumpside and build your own!