Not really necessary, its sort of a personal preference kind of thing. I am running it on both of my cars. One has a GT rack and the other has a 4 cylinder rack. The 4 cyl rack has a slower ratio and I am considering trying that without power because its too light. I like it with the wide tires I am running on my first car. Its easy to park and its basically free except for some FMS brackets. I used the factory lines and reworked them to fit. Came out nice, although some people dont like the look of the factory pump and bracketry. There are a few options such as an Escort pump with remote reservoir and billet bracketry available in the "Vendors / New Products" section of the forum.
Hope this helps!
If you are going to use the original donor rack, keep it power. Turning a power rack without power is a pain, even in a light car like this. If you don't want the power get a manual rack. You can spend the bucks for a Flaming River, but it's just a dressed up manual rack.
Do you "Need it"? No. Will you love it if you have it? Yes.
There are lots of FFR owners who when back after their build without it and installed it. I don't think you will find very many who went back after the build and took the power steering off. I think that may tell you something.
"There are a few options such as an Escort pump with remote reservoir and billet bracketry available in the "Vendors / New Products" section of the forum."
I did a little research and found the billet brackets but did not see anyone that offered the Escort pump and remote reservoir. Do you have any further references or recommendations? That idea sounds appealing. I'm considering going to power steering. Just getting old I guess.
If you stay with the stock PS setup, you will need a PS pump relocation bracket, also called an A/C elimination bracket. This is because the stock location of the PS pump interferes with the steering shaft. These brackets are relatively cheap and are standard Ford parts. I got mine from Max at 5-Star Ford (see vendors list). I think it was in the neighborhood of $35 - $45. You will also need a new fan belt and I'd recommend replacing the pressure line off the power steering rack (your call on this one but the old pressure line blows, it may be tough to access once the car is completed). The pressure line is about $35 from Autozone and the fan belt is maybe another $35. You'll have to measure for the belt once you get everything in place. You might as well replace the low pressure return hose lines as well. This material is sold by the foot. All told, you'll be into this for about $120 +/-.
I have the PS now on both my FFR street and spec racer. All you need is the Ford AC Elimination Bracket kit, which includes the bracket and bolts. the kit comes with two brackets, but you only need to install the aluminum one. You may have to install washers between the bracket and pump so that the belt alignment is correct with crankshaft and alternator pullies. Using stock pullies (no underdrive) the new belt will be between 72" and 73.5" Available at any parts store. The stock PS hoses work fine. You will have to slightly bend the steel line on the pressure hose on the steering rack end to get around the front X frame, but that is obvious and easy.
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