Pitman Arm hitting headers
I have the common problem that because the engine in my 69 Mustang was swapped out for a 351 Cleveland the pitman arm hits the headers. I have been told that there is a modified pitman are out there somewhere that you can purchase. Does anyone know where this can be found?

Thanks in advance!


I haven't heard of your issue before with a 351 Cleveland in a 1969 Mustang. I am assuming you are referring to the idler arm, it goes by both names. Idler arms are the same for 1967 thru 1970 Mustangs. The only difference is power steering or manual steering. The only modified idler arm I am aware of is a roller bearing version. It is the same idler arm but the bushings are replaced with roller bearings.

What brand headers are you using? You may need a different brand header.

Best Regards,

I did some research and it does sound like others have had similar interference problems. It appears the problem is more common with Hooker Headers. There was no indication of a modified idler or pitman arm not to say that they doesn't exist.

Solutions posted were to modify the header for clearance or change brands.

I am anticipating others will jump in and share some insight as well.

That makes sense Mustangmike. I've only heard of people using Hedman Elite Series for a major name brand. Then from a smaller business, Ford Performance Solutions headers are used quite often. Kind of odd since Hooker Headers are known for having more specific fitment applications (one header fits very few applications) than Hedman who's are more general (one header fits a lot of applications).

Best Regards,

I would be reluctant to use a 'modified' steering component. Maybe the header manufacturer has a specific unit for your needs??
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My 69 was a 390 so I have no personal experience to add.
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Yeah, I too think the best option is a different brand header and hopefully not loose much money in the process. I use a JBA mid length header on my 351W because I wanted to avoid any fitment issues.

Best Regards,

I can only attest to my 72 with Headman headers They fit like a glove with no issues installing them and no fitment problems with the pitman arm.

Thanks guys, So I finally said to hell with it and bought a total control rack and pinion setup. The hooker competition headers are still in the friggin way! Arg. Anyone have recommendations for headers that wont interfere with the steering?

Yeah, your experiencing nothing new. There has always been fitment issues with full length headers on Mustangs. I installed JBA midlength headers on my 351W to avoid any fitment issues. I might have sacrificed a few horsepower, but they fit great. I wish I knew what the best choice would be for your Cleveland. I do see some manufactures specify headers for rack and pinion steering. I know most people use either Hedman Elite series, something from Ford Performance Solutions, or JBA headers if they offer it. Good luck.

Best Regards,

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