Steered Straight—Installing an IDIDIT Performance steering column in our Pure Evil Project Car

Written by Stephanie Davies

Photography by the Author

In the ongoing saga of Mike Washington’s Pure Evil Fox Mustang racer, progress is continuous in preparation for the 2019 NMRA season. The Limited Street machine spent quite a bit of time at EB Custom Works in Ronkonkoma, New York, for a list of much-needed upgrades including Team Z torque boxes, a Strange rear-end, TBM brakes, and most recently, an IDIDIT Performance steering column.

Founded over 30 years ago, IDIDIT Performance offers a huge variety of steering columns for just about every custom and restoration application under the sun, but recently it added high-performance columns to its repertoire. The expansion into the performance realm began with two models under the IDIDIT Performance brand: Pro Fab and Pro Lite. While the Pro-Lite column is perfect for anything from street/strip use to road and touring high-performance applications, the Pro Fab is a base model ideal for pure race/strip applications.

Obviously, Washington chose a column from the latter line for Pure Evil, the Pro-Fab Straight Steering Column (PN 1090879355). According to IDIDIT Performance, the model weighs just 4.6 pounds (That isn’t a typo. They’re really that light!), and is a no-frills, retrofit column for drag racing and competition applications not utilizing turn signals, a tilt system, or any other heavier luxuries. In other words, it’s perfect for an all-out drag car like Pure Evil.

Eric Bardekoff, the owner of EB Custom Works, performed the quick and simple installation. The original column was previously unhooked and removed. Before beginning the process, he faced the front wheels forward, and set the steering toe reasonably close. Check out the captions to see the straightforward the installation process.

EB Custom Works

IDIDIT Performance

Before beginning the installation, Eric Bardekoff, the owner of EB Custom Works, welded a quick release onto the end of the steering column.

Bardekoff installed the steering column and bolted into the stock mount in the factory location, before ensuring that the steering rack was centered. He then installed the U-joint onto both the column and the rack, making sure that the U-joints were in series with one another. He rotated the input shaft of the rack from lock to lock before the box was set exactly half way between the two.

With the column mounted in position and two joints are used on a shaft, the forks of the yokes closest to each other should be in line or “in phase.” Premature wear or binding can result if the U-joints are not phased properly. Sometimes if the U-joints are at a severe angle, even if they are phased correctly, a hard spot in the steering may occur for no apparent reason. If this happens, index the U-joints two or three splines in one direction and the hard spot should disappear or be minimized.

With the U-joints in place, Bardekoff measured the distance between them and cut the steering shaft to length.

Then he connected the newly cut steering shaft to the U-joints.

The supplied Allen bolts and nuts were used to join them, with the addition of red thread locker to ensure proper safety and to be sure that it won’t loosen in the future. Bardekoff took the time to double-check every connection, making sure each one was tight and secure, before performing a race alignment.

Finally, he connected the column to the joint.

With everything double-checked and tightened, Bardekoff completed the installation.

A Motion Works steering wheel was connected to the quick-release SFI-approved hub.