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Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install

Created by Jude Horstman
Last Updated 6/9/2022

Do you have some play or slop with your steering wheel? There's a good possibility that your rag joint may be bad! Don't worry, we've got you covered with a full removal and installation process!

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

FOLLOW: 79 93 mustang , fox body , fox body mustang , steering


The rag joint in a Fox Body Mustang is located at the end of the intermediate steering shaft and just above the steering rack. Its simple job is to provide a small amount of flex for the intermediate shaft within a few degrees of the same plane as the steering gear input shaft. It also dampens vibrations coming from the steering system. Over time, even though the rubber is reinforced with fiber, the material begins to deteriorate, which causes excess play or slop in the steering wheel. To fix this, you need a replacement rag joint.

This install will take roughly 1-2 hours to complete.

Tools Needed

  • 11/16 & 7/16 Socket
  • 9/16 Deep Socket & 15mm Socket
  • 18mm and 9/16 Wrench
  • 3/8 Drill Bit & Drill
  • Open Ended Wrench
  • Grinder
  • Rust Prevent Paint
  • Anti-Seize
  • Blue Thread Locker
  • Pry Bar
  • Torque Wrench
  • Vice Grips
  • Drift & Hammer
  • Marking Tool
  • Assortment of rags

  • Purchase Your Rag Joint Kit Here!

    Rag Joint Kit

Removal Steps

  1. Lift the vehicle via a lift or jack and jack stands. We recommend pulling the steering rack forward to make the installation process more manageable. If doing so, place a reference mark on the steering shaft to retain proper orientation.

  2. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  3. Generation Note: For airbag-equipped 1990-1993 Mustangs, have a friend hold the steering wheel when loosening the pinch bolt to prevent the wheel from rotating. Uncontrollable rotation of the steering wheel could damage the clock spring. Loosen and remove the pinch bolt with a 12-point 7/16 socket.

  4. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  5. Use a 15mm socket on the bolt head and an 18mm wrench on the nut to bring the rack forward. Remove these and carefully bring the rack forward by using a pry bar. This needs to be done just enough to remove the spline coupling joint from the steering gear input shaft.

  6. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  7. Remove the hardware from the intermediate shaft by using a 9/16 open-end wrench on the bolt head and an 11/16 inch socket on the nut. Note: You may have to rotate this to access the bolt. Make sure you remember the previous orientation when reinstalling.

  8. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  9. Before removing, take photos of the rag joint to reference when you reinstall the new components. Now loosen and remove the retaining nuts and bolts with a 9/16 socket and wrench, securing the spline coupling joint to the assembly.

  10. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  11. Drill out the two rivets with a 3/8 drill bit.

  12. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  13. Grind down the rest of the rivets with a grinder.

  14. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  15. Drive out both studs with a drift and hammer.

  16. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  17. Clean the raw metal. Use some rust-prevention paint to keep it from rusting in the future.

  18. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  19. When installing the new kit, you will only need the two shoulder studs and two nyloc locking nuts. (Pictured on the right.)
  20. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993


    Installation Steps


  21. Now you will begin the installation. When doing so, reference back to the previous photos that you took. Install the spline coupling joint in the same orientation. Install the bolts, followed by the coupling joint, then the nuts. Fully tighten the nuts.

  22. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  23. Reposition one of the small metal brackets and install one of the shoulder studs into place. The threaded portion will face towards the steering shaft.

  24. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  25. Hold the stud with a pair of vice grips while you tighten the locking nut with an open-end wrench. Repeat the same steps with the other shoulder stud.

  26. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  27. Apply some anti-seize to the column insert.

  28. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  29. Reinstall the intermediate shaft into the car and slide the insert into the column. Reinstall the retaining hardware and tighten the nut.

  30. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  31. Apply some anti-seize to the spines on the steering rack input shaft. Position the coupling joint over the steering rack input shaft in the same orientation and tap the rack with a dead blow to fully install it.
  32. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

    Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  33. Clean the pinch bolt and apply some blue thread locker. Reinstall the bolt and torque it 25 lbs feet.

  34. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993

  35. Reinstall the steering rack retaining nuts and torque them to 35 lbs feet. You may now check to see if the steering wheel is straight and reinstall the wheels.
  36. Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993 - Fox Body Mustang Rag Joint Removal & Install | 1979-1993


We hope that this article has helped you better understand how to install a new rag joint on your 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang! Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more installation and removal videos when working on your Fox Body Mustang.


As always, make sure to keep it here with the Real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com.

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About the Video

How To Replace Fox Body Rag Joint

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2022-04-11
Landan shows you how to replace your Fox Body Mustang steering shaft rag joint.

Are you rebuilding your Mustang's steering system? If so, you're going to need one of these Dorman steering shaft rag joint discs. They will help you get back the original steering feel and function. Manufactured from thick, durable rubber, Dorman steering shaft rag joint discs act as a dampening coupler for your steering shaft and will provide that solid steering performance you've been looking for. This kit includes factory-style hardware that makes installation quick and easy.

*Shop*
(1979-93) Mustang Steering Shaft Rag Joint:
https://lmr.com/item/DOR-31000/79-93-Mustang-Steering-Shaft-Rag-Joint

*Watch*
(1979-93) Fox Body Mustang Power Steering Rack Review:
https://youtu.be/PysGJGbQ9wI

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Use of this video is subject to the terms as set forth in our LMR Install Video Disclaimer | https://lmr.com/page/lmr-install-video-disclaimer