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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!

Here is a generic question any suspension experts among us!

Was wrenching on a 68 the last couple of days, that I had installed a larger 70 center link (3/4" I believe) from another 70 parts car that I had DECADES ago. Have owned the 68 since about 1981-82...and driven it madly! The present list of worn bits included upper control arm bushings were toast, tie rod ends were a mixture of early and lates, plus boots were cracked.....so my son and I installed new upper a-arms (with the Shelby drop while we were at it...) and 70+ spindles as we found a cracked 68 spindle a few weeks back....needed replacing....which launched this whole adventure!!! Basically put better/bigger 1970 parts in the older 68 body.....

Drilled new holes for upper arms, installed arms, spindles, springs went back in, shocks in....that part was done. Refreshed brake caliper seals, new rubber pin bushings, all ready for new pads, bearings, and rotors.

So it came time to do the tie rod assy's today.......Started with the RH side, did a crude measurement, transferred new inner and outer pieces to the adjuster and installed. Greased....all good. Continued with the LH side, but after measuring the rough length, I found about an inch in difference with the LH side....!? This one was shorter???

When I installed this center link, many years back, I'm pretty certain that I bolted it up, attached some tie rods with crude toe setting, and hauled butt down to the alignment shop.... never really confirming that it was set properly to begin with.... About all I do recall is setting the adjustment on the P/S valve, as found in the 69 or 70 manuals, but NOT the 68 version!

Fast forward 20-30 years......bazzinga!!!! Now I'm looking at this like....."this cannot be right".......

SOOOO, here is/are my question(s).....
1) Should the tie rod assy's be basically the same length on our Cats, and muttangs etc...... ?????? (Kind of a start here thing????)
Once they are installed and the proper toe is set........
2) Then does the P/S valve get installed on the center link....and THEN ADJUSTED so that the steering wheel is centered? All of that mechanics from the center link up is related to the "one position" splined rag joint and similarly splined pitman arm being in the "only" position that they can be in....?????

I know there is a roll pin installed once you set the P/S Valve position... and if I recall, it is a real bugger to get it out........ 2A)Tricks for removing?????

3) I know we drove the car for years like this......but what is it actually limiting if we leave it this way? Full lock in one direction or the other? It just seems like a 1" difference is a lot! I can check it tomorrow for travel each direction, got too late to finish it all tonite......and I will check it to see.

This is just one area of these cars that I have never gone much past the mechanical swap out of bad parts......into the realm of actually setting this all up properly! Like you just plundered Rock Auto for every part you can get, picked up a swap meet centerlink, and dropped it all on the ground to then install in your car which no longer has anything installed in it! ....with nothing to compare it to!

So, that's why I ask about starting from scratch to do a setup of the front steering! Had I known of the proper procedure years ago, I would have done it then when all the parts were nice and clean......now they have a couple hundred thousand miles on them (really!).....and lots of oil and road smegma to boot!!!! Oily dirty......ugh!

My son can now at least get the caster and camber setup by a shop (for the Shelby drop changes), with proper toe in....so he can drive the car....but later, we can either drop the centerlink and all the grimy power steering hoses.....ugh! ......degrunge it all......pull the steering valve off and set it up properly with equal-ish length tie rod assy's .....with only a toe adjustment to confirm proper position....... OR swap in another new(er) center link all cleaned and ready to rock n roll.

Look forward to responses! Hopefully a learning experience for all!
Thanks in advance!
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, after scrounging thru a 1970 shop manual, I found the procedure for "Installation- Power Steering Control Valve" which describes the dimension that is recommended (to start with), center of the grease zerk in the valve to the center of the inner tie rod end, as 4-7/8". Fairlane etc models differ here!

Amazing what you can find on your shelf if you just dig a bit!!!

Cheers!
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
AHAH!! It is in the 69 books also! (Need to actually look at a 68 book.....67.....as well)

Center link (drag link) is the same dimension back to 67! Same size chassis up front anyway!

Who's to say that the later cars didn't benefit from the results of racing these cars in the mid-late 60's!!! I'm guessing that the racers found out really quickly how weak the spindles etc were! I seem to recall seeing write-ups about using Galaxie parts in some race cars!!!
 
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