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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter's 67 Cougar XR7 had looseness in its power steering control assembly. I got a rebuilt part, and had our local mechanic install it. The new one is loose too. Two mechanics have told me it should not be loose like this, and I looked at it while it was on one guy's rack. The valve body moves in relation to its mounting stud, about 1/8", when we move wheels back&forth. Stud is solidly bolted to steering arm with the castellated nut. The rebuilder is saying they are supposed to be like this.

Can anyone tell me whether it's supposed to be loose like this, or whether this indicates a bad unit that would wear further and/or increase likelihood of line leaking?
 

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The unit is designed with some play in it to actuate the power assist cylinder. As it moves in the valve it directs the fluid to the appropriate side of the cylinder. If your steering seems loose you should check for play in the steering box, idler arm and tie rod ends. Also check your control arm bushings and strut rod bushings. The design of the system will not provide a tight feel, even when all the conponents are in good shape compared to todays standards.
John
wvcat
 

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You have two clueless mechanics. You have a rebuilder who is correct. If the valve couldn't move there would be no power steering.

These units are typically trouble free. Most leaks come from the pump and hoses and are often misdiagnosed to be the control valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, guys, bear with me here - I've never been inside one of these power steering control valve assemblies (PSCVA). What I'm hearing is that the stud that mounts the PSCVA to the steering arm, interfaces with the inside of the PSCVA body in such a way as to influence the direction of the hydraulic fluid to one side or other of the power steering piston, to assist the steering effort, and that it does this by moving left or right relative to the PSCVA body, as the wheels are turned. Sounds like this movement of the mounting stud head inside the PSCVA body actually redirects the fluid by closing a port on one side and opening a port on the other side as it shifts within the body. Thus this movement that my mechanics told me was "looseness" is actually the correct functioning of the PS control valve. Do I have this right?

Thanks for your advice and patience.
Regards,
Bob Peitzke
 

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Bob,

You know more than your mechanics. Everything you just said is correct.

Normally the movement of the control valve is followed by the power steering ram moving the steering in the desired direction, therefore there is in effect very little play while driving.

When the engine is idling and steering effort is high such as while parking for example the valve might move full travel because pressure will be low and steering response slower.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Royce!
Everything I know about these power steering units, I just learned from you guys on this forum, since yesterday. It is kinda scary that I now understand them better than both local mechanics.

I notice you've got three big-block Cougars! Bet they run fast! Bet they understeer a bit, too ;o) I've never actually seen a big block on those engine bays - tight fit?

Regards,

Bob
 

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It's not as bad as you think, and well worth any trouble caused by the bigness. Lots of fun when the right pedal is pushed!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had a 70 Mustang 351 that understeered too much. I moved the battery to the trunk, put on softer front springs (had the Mach I HD suspension, actually too stiff in front), and it reduced the understeer a lot! You shoulda seen the size of the battery cables I used to minimize line loss. Bet a battery end-swap would really help handling in a big-block. Fun project it was, but of course impaired the original status of the car.

Cheers,
- Bob
 

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Bob,
The 428CJ weighs about 50 pounds more than a 351C engine. The real weight penalty is from the C6 tranny in each car.

The 427GTE engines weigh about 25 pounds less than a 351C because of the aluminum intake. My green GTE is additionally lightened by aluminum Edelbrock heads.

The other two cars are stock. The idea that these cars are front heavy is relative, even the 289 Cougars are front heavy. Any 427 - 428 Cougar came with standard Competition handling suspension package which included much stiffer springs and a larger front sway bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cougar PS, mechanics opinions

I discussed the issue of the "loose" power steering control valve in my daughter's 67 Cougar, Friday, with both mechanics. Turns out they were not "clueless" as it sounded, just that our communications had been incomplete. Both understood the role of the mounting stud ball-end in controlling hydraulic fluid direction inside the PSCV body; their assertion was not that "it was loose where it should be tight", as I misunderstood, but that it was "too loose". Obviously they didn't explain it to me very well.

At this point, the car seems to be driving OK, and I guess we are just going to drive it and hope for the best. Next time it needs a PSCVA, I'll order it from Dr. Cougar.

Thanks to all who helped me understand how these things work.

Royce, thanks for your advice and interesting comments about your big-block Cougars.

Cheers, all.

- Bob Peitzke
working on my 87 Toyota MR2na this weekend
 

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What is proper l/r travel for the ball stud? My 69 steering is quite loose(to me), & it looks like I have a good 1/4" movement of this stud into the valve. My idler, tie rods, etc. seem tight. Also, who is Dr. Cougar? Thanks, Bob
 

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The valve ought to move 1/4" from side to side approximately with the engine off.

Dr. Cougar is John Benoit, [email protected]
 

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Royce,

You mentioned that the control valve is usually trouble free. 68 KAT is leaking like a sieve and it looks to me to be in the hydralic lines.

That being said, since it doesn't make any noise and there isn't any binding in the PS response is it safe to just eradicate the leaks (replace all of the lines) without rebuilding?

Ken
 

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The lines are always a problem. I just replaced the return hose on my blue GTE last week as it suddenly cracked at the fitting. I had a NOS hose to use, the fit has to be right or leaks are going to return soon.

There are really crappy replacements available from Pep Boys etc. Check with John Benoit 253-863-5669 and Mustang Country (Paramount, CA don't have the phone # handy), both have replacements that fit correctly.
 

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I orderd a set from Mustangs Unlimited- wrong lingth and wrong fittings. Ended up taking originals to local custom hose shop- perfect fit and half the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another source for common Cougar/Mustang parts

Mustangs Only in Culver City is another good source for parts common to both Mustang and Cougar.
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Mustangs Only (M-F: 07:30-1700, Sat: 09:00-16:00) 800-421-4635
5863 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 (1 blk E of La Cienega)
www.mustangsonly.com
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Dr. Cougar is a great source for Cougar-specific parts, as well as knowledgeable advice on Cougars. He's helped me on a couple of issues.

Bob Peitzke
Pacific Palisades, CA
67 Cougar XR7 289
03 Honda Pilot
87 Toyota MR2na
 
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