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I also noticed Saturday on our first drive that the car seemed to wander a little bit. I have a leak at the power steering valve. Can the power steering valve be rebuilt? I have also read something about the steering box may need adjustment. Can you tell me how to check this? I've read it on here somewhere but I cant find it now.
 

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The control valve is not difficult to rebuild. Follow the exploded diagram that comes with the rebuild kit or in the factory service manual.
 

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I didn't think it was all that difficult.

BTW it WILL feel loose, especially if your daily driver is something a bit more modern. A well-sorted steering system in these cars, properly aligned, and updated with new/rebuilt components, will still have some perceived play in it. It just takes a few minutes of driving to re-familiarize yourself with how it feels.
 

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Just make sure the spool valve moves freely in its bore before you put it all back together. Maybe take a minute or two to remove burrs from the edges of the spool.
 

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I complained about the play in my steering when I first drove it, but I have since had a wheel alignment and lowered the tyre pressure to 25psi, the steering has improved out of sight, but, yes, you still get wander, compared to a later model car.
 

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A ball joint press is too big. I use a tie rod end removal tool. Here's what I do: Take out the cotter pin and remove the nut holding the ball stud on the control valve to the pitman arm. Put the nut back on the stud, upside down,threading it on so there's about 1/4" of "cup" in the nut. (This helps keep the tie rod removal tool in place) Install the tie rod end tool on the pitman arm, locating the bolt part of it in the "cup" of the nut/stud. From above, use a socket, extension bars and ratchet to turn the bolt in the tie rod tool. When the stud breaks loose, remove the tool and nut and push the control valve away from the pitman arm. Then remove the hydraulic lines, clamp bolt and roll pin so you can rotate the valve to remove it.
 

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A worn idler arm will also greatly affect loose steering. I replaced or rebuilt pretty well all my steering components and still had very loose steering. I found the new idler arm was too loose (the crown nut had not been tightened down enough) allowing too much play in the arm.
 

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I would be game to try but I've read some horror stories. Especially on stangerssite. It would cost $100 more to buy on vs rebuild. Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do.
Follow stangerssite to a tee and you'll be just fine... I'm currently doing my 67 XR7 and everything is going exactly as he indicates.
 

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If your idler arm IS bad, then order it from Rock Auto. They're HALF the price of O'Reillys, or Advanced. And, the shipping to me was only $12.50! If it's something I need, but can wait for it, then I'll ALWAYS get it from Rock Auto!!

These other guys are correct, about the older cars having some 'looseness'. I prefer that, myself! My '00 Grand Marquis has NO play in the steering, whatsoever! I really can't believe that, since it has 'regular' steering (not rack and pinion). If you move the wheel a millimeter, it's turning! I hate that! My '05 Mustangs were like that, too, but they DID have rack and pinion. That's why you don't see any newer cars in my signature! I'll just keep buying old cars, until I can't find good ones anymore.

John
 
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