Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All, I just recently purchased my first cat. It's a 69 coupe, 351c, FMX. It's in fairly decent shape, still in driving condition, even though it had been parked for over a year. Found it at a used car dealership parked behind the building, got it for a song and dance - $1000.00 I even have the title from the first owner. But enough of that, on to my problem. I have replaced the bushings in the steering and had the front end checked out and aligned by a shop. My problem? I have excessive free play in the steering wheel. The steering box checks ok and the control valve centering spring adjustment is good. The manual I have states to check for excessive clearance between the steering arm ball stud and the ball stud seats and if loose to adjust the control valve regulator stop. It does not however describe how to make this adjustment and I suspect that this may be my problem. Can anyone instruct me on how to adjust the control valve regulator stop? Any and all help is greatly appreciated. :confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
If you've got excessive play in the steering wheel, your control valve needs to be rebuilt. You can't adjust it enough to be useful.

Pick up a rebuilt control valve from any Cougar or Mustang vendor. They're usually about $130 for rebuilt units. Autokrafters sells new ones for $250...

Most vendors also sell the rebuild kits for the control valve for about $30, but I wasn't that brave...


But to answer your question, to adjust it, remove the cap off the env of the control valve and you'll see the adjusting screw there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I purchased my control valve and cylinder at my local Autozone. You may have to call around to the other Autozone's because they don't stock or order from the same place. They are rebuilt in Arizona and come with a lifetime warranty. Plus they are cheaper than most of the catalogs. It definitly sounds like yours is worn out. Be very careful after you install the control when you first start the engine. Sometimes on a rare occasion the steering wheel will violently turn side to side until you shut off the engine. YOU don't want your fingers or hands in the area of the steering wheel if that happens. It didn't happen to me but a mechanic friend of mine warned me about this. Buddy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
valve

A couple of things to add here. First, don't try and adjust the screw at the end. It's a very touchy adjustment. As the others have suggested, buy a rebuilt unit or a new one. They will want a core, pay the deposit, then when your done swapping it out and happy with the way it drives, return the core.

Now, when you are ready to pull the old unit, a few tips.

First, drain the pump using the low pressure line ( the one w/ a hose clamp), then remove the 4 hoses from the valve. Mark them so you know where they go on the new one. The "wild wheel syndrome" mentioned can & will cause serious damage to any extremities. The valve is locked in place by a clamp and a "L" shaped pin. Loosen the clamp & remove the bolt. Under the bolt you will see the pin, if it was put back the last time. Pull it out (can be stubborn) and set aside.

The last thing is to free it from the stud, remove the cotter pin & nut If you have a puller use it. If not, I use a long solid bar. Slide it down from the top of the engine by the exhaust manifold, you will have to turn the wheels so you can see the top of the stud between the manifold and the shock tower. Set the bar on the stud and hit w/ a large hammer. Usually a hit or two is all you will need. Now take the valve in your hands and unscrew it from the drag link. COUNT the rotations!! VERY IMPORTANT. Write the # down. When you install the new valve, screw it back on with the same #of turns.

Attach the hoses and then pressure bleed the system by starting the motor WITH YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE WAY!! Then slowly turn the wheel L & R don't force it to the far L&R, for 4 full turns. The pump may make noise
( bubbles in the fluid), force fluid out the tube, and feel a bit jerky. This is normal. Keep an eye on the fliud level, and fill after the "foamy" fluid settles.

Good Luck, Cougar Bill
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,754 Posts
ps

Well thats all good info however for 20 bucks you can get one from a Granada or Mustang/Comet/Maverick on and on the list goes .Don't let them tell you its "Different" cause its not.Only the price is.Bill mentions placing the pipe on the stud however what you want to do is place the drift against the hole in pitman arm that the stud goes thru.Then hit firmly with a hammer till it drops out.A little penetrating fluid will help.Very important to get the count correct if removing assemblyIf the count is off then sloopy she'll be.Reach up and grab the valve assembly and see if it is moveable up and down.The ball stud if loose will cause some play.Most often the bushings in the ram to frame mount are the problem or the idler arm.Steering box needs to be adjusted correctly as well.I can rebuild a valve if you need or even may have a used one here.The valve is the problem if the steering only works one way or neither way.Its a big mistake to use a pickle fork on control valve ball studs as they crush the ball stud slider and then steering won't correct.To adjust the nut under the cover tighten down till tight and back off 1/3 max turn Hope this helps Ray/Pacificatz:D :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
...and just for kicks, I'll add this final tip.

When I went to home depot to buy MY 3 ft, 3/4in steel rod, they also had slightly larger diameter 3ft steel TUBES... I bought one to go with it.

It came in VERY handy. My ball stud took a good 15 solid hits with a 2lb sledge on the rod, along with 3 days under penetrating oil to get off. I used the tube to guide the rod. lower the tube down around the top of the ball stud where it comes up through the pitman arm, that way, you can just drop the rod down the tube and whack away without having to recenter it for each whack.

Cool eh?

I though of that tube idea all by myself. ;-)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,754 Posts
ball stud whacking

The problem with whacking your ball stud is that it will mushroom the top and won't be able to put the nut back on.Never use a pickle fork on control valves I did like the tube in a tube idea though mushrooming may present a problem.:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
I never had a problem with mushrooming. The ball stud shaft was certainly harder steel than the rod it was getting hit with. The rod was mushroomed all to heck when I was done with it, but the ball stud shaft was fine.

You're dead on about the pickle fork for sure though. I tried that one first. :rolleyes: It took me a Looooooong time to get the pickle fork off the stud once I began realizing my mistake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thanks Guys for all the great info. I think your right it's time to replace it instead of trying to make adjustments to it. and if any of you need any parts from a salvage yard there is a salvage yard here in Ogden Utah that has about 6 '67 - 70 cats. Just let me know what you need and I will see if they have it. It is one of those you search and pull the part type operations thats only open on the weekend. Thanks again for the info it was Great!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
we need the vin # for NAt. data base,

get all no. on the door and buck tags

when you to the junk yard.
thanks
kougar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
hey kat
you could just get a rack and pinion set up from total control industries and swap it out.....they run about 1200.00 for the kit but you would have no play in the wheel and the control factor is great.....
just a thought ............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
One thing you can to to avoid "mushrooming" of the stud is reinstall the castle nut upside-down on it (making sure it's far enough on not to slip off and strip the threads but leaving enough gap the the stud can be released from the center link) and bang on that instead. Worst case scenario is you need a new nut.

Also, it really isn't that difficult to rebuild a control valve; you just need to be careful and precise and make sure everything is CLEAN and then well-lubed with fluid during assembly. I've done three of them...

Also, the original poster didn't mention anything about tie rods or idler arm... there could be play in those ball joints causing looseness so it's a good thing to check. In fact, play in the control arm ball joints can manifest itself is steering play too.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top