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Discussion Starter #1
:1zhelp: Hi All, I sure someone out there will have some ideas for me or at least confirm my suspicions. Here's my problem, the steering on my 67 Cat will not return to center after completing a left or right turn( No matter how tight of a turn). I have to recenter the wheel myself, it will not even try to recenter itself. There is no noticible play in the steering, as a matter of fact it feels pretty good. Upper and lower ball joints have been replaced, along with the tire rod ends, center link, control valve, power steering cylinder etc. One thing I have noticed is that I only get about 1 3/4 turns out of the wheel to the left and better than 2 turns to the right. My thinking is that the steering box it's self may not be center and that the shaft bearing may be too tight? I have adjusted the sector shaft (loosened it) but there was no change except to add play in the steering, the wheel would still not even try to return to center, so I adjusted it back to the point it was previously. I just had a new front end alignment when I replaced the power steering cylinder (last week), so I don't think the problem would be excessive caster. Other things I have checked for included, (1) over inflated tires - OK (2) binding in the steering column - Good (3) Lube and Pwr steering fluid levels - OK So this brings me to the point that I mentioned above. Any Ideas?????? Thanks
 

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No ideas, but I have a similar problem; turning to the left is noticeably shorter than to the right (left turn radius is much larger), and when I turn the steering wheel back to straight it binds. I noticed that I can turn the wheel farther when reversing, and it doesn't bind if I straighten the wheel while rolling backwards... I'm hoping someone out there has had this problem and can help 69Kat and me...
 

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The power steering system on the 67 - 70 Cougar does not return to center like rack and pinion steering in more modern systems. By nature it resists such action because the pitman arm ball is the source for steering valve input. The steering wheel will tend to remain where it is because of differential pressure on both sides of the ram assist cylinder.

If your car takes more turns lock to lock one direction the tie rod was not centered when the alignment was performed. This is common as technicians care little about learning about a system they adjust so seldom compared to newer steering systems. The steering must be realigned properly and the steering wheel removed and reinstalled in the correct orientation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Royce, Have a question here. With the wheels straight ahead, shouldn't the steering kinda have a neutral spot, where it kinda I guess would say float? Mine is VERY sensitive to steering input. Actually more sensitive than I would expect for a 67. I'm not expecting it to return to center like rack and pinion, but my 69 does return to a small degree with very little driver assist. I will have my alignment guy check it again to make sure the tie rod was/is centered for the lock to lock turning thing. I like the tightness the 67 has (Of course everything except the steering box is new) but i still expected it to float though the steering like my 69. They both have the same style/size Steering wheel, so it not a diff in steering wheel size. Maybe nothing is wrong??? If It didn't turn as easy as it does I would think it had manual steering. Thanks for the help
 

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Actually if you installed a new ps control valve and it was not installed in the same position on the center link your steering would be off center also.

Have your alignment guy also check to see if you have enough caster adjusted into it. Caster helps return the wheels after a turn also.

Royce also hit it on the head about most alignment "techs" are snot nosed know it alls who dont "care" or even worse dont know how to adjust these older setups. The only way the caster can be changed on your car is to adjust the strut rods and most either dont know it or are too lazy to bother with it.

Not long ago a poster here was having all kinds of alignment problems and when he finally took it somewhere else with mechanic who actually knew what he was doing his problems were over. Something to think about.

Also if the steering is oversensitve there is a adjustment on the end of the control valve for that, but I wish you better luck than I have had doing it. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Mark for the input. The guy I had do my alignment is pretty good..I think. he's pretty well versed in these older cars, although he is a pontiac nut. he's really into the earlier 60' GTO's and he's not a young guy either, but still.... I never told him about the tight steering when I had the power steering cylinder replaced and then aligned. the cylinder had gotten so bad that I didn't notice the problem I have now since there was so much wander in it. back then I was too busy correcting the steering input from when a tire would catch a rut or dip in the road. My first thought had been with the caster adjustment on the wheel return. So I guess I am going to have to take it back and have it checked out completely in a shop. I hadn't consider the adjustment on the control valve for the sensitivity though. I actually kinda like the positive control feel it has though the steering if I could get it to return to center with less driver input. This absolutlity not even trying to return to center has me a little worried. I can turn it all way to the stop, punch the gas and it won't move from the stop. I just can't see that being right. I know and understand what Royce was saying earlier, but that Tight??? Well, will let everyone know after I get it back from the alignment shop...again....as this is beginning to look like this isn't something I will be able to do myself.
 

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Could it be that your steering box is adjusted too tight on the preload screw? That will cause it to have very little play but weird steering feel.

As stated in another post above, some front end techs look at the caster / camber and don't adjust it if both sides are the same. If your guy is used to working on sixties Poncho's he may not be aware of how to do it properly. It is easier on the Cougar! Also, the specs for a Cougar are different from a similar year Mustang, be sure he is using correct specs for the car.

Finally, ride height has a great affect on steering. If you have air shocks cranked up to 100PSI and the rear end way in the air steering gets very light and quick. Conversely if the rear springs are sacked and it sits rear low the steering becomes slower.
 

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Royce, Mark- You guys continue to impress us with your knowledge and experience! Thank you!

Does anyone know of a shop manual or other reference or guide that would help us set up our steering/suspension? I have a Chilton '65-73 Mustang and Cougar manual and a Haynes '64 1/2 - '73 Mustang manual, but they barely discuss how to bolt things together... and like Royce said, the settings are going to be different.
MM- You mentioned the PS control valve - where is it and how can I check if it's installed correctly?
 

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The ps control valve mounts on the drivers side of the drag link and hooks to the pitman arm on the steering gear box. If your not having trouble then its best left alone. mm
 
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