OK this may be a cake walk to most of you but, I am going to try and replace the power steering box on my 69 cougar myself. Can you guys walk me through it? Any tips or hints?....lol I kinda need to know where to start....thanks, Michelle:1zhelp:
You need a pitman arm puller and a couple of wrenches. First remove the cotter pin from the bolt in the stud in the hydraulic control bag. When the cotter pin is out, loosen the big bolt until the top is flush with the top of the stud. Put a pitman arm puller on it and tighten the pitman arm puller nut until it is tight. Tap the pitman arm with a hammer and it should pop loose. Finish removing the nut and pull the stud out of the arm. Next, remove the nuts in the rag joint that connects the steering shaft to the gear box. Finally, remove the three bolts holding the gear box to the frame. The gear box usually can be wiggled out from here although headers or a BB might require lifting the motor. (Never tried with either so I don't know.) It's heavy so be careful not to drop it on yourself as you wiggle it out.
Opps, the big bolt references at the start should instead be a big nut. And the pitman arm nut is a pitman arm shaft. I shouldn't respond after 10pm, I think my brain starts to shut off sometime around then.
It's not likely you'll need to lift the motor. However, you'll more than likely need to lower the exhaust to make enough room to pull the box. Someone once told me they undid the steering column mounts inside the car to get the steering shaft loose from the box. Not so sure about that story, though. BTW, the nut which holds the pitman arm to the shaft is rather large, and I believe it has a rather high torque requirement. Check this before you tighten it back down.
I have a 69 with a 390. When I replaced the steering box I loosened the pitman arm from the control valve using a tool made for this purpose. Snap-on has them. The tool greatly reduces the risk of damaging the control valve. There is really not room for a hammer anyway. Pickle forks are a no-no on the control valve. Then I removed the master brake cylinder, disconnected the rag joint, removed the 3 bolts that holds the steering gear to the frame and very carefully wriggeled the steering gear up through the space where the master cylinder normally sits. There was no need to lift the engine or loosen the exhaust.
The rebuilt unit I put in was not much better than the old one, so I will try a new unit next time. Be aware that another forum member received a unit from Flaming River that had been tampered with, and though they sent him a new one he was on his own in regard to paying for the second installation.
Michelle, if you do do it, then take pictures if possible and take notes, then you can post the whole procedure in one of the cougar forums, guess it would be the tech section now. To anyone doing something like this, do the above, maybe Logan will open a special section for 'members reviews' or whatever. I know for sure that I would like to see this kind of thing get off the ground, I know Dark68 is also keen on members doing this.
The procedure depends on whether you remove the box through the top of the engine compartment, or drop it out underneath the car. Martin must have done the former.
BTW, I was the member who had the problem with the Flaming River steering box, and later with Flaming River over the warranty. Their product offering is probably fine most of the time. My experience is an example of a case where it wasn't, and I am not satisfied how they handled it, particularly when a premium must be paid for any of their products. To get the whole story, read the "Control Valve Advice" thread from last December.
Martin's experience with a rebuilt steering box is probably not typical.
My suggestion is to drop the drag link and the box together -- then attempt to the separation of the box & pitman.
To do this: remove idler arm at passenger side. Remove tie rod connections to link. Remove power steering ram attachment from frame only. Remove PS hoses. Undo rag joint. Unbolt steering box. BAM (as per Emiril) -- it's out. Takes about 45 minutes.