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Hi one and all,

My question is about free play in the steering wheel.
When my car is parked,engine off there is a good bit
of movement in the steering wheel. Aslo when driving
it seams to have a little play to it.
Someone told me that all i need to do is loosen the nut
that locks the sector adjusting screw and turn the adjusting
screw counter clockwise.
Then tighten the nut back up and the problem is solved.
Now this sounds too easy to be true. I am new at all this
and could use your knowledge and experience...

thanks,
Jim

my cougar: 1967 xr7 289 2v ps/pb
 

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My cat does the same. It is probably worn out.
The old steering boxes are poorly designed P.O.S's. Please don't ask me to explain why, because I can't.
 

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Actually you have to turn it clockwise to tighten the slop up if I remember correctly. But if its really sloppy to begin with its probably worn beyond the point of adjustment and will just bind up when trying to adjust it.

If its a power steering car be sure to check the ball stud on the P/S control valve for wear as they can also put alot of slop in the steering. mm
 

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My 67 had similar problems. After messing around with the adjuster screw, no real improvement. Finally ordered a control valve rebuild kit from one of the suppliers (can't remember) I'm sure the kit would be easy to find. I rebuilt it, installed it, had front end aligned and I am pleased with the handling and the feel when driving.
 

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Don't just adjust the steeering gear without reading the link provided by evilness. You could wind up wrecking the gear.:cry: I did frontend work for a while back in the 70's and saw a few wrecked steering gears.... anyway on this old of car it IS probobly worn out.... also a worn out idler arm will give you loose steering. I just replaced mine before the west coast nats and it really made the difference. in a word it was shot. my .02

Don
 

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I had the same problem on my '67 and found a used replacement for it. If you do the same, be aware that early '67's had a 1" output shaft on them. Midway through the '67 model year Ford upgraded to a 1 1/8" shaft. That box was used on through '70. These boxes can be interchanged as long as the proper pitman arm is used.
 

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I just want to re-enterate check Evilness post first and follow.
I just rebuilt entire front suspension, new upper and lower control arms, ball joints, end links, tie rod ends, bushings, powersteering cylinder ( old one bent), + Idler arm. All problems solved handles great but $$$. The ball valve was OK as was steering gear just adjusted.

Look at rubber in all links mine was toast.
 

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If you can't adjust the steering gear right - spend the extra $$$ and get a new unit.

About 2 years ago I had a very worn out steering gear exchanged for a rebuilt unit. It helped but not enough. A brand new steering gear from Flaming River is on my shopping list for the future.

If you have a large budget there are modern rack and pinion systems available.

People say much bad about these steering gears. When they are not worn out and adjusted properly they are a joy. When I lived in Europe and owned a 63 Galaxie I routinely traveled at 130 mph on the Autobahn or barreled down windy roads without handeling problems.
 

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hey guys got probally a stupid question here but im from the new school cars and still learing as i go on old school, i have replaced everything for my powersteering system and it is still hard to steer, what am i doing wrong the only thing i havent replaced is that "regulator" i think this might be the prblem any info would be helpful!
 

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If you have replaced EVERYTHING except the control valve that must be the culprit. Last I had trouble with that component I went through all kinds of hoops before getting a rebuilt unit at my local parts store at a reasonable price. Problem solved. You will need special (Ford) tool 3290-C to push the valve ball stud out of the pitman arm. Snap-on tools had it 10 years ago, when I needed it. You should also get the shop manual set for your model year to better see how things work Old School.
 

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thanks martin i appriciate it and i love learning the "old school way of things" its alot more fun than the stuff i have to mess with.. and is it manditory to have the special tool or can you do it without it?
 

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On a full-size Ford you may be able to line up a really long bolt with the Valve ball stud and give it a whack that loosens it w/o ruining the stud. On a Cougar with shock towers and all it is almost impossible to remove the ball stud in a non-destructive way unless you have the tool. The same tool can be used on all other Fords of the same vintage, so as long as you plan on staying within the Ford/Merc family of cars, it will keep coming handy.
 

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My cat does the same. It is probably worn out.
The old steering boxes are poorly designed P.O.S's. Please don't ask me to explain why, because I can't.
amazing that some many cars on the road use the same POS designed steering gear that has given people the freedom to drive and park their casrs for YEARS.

The gear does need adjusting occasionally. A good alignment shop would do that when the car would be aligned as needed.

I worked at Chrysler in the 70's setting the torque on the sector and now work at Ford and guess what, they made a gear about the same and adjust about the same too.

The adjusting screw should only be adjusted in maybe 1/2 turn at a time and then drive to make sure it returns to center freely. ANY BINDING you tightened too much

We are all too use to rack & pinion steering (oh that is what i build now) much more positive reaction. but it also has adjustment, too tight it will bind, too loose and it could jump a tooth

The teeth on the sector will wear, that is why it has play and need adjusting occasionally, but you cannot compair R&P to a RBV gear
 

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On a full-size Ford you may be able to line up a really long bolt with the Valve ball stud and give it a whack that loosens it w/o ruining the stud. On a Cougar with shock towers and all it is almost impossible to remove the ball stud in a non-destructive way unless you have the tool. The same tool can be used on all other Fords of the same vintage, so as long as you plan on staying within the Ford/Merc family of cars, it will keep coming handy.
Here's how I remove the ball stud from the pitman arm: Take out the cotter pin and unscrew the nut until it is almost all the way off the stud, leaving a little "cup" at the top of the stud. Then attach a tie rod remover to the pitman arm with the threaded pusher pressing on the end of the stud. Using the proper size socket and a long extension bar, turn the bolt in the tie rod remover from above. When the stud breaks loose, remove the tool and finish removing the nut.
 
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