Yikes! Lots of play in steering! Need advice.

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by mustangprodude, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Just got a '65 fastback last week. My goal is to create a GT350 clone. But before I start body/interior work I need to get the suspension worked out. This car was originally an I6 with a 3 speed. It's been converted to V8/C4. It's also been converted to 5 lug on all corners. Thing runs great but it's all over the road, TONS of play in the steering. Where should I look first? It has power steering. The sad thing is I have no idea if the steering was converted from a 6 to 8 setup. How can I tell? I notice in all the parts catalogs the 6 setup is far more expensive than the 8.I'm used to the late model r&p Stangs. So this classic stuff is all new to me. Any advice is appreciated!
  2. first: with the engine off, the wheels chocked and on the ground (as in not up on jackstands), have someone sit in the driver's seat and turn the wheel slowly back and forth while you look at the steering components from below. You might be able to spot loose linkage, where one part moves quite a ways before it causes the piece it's attached to to move.

    Once you've done this, then jack the front end up and repeat the process, but you can also move things by hand to see if you can locate any "play" on your own.

    I recently rebuilt part of my steering system with Mustang Plus' Make It New kit. Very easy install, the ball joints are fitted with grease joints (unlike my stock components), and in the short amount of driving I did before I tore the car apart again to start on my next project, the steering did feel much more firm and responsive.
    (now after getting everything installed and aligned, I see that it didn't really improve things that much...)

    Good luck.
  3. To add a little, you can also just go to your local auto parts store and buy parts there. This is especially good if you just have a couple parts to replace. I recommend you buy the best they have. Moog is the brand I like to buy.

    Edit: oh, and it is possible that a lot of the play is in the steering box itself. The old recirculating ball is no where near as good as a modern r & p setup.
  4. Thanks for the advice guys. I'll crawl under it tonight and see what's loose. Scared to drive the thing til I get this issue fixed. If it is the steering box, is there a way to tighten it up? Or is it rebuild time? And what are the signs that let you know it's time to rebuild the control valve?
  5. if you crawl under the car, it's best to have someone turn the wheel for you, that way you can see the movement in the joints and linkage.
  6. After you do the loose steering component check as previously recommended I would then check and tighten the steering box. I had the same issue and this forum "steered" me in the right direction as mine is tight now.

    You'll see there is a 1" long screw and locknut protruding from the top of the box. Identify the orientation of the screw so you can see how much the change will be. Loosen the locknut and carefully turn the screw in (clockwise) until it is tight, then back off a half turn. Tighten locknut and note the screw rotation. I tightened mine a half turn in and it handles alot better with the 5 minute "free" improvement. The box also requires grease lubrication in the filler plug on top, use a tapered fitting.

    Apparently these boxes wear out as they where only intended to have a 20 year lifetime before rebuilding, not sure how you would know other than the ugly result while driving. An alignment might also help if has been awhile.