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Steering Box
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Darren 72



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    Post: #1
    Steering Box

    Hey,

    Can someone give me a quick brief of how to remove the steering box in my 72 Stang. Motor and drive train have already been removed.

    I believe the steering column has to be removed? It appears to be leaking. Is this common? I thought it was the master cylinder leaking on it but now that the motor is out it looks like the box is soaking wet all around. Pretty aggressive leak.

    Another question: do the rebuilds include the adjustments or do you have to make adjustments to the box during install. I know there is a gear adjustment concerning play in the wheel. I believe it's in inches not feet when torquing. Any info on this or videos concerning removal?
    Offline 01-03-2011 08:11 PM
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    72HCODE


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      Post: #2
      RE: Steering Box

      you don't need to remove the steering column, but you do need access under the car.

      1) loosen the rag joint between the steering column and the steering box. do this from under the car its easier just turn the steering wheel 180 to get to the other bolt in the rag joint. ( good time to inspect the rag joint and maybe replace it)

      2) get under the car and loosen the pitman arm from the center steering rod. you will most likely need a pitman arm puller to pop the joint off the center link.
      remember to remove the cotter pin to loosen the nut.

      the steering column and the steering linkage will now be free.

      3) disconnect the power steering hoses. (you have better access from under the car, reach around the steering box with your wrench)

      4) lastly 3 large bolts hold the steering box to the chassis rail. release all 3 and carefully lower the box its pretty heavy may want to loosen the 3 bolts then get a jack under it to support it, remove the 3 bolts and lower the jack.

      the box will now be free, mark the position of the pitman arm before you use the puller on it and pop it off the box.

      you can now take apart the box and rebuild it.

      i would recommend a shop manual i can't remember the torque specs off hand.

      i would not touch the gear adjustment unless you feel the box is very loose or you have ruined gears inside the box.

      usually you take it apart and replace the seals and just reassemble it.

      now you can adjust the gear mesh from the top of the box, there is a threaded rod with a lock nut on it loosen the lock nut with out moving the threaded rod then adjust the rod which sets the mesh and tighten the nut when you happy, just be careful the cover is aluminum and you can damage the box or strip the lid out if you go too much.

      my box before and after
      [Image: 100_1051.jpg]
      [Image: 100_1228.jpg]
      [Image: 100_1229.jpg]

      new hardware from AMK the bolts have a red coating on them with thick washers through the frame
      [Image: 100_1278.jpg]

      reinstalled
      [Image: 100_1286.jpg]
      [Image: 100_1287.jpg]

      i have accessed the box previously as described from underneath and reaching around the box if you have a 351 or a big block you will not have any clearance to get to the steering box from the top. unless you removed a ton of stuff including the driver's side exhaust manifold to make enough room.

      also depending on your exhaust your may need to remove the pipes or drop them off the header collectors or exhaust manifold to make clearance to drop the box down.

      also watch the speedometer cable when your down there if it gets in your way you may need to pop it out the transmission and move it around( keep it clean, wrap the end in a lint free rag)
      Offline 01-03-2011 09:34 PM
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      Darren 72



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        Post: #3
        RE: Steering Box

        Thanks..big help. I did take the drive train and motor out so I can jump right in the bay. I like the clean job you did with the unit and the bay looks nice.

        I just posted a thread about installing larger headers 1 3/4" on the 351C. Do you know if there are any issues with clearing the steering box with certain size headers. The ones that were in there were pretty tight. I have 4V heads and would like to get to a 1 3/4" header. I think the originals may be undersized.

        Thanks for the pics!
        Offline 01-03-2011 10:04 PM
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        73vertproject


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          Post: #4
          RE: Steering Box

          As usual, great job, 72HCODE. Once I get these heads rebuilt, I'll be looking back here for some info, especially regarding the header size and such.

          THANKS!

          Doc
          Offline 01-03-2011 10:29 PM
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          72HCODE


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            Post: #5
            RE: Steering Box

            i had a set of larger hooker headers back in 2005 there was clearance issues but i can't remember a problem with the steering box, there was an issue with the power steering hoses the clearance was tight and it was easy to accidentally melt a hose, the biggest issue besides the fact i hated them Tongue was ground clearance the headers dipped very low and had gotten some damage from speed bumps.

            I'm not the guy to really ask about which headers to use. i switched from headers to stock V4 exhaust manifolds and was very happy.
            Offline 01-03-2011 10:42 PM
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            72Mike



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              Post: #6
              RE: Steering Box

              Alright...I've got to ask...72HCode - Can't help but notice the bottle of Tide in the background of your shot. I like creative solutions to things. Have you found that Tide makes for a good parts cleaner, or does it just happen to be in the background?

              Thanks.
              Offline 01-04-2011 08:21 AM
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              72HCODE


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                Post: #7
                RE: Steering Box

                any detergent is a good grease cutter, i had other parts on the table besides the steering pump at the time and i think i was washing off some rubber parts at the time in the sink and was scrubbing everything with detergent first then letting it dry for inspection. road grime and oil build up on parts can cover up damage so first i would wash everything down and scrub it and then inspect it for damage.

                the power steering pump i ended up scrubbing down with lacquer thinner, then inspected it, then serviced it, then i detailed it when i was done.

                After years of using electrical cleaners and chemical degreasers I've developed a sensitivity to them and i get a rash or a bad headache so i try to use as little aerosols as i can. I can't use parts wash either i start to gag when i get even a whiff of it. I found that painting causes me problems now also i was a modeler for many years but now i can't paint without getting sick.
                Offline 01-04-2011 11:31 AM
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                mudbilly



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                  Post: #8
                  RE: Steering Box

                  (01-03-2011 09:34 PM)72HCODE Wrote:  you can now take apart the box and rebuild it.

                  i would recommend a shop manual i can't remember the torque specs off hand.

                  i would not touch the gear adjustment unless you feel the box is very loose or you have ruined gears inside the box.


                  now you can adjust the gear mesh from the top of the box, there is a threaded rod with a lock nut on it loosen the lock nut with out moving the threaded rod then adjust the rod which sets the mesh and tighten the nut when you happy, just be careful the cover is aluminum and you can damage the box or strip the lid out if you go too much.

                  the only thing that i really hateAngry (well that might be too strong of a word) is the steering on my car...........it is sloppy as heck and has bad understeer when turning to the right.......it is most noticeable at speeds above 55

                  would adjusting the gear mesh help this ??? or just replacing everything ????

                  i always thought that it was just the nature of the beast, and have lived with it .........?????
                  Offline 01-04-2011 01:29 PM
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                  jorgem2



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                    Post: #9
                    RE: Steering Box

                    These Mustangs have better steering than all the earlier ones, you should not have sloppy steering. It is out of alignement or you have worn parts in the front end.
                    Offline 01-04-2011 06:37 PM
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                    72HCODE


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                      Post: #10
                      RE: Steering Box

                      As jor said, sounds like you have worn outer tie rods and alignment problems.

                      When was the last time you inspected the suspension and serviced the grease fittings?

                      The suspension also uses rubber bushings which if never replaced will effect handling.

                      Wheel bearings should also be inspected.

                      Over time the parts move around, wear out or get tweaked. A good start might be a DYI alignment tool from fasttraxx. You could use it to determine how out of whack the front end is. A visual inspection would help as well.

                      Replacement of the rubber bushings in the strut rods, and replacement of the outer tie rods would be a cheap and fast improvement to handling if worn.

                      It is possible your lower suspension arm cam has slipped changing your camber angle which would throw off handling.

                      Lastly your steering box could also be suffering, but I would want to inspect the steering system overall to see what's happening.
                      Offline 01-04-2011 07:12 PM
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