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Sloppy steering
#1
Magnum 
This year the steering has really gone down hill in my car.  On the interstate the car now seems to dart from one side of the lane to the other.  With about 3 inches of play in the wheel you really are fighting to catch it. The whole front suspension, tie rods, idler arm, bushings, upper and lower control arms, roller bearing spring seats, etc. was replaced a couple years ago.

Would a steering box rebuild with updated quicker ratio help?

[Image: FE177109-A1-C8-4-A6-C-9224-AACCFD66-C3-C9.png]

Rick Bombard
1971 Grabber Green Mach 1 351C 4V
2013 Race Red California Special Convertible
1973 Medium Copper Metallic Convertible 302 4V     SOLD
1953 F-100 project

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#2
Yes if all the other components are relatively new then I would look at the box. I had mine done about 2 years ago. Rebuilt and converted to quick ratio. One of the best upgrades I made to the car. I sent mine to powersteering.com. Mine had quite a bit of slop in it and was acting just as you described.

73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

- Jason


[Image: 082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg]
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#3
Sounds like the rag joint, to me.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#4
+1 on the rag joint. I had the same symptoms. Hopefully it’s that and not the steering box, way cheaper to fix. Lol, but still a pia to fix.

run_horse Run Horse Run!
John 72 Q Code
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#5
(08-12-2019, 03:12 PM)JDon C Wrote: Sounds like the rag joint, to me.
Would I see any slop between the steering shaft and the steering box input at the rag joint?  I had the kid move the steering wheel while I watched the rag joint.  I appears to be a solid transfer of rotation both with the engine off and running.

[Image: FE177109-A1-C8-4-A6-C-9224-AACCFD66-C3-C9.png]

Rick Bombard
1971 Grabber Green Mach 1 351C 4V
2013 Race Red California Special Convertible
1973 Medium Copper Metallic Convertible 302 4V     SOLD
1953 F-100 project

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#6
Yes, you would definitely see some slop if it's the rag joint, although not much with a fixed column, as it has locating pins that act as a fail safe. Tilt columns do not have the pins and can have a lot of slop.

Over how long a period of time did it take for it to get that sloppy?

There is an adjustment screw on the top of the steering box to adjust the sector shaft play.

If you have power steering is the reservoir full?



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#7
You mentioned that you replaced quite a few of the front steering and suspension. How about the pitman arm? I had that go bad before too and makes the steering sloppy.

run_horse Run Horse Run!
John 72 Q Code
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#8
Steering has always had a bit of slop but not to a point where it darts across the lane.  Even if the road was bad it shouldn’t do that.  Pump is full of fluid.  I did not change the pitman arm.

I’ll try the adjustment screw.

That box rebuild is around $500. I like the idea of quicker steering response.  Might do that over the winter with a new rag joint.  I’m not going to waste my 4 months of drive time by ripping into it now.  Winter is coming.

[Image: FE177109-A1-C8-4-A6-C-9224-AACCFD66-C3-C9.png]

Rick Bombard
1971 Grabber Green Mach 1 351C 4V
2013 Race Red California Special Convertible
1973 Medium Copper Metallic Convertible 302 4V     SOLD
1953 F-100 project

  Reply
#9
Turn the steering wheel about an eighth of a turn from center, loosen the lock nut on the adjustment screw and turn the screw in until you feel a little resistance, hold the screw in that position and tighten the lock nut. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel back and forth a few times. If it feels like it catches or has a hard spot in it loosen the adjustment screw a quarter of a turn. If it's still loose, try adjusting the screw one more time.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
[+] 1 user Likes Don C's post
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#10
(08-12-2019, 09:13 PM)Don C Wrote: Turn the steering wheel about an eighth of a turn from center, loosen the lock nut on the adjustment screw and turn the screw in until you feel a little resistance, hold the screw in that position and tighten the lock nut. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel back and forth a few times. If it feels like it catches or has a hard spot in it loosen the adjustment screw a quarter of a turn. If it's still loose, try adjusting the screw one more time.
….and if that fails to reduce the slop, you need bigger balls!! In the steering box I mean. That's definitely time for a rebuild (and upgrade).

Be very careful about the sector shaft adjustment screw, it can be very sensitive. Too tight and the car will want to pull to one side then the other. I found that out the hard way.
The over-center total preload is only 8 - 10 inch pounds on the sector shaft, which is hardly nothing.
Geoff.

I learn something new every day!
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