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Sloppy steering
#31
Well the verdict is in.  The rag joint did seem to fix most of the violent darting across lanes.  There is still more wandering than I’d like. The wife works at the Ford dealership so it looks like she’ll bring it in for the alignment guy to give it a once over.

[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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#32
My '71 had the same symptoms...more play than I'd like, wandering a bit, bumpy roads had me hold the wheel with both hands firmly. I had a set of new lower control arms complete, and new strut rod bushings, in the garage so I had an alignment shop put them on. I knew I was going to have the alignment shop give the front end an alignment check, so I had them put that stuff on prior. Nothing really changed. So I took the car to a 2nd different alignment shop. The second shop told me that the first shop hadn't properly tightened the lower control arms to the frame, so the second shop re-tightened everything the first shop did and re-checked the alignment. Still no change.....something's wrongl. So off I went to a third shop that specialized in suspension work, and within minutes, the third guy tells me my steering box is shot. That's O.K., I had another used box in the garage, and I sent it over to Lee Manufacturing in Valencia, Calif, to have it completely re-built. My spare box was so worn, Lee Mfg had to sleeve the box to bring tolerances in line, and they replaced every seal, bearing, and bushing. My box is a Variable Ratio box that was standard on the Mach 1( competition suspension ). Lee Mfg offers virtually any ratio and assorted mods, but I told them to overhaul my VR box"Factory Stock".
Lee Mfg also carries high quality steering couplers, just like factory quality, and I bought one too. Along with a set of new hoses ( from my auto parts store ), I brought it all back to the third suspension shop for installation. They did it all in a few hours, including checking the alignment again.
Now, It's got solid good mannered steering, I like to drive with my elbow resting on the windowsill and two fingers on the wheel. The VR box is nice and responsive close to straight ahead, and eases up for 90 degree work like turning in or out of parking spots. I'm soooooooo glad I had that steering box done.
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