I really wanta know about steering box adjustment - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 03:34 AM
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Does anyone know about the adjustment screw on the steering box? If it is showing allot of thread does this mean that you have plenty of room for adjustment? Or is the other way around where when the screw is barely out of the box then you have allot of room for adjustment?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 09:45 AM
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Yes that is what it means. But, FINESSE is the name of the game when adjusting the steering box if the Shop Manual procedure is not going to be used.

65 Hi-Po F/B (7 yr resto)
67 GTA F/B (small block) Mustang Owners Club of Austin (MOCA), TX
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Charlie, CMSGT USAF Ret. 65 Hi-Po F/B, Mustang Owners Club of Austin (MOCA) TX, Member MCA #27479. Now working a '69 M code mach 1.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 10:48 AM
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...that the box is still relatively new and unworn -- or that it's so loose you'll barely be able to keep it on the road.

Fortunately it generally indicates the former.

-- Dave H.
(Dave's 1966 Mustang Tech Site)
(South of the Border Mustang Registry)

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 12:37 PM
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Be careful not to adjust it too tightly. Doing so can damage the gears in the unit. I found that adjusting the play in the steering to really be a "touchy-feely" procedure. If you can live with a little loose, you won't damage the box.

Jim Lunger
K&N Filters Machine Shop Supervisor

1970 Mercury Cougar 351w, 80 miles per day commuter(16mpg!!)
1968 S-code GT/CS
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 03:15 PM
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Amount of threads showing means absolutely nothing! If you feel the need to adjust the steering box, follow the procedure in the shop manual.
Unfortunately, steering box gears are worn in the straight ahead position only.... Tightening up the box to remove play in the straight ahead position will cause the gears to bind when turning.
If you must tighten, go by 1/16 of a turn increments, if you detect binding, back off!
Poor "ol steering box is blamed for other worn suspension parts like tie rod ends, idler arm, ball stud, pitman arm joint.
Fill the box with chassis grease for lubracation.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 09:43 PM
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If you get too tight, shaft will bust during turn causing complete loss of steering. Hope you have good medical!!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-28-2001, 11:55 PM
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No disrespect to the others who answered your question, but a lot of threads showing on the adjustement screw (when proper adjustment has been made), indicates that the sector gear is sitting high up on the rack, an indication that there is little wear. The gears are cut so that they are supposed to be slightly tighter in the center than to either side. This is so the car has tighter steering when going straight down the road and keeps the car from darting around. If the gears have worn too much then there will be no "high spot" in the center. Then one or both of the parts will have to be changed out for better pieces. When properly adjusted there will be a certain amount of drag from bearing preload and friction on turning the input shaft. The adjustment screw is then screwed down slowly in increments until there is a bit more drag felt as the box is turned past center. The drag should be the same both ways and full across except in the center where it should increase slightly and then go back down once center is past. This is where the box is supposed to be set and the adjustment screw should be locked down. If you get no tightness in the center, and tightening down the screw causes binding near the ends of steering travel or tightness on one side of center, then the gears have worn enough that the sector is sitting too low on the rack and is probably dragging on the inside of the gearcase. Then you will need to replace the box.

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