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Last year I replaced my front suspension and steering (1968 w/power steering). Over the last two days I installed a Flaming River steering box ( what a pain in the $%%). Anyway it's in and I drove the car and was very disapointed. The steering slop is still there. It may even be worse. I probably have two to three inches of steering slop before the wheels start to turn. The steering feels much tighter than before (it's harder to turn) but it doesn't return to the center position by itself. Has anyone else had simular problems with their steering box replacement. Could it be that the new box I brought isn't good? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Are you sure the rest of your steering components are in good shape? Pitman arm, center link etc.

Typically the old Ford p/s does feel super lightweight. It won't feel like a modern car...

Have you had it aligned? It's caster that helps return the wheel to the center.
 

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In addition to what Shuan has said, what about your idler arm? From what I understand, there are 2. One is for manual steering and the other for power steering. The powersteerting version has added resistance via the type of bushing to help return the wheel to center after a turn. From what I've read on the forum, if you use a manual version, the wheel won't return.
 

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I visited your site...great stuff....I need to raise my engine AND transmission to replace both motor mounts and auto transmission mount....is there a site with reference info?
 
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FYI: IF THE WHEEL DOES NOT RETURN TO CENTER AFTER TURNING,THEN ID SAY THE SECTOR SHAFT ADJUSTMENT IS TO TIGHT,ON THE OTHER HAND YOU SAY THE WHEEL HAS A LOT OF PLAY IN IT,
IF THE REST OF YOUR FRONT END IS IN GOOD SHAPE[TIE RODS/IDLER ARM/CONTOLL VALVE BALL JOINT,]
THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE A BOX PROBLEM.
BE 100% SURE CONTROLL VALVE BALL AND SOCKET ARE FRESH AND GREASED!
DAVE
 
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While someone else is turning the wheel look at the input of the box and the pitman arm. If they are seem to be turning un unison, then the box is fine.

Look at the pitman arm and the rest of the steering linkage while someone is turning the wheel. I would bet that you will find that there is slop or lag in the system.
 
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Just a thought, but have you checked the "rag joint" ? If its the original, it could need replacing.
 

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Oh boy a new term to learn. Cannot say I have ever heard of a "rag joint", what is that?

Thanks,
 

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The rag joint is the new for mid-67 steering coupler that changed the spear-o-matic into a 2 piece steering column. This is supposed to help safety in the event of an accident. The rag joint would rip and avoid the spear through the chest syndrome.
 

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My steering box went in fine and I am very happy. I have no slop in the steering at all. However I did experience the tightness in the new box that you are describing. I thought the box I had was improperly adjusted so I emailed them and asked. They said it was quite normal for their boxes to be a bit tight at first and for me not to worry that it will loosen up in time. I've put a couple hundred miles on it since then and it does seem to have loosened up a bit. I wouldn't worry about that too much, what would worry me is the play you describe. Sounds to me like it is coming from somewhere other than the steering box.
 
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