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FLaming River Steering box

1639 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Shaun @ Street or Track
I've decided to switch out the original steering power steering slop box in my 68. I'm fed up with navigating this old girl down the highway like a ship adrift.

I've heard the way to go is the flaming river steering box. Their product seems like its the way to go short of swapping in a rack and pinion setup. I have a few questions before I order one. Their power steering replacement has the power steering cylinder and and what appears to be a separate control valve assembly (2 separate stock numbers). From the looks of my car their replacement manual steering box looks more like whats on my car .

Do I need to replace both the cylinder and the control valve to clear up the slop and eliminate the play in the wheel?

Any info would be greatly appreciated


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the control valve affects the mount of play in steering, the cylinder does's quality only affects the amount of assistance provided (and if it emitted garbage could foul up the control valve and pump)
Like sharkmouth says, clear up the worn out stuff first. Several years ago, I was talking to the owner of "Rode's Restoratios" who rebuilds steering boxes and PS stuff. He told me that PS steering boxes don't really wear because the ram is doing all the work unlike manual steering boxes that handle the full load of steering.

Bring the rest of your system up to snuff and you'll notice a big improvement. BTW, you'll always have some slop with the PS sytem on your car do to the nature of how the control valve works. It must allow some deflection to route the high pressure fluid in the right circuit.

I completely removed the PS from my 66 and don't regret it for a minute!
Like Tom just said, if your car has been p/s it's entire life, I think your slop could be elsewhere.

I just removed my p/s and replaced the center link and inner/outer driver's side tie rods. I have none of the play in the steering box like other life long m/s car's I've driven. I was actually thinking of replacing my box like you were. Now I don't need to.

Check out the rest of the steering joints first.
thanks for the responses. I am kind of worried about replacing the existing box and valve only to find that there is still play in the wheel. Do you think the only way to eliminate this is to go with manual steering?
You really should check where the center link, pitman arm and spindle all connect into the steering linkage. You could have excessive play here.

Jack the car up at the front and push and pull the wheel as if your turning. You may be able to feel some play this way.

What you could be feeling is just the lightness of the Mustang p/s. I found the steering to be super light, kind of nice though! The only way to get around that is to install a TCP power rack at about $2500 which you can control the pressure on, or change to m/s... Manual is a lot harder though, but has a better 'connected to the road feel'.

Takes more heaving at slow speeds, but I like it.
I agree with you. The ps is light to touch - that doesn't bother me but the play in the wheel and the light touch are a bit un-nerving to drive espceially on the highway. The play is about 3-4 inches of movement from side to side before getting the wheels to change direction.

I took a look at it and can see the play where the pitman arm meets the steering linkage. If I move the steering column where it enters the box I see the pitman arm move before it moves the linkage. A knowledgable friend recommended that I tightening up the adjustment at the top of the steering box. I turned it down and backed it off a quarter turn but I still have the play. I am hoping that a replacement box will cure this.

The car was finished being restored this past fall by a reputable mustang resto shop - they removed all the steering and linkage for assessment repaint. I'm starting to wonder if this is how all of them were as original. I'm trying not to have to go back there - save $$ and time in the shop.

Thanks for your advise.
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I'm getting lost here... You say that you see the pitman arm move before it moves the steering linkage? Do you mean the center link of the steering system? If this is so, it's either the end of the pitman arm that's worn, or the hole it connects to on the center link...

I don't think it's how they were original. My car has been p/s it's entire life and has been a daily driver for most of it before me. I have no records of the box being replaced but it's nice and tight...

It still could be your steering box. Just trying to save you $500!!
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I wanted to get under the car before I responded. I also apologize for my "incompetence" here. I have enough knowledge to be dangerous with this and my identification of parts may be wrong.

I took a look at the car. The play in the wheel comes from the box mounted to the inner fenderwell. I can move the steering column a bit (play) before I see movement with the linkage. I was told to turn the control valve (threaded bolt at the top of the box with a groove in the head.

I tightened the bolt and backed it off a 1/4 turn then tightened it with the nut.

still have the play
Hmm, sounds like the worm gear in the box is worn. You can have them rebuilt, or buy the flaming river one. I think most of the Mustang parts places sell rebuilt ones. If it were me, I'd buy a brand new one from flaming river...

Big bucks though...
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