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Discussion Starter #1
Well, today I re-visiting yesterday's work and removmed/re-installed the new flaming river control valve. I read the Ford shop manual and another shop manual on how to install it, and also how to center the control stud. I reinstalled with the front tire straight ahead, steering wheel centered, 4 7/8ths inches center to center from the control valve grease fitting to the point where the LH outer tie rod bolts to the drag link, per the shop manuals. Before installing the control valve, I checked the stud for movement. It would move somewhat easiliy front to back, but no movement right to left (the movement of the pitman arm). I followed the directions of the shop manual and put the castle nut on the end of the stud, then pressed the nut against a rigid surface and forced the stud r and left. After a bit of this, there was a little more freedom of movement, but still very restrictive. Not at all as free as the old control valve, when comparing movement.

After installing, I took of the cap on the end of the control valve and went to adjust the stud center location, per the manual. It said to take the adjusting nut down between 72 and 110 ftlbs, then back it off 1/4 turn. The warning was not to overtighten because it would break off a pin inside the control valve. I set the torque wrench to 80 and starting tightening. After about 5 revolutions I started getting nervous and stopped. Seemed like it would never tighten up to 80 ftlbs. I then backed off the nut so it was loose, then tightened again with my 3/8ths drive until it had a lot of resistance ("snug" per the manual), then backed it off 1/4 turn.

Re-filled the power steering pump, started the car, turned the wheel lock to lock 4 times, (very very hard to turn), topped off the pump, then drove the car about 4 miles. It is not as bad as yesterday, but still more difficult than manual steering. There was a 30 second time when it was like normal power steering, then it reverted to truck handling.

I figure the control valve is the problem and that it is adjusted too tight. Should I leave it alone and call Flaming River and "flame them a river"? Or, should I start backing out the adjustment nut one revolution at a time and see if it handles any better? Oh yeah, the steering wheel is now at 8 o-clock, offcentered to the right, rather than straight when the tires are straight. No shmmy, at least up to 45 mph. The other idea is to just find a parking lot and drive in circles rh and lh for 20 minutes. Maybe it just needs to "break in"?


ok, for the doous or injury vote - when I was under the car trying to remove the cotter pin from the castle nut on the pitman arm, I used needle nose pliers to try to straighten the pin and then remove it. Exerting as much force as I could, I tried to pull the pin, The piers slipped off the cotter pin and went needle nose first into my face. Fortunately the tips missed my eye, but I did get an eye full of pliers. The ends went into the side of my nose and it bled like all face wounds - a gusher. Fortunately I did not break the nose, but I do have an unsighly bandage on the side of my nose now.

This steering is pissing me off. 20 hours of work in the last 24 hours - two R&Rs. Consult with not one, but two shop manuals, $450 worth of new parts, and there is no power steering. This car is breaking more than it drives. Even the new parts break. I know that it can run well, because it ran great when moving from Detroit to CA. Since then, it's been a pig. The car runs strong - but still seems like it misses and now it is backfiring through the exhaust again. Maybe I have a bad plug wire? grrr.. ::
 

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I'm sure the manual said to tighten the adjustment nut in INCH/LBS and not FOOT/LBS, right?
You're right, you should tighten down the adjustment nut until snug. What you are doing here is bottoming the spacer that sits inside the centering spring against the spool valve and all the other parts. You should feel it bottom out and know you have it tight enough. Then you loosen the nut 1/4 turn. Mark the nut and screw end first and make sure you are actually loosening the nut on the threads. There can be as much as 1/4 turn of slack before the nut ever starts to back off of the bolt.
With everything mounted on the car, and the engine off, when the steering wheel is being turned you should be able to see the ball stud move back and forth INSIDE the sleeve. If the stud doesn't move side to side in the sleeve, you will not get power assist.
If there is no movement, something is wrong. The most common explanation is that thunit is over lubricated. I have seen a lot of people connect a grease gun to the fitting on the sleeve and try to pump a whole cartridge of grease into it. It is possible to put so much grease inside the sleeve that the unit hydraulically locks and the ball stud will not move back and forth inside the sleeve.
You didn't do this, did you?
If not, the ball stud should slide back and forth in the sleeve a noticable amount.
When the ball stud is moved off center, and the engine running, the control valve should send pressurized fluid to the cylinder and the linkage should move.
If not, the pump could be real weak, but will still usually give some power assist when the engine is revved up. If not, the pressure valve inside the pump could be stuck, but I have also seen them come apart inside the casing.
There is no reason for anything needing to be "broken in" on the system. It should work right off the bat if everything is set up right.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What a great post. Thank you so very much. I will take one more attempt tomorrow a.m. to get it right. I have it way too tight right now. I just hope that I did not break something using the torque wrench on it.

No, I did not lube it at all. I called Flaming river and they said it was lubed during assembly. Hmmm. The way it was frozen, I kind of wonder about that. Maybe a very slight squirt of lithium grease is called for "just in case". also, I'll back the adjusting nut out about 3 threads and see what happens.

On the positive side, none of the hoses are leaking, which is way way good news. Those little hoses are really difficult to line up.

Thanks again for the excellent advice.

The ford shop manual says tighten to "snug" then back off. The Haynes manual says tighten 72-110 lbf - in which upon closer examination tells me inch pounds. Makes sense that something that small doesn't get torqued tighter than a head bolt. I felt I was doing something wrong, but insisted on flollowing the directions rather than going with my intuition and experience. Guess I need glasses!
:p
 
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