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After reading a number of posts on VMF about checking steering components for play, I decided to check out my steering because there seems to be an abnormal about of play. I replaced the presure and return hose in my power steering a few days ago after they hit the manifold and fried. Before this happened I noticed a fair amount of play in the steering(I think it was because air was entering the lines from the hole in the hoses from melting on the manifold). Anyways I took the car out for a test dirve on the freeway. And the play doesnt seem to be as bad. I can go 70 mph on the freeway without to much trouble but I did notice the bumps in the road seem to throw me around a bit. When I returned I looked at all the steering components. The only play I can see is the rag joint and the pitman arm. The best way I can describe the rag joint movement: it seems to rotate with the steering column shaft as you turn the wheel.I can defenetly see the movement in the pitman arm. Is it true that these parts should not move when turning the steering wheel while parked with the car off? If it should move slightly how much movement is to much? Do I need to consider the steering box as part of the problem?

Thanks for the help and sorry for all the questions. Am new at all this and really want to learn to repair and maintain my own car. The mustang is a 68 if you need to know the year of the car.

Nicole
 

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Rag joint and pitman arm SHOULD move when steering wheel is turned even when car is sitting. They should move exactly the same time you turn the steering wheel or if they don't you have wear or adjustment problems problems Gary
 

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New rag joints are stiff. If yours is floppy, it needs replacement. With car stationary and pitman held in position, the steering wheel dead band (center area of movement) should be imperceptible. If steering wheel moves side to side and pitman is stationary, you have a worn or mis-adjusted steering gear box. Try adjusting it IAW shop manual and if it doesn't improve, its time for a new one.
 
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