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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks, I need a tutorial on steering set-ups for my 64 352 manual
steering galaxie. It's getting more difficult to steer over time and there seems to be more play at the wheel developing which makes me a little nervous. I am looking for the most logical application which means the least amount of mechanical maintenance vs the most amount of mechanical efficiency for all around driving. I have read many posts about this but am still trying to find answers that suit me. My main questions for anyone with the knowledge on this topic is this.
1. When you buy a new manual steering box for 64 gals does it reduce play and reduce the number of times you turn the wheel?
2. Does it make sense to go to power steering?
3. Will a modern steering box simulate power steering in a manual set-up(i.e. will it be easier to steer?)
4. Should I start saving up and install R&P.

Any and all info is appreciated.
p.s. I have a spare power assist unit if anyone wants it you can have it.
 

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Well I don't have much experience with the '64 as I have not torn mine apart yet, but I can tell you what I know about steering and maybe answer some of your questions.

1. A new box will not reduce the number of turns or the lock to lock ratio. It may feel a little different if your current box has some slop in it. Sometimes you can adjust the worm gear and tighten up any slop in your current box.

2. To me, it doesn't make sense to install power steering if your car didn't come with it. Personally I like the feel you get from a manual steering better then power. This is more of a personal choice then anything though.

3. No, a modern manual box will never be as easy to turn as a power unit will be.

4. It all really depends on what you want to do with the car. If it is just a cruiser than no. If you plan to do some autocross or road racing than maybe.

I will take your spare power unit from you if you are just giving it away. Never hurts to have a backup for mine in case something goes bad. Just let me know. I would be happy to pay for the packaging and shipping.
 

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Howdy folks, I need a tutorial on steering set-ups for my 64 352 manual steering Galaxie. It's getting more difficult to steer over time
Hey Mr. K,
Have you checked the lubricant in the Steering Box? That may be the source of the difficult steering.

and there seems to be more play at the wheel developing which makes me a little nervous.
There is an Adjustment Screw and Lock Nut on top of the Steering Box that is very easy to access and will take some of the "play" (looseness) out of the Steering.

The description of this procedure is in the "1964 Ford and Mercury Shop Manual", Part 3-3, Page 3-16. The procedure is quite easy to do with just a wrench and a screwdriver.

I am looking for the most logical application which means the least amount of mechanical maintenance vs the most amount of mechanical efficiency for all around driving. I have read many posts about this but am still trying to find answers that suit me. My main questions for anyone with the knowledge on this topic is this:
1. When you buy a new manual steering box for 64 gals does it reduce play
It should. That is if the "play" is in actuality in the OLD Steering Box.

The reason that is said because I one time did an adjustment of the Steering Box on Ms. American (1964 For Galaxie, Four-Door, Hard-Top, Fast-Back, Police Interceptor).

The front wheels were off the ground, and after the adjustment was done, there was absolutely NO play in the Steering Wheel The VERY instant that it was moved in either direction (left or right), the Front Wheels would correspondingly respond. I thought that EVERYTHING was just fine.

Then the Front Wheels were put back on the ground, and the "play" in the Steering Wheel returned because the "play" was not just in the Steering Box, it was also in the Steering LINKAGE.

and reduce the number of times you turn the wheel?
Don't think so. There is no reason that a new Steering Box would give you "faster" steering.

2. Does it make sense to go to power steering?
??? That would be up to you. It would make things more complex to be sure.

3. Will a modern steering box simulate power steering in a manual set-up(i.e. will it be easier to steer?)
Modern Steering Box? Wouldn't you just replace the OLD Steering Box with a NEW one?

4. Should I start saving up and install R&P
Rack and Pinon? That too would be up to you.

Do this before you do anything else: Have someone move the Steering Wheel while you are under the Front End. See if there is any play in the Steering Linkage. You may just need to (or have someone) rebuild the Steering Linkage. The parts are available, and it isn't all that hard to do from what I've found out about it. The local Chassis Service here in the Deep East Texas Pineywood Forest told me that they could rebuild Ms. American's Steering Linkage for under $300.00

Ms. American is going to get her Steering Linkage rebuilt as soon as the funds are available. And it my get done by ME! :)

HTH

JC
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello, I will gladly send you the power assist unit. As i have personally never sent anything this large before should i send it ups? Or is there another way? How would you go about sending something like this? It will be coming from Fleetwood, Pa which is about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
 

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Sometimes the slop in steering is caused by a worn out rag gear. Check it and replace if there is slack. It usually will take 2 people to check, one to set in the car and move the wheel back and forth and one to watch the rag gear for slack.
 

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I also say rag joint, for starters. I've never gone as far as to check the lube, maybe soon. A good alignment might help, fresh tie rods, ball joints etc. Personally, if you could, save for something like a Borgeson p/s unit or R&P power steering. I don't mind the manual steering but I may change my mind one day.
 

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A different steering ratio will absolutely make your steering "quicker", you can overdue it for sure and make it twitchy.

A more modern alignment spec to go with what are more than likely newer style tires will enhance the steering feel if done properly.

Power steering is a choice that you have to make, I personally prefer to drive auto-x with power steering as gals are big girls and i'd prefer to not muscle mine around a track.

r & p is a total choice. I have 2 sitting in my parts collection waiting for me to fit them to my car. I run a KRC pump with a rebuilt factory box that I had modified to be quick ratio for now.


the first thing that i'd check is the rag joint. The second thing that i'd check is the steering pivot that is on the passenger side frame rail. The nutserts have a habit of slipping out of place, breaking , etc. This will cause a sloppy scary steering feel. I ended up making a bolt thru frame set up for mine to tighten everything up. night and day difference!
 

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Kronos, I sent you a pm with my email address.
 

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1. When you buy a new manual steering box for 64 gals does it reduce play and reduce the number of times you turn the wheel?
No. And, in fact, all '64 Galaxie steering boxes are the same ratio. The manual cars used shorter pitman and idler arms.

In about two weeks I should have some idea what the impact of the power vs manual linkage is on ackermann angles.

Remember, fewer turns = more effort.

2. Does it make sense to go to power steering?
What *kind* of power steering? The original linkage-boosted crap? Yeah, it's not as bad as it was in Mustangs, Fairlanes, etc. but it's still crap.

There's a number of approaches for installing more modern integral-assist boxes. I'm doing a ZF Servotronic box out of an Opel Omega MV6/Cadillac Catera, which is a perfect fit, but it's not a bolt-in kit. Borgeson does have a bolt-in setup that uses a modified Aisin box (Isuzu/Toyota pickups, good piece of hardware.)

To my knowledge no integral-assist box retrofit will allow you to retain a column shift, if you are so inclined. It may be possible with a ton of re-engineering and fabrication, but it won't be easy.

3. Will a modern steering box simulate power steering in a manual set-up(i.e. will it be easier to steer?)
Not sure what you mean by 'simulate power steering in a manual set-up'. In my case I'm using the Ford manual pitman, idler, and center link, and I get about 3 1/4 turns lock to lock (the Opel/Cadillac ZF box is considerably quicker than the stock Ford box) which is just about right for a car the size of a Galaxie. Much quicker and it'd be too twitchy.

By way of comparison, the two other vehicles in the household that use a similar ZF steering box design (different ratios and case shape) - my '00 M5 gets 2.6 turns lock to lock and my wife's '98 540i has 3.7 (pretty slow by modern standards but it doesn't feel bad.)

I believe the Borgeson box is similar in ratio and also needs the manual linkage.

4. Should I start saving up and install R&P.
The only rack-and-pinion setups I'm aware of for the old Galaxies either (a) use a GM J-car rack which may not have enough lock-to-lock travel, you end up with a 45-foot turning circle or (b) the geometry is wrong (end-mounted tie-rod ends vs the center-take-off design of the J-car rack and the stock centerlink) and you'll get a ton of bumpsteer. I see no advantage to a rack over a good integral-assist box in this application.
 

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Are you sure the "play" in the steering wheel is at all related to the steering box? Are the all the linkages and ball joints tight everywhere in the front end? Are the bushings in the controls arms in good shape? Even worn parts in the rear suspension can make the car steer funny. I think there are a lot of things to eliminate before changing steering boxes.
 

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Good question - what kind of "play?" Steering wheel play or car wandering all over the road play. No sense in fixing a gearbox when what you need might be a new idler arm or an alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hello all and Happy Holiday to everyone. First - I want to say thanks to all that have responded to my original question about steering (steering question). When I got the car in 1980 the front end was redone. About 10 years ago I replaced the center link because the car was lowered onto a jack stand (accidentally) and it bent the center link. At that time all the other bushings were replaced again all the steel seemed to be ok and everything worked ok. But there was always a little slop in it. I've had the car for a long time and I know its characteristics. It gets less than 500 miles a year on it and I have learned to pay close attention when I drive it. Especially to the steering. which is why I have noticed recently that it seems to be really "loose" at the steering wheel. It tracks straight on the highway but it's taking longer for the wheels to move when I start to turn. Visual inspection reveals nothing unusual which is why I suspect the gear box.
 

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Visual inspection reveals nothing unusual which is why I suspect the gear box.
Figure out some way to block and clamp the Pitman arm to the frame rail to keep it from moving, then see how much if any you can rotate the input shaft back and forth at the rag joint.
 

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I'll echo the other thoughts that it is most likely something outside of the steering box, and not the box itself.

I was trying to track down some play, or sloppiness in the steering on my 1988 F150. I spent some time messing with the tension adjuster screw on the steering box, because some people thought that might be the cause, but that wasn't helpful at all. While messing around under the hood I noticed there was slop in the collapsable shaft between the firewall and steering box. The old cars don't have that type of telescoping shaft, but it was very obvious where the slop was. My lesson learned was to take more to isolate the real problem.
 
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