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View Full Version : Power Steering or No Power Steering?



Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:12 PM
What are your opinions?

I need to replace both the pump and the steering gear itself. That totals about $200. Lifetime warranty on the pump, but my buddy had put it under his employee ID so I could get the discount. I haven't heard from him in two years, so needless to say, warranty is void. Hehehe.

I'm thinking of removing the pump, just to see how bad it is without power steering. I drove a friend's pick-up that didn't have PS and it wasn't that bad, but my car is nearly twice the weight of his truck.

If I cut the pump, what would it hurt that I'd need to replace two weeks later when I decide it sucks to not have PS?

Don't jump on me about trying to cut costs- I'm on the fence about this, which is why I'm asking for facts and opinions. I'm not so much trying to cut the cost as much as really curious to see how hard it would be without, considering I'd never have the whine (someone likes to pierce my PS line on a regular basis...) when I get low on fluid and it free up a good 1.34HP :D not to mention I wouldn't need to buy the parts to replace. Also, I've always found it WAY too easy to turn the wheel- I don't like that so much. On the other side of things, it's nice being able to turn the wheel with one hand and hold a cold beverage :evil: with the other.

Mercracer
11-12-2005, 11:17 PM
If you remove the pump, you need to connect the inlet and outlet of the gear box together so that the fluid can recirculate. Either way, it is going to be tough turning and not the greatest idea.

Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:21 PM
Despite how curious I am to see what it would be like, the car is 2k# on the front wheels. Add the 255/50/15s I'll have on the front come income tax time and the difficulty level increases.

Archangel
11-12-2005, 11:29 PM
Yes, if you are to cut the pump off the steering system, connect the 'in' and the 'out' ports of the pump together - unscrew the bent pipes, screw in some hose fittings (what's the tread there, anyone?), cut a piece of hose, hook it up to one fitting, FILL IT with PS fluid of ATF (whatever you're using), the quickly and carefully hook the open end to the other fitting - this way you won't get any air in the gearbox, I always use this trick whenever I disconnect a hose/line and it works good.

As for whether to run PS or not, think about parking lots - you have a huge car, and I bet you'll put some decntly wide tires on it, how are you gonna maneuver that beast in tight places? If steering seems to powerful for you just go to a junkyard and get a later model gearbox, some of them are even adjustable (electronically, but you can rewire the system so you control it via a variable electric switch with a knob).

Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:37 PM
Well, for the "light" steering, I think it's because the steering isn't tight enough. I'm sure a new gearbox would clean up a lot of the slack... but at the same time, is there a way to get more tire turn with less steering wheel turn?

Does that make sense? Would I need to use what you just mentioned? What would I need to do to adjust it?

Can I run a Mustang box? :D

DuceAnAHalf
11-12-2005, 11:38 PM
Well, for the "light" steering, I think it's because the steering isn't tight enough. I'm sure a new gearbox would clean up a lot of the slack... but at the same time, is there a way to get more tire turn with less steering wheel turn?

Does that make sense? Would I need to use what you just mentioned? What would I need to do to adjust it?

Can I run a Mustang box? :D
Nope Mustangs have used a rack and pinion setup since well before 79.

Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:44 PM
Nope Mustangs have used a rack and pinion setup since well before 79.

I knew that. Built a 1984 GT while I was in high school.

If only sarcasm was easier to portray over the forum...

Archangel
11-12-2005, 11:46 PM
Lol, yes, it makes sense - the light steering is a direct result of the design of the gearbox, my steering is so tight and responsive that I need to correct it all the time and I can still turn the wheel with my pinky. The newer Panther gearboxes have some adjustable valving in them you can play with, and as far as I know they will bolt right in your frame. Mustangs IIRC have a rack and a pinion steering, so that's a no go for your car.

Archangel
11-12-2005, 11:46 PM
Lol, yes, it makes sense - the light steering is a direct result of the design of the gearbox, my steering is so tight and responsive that I need to correct it all the time and I can still turn the wheel with my pinky. The newer Panther gearboxes have some adjustable valving in them you can play with, and as far as I know they will bolt right in your frame. Mustangs IIRC have a rack and a pinion steering, so that's a no go for your car.

Mercracer
11-12-2005, 11:48 PM
Add the 255/50/15s I'll have on the front come income tax time and the difficulty level increases.

Why are you going with 255/50's? What do you plan on running for rear tires?

Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:56 PM
Why are you going with 255/50's? What do you plan on running for rear tires?

295/50/15s in the rear. I'd put more grip up front, but 255s will be plenty. I've had too many times that the front tires didn't have enough traction and I just kept sliding forward helplessly.

I'm thinking of putting 255/60s in the front, but they're slightly taller than the 295/50s and I kinda like the look of slightly taller tires on the rear.

Freshmeat
11-12-2005, 11:59 PM
The newer Panther gearboxes have some adjustable valving in them you can play with, and as far as I know they will bolt right in your frame.

What year models constitute this "newer" of which you speak?

Archangel
11-13-2005, 12:36 AM
Oh man, don't remeber - I'm thinking late '90s, gotta do a search but I'm taking off for work now (overtime!!!) so that'll be later on.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 12:39 AM
Another bonus to no power steering: it would help match my left forearm to the size of my right. :D

Grand Marquis GT
11-13-2005, 12:42 AM
I want to get an 03 frame and drop my body on it, and use the rack and pinion.

Also, use teh marauder brakes :D

gadget73
11-13-2005, 03:31 AM
15" wheels limit your brake upgrade paths. Just random tidbits.

More PS gear info:
http://www.p71interceptor.com/steering/gearboxes/partnumbers.html

Talk to Scott about what is involved with putting a 2000 steering gear in a box. He just did one. I know it involved some custom creative hacking of the coupler, and making up some adapters for the PS lines.


But yeah, I really do not suggest disabling the power steering. non-assisted PS gearboxes are much worse to steer than full out manual boxes. And, as has been mentioned, with the weight of these cars plus big tires, you're going to need some massive forearms to be able to navigate parking lots. I had a car with manual steering, a VW Beetle, and it was a bit of a challenge if the car wasn't rolling at least a tiny bit. I can't even imagine a panther with manual steering.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 07:32 AM
Who is Scott?

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 10:00 AM
295/50/15s in the rear. I'd put more grip up front, but 255s will be plenty. I've had too many times that the front tires didn't have enough traction and I just kept sliding forward helplessly.
I'm thinking of putting 255/60s in the front, but they're slightly taller than the 295/50s and I kinda like the look of slightly taller tires on the rear.

Sliding front tires is not from them being too small. You probably have old tires on there and need some brake work. You will need to buy some custom rims if you are going with 295's. 255's are probably a bit wide for factory steel wheels, and on such you may have clearance problems while steering tight. In the rear, if you plan on going to the track at all, you will have much better success with the taller sidewall of a 60 series tire. A loose suspension and wide tires will handle worse than a tight suspension and a more reasonable sized set of tires. Don't go blowing your wad on tires and rims before the rest of your car is ready for it. Start out with good 225/70 15's with a traction lock and gears and then step up the rear to 265/60 15's if you want more traction in the rear for hard launches. If you are going to step to a shorter sidewall for ralley racing your wagon, find a set of 16" rims and keep the width a reasonable size.
Unless you have physically verified that your steering box has play, don't be in a hurry to change it. You should go through your front end completely and make sure everything is tight.
For what you could spend on expensive rims and tires, you can get your new motor in with supporting MSD electronics and put a small shot of N2O in for the power boost that you are looking for and still have money left over. A 100 shot would really wake up your motor and would be easy to tune for.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 10:29 AM
I already have a set of wheels that will work just fine and they only have 4" backspacing, so I won't have any trouble.

The tires I'm looking at are Yokohama Avid S/T- less than $400 shipped. Mounting and balancing is only $20... The 295/50s are ALMOST as tall as my 225/70s.

I'm not sure the gear box is actually breaking, but there is constantly some sort of oil on it. I can't tell whether it's power steering fluid or motor oil, but it's always shining. I'll most likely spray the hell out of it while I'm cleaning the engine bay and drive around to see if it's actually leaking or whether it was the valve covers spraying onto the box... but I'm almost positive it is.

It's not a brake problem that had me sliding forward- I have rebuilt all four courners with new drums, rotors, calipers, and Wagner pads in the past year.

I'll take into consideration what you said about the wheels, though- I was thinking about going ahead (with income tax money) to get the 16" Cragar SS wheels I want, but you have a good point- why spring for all that traction when I won't really need it, yet. It'd be better to spend that money on the rear axle (going with a 1997 Explorer axle with 3.55s and traction lock or positive traction- whatever Ford used) and the newer style front control arms and spindles and such with poly bushings all over the place.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 11:16 AM
It's not a brake problem that had me sliding forward- I have rebuilt all four courners with new drums, rotors, calipers, and Wagner pads in the past year. going with a 1997 Explorer axle with 3.55s and traction lock or positive traction- whatever Ford used

If the front tires lock up before the rear, then it is not because your tires are to small. Just because you changed your parts does not mean that your brakes are adjusted/working as they should. All 4 wheels should lock up at the same time if you are sliding due to ice or snow. If you are sliding in rain with all 4 tires, you need to get a better rated tire. Good 225/70's with an A traction rating are all you need in front, but feel free to spend away.
An Explorer axle will not bolt into your wagon. Traction-Lok is Ford's name for their clutch pack diff. You can not put the Explorer diff in your axle as it is 31 spline.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 11:19 AM
why spring for all that traction when I won't really need it, yet. .

Big tire does not equate to big traction if your car can not utilize the tire size. You are not driving a Corvette or even a lowered Mustang.

Lincolnmania
11-13-2005, 11:59 AM
Who is Scott?
:wave:


keep the ps just use a 98-02 cvpi steering gear.....they are in teh cheap and will fit with some mods to the steering linkage and some customising of lines........if u get a used box, request that they save at least part of the pressure and return lines
scott

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 01:49 PM
If the front tires lock up before the rear, then it is not because your tires are to small. Just because you changed your parts does not mean that your brakes are adjusted/working as they should. All 4 wheels should lock up at the same time if you are sliding due to ice or snow. If you are sliding in rain with all 4 tires, you need to get a better rated tire. Good 225/70's with an A traction rating are all you need in front, but feel free to spend away.
An Explorer axle will not bolt into your wagon. Traction-Lok is Ford's name for their clutch pack diff. You can not put the Explorer diff in your axle as it is 31 spline.

The front tires lost traction- it wasn't from the brakes locking up (wasn't even on them). You can say, "Spend away" all you want, but I'll be spending a grand total of $425 for a full set of plenty-wide Yokohamas when my last/current tire purchase was $300 for 225/70/15s of some of the crappiest tires on the market.

I'm using the entire Explorer axle. It's "easy"- pick up the Explorer axle, clean it out, swap the bearings (I have friends to help with all that), cut off the spring perches from both axles, and weld the CV perches onto the Explorer axle after making the necessary measurements.

We do it all the time with 4x4 vehicles. I don't NEED the 31 splines, but the gears would be nice and it'd have the entire rotor/caliper assembly for the rear. All for under $300.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 01:54 PM
why spring for all that traction when I won't really need it, yet. .

Big tire does not equate to big traction if your car can not utilize the tire size. You are not driving a Corvette or even a lowered Mustang.

That's what I just said.

What happened to trying to be more patient and at what point did I drop in ranking to "complete fucking moron"?

I understand that suspension has just as much if not more to do with traction than tire size. I also know that it's going to be a few more months before I even bother with all that crap, so let's focus on what I'm doing.

GT-40P and T5 information is what I'm looking for, as well as the power steering stuff, since while I'm replacing it, I want to go with something that will enhance the driving experience. The tire arguments can wait. I know what I want to do with the suspension, thanks to Scott giving me the information I need, but again, it'll be a while before I'm there.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 01:56 PM
keep the ps just use a 98-02 cvpi steering gear.....they are in teh cheap and will fit with some mods to the steering linkage and some customising of lines........if u get a used box, request that they save at least part of the pressure and return lines
scott

Okay- so what do I need to do to the steering linkage itself? The current pressure and return lines are already "custom", so I don't think it would be much harder than what I did last time to run the lines.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 03:04 PM
I'm using the entire Explorer axle. .

I thought that this was discussed in the past between here and CVN and the Explorer axle was wider..........

grandpaslincoln
11-13-2005, 03:07 PM
Power steering is good.





I still miss the manual steering on my truck though :D

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 03:20 PM
I got that backwards.......The Explorer axles are up to 5 inches more narrow than a box Crown Vic. Either way, you can change all of the brackets that you want, and the axle will not fit.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 03:30 PM
The front tires lost traction- it wasn't from the brakes locking up (wasn't even on them). .

So you had understeer in a 4200+lb car with tires you feel are junk?

What is motivating you to put 295 tires on the back of your wagon?
2----295/50's and 2-------255/50's for $425 including shipping?

I never said you were a complete moron.........I am trying to understand your motivation for even considering oversize tires anytime in the near future when you have so much other stuff to to to your car to get any kind of decent performance out of it.

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 03:50 PM
I got that backwards.......The Explorer axles are up to 5 inches more narrow than a box Crown Vic. Either way, you can change all of the brackets that you want, and the axle will not fit.

Now that you say that, I'm second-guessing the WMS on the axle I pulled from the parts wagon. I'll need to measure it, again, to check the Explorer width. If it's too narrow, I'll go with a F-150 axle, since they're roughly 5" wider.

The $425 does include shipping. And mounting (I have a friend who works at a dealership). If I'm going to replace tires, why not go ahead with some big ones? I never saw a problem with it and I'm not sure I ever will.

Pass it off as the only cosmetic modification I'll have, if you must... but I want wider tires. It looks extremely funky having a big ass station wagon on 225s. Again, the cost difference isn't great enough for me to consider it as a reason to stick with what looks like donuts.

At no point did I say the 295s would be a necessity- it'd be more so the thing doesn't look like a sharp turn could tip it over.

Stu
11-13-2005, 04:30 PM
I want to get an 03 frame and drop my body on it, and use the rack and pinion.

Also, use teh marauder brakes :D

That would be awesome. I have thought about that too.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 07:58 PM
Now that you say that, I'm second-guessing the WMS on the axle I pulled from the parts wagon. I'll need to measure it, again, to check the Explorer width. If it's too narrow, I'll go with a F-150 axle, since they're roughly 5" wider..

Box track width should be 63.3.............2004 CV is 65.3.........95 F150 should be 64.4.......2002 Explorer should be 61.2.......2000 Explorer is only 58.5........

Lincolnmania
11-13-2005, 07:59 PM
just freshen up your 28 spline axle in the vic..........sounds like too much uneeded hassle to swap over brackets and do all that welding........the full size truck axle wont work cause they have a different lug spacing anyway
i have a set of 3.73's in my townie.........have done a handfull of 3.55 swaps in vics and townies

to make the 98-02 steering box fit you need the 98-02 steering box, the lines, and the coupler (first section of shaft)
cut the coupler apart at the rag joint (i drilled out the large pressed rivets with a 5/16" dril bit left me with two sleeves lol) then use two 5/16" bolts and locking nuts to bolt the 98-02 coupler to the 89 steering shaft and rag joint.........total steering box swap time about 4 hrs......o yeah need to swap over to a 79-91 pitman arm also or use the 96-02 pitman arm and use the 96-02 centerlink
good luck!
scott

Freshmeat
11-13-2005, 08:56 PM
Thanks for those measurements, Mercracer.


the full size truck axle wont work cause they have a different lug spacing anyway

to make the 98-02 steering box fit you need the 98-02 steering box, the lines, and the coupler (first section of shaft)
cut the coupler apart at the rag joint (i drilled out the large pressed rivets with a 5/16" dril bit left me with two sleeves lol) then use two 5/16" bolts and locking nuts to bolt the 98-02 coupler to the 89 steering shaft and rag joint.........total steering box swap time about 4 hrs......o yeah need to swap over to a 79-91 pitman arm also or use the 96-02 pitman arm and use the 96-02 centerlink
good luck!
scott

Forgot the trucks are 5x5.5 :2down:

Would you recommend the newer CV axle? The cutting and welding wouldn't be that bad- like I've said, we've done it several times before (how else would an Explorer SUA axle fit on a 1995+ Wrangler [coils in the rear]?). However, it had entirely slipped my mind to even look into the CV axles- was thinking Explorer the whole time, since I know where I can get a pile of them for $200 a pop.

I'll take a look at the steering equipment tomorrow. I have a 1989 pitman arm... wouldn't that work? Could use replacing anyhow...

Going to price the 98-02 box tomorrow. Don't know of any yards with one, but I'll make some phone calls, see if I can pull some strings.

I didn't get much of anything accomplished all weekend. It's hard to do my own mechanic work during my weekend with my son. Not that I'm complaining- he's a blast... just means I'll need to work my ass off in the afternoons this week if I have any hopes of having this complete on the 20th. Pull transmission tomorrow, motor Tuesday, etc. That's the current schedule.

Southern_Pride
11-13-2005, 09:21 PM
On the power steering issue. I tried to turn my 90 at 50mph when the engine died. Almost impossible to turn the wheel. I think my k5 on 44's was easier to turn without power steering.

Mercracer
11-13-2005, 10:33 PM
Would you recommend the newer CV axle?

I would recommend just getting a set of gears and diff for yours or find a diff with 3.55's already in there. If you were going to take any axle and weld brackets to it for your car, it should be a 99+ PI axle. 3.55's with a traction-lok already there. That axle should be the same at 63.3". They went back to 3.27's before 2003 when the axle got wider.