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Thread: Stiff steering

  1. #1
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Default Stiff steering

    Good Morning all and Happy New year!

    I have a steering question an wondering if anyone else has been through this.

    My '97 Lincoln Town Car has been having stiff steering. I am no longer able to turn the steering wheel with ease with one hand (one finger turn). I have been noticing that even and real cold mornings when I go to work, the steering is incredibly stiff! After making turns the steering wheel does not return back (only returns 25%) . The rest of the way, I would have to assist back to normal.
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  2. #2
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Could be an alignment issue. Returnability is a caster thing. Inspect your balljoints and whatnot.
    "Vicky" 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX ..................................."Blue" 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

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  3. #3
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Yeah, What I suspect is

    -what you said
    -Power steering pump could be going
    -power steering pressure switch could be screwy
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  4. #4
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porschpow View Post
    Yeah, What I suspect is

    -Power steering pump could be going
    A pump would not cause a wheel returnability issue, by that point the vehicle is rolling and the alignment should more or less make it return to center as you drive.

    Stupid question, is your variable assist steering setting switched all the way up?
    "Vicky" 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX ..................................."Blue" 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

    Vicky
    Too much stuff to list in my signature...
    Blue
    Mods So Far:
    5.0 HO Swap from 92 Cougar, GT40 Intakes With Remanufactured GT40P Heads, Contour Cooling Fans, Autodimming Mirror With Compass, Frankensteined but fully functional JBL Premium Sound System, Working A/C, Big Front Brake Swap, more mods to come soon!

  5. #5
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Not a stupid question at all. I have been reading up on that. Apparently the switch is next to the oil filter and is prone to screwing up from the road grime. I usually leave it at the low setting.

    A separate question, I have to replace the pump anyway since it leaks, what Power steering pump should I stay away from
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  6. #6
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porschpow View Post
    A separate question, I have to replace the pump anyway since it leaks, what Power steering pump should I stay away from
    A leaking one. Go with Cardone or Motorcraft.
    "Vicky" 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX ..................................."Blue" 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

    Vicky
    Too much stuff to list in my signature...
    Blue
    Mods So Far:
    5.0 HO Swap from 92 Cougar, GT40 Intakes With Remanufactured GT40P Heads, Contour Cooling Fans, Autodimming Mirror With Compass, Frankensteined but fully functional JBL Premium Sound System, Working A/C, Big Front Brake Swap, more mods to come soon!

  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Sticky U joints in the steering shaft will also make it do this. The 90s cars seem prone to having them rust up.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  8. #8
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Good info guys. I've noticed the steering on my current '90 is much stiffer than the other one was.

  9. #9
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    POWER STEERING pump i'm guessing is original as far as i know. I never changed it since I had it (almost five years ago).

    Has 123,000 miles on the car.

    I still need to lift the front end off and steer the car left and right to see if it is not stiff (tie rods/ball joints) (WITH THE CAR OT RUNNING OF COURSE). I also sprayed the shaft (up and down) with pb blaster and silicone. It got a little better but barely noticeable
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  10. #10
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Not sure I've ever had a PS pump get noticeably weak, usually they just leak or get noisy. Mostly the noise comes from wear, which happens when the leak causes them to run really low on fluid.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #11
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    As John said, the returnability issue wouldn't seem to be from Power Steering, Although my power steering seems to be leaking from the underside. Seems to be coming from the power steering pulley area. However I notice when I go to take on/off ramps with the steering wheel turned, the steering wheel would almost pulsate (meaning it would be a smooth turn of the steering wheel
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  12. #12
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    that honestly sounds like U joint binding or a failing bearing in the steering column. Usually if the PS pump is ailing it will only give you trouble on rapid wheel movements like parking. Unless its sucking air, in which case it'll do generally stupid things.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  13. #13
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    I'm assuming the bearing in the steering column is in the firewall?

    Also, i may believe you're right. I notice it especially in the cold weather that as a turn the steering wheel, i notice resistance and then all of a sudden, the resistance is gone and the steering is easier.....Weird!

    I did change the shaft above right by the firewall and i did spray the lower shaft knuckle with pb blaster followed by white lithium grease
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  14. #14
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    The bearing in the steering column, can that be accessed from the cabin or from under the hood?
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    inside the car. The lower one might require removing the column to take it apart though. I've never had to change one myself, I just know that it has bearings in there.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  16. #16
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Is there a way to check those steering column bearings to see if they are still good?

    Is it possible to get a grease gun in there (with a needle fitting) to service it?
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  17. #17
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Ok, Update. I managed to get the shaft off (intermediate) and the U joints were fine. HOWEVER, the bearing that resides in the firewall was stuck on the steering shaft race to the point that the steering shaft and bearing were spinning as one unit and treating the rubber grommet as the bearing. I managed to get the bearing off. It seems as the shaft (around the plastic race) swelled to the point that it restricted rotation of the bearing. WEIRD!

    On a different topic, I notice that the steering shaft by the steering box cannot be bought. However I did notice some play in the rubber puck. How have you guys fixed this?
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

  18. #18
    Member WagonMan's Avatar
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    I don't believe its a bearing. I am pretty sure its a bushing/sleeve. I have one from a 97 LTC Cartier I parted with 75K miles. Feels smooth and U joints work fine, A little rusty on the firewall side, but works fine. VEIGHTPETE@GMAIL.COM
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMGP5525.jpg  
    1990 Colony Park
    1970 HEMI Superbird

  19. #19
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    Hey! I tried to upload the pic, but no dice.

    The part you have a pic of is what I took out. Housed in that rubber grommet is a needle pin bearing that is supposed to rotate freely around the shaft. Mine didn't the bearing was permanently fixed the shaft
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

    -1973 Volkswagen Bus Westy
    -1986 Honda Magna 700cc
    -1989 Lincoln Town car Signature Series
    -2011 Subaru Outback

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