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#1631604 - 12/05/08 08:25 PM Steering shafts replacement
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Our 1997 Crown Vic P71 was not returning to center, and the steering shafts are obviously rusty as all getup. This is dangerous, so the plan is to replace the shaft, and the yoke that connects the midshaft to the steering column shaft. The firewall bearing or boot will get replaced as well. I will hopefully not need to replace the gearbox, although the fluid smells like burnt a**. I will be dumping out all the fluid I can and replacing it with fresh. I bought the parts from the local stealership. $344.98 for the following:
  • F8AZ*3B676*AA SHAFT ASY 145.25 (lower shaft)
  • YW7Z*3B676*AA SHAFT ASY 90.58 (mid shaft)
  • F7DZ*3N725*AA YOKE ASY 45.02 (steering column shaft yoke or ujoint)
  • 2W7Z*3C611*AA BOOT 21.32 (firewall bearing or boot)
  • *W710821*S306 BOLT 9.00 (steering shaft yoke bolts pak of 4)
  • *N803942*S100 BOLT 9.00 (mid and lower shaft bolts pak of 3)


The mid and lower shaft could definitely be found cheaper. I can't speak for quality, but I wanted them fast so I could get started this weekend, and next day was what I got for going to the parts counter. The above list was taken from http://p71interceptor.com/steering/column/linkage/partnumbers.html
The only correction was the bolt for the steering column ujoint. He said the number I had was incorrect, and gave me what I listed. I have yet to confirm this. This is the same guy who gave me a 1-2 accumulator and said it was the new part for the 2-3 accumulator. Which I'm pretty sure isn't right.

I'll be doing this in the morning, with more pics. For now, the album with all the pics in super large format is here:
http://semisynthetic.net/kill-9/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=21

I would add an image to the post but the size of images allowed on here would make it look crappy. Or I would have to do an image per part. So just go to my gallery and look, it will all be there.


Edited by killnine (12/06/08 02:15 AM)
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1631648 - 12/05/08 09:19 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
deltasixtango Offline
Climber

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 639
Loc: New England
Funny that you mention that, the first couple years I worked (in MA, from 2000 to roughly 2002), we had several cruisers get oddly corroded steering components, BEFORE they had cases of traditional New England Frame Rot...interesting, I had never heard of it since then...
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2009 Taurus SEL AWD - the grocery getter
2007 9C3 Impala - followed me home from the auction (for my fiancee, I swear!)
2005 Explorer XLS - snow and auction-car-hauling machine
1944 Willys MB - fully operational


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#1631792 - 12/06/08 02:14 AM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: deltasixtango]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Unfortunately I have frame rot as well. That's for another post and project, but is mostly on the passenger side upper strut mount. The side facing the wheel well. Something that a well placed piece of rubber would have probably prevented. I do not think that I suffer from rot along the crossmember yet. It's unfortunate. If this wasn't Ohio these cars would probably be pristine underneath. Such is life in the rust belt.
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1631839 - 12/06/08 07:31 AM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
mrbear5300 Offline
professional grade
Poobah

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 5059
Loc: BUF
I replaced all that stuff and it didn't do a thing for the car's lack of steering return after turns. Made the steering a little bit more "solid" feeling but that's it. I hope you have better luck.
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#1632075 - 12/06/08 02:22 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: mrbear5300]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Well, I put it all on, and the steering still doesn't return to center, and now the steering wheel is 1/4 turn too far to the right. Since the stuff only goes on one way, it doesn't make much sense. Maybe the way I put it on the gearbox. I just had the tierods done with an alognment, so it doesn't make any sense. Unless there's something wrong with the steering wheel. The steering wheel squeeks against the spring that is inside. I opened up the column to look in there, and I sprayed the spring area, but it still squeeks. I can't figure out how to get the wheel cover off to access the wheel bolt. I tried 8mm and it seemed too small. I need to search on that I guess. The steering wheel turns prety freely when release from the column u-joint. Man it is cold out there. I'm getting a little frustrated.
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1632081 - 12/06/08 02:31 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
mrbear5300 Offline
professional grade
Poobah

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 5059
Loc: BUF
The lack of steering return is most likely in the steering geometry (Alignment). But good luck getting a shop to set it up properly.

I also had the same issue with the wheel being off center after installing the shafts! You're right, it doesn't make sense. But there is an ever so slight amount of play in the pinch joints before they're tightened. That's the only explanation I think is possible.
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#1632177 - 12/06/08 04:47 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: mrbear5300]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Well, the outer tierods were the only ones replaced before alignment. They mentioned the inners would need done soon but they were ok for now. This might be the cause. I am thinking the steering wheel issue might also be causing some problems. It's all creaky when it turns. Maybe a broken clockspring. It spins forever to the right, but spins a long way to the left and eventually stops. Of course I don't force it when it stops. I have no idea how many turns is center now, but I imagine as long as it doesn't hit that stop point during the amount of turns necessary to reach full gearbox range, it will be ok. I'm not really worried about the steering wheel being off center, but that creaking can't be right. Just now I finally got the steering wheel off. There are two hidden nits on each side, 8mm. I just came in to get my puller. No idea what size the bolt is.
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1632188 - 12/06/08 04:59 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
mrbear5300 Offline
professional grade
Poobah

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 5059
Loc: BUF
I have a very slight "creak" sound when it's cold out coming from behind the wheel. But with the lower shaft unhooked from the gearbox, there is no binding at all so I know it's not causing my issues.
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#1632224 - 12/06/08 06:25 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: mrbear5300]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Well, the creak is coming from the spring and bearing that sit behind the clock spring. If I push in on the steering wheel no creak, and the bearing and spring turn. In normal operation it creaks and the spring and bearing do not seem to turn. It really doesn't seem like anything strong enough to make the steering grab though, but I could be wrong. There is a little rough grabbiness too it when it is creaking. The steering wheel bolt is a large torx. I'll have to go buy one. When looking at the misalignment of the wheel, it seems that when the steering wheel is centered and the gearbox and shaft are centered, the flats on the wheel shaft and midshaft are exactly aligned. They should be 90 degrees from each other. I am just going to pull the steering wheel and maybe I can make up for it there. Obviously something more sinister is going on somewhere. The pitman arm is pointing straight back, the wheels are straight ahead, and the mark on the midshaft is on the top 12 o' clock position. It must be the steering wheel itself that is off. I would like to replace that bearing, but it would seem to be a sticky job.


Edited by killnine (12/06/08 06:26 PM)
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1632273 - 12/06/08 08:48 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
mrbear5300 Offline
professional grade
Poobah

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 5059
Loc: BUF
To center the wheel, the tie rod sleeves need to be turned equal amounts. I've done it myself before but it's better to have an alignment shop do it for accuracy.
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#1632278 - 12/06/08 08:55 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: mrbear5300]
larryo340 Offline
Grand Poobah

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 10532
Loc: Long Island
I'm voting for the front end being out of alignment for your steering return problem. When you have it aligned make sure they don't do a "quicky" and only adjust toe-in. Make sure they adjust camber and caster also. How are your ball-joints, and upper control arm bushings?
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#1632878 - 12/07/08 06:19 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: larryo340]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
Well I went and got inner tierods since I figured they might play a role in the whole problem. When I went to remove the old ones I realized the write up I read that said the castle nut was 18m mwas wrong and it looks like 19mm deep well. I could also adjust the sheaths, but I am really starting to wonder how this could have happened. The day or so after getting the outer tie rods and alignment done, the steering wheel was not perfect but it was also not 90 degrees from center like it is now. I am starting to think that when I put the lower shaft onto the gearbox shaft I got it off by a tooth or two. I can't imagine it could have been off by too many teeth and still be able to get the bolt in there, but what do I know. I am not looking forward to removing and redoing that, since it was a pain to get the shaft to mesh with those teeth. It seems to me that to get the steering wheen to be 90 degrees from center, the amount I would have to have misaligned the lower shaft onto the gear would have to be 90 degrees as well. Perhaps it is also the tie rod sheaths that need adjusted, but why would they have changed just by removing and replacing the mid and lower shaft? This is driving me crazy. It is way too cold out to be doing things I don't need to do.
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

Top
#1632933 - 12/07/08 07:34 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
mrbear5300 Offline
professional grade
Poobah

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 5059
Loc: BUF
There is only one way the lower shaft can attatch to the steering gear input shaft.
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#1632956 - 12/07/08 08:00 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: mrbear5300]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
OK, I just talked to my mechanic friend, and he said that it is likely that the steering gear shaft got turned while it was disconnected from the shafts and steering wheel. Then I connected the new parts on without the wheels being centered straight ahead. I don't remember exactly what I did, and the car was running and the key in the run position at certain points, so it is entirely possible. It still doesn;t entirely make sense to me, as in my mind, it would have to be 360 degrees turned for me to still be able to connect the shafts to it. To me it seems the steering wheel would turn exactly as much as the steering gear shaft, and so if that was the case my steering wheel would be on center again. Whatever, I give up, and I will just straighten the wheels and reconnect the shafts to the gear with some new lock tite. I have a feeling it won't fix it, but it can't hurt. Nothing else changed in between old shafts and new, so it must be either the gear or wheel or steering gear box that changed. Thanks for the comments so far.
Alex
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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#1633000 - 12/07/08 08:55 PM Re: Steering shafts replacement [Re: killnine]
killnine Offline
Slacker
Rookie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 83
Loc: cleveland, ohio
OK. I just relaxed in the tub long enough to think straight, and I think I figured it out. When I was taking everything apart, I started at the steering gear linkage, and worked my way back to the steering wheel. I did this so that I would be able to turn the shafts to access the bolts. I also didn't have the car on jack stands. So I remember noticing something when I would turn the wheel so that the bolts were pointing straight up, and I would do this with the car on so that I could turn it with power steering assist. I would get it where I wanted it and shut it off to go loosen the bolts, and the steering wheel would turn back to the left. Either from the tires wanted to pull it that way or something about the steering gear. I didn't think anything of it at the time and so I just left it running so it would stay where I wanted it. Well, after everything was disconnected and then the new stuff put on, I had a choice when I connected the steering column ujoint to the midshaft. I could either put it 90 degrees of center to the right or to the left. Either way was wrong as far as I was concerned, so I just left it going to the right and started wondering how to fix it. I test drove it and of course it pulled when the steering wheel was centered. Well, I think I would have been fine if I had just put it 90 degrees off center to the left, or if I had reconnected it when the car was running, like it was when I disconnected it. As soon as the power assist kicked in, it would have gone back to center, instead of probably further to the right. This makes a lot more sense than any thing else at this point. If I had followed a strict procedure instead of trying to be logical about it and thinking I couldn't go wrong, I would have jacked it up and pointed the wheels straight ahead and did the same thing when I put it back together and either had it running or not both times. Would have been fine.
_________________________
1994 P74 CV front damage / possibly for sale
1995 P71 CV SOLD! cursed devil car
1997 P71 CV parting out what I can't use

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