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78 ranchero loose steering

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:17 PM
Jakegday Jakegday is offline
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78 ranchero loose steering

hello all. i just acquired a 78 ranchero with a 302 and 3 speed C4 automatic. the steering wheel seems very loose, like there is alot of play in it. I was wondering what may be causing this.. any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:03 AM
85e150six4mtod 85e150six4mtod is offline
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Worn out parts. Start at the rag joint in the steering column, just above the box. From there, every moving part is suspect. Have someone move the wheel as you inspect each joint in the linkage. The box itself may be worn out as well.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
Worn out parts. Start at the rag joint in the steering column, just above the box. From there, every moving part is suspect. Have someone move the wheel as you inspect each joint in the linkage. The box itself may be worn out as well.
Ed, there is no "rag joint" on this vehicle.

What there is...is a lower steering shaft and coupler assy. The steering box end has a round plastic bushing, the other end has a flexible joint which wears out.

There is a separate clamp (D3OZ-3A525-A) that has splines on it which slide onto the gearbox input shaft.

The coupler has two studs, two nuts retain this clamp to the coupler. A thru bolt is used to tighten the clamp to the input shaft.

If the thru bolt has worked loose, this will cause play, but the most likely suspect is the flexible joint of the coupler itself.

D4OZ-3B676-A (replaced D2OZ-3B676-C, D3OZ-3B676-A) .. Lower Steering Shaft & Coupler Assy / Obsolete

Applications: 1972/73: Torino/Ranchero/Montego / 1974/76: Torino/Ranchero/Montego/Cougar / 1977/79: LTD II (not an LTD!) / Ranchero/Thunderbird/Cougar.

AFAIK, this was a FoMoCo Dealer item only / Last MSRP: $225.88 / Dealer net cost: $135.53.

ANTIQUE AUTO SUPPLY in Arlington TX has ONE = 817-275-2381.

GREEN SALES CO. in Cincinnati OH has ONE = 800-543-4959.

No FoMoCo Dealer, no other obsolete parts vendor has any.

jakegday: VERIFY this coupler is causing the problem before buying it, as it might be the P/S gearbox itself, or...

It could be a worn draglink, and/or tie rods, tie rod ends.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:01 PM
Jakegday Jakegday is offline
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hello. thank you for the reply, and sorry for the delay in responding.. you are correct; it was indeed that coupling assembly. rockauto.com had a similar part, but i decided to just get this part from autozone and "rebuild it"
Help/2 5/8 in. dia. Chrysler, Ford and GM 1965 and newer steering coupling (31002) | Steering Coupling Disc | AutoZone.com
the piece i bought was a hair to small, but since its rubber i was able to make it stretch, and the problem is now gone
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1978, 78, 79, column, ford, joint, linkage, loose, play, rag, ranchero, steering, thunderbird, wheel, worn

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