1957 Power Steering wants to go on to full righthand lock

SkidJames
Last seen
Joined
May 1, 2023
Thunderbird Year
1957
I have been working to stop the badly leaking power steering on my 57 and now have the problem that when I start the car the steering turns straight away to the right and it is very reluctant to go back to the left.
During the work I have replaced the power cylinder and fitted a new set of hoses. To enable access to the old return hose I removed the reservoir and I fitted a magnetic filter to a new return hose before putting everything back.
I also replaced the seals on the valve spool. I did that by undoing the nut to the valve spool bolt, removing the centering spring, bushings, etc. and then separated the valve housing from the ball stud sleeve which I left attached to the car. This allowed me to work on the valve spool seals with the housing on the work bench. The narrowest parts of the seals were put on the spool so that they were facing their respective ends of the spool and I checked that the assembly moved freely within the housing. After that I reassembled everything, tightening the nut on the end of the valve spool bolt over the centering spring and then slackening it by not more than a quarter of a turn - as per the 57 shop manual that I have. I then refilled the system with Type F and with the engine off I turned the steering wheel back and forth to the steering stops about 15 times to purge the system of air.
I don't know if it is relevant to my problem but during the process of buying replacement parts I found out that while my car was made in April it seems to have had a mix of late57 and 55/56/early57 parts fitted on it's power steering. For example the power cylinder and the control valve seals are for a 55/56/early57 but the reservoir is Late57.
So the question that I hope someone will be able to answer is what have I done wrong? Does the nut on the centering spring end of the valve spool bolt on a 55/56/early57 control valve need to be tightened and then slackened in a different way to what is said in the 57 shop manual, does the steering always go on to full right lock after a fluid change (I haven't run the engine for a long time with the full lock on in order not to damage the pump), have I put the seals on to the valve spool incorrectly , or is it something else? Hopefully someone out there knows!
 

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It sounds to me like the control valve is not centered.
I am not am expert on the baby birds, maybe Doug will chime in.
 
I had a 71 Maverick with the same.problem.
Very patiently calibrste the valve until it centers. Itv s not that hard, but slow process
 
I had a 71 Maverick with the same.problem.
Very patiently calibrste the valve until it centers. Itv s not that hard, but slow process
Thanks for coming back so quickly Hernando. Does the calibration get done by only adjusting the nut at the end of the valve spool bolt or is there something else that I need to look at as well?
 
I had a 71 Maverick with the same.problem.
Very patiently calibrste the valve until it centers. Itv s not that hard, but slow process
 
Mine was just the not/bolt. If too tight, it turns suddenly. Go back 1 turn at the time and with engine off, play twice the steering to equilize, and so on.
 
Unfortunately I am house/pet sitting for someone at the moment and won't be able to get back into the garage until early next week. But I will update you once I've tried applying your solution.
 
I tried gradually slackening off bolt but it ended up being so far down the centering bolt that it started to foul the dust cap and the steering still turning to the right. I've just looked on a general Ford forum and someone with a 63 Galaxie was saying that the bolt on an early Mustang needs to be done up to between 72 and 100 Lb and then slackened off by a quarter turn. No torque setting information was given in my Thunderbird Shop Manual and so if it did need to go to that setting I won't have done that. I'll try that tomorrow and if that doesn't work I'll take everything apart to re-check things again. If that doesn't work then I think that the final solution will be to bite the bullet and buy a fresh Control Valve assembly.
 
Adjusting the hydraulic steering proportioning valve on a 1957 Ford Thunderbird involves specific steps. Let’s break it down:

  1. Control Valve Adjustment:
    • Remove the left front wheel.
    • Pry off the cover (about 1/2" round) on the control valve using a screwdriver.
    • Get a 7/16" socket.
    • Start the engine; your wheel will start turning left.
    • Turn the exposed nut in one direction.
  2. Exploded View:
  3. Preload Adjustment:
  4. Good luck!
  5. Hernando Munoz (Costa Rica)
 
Thanks for all the info. I took the whole control valve assembly off the car and dismantled/reassembled it on the bench but there was still the same problem once it went back on the car. So, as said earlier, I am going to cut my losses (particularly the lost chances to go for a drive in the sun) and buy a new unit. It will have to be new as the current valve has had what look like two different drill cuts going across the surface of the valve so it is unlikely that any company will accept it as a core.
 
Good luck dear friend. I understand missing the sunny days!! I live in Costa Rica where we have perfect weather from December to May, but then it rains very strong for months and we miss those trips feeling the sun and the warm air...
Keep me posted with your results using the new unit.
Regards
Hernando Munoz
 
I have been working to stop the badly leaking power steering on my 57 and now have the problem that when I start the car the steering turns straight away to the right and it is very reluctant to go back to the left.
During the work I have replaced the power cylinder and fitted a new set of hoses. To enable access to the old return hose I removed the reservoir and I fitted a magnetic filter to a new return hose before putting everything back.
I also replaced the seals on the valve spool. I did that by undoing the nut to the valve spool bolt, removing the centering spring, bushings, etc. and then separated the valve housing from the ball stud sleeve which I left attached to the car. This allowed me to work on the valve spool seals with the housing on the work bench. The narrowest parts of the seals were put on the spool so that they were facing their respective ends of the spool and I checked that the assembly moved freely within the housing. After that I reassembled everything, tightening the nut on the end of the valve spool bolt over the centering spring and then slackening it by not more than a quarter of a turn - as per the 57 shop manual that I have. I then refilled the system with Type F and with the engine off I turned the steering wheel back and forth to the steering stops about 15 times to purge the system of air.
I don't know if it is relevant to my problem but during the process of buying replacement parts I found out that while my car was made in April it seems to have had a mix of late57 and 55/56/early57 parts fitted on it's power steering. For example the power cylinder and the control valve seals are for a 55/56/early57 but the reservoir is Late57.
So the question that I hope someone will be able to answer is what have I done wrong? Does the nut on the centering spring end of the valve spool bolt on a 55/56/early57 control valve need to be tightened and then slackened in a different way to what is said in the 57 shop manual, does the steering always go on to full right lock after a fluid change (I haven't run the engine for a long time with the full lock on in order not to damage the pump), have I put the seals on to the valve spool incorrectly , or is it something else? Hopefully someone out there knows!
 
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