Ford Mustang/Cougar 1964-1973 Repair Guide

Manual Steering Gear



Steering Worm and Sector Gear

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Typical manual steering linkage components

The ball nut assembly and the sector gear must be adjusted properly to maintain a minimum amount of steering shaft end-play and a minimum amount of backlash between the sector gear and the ball nut. There are only two adjustments that may be done on this steering gear and they should be done as given below:

  1. Disconnect the pitman arm from the steering pitman-to-idler arm rod.
  3. Loosen the locknut on the sector shaft adjustment screw and turn the adjusting screw counterclockwise.
  5. Measure the worm bearing preload by attaching an inch lbs. torque wrench to the steering wheel nut. With the steering wheel off center, note the reading required to rotate the input shaft about 1 1 / 2 turns either side of center. If the torque reading is not about 4-5 inch lbs., adjust the gear as given in the next step.
  7. Loosen the steering shaft bearing adjuster locknut and tighten or back off the bearing adjusting screw until the preload is within the specified limits.
  9. Tighten the steering shaft bearing adjuster locknut and recheck the preload torque.
  11. Turn the steering wheel slowly to either stop. Turn [cf2]gently against the stop to avoid possible damage to the ball return guides. Then rotate the wheel 2 3 / 4 turns to center the ball nut.
  13. Turn the sector adjusting screw clockwise until the proper torque (9-10 inch lbs.) is obtained that is necessary to rotate the worm gear past its center (high spot).
  15. While holding the sector adjusting screw, tighten the sector screw adjusting locknut to 32-40 ft. lbs. and recheck the backlash adjustment.
  17. Connect the pitman arm to the steering arm-to-idler arm rod.


  1. Remove the bolt(s) that holds the flex coupling to the steering shaft.
  3. Remove the nut and lockwasher that secures the pitman arm to the sector shaft using a suitable gear puller or Tool T64P-3590-F.

Do not hammer on the end of the puller as this can damage the steering gear.

  1. To gain enough clearance on some cars with standard transmissions, it may be necessary to disconnect the clutch linkage. On some cars with V8 engines, it may be necessary to lower the exhaust system.
  3. Remove the steering gear-to-side rail bolts and remove the steering gear.

To install:
  1. Position the steering gear and flex coupling in place, and install and torque the steering gear-to-side rail bolts to 50-65 ft. lbs.
  3. If the clutch linkage has been disconnected, reposition and adjust it. If the exhaust system has been lowered, reinstall it to its proper position.
  5. Position the pitman arm and the sector shaft and install the attaching nut and lockwasher. Tighten the nut to 150-225 ft. lbs.
  7. Install the flex coupling attaching nut(s) and tighten them to specification (tilt steering column, one bolt 20-37 ft. lbs.; fixed-column, two bolts 10-22 ft. lbs.).