1998 Ford Windstar LOOSE STEERING

Tiny
SANDY11
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD WINDSTAR
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 150,000 MILES
THERE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE ANY PLAY IN TIE RODS ETC. TURNING STEERING WITH MOTOR ON AND NOT MOVING IS OK AND FEELS NORMAL ALL THROUGH LEFT TO RIGHT CYCLE. NO STRANGE SOUNDS FROM PUMP. WHEN DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD IT IS EXTREMELY LOOSE IN CENTER POSITION. IT ACTS LIKE YOU HAVE A 1000 POUND WEIGHT IN FAR REAR TAKING ALL WEIGHT FROM FRONT. THE STEERING RACK AND PUMP WERE CHANGED ABOUT 35000 MILES BACK. NO APPARENT LEAKS AT ALL.
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 3:33 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Has the Power Steering Pressure Switch been checked. See you have what is know as veriable assist steering. Meaning that when you are driving straight down the road the power steering pump is more or less bypassed to give more power back to the engine. There is a sensor at the bottom of the column that when it see's the steering column move wakes up the pump. If this is being delayed then it will feel like you have now power steering as you first go to turn and when the pump kicks in then it is like you turned to far does your car feel like this is happening? Get back to me and we go from there.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
SANDY11
  • MEMBER
It is extremely loose and very light in the dead ahead position. Turning corners it reverts to a solid feel.
I rebuild antique cars MG'-Jaguars and it feels like a badly worn steering box combined with bad tie rod ends.
I changed the steering rack with new tie rods last year when the rack was leaking. All was well till last week. I drove it last sunday when we visited our daughter. She lives 200 miles away and does not want to be overly charged by the locals.
My living has been behind the wrench since 1949. If it was an antique car or airplane I could fix it myself but when it gets into computer controlled stuff I am lost.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 11:43 AM
Tiny
SANDY11
  • MEMBER
Checking with the local Ford dealer I was advised that there is not variable power steering on that van and there is not a pressure switch to control it. The only switch there is to raise the idle up at full lock to stop engine stalling.
This van is a 1998 Windstar limited series. According to ford all models take the same rack and are not equipped with variable steering.
Sandy Sanders
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 12:11 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok first off I beg to differ with ford I have included a pic of the sensor ring that I was refuring to and it is near the base of the steering column if you see it then that could be causing your problem. Also have you checked the ujoints between the base of the column and the rack unit? I have included a pic of that too. Let me know what you find. Take a pic of the sensor ring to ford and ask then about it.
This ring is a PSP sensor (power steering pressure sensor) and it monitors power steering pressure. Let me know what you find and go from there.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249564_Graphic_29.jpg



Here is the PSP sensor


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249564_Graphic2_4.jpg

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Saturday, January 24th, 2009 AT 9:15 AM

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