Suspension 88 GT Steering Wander At Speed - Zero static steering play


New Member
Oct 12, 2021
Ford did an alignment to fix the problem. Didn't work. Car has 32K original miles. Two owners. Steering feels sticky having to correct left and right on straight level road. Feels like the steering sticks to the left then sticks to the right -- going back and forth going down the road. There is absolutely no play in the steering when the car is stationary, engine off or engine on w/power steering. The power steering makes a noise with the slightest steering input. No power steering system leaks. Fluid level good. Any thoughts?
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Insufficient caster will cause the wandering feeling. Does the steering wheel want to return to center when a turn is completed? If not, then the caster needs to be set.
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Is it kinda like the steering wheel goes to the left and then to the right while driving straight ? Or is it like play in the steering where the steering wheel can drift in the center back and forth while going straight ?

The first scenario would be caused by a caster issue. Most if the older technicians are long gone from Ford. The new guys have no idea how to do anything to a mustang other than toe adjustments. ( I had to edit this because I'm assuming the toe and camber are correct... if it goes left or right while going through dips going straight it could be a bump steer issue )

The second would be play in the steering rag joint ( most likely ) or play somewhere else in the steering system. The rag joint can be deceiving if the rubber disc isn't completely torn. Sometimes they will only flex with a load on it so if it's on a lift they might not see it.
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I only mention toe adjustment because that's what fixed a car I had, slow speed the steering was fine, over 50 mph it would not really dart side to side but it felt like it was slow to respond and would wonder a little. :shrug:
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Did alignments for a living 20+ years at Ford
Replace the rack and pinion if the toe set is correct +1/32 and live with the outside edge wear
The sector shaft is most likely sticky
You can try messing with the adjustment
The spring loaded plastic piece that puts pressure on the rack is supposed to be lubed with polyethylene grease
Overhauled several racks under warranty
Replaced tons of parts control valves sector shafts and racks Lincoln MK IV-VII was the worst for sticking
The only way to keep the front tires alive on a Mustang Tbird or Mark
Is to set the toe at - 1/16 or -3/32
That will make the tires wear flat but build in a wander
There are several old bulletins about the alignment specs for a Mustang T bird chassis
They all have the toe specs being adjusted in the negative
Camber -.5 degree both sides
I used to set the RH camber closer to -.75 and the LH Camber to - .25
You can throw a bus sideways thru the specs and all alignment folks will tell you yours is within spec after they are done
The Ford dealer should have an expert alignment guy
Make sure he knows you are fighting a wander complaint
He will set your toe to +1/16 or so and solve your issue
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Ive seen kids clamp the rack adjuster down to force it straight down the road. Not the way to do it.
Your issue is in the camber and caster. I set mine to -.75 on both sides and pulled the caster back as far as I could. Car sticks like glue.

Just because the car isnt all miled up, doesnt mean something wierd didnt happen in the bushings. If it sat and they got hard and cracked and then you drove it, you could have some weird stuff happening. Has anyone ever put a pry bar on the bushings and checked?
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