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Steering Control Valve


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My 78 has extremely sloppy steering.  I have checked the Bellcrank bushings, the tie rods, the Rag joint and tightened the Steering box.  My last option i think is the steering valve.

I have found a part, I think is a direct replacement, CARDONE 28-6652.  It looks exactly the same, has BENDIX stamped on it and the the fitting sizes are 7/16-28 (1), 1/2-20 (2), 5/8-20 (1),  It not listed as a replacement for an Avanti (no surprise there) but is listed for various Ford and Mercury 1966- 67 cars.

It is a rebuilt part.

Has anyone used this part and have any reviews?

cardone 28-6652.jpg

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By virtue of its design, the control valve has inherent "slop".  Movement of the spool within the housing is how it controls the fluid flow.  If the engine isn't running, there is a lot of movement.  Some mechanics mistake this for a bad valve.    If you're checking for lost motion in the steering linkage, be sure to do it with the engine running.   Expect some motion of the spool as it operates.

I had a problem with excess motion in the steering of my '78.  I discovered that the steering box was actually moving on the frame.  The mounting arrangement is not the best design, but tightening the bolts that hold the box to the frame took care of that problem.

I think that we have become so accustomed to rack and pinion steering in our daily drivers that the old '50s design of the Avanti multi-link steering, at its factory best, seems sloppy.   Add to that any wear in the king pins, or the multiple rod ends, and it gets "loose".  

Another issue not yet mentioned is the control arm bushings.  Worn/cracked bushing can allow the control arms to move horizontally, which will also contribute to the problem.  Be sure to check these, too.

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The way we check steering here at the shop is with engine off and the tires on the ground. Have someone move the steering wheel back and forth while you look at the steering for movement. The resistance of the tires on the ground with no power steering will cause the play to show.  Most times you can just grab a part of the steering linkage and feel the play in the steering. Also look for rust around a part.

Good luck all,

Jim Wood

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thanks everybody for comments.  I have since found out that this control valve will not work without modifications because of the attachment of the Pittman arm.

The car is a just completed frame off restoration where all front end parts were replaced including the kingpin bearings and all bushing, springs and shocks.  the tire are brand new and balanced.  I have checked the steering column RAG joint and it is in good shape. I did rebuild the control valve with the kit available from SI.. The excessive slop is when I am driving but the rest of the ride is smooth with no shimmy or drift.  Actually the rest of the ride is phenominal

I like IndyJimW suggestion and will see if the slop shows up there.  I have checked the steering play down to the steering box and all seemed good.

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