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I just bought a restoration project, and I'm having trouble diagnosing a problem with the car. It's a 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie with a 289. It has power steering, which works, but only when you turn the wheel left. If you turn it right, there is no power steering. This is the case at idle, as well as while driving. I have made sure that the fluid is full, and it doesn't make any concerning noises or seem to leak.

I'm not very experienced with power steering setups in general, and even less so with this car. What is a likely culprit to cause such behavior? I would expect it to either work or not. What would cause it to only work in one direction?

  • Sell it to a NASCAR fan - they'll never even notice. – JPhi1618 Oct 12 '15 at 20:22
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The problem lies in the steering mechanism. There is a plunger inside which will work to one side or the other, depending on which way you turn the wheel. When you turn it to the left, the plunger works correctly and you get power steering. When you turn to the right, the plunger doesn't work and you get nothing. The plunger works by directing the power steering fluid as needed. When the plunger is in a neutral position, the fluid is bypassed and fed back through the return. This non-working situation may be due to either something being broke or something being worn out. I'd bet something is actually broke, because if it was worn out, it probably wouldn't work to either side. The "something" which is broke would be the mechanism which directs the flow valve.

There are possibly two ways to fix this issue. Since this is an older car, you may not be able to find a replacement steering box for it. You'll probably end up needing to get the one you have rebuilt or if available, get it replaced. The second way to fix the issue is to convert your steering over to a newer style technology, like a rack and pinion system which is pretty common today.

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