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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my third post regarding the tightness in my steering at slow speeds/standing still. I just had the rack replaced, a new power steering pump put in, and the fluid flushed. Also had most of the front end rebuilt a month ago. The pump and rack solved some of the problem, but I think it is still harder to turn than it should be at low speeds/stop. I've read about the variable assist and have kind of ruled that out since from what I've read it goes into a full assist mode if something is wrong with it. My problem seems to be its getting too little assist at low speeds. Its fine at cruising speed though. Any ideas what could be wrong, since I've already done most of the things that should fix the problem?
 

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I would suggest disconnecting the EVO valve and see if there is any difference. It is possible for the valve to be partially engaged if the VA control unit has an output circuit malfunction.
 

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Did you replace the hoses? I have heard of return hoses collapsing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found out yesterday there is a TSB for "power steering - increase in effort at low speeds". Made some calls and it seems there was a problem with the Variable Assist unit in some 94's and 95's where whenever it sensed ANY speed, it acted as if you were moving fast, so it closed off the valve more than it should have. That makes a lot of sense since that would perfectly explain my problem. Now I just have to unplug the VA unit, and hope the steering gets better at low speed, then I will finally know what the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I unplugged the black box mounted in the trunk on the passenger side (kind of under the rear window) and did not notice any difference in steering. Did I unplug the right thing? From what I've read here I thought that was the Variable assist control unit. Where is the EVO valve someone mentioned in an earlier post? If that is the valve on the pump itself, I got a new one with the new pump so I doubt that is my problem.

Thanks!
 

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unplug it from the pump and see if you have any difference
 

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I will bet a nickel that when the rack was being worked on/ reinstalled the 90* high pressure fitting was twisted and kinked.
 

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I am having the same problem with my '97 T Bird. Very hard to steer at slower speeds. I don't think it has much assist at higher speeds either but naturally, it is not as noticeable at higher speeds. No noises or leaks anywhere and the rack has never been replaced. Where do we go from here??? I'll have to get a copy of the TSB. Is it posted anywhere on the net?

Thanks, Phil
 

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flush out the fluid first. Start with the basics. New fluid did a wonder for my steering response when i did my motor swap...as did an aluminum block engine :)
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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I used Mobil 1 ATF, since Im in AZ all your fluids get a beating. But first I flushed with a couple quarts of 99 cent stuff. Its not so much what brand you use rather flush it over and over til it looks clean as can be. Mine looked like Chocolate syrup at first, I guess I was the only one to do it. Im not sure its made a difference though, but once in a while at very low speeds I can feel a slight drag on the power assist steering. It goes away quick but its like a split second extra effort while turning the wheel. I wonder if my car had the part replaced since the original owner babied the living shat of it at the stealer. How would I know? I have lots of papers on the history but its 2 inches high and I dont want to spend hours looking through it.
 

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I've noticed on my 97 v8 the steering is fairly firm at low speeds, not overly stiff or anything but certainly more effort and feed back than my 97 v6, I drove Gordo's brother's 97 v8 and its effortless like my v6, ironically enough his brothers is missing the modual for the steering assist, putting it in full assist, I assume mine just hasn't gone bad yet lol, but I like having some feel to it, I do notice that mine does get lighter at higher speeds though.
 

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I've noticed on my 97 v8 the steering is fairly firm at low speeds, not overly stiff or anything but certainly more effort and feed back than my 97 v6, I drove Gordo's brother's 97 v8 and its effortless like my v6, ironically enough his brothers is missing the modual for the steering assist, putting it in full assist, I assume mine just hasn't gone bad yet lol, but I like having some feel to it, I do notice that mine does get lighter at higher speeds though.
That's quite the opposite of what the system is supposed to do, lol.
 

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lol I meant to type TIGHTER lol not LIGHTER oops
 

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I think there may be a few different steering calibrations because my 97 is fairly tight, and I drove a 95 4.6 and it felt easier to turn. Let me say though I'f your alignment is out of wack the tighter steering really hinders how it feels because it makes it harder to maneuver if not adjusted right. If you have a 3.8 the steering you can control with ur pinky so a bad alignment is not as noticeable.
 
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