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Topic: Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt (Read 9759 times) previous topic - next topic

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

After 44 years of ownership, I'm installing power steering... Currently only pump is mounted to check fit, still has it's manual linkage...

Once any bugs are worked out, I'll detail the engine compartment...


Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #1
Why now? It finally became annoying after 44 years?
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #2
Actually it became annoying in 1987, that was when I got it out of storage after around five years(driving newer cars with quick steering spoiled me)... Steering was so pitifully slow that in '91 when I had the engine out I installed a P/S sector, that livened up the steering considerably, also made it harder to steer...  So since that time I've been saying I'll install a complete system one of these days... Being the frontend is ready for freshening anyway, now is one of these days... 

I saved a complete system from a low mileage(50K) Torino GT that was parked around '75, with some freshening parts are in great shape... The pump pictured has been down to parade rest, fully disassembled, inspected, reassembled with new seals... Did same for control valve and assist cylinder... Have all new parts for steering linkage, strut rods & sway bar... In the near future I'll replace upper and lower control arms as well, want to get it driving again first...

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #3
Ah. Long term project ;)

Power steering should make it more enjoyable to drive. Does it have 4 wheel drum brakes or discs in front?
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #4
Power disc up front, drum in back... I hope to have it driving again by Monday at latest... There's a certain white T-Bird that's getting impatient for it's new 331(I have a helper lined up for that)...

The 428 & 4-speed, as well 3.50 9" rear with 31 spline axles were std... Trans also has 31 spline main shaft and 1 3/8 input shaft(basically same close ratio box the NASCAR boys ran in that era).... It's optioned with ram air, Traction-Lock, bucket seats, console, tach, radio with dual rear speakers & P/B but no P/S, guess the dealer forgot to check that box... I added the race mirrors, styled chrome wheels and AM/FM within a couple years after I bought it...

Cobras without P/S were common but most were basic without many frills...

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #5
Must have been a mistake. I can't imagine someone would order all those options and skip the power steering.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #6
Could be the original owner wasn't interested in turning?

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #7
Quote from: 50RACER;460027
Could be the original owner wasn't interested in turning?
Original owner bought it as he liked the car, set on lot for over 14 months before he bought it... Was a leftover by that time...

P/S system before restore...


Just before I installed it today...


Manual system..


And for those who maybe haven't seen my second child..

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #8
I love those cars. Unfortunately they take an undeserved back seat to the Mustangs of the day, but they were great performers and looked great too. My first car was a 69 Torino GT fastback with 351 Windsor 4 speed. Nothing like the 428, but it still performed well. It even handled really well for it's time.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #9
Yeah lots of these were raped of their drive train and left for dead, most went into Mustangs...

The '69 4bbl 351 Windsors with Toploader were a great all round combo... All the ones I've seen had the 2.78 1st gear wide ratio trans, gave good grunt out of the hole, had a Fairlane 500 with that combo & 3.25 gear...

Poor Windsor never got much fanfare as for '70 the Cleveland was in the limelight and wasn't even a 4bbl option for Windsor... Of course history has proved the Windsor as the better performance platform...

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #10
The steering components look really good. Did you restore them or send them out?
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #11
The tie rods, adj links, idler arm, cylinder boot & hoses are all new... I either bead blasted and/or wire wheeled everything else, then rebuilt/inspected and painted as necessary... Still not finished, went a little nutso and removed the steel chafing guard wrap from old hoses and restored those, getting ready to install them on the new hoses... Unless maybe some concours Stang hoses, those are not usually on replacement hoses(Comet is getting by with plastic wrap)... The install is about 90% finished, should light it off in a couple hours...

Here's a video on rebuilding control valve, looks like a py job, my stuff was sanitary when it went back together... Yeah I should have taken pict of mine, but when i'm in middle of something like this, I couldn't be bothered...

http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/drivetrain/mump-0210-how-to-rebuild-your-power-steering-control-valve/photo-gallery/#46

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #12
Well we be steerin' with power!!!  Once I got the toe-in back in spec it's good, though issues with worn lower control arm bushings are obvious...  Arms are already on order...

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #13
At least it'll be easier to park ;)
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Cobra Jet Loosing it's Grunt

Reply #14
Quote from: thunderjet302;460100
At least it'll be easier to park ;)
I gotta relearn how to drive it!! I'm used to pulling it back in second and yanking the steering wheel with both hands to get around corners, turned into my driveway etc... No I ain't complanin', no doubt I'll get the hang of one hand steering... Made a few test runs and a short cruise yesterday, got about 50 miles on it...

Lower control arms ar here, waiting on upper ball joints...