I am in the middle of restoring my 1966 Valiant Station Wagon V200 273ci. My dad bought the car new and it has been in the family ever since. I have recently replaced all of the steering component parts--Yes, everything was replaced including upper/lower control arm bushings. I purchased a rebuilt steering gear, got the car aligned and my car wanders on the freeway as well as has a lot of movement in the steering wheel when turned before the wheels start to move. Right after the rebuild the car had bias ply tires mounted on it. I purchased a set of radials for it thinking that this might help the wandering problem, but it did not. My thought was that the rebuilt steering gear might have worn parts, but I have replaced it with 2 other gears from the same re-manufacturer and each of them give me the same feeling that I have to turn the steering wheel about 1/8th of a turn before the steering system starts to react to the input. I have the shop manual on the car and I have made the adjustment to the worm gear at the top of the gear itself. I noticed that when I made a slight adjustment to it it just made the steering harder to turn the wheel, but the sloppy feel still remains. I emailed a few steering gear re-manufacturers and found out that none of them replace any hard parts in the rebuilding process. The car also is not capable of holding a straight line while on the interstate, I have to constantly correct it. I had a 1963 Belevedere when I was in high school that I upgraded to power steering and from what I remember it didn't have all of this slop.
It just might be me since I am used to driving an Acura CL Type S that the old style steering systems inherently had slop in them, but I find that really hard to believe. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.