On the Gen 1-2s the lower steering column pinch bolt gets worn and needs tightening like the Bobbers said. Watch the column at the base while you turn the wheel slightly. If there is any slack tighten away.
Don't know if sqeeze ever fixed his/her problem. Hope he/she did. I have a similar situation to this post so I thought it might be be helpful for me (and others) to continue with this post and its threads. As follows:
I have a 1993 Taurus GL with about 66,000 miles on it. It was alligned when new tires were put on at about 60,000. Until about a month ago, the steering wheel was in perfect center position and the car tracked straightly down the highway. Now, the steering wheel is about 15 degrees off center and the car pulls noticably to the right. I asked my "better half" if she hit something or fell in a pot hole, and she assures me that she didn't.
I found this post and checked the "lower steering column pinch bolt" as you mentioned in you 1/14/08 post. It is not loose. So I next layed down under the front end and had an assistant joggle the steering wheel slightly back and forth and I didn't see any looseness in any of the front end joints, stabilizer joints, or tie rod ends. Next I jacked up the front passenger side. Grabbing hold of the tire with both hands, there was barely no top to bottom play, however there's almost 1/2" side to side play. As I push and pulled left to right on the tire, I could see the tie rod end moving in and out of the rack and pinion assembly. My assistant held the steering wheel to I would be assured I was not just turning the steering wheel with my side to side pushing on the tire. With the tire still off the ground, my assistant started the engine and the 1/2" play persisted.
I lower the car back down and raised the driver's side front end. Same exact situation: about 1/2" side to side play going all the way into the rack, but not up the steering column. Btw, the is no leakage of fluid from the rack and pinion assemlby and the power steering fluid was replaced last year during an AC
I've found the following reference to a "RACK YOKE PLUG CLEARANCE" and wonder if you think this could be the source of the play:
Except 1990â€“92 Taurus and Sable LX with 3.8L Engine, 1993â€“95 Taurus GL (high series only), LX and SHO
models, and Sables
RACK YOKE PLUG CLEARANCE
NOTE: The rack yolk clearance adjustment is not a normal service adjustment. It is only required when the input shaft and valve assembly is removed.
1. Remove the steering gear from the vehicle. Clean the exterior of the steering gear thoroughly.
2. Install the steering gear in a suitable holding fixture. Do not remove the external transfer tubes unless they are leaking or damaged. If these lines are removed, they must be replaced with new ones.
3. Drain the power steering fluid by rotating the input shaft lock-to-lock twice, using a suitable tool. Cover the ports on the valve housing with a shop cloth while draining the gear to avoid possible oil spray.
4. Insert an inch pound torque wrench with a maximum capacity of 60 inch lbs. (6.77 Nm) into the Pinion Shaft Torque Adapter T74P-3504-R or equivalent. Position the adapter and wrench on the input shaft splines.
5. Loosen the yoke plug locknut and then the yoke plug.
6. Clean the threads of the yoke plug before tightening, to prevent a false reading. With the rack at the center of travel, tighten the yoke plug to 45â€“50 inch lbs. (5.0â€“5.6 Nm).
7. Back off the yoke plug approximately 1⁄8 turn (44â€“54 degrees) until the torque required to initiate and sustain rotation of the input shaft is 7â€“18 inch lbs. (0.78â€“2.03 Nm).
8. Place a suitable wrench on the yoke plug locknut. While holding the yoke plug, tighten the locknut to 44â€“66 ft. lbs. (60â€“89 Nm). Do not allow the yoke plug to move while tightening or preload will be affected. Check the input shaft torque as in step 7 after tightening the locknut.
9. Install the steering gear.
I look forward to your reply and appreciate any comments or suggestions you think might be helpful.