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Old 10-06-2006, 10:07 PM
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power steering gear box rebuild kit?

Has anyone ever rebuilt a p.s. gear box?Or used a rebuild kit from autozone or advanced auto parts?If so did it do any good?All the steering componets on my 78 f150 are tight except my gear box.I would rather tear it down,inspect the parts,and rebuild it than just adjusting it.I plan on pulling a 21ft,4000lb camper
so better safe than sorry.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:25 AM
LTAR LTAR is offline
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I have rebuilt 3

I have rebuilt 3 and was never satisfied with the results so my most recent I bought from Red-Head sterring gear I will never rebuild one again. Red Head knows what they are doing plus they modify it with a bearing on the ouput shaft to prevent wear. I dont think my truck ever steered this good.
Mark
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:22 AM
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If it's loose you can adjust it. If it is working and not leaking I wouldn't mess with it. One kit is as good as another, but no kits I've found have both the bottom seals. They give you a extra spacer to take the place of one and with one lower seal it wont work, don't even bother trying it. I always get 2 kits, that way I have 2 bottom seals and extra spool valve seals, they are a real pain to change and if you break one (which you probably will) you would have to go buy another kit anyways.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:52 PM
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Unless you are really good, I wouldn't even try it. I tried and it is harder that it looks. If it leaks, I would just go get another one. If you really want to rebuild it yourself, I have a brand new rebuild kit I'll give you.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:00 PM
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I wouldn't say that rebuilding them is hard but as Mark said, if it's "loose" steering you're concerned with then the rebuild kit is not what you need. The kit is to replace seals, etc in the box and is only needed if the box is leaking or if the valve inside is leaking and the power steering isn't applying itself like it should be. If the steering just feels loose there's an adjustment nut and screw on the top of the box that can be used to tighten it up. If you put the front axle on stands you can adjust it and take up the slack. Just be careful not to over tighten the screw. If you feel a bind in the steering between right and left hand turns it's too tight. 1/4 turn at a time will get you where you need to be.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTAR
I have rebuilt 3 and was never satisfied with the results so my most recent I bought from Red-Head sterring gear I will never rebuild one again. Red Head knows what they are doing plus they modify it with a bearing on the ouput shaft to prevent wear. I dont think my truck ever steered this good.
Mark
Cool one, Mark! :)
Post their URL if they got one. :)

It's good to know someone is fixing them not just putting in "the band-aid".

I had mine line-bored and bronze bearings pressed in at a machine shop that just happened to have a line-boring tool for that job. They made the tool themselves years ago.

Mark A. (the other Mark;) mentions the spacer, talking about a can of worms, but here it is... ;)

Ok so the power steering gear uses the cast iron housing for the bearing surfaces and was prob'ly pretty stinkin loose even when new. :/

The housing gets worn fast and easy so what they did as a "fix" was using some of the seal space, put a steel ring for the lower end of the sector shaft to bear against. Nothing is done about the worn and sloppy upper bearing.

The inside surface of the steel ring or the sector shaft wear, so sounds good huh? :)

Well, the ring doesn't fit the housing worth anything to start with and next the housing gets battered out from the small contact area of the steel ring.

Doesn't take all that long for the sector shaft to be bearing against the worn cast iron bearing surface again. Then the gear housing is toast in their eyes.

My "re-manufactured" steering gear was almost as loose as my original that had been "band-aided" a few years before. But not good enough for me... I wanted my pickup to quit wandering all over the freeway in the wind.

As far as putting in a kit and dismantling it and getting it back together etc, none of that is tricky to do and I didn't need any special tools.

My pickup steers and handles better than when it was new.
I'm not kidding about that. :)

Mark knows what I mean. Go through the whole front end and replace the king pins and bushings and wheel bearings and tie-rods and upper and lower steering column bearings and the radius arm bushings and axle pivot bushings and get the stiffest-hardest dangged rag joint you can find, turn down any that ain't hard as a rock. ;) And then experiment with the toe-in.

http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/toe-in1.jpg
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/toe-in2.jpg

Tires and wheel choices are important too. Back then, Ford put on stock wheels that were way too narrow (5+1/2") and Chevy put on stock wheels that were too wide (8") either felt squirrely.

235/85-16's with 16x7" wheels made a huge difference in how my new pickup handled.

I got dirty-ugly wheels huh? ;) ...and no fancy paint job neither. :/

But the sucker steers better than new.

Steel wheels can be crooked from the factory, but that's a whole nuther thread? ;)

How good do you want it to steer? :)

Alvin in AZ
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:54 AM
LTAR LTAR is offline
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Here is the URL for Redhead http://www.redheadsteeringgears.com/

I agree with what Alvin wrote. I rebuilt my first one some time back in the early 80s using a factory kit and manuals but as Alvin wrote there is no way to get rid of the sloop in the bottom bearing surface with out doing some machine work. The Mickey Mouse solution Ford came up with just doesn’t work. If you read the info on Redheads site they say that they machine the housing and install a bearing, by bearing I am not sure if they mean bronze bushing or needle but it sure made a difference.

I also agree with Alvin about toe in. Everyone will be a little different about this but I run close to zero. This causes a little wander but sure saves on the tire wear. I run 31-1050s on the front and get no cupping on the outside edge like I used to get running the factory setting, but some people may not like the wandering particularly on long trips it can be tiring. I seldom make long trips. Alvin is also right about steel wheels not being straight from the factory. If you always seem to have one tire that is out of balance you may find it is the wheel.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:54 AM
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1986, 1994, box, diagram, f150, f15o, ford, gear, kit, power, rebuild, replace, sloop, steering, wpower

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