Blue-Top steering gear review - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Notices
1999 - 2003 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel  
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Blue-Top steering gear review

Reply

 
 
 
  #1  
Old 06-11-2018, 11:52 AM
ArmyLifer
ArmyLifer is online now
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Phenix City, AL
Posts: 425
ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.
Blue-Top steering gear review

I fixed a lot of my Excursion wander issues with steering box adjustments and caster shims & 5* of caster. Problem is when towing I still had a white knuckle ride. After my ProPride hitch install didn’t really fix the wander while towing I made the decision to replace my steering gear box.

There were only three options in my mind: a Ford Reman, Redhead, or a Blue-Top steering gear. Others have rebuilt the gear themselves or had a racing/custom rebuilder do it. I didn’t want my Ex down that long so eliminated those options. Many here have had good luck with either the Redhead or Ford remains. Redhead quality control and customer service seem to have gone downhill judging by posts and comments here at FTE, which excluded them from my decision. I randomly decided on the Blue-Top over the Ford reman.

Blue-Top steering gears are located in ND and have been around since 1986. But, fairly recently a former Redhead employee bought and reorganized the company, pushing sales nation-wide. Blue-Top Steering Gears, Inc..

Not being 100% sure what model gear I needed, I talked to Ryan and he had me get the part number off my Pitman arm (turns out it was 36 spline). I ordered part #2764BS online and it arrived three days later via USPS large flat-rate box. It cost me $410 for the gear, $150 of that being the core charge. There was $22 for shipping on top of that. I have no idea what the other gears cost, but I’m pretty sure it was more than the Blue-Top.




After a couple weeks of poor weather I finally got it installed a week ago, following sammie0126’s fine instructions. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post12565770. According to Blue-Top’s warranty instructions I also did a PS system flush.

First impressions: steering was better. It wasn’t horrible after my other wander fixes, but there was still a dead zone. That is 95% gone now. This last Friday I towed my 7000 pound travel trailer to a repair shop. The steering/sway was so much better there is no comparison. Take all this with a grain of salt as I don’t have anything to compare it to. I just know it is better than I had before.

I shipped my old gear off to Blue-Top last week via USPS large flat-rate box for $18. It arrived there Friday. I got my core refund today (Monday). I was holding off on this review until I received my core refund. So far so good. No leaks and the steering is solid with virtually no wander.

I have no association with Blue-Top. Just a so-far satisfied customer.
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:19 PM
Bonanza35
Bonanza35 is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Norco,CA
Posts: 7,343
Bonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to behold
Thanks for the review. So you got the number off the pitman arm. I wondered about that. I e-mailed them and they never got back. Maybe because I used my old work e-mail. Yes final price seems good. I thought there was a 200.oo core charge.
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:39 PM
ArmyLifer
ArmyLifer is online now
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Phenix City, AL
Posts: 425
ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.
I got the Pitman arm part number off the Pitman arm. Googled it and thought it might have been 36 spline. Ryan at Blue-Top confirmed it.

Yep, my core charge was $150. I’m pretty sure the Redhead and Ford reman’s were $200, last I looked.
 
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-11-2018, 03:08 PM
Sous's Avatar
Sous
Sous is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lake Hartwell, GA
Posts: 6,105
Sous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant future
ArmyLifer, thanks for the honest and candid review of the new to us (FTE) Blue Top steering gear. I have sent reps your way for taking the time to write up your thoughts and provide some good looking pictures.

I for one am very happy to see these on the market now. I wish they had been here a year ago, but I know where I will get my next gear if/when the AutoZone fails.
 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-12-2018, 07:23 PM
shortblockchevy
shortblockchevy is online now
Freshman User
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 48
shortblockchevy is starting off with a positive reputation.
I was one of the lucky ones to have my brand new RedHead steering box leak after the installation. I purchased it on one of the group buys. I swapped the 2000 box with the 2006 box when I did the Dana 60 coil swap but it too has the sloppy wander. I've been waiting for someone to review Blue-Top. I'll try them next. thanks
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:33 AM
Macmathews
Macmathews is online now
Elder User
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 510
Macmathews is starting off with a positive reputation.
My brother and I just ajusted his F250 stock steering box.. ( tighten it )
I am assuming you guys tried that first..
What seems to be the life span of these things ?

My excursion has 210,000 miles and my brothers F250 230,000 miles..
I have never touched mine

Kyle
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:43 AM
Tugly's Avatar
Tugly
Tugly is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Columbia River
Posts: 17,691
Tugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputationTugly has a superb reputation
My RedHead has been performing flawlessly since the day it was installed... but maybe I'm lucky there - or the demand for RedHeads was so great that the QC fell to the wayside in recent years. Too much success has done in many vendors in the past. Clay, Ryan, and Brian are shining examples of not letting the success ruin the quality of service.
 
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:18 AM
Sous's Avatar
Sous
Sous is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lake Hartwell, GA
Posts: 6,105
Sous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant futureSous has a brilliant future
Kyle, I had adjusted my gear 1/8 a turn, then another 1/8 a turn 4 years after that. My gear blew the top off of it just after installing a steering stabilizer and backing my camper into the campsite.

I had about 230,000 miles on the truck at the time. I have pasted the link to the thread I posted about it and as you might see from the pictures this was an old style gear box with only 2 bolts and a diamond shaped cover on the top of it, not like the new ones.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...ering-box.html

 
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:30 AM
shortblockchevy
shortblockchevy is online now
Freshman User
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 48
shortblockchevy is starting off with a positive reputation.
I've adjusted both of mine with various results. I think it's just a band-aid for the gear lash from wear.
 
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:29 AM
ArmyLifer
ArmyLifer is online now
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Phenix City, AL
Posts: 425
ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.
I probably tightened the adjustment screw on mine about 2-1/2 turns over about 4 months. It helped immensely, but like has been said, it’s more of a bandaid. Apparently you can tighten it too much and then you are screwed. I didn’t want it to come to that so went with a replacement. I might have been able to tighten it up a little more, but just wanted to be done with it. I never did have any leaks in my factory steering gear. It was just too loose.
 
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:53 AM
hydro man 17
hydro man 17 is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hat Creek Ca
Posts: 1,621
hydro man 17 has a good reputation on FTE.hydro man 17 has a good reputation on FTE.
I bought a Red Head a few years back In I believe the same group buy that Rich got his. No problems here as well.
2 and a half turns? Sounds like way too much to me. There is a crush washer/sleeve in that adjustment that is really easy to crush. Once done you are done more ways that one!
 
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:14 PM
ArmyLifer
ArmyLifer is online now
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Phenix City, AL
Posts: 425
ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.ArmyLifer has a great reputation on FTE.
I had a full 4” of slop in my steering wheel when I bought the truck 14 months ago. The adjustment screw got it down to around an inch. New Blue-Top is at around 1/2” now.
 
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-14-2018, 09:11 AM
Fat Diesel's Avatar
Fat Diesel
Fat Diesel is offline
Postmaster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,341
Fat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud ofFat Diesel has much to be proud of
It's amazing what new parts will do for an old truck, eh? I recently had Duck Fan replace EVERYTHING in my front end including steering box, steering wheel, springs, etc. It drives like it did 19 years ago when I drove it off the lot.
 
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-14-2018, 09:02 PM
bigb56's Avatar
bigb56
bigb56 is online now
Posting Guru
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,858
bigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to beholdbigb56 is a splendid one to behold
I also bought the Red Head a few years ago and no problems. Now what I'd really like to see is a review of that Pro-Pride, I am thinking about the Pro-Pride for an upcoming TT purchase, I have heard they are well worth it for the safety factor.
 
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-15-2018, 08:23 PM
John7894's Avatar
John7894
John7894 is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 1,981
John7894 is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
What's the preferred power steering pump upgrade these days? just picked up another 7.3 pickup and it could use a little bit of upgrading in the steering department. I think I'm just used to driving my 2013 F150 too much...
 
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.