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Red Head Steering gear box installed

 
  #361  
Old 10-18-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SANDDEMON08 View Post
There propaganda is what sold me on Redhead in the first place. But after just over 30,000
Mine is failing so I am not sure there all that better then the stock factory box . But that's not to say if I went with one of these cheaper units it wouldn't fail even ealier. Warranties are great but if the product simply Dosent hold up one can get tired of changing them real quick. With all that being said I will proably give the redhead one more shot because overall they still appear to get the best feed back when you search around.
At the end of the day you have to distinguish between marketing hype and fact. These are all remanufactured OEM units. All of them are rebuilt and are only as good as the person who made the call for what was good enough to keep and what was not and got replaced.

Personally I don't believe the hype around redhead. I believe solid warranty service and personal reviews.

For $120 some odd dollars for a Cardone its tough to convince me the Redhead is 4-5 times better. If i paid for the labor to install I may be singing a different tune, but since its just an hour or two of my time its not that big a deal to risk for $300+ in savings.
 
  #362  
Old 10-19-2014, 05:50 AM
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I put in a RedHead gear a couple thousand miles ago. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts. So far, I am very happy with it.
 
  #363  
Old 10-19-2014, 01:51 PM
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I feel the same way. Besides, the $300 core added to the price puts the bill upwards of $850 until you get your core back. That makes things extremely expensive.
 
  #364  
Old 10-20-2014, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ2003F250SD View Post
At the end of the day you have to distinguish between marketing hype and fact. These are all remanufactured OEM units. All of them are rebuilt and are only as good as the person who made the call for what was good enough to keep and what was not and got replaced.

Personally I don't believe the hype around redhead. I believe solid warranty service and personal reviews.

For $120 some odd dollars for a Cardone its tough to convince me the Redhead is 4-5 times better. If i paid for the labor to install I may be singing a different tune, but since its just an hour or two of my time its not that big a deal to risk for $300+ in savings.
Exactly my point and I had said it many times. Being an ex mechanic, I know that all those rebuilds are about the same but Redhead hypes it up so much that people fall for it and the money goes back into more hype........lol. I would rather go to my local auto part store, pick one up with a guarantee and be done with it. Redhead has a short warranty (comparatively) and you can't even adjust it without them voiding it.
 
  #365  
Old 11-10-2014, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for the great instructions on the the steering gear box install. Seems like your instructions are getting a lot of use! I installed a new steering gear box and it completely eliminated my wandering steering in my 2005 X but I now have new slop in the suspension that can only be felt and heard on the front passenger side. I noticed when I put the pitman arm on the gear box spindle that it did not seat as deeply as it did before I took it off. It was probably a 1/4" deeper when I first took it off. Same story for the tie rod end, it's not seated as deeply as when I took it off the pitman arm. It was probably seated 3/8" to 1/2" deeper when I first took it off.

When I took the pitman arm off the gear box I did not take any mental notes as to exactly how it was originally positioned and now I'm wondering if it's possible that I put the pitman arm on upside down such that it still points in the right direction (it did bolt to the tie rod end, after all) but the narrow ends of the tapered holes fit onto the gear box spindle and tie rod end instead of the wide end of the taper thus preventing either end from seating deeply. This would introduce new slop in the suspension that would be felt on the front passenger side.

This is the only scenario, that makes sense to me, that could introduce new suspension slop but I'm a rank amateur and don't even know if this is even possible.

What do you think?
 
  #366  
Old 11-11-2014, 07:39 AM
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I would have to look but I'm not sure it's possible to mount the pitman arm backwards on the steering box and then be able to connect the drag link to the pitman arm. I don't believe the OE pitman arm is tapered in anyway either so I am not sure there is a top or bottom to it. If you have a lift you might have a drop pitman arm and those are usually installed with the curve down.

The pitman arm should be pointed towards the front of the vehicle. Is yours?

To verify location of steering slop have someone sit in the truck with it in park, engine running, parking brake set and rear wheels chocked each way and have them turn the steering wheel lock to lock while you observe the movement of the steering system. You'll want to first watch the steering shaft and pitman arm movement. They should move in sync but not necessarily at the same rate. Next lay under the vehicle and observe the rest of the steering system. Everything should move in unison. Anything that doesn't needs further verification and probably replaced. If the steering system checks out I would next verify the ball joints are in good shape.

Let me know what you find.
 
  #367  
Old 11-11-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Monster-4 View Post
I would have to look but I'm not sure it's possible to mount the pitman arm backwards on the steering box and then be able to connect the drag link to the pitman arm. I don't believe the OE pitman arm is tapered in anyway either so I am not sure there is a top or bottom to it. If you have a lift you might have a drop pitman arm and those are usually installed with the curve down.

The pitman arm should be pointed towards the front of the vehicle. Is yours?

To verify location of steering slop have someone sit in the truck with it in park, engine running, parking brake set and rear wheels chocked each way and have them turn the steering wheel lock to lock while you observe the movement of the steering system. You'll want to first watch the steering shaft and pitman arm movement. They should move in sync but not necessarily at the same rate. Next lay under the vehicle and observe the rest of the steering system. Everything should move in unison. Anything that doesn't needs further verification and probably replaced. If the steering system checks out I would next verify the ball joints are in good shape.

Let me know what you find.
No, there is no lift and note that the pitman arm is perfectly flat so it's hard distinguish the top from the bottom. Yes, the pitman arm is pointed towards the front of the X. I'm fairly confident the pitman arm is on correctly other than possibly being bottom side up. Note that I did have to re-center the steering wheel because it was about 10 degrees to the left. I re-centered the steering wheel via the collar on the end of the tie rod that bolts to the pitman arm.

It was 70 degrees here yesterday, today it is 8 degrees so I won't be crawling under it for the next few days. The fact that the front end had no slop and made no noise until I replaced the steering gear box leads me to believe I introduced the problem. The pitman arm is firmly bolted to the steering gear box though its not as far down the spindle as it was originally but I don't think this has introduced any slop as it's extremely tight. The tie rod on the other hand is not seated in the pitman arm well at all. The tie rod end is tapered, (isn't it?) so it should seat nicely in the pitman arm which must also be tapered, at least at the tie rod end, right? When I took it out it was very tight so I used the pitman arm puller to pop it off the pitman arm. This is the joint I suspect is now sloppy and making the noise on the passenger side.

I have read in some forums about tapered holes on pitman arms but not about this pitman arm in particular. Worst case, I'll pull the gearbox, take off the pitman arm, see if the holes are tapered and put it back together accordingly. But first I'll do as you suggest and get under it and see if there's anything astray.

Thanks for the input.
 
  #368  
Old 11-11-2014, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rlalber View Post
No, there is no lift and note that the pitman arm is perfectly flat so it's hard distinguish the top from the bottom. Yes, the pitman arm is pointed towards the front of the X. I'm fairly confident the pitman arm is on correctly other than possibly being bottom side up. Note that I did have to re-center the steering wheel because it was about 10 degrees to the left. I re-centered the steering wheel via the collar on the end of the tie rod that bolts to the pitman arm.

It was 70 degrees here yesterday, today it is 8 degrees so I won't be crawling under it for the next few days. The fact that the front end had no slop and made no noise until I replaced the steering gear box leads me to believe I introduced the problem. The pitman arm is firmly bolted to the steering gear box though its not as far down the spindle as it was originally but I don't think this has introduced any slop as it's extremely tight. The tie rod on the other hand is not seated in the pitman arm well at all. The tie rod end is tapered, (isn't it?) so it should seat nicely in the pitman arm which must also be tapered, at least at the tie rod end, right? When I took it out it was very tight so I used the pitman arm puller to pop it off the pitman arm. This is the joint I suspect is now sloppy and making the noise on the passenger side.

I have read in some forums about tapered holes on pitman arms but not about this pitman arm in particular. Worst case, I'll pull the gearbox, take off the pitman arm, see if the holes are tapered and put it back together accordingly. But first I'll do as you suggest and get under it and see if there's anything astray.

Thanks for the input.
To be clear the link that connects to the pitman arm and goes to the tie rod is called the drag link. The link that connects the left and right steering knuckles is called the tie rod.

The drag link end that connects to the pitman is tapered so it may not seat the same but as long as you torqued it properly there shouldn't be an issue. You did torque it properly and then use a new cotter pin on the castle nut?
 
  #369  
Old 11-11-2014, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by djyu View Post
You've peaked my interest here. I see these are rebuilt. Are they rebuilt Ford units with beefed up internals or something?
They are reman OE units. I would not call them beefed up in anyway but I do believe they are a better rebuilt then your typical spray and pray. You'll need to read their site and compare their significantly higher price than something from A1, etc and make up your own mind if it's worth it. To me I believe it was and I am still happy with my purchase.
 
  #370  
Old 11-11-2014, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Monster-4 View Post
To be clear the link that connects to the pitman arm and goes to the tie rod is called the drag link. The link that connects the left and right steering knuckles is called the tie rod.

The drag link end that connects to the pitman is tapered so it may not seat the same but as long as you torqued it properly there shouldn't be an issue. You did torque it properly and then use a new cotter pin on the castle nut?
It was torqued properly until I beared down on it to try to force it to seat properly. So, at the moment it is over tightened. And, yes, I put a new cotter pin in it.
 
  #371  
Old 11-11-2014, 02:27 PM
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Well it shouldn't hurt anything be mildly over torqued unless you cracked or stripped the stud that connects to the pitman arm.

I would think both would be pretty hard to do but you might want to look this over especially if there is damage as it could lead to loss of steering control. This is why I always torque all steering, braking and suspension components (but I torque almost everything anyway) to prevent damage.
 
  #372  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:06 PM
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Drag link end of pittman arm is tapered. It should nearly seat before you put the castle nut on and tighten it. Sounds like the pittman arm may be upside down.
 
  #373  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
Drag link end of pittman arm is tapered. It should nearly seat before you put the castle nut on and tighten it. Sounds like the pittman arm may be upside down.
Thanks. That is what I was beginning to think but I wasn't sure mounting it upside was even possible considering the drag link taper and gear box spindle spline layout.
 
  #374  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rlalber View Post
Thanks. That is what I was beginning to think but I wasn't sure mounting it upside was even possible considering the drag link taper and gear box spindle spline layout.
I'll be sure to verify that I didn't damage the stud on the drag link.

Because the pitman arm is flat it gives no indication, at least by its shape, of which way it should be mounted to the steering gear box. If there was a lift involved here it would be obvious by the shape but there isn't as this is the stock pitman arm off of a 2005 X and it's virtually flat.

Please tell me if this sounds reasonable:

If it's a fact that the pitman arm has a tapered mounting hole for the drag link stud (if it does, I didn't notice), then that must be the key to mounting it correctly.

The pitman arm needs to be mounted on the gear box spindle such that the wide end of the tapered drag link mounting hole is facing downward toward the drag link stud. I believe I have the narrow end of the drag link mounting hole facing down not allowing the drag link stud to seat properly in the pitman arm. If the pitman arm mounting hole for the gear box spindle is tapered too, I have the same problem at the steering gear box spindle which accounts for it not seating as deeply as it was originally.

The fix then is to just rotate the pitman arm 180 degrees length wise.
 
  #375  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:55 PM
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2 Year Update

I've had my Red Head in for about 2 years and it still feels like there is little power assist. It feels the same as the day I put it in. I gave it some time just to see if it needed to break in, well it's been about 15k miles.

There are 2 possible reasons for this, low pressure from the power steering pump, or something in the steering gear. Now the old gear was shoot, it was loose and gave feedback, it needed replaced, but it still gave full power assist. So I am thinking the pump is fine.

The truck can be driven like this, but the handling is not what it should be IMO. Straight line driving is the most effected, truck kinda wants to follow the contours in the road (humps and dips) and takes more effort to keep straight.

I have replaced many parts trying to resolve this issue thinking it could not be the steering gear because I replaced it with a reputable rebuilt unit.

After doing some research I believe the cause is the steering gear, more specifically the spring in the unit that allows the valve to give more assist.


Anyone have any experience with this, or have the same issue?
 

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