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Red Head Steering gear box installed

 
  #376  
Old 11-19-2014, 09:49 PM
tsedgar
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That is the same for me. Installed my Red Head steering unit and it was/is extremely stiff. Has loosened up a little but not much. There was another post on here where another person had the same issue and returned theirs and the next one was much better. These units carry a 1 year warranty so if mine doesn't get better I will send mine back. I was curious if it would help to loosen up the gear screw but it has a paint line on it and it states it will void the warranty if adjusted.
 
  #377  
Old 11-20-2014, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tsedgar View Post
That is the same for me. Installed my Red Head steering unit and it was/is extremely stiff. Has loosened up a little but not much. There was another post on here where another person had the same issue and returned theirs and the next one was much better. These units carry a 1 year warranty so if mine doesn't get better I will send mine back. I was curious if it would help to loosen up the gear screw but it has a paint line on it and it states it will void the warranty if adjusted.
Short warranty, too much shipping, too expensive, bad units, can't change screw setting, I would just get one from the local auto parts store.
 
  #378  
Old 11-20-2014, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by EXv10 View Post
Short warranty, too much shipping, too expensive, bad units, can't change screw setting, I would just get one from the local auto parts store.
This ^^^^^^^^^
 
  #379  
Old 04-01-2015, 10:27 AM
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2005 - everything is bigger!

Originally Posted by Monster-4 View Post
Below are the removal and installation steps I did for my 2000 F250 but should apply to all 1999-2004 F250/F350/Excursion as well.

Ordering:
When I placed my order with Red Head Steering (1-800-808-1148) they stated some 1999 and 2000 Model Year trucks came with either 32 or 36 spline output shafts. They asked which one I had and of course I had no idea. They suggest the easiest way to tell is count the number of teeth between the wide pitman arm alignment gaps (there are two) of the output shaft. 8 teeth indicates it 32 spline and 9 indicates it’s 36. I was easily able to do this with the steering box in the truck and the pitman arm mounted by turning the steering wheel all the way to the right and using a small pick to count the teeth.



Materials:
Besides the steering box the material list is rather small.
2 quarts ATF fluid
Red thread lock
Cotter pin
Zip ties
Small length of hose (about the size to fit over the input and return lines)

Tools:
The tools needed are also pretty minimal. Some of the socket sizes are based on aftermarket replacement parts (such as the drag link) so they may be different in your case.
Jack and jack stands
13MM socket
14MM socket
21MM socket
34MM socket (for pitman arm nut which is actually SAE but I did not have the right size)
16MM flare nut wrench (a regular wrench will work fine as well)
Pitman arm puller (you’ll need proper socket or wrench size for your puller)
Breaker bar
Torque wrench
Bench vise
Needle nose pliers
Side cuts
Hammer

Removal:
Removal is pretty straight forward.
1.) Lift front tires off the ground and support each side with a jack stand. Do not work under or around truck if not properly supported by jack stands!
2.) Remove negative battery cable.
3.) Turn ignition key to “run” position so the steering wheel is unlocked.
4.) Loop seat belt through lower part of steering wheel and buckle it to keep the wheel from moving while the steering shaft is in hooked from the steering box. WARNING: The clock spring can be damaged if you have the steering shaft disconnected and the steering wheel is turned too much in one direction. This is why it is important to immobilize the steering wheel as much as possible to avoid turning it.
5.) Remove and discard cotter pin from crown nut on the top of the pitman arm that holds the drag link. Remove nut with 21MM socket.


6.) Slide the Pitman arm puller over the arm and center it over the drag link bolt/pin. Crank down on the puller and the drag link will pop off. To keep the drag link off the floor and out of the way I zip tied it to the tie rod.
7.) Remove air intake filter housing using 13mm socket.
8.) Remove shield over steering shaft by popping it off the return line and up the steering shaft.



9.) Removed steering shaft pinch bolt using 13mm socket.



10.) Slide up lower steering shaft up and off of steering box input shaft. I had to prying between the gear box and the end of the steering shaft to get it to come off.
11.) Place oil pan under the truck and position it under the steering box.
12.) Loosen and slide up the nuts on the input and return lines using 16MM flare nut or regular wrench. Do not pull the lines out of the steering box until you have both nuts loosened. I made this mistake and got fluid all over. Once they are both loose pull one line out and slide the hose over it. Pull the other line out and slide the other end over it. Zip tie the hose on to make sure it doesn’t slide off. This will keep fluid from leaking all over the place.



13.) Remove two of the three bolts on the driver’s side frame that hold the box in place using 14MM socket. Loosen the remaining bolt but do not remove it until you are in place to support the steering box. If you are not prepared to support the box it can drop to the floor! Once the last bolt is removed the box will drop down and slide out from the bottom.



14.) Remove the Pitman arm by mounting the steering box by the Pitman arm in a bench vise. Use a breaker bar and a 34MM socket (or equivalent SAE socket) and remove the nut holding the arm on. You can also use an air impact like I did instead of a breaker bar. Save nut and lock washer for installation.
15.) Slide the pitman arm puller over the arm and center over the output shaft. Start cranking down on the puller. Even using an air impact I had to bang on the pitman arm a few times with a hammer while cranking on the puller. With a little bit of work the pitman arm popped off.


Installation:
Before beginning the installation make sure the steering box is centered. I checked with the folks at Red Head Steering and they said the box was already centered. Installation is pretty much the reverse of removal.
1.) Reinstall Pitman arm by tapping the arm back on the output shaft and then remounting it in a bench vise by the arm. Apply red thread lock to the output shaft and reinstall lock washer and nut and torque nut to 199 ft-lbs.
2.) Apply red thread lock to the three bolts that hold the steering box to the frame.
3.) Slide the gear box back into truck from the bottom and support it while you install the bolts. It’s easiest to start with the bottom front bolt and then use this as a pivot point to start the other bolts. Torque bolts to 59 ft-lbs (45 ft-lbs for 1999 MY).
4.) Reinstall the steering shaft by wiggling it onto the input shaft of the steering box as far as you can. Then tapping (hammering) on the back side and top of the rubber spring of the steering shaft. Apply red thread lock to the pinch bolt and torque to 36 ft-lbs.



5.) Before reinstalling the input and return lines check that each line has a small rubber o-ring at the seat near the end of the line. Without these o-rings you may have a leak. Remove the zip ties and hose looping the lines together.
6.) Once you check the o-rings reinstall the lines by pushing the lines on the steering box and tightening the nuts.
7.) Reinstall the steering shaft shield.
8.) Reinstall the drag link to the pitman arm by tapping (hammering) it back into place. Reinstall the crown nut and torque to 66 ft-lbs (60 ft-lbs 1999 MY). Install new cotter pin. You may need to adjust the drag link to center the steering wheel again.
9.) Reinstall air intake filter housing.
10.) Reattach negative battery lead.
11.) Fill the power steering reservoir to the proper level.
12.) Start the engine and bleed the system by cranking the steering wheel from lock to lock several dozen times. Do not hold the steering wheel against the locks for more than several seconds. Recheck fluid level.
13.) Remove jack stands and lower front tires back down.
14.) Look at your pretty new Red Head Steering box and enjoy the slop free steering.

Pitman arm puller-NO one had one large enough, measures 3". The nut is 1- 13/16, which is just out of the 1/2" drive set, need 3/4 drive to use the socket that cost me over $20.00. I finally found an adjustable puller and two hours later with impacts and beatings--to NO avail!!!
Ford would not remove it --Liability reasons, would do the whole job though!
-I gave up removing the pitman arm, new one $80.00 at Ford.
The hose fittings are 20 mm, odd size you will find out, can reach them from outside the fender.
The bolts holding it to the frame are 18mm and 13mm for column attachment.
Installing new redhead easy and followed the bleeding steps, I did let it sit over night and turned another dozen times then started, some little bubbles on startup, but all good.
As the lines were disconnected for a few days, I lost 40 oz of fluid, so I needed 2 quarts, good thing, kinda like a flushing!
This thread was a huge help, just seems for the 2005, ford went up in size of pitman arm--bigger.
Thanks and I hope this helps
 
  #380  
Old 06-07-2015, 03:09 PM
hawkeypler32
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torque specs help

Hey, same issue here. Can't find the torque specs for the 18 mm frame to steering gear bolts. Can you shed some light on this for me?
Thank you,
Ted









Originally Posted by jftjim View Post
Pitman arm puller-NO one had one large enough, measures 3". The nut is 1- 13/16, which is just out of the 1/2" drive set, need 3/4 drive to use the socket that cost me over $20.00. I finally found an adjustable puller and two hours later with impacts and beatings--to NO avail!!!
Ford would not remove it --Liability reasons, would do the whole job though!
-I gave up removing the pitman arm, new one $80.00 at Ford.
The hose fittings are 20 mm, odd size you will find out, can reach them from outside the fender.
The bolts holding it to the frame are 18mm and 13mm for column attachment.
Installing new redhead easy and followed the bleeding steps, I did let it sit over night and turned another dozen times then started, some little bubbles on startup, but all good.
As the lines were disconnected for a few days, I lost 40 oz of fluid, so I needed 2 quarts, good thing, kinda like a flushing!
This thread was a huge help, just seems for the 2005, ford went up in size of pitman arm--bigger.
Thanks and I hope this helps
 
  #381  
Old 06-08-2015, 12:48 AM
EliJoe
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Thanks for the instructions. I just installed today and everything lined up afterward.

One note is to reference how the pitman arm lines up relative to the gearbox. The pitman arm can be installed in three different positions. I am notorious for yanking stuff apart and then wondering "which way did that point".

Also, when tightening the pitman arm nut the box will want to move and mess up the pre-centered position from Red-Head. I marked mine at the pitman arm and input shaft with a Sharpie so that I could return it to center after tightening the pitman arm nut.

Pretty straightforward. I sucked out all the oil from the reservoir and used synthetic Valvoline Max Life ATF.
 
  #382  
Old 06-09-2015, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkeypler32 View Post
Hey, same issue here. Can't find the torque specs for the 18 mm frame to steering gear bolts. Can you shed some light on this for me?
Thank you,
Ted
Sorry just seen your question. I don't have access to a torque list for 2005-2007 models. If I had to wager a guess I would think 80 something ft-lb should do it.
 
  #383  
Old 06-09-2015, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EliJoe View Post
Thanks for the instructions. I just installed today and everything lined up afterward.

One note is to reference how the pitman arm lines up relative to the gearbox. The pitman arm can be installed in three different positions. I am notorious for yanking stuff apart and then wondering "which way did that point".

Also, when tightening the pitman arm nut the box will want to move and mess up the pre-centered position from Red-Head. I marked mine at the pitman arm and input shaft with a Sharpie so that I could return it to center after tightening the pitman arm nut.

Pretty straightforward. I sucked out all the oil from the reservoir and used synthetic Valvoline Max Life ATF.
There are the 4 gaps and you are correct the pitman arm can be mounted one of 4 ways. I should have mentioned this in the write-up but it seemed straight forward enough I guess it slipped my mind.

If you get confused just set the steering box the way it mounts in the truck (i.e. steering shaft input to the back of the truck and output shaft down) and the pitman arm should be mounted so it points to the front of the truck.
 
  #384  
Old 08-13-2015, 10:23 PM
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Great thread. Doing mine this weekend hopefully. Did you guys have to order the o rings for the shaft, or wee're they in stock? I want to order them if I have to before I start the job.
 
  #385  
Old 08-15-2015, 08:06 AM
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I reused the o-rings without issue so I can't say if you'll readily be able to find them at the dealer/part store or not.
 
  #386  
Old 10-10-2015, 06:41 PM
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My biggest concern for replacing my gearbox was how to put the steering shaft back on the gearbox. I used a screwdriver to open the clamp and hold it in position. When I pulled the old box out the split in the clamp was lined up with the flat on the input shaft of the old gearbox. I installed the reman gearbox and after making sure it was zero'd I moved shaft to install just as I removed. The steering wheel now is at 12/6 instead of the 9/3 that it should be. I am going to remove the drag and adjust the tie rod to correct this issue. Any one else chime in if I should have done it differently or just center wheel and reinstall it on shaft in any position?
 
  #387  
Old 10-10-2015, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by EXv10 View Post
Short warranty, too much shipping, too expensive, bad units, can't change screw setting, I would just get one from the local auto parts store.
I have a lifetime warranty on mine from the parts store. Damned thing went loose after 2 months. 8 hours of prying to get the old one out - not something I want to do again. I want something that will not wear, and the RedHead with bearings seems like the answer. But I'm in Cali.... and shipping sucks.
 
  #388  
Old 10-10-2015, 06:56 PM
8 burnin 2 turnin
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Originally Posted by 96_Bear View Post
My biggest concern for replacing my gearbox was how to put the steering shaft back on the gearbox. I used a screwdriver to open the clamp and hold it in position. When I pulled the old box out the split in the clamp was lined up with the flat on the input shaft of the old gearbox. I installed the reman gearbox and after making sure it was zero'd I moved shaft to install just as I removed. The steering wheel now is at 12/6 instead of the 9/3 that it should be. I am going to remove the drag and adjust the tie rod to correct this issue. Any one else chime in if I should have done it differently or just center wheel and reinstall it on shaft in any position?
Mine ended up at 1:30 / 7:30. I suspect that mine old box, being so messed up, led to its last alignment being off. I'm hoping the frontend work I'm getting donw Monday will correct this. I don't think tie rod adjustments would bhe too far off for my condition.

but 12/6? That's a lot. I think you might want to look at your tie rods and see if they are already adjusted way off center. Maybe that's where the problem lies from earlier work. If the are already centered, I'd try recentring the box - bot getting the steering arm off is such a major pain,.....
 
  #389  
Old 10-11-2015, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 96_Bear View Post
My biggest concern for replacing my gearbox was how to put the steering shaft back on the gearbox. I used a screwdriver to open the clamp and hold it in position. When I pulled the old box out the split in the clamp was lined up with the flat on the input shaft of the old gearbox. I installed the reman gearbox and after making sure it was zero'd I moved shaft to install just as I removed. The steering wheel now is at 12/6 instead of the 9/3 that it should be. I am going to remove the drag and adjust the tie rod to correct this issue. Any one else chime in if I should have done it differently or just center wheel and reinstall it on shaft in any position?
If you are sure to the steering box is centered just adjust the drag link until the steering wheel is centered. It's not uncommon for it to be off center.
 
  #390  
Old 10-11-2015, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 96_Bear View Post
My biggest concern for replacing my gearbox was how to put the steering shaft back on the gearbox. I used a screwdriver to open the clamp and hold it in position. When I pulled the old box out the split in the clamp was lined up with the flat on the input shaft of the old gearbox. I installed the reman gearbox and after making sure it was zero'd I moved shaft to install just as I removed. The steering wheel now is at 12/6 instead of the 9/3 that it should be. I am going to remove the drag and adjust the tie rod to correct this issue. Any one else chime in if I should have done it differently or just center wheel and reinstall it on shaft in any position?
There is only one way to put the steering wheel shaft into the box. So if it's in, that's the way it's supposed to be. Now, you have to be concerned with if you put the pitman arm correct or not. But to be honest, I think that can only go on in 90° increments from what I remember, so I don't think you would have messed that up. More likely, as the others have said, you need to simply loosen up the link, and grab it with some channel locks. Stretch out the fitting or shrink it, depending on what you need.
 

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