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Old 11-05-2020, 08:30 AM   #1
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Another Redhead bites the dust - pew pew

My front end needed some work a few months back and part of that was a toasted stock steering box. Shop I used wanted to put in a Redhead replacement and based on what I have read on this forum, I agreed and they did the install. After a few weeks of driving, things loosened up and I took it back for some adjustment which the shop did.

FF to now and about 6k miles on the box, it's sloppy as all get out and needs to be replaced as it is defective. You can move the steering wheel a couple of inches before you get any steering and that really sucks on uneven roads as you can overcorrect so easily.

Took it back to the shop and they tested and contacted Redhead and RH will warranty the box and send a new one no charge. As usual - Redhead will not pay for the additional labor to take their defective box out and have the new one installed.

Just a PSA but seems there is no other game in town other than Redhead for a "quality" replacement for the stock steering box once it goes. New box will get here in about a week and van will go back in the shop one more time for this crap.

All things being equal - fat people use more soap.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:17 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Mine was defective right out of the box and leaking as soon as it was installed. I returned it for a full refund, they did compensate me for some of my expenses ($200) but jeeze what a frustrating process especially since I'm in Canada. This was a very expensive "upgrade/repair", I ended up going with a Ford Reman. When all was said and done this ended up costing me + $500 than it should have.

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Old 11-05-2020, 10:45 AM   #3
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Sucks to hear that. Three years ago I was in a pinch--1200mi from home in Up North, WI with a broken steering box (output stub snapped off, long story but basically ran into a tree at 5mph). There are hardly any mechanic shops that far north, and on top of that it was Labor Day weekend. Thus, I had to "settle" for a local shop doing the work with whatever parts they could source quickly so I could make the trek back home with my family. At first I was bummed I couldn't go with a supposedly superior Redhead rebuild, but the experiences posted on this forum make me wonder if I might have dodged a bullet. Unfortunately I have no idea where the rebuilt unit I have came from, but it's worked fine with zero leaks and zero issues for the past 3 years <knock on wood>.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:46 AM   #4
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I had initial trouble with mine too, it was too tight, so they recommended I adjust it one turn at a time, despite the tag that said any adjustments will void the warranty. Fast forward a couple years, and it now seems to be notchy or sticky. Very little play, but kinda stiff. I plan to call them this week, but as mentioned, there don't seem to be any good options available.
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:02 PM   #5
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I’ve had a redhead box on our van right about a year now. Was stiff at first, but the lack of slop was worth it to me. It’s loosened up a bit, but still seems to be working as it should.

I was discussing steering gears via email with Sabrina at quigley and she mentioned that she has a steering gear from theses guys:

Had never heard of them and there’s not one specifically listed for our vans, so assuming she’s running the fseries option, but damn, they spendy! Either way, might be an option to look into other than redhead if their quality is getting questionable.
"understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of your car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of your car, horsepower is how hard your car hits the wall, and torque is how far your car moves the wall."
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:12 PM   #6
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I had a Redhead installed in my '07 SMB a few months ago. Within a few days, the power steering went out only for left turns! I had PS for right turns. Red Head sent a new one to my shop, and I hope they also reimbursed for the labor, but I don't know. Been fine since. I do hear about redhead's great reputation, but also just as many bad stories like we're seeing here.
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Old 11-06-2020, 01:03 AM   #7
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Reviews on other forums indicate that Redheads quality control has been going downhill for a couple of years now. I am also in the market for another steering box. This will be my third box since lifting my truck with a Weldtec grocery getter kit.

It has ruined the original factory box, a Ford remanufactured box, and now im shopping for its 3rd.... I have contacted Howe Performance about building a box for me, however i was quoted $2100. I dont mind paying that provided i never have to replace another steering box, but that type of warranty doesnt exist.

I know im not getting a Redhead based on recent reviews, Bluetop does not list a box for our rigs, Ford remans dont last. For me that leaves PSC which i havent researched much, and Howe Performance as my only options.

Howe Performance wont just modify and build a steering box. You have to purchase the box, a hydaulic assist ram, corresponding components, which as stated total some $2100.

Here a video i ran across on bubetube which gives opinions based on reviews...

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Old 11-06-2020, 06:50 AM   #8
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taking my van in today for the Action Van lift kit install. Thinking it might not be a bad idea to run to Napa and pick up a new steering box since everything will be accessible ! Due to timing, likely just stock. Van has 140K + and looked through records- never replaced....might be a good time to do it.
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Old 11-06-2020, 08:17 AM   #9
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Another Redhead bites the dust - pew pew

I donít know, for some time now, Iíve been all about, often times preemptively, upgrading parts or components to units that are supposed to be superior, perform better or outlast. For the most part, itís worked out, but thereís been a number of times itís created recurring, often frustrating issues, and now in a current case, catastrophic failure.
Iíll be reserving my experience for another thread with a major, letís say, driveline component that I preemptively had installed last January that has now failed.
Iím now beginning to come around in believing the old mantra ďif it ainít broke, donít fix itĒ.....
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:48 AM   #10
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Oh crap Rick, can't wait to hear this one...

All things being equal - fat people use more soap.
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