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Old 04-11-2024, 01:17 PM   #1
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Red Head Econoline Steering Box Review

My 2006 E-350 was in need of a new steering box. The original had a bunch of play in it, both visual at the end of the selector shaft and in the steering wheel.

Considering the options, the only logical choice to me was Red Head. Other options were unknown Chinesium from Rock Auto or Amazon.

I placed an order Sunday afternoon and had my new steering box in-hand on Thursday afternoon. Not bad from Washington to Wisconsin.

Box was packaged well, very well finished, and ready to go.
Installation was straight forward, took me about 40 minutes start to finish. Had to get my wife to help run the bolts in while I held the gearbox in place. Solid 1 banana job.

Followed the bleeding instructions. Had a bit of concern because the box had a tight spot at center and there are a lot of reports of these Red Head boxes being tight. But I followed the instructions, and it loosened up.

Buttoned it up and took it for a test drive and holy smokes this thing drives like a sports car. Been driving it around this week on some pretty bad roads, some freeway, and some city driving. Its awesome. Money well spent.

For some frame of reference, my van is lifted - a lot. Its got a Timberline front suspension with King coilovers, running 2014 F350 axles front and rear. 37" Falkens on 18s. 6.0 Diesel. I have had all of the big dumb trucks, Powerstrokes, Duramaxes, Cummins, you name it, all with varying degrees of lift and suspension and wheel and tire mods. Currently have a 2021 F150, 2022 F350 with a service body, and a 2023 Wrangler Rubicon in the stable in addtion to the van, and this is as good as anything but the 2021 F150 and pretty close to that.

In summary, a Red Head steering box was money well spent!

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Old 04-11-2024, 05:38 PM   #2
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That’s good info, thanks for posting. I’ve read mixed reviews of Redhead steering boxes over the years.
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Old 04-11-2024, 09:36 PM   #3
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I've also read mixed reviews on the diesel forums but figure this one is coming eventually. I've heard Blue Top has few come backs. https://bluetopsteeringgears-com.3dcartstores.com/
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Old 04-11-2024, 10:33 PM   #4
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I don’t see a Blue Top for the E series. Do F-series boxes work in our vans?
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Old 04-12-2024, 12:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SteelheadJones View Post
I donít see a Blue Top for the E series. Do F-series boxes work in our vans?
No, I don't believe so. But they can do a rebuild on the E series box if you send it in. The back story is the owner of Bluetop used to work for Redhead.
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:29 AM   #6
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No, I don't believe so. But they can do a rebuild on the E series box if you send it in. The back story is the owner of Bluetop used to work for Redhead.
Ah, ok, good to know.
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Old 04-12-2024, 11:16 AM   #7
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Ah, ok, good to know.
From their website, they indicate a one business day turnaround time on custom rebuilds. Either way, it sounds like big box remans are to be avoided at all costs and even Redhead have a undefined failure rate.

The truck guys seem to be favoring an OEM upgrade where they swap out the 6.0 steering gear box with a newer 6.7 steering gear. Not sure how that would work on the vans but it might be an option.
https://www.powerstroke.org/threads/...r-box.1394888/
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Old 04-12-2024, 12:25 PM   #8
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6.7 box should work as long as you can get the ports to match up. May need some adapters depending on the year.

Unfortunately there isnt much options for a gearbox if you want USA made/rebuilt unless you have a trusted local guy. Gotta figure with the amount of gearboxes Red Head sends out there will be some issues, seems a vocal minority sort of thing.
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Old 04-12-2024, 01:36 PM   #9
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Just as a point of reference, I installed a Redhead E350 box in my van just over three years ago. Haven't put a lot of miles on it but it's been perfect since day one. At the time there was gathering criticism of Redhead but I chose to try it out first hand. Maybe I just got lucky. I had gone through two or three Napa re-manufactured boxes that were as sloppy NEW as the original Ford box i removed and then with in 10k miles became ridiculously/dangerously lose.

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Old 04-12-2024, 05:46 PM   #10
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I’ve had mine installed since November last year, no issues and feels solid.
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