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Senior Member
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1,324 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Tired of my floating steering and ready to pull my steering box. I've adjusted it 3 times and it lasts for a little while but is really starting to annoy me. Cardone is about 125$ or Red head for over 2x that plus shipping costs.

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?

Thanks.
 

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Senior Member
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422 Posts
I have an '06. My original lasted 80,000. In the end, the truck would pitch from side to side on the freeway, which is pretty annoying.

I have about 35,000 on the current box, which is a rebuilt put on by Firestone. They quoted $250 for the core, which I wanted to keep, but that's too much; it seems OK for now. My next box is going to be a Red Head.
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter #3
The consensus seems to be do it once and use RedHead on other forums. Really couldn't find a bad post. I guess my only hang up is I dislike having to ship and receive something like a steering box to and from WA. No offense Harryy6.0.:wave
Just wish they had local distribution but I'm going to bite the bullet this Fall and get one.
 
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Senior Member
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3,051 Posts
We could throw in your steer-box here at the house or down at the shop if you want to plan a road trip, be more than happy to accommodate. Redhead is still about 350mi from my place though.

Harry
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter #5
We could throw in your steer-box here at the house or down at the shop if you want to plan a road trip, be more than happy to accommodate. Redhead is still about 350mi from my place though.

Harry
Might have to plan a road trip.
 
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Senior Member
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I had to adjust my oem box early on back in 04', so far the adjustment has held up, steering is still good. I also found that the pitman arm on the steerbox had come a bit loose a few times, but mine is a drop arm for the 4.5" lift. Did an extreme torque of the pitman shaft nut with locktight and paint marked it, hasn't moved since.

However, I did develop steering wander around 35k which progressed to unacceptable by 50k, my front ball joints were the cause. Replaced all 4 of them up front with Napa chassis gold series greasable units, they have help up great for many years now and our roads around here are terrible.

Harry
 
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Curmudgeon
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472 Posts
I'll throw in my contrarian post here.

Many threads in the forums talk about adjusting the preload on the box. However there is more then one, and second, if the adjustment is slightly overdone the wear occurs exponentially and wander returns even more then before. You can adjust the preload correctly by following the directions in the manual, directions that have been the same since this design of steering was developed many decades ago. But no one wants to take the time so the typical 1/8 turn and see how it goes is the rule, often ending worse in a few 10k miles. And once the wear occurs, you not going to correct it.

Redhead had a great rep, but there have been some issues if you look to the other forums, FTE as an example. IMO, they were 100% good until they started the group buys and production overtook QC. There are threads out there about leaking boxes and poor adjustments if you look hard. Hopefully they are doing better then maybe a year ago. Some have reported good results with the NAPA boxes, but I have not used either to give my own experience.

This wasn't meant as a do not buy from RH, but just as a warning they may not be foolproof so I would replace with enough time before a camping trip or snowplow season to get some miles in.
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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1,296 Posts
My E99 is terrible, depending on the crosswind, I'm 1/8 turn or more into the steering wheel either direction. Mine is a combination of worn ball joints and tie rods, track bar bushings and maybe a little bit of wear in the steering box.

For what it's worth, I just priced everything to rebuild the front end of my truck, to bring it back to new spec, and it's $1000 using Moog/Motorcraft/Timken components. I can cut the component quality a little bit and get it down to about $800. Both those numbers are before tax or shipping. I priced it all out because I needed to be sure I wasn't barking up the wrong tree wanting to swap to the '05-07 axles and steering. Thanks to my current setup, I'll need tires in less than 10k miles, and in 134k on my '05, I never had an issue with ball joints, suspension or steering components, other than a power steering pump failure, it broke the shaft internally and just quit working. Since the swap is bolt on, I'm upgrading everything including the steering box, especially since my research shows the E99 has the weakest box.

If you don't want to send your box off for rebuild, all the parts are available to rebuild it yourself. They aren't hard to rebuild, just takes a couple hours and a little patience, but you could DIY in a weekend if not a day, easily.
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter #9
Ball joints were done by first owner. I did moog torsion bar links and everything except outer tie rod ends as they seem solid. Inner tie rods were sloppy and I added a damper since mine is an XLT and didn't have it. Track bar also seems good. I'd probably rebuild it myself if I had time and thought I'd be successful. Think I'll save up and do a redhead this October. Don't mind paying more if it's once and done.

Continue the Ford Forearm Workout for the time being.
 
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Junior Member
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149 Posts
not to steal your thread but I have a question that may pertain to the gear box. on my 06 F250 since it's lifted and has 20s with 37s wrapped on them from time to time the steering wheel will turn just fine but then there are other times when doing parking lot turning or backing out of the driveway the truck feels like it lost power steering and I have to strong arm the wheel and crank it to turn but then I shift from reverse to drive or vice versa and the wheel turns fine without effort?

any idea? I'm thinking maybe it's the powersteering pump on it's way out?
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter #11
This is a common problem from the steering and brakes on the same hydraulic circuit. Mine improved with a flush and switch to synthetic, magfiner filter and a bit of archoil 9100
 

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Curmudgeon
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472 Posts
It also depends how hard you are applying the brakes at the time. These trucks have a high scrub radius, the distance between the center of the tire / road contact to the steering knuckles pivot point, the imaginary line down the center go the ball joints at the roads surface. With the brakes on too hard the tires won't rotate and steering becomes difficult.

With a vehicle with a minimal scrub radius the is no need for the tire to rotate when the steering knuckle is pivoting.

High scrub radius front wheel drive vehicles have a torque steer problem, turning left on hard acceleration. These trucks with larger and wider tires make the scrub radius problem worse.
 

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Junior Member
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149 Posts
a lot of the times it does it I'm not even applying pressure to the brakes. it mostly happens after I stopped backing up and switch to drive and start to turn forward.

funny thing is none of the other trucks me and my family have do this. my dad has a 2000 7.3 Excursion with same height lift and wheels/tires and not a single problem from that truck.

I may just have to try the flush and see if it gets better and go from there
 

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Curmudgeon
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472 Posts
Then it's more then I was posting and may be the start of some other issues. But there should not be any change in the P/S hydraulics shifting between forward and reverse.
 

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Junior Member
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I will have to keep an eye when it's happening and post back when it's fresh. it hasn't happened in awhile so I may be missing something.
 
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