Red-Head steering gear review - JeepForum.com

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-22-2014, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
freeskier93
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Red-Head steering gear review

There aren't a lot of options for steering gears, either you take a chance with cheap remanufactured gears from the part stores or you drop a lot of money on PSC. PSC used to offer a remanufactured gear at a good price, but not anymore, and you have to drop a lot of money on the big bore box or the lower priced single ratio boxes. From what I heard single ratio boxes aren't very good on the highway and highway is my primary concern. The name Red-Head was mentioned to me and after some research they seemed to make a good remanufactured gear so I thought I'd find out for myself.

A little backstory; over the past year my steering had developed a lot of slop and it appeared to be coming from the steering gear. I was also un happy with how light the steering was. It wasn't until my last wheeling trip to Chinaman Gulch that the steering gear started leaking so I figured it was about time.

I called up Red-Head to order a steering gear, price is $255 with $100 core charge and $1.00 hazmat charge. I also payed $64 for two way shipping. So total cost will be $320. Shipping was fast and packaged as well as you'd expect for a steering gear.









I got the new gear installed last night. Not going to go through the install, there's plenty of information on that and it's pretty straight forward. Some interesting notes; the original gear has 4 mounting points while the new one has 3. The new one was also pre-filled.





After thoroughly bleeding the system I started the Jeep up, checked for leaks, and took it for a spin. The difference is astounding. Steering is now VERY tight. It's also a lot heavier. After driving it more today I haven't decided how I feel about the heaviness. I prefer the heavy steering over the previously light steering, but I'm hoping it's not an issue with the assist. The pump is original so I might be replacing it soon.

Initial impressions are good so now it's just a matter of time to see how long the new gear lasts.

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post #2 of 6 Old 11-22-2014, 06:35 PM
pcoplin
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Nice. I've heard good things from them.

Is this on your 97 TJ? Did it have 4 mounting holes on the frame?
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-22-2014, 06:45 PM
SCAN-MAN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier93
There aren't a lot of options for steering gears, either you take a chance with cheap remanufactured gears from the part stores or you drop a lot of money on PSC. PSC used to offer a remanufactured gear at a good price, but not anymore, and you have to drop a lot of money on the big bore box or the lower priced single ratio boxes. From what I heard single ratio boxes aren't very good on the highway and highway is my primary concern. The name Red-Head was mentioned to me and after some research they seemed to make a good remanufactured gear so I thought I'd find out for myself. A little backstory; over the past year my steering had developed a lot of slop and it appeared to be coming from the steering gear. I was also un happy with how light the steering was. It wasn't until my last wheeling trip to Chinaman Gulch that the steering gear started leaking so I figured it was about time. I called up Red-Head to order a steering gear, price is $255 with $100 core charge and $1.00 hazmat charge. I also payed $64 for two way shipping. So total cost will be $320. Shipping was fast and packaged as well as you'd expect for a steering gear. I got the new gear installed last night. Not going to go through the install, there's plenty of information on that and it's pretty straight forward. Some interesting notes; the original gear has 4 mounting points while the new one has 3. The new one was also pre-filled. After thoroughly bleeding the system I started the Jeep up, checked for leaks, and took it for a spin. The difference is astounding. Steering is now VERY tight. It's also a lot heavier. After driving it more today I haven't decided how I feel about the heaviness. I prefer the heavy steering over the previously light steering, but I'm hoping it's not an issue with the assist. The pump is original so I might be replacing it soon. Initial impressions are good so now it's just a matter of time to see how long the new gear lasts.
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I removed my dual stabilizer & then replaced the other one w/ something less heavily valved & now it's really smooth w/o those heavy ones..I recommend them often, & get a lot crap cause of the price..but those of us that pulled the trigger, can appreciate the control...
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-22-2014, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
freeskier93
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Location: Highlands Ranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcoplin View Post
Nice. I've heard good things from them.

Is this on your 97 TJ? Did it have 4 mounting holes on the frame?
Yep, '97 and only 3 mounting holes in the frame.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-23-2014, 01:23 PM
dayriesw
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Thanks for the write up. I will be looking into this. What size tire are you on?

06 WK 5.7 Hemi Overland - Daily
87 MJ Chief 57k original miles... getting built in the backyard. 37s, waggy axles, D300, 6 speed, etc.

Gone - 05 LJ on 37s, 79 FSJ Chief on 38s, 85 CJ-7 on 31s
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-23-2014, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
freeskier93
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Location: Highlands Ranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayriesw View Post
Thanks for the write up. I will be looking into this. What size tire are you on?
33s, and that's where I'll be for the foreseeable future. If I ever go bigger I'll add ram assist and either port this box or upgrade to the PSC ported big bore box.
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