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.