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The_Hammer

Rebuild or replace steering gear?

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The steering gear on my 96' 2500 4x4 has a lot of play in it and leaks quite a bit. The steering shaft has a decent amount of  lateral play so it either needs to be rebuilt or replaced. The biggest issue with rebuilding it is finding a kit that has bearings/bushings and not just seals. 

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6 hours ago, dripley said:

Not me. All I can seem to find is seal kits.

It's looking like I'm going to have to pony up for rebuilt steering gear 😐

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Couple suggestions...Red Head steering was very helpful to me in past.  They might help with the parts you are missing. https://www.redheadsteeringgears.com/contact/

 

Plan B... brother inlaw needed a bearing for his John Deere 40 built in 1953.  He pulled the bearing and took it to an actual bearing company and they matched it up in about 10 min.   

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There is rebuild kits with bearings if you do some digging around. I've seen a few. I'm sure there is bearings made for the output shaft. Remanufacturing the steering box is fairly easy and straight forward. 

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On 10/16/2016 at 6:07 PM, Mopar1973Man said:

There is rebuild kits with bearings if you do some digging around. I've seen a few. I'm sure there is bearings made for the output shaft. Remanufacturing the steering box is fairly easy and straight forward. 

 

All of the complete kits I've come across so far are listed as "not available". 

On 10/16/2016 at 3:23 PM, 015point9 said:

Couple suggestions...Red Head steering was very helpful to me in past.  They might help with the parts you are missing. https://www.redheadsteeringgears.com/contact/

 

Plan B... brother inlaw needed a bearing for his John Deere 40 built in 1953.  He pulled the bearing and took it to an actual bearing company and they matched it up in about 10 min.   

 

Thanks for the suggestions. 

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11 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

How about the few of us that still have our OEM steering box and power steering pump at nearly 300k miles and still tight... 

 

I betting the previous owner of my truck hammered the wee out it before I got it 😐

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All I'm noting here is that there is nothing wrong with an OEM steering box for most daily driver applications. I will admit if you have a lift kit and/or oversized tires then an upgraded box might be required.

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Mike, I think you tend to forget that most of us, unlike you and @dripley, have got our trucks 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, or 5th hand rather than owning and caring for since new. I know you take meticulously good care of things, and I attempt to do the same, but in my experience, most people are not like us. Most not only don't take care of things, but they abuse them. This is why so many of us have these issues with parts that you and dripley don't have. Just my $.02 of course. 

 

As as far as rebuilding or replacing, I took mikes advice and attempted to rebuild mine when it was leaking. This is a good way to go if you can do it, but I was unable to get the piston seated back in the housing with new seals and ruined the seals. I should have had a ring compressor or similar but didn't. It really made me mad because it was over all an easy and straightforward process, but the new seals were just too big to fit in easily. Anyway I ended up going with Bluetop and am very happy with their gear. They also have outstanding customer service and great prices! A box from them is the same price as a crap one from autozone, actually cheaper if you have to buy without a core. They also put a sweet coating on the outside. Anyway I can't say enough good things about them. I'm glad I attempted to rebuild mine because it was a good learning experience if nothing else, but Bluetop is a great company!

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Bluetop is not a them or they operation, it is a one man show unless Ryan's wife helps out on occasion.

He works a full time shift work job on the same crew as me on top of his business.

He said he was out to see Redheads operation / owners this spring and said they do a lot of things the same way he does only they are a huge business.

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5 hours ago, leathermaneod said:

Mike, I think you tend to forget that most of us, unlike you and @dripley, have got our trucks 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, or 5th hand rather than owning and caring for since new. I know you take meticulously good care of things, and I attempt to do the same, but in my experience, most people are not like us. Most not only don't take care of things, but they abuse them. This is why so many of us have these issues with parts that you and dripley don't have. Just my $.02 of course. 

 

As as far as rebuilding or replacing, I took mikes advice and attempted to rebuild mine when it was leaking. This is a good way to go if you can do it, but I was unable to get the piston seated back in the housing with new seals and ruined the seals. I should have had a ring compressor or similar but didn't. It really made me mad because it was over all an easy and straightforward process, but the new seals were just too big to fit in easily. Anyway I ended up going with Bluetop and am very happy with their gear. They also have outstanding customer service and great prices! A box from them is the same price as a crap one from autozone, actually cheaper if you have to buy without a core. They also put a sweet coating on the outside. Anyway I can't say enough good things about them. I'm glad I attempted to rebuild mine because it was a good learning experience if nothing else, but Bluetop is a great company!

I understand what you are saying and Mike takes meticulous care of his truck. A whole better than I have done with mine. I think the biggest reason I have seen such longevity in a lot parts is the fact mine stays on the highway almost all the time. The most offroading I do is on the job site. I have also kept the stock size tires that came on the truck. But I have been unfortunate with my ECM leaving me earlier than most and the oe VP. that was under warranty however. A lot of factors go into parts wearing out and I do consider my self fortunate that my truck has held together as well as it has because it does not get the care Mike has put into his.

 

And I might add that while I do to heavy I do not tow often. Depending on my job locations may 3k to 6k a year.

Edited by dripley

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1476987504388151268180.jpgLike this year I'm behind on few maintenance thing like bleeding the brakes, and tending to few oil leaks. Still monitoring the trucks closely. Like 1996 finally killed a battery a bit early this fall. 

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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2 hours ago, Wild and Free said:

Bluetop is not a them or they operation, it is a one man show unless Ryan's wife helps out on occasion.

He works a full time shift work job on the same crew as me on top of his business.

He said he was out to see Redheads operation / owners this spring and said they do a lot of things the same way he does only they are a huge business.

 

I had no idea that bluetop was such a small operation. That makes me tend to want to do business with them rather then 'the big guys!'

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$180 if you have a core to send in, about $220 with no core IIRC. Then there is shipping which was $20 for me to go from him in Utah to me in NY. Give Ryan a call and ask to confirm if you'd like. He is very helpful and great to deal with! 

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Funny... I stopped in a tire shop in Boise, Idaho to have my tires rotated and rebalanced. The tire shop did a full front end inspection. Wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and trackbar. The shop tech was very surprised that the front end was still tight and absolutely no issues that they could find at 273k miles and rolling. Steering box wise still tight and doing very well. 

 

So... When you do get the new box make sure to completely flush the system before removing the old steering box. Last thing you want is debris from the system contaminating the new box and start the ball rolling for constant issues on steering and hydraulic issues.

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14 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

So... When you do get the new box make sure to completely flush the system before removing the old steering box. Last thing you want is debris from the system contaminating the new box and start the ball rolling for constant issues on steering and hydraulic issues.

 

When one removes the lines from the gear the entire system is pretty much dry after it drains out including the brake booster as it syphons the system out completely since this is the lowest point in the system.

IIRC on my 05 to fill the system up from completely empty takes just shy of 2 quarts.

Edited by Wild and Free

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