redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby albrow100 [OP] » January 17th 2018, 4:42am

Please let me know how it is! i'm going to order mine next month
My van is lifted as well and it is very difficult to maintain a tight line
the reman box made no help so I figured that"s how its going to be

I've aligned it like 5 times adjusting things here and there, but it still feels loose
Original Poster [OP]
albrow100
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: albrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 285
Topics: 30
Images: 18
Joined: October 2016
Location: Portland Or
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: awd

  • Similar topics
    Replies
    Views
    Author
  • leaking steering sector
    by DentManDave » September 25th 2020, 5:43am in Steering
    2 Replies
    123 Views
    Last post by DentManDave View the latest post
    September 26th 2020, 12:58am
  • Power Steering and Brake loss
    by Mickmon » October 3rd 2020, 6:42pm in Steering
    19 Replies
    448 Views
    Last post by Mickmon View the latest post
    November 22nd 2020, 2:14pm
  •  
    10
    74
    Last post by AstroSafari.com View the latest post
    November 24th 2020, 11:15am

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby WinnieVan » January 17th 2018, 6:06am

I’m listening too...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
WinnieVan
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: WinnieVan has been a member for 3 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 3 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 2267
Topics: 62
Images: 27
Joined: February 2017
Location: Berkeley, CA
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby chevymaher » January 17th 2018, 12:09pm

These vans always will have a sloppy front end. It is the nature of the beast.

Is the sloppy feeling alignment or actual excessive play.

On a level flat road let go of the wheel does it roll in a straight line.

Now use the brakes with no hands. Does it still go in a straight line.

If so alignment is good.

Engine off steering column unlocked. Turn the steering wheel. 3/4 to a inch of play is correct.

Idler arms cause most of the loose feeling in them. And if they are correct and perfect they got 3/4 inch deflection. It is what the engineers wanted.

If all checks out rack and pinion steering is the next step if you want tighter steering.
Image
User avatar
chevymaher
Team Leader
Team Leader
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Years of Membership: chevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full yearschevymaher has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 14196
Topics: 90
Images: 94
Joined: November 2010
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): chevymaher
Van Model Year: 1994
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: SLE RWD Mercruiser

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby 3PedalJohn » January 17th 2018, 1:03pm

It’s a steering box that’s how they feel!
3PedalJohn
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L1)
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L1)
Years of Membership: 3PedalJohn has been a member for 4 full years3PedalJohn has been a member for 4 full years3PedalJohn has been a member for 4 full years3PedalJohn has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 108
Topics: 4
Joined: August 2016
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1988
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby TurnNburn » January 17th 2018, 5:20pm

My van drives straight and brakes straight. Replaced every suspension and steering component (except the box). But even after adjusting the preload on the front of the box, the steering wheel still has several inches of play. You can turn the steering wheel like 3-4 inches and watch the steering shaft move as it goes into the steering gear, but it doesn't translate into movement at the wheels.

I have driven many Astros and im instantly surprised how nice they steer compared to mine (well most of them at least). im telling you mine isn't right. Plus, our van has 230k on it and is probably original. Besides, I have the money to try the upgrade.

On a positive note... I ordered my box approximately 3:30 on Monday, and got it yesterday (Tuesday) at 5:15. And no, I didn't pay expedited shipping.

It has been pretty slow at work here recently, so I brought it to the shop and should have it installed before the day is over. Should have some positive feed back before not to long.
2000 Astro- Camperized, bumpers, lifted, LS 5.3 V8, 4x4 T-case, Truetrac rear locker, 31x10.5x15 BFG KO2's
"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes"
Build thread- https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?t=103066"
Image
User avatar
TurnNburn
V8 Swap Achievement
V8 Swap Achievement
Green Status (L4)
Green Status (L4)
Years of Membership: TurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 3033
Topics: 11
Images: 0
Joined: April 2016
Location: Bend, Or
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): iGoogle
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 5.3 4x4 Overlander

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby TurnNburn » January 18th 2018, 9:16pm

So the old box is out and the new box is in. Pretty simple job, if not very messy. Expect to spend a lot of time cleaning up since that steering fluid is going to get everywhere and then some. Flat rate manual says it take 2.8 hours. With the proper tools and a lift I was able to do it in a little over an hour.

All I can say is wow, wish I had installed this a while ago. This thing turns so buttery smooth compared to what it used to feel like. It would be nice to compare it to a stock unit just to feel the difference, if only to justify the cost, but so far I am pretty happy about it.

Needs an alignment as the steering wheel is about 45* off center. I don't know if that's from doing my last alignment with a loose box or a byproduct of some of the machining they do during the reman process.
2000 Astro- Camperized, bumpers, lifted, LS 5.3 V8, 4x4 T-case, Truetrac rear locker, 31x10.5x15 BFG KO2's
"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes"
Build thread- https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?t=103066"
Image
User avatar
TurnNburn
V8 Swap Achievement
V8 Swap Achievement
Green Status (L4)
Green Status (L4)
Years of Membership: TurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full yearsTurnNburn has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 3033
Topics: 11
Images: 0
Joined: April 2016
Location: Bend, Or
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): iGoogle
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 5.3 4x4 Overlander

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby WinnieVan » January 18th 2018, 11:43pm

Thanks for the update TNB. So I could do it in 8 hours with my 8:1 TNB time.

Glad it makes the steering "buttery"!
User avatar
WinnieVan
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: WinnieVan has been a member for 3 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 3 full yearsWinnieVan has been a member for 3 full years
Posts: 2267
Topics: 62
Images: 27
Joined: February 2017
Location: Berkeley, CA
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby 1lowcab » January 19th 2018, 12:13am

Great review....makes me wish I had gone with with one of those!
User avatar
1lowcab
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: 1lowcab has been a member for 4 full years1lowcab has been a member for 4 full years1lowcab has been a member for 4 full years1lowcab has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 2948
Topics: 58
Images: 165
Joined: April 2016
Location: OH
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Ken2.7 » September 17th 2020, 6:38pm

After adjusting my old steering box every 6 months I decided it was time it had to go but after looking at reviews of the mess and hours involved I decided to take it to a dealership I trust (yeah, bring it on). Unfortunately after the new Redhead gearbox was installed the increased pressure on the power steering pump caused it to fail. I don't know if it was getting weak or the gearbox just requires more pressure.The slop in the steering is gone so I'm glad that's fixed. Since "curious minds want to know," I bought the Redhead gear box (#2865 for AWD Astro) directly from the company in Auburn WA at a cost of $286. There was a shipping charge of $70 which covered the cost of shipping the new one and returning the old one to avoid a $150 core charge. The gearbox was nicely packed and included the box for return.
Would I do again, yes. I didn’t look up the cost of other steering gear boxes but it didn’t seem to be overly expensive. By the way the gearbox weighs 30 lbs. It was heavier than I expected.
Attachments
029CF932-0488-4155-9334-63CC279855B3.jpeg
Ken2.7
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Ken2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 239
Topics: 32
Images: 0
Joined: April 2013
Location: Colorado
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Ken
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD Provan Tiger GT

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Mmusicman » September 17th 2020, 9:05pm

Ken2.7 wrote:Unfortunately after the new Redhead gearbox was installed the increased pressure on the power steering pump caused it to fail. I don't know if it was getting weak or the gearbox just requires more pressure.

Doesn't seem right to me, but who knows...

So is an expensive performance Redhead Steering box worth it on an Astro van?
One that doesn't even work right? And you claim it wiped out your PS pump?
Not likely... in my opinion.

You paid over $350. I paid $100 (after discount) for my Reman Cardone unit a few years ago locally (no shipping charges).. and it STILL works perfect! I consider this worth it.

Image
Image
2000 Astro LS 4x4 | NP233 | 31" LT265/70R17 Tires | 8" LIFT | 10" TOTAL
92 Chevy Astro Cargo Shorty | V8-350
http://www.CruisinSouthFlorida.com
User avatar
Mmusicman
V8 Swap Achievement
V8 Swap Achievement
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: Mmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 4645
Topics: 73
Images: 49
Joined: June 2013
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Scott
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 2000 4x4 - 92 V8-350

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Ken2.7 » September 17th 2020, 10:37pm

Everyone has their own opinion but I will always spend a bit more if I think the quality is there. My brother in law chided me about buying an X300 John Deere in 2006 but he is on his 3rd Craftsman mower while my John Deere has been trouble free and I hope to get 14 more years. The post originated to ask if the Redhead steering box is worth it. Time will tell so I'll report back in 14 years.
Ken2.7
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Ken2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 239
Topics: 32
Images: 0
Joined: April 2013
Location: Colorado
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Ken
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD Provan Tiger GT

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby albrow100 [OP] » September 18th 2020, 5:07am

I guess I should update my old thread!

I ended up having my old box remanufactured by blue top steering gears
https://bluetopsteeringgears-com.3dcartstores.com/

I was referred to them by my diesel Truck owning co workers

The owner apparently used to work or own part of redhead and now has his own gig.
I think it was about 270 for the Reman

But man is it nice. Drives way better than before.

I’m sure there isn’t much difference between redhead and blue top but who knows
Original Poster [OP]
albrow100
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: albrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full yearsalbrow100 has been a member for 4 full years
Posts: 285
Topics: 30
Images: 18
Joined: October 2016
Location: Portland Or
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: awd

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Ken2.7 » September 18th 2020, 5:55am

Thx for the info. on the Blue Top steering box. I’m hoping it will be a long time before I need another steering box and it’s always good to know what’s out there. If I have any problems with the Redhead or the core charge return I’ll put in an update.
Ken2.7
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Ken2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 239
Topics: 32
Images: 0
Joined: April 2013
Location: Colorado
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Ken
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD Provan Tiger GT

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Mmusicman » September 18th 2020, 12:30pm

..
Image
2000 Astro LS 4x4 | NP233 | 31" LT265/70R17 Tires | 8" LIFT | 10" TOTAL
92 Chevy Astro Cargo Shorty | V8-350
http://www.CruisinSouthFlorida.com
User avatar
Mmusicman
V8 Swap Achievement
V8 Swap Achievement
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L5)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L5)
Years of Membership: Mmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full yearsMmusicman has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 4645
Topics: 73
Images: 49
Joined: June 2013
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Scott
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 2000 4x4 - 92 V8-350

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » September 21st 2020, 5:10pm

Ken2.7 wrote:After adjusting my old steering box every 6 months I decided it was time it had to go but after looking at reviews of the mess and hours involved I decided to take it to a dealership I trust (yeah, bring it on). Unfortunately after the new Redhead gearbox was installed the increased pressure on the power steering pump caused it to fail. I don't know if it was getting weak or the gearbox just requires more pressure.The slop in the steering is gone so I'm glad that's fixed. Since "curious minds want to know," I bought the Redhead gear box (#2865 for AWD Astro) directly from the company in Auburn WA at a cost of $286. There was a shipping charge of $70 which covered the cost of shipping the new one and returning the old one to avoid a $150 core charge. The gearbox was nicely packed and included the box for return.
Would I do again, yes. I didn’t look up the cost of other steering gear boxes but it didn’t seem to be overly expensive. By the way the gearbox weighs 30 lbs. It was heavier than I expected.



I'm having some power steering pump/air issues with mine after putting in a red head box, not sure weather to throw a pump or a hyrdoboost unit at.
Pullin The Pass
User avatar
CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online!
V8 Swap Achievement
V8 Swap Achievement
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L2)
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L2)
Years of Membership: CopperFiremist has been a member for 5 full yearsCopperFiremist has been a member for 5 full yearsCopperFiremist has been a member for 5 full yearsCopperFiremist has been a member for 5 full yearsCopperFiremist has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 1120
Topics: 24
Images: 6
Joined: March 2015
Location: Seattle Wa
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): B
Van Model Year: 1998
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LS Swap

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Rod's Trucks » September 21st 2020, 6:15pm

When I bought the van with about 210K on it, the steering was sloppy, but the PO had installed all the new steering parts. I knew that going in, and the paid price reflected the obvious and likely issues. ( windshield, not heat, steering box, poor cold running and tires). I paid well under $1K.
I had a RedHead geabox box installed because I didn't want to spend the effort doing it myself. I am vary capable, but getting a bit lazy in my old age, and some of my joints don't like climbing in and out from under the van many times a day...and no lift here.
The local Les Schwab tire store gave me a fair quote ( about $600 with the labor and alignment) and I had them do it. hey did not ralize the van was AWD until the first box arrived and was not the correct version. They told me that would have added an extra hour to the labor charge if they had realized it, but they did the job for the price quoted initially.
The first install was way too tight. It would not self center, and they agreed with me, but asked me to "put some miles on it" but the suspected it would loosen up.
A year later was still less than two tanks of fuel used, and then I made a trip across the state (300 miles each way).
That did it. I was tired of fighting the steering stiffness.
The installer (and RedHead) replaced the box, and did another alignment for no charge, with no hassle at all. It was a big improvement! I expected to pay for the alignment at least, but they said no. Who am I to complain about that service? They definitely lost any profit on this job, but I have been a tire and alignment customer for over 20 years. They treated me right and i am happy to say they have a good reputation for that kind of treatment .
I think now, I am used to it. It drives well, although I do have a bit of 'pull' to the right when braking...always something to fiddle with.
I would spend the money for a RedHead, if I needed a replacement in some other vehicle.
My read-headed wife also agrees it is easier to ride with me. because I am not fighting the steering wheel so much.
:D
Rod's Trucks
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Posts: 400
Topics: 24
Images: 54
Joined: January 2020
Location: Issaquah, WA
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Rod and/or WE7X
Van Model Year: 1998
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: Forest Green LS AWD

Re: redhead steering box experiences, is it worth it

Postby Ken2.7 » September 29th 2020, 10:34pm

I got my $150 core deposit back in less than a week after I sent the old gearbox back to Redhead Steering. I put 930 miles on my Astro Tiger in the last week crossing numerous Colorado passes including Cumberland, Land’s End Road, and the west side of Kebler which is notorious for 6 miles of the worst washboard in the state. The steering box was fantastic. Immediately after the power steering pump was installed I had some whine which eventually went away. I don’t have any idea if that’s common. So after a thousand miles all is good.
Attachments
643BD55E-4DCE-452E-BFA1-510B6BDF5AD6.jpeg
Ken2.7
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 2 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Ken2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full yearsKen2.7 has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 239
Topics: 32
Images: 0
Joined: April 2013
Location: Colorado
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Ken
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD Provan Tiger GT

Previous

 
  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Steering

It is currently November 24th 2020, 11:15am

Steering Forum
SteeringSteering, Components, Linkages, Power Steering, Rack And Pinion, Tie Rods, Track Rod, Turning Radius, EPS, Ball & Socket Joints, Camber, Tilt Wheel, Steering Column
Moderator: chevy57bert
To create a new topic in Steering, click this button:
Previous topic Next topic
Recent Image Attachments
Attached by:
Attached by: stent
stent
in Steering
Views: 199
Comments: 6
Date: Nov 07 '20
Time: 4:46am
» Read last comment
Attached by:
Attached by: Mmusicman
Mmusicman
in Steering
Views: 133
Comments: 3
Date: Oct 21 '20
Time: 7:55pm
» Read last comment
Attached by:
Attached by: snailsafari
snailsafari
in Steering
Views: 158
Comments: 3
Date: Oct 15 '20
Time: 9:52pm
» Read last comment
Attached by:
SainT
in Steering
Views: 186
Comments: 2
Date: Oct 14 '20
Time: 7:14am
» Read last comment
Attached by:
Rando
in Steering
Views: 199
Comments: 5
Date: Oct 03 '20
Time: 12:57am
» Read last comment
Sponsors

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron