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Discussion Starter #1
My bronco drives straight and handles fairly well, except the fact that it takes a lot of "time" before the steering input from the wheel translates to movement.

While driving and tracking straight, I can wobble the wheel a few inches each way before it turns the tires, making it "tedious" to drive.

I thought it was the gear box, but i screwed that up apparently.

Steering shaft is my next thought but I wanted to ask the community. I just put an all new extended radius arm 4" lift kit but the issue was present before.
 

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Did you use the adjustment screw on top of the gear box to attempt to remove the steering wheel play? You loosen the nut and turn the screw with a flat screw driver.
 

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Do not adjust your steering box lash, especially with a new box that has been pre-adjusted. Over-adjustment can cause damage from excessive internal friction and over-tightening will actually cause a much looser centered steering wheel. See this link: Red-Head Steering Gears

It is time to get your front end off the ground and test the linkage by turning the steering wheel while closely observing the steering shaft, rag joint, idler & steering arms and tie rod ends. Also, check the ball joints by torqueing the wheel on each side vertically up and down looking for excessive movement.
 

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Rebuilt steering boxes from auto parts stores are no bueno, I believe all they do is replace seals and do not address the looseness at rebuild. Seattle's recommendation of red head gears will address the problem as they do a full component rebuild of the steering box.
 

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Check the suspension components for wear. If all are good I suggest adjusting the steering box. I know others on here have different opinions on this. I have adjusted many steering boxes by turning the lash screw until resistance is felt then backing it off a 1/4 turn or so. Then drive the vehicle I make sure the steering wheel still returns to center.
 

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I went the Red-Head box route and this was my cure to what your experiencing. I also made sure all of my tie rods, ball joints etc were tight. I also did the tie rod flip for additional steering excellence although unnecessary.
 

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Aftermarket steering boxes are notoriously garbage because they're all remanned and yet no one, that I am aware of except those Red-Head guys, actually rebuilds the parts that need to be rebuilt.

Which is also probably why Red-Head commands such a premium, both for being actually good and actually rebuilding the units.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ughh this is bad news. I read mixed success with the remaned units, but this is overwhelming bad feedback.

I dont want to pull this unit again, but the borgenson shaft is quite expensive.

I did not try adjusted the lash screw in fear of causing issues. I did look at the slop in the system last night.

With one person moving the wheel, and looking under neath, there is no movement from post steering box. To me, this indicates something on the top side and not at the lower suspension geometry. When I move the wheel far enough to engage the suspension, all the joints etc, look acceptable.

How hard is it to remove the steering shaft to inspect? I can go to a junk yard and roll the dice on a used unit if the install isnt too bad. If its a pain, I may just go straight for the Boerg shaft to do it once.
 

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Make sure your TTB pivot brackets are tight to the frame- have someone turn the wheel and look at your steering components.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Make sure your TTB pivot brackets are tight to the frame- have someone turn the wheel and look at your steering components.
Yea I did that but I will have a double look.

All of the play is before the steering box. Once the steering box is engaged, things look to be reasonably tight.

After a lot of searching, Ive convinced myself of the ragjoint and thus shaft, but wanted further insight
 

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I'm curious to find out how this turned out, as I'm having pretty much the same issue.

After resealing a leaky gear box there was a lot of slop in the steering wheel. I isolated it to the gear box and replaced it with a redhead gear box, due in large part to threads like this one. Now the pitman arm turns whenever the input shaft rotates. Esta bueno, no? No. Now that the input shaft is tight I'm seeing slop in the telescoping steering shaft.

How did this turn out? Did you invest in a new Borgeson shaft? Did a JY part fit the bill? Is there anyway to get a tight steering shaft for less than $100?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm curious to find out how this turned out, as I'm having pretty much the same issue.

After resealing a leaky gear box there was a lot of slop in the steering wheel. I isolated it to the gear box and replaced it with a redhead gear box, due in large part to threads like this one. Now the pitman arm turns whenever the input shaft rotates. Esta bueno, no? No. Now that the input shaft is tight I'm seeing slop in the telescoping steering shaft.

How did this turn out? Did you invest in a new Borgeson shaft? Did a JY part fit the bill? Is there anyway to get a tight steering shaft for less than $100?
I ended up going with the new steering shaft. There is still a "little" play but it is significantly better. I wish i had gone redbox but i think a borgeson shaft will have you happy, even if its not cheap.

You can tack weld it temporarily to see if that solves your problem, but know that its not a good permanent solution.
 

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Do not adjust your steering box lash, especially with a new box that has been pre-adjusted.
Why, if it is out of adjustment, it needs to be adjusted. The fact that someone else adjusted it wrong is no factor.

Over-adjustment can cause damage from excessive internal friction and over-tightening will actually cause a much looser centered steering wheel.
"Over-adjustment" is the key word here. Don't "over-adjust" your wheel bearings, engine timing, diff gear backlash or seat back.

I have a Redhead box and I needed to adjust it when it was new. Been working good now for a few years.
 

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I have a Redhead box and I needed to adjust it when it was new. Been working good now for a few years.
I'm curious why you felt the Redhead needed adjustment. I just installed one a few days ago and even though it drives amazing (response from the wheels within a fraction of an inch of the steering wheel moving), it does feel a tad tight. Unfortunately, they say any adjustment voids the warranty.
 
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Why, if it is out of adjustment, it needs to be adjusted. The fact that someone else adjusted it wrong is no factor.
Red-Head Steering Gears


Because I have physically been to the Red Head Factory and saw the precision and attention that goes into each gear box.

Probably the most unique and important thing they do is custom fit every single worm and piston assembly with new proprietary precision fit steel ball bearings, which are custom manufactured to his exacting tolerances. This is in addition to every sector shaft being checked to be straight and true, using only the highest quality seals and polishing sealing surfaces to a higher condition than new.

Red-Head never adjusts by a set amount (as do standard remans), but always by feel by a factory trained technician. Harvey clearly stated that over-adjustment would cause damage from undo internal friction and over-tightening would actually cause a much looser centered steering wheel. This he physically demonstrated to be on a work bench. This is more critical with the precision process that he uses as opposed to a bulk remanufactured unit. Keep in mind that they are using proprietary custom precision bearings of exacting and larger tolerances, not bulk loose bearings typically used in remanufactured units.

There should be no need to adjust your new Red Head steering gear. I venture to say that if your steering is still loose after a Red Head install, it is time to look closely at the steering shaft and consider replacing the rag joint with a precision needle bearing u-joint. Hence the addition of a Borgeson 985 which created excellent steering improvement in my particular case.
 

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I really like the folks at Redhead. It is the best box, hands down. But everybody has a bad day I guess. My box was loose. One adjustment and its been good for at least four years. I never heard about the voiding worentee thing.

I haven't done the Borgsons yet. But I did modify my slip joint. (The rag joint was fine)
My steering is excellent for a raised truck on 38's. In fact, I would say it is excellent for a TTB truck, period.
 

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I solved the loose steering problem, I just ponied up the dough and got the Borgeson 985 steering shaft to match my fresh redhead steering gear. Wow, what a difference! It feels like I'm steering a BMW now. Bronc'MW...?

It is really surprising that the steering shaft cost so much (almost as much as the gearbox) and then I still had to cut it to size and drill it. I understand there are a multitude of trucks that shaft will fit, but for that kind of coin you'd think Borgeson would deliver one that's already ready to go already. Not trying to bitch (though I am) I'm happy with the results, but damn it's pricey.
 
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