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Discussion Starter #1
Recently installed a Motorcraft remanufactured steering gear from rock auto.
It felt good the first 5 miles but now has play in it again.
I know it’s the steering gear cause I’ve reached in and turned the steering shaft where it meets the gear box and there’s definite play. Like a floaty feeling.
Do I need to adjust something or did I just get a poorly remanufactured unit?
 

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ALL parts store boxes have play. They were junk from the factory, and remanufactured units just have the seals and sometimes damaged/severely worn hard parts replaced. So no matter who does it reman units will always have the same amount of play as they did before. And all the boxes get the play in them. If you want no play get a red head or blue top steering gear, they're the only ones that fix the factory problems with these boxes so they don't have play.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ALL parts store boxes have play. They were junk from the factory, and remanufactured units just have the seals and sometimes damaged/severely worn hard parts replaced. So no matter who does it reman units will always have the same amount of play as they did before. And all the boxes get the play in them. If you want no play get a red head or blue top steering gear, they're the only ones that fix the factory problems with these boxes so they don't have play.
So even the unit I’ve bought which is supposed to have been rebuilt by Ford is bad? I’m gonna contact rock auto and figure out if I can return it.
 

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According to Ford it is not bad, but rebuilt to "spec". Redhead and Bluetop are rebuilt to better than factory, since they measure each unit they tear apart and install new recirculating balls sized specifically to that unit with a tighter tolerance. Never "adjust" the screw/nut on the outside, as this will not take out play but cause the internal parts to rub and wear out faster. The purpose of the adjuster is only to set proper bearing preload during assembly of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for clarifying. I guess I should’ve sprung for the redhead or blue top considering they’re not too much more in price. The reman is definitely better than my original box but I was hoping to get rid of the play as I’m used to a more solid steering feeling from my 01 Tacoma.
Any advice on choosing between redhead and blue top?
I’ve read some recent things that reheads quality control is falling off.
 

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id warranty it out. supposedly they are suppose to fix the issues with slop like Redhead/Bluehead do and there were debates on going Motorcraft vs Redhead. but one issue with the Motorcraft is they dont seem to last as long, there are people who have already replaced there Motorcraft boxes once or twice but not many people i hear that have needed to replace the Redhead/Bluehead unless it had out of box issue

 

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If you want no play get a red head or blue top steering gear, they're the only ones that fix the factory problems with these boxes so they don't have play.
that is incorrect

from motorcraft.com
*Include new sector shafts
*Gear housing that does not meet stringent inspection standards is replaced with new original equipment gear housing – no sleeved gear housings are used
*Remanufacturing process includes precise ball sizing – not a “one-size-fits-all” approach – to ensure correct amount of steering effort, reducing play in the steering that could lead to comebacks
*Replacement parts are 100% original equipment


every rebuilder will have a miss here and there. i would suggest a warranty exchange with rock auto first. then if the second one also fails, then you're more justified in pushing for a refund altogether.
 

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95 5.8L XLT, Hedman Shorties/MF SS Y & Muff, E4OD, Manual hubs, KYB Quads, 31x10.5x15's, 301K miles
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The way I see it and with all the research I did 5 years and 60 or 70K miles ago when I purchased my Redhead box, the Factory uses bushings and that is what wears whereas Redhead machines and uses Bearings instead of the bushings. So for the money you are getting a better re-Designed box from Redhead vs a poorer original design from Ford/Motorcraft they have a shorter life and more prone to failure setup. So my experience so far with my Redhead is great, Tight and no leaks for the 60-70K miles I've had it. I'm always hearing about everyone having problems with rebuilt Factory units. I also see on this site that there was only one person amongst the many happy ones that had a problem with a Redhead unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’ll try my luck with the rock auto warrantied one. Any way to check for play before install it? Was a real pain last time
 

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Been running a redhead unit in my rig for 3 years, I've got 37's and have beat the piss out of it on trails. The unit has no play and has been trouble free. Save yourself the headache and get the redhead, you'll be happier in the long run.
 
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