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Sloppy Steering gear/box
Wandering Dodges. 

 So much fun to keep in the lane on long highway drives with little road crown and no cross winds.

My original steering gear started Leaking PSF like a stuck pig in 2009 or so, and the stupid Steering coupler was a sloppy Poorly designed/engineered  POS that filled me with the an all consuming hatred burning with the fire of a thousand suns.

I got a remanufactured steering gear from one of the Autoparts stores, and replaced the asinine original design steering coupler with a slop free Universal joint steering coupler, and used a new 3/4 inch DD steering shaft into the steering column.

But the resealed/rebuilt(ha) /repainted   steering gear, was a sloppy worn Piece of Shit, way worse than my original, but it did not leak.

All other steering related components were new as I had rebuilt everything around that time as well.

One can tighten the steering gear, but one should not tighten it too much or it starts binding and it will not straighten out after a turn.  I tightened mine, 3 times in the subsequent 11 years.


Its pretty simple to do, with the right tools, but it is not going to fix the fact that the sector shaft,  within the steering gear is worn in the middle and not the ends.  So tighten it to near slop free with wheels straight and when wheels are turned  and it binds and power steering pump stresses, and coming out of a turn one has to unsteer.  This then increases the rate at which it wears and it just gets sloppier and sloppier and likely more dangerous.

So what to do?  gamble with another resealed steering gear, which is likely as worn,  if not more worn, than the one inside the van now?

Not  a very appetizing prospect.

There is one outfit up in Washington state,  that re-engineers the internals and uses needle bearings in place of bushings.

They are ~300$ more expensive than the ones available in AP stores.

They also want 150$ core charge, and 104$ to ship the gear and return the original as a core, which they might decide to reject as a core, thus forfeiting not only the 150$ core charge but the ~52 dollars to ship it back to them.

So for ~568$, I have a Redhead Steering gear ready to install, and a new 104$ Flaming River steering coupler, as mine had started developing a little slop.



I exchanged some e mails with them(redhead steering gears)  in 2009 and asked if they would reject my steering gear as I used a steering coupler which uses a set screw to lock it in place and schmemmies a spline or 3.

They told me they would not even sell me one if I did not use a new OEm steering coupler on it.  I was Like F off that design is asinine, and that was that.

Knowing they would reject my core charge I decided to eat the 150$ core charge

I should be installing it in the not too distant future.

I wonder if one of the AP stores will give me ~50$ for the core without buying new. 

Looking on rockauto, they want 160$ for a resealed repainted gear, and $250 for the core charge!

That speaks volumes.

Not sure what though.

30 year old vehicles have 'rebuild-able' parts which only increase in value?

I once bought brake calipers that were cheaper than the core charge, they sucked  festering donkey balls.
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  • AbuelaLoca (10-09-2020)
sounds like dodge used some soft steel for their gears

rebuilt parts can vary greatly in quality but oem is usually better quality outside of specialty rebuilders/manufacturers

take moog,used to be far better than oem but have since made a line of cheap chinese/mexico crap so you have to be carefull

crate gm engines are good,a pro rebuilder using quality aftermarket parts is better,a crap rebuilder using crap parts is crap,all from the exact same engine block
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  • AbuelaLoca (10-09-2020)
Saginaw made the gears originally , for not only Chrysler, but GM too.

I think there is some of the same gears used across both makes and Fords too.

Either way the designs are almost universal, but for the splined input and output shafts and the mounting feet.

One will Never get rack and pinion precision from a steering gear, but it was not worth it to me to gamble on a cheaper resealed/repainted gear, which could be more worn than what I have now.
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  • AbuelaLoca (10-09-2020)
but did the rebuilder use quality steel or go with the dirt cheap pot metal from china?

if you go on rockauto or go to auto zone and get the cheapest you will be doing it again in the near future

in most cases you ill get what you paid for
I believe most rebuilders of steering gears to not machine the sector shaft, much less use a new hardened one.

I paid lots for this supposedly re-engineered one.

Will report back when I install it.
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  • rvpopeye (10-09-2020)

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