Need opinions on Redhead Steering

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73inNH

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73inNH

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Anyone? : )

Really interested in opinions on moving from 4 turns to 3 turns. Sounds like a win to me. Any drawbacks?
 
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At a guess, 3 turns LTL would indicate a 12.7:1 ratio, but they do not specify.
A variable ratio 16 and 13:1 has 3 1/8 turns.
I build my own PS boxes (no, I do not build for anyone else) so have not had any dealing with RedHead, but I believe they are a good company from what others have said.
You might want ask what torsion bar they use. A thicker bar will give more feel. I don't currently have the different sizes that were used at hand, may be someone else can add that info.
 

73inNH

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Thanks for the thoughts! Any drawback going from 4 turns to 3? Probably a little tougher to turn (which is fine with me).
 
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Thanks for the thoughts! Any drawback going from 4 turns to 3? Probably a little tougher to turn (which is fine with me).
4 turns would typically indicate the stock 17.5:1 ratio and probably a little easier to turn. As said, 3 1/8 turns would indicate the variable ratio box. As I have not had a "fast ratio" 12.7:1 I'm only assuming it would be 3 turns. If I hadn't literally been forced to learn to rebuild my own V/R boxes, I would for sure go with the fast ratio. The thicker torsion bar mentioned, which in effect, makes it feel more positive, a little more resistance when turning, would be my choice. A thinner torsion bar would give you that "one finger" turning feel.
I would ask question at RedHead and find out exactly what they are offering.
 

73inNH

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Thanks for the response!
 

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I've heard & read positive reviews of Redhead, but no personal experience myself. The factory quick ratio box is 16:1 on center, and quickens to 13:1 at the locks.

The effort required to turn a Saginaw box is determined by the diameter of the internal torsion rod. Later GMs with the Saginaw box like the 80'S Z-28 and T/A had high effort boxes with very fast ratios. When going to a faster ratio than the 71-73 VR unit, I'd recommend a higher effort conversion. Fingertip-light fast ratio steering is not a good combination.

 

73inNH

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This is an amateur question so be prepared . . . can I underdrive the PS pump to decrease the power assistance?
 
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This is an amateur question so be prepared . . . can I underdrive the PS pump to decrease the power assistance?
I am not sure that you can accomplish this by just underdriving the PS pump. This is all I can tell you, back in the late 80's early 90's I worked on a ton of 5.0 Mustangs. One part that went on every Mustang was a set of underdrive pullies. With just the crank pulley everything was underdriven, and I never felt any difference in the steering feel after we installed an underdrive crank pulley. Now, I do not know if there is some difference between the early 1970's pumps and the later 1980's one that would make this different, but I cannot tell you that I ever noticed a difference in the 5.0 Mustangs from the 80's and 90's.
 

jakosaur

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I have the Redhead 3 turn lock-to-lock in my ‘73 convertible. I actually used to live pretty close to the Redhead shop in Washington, so I could get a shop tour, and didn’t have to pay shipping. They have a nice, clean shop and do great work. I like the 3 turn gearing, but it does make the steering a bit stiffer. I don’t mind though, since the stock 4 turn was so loose I could steer it with my breath. I’m pretty happy with the setup I have, but might still switch it out to rack and pinion if I ever get the chance, since I like the feedback you get from a solid connection. Also, the tighter gearing is a bit noisier. Hope that helps!
Jake
 

73inNH

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That's great, I ordered the 3 turn yesterday. I'll post a review when I install it. It's coming from Washington to NH via Ground so it'll be a bit.

To be honest, I'd convert it to manual, but trying to save the creature comforts (ps, ac etc) for the next owner.

I had a 61 Bel Air that I converted to manual and LOVED it. Less clutter in the engine bay (I like simple), one less belt, and it was fine to turn when moving (a bit tough to parallel park!).
 
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This is an amateur question so be prepared . . . can I underdrive the PS pump to decrease the power assistance?
Yes and no. The steering pumps are designed to provide the right amount of pressure at idle so you can turn your tires while stopped at idle. This is the moment that the pump needs to generate the most pressure and it is turning the slowest. Once you get the car moving, the pressure needed to turn the tires decreases tremendously so you will only be able to underpower the pump at idle. Once past idle and/or not turning, the pump will internally bypass so any changes due to RPM would be minimal. The opposite that can happen is that if it turns too fast at high RPMs is that the fluid foams. That said, I don't think it is a good idea to underdrive the PS pump with a larger pulley because it will only matter while turning the tires at idle (on dry concrete).
 
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That's great, I ordered the 3 turn yesterday. I'll post a review when I install it. It's coming from Washington to NH via Ground so it'll be a bit.

To be honest, I'd convert it to manual, but trying to save the creature comforts (ps, ac etc) for the next owner.

I had a 61 Bel Air that I converted to manual and LOVED it. Less clutter in the engine bay (I like simple), one less belt, and it was fine to turn when moving (a bit tough to parallel park!).
Put a new rag joint on it as well. The Lares 201 is the best as long as you don't have tilt column. Order that from RockAuto would be my advice.
 

73inNH

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Received my Redhead! Woo Hoo! : )

Likely installing next week. I've never changed a steering box before. Doesn't look too complicated, but anything specific to these cars I should watch out for? Any DIY tips/ticks?

73 351C w/ A/C, P/S
 
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1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Received my Redhead! Woo Hoo! : )

Likely installing next week. I've never changed a steering box before. Doesn't look too complicated, but anything specific to these cars I should watch out for? Any DIY tips/ticks?

73 351C w/ A/C, P/S
Yes, have someone help you. Either up on a hoist or just on HIGH jack stands, PS boxes are heavy to hold up while installing the bolts. It definitely helps to have a hand for that part. Make sure your s/wheel is centered correctly. Install the NEW rag joint on the input shaft, bolt head UP. CENTER the input shaft to the box. Align it so when you mount the box it all lines up correctly and install the nuts to hold the rag joint. You will likely have to rotate the column shaft to get to the nuts, but then re-center it. With the sector shaft (box) centered, the pitman arm should align correctly if the wheels /hubs are straight ahead. Be careful here to make sure the spline notch (for want of a better word) aligns with the wider spline in the pitman arm, you'll see what I mean. Ease the P/arm on, install a NEW spring washer and tighten the nut (1 5/16" impact socket) and torque to 150-200 ft/lbs I think the spec is. It's friggin tight!! Attach the hoses to the box. Here I use a Crow Foot socket on a long 18" extension, These are awkward to get at and a real PITA! Connect to the pump and prime by hand (pump belt off) and have someone turn the s/wheel with the front wheels off the ground. Once sufficient PS fluid (or Type F) you can install the belt and start the car and check for leaks and top off the pump. TAKE YOUR TIME and you'll be fine.
 

73inNH

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This is great, thank you!!
 
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This is great, thank you!!
You'll figure it out as you go. Pretty much all common sense stuff.
getting the HP line TIGHT is the hard part and why I have found a crow foot socket, long extension and work from the top best. Make sure all the fittings are squeaky clean!
Good luck.
 

73inNH

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I had to look up what a crow foot socket was. Found! :) I'll pickup a set.
 
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