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Old 11-22-2022, 07:28 PM   #1
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Steering box leak

Anyone know the manufacturer of the power steering box on a 2001 38ft Alpine? We have a leak in the box (confirmed) and our local freight liner is trying g to research and replace but difficult with no factory support. A parts number would be ideal, but a manufacturer would get us in the right direction. Has anyone else had a problem with their unit? If so and replacement is obsolete, what option for a new box (performance specs and similar platform/size) did you have to go with? This leak appeared while doing my walk around and MX check two days before our planned thanksgiving trip. Hope to get figured out and salvage our Christmas trip. Thank you!
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Old 11-22-2022, 07:41 PM   #2
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Have you looked on the steering box itself.


Quite likely the make and model are either on a tag or embossed on it.


And, where exactly is it leaking? Some seals can be replaced on some boxes in place, others require removal.



Any play in it?
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Old 11-22-2022, 08:21 PM   #3
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Ditto what was said in post 2 for looking on the steering box itself for parts numbers.


Also, there is some info in this thread.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/alp...ng-215791.html
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Old 11-23-2022, 06:42 AM   #4
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It’s a Sheppard box. My 2001 has an M80 on it, but I’ve read that some have an M100 on them. The name and model number are cast into them in plain view.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:02 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the information. Unfortunately I do not have access to the unit right now, it was towed directly to Freightliner and they co firmed the leak was from the box itself. I saw a continuous stream flowing from the end of the unit from under a dust seal. That was enough for me to send it to a shop. I just called the service department and gave the, the information you all provided. Service manager cautioned me that they don’t usually work on vehicles more than 15 years old due to parts availability and don’t do rebuilds or swap/upgrades to other manufacturers - all due to liability I am sure. Hopefully their parts guy will run with the Sheppard information and find one. Fingers crossed! In hindsight, I probably could have done this myself, I am moderately mechanical but all my work has been on cars/trucks, motorcycles, and some aircraft. I was unsure of large diesel systems and talked myself out of the attempt until I heard from Freightliner. Live and learn! Thanks again, will post an update once I get a call back
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:44 AM   #6
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Particularly if you have any play in the steering box, these guys overhaul and blueprint steering boxes-- certainly the Sheppard ones.


https://redheadsteeringgears.com/history


You would have the shop remove and install the unit and get RedHead to redo it.
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Old 11-23-2022, 06:44 PM   #7
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A seal kit is about $50…… a rebuilt unit is about $500, plus core.
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Old 11-23-2022, 07:25 PM   #8
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I recently had my Sheppard M100 steering box replaced. I purchased the steering box myself from Tom Neihl Truck center in Lake City Fl. for 800.00 and Fourstar Freightliner done the install for me.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:45 PM   #9
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Update and pics

An update on my steering gear. So, Freightliner told me they could not source an new or rebuilt Sheppard M100. I found numerous on the web from both the manufacturer and reputable rebuild sites, but then was told it had to be from one of their “corporate approved suppliers or rebuild operations”. After another talk with late night service manager, and more excuses, I finally got one of the parts guys to give me a subtle nod when I said it was as if they just did not want to work on an older vehicle, probably some liability issue. Wish they would have just come out and said it.

I did find a local heavy equipment mechanic who would take the job if I got the parts. He would even handle a swap to a TRW unit if I got one and had everything ready. Between threads I have read about non-adjustable Sheppard units and the easier to repair TRW units it seems like a good idea, but just a bit concerned about unexpected complications.

Given the costs of either a Sheppard rebuild or a TRW are about the same, a TRW has unknown additional costs or problems in a retrofit, and the Sheppard can have between .5 to 1.5in of play. Current box is tigh, but who knows what I might get. Finally talked to Readhead and what a relief. A rebuild of my unit will cost about what any of the units will on the net AND they will “blueprint” or shim the unit so no play. Seems like I finally have my answer.

I appreciate everyone help and advice, this site is a wealth of information! I will post more once work is done and let everyone know how it goes. Attached are a few pics of my unit and the leak is evident. Funny enough, I filled the reservoir to Max cold fill level and drove it back to my place waiting for availability at my mechanics yard. Leaked when I cranked, but after a few miles a rechecked fluid levels and no significant Chang AND no leaking. Guess it heats up and seals - I should have expected that.......
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