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Old 01-20-2010, 06:35 PM
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Hydro Assist Steering

Im currently swapping my 79 F150s dana 44 out for a 60. I know how I going to accomplish everything except steering. I was wondering what some of ya'll have done to turn large tires (44s) left and right.
I have seen setups where people have tapped into their steering box and ran some hydraulic lines down to a cylinder connected to their draglink. I believe this is the route I want to go I believe.
1. Will the 1/2ton ps box work for this? If not what box would you prefer?
2. If you have any pictures or information on your hydraulic assist setup, please post it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:25 PM
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I have this setup on my rock crawling bronco. It offers no advantage on the street. It actually will fight you and slow your steering when tooling around the parking lot. Its great when you wedge your 40" tire in the rocks. The biggest advantage is that it takes the stress off your steering box, thus avoiding ripping the box off your frame.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:47 PM
79f350wheeler 79f350wheeler is offline
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hydro assist

ummmm ok?.... dont listen to that guy. it has advantages on the street. for starters having a hydraulic ram connected to your tie rod will make it hold tight and eliminates those cheesy steering stabilzers and works much better. second of all i run 49's and my brother has 44's and we are able to turn our tires dry cement at a stand still. you need to use a ram(cylinder) that is able to keep up to street use. therefore you can only use a ram with a bore no larger than 1.75". that is the max really for street as a 2" would be a lil bit too slow and be a bit scary. but you also need to make sure you are getting enough flow from your pump. may want to go to the saginaw pump. then you need a stroke of 8" for regular steering setup and only a 6" stroke for high steer setup like mine. i would recommend using only the psc ram as it offers the best quality and it has the 3/4" rod. the smaller the rod the more lbs its able to pull . go to a 1" rod and it definately pushes and pulls less. on that topic the ram will push better than it will pull( probably difference of 1500 lbs or so). there is an online calculator to figure out what you are looking for. my brother has all the numbers of the psc ram that is a 1.75x8x1" ....does matter if it is a 6" stroke or 8" stroke same thing. you should use the 2wd long shaft style steering box as it is better for making drag link angle and also has more turning radius anyways. just box in your frame and bolt it up. hydro assist along with crossover/high steer is one of your best upgrades for a truck like you have on 44's. trickiest part is tapping your 2wd box in the right spot and getting the hoses made to make it all work. if you need any advice i know exactly where to tap em and how to build proper hydraulic lines.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for your input, unfortunately the axle I have is the first year they started to use ball joints... so I guess there will be no high steering for me. That's interesting about the two wheel drive box, I never thought about it being longer than the 4x4 box, but your right, and with the weight off the box with the ram, there are no worries about busting a sector shaft.
As far as where to tap them, do you have any pictures, or know of any websites that could point me in the right direction?
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:24 PM
79f350wheeler 79f350wheeler is offline
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hydro assist

i am no computer geek so you have to look it up on here. if you go into the "offroad" section on this site click on page #2.... there you will scroll down and see a thread "hrydro assist for dummies" . on that #1 page (of 5 in total) there is a guy who posts a link from fullsizebronco.com. the guys name is ram power. click that link and read it carefully. in there it will show you the inside flow of the steering box. and a good way to get it right after knowing the general info is to use a garbage or beat up donor box and tap it as a tester. thats what my brother did and he found the 2 perfect spots to tap. we used 1/4" npt thread into the box and used an adapter fitting (-6an) to connect to the hose. after that the adapter fitting was welded in there all around to ensure 100% it will never leak. you need to use a good cast nyrod welding rod or braze to weld it. if you need extra info search out billavista garage "hydro assist" on pirate 4x4. that guy is awesome and answers all the questions on his post and then some.....he is almost too detailed and over the top sometimes but is very informative. he even goes into pump flow rates, oil coolers and so on....and if you really really get stuck let me know as i can shoot you some pics of mine but lets use hotmail its way easier for me and pics on here. chris_klatt@hotmail.com. i can show you exactly where to hit within a 1/16 of an inch and why it goes there and how to measure for it. then there are tips like using a magnet to catch all the metal debris drilling to prevent getting further into your steering box and using some brake clean to clean it up. plus i have all the fittings and even part numbers to make up those hydro lines and which ones should be straight and which ones should be 90'. research research research is what i took me to figure it out so i had 100% confidence in what to do and how to do it
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:45 PM
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I will have to agree with 79f350 that azbronc has something wrong there. If it's set up right you will love the firm feel it gives you on the road & the extra power, not to mention how much stress it takes off the frame around the steering box. Too big of a cylinder, lines, or both will give the feeling he is talking about. You really will need the Chevy pump. If you are going to beat on it I would mount the end as close to the t.r.e. as possible because it can bend the bar in a tight spot. I don't beat mine anymore and it was the easiest way out for me to just tie into my dual shock bracket.

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Old 01-23-2010, 10:03 PM
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There is nothing wrong with my set up. As you can see it works fine for what I use the truck. The Bronco is not a mall poser.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:45 PM
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I usd this diagram to find where to tap my 2wd box.
Click the image to open in full size.
We just did my bros(79f350wheeler) box today and its the same as what i'm currently running. To mount the ram I was going to weld tabs to a 3/8 thick blue torch fab diff cover,instead I made tabs on a bracket using 3 holes on the diff cover but will soon change when I go highsteer as well and run tabs on the top of the pot to keep it out of harms way. You may want to reinforce your knuckles with some gussets in the corners as well due to the extra push on them and they tend to crack on the stock ones. I beefed mine up real good and welded with a cast rod.
On a side note my truck just got ripped off the road the other day by the cops for being "too big". Anyways I got lots of time for mods starting with a Fresh 428 fe big block on the way!!
Hydro assisst is mint though driving on the highway locks it in straight even if i let go of the wheel going 100k's an hour on 44's...
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:58 AM
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Hey man,

I run a ram assist on my daily driver Ford F250. On road run a ram assist with 1.5" bore ram setup. Off road run a full hydro 2.5" bore ram setup. Of course, you need a bigger hydraulic pump to run that bigger ram. You can google ram assist ford super duty pirate and you will probably find my writeup.

The full hydro makes it easier to set up for 4 link front. It is also nicer to steer 40s on the rocks with 1 finger. On road I wanted ram assist because I felt safer having a mechanical connection. People say this is required to be street legal. But I don't think a single cop has ever even noticed I have a ram on the front of my axle.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:36 AM
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:14 PM
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Here's my Super Duty

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:16 PM
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Here's my Steering Gear Box

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:20 PM
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This is where I drilled it!

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:24 PM
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73 Ford Guy

I am sure you know you can adjust the steering gear box if it is too tight. I run mine tight then loosen it until it just barely returns to center when I turn.

Ram assist is one of the best things I ever did to my daily driver. I will never own another pickup without doing this to it. This setup cost me less than $200 to do it all myself. My Dual Steering Stabilizer setup, (which could not hold a candle to the control I have with my ram assist) cost me $300. The bracket came in handy. I cut it up and mounted my ram to it.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:33 PM
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Sorry this thread is old but why do you figure I need to loosen up box??
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:33 PM
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