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Crossover vs. Ram

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    My steering box is leaking. I have looked at rebuilding it. I also thought about taking this time to convert to crossover steering. But, why convert a 10-bolt to crossover? I don't think I can reuse much when I eventually go to a D60. But, if I went ram instead of crossover, everything could be used again on the D60, right? West Texas Offroad will rebuild my steering box for their ram setup and provide me will all I need for a ram setup for $450.

    Is there a down side to this approach? Does x-over offer something ram doesn't?
     
  2. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Matt is a *great* guy and, as a member, it will only cost you $399.99. However, be careful with hydro assist on stock steering. With stock steering, if you get twisted up, you loose steering radius on the drag link (which gets too much angle). However, the ram mounts to the tie rod and always has a full 8" of travel. If the drag link can only handle 4" of travel, but the ram is able to force a full 8", something must give...
     
  3. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Are there some sort of limiting straps I could install to help prevent this? Would this "oversteer" end up bending the tie rod as the wheel would hit the stop and quit turning but the ram would continue to press?
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Technically, "over steer" is the wrong term but that's beside the point. Also, the problem is that the wheel will *not* hit the stop before you hit the steering sector limits.

    Limiting straps (or any mechanism to keep the drag link near horizontal) would work. However, that will dramatically limit front flex, and we usually try *hard* to get *more* flex in the front, not less.

    The whole reason for going to cross over is to eliminate steering limits when the driver’s side is not at static height (where the drag link is (ideally) roughly horizontal). In particular, it becomes almost impossible to turn right *at all* with a severely drooped drivers front tire when using the stock front-back drag link. This is because, as the driver’s tire drops, the drag link travels in an arc around the fixed point at the end of the stationary pitman arm. Assuming you hold the wheel steady, the front tires will begin to turn to the left as the driver’s side tire droops. To go straight, you will have to continually turn further to the right as the tire droops. Eventually you run out of steering just trying to go straight. If you then try to turn right anyway, feedback pressure in the sector will bleed off to the ram (which is what makes it work) and the ram will try to continue pushing the knuckles to the stops. The most likely result of forcing the axle to turn past the drag link induced limit would be popped TREs (depending on size and condition), broken frame, broken sector ears, or similar.
     
  5. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    First off, I knew "oversteer" was not the correct term, but it best described what I was trying to say.

    Per your description and closer examination of hydro-steering setups, I was off as to how i thought they worked. I am well aware of the drag link issues and how it all works. I was trying to eliminate the drag link entirely. I thought that in hydro setups, the ram did all the steering. I thought that the fluid from the pump worked the ram and it pushed or pulled the tie rod. From what you are saying it kicks in only after the pump/box/link won't turn any more. If that's the case, it won't do what I was wanting so it is a mute point for me right now.

    Thanks.
     
  6. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    What you're thinking of is "full" hydro steering like some tractors have. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Ahh, that makes more sense. Sorry about the misunderstanding. When I was making that reply I was thinking to myself, "I sure thought this guy knew this stuff already..." /forums/images/icons/wink.gif But, sometimes I find holes in my knowledge (or complete misunderstandings) so I replied as best I could.

    What your talking about is full hydro. Big difference. Full hydro has a number of issues that make it less than ideal for street or multi-purpose rigs. Lack of feedback and return to center is an issue on most systems. You can get some feedback and return to center is you get the right stuff and spend more $$$. In this case the steering sector is replaced with a rotary/charlyn style valve (so you have some steering even if the engine dies) and there is no hard steering connection. It’s completely hydraulic. Blow a line and your out of luck. Some people believe that this system is not legal for street use. This has been debated long and hard on PBB and here. I think the final consensus is that this is an urban myth. To my knowledge, nobody has provided a legal document specifically indicating that full hydro is or is not legal.

    Hydro “assist” is what Matt, AGR, and others use. This works off the stock system and enhances power steering force when the stock box runs out of “oomph”. If you turn the tires but they are up against rocks, the stock box will just groan. With hydro assist, the ram adds to the power. This is what I run and what I thought you were asking about. I can turn my 42" TSLs using one hand and setting still (no rolling or rocking) with a fully locked D60 front axle. I can also push my truck sideways using the tires (with one hand). Pretty sweet but, I don't know if I would want that much power feeding through a 1/2 ton axle. Pop goes the knuckle!
     

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