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Full Hydro, or Hydro Assist

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by broc944, Mar 7, 2006.

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Full Hydro, or Hydro Assist

  1. Go with full Hydro

    4 vote(s)
    8.5%
  2. Go with Hydro Assist

    37 vote(s)
    78.7%
  3. I am Nekkid and do not care

    4 vote(s)
    8.5%
  4. My steering is broke, I only drive forward.

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  1. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    The time has come for me to start on my Dana 60, my goal for the last year was to install a full Hydro system, but as of late I have reconsidered this and am thinking of going with Hydro steer. The reason for this is I want the ability to have a redundant system to fall back on in case the Hydro system fails. If money or ability was not an issue, what would you do. This is for my V2500 Burb, which will have a ARB installed, I wheel by myself, far far away from any type of help, so if it breaks I either walk out up wards of 50 miles, or what for the vultures.
     
  2. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    Currently no steering box installed. Cant help ya.
     
  3. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    You did not say if this is a trail rig only so i'm going to assume that it isn't. Not sure about your state laws but in California if it is a street driven vehicle you must have a mechanical connection to the steering so full hydro would not work.
     
  4. Jishory

    Jishory 1/2 ton status

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    go with hydro assist, it will work great and if for some reason your drag link or ram gets busted you have a redundant connection, having the mechanical connection makes it alot more driveable on road too
     
  5. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    I would not go full hydro. I have heard of the PS fluid boiling out and leaving you with no steering. My buddy had a line pinch on his assist and was able to remove the lines and put pipe plugs in the PS box. He could still drive it that way at least.
     
  6. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    It will see the Highway 25 percent of the time, not a daily driver, just a daily wheeler:D . Not sure what my state law is on this, but this would not really have an effect on my decision.
     
  7. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    I will be using assist. I don't want to break a fitting and then be F't in the A.
     
  8. TDAWG1

    TDAWG1 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    redkneck ram West Texas Off Road... Matt Hodges thats all I have to say
     
  9. koldsimer

    koldsimer 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If you are running the rig on the street, run hydro assist. It's all that you need and it's nice to still have a mechanical linkage with your stock setup in case one of the many things that can go wrong does. I've seen and heard tons of accounts of hydro assist failing for various reasons. If that happens on the street you can imagine what could happen. Be safe and go hydro assist. I've been running Rocklogics kit and it's been great. Check our vendor section and look for Blazenoffroad- Jesse will take care of you.
     
  10. mtn. burb

    mtn. burb 1/2 ton status

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    Assist.
     
  11. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Assist. That 25% is more than enough to warrant a mechanical connection.
     
  12. 74BBPowerHouse

    74BBPowerHouse Registered Member

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    I was told yesterday full hydro in the mud is the only way to go. On the road it is horrible.
     
  13. bgreen

    bgreen 1/2 ton status

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    I vote 100% properly designed and engineered full hydro steering systems. On tractor tires, I've had mine on pavement up to 65 mph, (my tractor tires are only rated for 30 so I was scared to go any higher than that) and it handled way better than stock style steering, and much better than crossover steering. Reliability isnt an issue IMO, and if it was, all you'd need is some spare hose, some field repairable fittings, and maybe a pump seal kit.

    I'm with ya on the whole remote trail thing, thats the same kind of stuff I do. I've wheeled full hydro for 2 years and have had zero failures. So far I carry a heim joint and a seal kit for my pump. The same stuff I'd carry if I had normal steering, but minus the tierod ends. I would like to add a hose repair kit though. (if you purchase the correct valve you will be able to steer without a pump, but it wont be a bunch of fun)

    Having your fluid boil over is almost always the result of an improperly designed system. In colder climates such as Alaska, a person can some times get away with using the fluid reservoir for cooling, but in most applications a standard high quality transmission cooler plumbed inbetween the valve and the filter will elimiminate any over heat issues.

    Here is a trip report for those who are concerned about hydro letting you down in remote areas. Be sure to read part two!

    Clicky>>> Alaska Offroad Winter Run '03 <<<Clicky
     
  14. bgreen

    bgreen 1/2 ton status

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    I just read your sig. 37" tires prolly dont need full hydro, and Im assuming this truck sees lots of Highway miles getting to and from the trail head. If thats the case, then one thing you might consider in the argument against full hydro is the legal concerns, and the possibility of lawsuit. Legal in your state or not.
     
  15. koldsimer

    koldsimer 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The whole legal issue is one thing. If your full hydro system fails and you have no pressure, you have no steering. If this thing is seeing any street use, I don't see why anyone would use anything other than assist. The risk of total steering failure on the street should be enough to convince anyone. I wouldn't be so proud of my full hydro system if i just plowed into a econobox of innocent people. Besides, I can move my truck sideways when the wheels are against a building..... do you really need full hydro?
     
  16. bgreen

    bgreen 1/2 ton status

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  17. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    The legal issue is not really a concern for me. I am much more concerned about the reliability of both systems, seems to me there is less parts to really wear out with a full Hydro system. Both systems can break, and it is not like I never get under the truck to inspect stuff. The way I see it a full hydro system is simpler and probably would end up costing less. Yes I drive it on the highway, maybe about 25% of its total usage, and that is getting from trail A to trail B. Someone said something about tire size, I am constantly upgrading the truck, tire size is going to increase, and then probably increase again. I do not want to spend money, more importantly to me the time, just to turn around and install full Hydro, because the hydro assist is not working out the way I wanted it. I read very good points for both in this thread. I just want to do it right the first time with no regrets later.
     
  18. koldsimer

    koldsimer 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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  19. bgreen

    bgreen 1/2 ton status

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    You are correct, as stated above, If a hose rips off you will loose steering control, but what I'm saying is thats no different than loosing a tie rod or drag link end. IMO this fact makes the lack of "mechanical" connection a moot point.

    If you loose pressure from your pump (throw a belt, or the pump seized up, etc) you will still be able to steer just like with regular stock steering if you have the correct orbitrol valve.

    If you have the right caster, toe, etc, loosing a hose should result in your tires returning straight if your on flat ground. Dont get me wrong, if your on a high speed corner, or on a rutted road, you might not have time to get stopped safely if a hose was to rip completely off. If you just spring a leak, I'm quite confident you will be able to bring the truck safely to a stop.

    Good hoses and fittings are your best friend, just like good ball joints, tre's, welds, are your friend. Proper routing and installation of hoses is paramount to reliability, as are abrasion and heat guards.

    If I was planning on running large tires, having a heavy rig, wheeling hard, and didnt plan on driving on the street all that much, (or some combination of) I personally wouldnt mess with hydro assist. I dont like bump steer, and I dont like tearing steering boxes apart. I do like power, strength, reliability, and good handling. But thats just me, I am in no way recommending or suggesting anyone else drive a full hydro system on the street without thoroughly researching and complying with state and federal laws applicable to the roads they will use. (I have yet to see a law or municipal code saying hydro is illegal or legal.)

    If your truely interested in running Full Hydro, I suggest calling Sean at Performance Offroad Systems.
     
  20. Blazr77400

    Blazr77400 1/2 ton status

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    I also have a vote for Full Hydro.
    I have had all 4 types of steering; stock, crossover, crossover with hydraulic assist, and full hydro.
    Full hydro has worked the best for me so far. Its much faster and much easier then any of the others. The steering is easier on my 6500lbs truck with 42's then it was on my 2000 honda accord with stock tires.

    Since I installed it and started driving it around April of 2004 it has worked pretty good for me. I drove 5.5 hours to and from moab and didnt have any trouble. The steering has never heated up(I do have a small cooler with a filter also). It always returns to center like/better then the hydraulic assist. It does steer when the motor is off but you do have to strong arm it.
    The one thing I didnt like about the hydraulic assist was how slow it felt. It seemed like I had to wait for it to turn(although you can fix that with a balanced cylinder, but why not just go full hydro, you will be half way there) Here is a picture of my setup.

    Imgp0335.jpg
     

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