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Home made Rock Ram

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by titanic, Apr 17, 2001.

  1. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    I couldn't use AGR's Rock Ram due to custom steering arms I
    had made so I made my own version.<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tennessee4x4.com/rocketcity/titanic.htm>http://www.tennessee4x4.com/rocketcity/titanic.htm</A>
     
  2. Bigd

    Bigd 1/2 ton status

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    going too do this on mine did you tap the steering box your self or have some one else do it.Any info on this would be great.
     
  3. bandit

    bandit 1/2 ton status

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    nice set up

    AJ
    (Your right i dont understand the jeep thing)
     
  4. xtreme_wlr

    xtreme_wlr 1/2 ton status

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    That looks good! Hey, how bout some more info on the tie rod over the springs deal?I checked the site there but you dont have too much info on it. How did you do it? Is the drag link connected to the tie rod? I know that you have another steering arm on the driver side. How are they tied together on the passenger side? I allready have the crossover done but have been thinking about the tie rod next. Your setup looks really good.

    '78 Chevy 1 ton Stepside RockCrawler
    468 BB, SM465, NP205
    D60 front, GM 14Bolt rear w/ Detroit
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://65.11.18.114>http://65.11.18.114</A>
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Cool! How did you work out the modifications to the steering box to control the ram? Nice job on that reservoir too! And, I would like to second that request on the tierod-over-spring setup. How did you do it and have you had any problems?

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  6. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    I taped the box myself. If you do this be sure to weld a boss the dome end of the box because the metal is very thin in this area
     
  7. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    I have more info. on page 1 on that same link. Then click on "Truck pictures & more info."
     
  8. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    Your steering box itself pushing the ram left and right just like it moves the large piston in itself. The only thing you have to make sure of is to have a hydraulkic cylinder that has a stroke the same as or less the the travel distance of your steering box. If you don't do this your ram will brake the steering box off the frame. You can use a 2" bore cylinder,(they are cheap), but your steering response will be slower than you want. Try to find a 1.5 bore cylinder with either a 1" or 5/8 rod and a stoke to match your travel.
     
  9. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Did you buy your ram/cylinder at a tractor place?

    Mike - <A target="_blank" HREF=http://emmett.coloradok5.com>http://emmett.coloradok5.com</A>[​IMG]
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Hmm, I'm confused. Seems to me like you would need to match not only the stroke, but also the rate. If the cylinder wants to move faster/slower than the steering box, won't that cause them to fight each other leading to breakage? Or does the pressure sort of equalize through the steering box to keep that from happening. Also, looks like you tapped it once on the top plate and once on the end dome. Is that correct? Were there any other internal mods to make or do those taps just go into the right area to pick up pressure and “it just works”? Easy enough to figure out by experimentation (if I had a box to experiment on) but, which line feeds which direction?

    I know nothing about the inside of those steering boxes, if they ever give me trouble, replacement time! [​IMG]. It was never worth the effort to fool with it. Now you’ve got me curious. Hmm, I also wonder if the steering box (without the arm) could be used to power a true 100% hydro steering instead of needing an orbital valve?

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  11. mudddog91

    mudddog91 1/2 ton status

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    Hey great looking truck!Can you please give us some specifcs on this rock ram setup?is it as easy as is looks or is there something that im not seeing?How is the steering on the road?Id really like to fab something like this, can you give us some specifics?
     
  12. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    I had a dealer for Georgia Hydraulics order a custom size because I couldn't find a 1.5 bore with a 10" stroke for under $350. Georgia Hydraulics made mine for $150.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by titanic on 04/18/01 09:48 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  13. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    The stroke is the critical part. A steering box moves fluid to the front or back of the internal piston depending on which way your turning. When you get in a bind, the pump is not strong enough to push the pitman arm due to a lack of leverage design inside the box. But the pressure inside the box is high in the direction you are turning so when that "pressure" is applied to a hydralic ram it will keep pushing that ram until the ram bottoms out. Just the two tapes are needed to made any saginaw box into a hydraulic assisted one. You have to take box off frame to tap the covers properly. You can use a large 2" or 2.5" bore but they require more fluid to move the rod which will make the turning slower than normal and yes the ram will slow the steering box down but it won't hurt it. You can't just use the box as a char-lynn valve because the internal presssure will move the piston inside the box in either direction until it bottoms out before the ram would get any pressure to actually turn your tires. This would result in alot of dangerous play while you were driving.
     
  14. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    I know this is a late post (hey I'm slow). This remark about slowing down the steering, especially if using a 2" cylinder, I don't quite follow. The actually steering linkage is mechanical 15:1 or variable ratio 17-13:1. How can it get slower? Do you mean you're coming out of power assist mode if you crank the steering wheel too fast? Somebody (titanic?) explain this to me.
     
  15. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    A couple of questions:
    1.) How does that reservoir work on inclines, any spillage?

    2.) How much extra force is gained (approx.) with the hydraulic assist or is it more of a stabilizer?

    3.) Did you stack 1" plates to raise the steering arms or is it just 1" tall?

    4.) Is that a big block motor? The reason I'm asking is that doesn't look like the small block p/s pumps that I have seen.

    Thanks, and nice job!
     
  16. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    You can't use a standard steering box to do a "steer-by-hydraulic" setup because of the way the valve works. It's action is based on torque from the steering wheel, using a torsion bar between the input and output of the valve. The harder you turn the wheel, the further the valve is opened in either direction. If you take the load off the output of the steering box by removing the normal steering linkage, the valve will never see enough torque to open it. You would turn the wheel lock to lock in both directions very easily, but you would probably never get the wheels to move very much. 100% non-driveable.

    An entirely different type of valve setup is needed to do what you describe.



    Now I'm going to explain why this setup works, and hopefully this will clear up everyone's questions. It is really quite simple is you just visualize how hydraulic systems work:

    The reason this rock ram setup works without any specific matching of components is that the piston in the box and cylinder on the axle are sharing the same oil. As you apply steering input to the left, for example, the valve in the steering box opens and oil flows through it into the chamber at one end of the piston. This chamber is common with the chamber in one end of the cylinder. Since the fluid is non-compressable, both the chamber in the box and the chamber in the cylinder have to fill with oil and the opposing chambers have to have oil removed. As you increase the size of the cylinder bore, you are increasing the amount of oil movement that has to happen to turn the wheels by a given amount. You are also increasing the percentage of the oil that is going to the cylinder vs. the piston in the box and likewise, the percentage of the steering load being handled by the ram. That is why there is no binding or fighting within the steering system. The oil is simply forced to flow into the total volume needed to move the wheels, without regard for where that is physically (i.e. in the box or in the cylinder)
    So what you run into is the problem of not being able to flow the oil fast enough to turn the wheels as fast as you want to go. If you try to turn the handwheel slowly, it will seem easy, but as you speed up, you will run out of assist and it will get really hard. Decreasing the torsion rate of the valve in the steering box would help you reach maximum assist sooner, but you would still be limited to a maximum speed at which you could turn the wheels, based on the flow of the pump and the overall restrictions of the valve, hoses, etc. Ideally, you would get a higher flowing valve, maybe using a box from a heavy truck or farm equipment (not sure what's out there), but in reality, you probably can't do much more than just increase the flow rate of the steering pump.

    <font color=green>"MAN THOUGHT HURT BUT SLIGHTLY DEAD" --Providence (R.I.) Journal</font color=green>
     
  17. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    The mechanical turn ratio is the same as before the ram. That is, it will still take the same number of Handwheel revolutions to move the steering wheel lock to lock as before. The slowing down that he is referring to is the oil flow limitation that I mention above. The overall turning effort of the system is also increased because more oil has to be moved.

    If anybody wasn't bored by my last post, would you like any more detail on how the steering box works?

    <font color=green>"Do not replace belt while engine is running" --Warning on a Kelly Srpingfield package</font color=green>
     
  18. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    Why couldnt you use the agr ram on yours???? Is it because of the high steer????? I have the same set up on mine and I used the agr ram. Just curious.

    [​IMG]
    http://autotronixcaraudio.com
     
  19. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    OK that what I thought, running out of "assist" pressure. Titanic didn't mention if he kicked up the pressure in his pump (as mentioned by one of his club MUD members). Wonder how a tweaked pump compares to an AGR pump? Does anyone know I there are differences (Heavy Duty / higher performance) among the factory pumps?
     
  20. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Hey, I'm always up for more info. Sounds cool, I'm planning on trying to find some diagrams of the internal mechanism so that I can better understand how it works. If I had an extra unit, I’d tear it down just to poke around. Oh well.

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     

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