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Hydro assist using an IFS box

Discussion in '1992-Present Chevy & GMC models' started by bggrnchvy, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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    After a couple runs on the new front axle I could see that the 38's, crossover and front end travel were giving me a horrible inability to steer in a lot of situations. Hydroassist seemed to be the clearcut answer to remedy this.

    I wanted to use my stock pump and at the time I didn't have a welder so I wanted to go single ended for the ram type. I had heard a lot of issue with the 5/8 shaft on the 1.5" rams deflecting and ruining the seal so I wanted to use a 1.75" ram with the larger .75" shaft(stength goes up exponentially as diamteter increaes). I found PSC to be highly recomended and they had just the ram I wanted along with a hardware kit of tabs and heims with it. Stephen at ExpertOffroad gave me a good price as part of a group buy so I made the purchase.
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    Being that I drive this truck to and from all trails and to work and school a couple times a week I needed to be able to align the toe well at the same time I set the stops at the right place. The only way to get that to work was to get a tie-rod clamp.
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    I already had a cover on the D60 of AR360 plate built by Jason so I just wanted to weld the tabs to the that. I fired up the welder after a little bit of practice and burned them in.
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    I also welded the tabs to the tie-rod clamp and put the ram on to make sure it cleared at full extension and compression.
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    I needed to build a limiter as the 8" travel of the ram will out travel the steering stops on the axle. To get the measurements I fully extended the ram and then ran the steering back to lock the other direction and measured the exposed shaft. I then took a leaf spring bushing I had laying around and cut it to fit with a little extra material to account for compression.
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    I then needed to get power from the system to the ram, I decided I wanted to drill and tap the box to do that, not buy pre-machined caps. Using Billa Vista's tech article on Pirate I located the spots. I used a split point drill with grease on the tip to collect shavings, then I tapped it to 1/4 NPT and cleaned it up with magnet and by blowing compressed air through the input ports to blow out the hydro output ports.
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    The other requirements it seems for a hydro assist system with longevity is a cooler, a filter and a reservoir. I didn't like the $175 reservoirs on PSC's website, but I found a unit on Ebay for circle track cars for about $40 shipped. I built a quick mount out of a piece of 1x2 .095wall and a pair of nuts welded to the back with hose clamps and mounted it about the box.
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    For the cooler, Im in the middle of a transmission swap so I took the stock transmission cooler for the towing package and plumbed it into the return line to the pump using 400psi rated transmission hose, barbed/flared fittings/lines adn hose clamps.

    For the filter I ordered a remote transmission unit from Summit and picked up a more compact filter(the larger one was presenting mounting issues) and plumbed it right after the cooler to the pump using the same method.
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    All thats left is to cap the return on the reservoir, have a -10JIC line made for the reservoir to the pump reservoir, pull the pump and weld a plate with a -10 JIC fitting onto the stock top and have a set of high pressure hyrdo lines made fo rthe box to the ram.
     
  2. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    From what I have read here mounting the hydro tabs to the diff cover is not a good idea because the force of the ram pushing and pulling on it will inevitably cause it to leak.

    Do you have a link to the seller you got that reservoir from?
     
  3. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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  4. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Well if it works, work it. Thanks for the link.
     
  5. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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    Well I had to cap the steering box and to do so I needed a steel fitting so I got a coupler fitting and machined it a little.
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    Then I made a cap for the steering box in place of the plastic cap(while I had the box out of the vehicle) with a hole drilled in it to fit the fitting. Then I welded the cap the box and the fitting to the cap. Sealed it up and pressure checked it and found a pair of little holes and fixed that and put the box back in.
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  6. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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    Ok, now its inches from done. I have all the parts, just need a little more time to assemble it.

    Needed to cap the -6AN return on the reservoir as Im using the stock return line to the stock reservoir. I didn't want to pay for an $8 anodized Al fitting and another $5 to ship it for this low pressure app. So I got the thread size and pitch off McmasterCarr(9/16-18...fine thread btw) pickedup a nut, welded a bolt cap I had cut off for something else to it and put it on with a veryhealthy does of teflon tape.
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    Also put the -10AN to barbed fitting on the bottom and put on the 5/8" hose from the new reseroivr to the top of the old reservoir.
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    Just need to cut this up and put the fittings on and connect the ram and Im done finally.
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  7. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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    Well, basically, it works awesome.

    I bled it and filled it with a total of about a gallon of synthetic PS fluid. I had a small leak from the reservoir fitting, didn't have the hose on all the way. It turns at idle parked smooth, I just can't believe the difference from stock power steering. I can't seem to get ahead of the 1.75" ram with the stock pump and stock, unported box. Project turned out well so far.
     
  8. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    anybody know if a 2wd box from an 88+ truck will work in place of the 4x4 version?
     
  9. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    same box
     
  10. bggrnchvy

    bggrnchvy Registered Member

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    What he said.
     
  11. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    Wonder why your ram came unpainted...I got mine through Stephen at www.expertoffroad.com also. Same ram.

    Mine works great! I gotta get a new tierod so i can do the clamp...

    Great job Kyle!
     

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