Author Topic: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget  (Read 3902 times)

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Offline xlr8n

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Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« on: May 06, 2013, 06:37:30 PM »
Since I've Lincoln locked the front axle I've needed to add hydrassist because it's impossible to turn with both hubs locked. If someone's riding shotgun it's not such a big deal as they are constantly locking and unlocking the hub on their side is part of the earned seat time. However, when running solo this is a huge PITA. For this reason I've been researching trying to find the most economical and effective way to get it done without breaking the bank. The cheapest kits I've been able to locate are in excess of $500 which is more than I want to spend. So, this is my work in progress article that I hope others may benefit from. It requires drilling and tapping the steering box yourself while using the existing p/s pump.

In my quest I keep reading oil cooler, oil cooler, oil cooler. And for that reason I added a frame mounted oil cooler into the budget while trying to keep this under $200. So, here is a list of parts. I purchased a spare hose and fittings just in case I need them on the trail, along with some plugs just in case I can't repair it on the trail.

Parts:
Hydraulic ram, hoses, and fittings from Surplus Center:

1 - Hydraulic Ram - p/n 9-7258-8 : $99.95
3 - 1/4" male NPT to 1/4" NPT female w/ 45 degree angle - p/n 9-1503-4-4 : $8.85
4 - 1/4" NPT plugs - p/n 9-5406-P-4 : $1.80
3 - SAE 6M x 1/4" NPT swivel - p/n 9-6900-6-4 : $6.15
3 - 1/4" x 36" 1/4" NPT x 1/4" NPT hoses - p/n 916-1436 : $25.35

Hydraulic parts total: $142.10

Jeg's frame mounting oil cooler - p/n 259-13222 : $26.99

Tractor Supply Grade 8 bolts, nuts, and washers - $8.21

Grand total = $177.30



More to follow...
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 09:50:50 AM by xlr8n »
Wichita Falls Weather


1973 Chevrolet Luv:
Chassis/Suspension: '72 Waggy frame cut to 103.5" WB ; Waggy front 47" SOA ; Chevy rear 63" SOA
Front axle: '79 J10 D44 4:11 w/ 8 lug outers ; chromoly shafts ; Detroit locker ; cast cover
Rear axle: '75 Corp 14 bolt welded 4:10 ; cast cover ; DOM anti-wrap bar
Tires: 38.5x14.5x15 Swamper SX on 15x8 steel wheels
Drivetrain: '92 s10 4.3 Chevy v6 ; TH350 ; NP203/205 doubler triple sticks (front digs) ; .250 DOM rear shaft ; 2" square front shaft
Steering: Hydrossist ; 1.5" OD .250 wall DOM drag link and tie rod w/ heims
Safety: In-cab DOM cage ; in-bed double roll bar
Amenities: OBA ; OBW ; electric XJ seats ; Schwinn cruise control ; rock lights ; receiver mounted 8K lb. winch ; receiver mounted BBQ pit ; receiver mounted 32cc weedablender ('rita mixer)
Other: Bed mounted Isuzu raditator ; Bobbed bed

Offline pmccoy9876

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 11:19:37 PM »
Finally got the supplies, eh?  Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Offline insanity

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 12:12:21 PM »
Tuned in to see how it goes.
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Offline Rock Thumper

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 04:42:36 PM »
i did mine last year, im locked up front so it helps a ton


Offline xlr8n

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:30:29 AM »
Before purchasing the ram I checked the steering to determine if I needed a 6" or 8" swing. I put the front end on jack stands and turned the wheel all the way in one direction. I marked a spot on both the axle and drag link followed by a complete turn in the opposite direction. I then measured the distance between the two aforementioned marks which came out to be 7.5" so I went with the 8" ram.

I wasn't able to make much progress yet but I did get a chance to mock the ram mounting tab locations. Since I already have some 3/16" x 2" steel laying around I'll cut some tabs from it but won't add it to the overall cost. During my mock mount episode I noticed that if I mounted 2 of the tabs vertical on the drag link the left leaf spring could possibly come into contact with it if fully compressed and slightly turned to the left. For this reason I decided to mount the drag link tabs at about a 45 degree angle such that they lean toward the axle. This should keep everything clear while turning and fully compressed.

As for the drill and tap work, here is a good article I found on Pirate4x4 for the Saginaw box which is what I'm running.
 --> http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billavista/HydroAssistTap/index.html
I have plenty of room to roll under the vehicle to do the drill and tap on the steering box so I'll most likely leave it mounted in the vehicle. Besides, if I were to pull it I'd need to put it in a vice anyway. I plan to use thick wheel bearing grease during the tapping in an attempt to catch the metal shavings.

Here's a pic of the cooler. The only place I see to mount this in my application is just behind the front cross member for which I'll have to build some brackets for mounting.


More to follow...
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 02:05:59 PM by xlr8n »
Wichita Falls Weather


1973 Chevrolet Luv:
Chassis/Suspension: '72 Waggy frame cut to 103.5" WB ; Waggy front 47" SOA ; Chevy rear 63" SOA
Front axle: '79 J10 D44 4:11 w/ 8 lug outers ; chromoly shafts ; Detroit locker ; cast cover
Rear axle: '75 Corp 14 bolt welded 4:10 ; cast cover ; DOM anti-wrap bar
Tires: 38.5x14.5x15 Swamper SX on 15x8 steel wheels
Drivetrain: '92 s10 4.3 Chevy v6 ; TH350 ; NP203/205 doubler triple sticks (front digs) ; .250 DOM rear shaft ; 2" square front shaft
Steering: Hydrossist ; 1.5" OD .250 wall DOM drag link and tie rod w/ heims
Safety: In-cab DOM cage ; in-bed double roll bar
Amenities: OBA ; OBW ; electric XJ seats ; Schwinn cruise control ; rock lights ; receiver mounted 8K lb. winch ; receiver mounted BBQ pit ; receiver mounted 32cc weedablender ('rita mixer)
Other: Bed mounted Isuzu raditator ; Bobbed bed

Offline xlr8n

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 09:41:20 AM »
I dedicated some time to this project this past weekend and was able to get it all working. I just need to do a few final touches on it like build some small tie down brackets to keep the lines out of the way of the pitman arm and drag link. The hardest part was drilling the bottom hole in the steering box due to the breaking of 2 drill bits in the hole while progressively enlarging it to 7/16". It took some patience to get the broken bits out but after about an hour both holes were ready to tap.

I first tapped the top hole using a 1/4" NPT tap. This was simple and straight forward. As for the troublesome bottom hole, it is not very deep so I knew I would have to cut the tapered end off the tap but not before getting a few threads cut into the hole. In order to get a full set of threads cut into this hole I had to cut about 1/2" off the tapered end of the tap. This allowed the tap to cut the threads without having to go too deep into the hole. After all the tapping was complete I used the wet vac to suck all the metal shavings from both holes.

As for the ram placement, my original plan was to orient it such that the line fittings faced toward the back of the vehicle. However, measuring and testing for interference resulted in the lines facing upward. This presented a problem with the lines hitting the bottom of the oil pan so I'll need to add to the budget a set of 90 degree elbows to get the lines pointed toward the driver's side. This adds about $5 to the budget. I'll recalculate all the costs at the end of the article but first glance looks like this will be well under $200 if I omit the spare parts I purchased. I also need to add a quart of power steering fluid to the budget.



I fabbed brackets for the oil cooler which now sits just inside and atop the front cross member. This location should allow cool air to reach it while also keeping it out of the rocks.



When connecting the lines I knew that the bottom hole in the gear box had pressure when turning left but I didn't know which side on the ram to connect this line. Since there were no instructions that came with the ram I connected the bottom line to the ram port furthest from the eye on the sliding shaft with the assumption that as the fluid pressurized that side of the ram it would push the slide outward. WRONG. When I fired it up, filled the reservoir with fluid and front wheels off the ground, a slight turn of the wheel to the left initially began turning the tires to the left followed by an immediate jerk to the right with an ugly howling sound coming from the pump as it tried to keep pressure up. The two were working against each other. I immediately killed the motor and a swapped the lines at the ram. A follow up test proved success.



A short test drive around the block proved a complete right and left turn while sitting still idling in gear could be done with one finger. The true test wil be in the rocks.

A final tally of the build costs come to $188.34 which includes the spare hose, fittings, and plugs for trail repair. Less the spare parts the total comes to $170.74. Not bad considering all the online kits are at least $500.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 08:27:16 AM by xlr8n »
Wichita Falls Weather


1973 Chevrolet Luv:
Chassis/Suspension: '72 Waggy frame cut to 103.5" WB ; Waggy front 47" SOA ; Chevy rear 63" SOA
Front axle: '79 J10 D44 4:11 w/ 8 lug outers ; chromoly shafts ; Detroit locker ; cast cover
Rear axle: '75 Corp 14 bolt welded 4:10 ; cast cover ; DOM anti-wrap bar
Tires: 38.5x14.5x15 Swamper SX on 15x8 steel wheels
Drivetrain: '92 s10 4.3 Chevy v6 ; TH350 ; NP203/205 doubler triple sticks (front digs) ; .250 DOM rear shaft ; 2" square front shaft
Steering: Hydrossist ; 1.5" OD .250 wall DOM drag link and tie rod w/ heims
Safety: In-cab DOM cage ; in-bed double roll bar
Amenities: OBA ; OBW ; electric XJ seats ; Schwinn cruise control ; rock lights ; receiver mounted 8K lb. winch ; receiver mounted BBQ pit ; receiver mounted 32cc weedablender ('rita mixer)
Other: Bed mounted Isuzu raditator ; Bobbed bed

Offline insanity

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Re: Hydraulic Ram Assist on a Budget
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 10:23:58 AM »
Nice write up thanks for sharing.
Insanity's Build


I can't help it I'm from the north country.