37s and hydraulic assist

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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:19 pm
Model Year: 2012

37s and hydraulic assist

Post by jswider » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:27 pm

Interested in how many of you guys are running a hydraulic ram assist with your 37s. I'm interested in switching to 37s when my 35s wear out and I've always been told you should run a hydraulic assist when going that big. I know you can get steering gear box plumbed for it in the aftermarket. How much is a good hydraulic kit like a psc? Or is it even needed? Interesting to see some of your setups. I have a 2012. I also plan to do Thuren 2 or 3 inch coils and track bar when switching.

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Re: 37s and hydraulic assist

Post by RAM4ROKS » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:57 pm

I'm not going to say it's necessary BUT, it is on my list of things I would like to have. My truck is also a 2012, sitting on 37s. When aired down with the front locker engaged in rocks, it can sometimes literally be impossible to steer unless moving. Most times under those circumstances it is merely very difficult to but, sometimes it simply is impossible. It has never prevented me from going where I wanted to go but, it has made it more challenging. Really though, it happens very seldomly. Hydro assist will take some of the wear and tear and effort away from your steering box and draglink so that is good BUT, hydro assist is good at finding other weak points since it will sometimes allow you to steer when you really shouldn't. (an upgraded tierod would be a good idea for example)

I personally had good experience with PSC in my 87 GMC Jimmy I built (tons, ARB/Detroit, 37s, doubler, etc.), about 8 years ago. The only difficulties I encountered were that we had to bore out an orifice on the back of the supplied pump to get some more flow, the system was a bit of a challenge to bleed, and I discovered that it really could use a cooler. Make sure you use a large reservoir, you'd be amazed by how much fluid gets displaced moving lock to lock! (learned that the hard way, filled it all the way up when cut one direction, turned the opposite way and a lot came flowing out the top of the reservoir, LOL!)

One of my buddies had some difficulty with PCS in terms of a bit of quality control for a little while (little bits of metal left in the cylinders from machining) but, to my knowledge, that has sorted itself out. You could save substantial $$$ by coming up with a DIY hydro assist kit but, to me, it is worth the $$$ to go with one that is already packaged together and avoid trial and error! Just make sure you talk with them about recommended bore size. IIRC larger gives more force but smaller is more responsive for highway use. (changes direction more readily) I went a little too big on the Jimmy (since I wanted the power for rockcrawling) so, highway driving was a bit disconcerting (doable definitely but not without its thrills!) but, it was primarily a trail rig.

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Re: 37s and hydraulic assist

Post by ramv » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:36 pm

On my second gen, I ran with and without with 37" Krawlers.

On road, I prefer without. Although if you have any looseness in your suspension, the assist will eliminate death wobble.

Off-road, I got better life out of my steering box (still broke a couple) and takes a lot of wear off the track bar. I also pretzeled my '98 HD tie rod, so had to go to a very heavy Thuren unit (SHD) to stand up to the assist.

It also helps to pop tires off the beads if you don't' have bead locks. As well I have bent and broke a few of the cylinders (my second gen has the cylinder behind the tire rod, so if you mash the tie rod into a rock, the cylinder gets hit too.)

It does allow you to steer in any condition and use the wheels to push the truck sideways. I used to have to rock the truck a bit and blip the throttle to change wheel positions when I was trying to adjust a line mid obstacle. With hydro assist, just turn the wheel.

Doing it over again, I would have gone full hydro, but my second gen was an iterative process from stock to today on 42"s. People concern about full failure with full hydro, but I have had way more complete loss of steering incidents with the conventional box. The hydraulics have always worked for me (until the box breaks and dumps all the fluid out.)
2016 Laramie; Locker Bypass, WK sliders, 35" Toyo MT, 2Lo Kit, ProCal, Airbags/Cradles, Thuren 2.5" King w/ Boogie Bumps, Warn SDP6000

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Model Year: 2006

Re: 37s and hydraulic assist

Post by Spikethedog » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:27 pm

Just did a thread last week about my homemade setup, http://forum.powerwagonregistry.org/vie ... f=2&t=4656
Used with 37" stt pro's and 35" hankook atm with a 8-1/2' 900lbs fisher V blade snowplow. Like mentionned above no more need to dick around, turn the wheels and tires will follow. I find the steering pretty similar to stock but it is a bit heavier/slower on quick side to side inputs as it takes some time for the ram to catch up. Wouldn't be cool on a race car but the wagon ain't that. My ram is mounted in the stock steering damper location, using stock hardware and i believe worst case is that the low grade carriage bolt that fastens the end on the tie rod will give up before i damage actual steering parts, effectively acting as a shear pin. You can drill and tap your own box its not really hard. Our trucks have a nice PS cooler allready so i havent had overheating issues yet but it is deep winter around here, if i get troubles in the summer ill just get another cooler and add it to the system, plenty of room for an extra one. Goodluck and go for it, no regrets!

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