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Hydro-Assist just got cheaper! under $100


NAXJA Forum User
I LOVE my hydro-assist, definitley one of my best mods to be able to turn aired down 35s in the rocks with the front ARB locked using just one finger :D

I was looking at http://www.surpluscenter.com and they have a new ram (http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=2005050122261049&item=9-6645&catname=hydraulic) that would work great for only $50! (The rod is 1" so it will be a little less force going one way but very difficult to bend)

I did all the leg work for you guys and you can easily setup your own hydro-assist for under $100. Here is a picture of what you will need to order (I put 3 lines to have one as a spare):

Then you will need to make some tabs and get some bolts to mount the ram. You will also need a 1/4npt tap to tap your steering box. Here is Ashman's great writeup, and you will not need to rebuild the box as he did if yours is in good shape to start: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20532

I have a similar ram with little smaller shaft, but it cost about $40 more (http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=2005050122261049&item=9-4410-08&catname=hydraulic) On mine and on this one you may want to cut and turn the crosstube on the ram body so that the fittings will point up. You will want to match the angle of the bolts to the angle of your caster so that nothing binds and you won't need to use heims to mount.

Here are some pictures of mine which is very similar except a ram with a smaller shaft, it is mounted off of a reinforced diff cover:

Oh, I like. I just might do this once I replace the 33's with 35's...
Duuuuude! Thanks for this info! I just got a new steering box, and it would be awesome to get this done all at once. And for that price... mmmmm
::bookmark thread::


OK, so newb questions here:
1. Why mount the ram on the diff cover? Although re-enforced, it seems that that would be the weaker part of the axle, as compaired to say the axle housing. Is it mounted there because that is the only place that it will fit?
2. Reading the thread that you linked, I understood about half of it, and that consisted with the and, or, but, the words. So, what are you doing in Ashmans thread? Rebuilding it, or converting it to hydro? Will the sstock pump work?
3. How does it ride on the street? High speeds?
Thanks for informing the newb.
1. The biggest reason was it was just the easiest/best place to mount it for clearance. If I know I have to drag my axle over a rock I take it to the passenger side to avoid the diff, so I don't want the ram over there. The cover is plenty strong with the reinforcement, but definitely don't try it with a stock cover.

2. The thread from Ashman is a rebuild and porting the box for assist. I only did the porting part. That thread is very useful to figure out how to tear apart the box and where to tap. It is definitely the hardest part, but not too bad. I had an extra box with a bent shaft to practice on first, which was real nice. The biggest thing I can say is don't loose the little balls!

3. At speed you don't notice it at all except it acts as a steering stabilizer. The highway ride is about 5% improved, but the under 5mph handling is 100% improved.
Thank you Brett very much. I am going to do this as soon as I have the money for it as I am buying a daily driver cherokee in about a week and will making my current 98 on 35s a trail toy. Hydro assist would be cool.-----------Kyle
Sweet write-up, thanks for doing all the research!

I do have a question though, I just recieved everything off of that list....but a question on the ram. The mounting holes are 3/4"...and I know that your ram has the same from the link, but it doesnt look like you used 3/4" bolts. How did you get it down to something more reasonable?



Going on this:
kjdavis said:
The mounting holes are 3/4"...and I know that your ram has the same from the link, but it doesnt look like you used 3/4" bolts. How did you get it down to something more reasonable?

whats unreasonable about a 3/4" bolt?
XJ_ranger said:
whats unreasonable about a 3/4" bolt?

Well, not necissarily unreasonable, but something smaller instead of the 3/4". I have no problem with a bolt that size, but I noticed his bolts were smaller and wondering how he reduced the size of the mounting points.
Brett, thanks for the info. I DEFINATELY need to do this soon because my steering sucks with the 38SXs. Are you at all concerned about having too much throw with the 8in ram? Did you adjust the steering stops?

My box is starting to leak at the pitman arm seal. A rebuild is in my near future.

i have a quick question regarding hydro assited steering, can i use my stock steering box and PS pump? is that price all i will need to do this upgrade? or are there other parts needed? sry for the noob question i just thought doing this mod would cost a grand or so? when i mean other parts i mena will i need a new drag link, tie rod? steering box, you get the idea, thanks

Sry to hijack here, didnt want to open a new thread for this.
my apologies i should have looked at other poepels questions and the other write up, im assumingi can use my existing steering box and just rebuild it which i need to do anyways and just tap holes into it for hoses