Red Neck Ram Hydro Assist - very hard steering - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 07-03-2015, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Red Neck Ram Hydro Assist - very hard steering

I built my jeep using the best parts and researched well before pulling the trigger on what to install on my JK.

With only 349 miles on the jeep, I sent in my steering gear/box to WTO to have it drilled and tapped for the Red Neck Ram hydro assist kit they sell.
Got it back, installed it in a very clean environment.
Steering was very hard at low RPM so I called them and they said to measure the ram and they said I had the bigger one (they sent me the bigger ram by mistake) and that should be the issue.
This was right before my wheeling trip so I went wheeling and it sucked super badly to turn on the rocks.
Sent it back, received the new one, painted it and installed it - still have very hard steering.
They said to pull out the cylinder from the PS pump, clean the bore, measure to make sure the orifice was at least 9/64" and add the WIX 58953 filter.
Did all the above and orifice was larger than 9/64".
Flushed the system, added Royal Purple, bled the system a few times until no bubbles. I did this and had the wife take it to the store and she said the steering is still very hard.
WTF?
Do I really need to spend thousands on a complete PSC system for it to work?
I would have easily spent more $$ at the beginning if I knew I was going to have these problems.
I have searched the web and found no other solutions.
Could it be a PS pump that is too slow?
It does steer better with a little more RPM.
Do I need to get the PSC PS pump and reservoir?
Is there a PS mod?

I need to get this handles ASAP and am willing to try a few more things but am not aware of any other tricks.

I have been working on and building cars for over 30 years, I have all the right tools and mechanical sense.

At this point I am asking for help before I tear it down again.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-03-2015, 05:25 PM
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Thats strange. I installed several of their kits including one on my personal Jeep and I think they drive great. It may have slowed down my turning rate slightly but defiantly didn't make it any harder to turn.

Do you have a power steering pressure gauge?


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post #3 of 31 Old 07-03-2015, 07:22 PM
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My wife's 04 Grand Cherokee does the same thing every once in a while where it's hard to steer at low rpm. Only difference is we don't have hydro-assist, that makes me think it would have something to do with PS pump...but I'm just speculating.
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-03-2015, 07:36 PM
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Does it happen consistently or every now and then?

If it's inconsistent, I would say there is debris in the fluid.

If it's all the time and your pump and box are basically new, sounds like a ram issue...but it's weird that it happened on 2 different rams

Are your hydro lines to the ram run with smooth curves, no kinks?

An option to test if it's the ram would be to pull it, cap the box and see how the steering feels.

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post #5 of 31 Old 07-03-2015, 08:29 PM
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noting that I have only mechanical savvy & know nothing but what I read on hydro steering I ask about the PS pump pulley size and or your belt tension? could either be a reason for low RPM response ? I only try to offer objectivity to help . sorry if that's a stupid consideration


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post #6 of 31 Old 07-04-2015, 07:21 AM
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If you have a manual JK, the idle rpm is barely enough to supply rapid turning ability at parking lot speeds when you have clutched and are coasting into a spot. I have found that turning effort at very slow speeds on road can be high unless I make an effort to slow down my input on the steering wheel. I have also had some success blipping the throttle a bit. I would

My set up is a RR ram with a 1.75" ram.
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post #7 of 31 Old 07-04-2015, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I do not have a PS gauge.
It only happens at low RPM's like parking.
No kinks, smooth radius bends.
Flushed the system out with almost a gallon of fluid.
Filter installed.
It does get better when throttle is blipped but that is not very safe.
Pulley size is factory and belt tension is good, no squealing.
I have the automatic transmission.

I will try to bleed it and clean out the PS cylinder once more.
How can you tell if air is being sucked into the lines? Small bubbles? if so, I don't have any small bubbles and my fittings are very tight.

No PS noise at any time.

If bleeding once more time does not work then I will pull the lines off the box and plug them and see if the stock set-up works better.

I did pull the ram off to test the function and it does expand when turning left and retract when turning right. Cylinder is mounted on the track bar bracket and shaft is on the tie rod. Not sure how fast or slow it's supposed to be though.
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post #8 of 31 Old 07-04-2015, 11:11 AM
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Subscribed. This is one of the mods on my short list. Good to have all the info I can before I jump into it.

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post #9 of 31 Old 07-05-2015, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRAWL IT View Post
I do not have a PS gauge.
It only happens at low RPM's like parking.
No kinks, smooth radius bends.
Flushed the system out with almost a gallon of fluid.
Filter installed.
It does get better when throttle is blipped but that is not very safe.
Pulley size is factory and belt tension is good, no squealing.
I have the automatic transmission.

I will try to bleed it and clean out the PS cylinder once more.
How can you tell if air is being sucked into the lines? Small bubbles? if so, I don't have any small bubbles and my fittings are very tight.

No PS noise at any time.

If bleeding once more time does not work then I will pull the lines off the box and plug them and see if the stock set-up works better.

I did pull the ram off to test the function and it does expand when turning left and retract when turning right. Cylinder is mounted on the track bar bracket and shaft is on the tie rod. Not sure how fast or slow it's supposed to be though.
its probably the pump just not moving enough fluid at idle. PSC makes a nice pump with a smaller pulley that will move a lot more fluid at very low idle.


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post #10 of 31 Old 07-05-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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I will need to call PSC to find out what they can offer.

I have heard that changes the steering characteristics while driving on the freeway, is this true?

Has anyone installed a smaller diameter pulley on the PS pump or only other internal mod to increase flow?
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post #11 of 31 Old 07-05-2015, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimiDozer View Post
Subscribed. This is one of the mods on my short list. Good to have all the info I can before I jump into it.
Bring the coronas and you can watch me do mine. The tapped steering gear box is already in. Just need to get tabs welded onto the axle and bar clamp then I'm ready to put the 1.5" ram on.
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post #12 of 31 Old 07-05-2015, 04:53 PM
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We have good results with WTO RR and they are great to work with.

Make sure the ram is as parallel as you can get it to the tie rod and be sure there is no binding on either mounting point, I have seen this cause heavy steering. The ram needs to move the wheels not fight bad geometry.

On a few high mileage vehicles we had to replace the pump because the volume was to low causing assist to cut out at low rpm, with a new pump that shouldn't be a problem.

Some of our 6 liters can idle in the 475 rpm range and we need to overdrive the pump with a smaller pulley. I personally would not go to a hopper fed pump, they can open up more issues to deal with.

For those who have an early 07' or 08' pump you should upgrade the pump anyway if you have the small pulley shaft, they do break with or without hydraulics.

If your pump is new and ram is mounted properly you shouldn't have a problem, at least we haven't over many installs.

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post #13 of 31 Old 07-05-2015, 08:36 PM
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i have the full PSC kit on my 6spd jk. believe i have a 1.5" ram. turning standing still at idle rpm (~680rpm) is fine. this info might be irrelevant but i figured id just put it out there

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post #14 of 31 Old 07-06-2015, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoTech View Post
We have good results with WTO RR and they are great to work with.

Make sure the ram is as parallel as you can get it to the tie rod and be sure there is no binding on either mounting point, I have seen this cause heavy steering. The ram needs to move the wheels not fight bad geometry.

On a few high mileage vehicles we had to replace the pump because the volume was to low causing assist to cut out at low rpm, with a new pump that shouldn't be a problem.

Some of our 6 liters can idle in the 475 rpm range and we need to overdrive the pump with a smaller pulley. I personally would not go to a hopper fed pump, they can open up more issues to deal with.

For those who have an early 07' or 08' pump you should upgrade the pump anyway if you have the small pulley shaft, they do break with or without hydraulics.

If your pump is new and ram is mounted properly you shouldn't have a problem, at least we haven't over many installs.
To get the heavy duty pump do we just order one from a newer year or is it something else?

Thanks

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post #15 of 31 Old 07-06-2015, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoTech View Post
We have good results with WTO RR and they are great to work with.

Make sure the ram is as parallel as you can get it to the tie rod and be sure there is no binding on either mounting point, I have seen this cause heavy steering. The ram needs to move the wheels not fight bad geometry.
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post #16 of 31 Old 07-06-2015, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASSFROW View Post
To get the heavy duty pump do we just order one from a newer year or is it something else?

Thanks
I believe it was late 08' early 09' JK's started coming through with the larger diameter shafts, I had a customer sheer the shaft on 08's while mudding. Just get a new replacement for a later JK from the dealer.

I'm working on getting some HD iron PS pumps that are a replacement for our aluminum pumps. Holden started running them when they had failures with the aluminum pumps, but I do not have a source for them here in the US. I'm going to import a few and try them out, guys over there say they take the abuse of the V8's.

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post #17 of 31 Old 07-06-2015, 12:52 PM
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1. Make sure you are running the 1.5" bore ram. When running the stock pump it is crucial to avoid an even laggier system

2. Use ATF+4 fluid. You are not running the PSC power steering pump you are running with stock pump use the factory fluid although some folks will say they use power steering fluid no problem.

3. You will experience some lag in low idle tight turning situations like parking lots or just pulling over to park or parallel park. Thats just part of the game man. I just turn the wheel in a normal motion not rapidly and that eliminates some of the lag.

4. Make sure you system is bled properly. Jack up the passenger side of the vehicle and take the cap of the resevoir. Let it sit overnight to gravity bleed. After that just run it and it will bleed itself of any little air pockets

5. As stated above already make sure your cylinder is as parallel to the tie rod as possible to avoid tie rod deflection

6. Check all hose connections for leaks (you used teflon tape on all the fittings right?)

7. I would seriously add a single pass heat sink cooler as big as you can get. It increases fluid capacity and keeps the fluid cool (duh)

8. I would remove the filter. You dont need any other restrictions in your return line. You want smooth running fluid.

I have this system and it works fantastic other than the bit of lag in parking lots but like I said its a nature of the beast just turn the wheel in a fluid manner and it will turn fine

BTW post as many pics of your set up as possible
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post #18 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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post #19 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 09:41 AM
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You can buy the components of the PSC system. I bought their ram, res, pump, and brackets. Had the hoses made. All in including the steering fluid, it was $1000. I guess PSC charges an extra $1200 for a few hoses and a box to put it all in.
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post #20 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyLarry View Post
6. Check all hose connections for leaks (you used teflon tape on all the fittings right?)
If you use teflon tape on flared or o-ring (boss) fittings then you need to go back to school.

IMHO teflon tape is not a good idea anyways. I use the liquid pipe dope (Permatex 56521) as I've found it to be a superior product IF you follow the directions.
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post #21 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 10:57 AM
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You can buy the components of the PSC system. I bought their ram, res, pump, and brackets. Had the hoses made. All in including the steering fluid, it was $1000. I guess PSC charges an extra $1200 for a few hoses and a box to put it all in.
It's most likely for the box. They replace the factory valve housing (or whatever you want to call it) with their own machined one that puts the ram taps right at the valve.

Honestly, I don't think it's worth the money.

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post #22 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoTech View Post
I believe it was late 08' early 09' JK's started coming through with the larger diameter shafts, I had a customer sheer the shaft on 08's while mudding. Just get a new replacement for a later JK from the dealer.

I'm working on getting some HD iron PS pumps that are a replacement for our aluminum pumps. Holden started running them when they had failures with the aluminum pumps, but I do not have a source for them here in the US. I'm going to import a few and try them out, guys over there say they take the abuse of the V8's.
Thank you sir.

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post #23 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyMJ View Post
If you use teflon tape on flared or o-ring (boss) fittings then you need to go back to school.

IMHO teflon tape is not a good idea anyways. I use the liquid pipe dope (Permatex 56521) as I've found it to be a superior product IF you follow the directions.
Sorry for the confusion there champ but I was referring to the fittings on the hydrolic hoses that go from the box to the ram not the stock pressure and return lines with the orings going into the box. As far as liquid pipe shit being "superior" I couldnt care less. My junk doesnt leak so thats all that matters to me
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post #24 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 12:37 PM
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The only fittings that should ever use pipe sealant or Teflon tape are NPT threads. Their taper design needs it to provide sealing. No other fitting should use tape or sealant.
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post #25 of 31 Old 07-16-2015, 12:49 PM
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Those are the fittings I'm referring to. The two ports on the ram and the two new (tapped) ports on the box. Am I missing something?
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