Hydro assist help - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hydro assist help

A little over a month ago I installed a tapped box and a PSC 1.75" x 8" ram. Bleed the system and everything seemed smooth. Went on a wheeling trip and worked like a champ minus my clamp sliding a bit.

About week or so ago I began to notice that when I turn it has a groaning sound when steering. It's still steering fine but it's pretty loud. Any advise on what to check? It really sounds
Like it's coming from the box but I can't pin point it. Is it possible there is air in the box and if so is there a way to bleed the box?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkbroc View Post
A little over a month ago I installed a tapped box and a PSC 1.75" x 8" ram. Bleed the system and everything seemed smooth. Went on a wheeling trip and worked like a champ minus my clamp sliding a bit.

About week or so ago I began to notice that when I turn it has a groaning sound when steering. It's still steering fine but it's pretty loud. Any advise on what to check? It really sounds
Like it's coming from the box but I can't pin point it. Is it possible there is air in the box and if so is there a way to bleed the box?
Your new sound is most likely coming from the pump.

Did you add a filter and a cooler (or at least a cooler) when you added hydro assist?

If not, your pump's probably crapping out from the heat, and "singing you the song of its people" as it prepares to head to the great beyond


Is your P/S fluid still full? Is it discolored / darkened / smell burned?

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkbroc View Post
A little over a month ago I installed a tapped box and a PSC 1.75" x 8" ram. Bleed the system and everything seemed smooth. Went on a wheeling trip and worked like a champ minus my clamp sliding a bit.

About week or so ago I began to notice that when I turn it has a groaning sound when steering. It's still steering fine but it's pretty loud. Any advise on what to check? It really sounds
Like it's coming from the box but I can't pin point it. Is it possible there is air in the box and if so is there a way to bleed the box?
Your new sound is most likely coming from the pump.

Did you add a filter and a cooler (or at least a cooler) when you added hydro assist?

If not, your pump's probably crapping out from the heat, and "singing you the song of its people" as it prepares to head to the great beyond <a href="https://www.jkowners.com/forum/images/smilies/laughing.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Laughing" >:-)</a>


Is your P/S fluid still full? Is it discolored / darkened / smell burned?
Didn't add the filter or cooler bc I was reading on the WTOR site that they really aren't needed. Regarding the color it's none of the above. I originally thought the pump myself but it really sounds like it's coming from the steering box but I could be wrong.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkbroc View Post
Didn't add the filter or cooler bc I was reading on the WTOR site that they really aren't needed. Regarding the color it's none of the above. I originally thought the pump myself but it really sounds like it's coming from the steering box but I could be wrong.

Huh, possible - maybe cavitation at the valve that directs the hydraulic pressure

I have a PSC pump driving my steering, hydro assist, and a hydraulic winch.
Still on my first PSC pump. Fluid and filter change every few years.
If I didn't have a cooler and filter, I'd likely be on my 4th or 5th pump by now.

Here's what the box looks like inside in case it helps you visualize:


Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
. . .

Here are a few photos of my steering box apart so you can see where the magic gnomes live.
Box coming apart. Reference marks are always handy, and buy a silver Sharpie if you don’t have one.


The two small holes are the passages for hydraulic pressure to reach either side of the piston in the steering box.
The two areas you drill and tap are each fed by one of these passages. The “+” is fed by the lower of these 2 holes.


The “+” in this picture is at the end of the passageway fed by the upper hole in the previous photo.
The horizontal chamber below the "+" is where the piston on the end of the rack rides.


In the block on the left, there is a valve that directs hydraulic pressure to one of the two passages depending on which way you are turning the input shaft.
The input shaft is also the worm gear that moves the rack. Hydraulic pressure on the piston assists the worm gear to move the rack.


Here are the two ports that feed passages that reach the two sides of the piston.



The teeth on the rack (in linear motion) drive the teeth on the Pitman shaft (in rotary motion), and the splines on the Pitman shaft turn the Pitman arm.


. . .
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I've never had a box apart like that. Is the top screw considered a bleeding screw?

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post #6 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 06:01 PM
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No, there's no bleed screw, and none required.

The screw in the cap on the Pitman shaft is for setting backlash on the steering box - do NOT fawk with that unless you know what you're doing.
Running that screw inward pushes the tapered teeth on the Pitman into tighter engagement with the teeth on the rack. If you get the backlash too tight, the steering box can lock up --> worst case = busload of nuns dies horrifically (or something like that ).

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jkbroc View Post
Didn't add the filter or cooler bc I was reading on the WTOR site that they really aren't needed. Regarding the color it's none of the above. I originally thought the pump myself but it really sounds like it's coming from the steering box but I could be wrong.
Great guys at WTOR, but that definitely is their view on filters and coolers and quite frankly I think it's just wrong to not install a filter and cooler. Every industrial hydraulic system has a filter, it's an integral part of a reliable hydraulic system due to the absolute destruction that metal circulating forever in hydraulic valves causes. In OEM configuration there is a strainer built into the reservoir which is sort of sufficient and catches larger metal particles but a true filter is even better (take a look at the strainer of a used vehicle and you'll see lots of little specs of dirt and/or metal proving a filter is essential). No filtering system at all is craziness, don't do it. Another company I've talked to says a filter is not recommended because of the pressure drop and added heat, but if you select an appropriate filter that's really just not a problem.

Cooler is definitely a good idea too. The engine bay and especially the pump bolted to the engine is basically acting as a heater for the fluid. When you're off-road with no air flow in the desert in the hot sun even if you don't steer much the fluid heats up so much you can't even touch a hose fitting without getting burned just due to how hot the environment is heating up the fluid. And that's even with a cooler installed on my Jeep. If you didn't have that cooler and did a lot of off-road steering you'd definitely overheat your fluid.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-20-2018, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to try adding through high flow pump, filter and cooler. I appreciate the feedback.
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