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Ram Assisted Steering Eliminate Pump or Box Squeal?

Jeff10

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Feb 20, 2011
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Hi,

I have read quite a few threads about hydroboost brakes, and a few about ram-assisted steering. I'm not sure going to ram-assisted steering is necessary; but, I am hoping it might get rid of a problem that I'm having.

The problem is that turning the steering wheel when the Bronco isn't moving tends to make the power steering pump or steering box squeal. That problem is magnified when the system is hot. When it gets hotter than normal, it is sometimes difficult to turn a tight corner from a stop.

The Bronco is running a dual-return Saginaw pump, hydro-boost brakes, and a stock Bronco steering gear. I thought that maybe the pump was a little worn, so I replaced it with another remanufactured pump last summer. I am having the same issues.

When I installed the hydro-boost brakes I had the power steering box rebuilt by West Texas Off-Road. I went ahead and had them tap the box for Redneck Ram.

From what I have read on some other threads, the ram assist should help take the load off the box. Is there a down-side to doing this (other than adding more things to maintain/fail)?

If I decide to go with the ram-assist, I need to decide on the best ram assist. I have read debate about ram length. 6" or 8" appears to be the range. I am running a Dana 44, so it sounds like 6" is recommended. What concerns me about that is a comment about squealing when one poster switched from 8" to 6". He said that before he switched (to the 6") he didn't have squealing.

Thanks for any advice you guys can provide. I'm not really looking for another project before we go back to Moab; but, the steering is of the things that I'd really like to improve.

Take Care,

Jeff
 

Kyle.malone

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Norman, OK
Run a cooler will be the first thing. I can only think that the fluid is getting too hot and possibly starving (cavitate) the pump. what size pulley is on the pump? It might be too big and not supplying enough pressure at low idle.

Do you have your hydroboost highflowed?

You will need a 8"ram. the 6" ram will limit your turning radius from what it is now.
 

broncnaz

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May 22, 2003
Messages
24,340
A rm may help but ever since I can remember saginaw pumps always tended to squeal. As kyle suggested you might look into going to a smaller pulley that would help up the PSI at idle and it may not squeal.
 

Apogee

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The ram stroke length is a function of the steering arm length and most D44 guys run 8" rams. The Toyota/Sammy guys tend to run the 6" rams, which require more force to achieve the same mechanical advantage since they're working with less leverage.
 

Steve83

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Jul 16, 2003
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Saginaws are known for being silent & reliable, especially as compared to the Ford C2 pump.

I suspect the fluid. Are you using Ford/MotorCraft TypeF or PSF? Do you have a filter (Raybestos MagneFine)?
 

mp

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Saginaws are known for being silent & reliable, especially as compared to the Ford C2 pump.

I suspect the fluid. Are you using Ford/MotorCraft TypeF or PSF? Do you have a filter (Raybestos MagneFine)?

I am about to hook up my ram assist tommorrow. Installing bigger cooler and upgraded PS pump, and effectively drain and purge system in the process.

Should I run ATF type 4? Or regular PS fluid? Never heard about running ATF in the PS system?
 

Yeller

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As Kyle said, a cooler is a must. On all of mine I run a spin on hydrualic filter in the return line, besides the fitration, it adds volume which helps with cooling. The assist will help with turning and takes the load off of the entire system but does add volume needed to run the system, the saginaw pump your running is capable of enough volume. As for fluid I've run everything recomended by all of the manufacturers and have had the best luck with Amsoil tractor hydralic fluid. Several builders/manufacturers say its too thick but it has cured pump noise and heat issues in all of mine and my customers. Here's a link to the fluidhttp://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/hydraulic-oil/synthetic-tractor-hydraulic-transmission-oil-sae-5w-30/
 

KyleQ

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Apr 24, 2008
Messages
5,480
I run the same fluid in my PSC DE full hydro setup - it pours at any temp feasible and has cured any problems I was having. I used to run Napa power steering fluid - not after loosing multiple pumps and exploding external filter setups when the temp got below 50* in the fall.

I still don't get why people want to put TRANSMISSION fluid into a POWER STEERING pump. Sure, fluid is fluid and it is wet, but its not called transmission/power steering fluid for a reason...

Wanting to add a cylinder assist to get rid of a squealing belt seems silly, but you are tapped for it, and it is an upgrade, so why not. I ran a PSC boosted P pump with a 130A 3G alternator on a single V-belt setup for years and it NEVER squealed...
 

scrapman1971

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Jan 1, 2011
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phoenix,az
I run Trans fluid in all of mine including my race cars. High heat and high rpms. No problems. It was recommended to me by a pump remanufacturer.
 

RajinCajun

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Nov 22, 2003
Messages
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HawleyTX, La orig.
I am running a Saginaw pump, hydro boost, and ram assist, with a cooler and I have no issues. You may check your hose routing. I switched my return routing around one time and the system was really noisy so I swapped it back and it no longer makes any noise. I will have to look at the way I have it routed. Only thing I can figure is by swapping the returns I was introducing air into the system. I am using standard clear power steering fluid with no issues even at Katemcy Rocks when it is HOT!

Michael
 

welndmn

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Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,112
Are you sure it's a squeal? Belt squeal, a pump tends to moan.
At idle, on the brakes, (with h-boost) and turning the wheel puts a lot of strain on the pump.
How are your hoses routed?
Any restrictions (like cheap hardware store fittings)?
 
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Jeff10

Jeff10

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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the input.

I should have specified that I am running an aftermarket cooler on the power steering system. It is a heat sink type cooler.

The squealing could be the belt... not certain. The belt is tight and was replaced when the pump was installed two years ago.

All fittings were branded fittings purchased from Summit based upon many of the threads on CB.

I am using power steering fluid (Prestone, I believe).

Not sure what it means to have the hydro-boost highflowed. Also, no filter was added during the install.

The routing is pretty clean with minimized lengths and no bends.

The main objective of considering the ram-assist is to improve turning on the trails when the fluid gets hotter. The squealing is an annoyance, although it is a small problem, too.

Thanks again for all the input.

Jeff
 

Steve83

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I still don't get why people want to put TRANSMISSION fluid into a POWER STEERING pump.
Because it's what Ford & Saginaw recommend for their PS systems.
I am using power steering fluid (Prestone, I believe).
That stuff can tear up a PS system. It contains "seal conditioner", which is essentially a solvent that attacks the seals, making them swell & soften. That CAN cause them to stop leaking...



...briefly. But it makes them wear & erode RAPIDLY, and then the leaks come back even worse. Read each of these descriptions:
http://www.fordparts.com/Products/Chemicals-TransmissionFluids.aspx

Use a mechanic's stethoscope to pinpoint the squeal.

 

welndmn

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Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,112
Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the input.

I should have specified that I am running an aftermarket cooler on the power steering system. It is a heat sink type cooler.

The squealing could be the belt... not certain. The belt is tight and was replaced when the pump was installed two years ago.

All fittings were branded fittings purchased from Summit based upon many of the threads on CB.

I am using power steering fluid (Prestone, I believe).

Not sure what it means to have the hydro-boost highflowed. Also, no filter was added during the install.

The routing is pretty clean with minimized lengths and no bends.

The main objective of considering the ram-assist is to improve turning on the trails when the fluid gets hotter. The squealing is an annoyance, although it is a small problem, too.

Thanks again for all the input.

Jeff


Is it still a v belt?
For sure make sure it's tight, if it is you might need a double groove pulley.
 
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Jeff10

Jeff10

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Hi Kyle,

I run the same fluid in my PSC DE full hydro setup - it pours at any temp feasible and has cured any problems I was having. I used to run Napa power steering fluid - not after loosing multiple pumps and exploding external filter setups when the temp got below 50* in the fall.

I still don't get why people want to put TRANSMISSION fluid into a POWER STEERING pump. Sure, fluid is fluid and it is wet, but its not called transmission/power steering fluid for a reason...

Wanting to add a cylinder assist to get rid of a squealing belt seems silly, but you are tapped for it, and it is an upgrade, so why not. I ran a PSC boosted P pump with a 130A 3G alternator on a single V-belt setup for years and it NEVER squealed...

Are you still running the Amsoil in your power steering?

I am thinking this might be a good option to conventional power steering fluid.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

Yeller

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I can't speak for KyleQ but I've been running it for the last 10 years in everything from stock steering systems full hydro systems on high speed off road racers.
 
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Jeff10

Jeff10

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Hi Yeller,

Any thoughts about flushing out the conventional power steering fluid?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

Yeller

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Flushing the pump is easy, but the box not so much. I pull the return line off the pump and cap the port on the pump after draining it. Then fill the resivour with new fluid and steer back and forth from lock to lock and keeping the resi full until fresh clean fluid runs from the return line. Reconnect the return line, bleed and refill the system. not perfect but the only way without disassembling the box.
 
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Jeff10

Jeff10

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Hey Yeller,

Flushing the pump is easy, but the box not so much. I pull the return line off the pump and cap the port on the pump after draining it. Then fill the resivour with new fluid and steer back and forth from lock to lock and keeping the resi full until fresh clean fluid runs from the return line. Reconnect the return line, bleed and refill the system. not perfect but the only way without disassembling the box.

Thanks.

There's a noticeable differnce between the Amsoil and the regular power steering fluid?

Thanks,

Jeff
 
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