Hydra-Licious! Wrangler Hydro Assist SteeringPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on June 1, 2010
Here's the thing about hydro-assist systems: They not only make it possible to steer with one finger no matter how gnarly the terrain, but they take pressure and stress off of the steering box mount, sector shaft, pitman arm, and drag link. As long as your tie rod, steering knuckles, and ball joints are up to the task, a properly-selected hydro-assist setup will not only make wheeling easy and enjoyable, but will extend the longevity of your steering components in the process.
PSC Motorsports understands the ins and outs of setting up a proper hydro-assist steering system. There's more to it than just tapping your power steering box and slapping on an industrial ram. You must consider pump output, fluid volume, steering gear ratios, hydraulic cylinder displacement and force, and a bunch of other stuff to create a hydro-assist system that will work seamlessly on the street while still delivering brutal power off-road. PSC offers complete retrofit systems for most Jeep models including TJ and JK Wranglers, but we threw them a slight curve in that we were working with a '97 TJ with a swapped-in JK front axle. No sweat, because after a brief conversation with PSC's Tom Allen, we had the correct steering gear for our frame, the right pump for our 4.0L engine, and cylinder for our axle. Not to mention all the fittings, lines, brackets, and more that we would need to make the swap go down easily. We brought our parts to All Wrangler Off Road in Wildomar, California where proprietor Jay Miller handled the install in a leisurely afternoon.
We were in a crunch trying to get our install done by press-time, so PSC sent us a few more items than we actually needed just in case we ran into a last minute snag. In addition to the pump, ram, steering gear, reservoir, reservoir mount, and hydraulic lines and fittings, we received PSC's JK axle cylinder assist mounting kit which includes a bolt-on tie rod ram clamp and axle bracket. In fact, if you own a JK, PSC's cylinder assist kits are completely bolt-on.