Is your steering what you want it to be? For most of us, the answer would be, "no, it isn't." Running big tires and hitting the trails can really tax a stock steering system, and make turning the steering wheel into an ordeal that only a bodybuilder can manage. Even our friend who runs 38-inch tires on his Super Duty but never hits the trail has a hard time turning his big tires when going slowly. This also was the situation with our Bronco. Wanting to improve this sub-par steering, we searched for a product that could make turning the wheel an easy affair.
The solution to our steering woes came in the form of the AGR Rock Ram. Basically a hydraulic assist, the Rock Ram mounts from the axlehousing to the tie rod and exerts force on it. This takes a great deal of load off the steering box itself and makes turning the wheel easy.
To graft our Rock Ram into position on our '69 Bronco we headed down to Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, California. While the installation was a bit of a challenge, the result was well worth it. In its prior form, we couldn't even manage to turn our poor Bronco's big front tires when parked on pavement. After installing the Rock Ram it felt like we had shod the Bronco with the tires from a compact car, as steering was effortless. The only quirk we noticed is the Rock Ram system made our steering a bit quicker. This made our steed a bit twitchy until we adapted by slowing down our steering inputs. A nice and unexpected side effect was that our Bronco no longer jerks around while shifting due to the rear Detroit Locker locking and unlocking. So if you want to be able to steer your 4x4 on the street or trail without having to hit the gym, a Rock Ram might be for you.
10. From this shot on the passenger side you can see that though there isn't much room, everything clears except for the bumpstop, which will be moved back a bit. Part of the minor tweaks we had to perform when cycling the suspension included moving the track bar to the back of the new lower mount, and also flipping the track bar so that its bend was pointing backward. You'll also notice where the C bushing mount was ground down for clearance.
11. Here you can see how nicely the Rock Ram tucks out of the way-part of the reason for all our effort. It would have been much easier to mount it below the tie rod, but having a hydraulic ram be the lowest point on your vehicle is not a good idea. If you have a leaf-sprung vehicle, or a rig with a track bar that mounts to the top of the axle rather than the front, your installation will be much easier than ours was.