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PSC Ram Assist Rebuild

Mending a Bent-Steering Ram

Jay KopycinskiPhotographer, Writer

On a great day out on a challenging rock trail we bumped our rig on some big boulders. During our quick, post-trail inspection of suspension and drivetrain, we noted some new scars underneath but nothing obviously damaged. However, when we hit pavement for the drive home, something felt odd in the steering action, as if something was binding. A closer inspection of our PSC hydraulic-assist ram revealed no fluid leakage, but its rod was bent from hard contact of the cylinder body with rock.

Our temporary fix for the drive home was to remove the assist cylinder and hoses from the vehicle, and the now-open ports at the power steering box were closed with a couple of -6 AN caps. (If you don’t carry caps you can loop one of the lines and attach both ends to the steering box.) This left us with standard power steering capability and eliminated the binding assist cylinder from our axle.

Later examination of the cylinder showed that the body was scarred but otherwise straight and undamaged. Only the rod was bent. We ordered a replacement rod and seal kit from PSC Motorsports, and we were able to rebuild the ram in about an hour with a few basic mechanic tools.

We transferred one rod end to the new rod, installed new seal components onto the piston and head, and reassembled the cleaned ram with some hydraulic fluid to ease sliding the seals into the bore. Overall, it was an easy project and we were able to restore our hydraulic assist without a lot of fuss or expense.