Re assembled the ram, stripped and painted it, re installed, which was dang near a pain... Fueled it up again, got it running, had high hopes at first. It lifted the first 4 inches right off idle and that was it, then back to the same old thing having to throttle it up to get it to move, but this time, the shaft was staying dry. It still won't lift much more than it's own mast.
So, now I'm not sure where to go from here. Maybe the pump is going bad? Maybe one of the lines is clogged? It doesn't seem to have a filter anywhere.