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Old 05-28-2010, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ram Assist Steering 99 Ford Super Duty

I finished my Ram assist a couple days ago and did a writeup.

See it here;


Edit: Just read below!
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great info. Did it solve the wandering?
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes it did.

I am amazed how tight the steering is now. I will do this on every truck I ever have again.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the write up. How is your steering holding up?
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Update:

Thanks for asking. The hydro assist setup on my Ford is working great. I got orders to Fort Benning, Georgia and we move over to Alabama in September. I drove this from Oregon to Georgia/ Alabama with a horse trailer. Then I was commuting 35 miles each way until recently when I bought a bike. So far this has been a great setup for me. I did notice the steering loosened up a little bit after the gear box wore in a little bit. I adjusted it out a bit, but it is still not as tight as when the steering gear box was brand new. I cannot help but wonder if the original gear box would have been as good with the ram if I had only known how to adjust it before I tore it out!!
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What is your caster angle? Bet that has something to do with the wondering.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I seen in your link you put the lines on backwards at first. A simple trick to find which port goes where is when the fitting is tapped in the box turn the box in either direction with your ear over the fiting listening for air rushing to find if it blows on a right or left turn. As I recall from mine you couldnt just put your finger over it to find pressure so listening was the best way..
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You're awesome! I was wondering where to tap the box so I can do this. The rest seems like a cakewalk.

I'm assuming my late 03 box is the same as your 99?
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the write up, just saved your pics to the computer... I'll post up once I get mine tapped,

Looks to be the same as my 97 box
f150



I imagine it'll turn the 52's alittle better
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, somebody actually read my stuff!

Glad I could help. I didn't really think anyone would benefit from my limited experience, because there is so much stuff on Pirate already. I usually don't respond because it would just be adding more of the same. I tried to simplify this writeup and found it a little difficult to find info on the Super Duty's. Your 03 box should be exactly the same. With the info in my writup, you should be abble to look at pretty much any box and figure out where to drill and tap any box. It really is that easy!
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hmm,

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex211 View Post
What is your caster angle? Bet that has something to do with the wondering.
You got me here Alex. My caster should be stock or pretty close to it. I don't think it changed with the lift. I suppose the angle could have changed slightly. My springs are about as stiff as you can get. I have allways regretted this setup, (it can just about make you piss blood if you ride in it too long) I will be going with airbags and removing about half my leafs one of these days.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I had a thread with all this info on Pirate but cannot find it so I am reposting here

Hey! You can have your cake and eat it too for under $200.00

I just finished the ram assit in my 99 Ford. It has an 8 inch lift with 37 inch Nittos. The Ford Super Dutys are notorious for walking all over the road when lifted. Mine was rediculous. I even had a dual stabilizer setup on it.

First of all let me say I replaced my Power Steering Gear Box and Power steering pump. If yours are good then use them. You could do this whole setup for about $150-200.00. I must take a second to thank Joe Wade for mock-up design of the ram and running down fittings for me. I am glad you got to learn on mine. I hope we get to do yours soon, if I am around.

Step 1
Red Head Steering Gear.com in Washington $275.00 (I think)...You don't need to replace yours if it is still good, but if you buy a new steering gear box, spend the extra $100 and buy one of these rather than a remanufactured one. I took this apart as soon as it arrived on my door step to drill and tap it. I was very tight with incredibly strict tollerances. Aparently not too many people have drilled out the boxes on their Super duty's. I could not find info on it anywhere. I sent Scott at rockstomper.com a picture of my gear box and he gave it his best guess on where to drill and tap it. He even took the time to draw arrows on my picture and E-mail it back to me. I attempted to drill it myself. I drilled pilot holes and then stepped up my drill bit sizes. I do not have a vise on my little drill press. Once I got up to half inch, the drill bit began binding and throwing the Gear box across the room. It bound so hard it broke the 1/2 inch drill bit and drew the gear box across the shop into my tool box. So I did what any intelectual would do in his garage; I held it tighter and tried again. That wasn't very smart. I almost lost a thumb. So I called a couple machine shops here in Salem, and found Electric Motor and Machine Company. They charged me for a half hour, ($30) and did it on the spot. He told me to tell you all he probably would require you to drop if off next time. Once I had it drilled out, I called Red Head Steering Gear and asked them how to put the gear box back together. They were a little surprised that I had taken a brand new box apart, but were happy to oblige. They were more than helpfull in answering all of my questions on the couple occasions I called to make sure I got it all put back together properly. In short, you really cannot mess it up if you only remove the piston and worm gear whole, then put them back in whole. They only go together one way. I was a little nervous though since I had never taken a steering gear box apart before, let allone tried to figure out how to do a ram assist setup. Side note here...I drilled mine out for 3/8 inch because I was not sure how this steering gear box was going to act. I could not find any info on someone doing a Super Duty yet, nor could I find out any flow charts for that gear box. I ended up using all 1/4 inch lines and fittings. Don't waste your time going larger than quarter inch when you drill and tap. You won't need it. Drill your box with an NPT tap. National Pipel Threads are tappered, and lock in better for a good seal with these high pressure lines.


Step 2
Power Steering pump...$60 Schucks, use your existing one if it is good. There is really no need to buy another one; go to West Texas Offroads' website and read the instructions on drilling out the little piston in your pump. It takes about 5 minutes. Also buy a 6 or 8 inch piece of radiator hose and use a hose clamp to attach it to the top of your power steering gear box to make the reservoir a little bigger. When you turn so the ram is completely closed, it forces the fluid back into your power steering pump. If you don't make the reservoir a little bigger, it will blow it out the cap. My fluid rises and falls about three inches in my reservoir as I turn the wheel lock to lock. I cut the reservoir off the old one and crammed it into the top of the radiator hose I added so I could put the stock power steering cap in it when I was done. It is also worth noting West Texas Offroad has a kit you can buy to do this. I think it was in the neighborhood of $400 for the ram fittings and lines. This is not a bad way to go considering the time I spent trying to figure out exactly what fittings to buy and running to fluid connectors across town a few times until I got it right. You would either have to send your steering gear box to them to get drilled and tapped, or do it yourself.

Step 3
Surplus Center.com... Get your Hydraulic ram, lines, and fitting from these guys. They are cheaper than you can find locally usually. As far as the sizes to go with; For the Ram I went with a 1.5 inch dual acting ram with a 3/4 inch shat and 8 inch throw. It was about $82 from Surplus center. Pretty sure it was Item #9-4410-08. You don't want to go bigger, or it will be slower. This is bad for on road applications. If it is mostly for off road, you may want to look at a 2 inch ram. I am telling my ram worked out perfect. I can turn my tires lock to lock at idle in the parking lot with one finger. For lines and fittings, they are all 1/4 inch NPT. That stands for National Pipe Thread. Keep that in mind if you have to run for fittings locally. NPT fittings are tappered. If you put a non NPT fitting on there, You will have serious issues because they will wallow out your holes in your gear box, or you won't even get them to start in the hole. I used one 36 inch line and one 48 inch line. They are a little long, but I plan on air bags with more lift in the future. Measure your to see what you need. You will also need three 90 degree male to female fittings and one coupler male to female. This was my setup. Yours may vary.

Step 4
Bolts, This depend on where you mount your ram. We ended up putting a longer bolt in for my pan hard bar and ran the ram on the back side of that. Joe fabbed up a nice little plate to bolt the ram to my tie rod with three u-bolts, then we tack welded it in place just to make sure it did'nt move, (only after we knew it was all working properly).

Step 5
Change your lines around. I am half kidding here, but It is hard to know which line to run to which side of your gear box. Like the guys at West Texas Offroad said; "If it binds, switch your lines". When I started up the truck the first time, I could not turn the wheel at all. This means the lines are switched. I simply swapped the lines real quick, and nothing happened. Now I was concerned. Then Joe said the Power steering pump sounded a little noisy so I checked it. sure enough it was low. I advise you to have an extra quart of fluid to put into your system when you hoock up the ram. Once I topped it off, it worked smoothly. I was amazed at how easy it turns. We ran it down the highway and there is no travel at all in the front end. I even let go of the wheel over a groovy section of road and the truck tracked straight and true. I could not even let go of the wheel on a smooth portion of road before without my truck switching lanes at will.

I am telling you not to waste your money on a dual steering stabilizer kit if you lift your truck. You need to do a ram assist. Ironically the ram assist setup is cheaper than the dual stabilizer kit I took off.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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By the way, When drilling out your gear box, it is not rocket science. Just drill one hole at the end of the box. You can see where there is a return line in the case of the box. It runs all the way up the top of the box and you can see where it returns in a little hole when you remove the worm gear. For the second hole just drill it anywhere on the side where the shaft goes in the box. I drilleed mine in a meaty portion of the box where there was a little bit of a flare to ensure the fittings did not interfere with anything moving around inside.

Also... do not run the thread all the way in when you tap it. With the taper of NPT, if you run a tappered tap all the way in, your fitting will bottom out and protrude into the gear box too deap, and it may not seal up. Just run the tap in about half way.

If anyone is going to do this, E-mail me and I will send you pictures. [email protected] Good luck, I will be watching for more trucks with Ram assist now! The newer Dodges and Chevys should have the same gear box I have as well. But not sure. If you don't have a Saginaw box in your truck, you probably have the same one I have. I am sure you will be able to figure it out really easily when you see my pictures.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It was actually $90 for the ram and $50 for the lines and fittings with shipping. My math was a little off. It was late when I wrote this up this morning. You will also want a tap. I believe 7/32 NPT for a 1/4 inch fitting. You could probably get away with a 3/16 tap if you wanted. You could do this for $140.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Here you can see into the void where the drive gear would be. when you drill your box, just drill one hole on the low pressure side, and one hole in the high pressure return side. It is pretty easy to see the worm gear portion of the housing, (the longed portion that is allmost horizontally when mounted), and the drive gear portion of the housing, (the short portion that is almost vertically as mounted in the truck). My drive gear portion of the housing has a red cap on it from Red Head Steering Gear. Just try to pick a spot that seems the least likely to interfere with the internals of the gear box. The general areas I drilled at were recommended by Scott at Rockstomper.com to be the least likely to cause interferance as well as perform full flow through the entire cycle of the gear box. You can drill the cap on a Saginaw box which would be the general area I drilled mine in the worm gear portion, but that is a much weaker area on those Saginaw boxes.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If anyone is trying this and you get stumped, give me a call. Sean (762) 822-3671
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I have a buddy that runs a big truck repair shop and he insisted this will only help in one direction. He did not see how it could turn both ways with only one high pressure hose going to the ram. I thought long and hard about it and the conclussion I came up with it that the high pressure side does the work in both directions. It pushes the ram to turn one way, and pulls the ram to turn the other way. The low pressure side is only there to give the fluid somewhere to go while the high pressure side is putting in work.

Anyone have something to add on this?
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Did you disassemble the box before drilling/tapping?
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanyounk View Post
I have a buddy that runs a big truck repair shop and he insisted this will only help in one direction. He did not see how it could turn both ways with only one high pressure hose going to the ram. I thought long and hard about it and the conclussion I came up with it that the high pressure side does the work in both directions. It pushes the ram to turn one way, and pulls the ram to turn the other way. The low pressure side is only there to give the fluid somewhere to go while the high pressure side is putting in work.

Anyone have something to add on this?
Like I mentioned before on fte it works both ways but the pull is always gonna be less than the push force for every cylinder
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:03 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Awesome info....I am going to do this to my excursion
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:04 AM   #25 (permalink)
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This is some good stuff! I'm going to have to try this on my '00 F350 before I bolt my 37's back on.
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