Should I add hydro-assist?


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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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It’s my understanding that if you have everything set up correctly, it should not place any additional stress on your front end components. In fact it should relieve stress since it assists you with turning.
This^^^^ is one of the biggest pros to doing HA.
 
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Gollywomper

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The opposite actually. We only moved to hydro assist to save the trackbar and mounts. We started about the end of 2000 running big bore boxes with hot rodded TC pumps and remote reservoirs, no problem turning. Then the track bar mounts suffered, we braced them, steering gear mount suffered so we braced them. Then the frame started cracking between the track bar mount and the steering gear.

Went to hydro assist and now we can run the stock track bar mount, no brace on the steering gear and nothing suffers. The cylinder takes a lot of the load off of the frame because it reacts against the axle housing. Factory track bar mount is just fine to use.
And this^^^^.
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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To be clear, the forces on the steering links do go up. Also why we only use a 1.5" cylinder to keep that as low as possible and get as much assist as we can without tearing other stuff up.
Oh with out a doubt there are trade offs, for sure. Same as with anything. Lockers, bigger tires everything adds new strain to other parts. It’s all part of the game. For me. I would rather deal with steering linkage than repairing my frame. Neither are fun when broke on the trail but one of them is easier to fix.
 

hosejockey61

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Stress on the track bar is reduced because much of the steering force is moved to the axle and drag link. The stock TB mount is fine without a brace.

If one is cracking track bar mounts like I have, hydro is a good idea.
I believe he's referring to the axle side TB mount.
 
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sierradmax

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Went to hydro assist and now we can run the stock track bar mount, no brace on the steering gear and nothing suffers. The cylinder takes a lot of the load off of the frame because it reacts against the axle housing. Factory track bar mount is just fine to use.
Thanks for sharing. I see my next purchase...
 

Steel City 06

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I personally love my hydro assist. It makes the car much more fun to drive. It was more of an impulse purchase since I needed a cooler anyways, but I certainly am happy with it.

However I did have issues finding a PSC CBR pump that wouldn't make loud noise at high RPMs, so that was a source of frustration for me. I frequently need to accelerate hard or rev high to climb hills here in Pittsburgh, so I'm frequently going over 4000 RPM. Above that RPM I would have issues with pumps screaming. I don't know if it was just cavitation, damage from bad bleeding, or what the cause was. Eventually the pump would begin to growl at idle.

I'm sure there's probably something unique in my setup that caused those issues, but it definitely made me think about removing the hydro assist and just using a smaller pump. Not being able to use the 4000-5200 RPM range would be a huge loss for me.

Ultimately I ended up using a factory Chevy 2500 Vortec CBR pump, which seems to have adequate flow for the hydro assist and is also widely available. It probably has slightly less flow than a mid-flow PSC CBR pump, but I only run into flow issues if I try to turn quickly while idling, and even then that is rare.


Don't let this stop you from buying the PSC pump kit. Just be absolutely sure to follow all instructions on hose routing, cooler install, bleeding, and any other recommendations. And be prepared to troubleshoot if necessary.
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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I personally love my hydro assist. It makes the car much more fun to drive. It was more of an impulse purchase since I needed a cooler anyways, but I certainly am happy with it.

However I did have issues finding a PSC CBR pump that wouldn't make loud noise at high RPMs, so that was a source of frustration for me. I frequently need to accelerate hard or rev high to climb hills here in Pittsburgh, so I'm frequently going over 4000 RPM. Above that RPM I would have issues with pumps screaming. I don't know if it was just cavitation, damage from bad bleeding, or what the cause was. Eventually the pump would begin to growl at idle.

I'm sure there's probably something unique in my setup that caused those issues, but it definitely made me think about removing the hydro assist and just using a smaller pump. Not being able to use the 4000-5200 RPM range would be a huge loss for me.

Ultimately I ended up using a factory Chevy 2500 Vortec CBR pump, which seems to have adequate flow for the hydro assist and is also widely available. It probably has slightly less flow than a mid-flow PSC CBR pump, but I only run into flow issues if I try to turn quickly while idling, and even then that is rare.


Don't let this stop you from buying the PSC pump kit. Just be absolutely sure to follow all instructions on hose routing, cooler install, bleeding, and any other recommendations. And be prepared to troubleshoot if necessary.
I was very cautious when bleeding my new PSC pump. It works great and is absolutely noise free.
 

Cross-Threaded-06TJ

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Some folks can make it work on a TJ. Some can't. I get calls from both who buy the bracket kit.
The way you do it is safe and clean, and looks like it should be there.

That's how I would want it on my TJ. The better/safer way.

Just funny how I was totally cool "making" it happen for cheap on my bigger rig.

I did the west Texas pump mod to my currently pump and a hillbilly extension on the reservoir, plus a cooler. I also ran the DIY4X cap and tapped my other one. And there is gracious space on a Dana 60 in a leaf spring chevy in comparison to the TJ.

But, none of that is the point of this thread. Other than it does steer nicely on that rig.
 
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Gollywomper

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My only complaint is I should have bought the anti splash vent. Not a fan of the fluid on my firewall. I think I may have a bit too much fluid in the resi.
 

mrblaine

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My only complaint is I should have bought the anti splash vent. Not a fan of the fluid on my firewall. I think I may have a bit too much fluid in the resi.
It isn't hard to add and we use one on every install. The fluid level should be about 1" down from the top, I just try to cover the top of the filter and call it good.
 

Lou

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I personally love my hydro assist. It makes the car much more fun to drive. It was more of an impulse purchase since I needed a cooler anyways, but I certainly am happy with it.

However I did have issues finding a PSC CBR pump that wouldn't make loud noise at high RPMs, so that was a source of frustration for me. I frequently need to accelerate hard or rev high to climb hills here in Pittsburgh, so I'm frequently going over 4000 RPM. Above that RPM I would have issues with pumps screaming. I don't know if it was just cavitation, damage from bad bleeding, or what the cause was. Eventually the pump would begin to growl at idle.

I'm sure there's probably something unique in my setup that caused those issues, but it definitely made me think about removing the hydro assist and just using a smaller pump. Not being able to use the 4000-5200 RPM range would be a huge loss for me.

Ultimately I ended up using a factory Chevy 2500 Vortec CBR pump, which seems to have adequate flow for the hydro assist and is also widely available. It probably has slightly less flow than a mid-flow PSC CBR pump, but I only run into flow issues if I try to turn quickly while idling, and even then that is rare.


Don't let this stop you from buying the PSC pump kit. Just be absolutely sure to follow all instructions on hose routing, cooler install, bleeding, and any other recommendations. And be prepared to troubleshoot if necessary.
I’ve been putting up with the noise. Pump performance is fine but it is annoying. Especially since it occurs during my highway cruising speeds 😒

they sent me a second pump and it was the same. Now they want me to send the pump in before sending another and it doesn’t bother me enough to do that.
 

mrblaine

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I personally love my hydro assist. It makes the car much more fun to drive. It was more of an impulse purchase since I needed a cooler anyways, but I certainly am happy with it.

However I did have issues finding a PSC CBR pump that wouldn't make loud noise at high RPMs, so that was a source of frustration for me. I frequently need to accelerate hard or rev high to climb hills here in Pittsburgh, so I'm frequently going over 4000 RPM. Above that RPM I would have issues with pumps screaming. I don't know if it was just cavitation, damage from bad bleeding, or what the cause was. Eventually the pump would begin to growl at idle.

I'm sure there's probably something unique in my setup that caused those issues, but it definitely made me think about removing the hydro assist and just using a smaller pump. Not being able to use the 4000-5200 RPM range would be a huge loss for me.

Ultimately I ended up using a factory Chevy 2500 Vortec CBR pump, which seems to have adequate flow for the hydro assist and is also widely available. It probably has slightly less flow than a mid-flow PSC CBR pump, but I only run into flow issues if I try to turn quickly while idling, and even then that is rare.


Don't let this stop you from buying the PSC pump kit. Just be absolutely sure to follow all instructions on hose routing, cooler install, bleeding, and any other recommendations. And be prepared to troubleshoot if necessary.
The only problem I have is your "less expensive" description. I bought one and used it on an install with the owner's permission to test it. I did not have to chop down the extension and it still wound up being the same price as a PSC and far more labor.
 

mrblaine

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I’ve been putting up with the noise. Pump performance is fine but it is annoying. Especially since it occurs during my highway cruising speeds 😒

they sent me a second pump and it was the same. Now they want me to send the pump in before sending another and it doesn’t bother me enough to do that.
If you aren't bleeding them by turning the pump pulley with something like an air ratchet to make sure there is absolutely no air in the system before you start it, you likely smoked the ring and rotor. It will progressively get worse due to the pits from cavitation that it will make noise at lower and lower rpms until it does it all the time. The high performance pumps have zero tolerance for cavitation.
 
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Irun

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The opposite actually. We only moved to hydro assist to save the trackbar and mounts. We started about the end of 2000 running big bore boxes with hot rodded TC pumps and remote reservoirs, no problem turning. Then the track bar mounts suffered, we braced them, steering gear mount suffered so we braced them. Then the frame started cracking between the track bar mount and the steering gear.

Went to hydro assist and now we can run the stock track bar mount, no brace on the steering gear and nothing suffers. The cylinder takes a lot of the load off of the frame because it reacts against the axle housing. Factory track bar mount is just fine to use.
This kind of information is invaluable. It sheds light on why the assist is important! 🙇‍♂️
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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The only problem I have is your "less expensive" description. I bought one and used it on an install with the owner's permission to test it. I did not have to chop down the extension and it still wound up being the same price as a PSC and far more labor.
I looked into this as well. Warranty would be void as soon as you modify the pump. And should it go bad you would loose any core credit as well.