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Thread: Hydro steering

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    Hydro steering

    When the guy from MTO came to our shop I asked him if full hydraulic steering was deemed "safe" he said as far as Ontario goes there werent any law restricting it so it was a go, until he said it was a federal matter. He gave me a website and I hunted it for hours( now cant even find that site) and couldnt find anything about it. can you help with this.
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    This has been discussed at length on this site many times and is outside the scope of the "Ask a Save Officer" section of the forum. I will move this thread to another section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    When the guy from MTO came to our shop I asked him if full hydraulic steering was deemed "safe" he said as far as Ontario goes there werent any law restricting it so it was a go, until he said it was a federal matter. He gave me a website and I hunted it for hours( now cant even find that site) and couldnt find anything about it. can you help with this.
    As you have discovered, the HTA does not address full hydraulic steering as a mechanism illegal for street use. At the ground level, that realistically makes it legal by omission. But to truly go to the nth degree at the federal level, you can snoop through the CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards)...but you will probably find nothing in the steering section that addresses hydraulic steering specifically. I've looked and found nothing but there is a ton of documentation to sift through and I'm far from an authority on the matter.

    All that said, it could be spun that if the vehicle in question has steering of a completely different design than the OEM, it could be argued that it is not a properly engineered mechanism that has passed test standards. This is probably stretching things as this would be well beyond the scope of a mechanic or inspector. But it is not impossible and what is safe is apparently highly subjective when it comes to steering design. Lol
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    ^ that is almost verbatem that I got from the inspector. I looked and looked on the federal sites and have fallen asleep more than once while reading . I was hoping he(save officer) might have had a contact at the federal level.

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    Jeeper: Please just take this as my approach to full hydro steering. Lets just say you break a fitting or a hyd hose ruptures...what control do you have? None, with a push / push system of double acting cyls. At least hyd ASSIST there is STILL a mechanical connection....although in high impact that can break as well, you'd still have control in the event of hyd fitting or hose failure.

    once again...my take on this subject only....
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    Thanks for your comment . I realize the ramifications of it ( full hydro), I am in the same boat as alot of people I guess. I need a current plate to park my jeep at home in my driveway, to get plates I must pass safety and etest. Just to have an off road jeep. I wont be putting it on the street very often as I already have a DD. Im very particular on checking my rig. But I guess I will be putting more miles than I thought at first because I dont currently have towing capabilities. next year probably. but I still understand the concept of safety.
    The main reason I want full hydro is so I dont have the complexities of steering links, my set up right now is set up not too bad because of the Upper arms on my D60 with cross over steering it should prove satifactory other than trying to turn 39s. Its funny to watch the jeep frame move sideways as I try to turn th wheel.I know good construction from poor but what I dont know very well is the law. First I must satisfy there rules then mine.
    Last edited by jeeper52; 03-12-2013 at 10:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Money View Post
    Jeeper: Please just take this as my approach to full hydro steering. Lets just say you break a fitting or a hyd hose ruptures...what control do you have? None, with a push / push system of double acting cyls. At least hyd ASSIST there is STILL a mechanical connection....although in high impact that can break as well, you'd still have control in the event of hyd fitting or hose failure.

    once again...my take on this subject only....

    I do not agree with this anology that a mechanical connection is safer than a hydraulic connection. Since mechanical steering connections seem to fail at an even higher rate than the hydraulic ones in practice, it still results in a fundemental loss of control. When the mecahnical linkage breaks, the end result is the same as if a hydraulic connection breaks. Lose a tie rod end, lose directional control. Lack of maintenance can result in a failure no matter what the connection.

    If we are talking about what is truly fail-safe, that is highly subjective. To suggest that a hydraulic connection cannot be safe does not make sense. We rely on hydraulic connections in a brake system on a car to be safe. The parking brake is far from a fail-safe secondary system. If a hydraulic brake connection arbitrarily fails without warning, especially in an emergency maneuver, the parking brake is pretty much useless. Flight controls on large aircraft are almost exclusively hydraulic. There is no mechanical linkage to rely on. But yet this is deemed "safe".

    Some on-road equipment and trucks rely on full hydraulic steering as well where there is no mechanical connections.

    In the end, a scabbed together ghetto hacked steering system can be unsafe regardless of whether it is hydraulic or mechanical and a mechanical linkage in no way guarantees steering is fail-safe.

    A properly designed and fabricated hydraulic steering system is no less safe than a mechanical system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    Thanks for your comment . I realize the ramifications of it ( full hydro), I am in the same boat as alot of people I guess. I need a current plate to park my jeep at home in my driveway, to get plates I must pass safety and etest. Just to have an off road jeep. I wont be putting it on the street very often as I already have a DD. Im very particular on checking my rig. But I guess I will be putting more miles than I thought at first because I dont currently have towing capabilities. next year probably. but I still understand the concept of safety.
    Your application is a perfect canidate for full hydro. You should be able to find someone to safety your rig one way or another.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    The main reason I want full hydro is so I dont have the complexities of steering links
    While that is a nice bonus of full hydro, it should not be the primary reason to have it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    my set up right now is set up not too bad because of the Upper arms on my D60 with cross over steering it should prove satifactory other than trying to turn 39s. Its funny to watch the jeep frame move sideways as I try to turn th wheel.
    Sometimes a good compromise is to go the hydro assist ram route. If, for whatever reason, you are not going to be comfortable with full hydro, an assist ram is the next best thing. It will take a significant load off of your current steering linkage, leave your existing mechanical/hydraulic system in place and add a significant amount of additional steering power as well. The downside is that it can cost almost the same amount of money to do properly, it has more failure points and does not yield the same amount of steering power and as you mentioned, you are stuck with all of the downsides of the existing crossover linkage.

    That said, based on my own experience, I would not hesitate to go full hydro on your rig. Pretty much everyone I know that has done it all say the same thing - they love full hydro and can't believe how well the steering works offroad. I have never heard someone say they regret it. If it was a daily driver, I would not recommend it, as we have discussed in other threads.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    I know good construction from poor but what I dont know very well is the law. First I must satisfy there rules then mine.
    If you're going by the law for safety standards set out by the HTA for Ontario, you can pass a safety inspection in Ontario with full hydraulic steering. There is nothing in the HTA that says otherwise.

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    I cant believe it!! Cdt nut and I are in agreement today!!
    I wanted to sort of sneak up on going full hydro though. Here is my plan . First install a double ended ram, and if nessiary then upgrade the pump. Then when money permits install the steering control(orbital) valve. I have run out of money right now and I know it will probably cost more in the long run but I need steering assistance before moving the jeep, and if I buy all the components from a known system like PSC has then all the parts will match. Funny, I emailed 2 different hydro steering companies about this and got 2 different answers. PSC says the steering box wont be able to keep up with the fluid demand ( this I doubt) and west texas says when I go full hydro I will feel a loss of assistance because the hydro system is assisted by the mechanical system. When you do a hydro assist there is one side of the piston that is full diameter and the other side has the piston surface reduced by the dia. of the shaft, so if the steering box can handle the volume of a large cylinder then it can handle the reduced volume on the piston side. Ive never read anything about it online, so I a little leary of breaking new ground. Im sure the companies dont want to loos a good part of their buisiness by agreeing with my theory.
    I just dont want to buy an assist cyl. and then have to change it out to go full hydro.

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    One word of advice:

    Listen to PSC. They have given you the correct advice.

    It is well documented that the saginaw jeep box will NOT flow enough fluid to accomodate the 2.5" double-ended ram if you are trying to use it in an assist fashion. As well, a saginaw hydroboost pump is not capable of flowing enough fluid for the box and the 2.5" double ended ram together.

    The hydroboost P pump barely flows enough for hydro assist with a 1.5" or 1.75" assist ram and box....and it barely flows enough to run just the 2.5" double ended ram in a full hydro configuration - the flow requirements between the two systems are similar. Combining them guarantees you won't have enough flow.

    You aren't breaking new ground here. Using the double ended ram as an assist ram is not favourable because it means you will have to come up with a non-traditional pump that flows more fluid than what a P pump can manage. There are some pump options out there but they are not cheap and mounting them requires custom brackets. And even then, the steering box becomes the choke point as it is a significant restriction to flow in itself.

    You will feel a loss of power assist as West Texas mentioned whenever you have a lack of adequate flow to steer the system at the desired speed - they aren't wrong, either.

    What you are contemplating could easily cost more money than full hydro.

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    Hydro steering

    It is real easy to get more flow out of a Saginaw pump. Drill out the fitting on the back to 5/32" and enjoy. I did mine this weekend when I put a new (rebuilt) pump on.

    I have hydroboost, hydro assist with 8x1.5" ram and its great. But, I also have a big ass steering cooler and spin on filter to keep the system happy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    I cant believe it!! Cdt nut and I are in agreement today!!
    I should add, it only hurts the first time you agree with me. It will get easier from here on out...I promise.

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