Nissan Pathmaker OneTon SAS Build – Part 8

The Nissan Pathmaker OneTon SAS Build – Part 8 – Full Hydro Steering

What a fantastic pile of goodies I got! I went up to NorthWest Fabworks to grab my NWF Hydro Steering Arms, as well as my Full PSC Hydro Steering setup. Decided on the 8″ Ram full kit with cooler and N-Pump, as well as 4 new 14″ – Bilstein 5100 Series Shocks.

Before I could get to the ram mount it was time to break out the new tools in the shop, my very own JD2 bender with 1.8 die for 1 3/4″ Pipe. Yes I know some people think I’m crazy for building my cage out of pipe instead of DOM. I have seen pipe hold up to intense abuse for years and years and I’m confident in its strength for a rollcage if built properly. First step was to build up a stand for the bender so I could bolt it up and bend up a mount for the steering ram. I built wheels into the base to move it around and then put 2 large concrete anchors in the curb so I could bolt it down.

Welcome to fabricating in Canada in the winter folks!

Once the bender was all figured out it was time to bolt up the steering arms and check clearances. It’s going to be tight to fit everything over top of the leaf pack. Bent up my first piece of pipe with my new bender. Takes a lot of armstrong but it works exactly as advertised! Tacked the piece of pipe on and tossed the axle back under the rig.

Pulled out the old ratchet straps and hung the ram to get an idea. Clears the leafs with about 1/2″ to spare so it’ll be close but should work out well. Uptravel will be limited by the oil pan directly above the ram so I’ll have to keep a close eye on it. With the ram mount all figured out it was time for some more beauty welds from Alex. 

Close counts!

Plumbing the whole thing was a pain but thankfully I have a lot of extra room under the hood with all of the charcoal canisters gone. I also moved the battery under the rear seat. The PS fluid reservoir is supposed to be the high point of the system, but also close to the pump for good flow. I tucked it up onto the passenger wheel well with a short hose right down to the pump. I put the cooler in front of the rad. (You can see my rad spaced back, which was to make room for the Warn 8274 winch.) But it also required taking the old clutch fan off and replacing it with a Ford Taurus E-Fan. I put the orbital on the frame rail right near where the old steering box was located. I then used the stock Nissan steering column and linkage. 

Filled the system, bled the air, popped a hose off. Sprayed hydraulic fluid all over my shop, realized that I had two of the hoses backwards on the orbital. I put the supplied low pressure return hose on the high pressure inlet side blew the hose off. Once I realized my mistake i swapped the hoses. Just to be safe I got a 4th high pressure hose made up for the return line, overkill is my specialty! 

Then it was on to some beefy sliders. As the start of the entire exocage they needed to be built well so I used 2 x 3 – 5/16″ wall steel and 3 mounts onto the frame with large fish-plates. 

Here you can see a couple of the fishplates on the frame, as well as the fuel tank skid I made up to protect my plastic fuel tank.


Last thing on my list, poormans diff protection! Since the cover is mostly behind the ram I figure I can get away with a piece of 3″ flatbar burned into the cover (7 years later and still going strong!).

Next post is onto the fuel system and exhaust. Getting closer to having it flash up and roll out of the shop!


Check out Part 9 in the next blog post here: Part 9: Pathmaker Build Fuel System and Exhaust

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