He posted above saying his truck eats stabilizers?
Hydro-assist for a guy who doesn't do too much work on his own truck is expensive. Most guys I know are not going to port their own steering box. I have a friend that does them and I didn't even give it to him to do..LOL. I think I spend a couple hundred doing that. Mainly since if there is an issue, they will send me another steering box, no questions asked.
A normal dude isn't going to know how to size the length of ram or bore size. I originally had one that had too large of a bore and it was a dog to steer. So that one got sold...LOL. If you are not a guy that is going to weld on the mounts you will spend some good money just getting a good mount. Then you have to set it up properly so the ram stops exactly when it hits the steering stops.
Then once you realize how much of POS the stock 7.3 pump is you will realize that you most likely will need the 600$ setup from PSC. One more thing that happened to me was my original stock pump took a **** when I installed hydro assist. So then I had to buy another. They are cheap but still another 60-70 bucks.
Most shops that build these kits and install them on trucks do it wrong (not saying your shop is that way). Typically when you setup a hydro assist on a rock crawling offroad rig you can screw up all you want and it isn't going to matter. When you do it on a rig that you drive on the freeway at 65-75 mph, it has to work correctly.
So yes you could do it for a couple hundred and some change and get by, but you have to know what you are doing.
I missed the stabilizer post apologies.
The stock 7.3 pump is actually the same pump more or less on every ford from the 80's on. Its not that bad, and actually hydro assist will put less strain on the pump. It has to move more fluid, but less pressure.
When I talk about a hydraulic shop all I mean is a place that makes lines, does repairs, builds systems, mostly for industrial applications, the ram on my old truck was actually for a small bucket loader like a bobcat or something similar, it was just the right size. As far as setting it up right, you're totally correct but its not too hard, the biggest thing other than sized right is making sure its dead nuts in line with the tie rod, or you're going to have problems.
We found the flow rate and PSI of the stock pump and all that, measured how far the stroke needs to be, he sold me the parts and the install was 100% up to me and whoever was helping.
Drilling out the box is just drill and tap 2 holes. If somebody can't do that, they shouldn't work on a truck
OP if you are eating stabilisers how is your track bar angle and condition?