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Old 10-28-2008, 01:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Power Steering delete for fuel economy gain - anyone done it?

I already have removed my belt-driven radiator fan in my '95 Chevy S10 4 cylinder. It doesn't have air-conditioning, and I am not ready to detach my alternator (yet.)

Has anyone done a power-steering removal on a car?

I would imagine the power steering pump drags on the belt as much a air conditioning does.

Power steering is totally NOT needed MOST of the time while driving.

Does anyone have experience with disconnecting the power steering, replacing it with an electric power steering pump, or something similar.

I don't think I want to attempt to switch out for a manual steering rack. I don't even know if there are any out there or not, but that sounds like a lot of work.

Is there a way to simply reduce drag from the pump? That way, I can keep the same belt (instead of needing a shorter one.)

I also think the power steering pump has to be there for the belt to keep running the water pump as well.

On my radiator fan, I left the pulley, I simply removed the fan blade from it. I don't think I can do the same thing on the power steering pump.

Any thoughts on this?

I have seen on this forum references to power steering removal, but not a vehicle somebody has done it on yet!

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Old 10-28-2008, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I converted one about 25 years ago on a new Chevy Citation hybrid car project I worked on, but that was along time ago Making my memory fuzzier still, it wasn't my design, I was just machining the parts from sketches, did the bench and line pressure testing, fitting and assembly.

I know for a fact it's possible, if I remember right we used a 12v motor rated for continuous duty mated via lovejoy-type coupler, but if I remember right the amperage draw was not insignificant... in my view the only reason to use such an item was to have power steering assist when operating in EV mode.

I know you aren't going to do this, but having the above experience, I'd still advise you find a donor truck and scavenge all the tid-bits to make it manual steer. Surely less trouble than building your own electric power steering, but definately not as cool

good luck Ben
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was thinking that if a person was to do all the trouble to make an actual HYBRID pickup truck, THEN it WOULD be worth converting everything to either manual or electric.

That way, the truck would behave the same whether the engine was on or not, you were using the electric drive, or not, etc.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I removed my power steering belt a few weeks ago but the weather has gotten colder at about the same time so it's hard to tell. The car does pull better uphill though and i run an inch or two less on the vac gauge at cruise speed so i should see an improvement. If i get anywhere near my summertime high (low??) of 4.2L/100k then i'd say it's a worthwhile job removing the power steering belt. Don't need it with my tires at 55psi anyway....

ollie
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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bennelson -

It's on my todo list. From a reversible mod POV, I know I can cut the lines between the PS pump and the PS rack and re-connect them together with barbed hose fittings like this :

Husky Hose Repair Kit - HDA40700AV at The Home Depot


I know this will work, because it has been done on saturnfans.com for performance. In that situation, they also delete the PS Pump for cutting weight and get a different length accessory belt. I don't want to do that. I only want to take the PS out of the equation. Here is a picture of what I mean :



What I would really like to do is not even cut the lines. I want to see if I can find some fittings to match here :

Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies - Home Page

The idea would be to disconnect the hoses from the PS Pump and and close the loops with the fittings (keeping fluid in the hoses). This would make the PS rack into a "closed loop" manual steering. I would do the same for the PS pump (I would also need to get a short hose to go with the fittings).

If I post pictures of the PS pump connections, can you help me identify the parts/fittings in the Pegasus catalog?!?!?!

CarloSW2
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ive mentioned this before. On my spec miata i pulled the pump, all lines, and belts, and capped the rack off with a bolt after putting just a half cup of fluid inside it. You want to keep it wet and lubricated, but not full so as to be over pressurized.

pegasucks is a local company, good stuff, but usually $$.

feel free to PM me with ?'s
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've mentioned "Armstrong Steering" before too- just pull the belt and be ready for increased steering effort at parking speeds. On the go, it's alright.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did it on my E30 bmw. Its worth about 7-10% or 2-3mpg in my case. I removed the belt, pump, hoses and drained the rack before caping it. Its very important to drain the rack. The PS fluid does not lubricated the rack mechanism. Its lubricated with grease. Theres also very little chance that you can actually remove all the PS fluid in the first place. If you seal it up the inside will remain coated with PS fluid for many many years. 'Looping' the PS lines with fluid inside is a bad idea. It will increase the amount of friction inside the mechanism and make it that much harder to turn the wheel. Imagine stirring a cup full of PS fluid or a cup full of air. Which one is easier?
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Underdrive pulleys

You could use underdrive pulleys to slow down all of your belt accessories. They make them for most V8's, I'm not sure if they are available for 4 cylinders. They use them to free up horsepower in racing applications, which is normally at higher RPM. An underdrive pulley on a water pump might not be so cool on a car with a lot of grill block though. You might be able to just put a larger pulley on the power steering pump and get a longer belt.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
bennelson -

It's on my todo list. From a reversible mod POV, I know I can cut the lines between the PS pump and the PS rack and re-connect them together with barbed hose fittings like this :

Husky Hose Repair Kit - HDA40700AV at The Home Depot


I know this will work, because it has been done on saturnfans.com for performance. In that situation, they also delete the PS Pump for cutting weight and get a different length accessory belt. I don't want to do that. I only want to take the PS out of the equation. Here is a picture of what I mean :



What I would really like to do is not even cut the lines. I want to see if I can find some fittings to match here :

Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies - Home Page

The idea would be to disconnect the hoses from the PS Pump and and close the loops with the fittings (keeping fluid in the hoses). This would make the PS rack into a "closed loop" manual steering. I would do the same for the PS pump (I would also need to get a short hose to go with the fittings).

If I post pictures of the PS pump connections, can you help me identify the parts/fittings in the Pegasus catalog?!?!?!

CarloSW2
Couldn't a bypass valve be installed to turn off power steering at command?

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