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Old 09-27-2009, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric Power Steering w/o hydraulics

I'm about to take a deep plunge into the ecomodding arena, but I'm not quite ready to reveal my big surprise
You'll have to wait a week for that.

What I am ready to do is brain storm a bit! I was considering a bunch of mods, and wanted to leave myself open to going EV within 2 years so I'm considering mods that I dont have to "undo" if I go EV. I've heard about how much a typical hydraulic PS system steals from a car, I've heard everything from 5.5hp to 8 - 10 hp. One big problem I keep seeing is people using electric motors to power traditional hydraulic setups. Well one step in the right direction, but why not something like a servo or stepper motor hooked up to the lower half of the steering system and a position sensor (uhmm potentiometer seems perfect)? I've been doing a lot of googleing and ebay searches trying to see if that's something that's done in other cars and the only thing I can find are some pictures of what might be what I'm talking about.

ELECTRIC POWER STEERING COLUMN GM HOT RAT STREET ROD:eBay Motors (item 160364539271 end time Sep-29-09 19:24:35 PDT)


2008 Pontiac G6 Electric Power Steering Assy:eBay Motors (item 230376727997 end time Oct-11-09 10:00:08 PDT)

I work at a driveshaft shop and we do make steering linkages (that's the right term correct?) for firetrucks and ambulances. I'm sure as long as it's close I could have the guys in the shop weld up my current system with something like that.

Anyone have any knowledge to share on a direct electric (drive by wire) systems and/or knowledge about what I'm looking at in those pics?

Thanks in advance, and I promise you'll all be excited in a week!

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Old 09-27-2009, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think any power steering is actually needed for midsize and smaller cars.
If America manages to eliminate obesity, we would save as much fuel as if every American were to stop driving for three days every year. To be slender like Tiffany Yep is to be a real hypermiler...

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Old 09-27-2009, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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even at low speeds? my friends power steering went out in his POS kia, not sure what model exactly it was like a tiny tiny suv, and well he grew some muscles just trying to get out of his driveway everyday.

At any rate these parts seem to be going for 50 - 75 bucks which is a drop in the bucket. Just don't know if they are what I think they are. ya know?
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Erm, plenty of cars use electric only power steering. Its essentially a motor mounted to the steering column/rack.
eg: Opel/Vaxhall Corsa
Fiat: Punto MK2 / 500
Some version of the MR2

So, maybe just use an existing one and adapt it to your car?
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vinny1989 View Post
So, maybe just use an existing one and adapt it to your car?
That's what I'm hoping to do. wondering what a good one to use would be that would be a nice starting point.

thanks for letting me know that this is something other cars do. Whenever I tried to look it up I kept finding electric hydraulic conversions and that's not what I want.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Rube Goldberg syndrome? Be a man and throw a manual box in it, I was but a sprig when I drove farm trucks and tractors around with manual steering. Less weight, less cost, less complexity, little cars aren't that hard to steer.

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Right. A small car with a failed power steering system is hard to steer because the rack is geared differently, plus there's hydraulic fluid that you have to pump out of the way with your arms. Get a manual rack.

The Honda Insight has electric power steering (EPS), which is presumably lightweight like everything on the car, but you need the rack, steering column, and EPS computer. Then you have to figure out how to attach your tie rods to it.

Looking forward to the big reveal.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe you should try to mount an A/C clutch on the power steering pump. Seems like that's the easiest way to get what you're after.

Using electric power steering in conjunction with a traditional rack, like what Chevy does with the Cobalt is quite effective. The Cobalt which is no lightweight is rated 37 highway.

However, going to a purely steer by wire system is a big no-no. Think what would happen if the motor burned out or you blew a fuse on the highway. I don't see mechanical racks disappearing any time soon.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As vinny1989 mentioned there are a few available already.

One well worth a closer look is the Honda NSX set up.
Link below:
Electric Power Steering

My approach would be estimated the weight and forces on the steering wheels and find a standard production unit as close to where your calculations tell you yours should be. Then look around to get it all fitted.

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I can't even remember all the cars I drove without power steering, but one example is a 1967 383 Formula S Barracuda. No power steering or brakes with discs up front. That sucker would put callouses on your vertebrae stopping it.

Another was a 1959 Corvette but the brakes in that car were a crude joke.

Mt Echo has power steering and if I get the chance it will be replaced with the manual
steering that was available.


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