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Anyone fitted electric power steering?
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rcx822



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:26 am    Post subject: Anyone fitted electric power steering? Reply with quote

Has anyone had experience of fitting electric power steering? I've found some kits online, the last one was 1500. I'm wondering if an OEM unit from a modern car could be hacked to work in a car that never had any power steering.
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1120
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I had a company for a few years and we specialized in this. Fitted it to many many classics (MGB, Amazon, XK150, E-type, Jag Mk2, Alfa 2600, GTV and Berlina, Cadillac 60, Morgan, Chevy pick up, Wolseley 6/110, Aston DB4, Bentley Mk IV, Silver Cloud I, Saab 99, TR3, Mercedes 308 van, and many more).
We had a special (expensive!) insurance in case accidents were caused by our installed systems in cars from clients.

The units we used are OEM from for example Corsa, Clio and C1. The Corsa unit is the most powerful, it can cope with the heavy cars but it also the most bulky.
The EPS needs a controller and a ECU to operate. The controller feeds the EPS, this is not OEM as in original fitment the ECU gets its information from original sensors in the car. So, while you maybe can get cheap units from scrap cars (risky business) you still would need a controller. These are available from Ebay sellers for around 30 pounds.

BUT it is not a simple case of getting a kit and DIY install it. The unit needs to be fitted to the steering shaft which means precise cutting the shaft and welding adaptive ends to fit the EPS unit. Needless to say this is not something to be taken lightly as it concerns a primary safety function of a car - steering. Sturdy brackets will need to be tailor made to fit the EPS unit to a solid part of the car.
I would suggest you would at least need to have (access to) a lathe, good welding and electrical skills.

That said, I feel it is much an improvement for many cars. While I would not think of fitting a unit to my TR4 (we did this for a customer though, an older gentleman who had lost strength in his arms), in the Westminster for example it is a great success. It has turned the car is a much easier manouvrable car. Also in a XK150 it will transform the car.
My opinion of course, we always had many discussions with clients about the pros and cons. Each to their own I would think.
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rcx822



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Badhius,

That's great information.

The physical installation I'm savvy with, I can modify shafts, cut spines etc. It's the electrical side that concerns me. I just don't want to have to spend countless nights researching how to make it work as I've got a dozen other such tasks to do already on my project.

So the controller I can buy aftermarket. But how does the controller integrate with the ECU? Does it have to be compatible with the specific ECU that the car is running? What if there's no ECU?

This is for a kit car that will be running a Lexus V8 engine with OEM ECU (i.e. the ECU is also from a Lexus).
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rcx822



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Badhius, when you say I will need an ECU, do you mean the main Corsa (or other) ECU that the EPAS motor came from? Or do you mean that there is a dedicated EPAS ECU on the Corsa (I'm probably going for the Corsa unit).

Also, Google says that the aftermarket controller mimics the speed and RPM signal that would normally go to the ECU. But the aftermarket controllers won't vary the signal so you get a constant amount of power steering help. If this is right then did you ever take things further by actually sending a true RPM and speed signal to get variable power steering force?
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 1894
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I briefly looked at this for my current restoration, I think the idea of the control box is to allow the variable assistance but the cheap ones are (or were) adjusted manually by a control on the box to turn it up or down.
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goneps



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 601
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a word of caution. My Corolla has electric power steering, which I didn't realise until after I'd bought it. While it's fine around town, on motorways it's wooden, unresponsive, and totally lacking in feel. The result is that it requires constant concentration and is therefore quite tiring.

Fortunately this has not been a serious issue because the car never goes outside Auckland. My conclusion is that whereas hydraulic power steering has been developed to a fine degree of weight and responsiveness, electric systems have yet to achieve the same level of refinement.

Richard
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1414
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goneps wrote:
Just a word of caution. My Corolla has electric power steering, which I didn't realise until after I'd bought it. While it's fine around town, on motorways it's wooden, unresponsive, and totally lacking in feel. The result is that it requires constant concentration and is therefore quite tiring.

Fortunately this has not been a serious issue because the car never goes outside Auckland. My conclusion is that whereas hydraulic power steering has been developed to a fine degree of weight and responsiveness, electric systems have yet to achieve the same level of refinement.

Richard


I wouldn't assume they're all like that. I have a 2001 Corsa for everyday use and have been pleasantly surprised by the power steering on that - once I got over the culture shock of having it at all! It's very light at low speeds and makes parking a doddle, but doesn't feel excessively light at speed. I see Badhius mentioned Corsa units earlier in the thread, perhaps they're uncommonly good for what they are?
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 4150
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
This might not be directly applicable to anyone on here thinking of doing this, but, when thhe electric PSv started appearing on Corsas etc driving instructors were reporting that they were incapable of doing more than 2 or 3 Turn in Road manoeuvres consecutively,
Apparently the motors were overheating.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21129
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do insurers view these modifications - is it ok to do this at home, maybe with an engineer's report, or can it only be done by an approved specialist? Just curious.

RJ
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rcx822



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
How do insurers view these modifications - is it ok to do this at home, maybe with an engineer's report, or can it only be done by an approved specialist? Just curious.

RJ


I must have thirty modifications done to my jeep ranging from brakes to suspension and the insurance is cheaper than an unmodified car of the same model despite the value being higher. I guess that the insurers now recognise enthusiasts that they deem to be relatively safe. Hasn't this always been the case with classic car owners as well?

In terms of legality, the modifications must continue to meet construction and use. I'm not sure how construction and use ties in with EU type approval though. And I guess they must meet the construction and use rules of the year the vehicle was registered.

I heard something about "boy racer" type modifications, like stretched tyres, or some of the brake modifications that they do, are dangerous and that these lead to the attempt to implement German type rules that vehicles cannot be modified except with type approved parts (which need to be type approved to the vehicle). The government (or was it the EU) withdrew this proposed legislation before it ever became law.
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1414
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Penman wrote:
Hi
This might not be directly applicable to anyone on here thinking of doing this, but, when thhe electric PSv started appearing on Corsas etc driving instructors were reporting that they were incapable of doing more than 2 or 3 Turn in Road manoeuvres consecutively,
Apparently the motors were overheating.


I bet that was welcomed by people living on quiet backstreets near driving test centres... Laughing
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