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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/12/23 8:35 a.m.
feature_image

Power steering on an old race car?

Yes.

Our mentor on this project, Curt Vogt of Cobra Automotive, recommended that we put power steering in our Mustang. And he didn’t mean the absolutely wretched power steering that came on Mustangs back in the ’60s. The original setup operated more like power-assisted manual steering.

Curt suggested that we contact …

Read the rest of the story

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/12/23 11:07 a.m.

Not a bad setup, but not as modern as I was expecting...

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/12/23 11:41 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

My thought exactly. It's at least a generation or two removed from "modern". But it's less antiquated than what it might have had when new, so maybe "more modern".

It would be interesting to know why this is considered better than the Mustang PS. What does it bring to the table? Why did it require a new alternator? For the quoted $1935 plus shipping, what other options are there and why is this one the best choice?

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
1/12/23 11:57 a.m.

I see a lot of queries even from owner of even relatively light car (MGs and such) for after market power steering. Other than in cases of the physically handicapped who can't manage the modest steering effort required, I just don't get it.  Almost every power steering set up I have experienced robs at least some of the feedback and makes you feel like you are trying to do microsurgery with baseball gloves on.  Have car owners suddenly become frail and unable to steer unassisted?

I understand why one would need assist on modern cars with gumball tires, but not on older lighter weight models.

There are a few that aren't bad - my Z4M is actually quite good and perhaps the best I have experienced in a sports car, but in order to get that precise feedback, they had to throw away the electric PS steering system on the non-M cars which robbed far too much feel  and replace it with a new hydraulically assisted rack and pinion.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/12/23 1:33 p.m.

A lot of people equate weight with feel. It's not, but it's the go-to from the traditionalist :) If you think a boosted setup doesn't have feel, relax your grip on the wheel a bit. It helps a lot.

There's no benefit to working harder. Nothing wrong with a good PS setup, regardless of where the assist comes from. Note I said "good", there are certainly bad implementations out there, or ones that are designed for more isolation.

I've run PS on my rally/track miata since the start because driver fatigue is a real thing, and I'm not exactly a 98 lb weakling.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
1/12/23 2:31 p.m.

I have a friend who recently changed his '59 Tbird to  Cavalier power rack and pinion and also added a manual 4 speed floor shifter. He also owns an NC Miata for comparison purposes.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
1/12/23 3:51 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

A lot of people equate weight with feel. It's not, but it's the go-to from the traditionalist :) If you think a boosted setup doesn't have feel, relax your grip on the wheel a bit. It helps a lot.

There's no benefit to working harder. Nothing wrong with a good PS setup, regardless of where the assist comes from. Note I said "good", there are certainly bad implementations out there, or ones that are designed for more isolation.

I've run PS on my rally/track miata since the start because driver fatigue is a real thing, and I'm not exactly a 98 lb weakling.

You are spot on. Any bit of that tactile steering feel that might be gained without PS is lost on about lap 6 or 7 when fatigue starts to set in. Driving is all about weight transfer and timing............fatigue effects timing.

Most people racing cars aren't in professional driver shape.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/12/23 4:30 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

I have a friend who recently changed his '59 Tbird to  Cavalier power rack and pinion and also added a manual 4 speed floor shifter. He also owns an NC Miata for comparison purposes.

that is the setup I put in the Torino FH.  It was INCREDIBLY GOOD.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/12/23 5:50 p.m.

While we have not driven the car yet, we are confident that this system will work correctly and feel natural with our 13-inch steering wheel.

**********

Please be sure to let us know how this turns out!  I used to have a 1968 Cougar without power steering.  I was young and it was not hateful to drive.  But real power steering would have been nice.

te72
te72 HalfDork
1/12/23 11:42 p.m.

I'm still waiting on the day that somebody offers a rack that swaps into Mk3 Supras that doesn't leak. If I can figure out a way to integrate a cooler into the circuit (steering failures are what took a lot of these cars out of competition) I may try going back to OEM lines, but not sure of what I'd need to do for the cooler aspect. Tried converting to AN fittings, and while they work everywhere else, I've never been able to keep them from leaking at the rack manifold area. Of course, that's the hardest area to turn wrenches in. =P

j_tso
j_tso Dork
1/13/23 12:35 a.m.
Tom1200 said:
Keith Tanner said:

A lot of people equate weight with feel. It's not, but it's the go-to from the traditionalist :) If you think a boosted setup doesn't have feel, relax your grip on the wheel a bit. It helps a lot.

There's no benefit to working harder. Nothing wrong with a good PS setup, regardless of where the assist comes from. Note I said "good", there are certainly bad implementations out there, or ones that are designed for more isolation.

I've run PS on my rally/track miata since the start because driver fatigue is a real thing, and I'm not exactly a 98 lb weakling.

You are spot on. Any bit of that tactile steering feel that might be gained without PS is lost on about lap 6 or 7 when fatigue starts to set in. Driving is all about weight transfer and timing............fatigue effects timing.

Most people racing cars aren't in professional driver shape.

reminds me of this article from Motorsport.

An RS3100 Capri had its electric power steering removed because it wasn't allowed in Historic Touring Cup. This wore out the driver causing him to retire the car. They were able to remedy it with adjusting caster and scrub radius.

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
1/13/23 10:28 a.m.
Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
1/13/23 11:02 a.m.

In reply to j_tso :

My 1652lb Datsun is one of the most physical cars I've raced. It's a mix of sticky Hoosiers, oversteery car and castor.  Vintage races are only 10 laps (22-23 minutes) but at some track days I'm on track at speed for a full 30 minutes. At about minute 28 I can tell I'm starting to get tired.  Even in the winter I come in drenched with sweat.

Racing a car with a V8 lump in the lovely Florida humidity..................mmmm yeah power steering is a wise move. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/13/23 12:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

A lot of people equate weight with feel. It's not, but it's the go-to from the traditionalist :) If you think a boosted setup doesn't have feel, relax your grip on the wheel a bit. It helps a lot.

There's no benefit to working harder. Nothing wrong with a good PS setup, regardless of where the assist comes from. Note I said "good", there are certainly bad implementations out there, or ones that are designed for more isolation.

I've run PS on my rally/track miata since the start because driver fatigue is a real thing, and I'm not exactly a 98 lb weakling.

This. It's like that facet of the brake argument that always gets glossed over; you get people shouting at each other about whether brake upgrades make any difference once you can lock the tires and that clustersparkle* leaves no room for nuance like whether you can consistently apply the right amount of braking with either too light a  pedal or too heavy. For crying out loud, half the conversation around performance driving is being very good at how you taper brake application. And then there's the simple question of joy; good tactile feel is part of what makes driving a car fun.

Until I'm convinced that electric assist has generally gotten to the level of feel I hear Porsche has attained, I'm sticking with hydraulic assist. Source of hydraulic pressure is mostly a packaging question.

*I will always be grateful to the former coworker whose self-aware aversion to profanity gave us this substitute.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/13/23 2:15 p.m.

Is the power steering ratio any quicker on the Mustang than the (old) one? Does Ford have a quicker ratio option available?

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 3:07 p.m.

I put electric power steering into the 1965 TR4A Restorod I have been building. The kit has a modified Triumph steering column, electric motor, computer control, connection to the speedometer to cut the steering at speed and connects to the stock steering column in the engine compartment. Car looks completely stock in appearance, but under the dash is the modified column and electric motor and control module.

Have to say it was not cheap, but works really well, car is easy to steer when parking and has standard Triumph steering at speed.

 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
1/13/23 3:43 p.m.

My only real experience with this has been helping a friend put a Prius power assist motor on the steering of his utility side by side. Honestly, it works great and definitely got the juices flowing in my head for a cheap retrofit option.

Keith's comment about a light touch is very relevant, and I'll add that lower input forces can generally be more precise, especially as fatigue sets in.

I've spent plenty of time on track with manual steering and an E36 rack in my E30. I'm not on gumball tires, and I'm in decent shape, but depending on the track, it can definitely be a workout even in that light car.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/13/23 4:09 p.m.

In reply to dherr (Forum Supporter) :

My TR8 has a similar system from EZ Steer, installed by the PO replacing the OEM hydraulic setup. 

(Borat/on) It's a very nice. (Borat/off).

I definitely want it for my Volvo 1800ES, where with even moderate modern radial tires, has really heavy steering.  I understand the EZ Steer system is basically the GM parts pre-assembled, but at this point in my life, I'm fine with paying for plug-and-play options when available.

Unless there are some issue with rules, I can't imagine installing a hydraulic system over EPS if it's an option.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/13/23 5:22 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know how electric assist works but if your wiring shorts out, does it drive you into the ditch?

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
1/13/23 5:26 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Ian...I did not realize how hard the P1800 was to steer until I tried a friends stock P1800 ES while parking in a grass show-field. Yeah it has a smaller steering wheel, but that thing is a weight training machine!

The Molvo on the other hand, with a manual rack and a MOMO Prototypo is on the cusp of what I want to live with. Zero issue once moving, but by the time I get it parked in a busy show-field on a hot day, I am thinking both AC, PS  and a beer.  The under-dash technology seems like the best bet if it ever rises to the top of the list.

So does this mean you have a start date on the ES?

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/13/23 5:28 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know how electric assist works but if your wiring shorts out, does it drive you into the ditch?

If it's anything like a production epass system, it just is really, really heavy.  For a good month, we had cars where the epass system didn't work- so we had to be pretty careful in what kind of driving we were going to do- these were with early Ecoboost prototypes.   The steering still worked, just had to really work at it.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/23 5:34 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know how electric assist works but if your wiring shorts out, does it drive you into the ditch?

Theoretically the internal circuitry might be able to short out in a way that would apply force one way or another, but I've never heard of that happening and EPS systems are pretty common these days.

Theoretically it could happen with a traditional hydraulic setup too if the spool valve breaks.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/13/23 5:46 p.m.
NOHOME said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Ian...I did not realize how hard the P1800 was to steer until I tried a friends stock P1800 ES while parking in a grass show-field. Yeah it has a smaller steering wheel, but that thing is a weight training machine!

The Molvo on the other hand, with a manual rack and a MOMO Prototypo is on the cusp of what I want to live with. Zero issue once moving, but by the time I get it parked in a busy show-field on a hot day, I am thinking both AC, PS  and a beer.  The under-dash technology seems like the best bet if it ever rises to the top of the list.

So does this mean you have a start date on the ES?

Tough steering? I have 265 tires on my 1800e with a 13" steering wheel. I don't want to derail this thread, but you can install the Volvo's 164's 16:1 ratio box into an 1800 without too much work. There is something on the internet about the people that did it.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/23 5:50 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:
VolvoHeretic said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know how electric assist works but if your wiring shorts out, does it drive you into the ditch?

Theoretically the internal circuitry might be able to short out in a way that would apply force one way or another, but I've never heard of that happening and EPS systems are pretty common these days.

Theoretically it could happen with a traditional hydraulic setup too if the spool valve breaks.

Or bends, or gets gummed up.  Have replaced a few racks and a couple boxes for that.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/23 5:57 p.m.
alfadriver said:
VolvoHeretic said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know how electric assist works but if your wiring shorts out, does it drive you into the ditch?

If it's anything like a production epass system, it just is really, really heavy.  For a good month, we had cars where the epass system didn't work- so we had to be pretty careful in what kind of driving we were going to do- these were with early Ecoboost prototypes.   The steering still worked, just had to really work at it.

I've driven an ND Miata with a glitching EPAS rack. Same thing, you just lose assist and it's really heavy. Since the geometry of that car's steering was built around the crazy high assist you can get with EPAS, it was not an easy drive.

We've also told it (on the bench) to replay a drive log, and it actually would move the rack side to side as it applied the appropriate assist. But it was mostly just twitches, and would have been easy to overpower if you'd been driving. And that took the injection of incorrect data into the CAN system to make happen.

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