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Discussion Starter · #202 ·
Hi Guys
I attended a neat EV event in Dunedin - they got 135 EV's all together for a photo event

I trailer the Device up there - 150 Km - bit beyond my range!
 

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I just finished reading through this thread, thank you very much for writing it up. I need to look into Volt battery packs.

I'd love to see you do something like a video tour of the details of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #206 ·
Hi Everybody
Darxus - I will have another go at doing that soon - my last attempt was pathetic!

I have a problem - I have started to get an intermittent fault with my controller

I switch on and - nothing - I have the 12v low voltage feed and the high voltage is there but nothing
I switch it all of the way off - switch it back on and it's fine

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
Hi Guys

Back on the road again

Paul Holmes told me what to do to update my controller hardware - a couple of resisters and a wire - no idea what they do!

So I took it all apart to do that - while it was all apart I did a battery check - all cells within 0.01v

Car is back together and tested

I have also been told my new tyres have arrived

A pair of 225/45/17 - NITTO

I will pick them up next week for the back
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Latest update

Did a "Bent Sprint" on saturday - Teretonga Park

This time the organisers had laid out a completely different type of track

It started out with the very short straights - chicanes and incredibly tight hairpin bends that I have been used to
Then it went out on a long straight with some sweeping high speed corners - some of the cars were going over 200 kph before the corners

I just don't have that sort of top end available!

The event
The new rear tyres are wonderful! - with the old ones the first thing I knew was they were both spinning and I was sideways off the track
The new super soft "Nitto's" not only had a huge amount more grip but they let go gradually so I was able to keep it on the track!

That was GREAT on the low speed part

On the high speed part I tried to keep below about 130 kph - but I started hitting the controller problem that I have seen a couple of times before
The controller would simply shut down - and I would freewheel - while reaching down to switch it all of the way off - wait a bit - and switch it back on
Then I would have power again!
But on every run I had at least two shutdowns!
I took it progressively easier - but at the same time my battery was running down so it became worse!

Paul (Paul & Sabrina) is going to have look and see what is happening

I have downloaded them my Youtube thingy -

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_5FQI_8-DZMjpslskj1oeA

Definitely the most fun track I have been on for years - despite the issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 ·
Great to see you out there getting into it.

I couldn't stand your steering ratio to be honest, way too much work, wanna cheap fix for that?
I'm all ears!

I have a power steering rack - it's about 2.8 turns lock to lock and not too heavy without the power - Subaru

By the old manual rack standards that is actually a fast rack!

I'm basically Subaru all around - including wheelbase - but I do sit a long way further back - like driving my Subaru sitting in the back seat!

So - whats the fix?
 

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I have a power steering rack - it's about 2.8 turns lock to lock and not too heavy without the power - Subaru
What is the current state of the hydraulics? Is it
  • bypassed (still filled)
  • just drained, or
  • drained, seals removed, and greased for lubrication?

Depending on the state, it may be made easier to turn (less drag), or have hydraulic power restored, electrically assisted (in the column), or be completely replaced with either a slower manual rack or an electrically powered rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #212 ·
Hi Brian
I took a rack apart to see how it worked
It was grease lubricated with the hydraulics working two cylinders - to assist

I drained out the hydraulic fluid and cross connected the two cylinders - air and any residual oil can flow easily cylinder to cylinder

When the wheels are off the ground it feels about the same as any manual rack

When driving it is faster than the old manual racks we used to use - they were all 3 or 4 turns lock to lock - which means that it is heavier

But because I only have 405 Kg on both front wheels it's not too bad

I'm steering a LOT on that video because the corners of the low speed bit were incredibly sharp - two hairpins where we use the width of the track to do 180 degrees
 

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... It was grease lubricated with the hydraulics working two cylinders - to assist

I drained out the hydraulic fluid and cross connected the two cylinders - air and any residual oil can flow easily cylinder to cylinder

When the wheels are off the ground it feels about the same as any manual rack
Thanks Duncan. :)

So it's both drained and bypassed, but the seals are still in it. Although it sounds like the seal drag isn't bad, you could help it a bit by removing the seals entirely; then the plumbing can be removed. This is commonly done on some racks, such as NA/NB Miata racks in various projects without a power steering pump.

Past that, to make a significant difference by restoring powered boost, the easiest fix is to put the fluid back in and hook it back up... but to an electric pump from a factory electro-hydraulic steering system. The other fix that doesn't mess with the rack itself is to swap the column for an electrically assisted column (rather than an electric rack) - lots of cars use that design now, but it's not a trivial installation. There are electrically-assisted column kits intended for motorsports which should work with any rack; I don't know if any Subaru (for maximum compatibility) powers the column instead of the rack. And of course you could swap it for an electric rack.

Any of the electric options could involve work with CAN communications, but the motorsport retrofit kits should avoid this, and there are specific pumps for which use off of a network has been worked out.
 

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But because I only have 405 Kg on both front wheels it's not too bad
That's pretty similar to our stock Spitfire, which has a similar front axle load, rack-and-pinion steering, a fast ratio, and no power assist. I'm fine with it, but some drivers are surprised by the high effort, at least initially.
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
That's pretty similar to our stock Spitfire, which has a similar front axle load, rack-and-pinion steering, a fast ratio, and no power assist. I'm fine with it, but some drivers are surprised by the high effort, at least initially.
Hi Brian - whats the ratio on your Spitfire?

All modern cars are a LOT lighter on the controls! - Back in the late 80's I had a Lancia Spyder - lovely car but no power assist

I took a company Escort (mk3) away on business for a couple of days - when I got back in my Lancia none of the controls would move!

The steering was stuck - the clutch was frozen - even the throttle was heavy
It took me quite a while before I was sure that nothing had gone wrong - they were meant to be like that
 

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Hi Brian - whats the ratio on your Spitfire?
I would have to dig the car out of storage to check, but it looks like there were two Spitfire racks, with 2.6 ("quick") and 3.5 (standard) turns lock-to-lock. Since the steering angle at the limit is impressively high (no CV joints to worry about), the steering is quicker than even those values would suggest, and with the short wheelbase the effect is dramatic. I will check, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is the quicker rack; on the other hand, we have 215/50R13 tires, which make the steering heavier than with the stock 155R13 tires.
 

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Duncan, in short you make up a simple reduction drive, overdriven in this case.You need a steering shaft end with the same spline as your current shaft so you don't have to change stuff there.

I use a piece of tube turned a little inside at each end to make an internal step to accept the appropriate bearings that take the cut down 2nd steering shaft with a flange welded or circlip'ed one end, and inner bearing spacer tube.

The 2 sprockets are cheap industrial type welded on, as is the chain industrial.

I then weld 2 5/8ths or 16mm (whatever) bolts to the tube.

A simple plate with 2 holes to accept those 2 bolts with a nut either side of the plate to enable me to adjust the chain tension. Another shorter gusset plate to make triangulation, all welded on to the master column (be aware of nylon bushes).

I have done this 4 times to my own cars over the years and helped Mates and others to do it - never any trouble but it is your steering so over engineer it for your own sake.
 

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Duncan, in short you make up a simple reduction drive, overdriven in this case.
Yes, a mechanically slower mechanism is a way to reduce steering effort, but at the expense of having to spin the steering wheel even more.

The other route to slower steering is a different rack. Power steering has been standard equipment for a long time; the last unassisted rack I had was in a car built 25 years ago. The racks are still out there - it's just a matter of matching or adapting to length, rack travel, style/size of tie rod end, mounting points, and input shaft. For instance, that Spitfire rack is interchangeable with at least three ratios, up to 4.5 turns lock-to-lock; the slowest was used on six-cylinder models due to their high front axle load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #219 ·
Hi Largo

Here that would NOT fly! - there is no way that I could get a chain drive steering system through certification!

I have seen chain drive systems use on off road machines but I have never seen one used on the road - yes I have - a steam traction engine!

When I'm driving I'm not conscious of having to steer excessively - even on the twisty bits - I've got a grass even this Saturday - I will think about when driving

If I do decide to do anything about it it will be by fitting another rack and pinion - Mine is off an old Subaru GT - I bet there are faster ones out there
 

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