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You're selling it? Whyyyyy?

...

It would be nice if the things you're paying for actually worked. Seems like almost every system that can go wrong or have a fault, has a fault. The body panels don't line up, the manual is garbage, your BMS is shit, your batteries are shit, EV controls is wonky, your parking brake is screwy.

Like, it's not enough of a challenge to build a kit car, you gotta run around and fix other people's problems too.
 

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Discussion Starter #202
You're selling it? Whyyyyy?

...

It would be nice if the things you're paying for actually worked. Seems like almost every system that can go wrong or have a fault, has a fault. The body panels don't line up, the manual is garbage, your BMS is shit, your batteries are shit, EV controls is wonky, your parking brake is screwy.

Like, it's not enough of a challenge to build a kit car, you gotta run around and fix other people's problems too.

Yes, it would be nice if everything worked as intended. I am sure that I am at fault some of the time. But I guess that is how it is when you are blazing new trails.

I am sure that I will sell it eventually...probably to fund my next build. :)
 

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Who'd you buy your batteries from again?

EV West?

Bad products, bad service?

Not speaking very highly of them.


Surprising to me how much better it looks with the right color of yellow paint.

I missed how you fixed the parking break issue. Just took it apart and put it back together and seemed to have fixed it? Just a loose wire then?
 

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Discussion Starter #206
Batteries came from EV West. I researched a lot before I bought from them. I even made a trip out to visit them. They have a lot of great expertise and know how. They were very pleasant to interact with face to face and answered all of my questions. My major complaint is their responsiveness/customer service. My emails will go weeks unanswered to the point that I am wondering if they are still in business. I will follow up an still no response. It is like pulling teeth. I don't know...maybe my expectations are too high.

The parking brake...pantera electronics made a comment in my YouTube video that based on the green light being on when my car was not switched on, that my 12V constant and 12V switched were swapped. I swapped them back and things seem to be working better (knock on wood).
 

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Really enjoying your build, although it's discouraging to see all the issues you have had to contend with. Hope you have smooth sailing going forward and I will look for more of your videos.
 

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We find brake lines leaking
I would be cautious about repeatedly tightening brake line fittings. If they're banjos with gaskets that might be okay, but hard lines with flare fittings are really only intended to be installed once; every time they are tightened parts distort.

From the post note about "brake lines" I wondered if you had an issue with the mix-and-match collection of components using incompatible fittings (fitting types typically used in North America and European are different), but if it is only one connection maybe that's not a problem.
 

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We find the steering rack leaking
In the video, you say that it is a manual rack... but it has hydraulic fluid in it and fittings. Are you sure that it is a manual rack? My guess is that this is a power rack which has been internally bypassed to defeat the power assist, and hasn't had the fittings properly capped.

I would guess, given the use of Audi components for the front suspension, that this is a VAG (VW/Audi/etc) rack... but who knows. It's hard to find a manual rack in a modern production vehicle, and there will be the same issues with any brand. If wanting a manual rack using modern powered components, I assume that the cleanest installation would use a rack intended for use with an electrically powered column, but with a non-powered column (from a vehicle which uses an electrically or hydraulically powered rack)... but of course when this kit was designed electric steering assist was too new.
 

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I took an old Subaru power steering rack apart

I found that the actual rack and pinion were grease lubricated - the power steering bits used hydraulic fluid

So for the rack in my car I simply capped off the inlets and outlets on the pinion part,
Drained the oil and connected the two ends of the actual ram on the rack together
 

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I took an old Subaru power steering rack apart

I found that the actual rack and pinion were grease lubricated - the power steering bits used hydraulic fluid

So for the rack in my car I simply capped off the inlets and outlets on the pinion part,
Drained the oil and connected the two ends of the actual ram on the rack together
Did you do similar to this conversion?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3SkSfO9uQ


To Snowdog: if you have an actual powered steering rack and trying to use it as manual, I would highly recommend you convert it to manual as shown in that video.
 

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Watched the video
WHAT A LOT OF CRAP

I would not let that idiot anywhere near my steering
Why do you feel that way ?

I’m not an engineer but from what little I know what he did makes sense. We are taking a steering rack engineered and designed to run with power steering fluid pressure assistance and trying to run it as a manual steering rack.

Internally it has a “disk“ on the rack that the fluid will push to power assist with steering. Disconnecting the pump and leaving fluid in it or simply draining it and leaving air will create resistance. The disk will act like a piston trying to push fluid or air. Not to mention the disk will drag against the cylinder wall. So at the very least I think it would be best to remove the that disk.

As for the pinion side, there is the valves that direct fluid per the steering wheel input. For this to work, a slight “free play“ exists in the steering wheel. If you steer left the valves will move to direct fluid appropriate to push the disk in cylinder left. And Vise Versa. At this point why not just remove this valves and weld the two halves solid ?

I have done this to my car . I can’t comment on driving feel yet, but with just the wheels off the ground there is a noticeable difference!
 

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I took an old Subaru power steering rack apart

I found that the actual rack and pinion were grease lubricated - the power steering bits used hydraulic fluid

So for the rack in my car I simply capped off the inlets and outlets on the pinion part,
Drained the oil and connected the two ends of the actual ram on the rack together
That's an ideal situation for manual conversion, and it is apparently typical (the actual rack and pinion are greased, not lubricated by the power steering fluid).

In snowdog's case, we see two port plugs, but no bypass hose, suggesting that it is internally bypassed, unless there is also an external bypass hose or tube that I just didn't notice. It may be that the port plugs are just junk, and other than using proper plugs everything appropriate has already been done.

To Snowdog: if you have an actual powered steering rack and trying to use it as manual, I would highly recommend you convert it to manual as shown in that video.
I assume that snowdog has a hydraulically power-assisted rack which is already not powered.

Did you do similar to this conversion?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3SkSfO9uQ
Watched the video
WHAT A LOT OF CRAP

I would not let that idiot anywhere near my steering
For someone who does his own work on a competition vehicle, he seems to have a surprisingly poor grasp of automotive terminology. He tries to use an adjustable wrench instead of a properly-sized wrench, then when that isn't big enough he uses pliers on a hex nut - that alone would keep me from allowing him to touch my vehicle. He does seem to understand how the bits work... just not what they're called or how to work on them.

On reassembly of the part on which he uses the pliers, he clearly has no idea of what method to use or the significance of the spring loading torque.

Overall I agree with Duncan: regardless of the value of the de-powering approach, the guy who made this video would not be allowed to touch any component of my vehicle.

I’m not an engineer but from what little I know what he did makes sense. We are taking a steering rack engineered and designed to run with power steering fluid pressure assistance and trying to run it as a manual steering rack.

Internally it has a “disk“ on the rack that the fluid will push to power assist with steering. Disconnecting the pump and leaving fluid in it or simply draining it and leaving air will create resistance. The disk will act like a piston trying to push fluid or air. Not to mention the disk will drag against the cylinder wall. So at the very least I think it would be best to remove the that disk.
That makes sense. The part which you are suggesting to remove (and which he does remove) is the piston of the hydraulic cylinder which is formed by the rack housing (the cylinder) and the rack which moves within it (the piston shaft). Of course, our "expert" on video calls this piston a "valve-type setup" because it has a ring seal which looks like the seals on the spool valve, which someone told him is a valve.

Using a rack from a column-powered electrically assisted steering system would avoid any hydraulics in the rack.

As for the pinion side, there is the valves that direct fluid per the steering wheel input. For this to work, a slight “free play“ exists in the steering wheel. If you steer left the valves will move to direct fluid appropriate to push the disk in cylinder left. And Vise Versa. At this point why not just remove this valves and weld the two halves solid ?
It isn't quite free play, since the way the rotary valve works requires that it be springy, rather than just loose, so increased force by the driver results in increased resistance the two parts of the pinon shaft as connected by a torsion bar (which is springy but has no free play) and a loose set of splines (as a backup, and limit on torsional movement). I agree that ideally this would be locked solid, and I realize that a custom pinion shaft is probably unreasonable, but there must be a better way than welding on a shaft with an integral gear, if you understand how it is put together. The heat-affected zone after welding is huge.

Using a rack from a column-powered electrically assisted steering system would eliminate all of the hydraulics, including this valve; the sensing function would be in the column (which wouldn't be used).

This video was offered by YouTube on the side when I watched the first video:
The ULTIMATE Guide For How To De-Power A Miata Steering Rack
This guy gives more clear directions, apparently knows what he is talking about, and has a better tool set... but still uses one adjustable wrench on a nut, and uses a screwdriver as a punch. This guy installs the lash adjuster properly, and explains what he is doing. This is, again, a Mazda MX-5 example, and all the details will vary between racks, so much of the nice detail is of no value to snowdog.
There was another MX-5 rack depowering video offered. I watched it in fast-forward jumps: it is the same piston removal without rotary valve locking as the second video (and this guy is better equipped than the second one, and everyone knows more about what they're doing the first guy).

In this version, the piston is removed, but the rotary valve is left alone. For someone starting from a stock rack, it would be interesting to remove the rack piston first, then drive the car and assess the result before locking the rotary valve as a second stage if that seems worthwhile... and if that second stage is done, to assess whether it made a useful difference. This video shows how much angular travel is allowed in the pinion shaft (again, for an MX-5): Miata spool valve slop.


In a quick survey of online material, it appears that welding the rotary valve is common (at least for the MX-5), but not universal. Many would consider Flyin' Miata to be the ultimate Miata (MX-5) experts, and their depowering guide does not modify the valve. A Miata.net discussion suggests that the valve accounts for one-third of the compliance in the steering system of a specific example Miata (including tires). There are few references to other models of cars, probably because few modern cars are light enough to use manual steering with a ratio as quick as a typical power-assisted rack.

A discussion in a forum for the Factory Five 818 kit - which is very comparable to snowdog's kit - suggests that they generally want manual steering (to avoid power steering complications) and typically de-power the stock (Subaru in this case) rack, with or without welding the components of the pinion shaft.
 

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^^ I’ve seen both video clips and a few others online . I posted that video because it was quick reference .

I can’t find any reasons why some don’t weld . Perhaps they want to reduce possible “bump steer” ? But after speaking with an owner that has done the full de-powering with welding they did not notice any additional bump steer. The Miata folks do have shops and vendors that offer de-powering conversions and here is one that does weld . https://www.miatacage.com/steering-rack-de-powering

Also another good “how to” that has the “slop” video you posted . They also weld it. Not saying it should be done or not. Just another source that does. https://motoiq.com/project-miatabusa-part-5-de-powering-the-steering-rack/2/

I don’t want to further hijack this build thread . Your correct it’s not actual “free play” on the pinion shaft , I was just trying to explain the movement that exists .
 

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Discussion Starter #220
I would be cautious about repeatedly tightening brake line fittings. If they're banjos with gaskets that might be okay, but hard lines with flare fittings are really only intended to be installed once; every time they are tightened parts distort.

From the post note about "brake lines" I wondered if you had an issue with the mix-and-match collection of components using incompatible fittings (fitting types typically used in North America and European are different), but if it is only one connection maybe that's not a problem.
All my connections require the double flare. I wasn't sure if the residual brake fluid was from initial bleeding. So, I cleaned off the outside of the brake line and made sure it was tight. If I find any more residual fluid, I will remake the brake line and replace the fittings.

Thanks for your comment.
 
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