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Old 10-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Power Steering - I

I decided to add power steering this winter.

The only reason is that track week ends really wear me out. For the next couple of days my neck and shoulders are so painful I can't do much of anything.

I don't expect to gain any lap time. I actually expect to lose a little bit, since some HP will be sent to the PS pump instead of the rear wheels. Life's full of trade offs.

I did a lot of research on parts. Price was not the deciding factor, although it did play a role in some of the parts selections. I wanted the best parts available; not the most expensive or the fanciest, but the best. I want race parts that I can install and beat on forever without a failure. I learned a long time ago that I can't afford cheap parts.

I also decided to switch from a V belt to a serpentine belt. Although that costs a little bit more, it solves some installation issues. That also means I have to install a new water pump. Oh, well.

The new pump will be installed on the driver's side head, using a Breeze bracket. The breeze bracket seems to mount the pump lower than the others. That leaves me room for the other stuff mounted in the same area.

Speaking of that, I'll have to fab some new brackets for the coils and airil separator. I'll be using a remote reservoir to allow for the MII steering shaft. I may mount that on the engine using the same modular bracket. But I'm thinking it may work better to mount that on the F panel. I'll just have to wait and see how it all goes together.

I ordered all the parts this week end, and it wasn't cheap. The only place where I could reasonably save some money would be the pump. A good AGR racing pump is about $400 less. But, it's not as good a part (IMO).

The AGR rack I ordered is the standard Mustang rack. That would be too "twitchy" with a standard pump. The KRC pump allows easy flow volume adjustment to adjust the rack sensitivity and feel. By buying a standard rack, I can easily add more or less sensitivity, depending on what I want. That's the theory, anyway. The Mustang rack is about $100 cheaper, too.

A rebuilt Autozone Mustang rack is about $200 cheaper. But, you get what you pay for (if you're lucky)

I expect it will take me about a month or so to get the installation done. Custom installations are always time consuming.

PN Cost
Breeze Automotive
Adapter Fitting Kit .....70516..... $26.00
Pump bracket .....70608 .....89.00
Serpentine belt,52.9" .....K060529 .....25.00
-6 braided hose, 6' .....21102 .....29.40
-6 straight fitting, x1 .....21523 .....7.50
-6 90* fitting, x3 .....21524 .....52.50
-10 braided hose, 3' .....21106 .....26.85
-10 120* fitting, x1 .....21526 .....20.00
-10 45* fitting, x1 .....21525 .....17.50
Shipping ?


KRC
Pulley, mill finish .....20015007 .....$55.11
Alum pump .....63200000R .....624.52
Resevoir, round .....91504000 .....87.60
-6 flow valve .....25306000 .....23.29
Shipping 0.0

Summit Racing
Rack & Pinion .....AGR-712581 .....$279.95
Pulley set .....BBK-1553 .....119.99
Water Pump, reverse .....EDL-8840 .....189.95
Shipping .....12.95


Total Cost .....$1687.11
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 3.1 that is hard to steer at very low speeds. I'm not sure it is a big enough problem enough to spend the time and money necessary to fix it with power steering. Unlike you I do not race and only drive a few hundred miles a year. However, it would be nice to parallel park it for example without having a wrestling match with the steering wheel.

It would be nice if you continued this post (or supplemented it somehow) in detail so that those of us interested in completing a transition to power steering could use your experience as a guilde. Thanks..
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bob we are both in the same boat.

I am a little shocked over your prices.

I have priced a KRC pump with pulley and reservoir for around $685.
I have a 6" crank pully so the pump speed will be high with a 4.2" pump pully. These pumps can go up to 9000RPM's.
http://www.jegs.com/i/KRC/612/63202100/10002/-1?parentProductId=

I already have a Breeze drivers side mounting bracket.
Breeze Automotive Factory Five Racing

I need a new rack, I may go witha autozone 2.5.
Also some fittings and lines.

All I have to do is mount the pump in the drivers side location and move the alternator to under the blower using the blower bracket.
I will be adding a cooler to help with the heat.

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Old 10-28-2012, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bob,

Just a note, i bought the less flow valve fittings(#4-#7) and ended up using the least assist valve (#4). I have an 2.5 turn rack with a small 13" wheel.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you consider electric power steering? At that price it seems to be a wash. No horsepower robbed either I only mention it because I've been considering it.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren View Post
Did you consider electric power steering?...No horsepower robbed either...
Darren, maybe I'm missing something here or am not interpreting your post correctly. Can you explain please? The power to move the rack ultimately comes from the engine....

Engine (torque) > Alternator (electricity) > Pump (hydraulic pressure) > Rack movement

...whereas traditional power steering has less steps...

Engine (torque) > Pump (hydraulic pressure) > Rack movement

To me it would seem that, for equal hydraulic power at the rack, electric PS would be less efficient (has more losses). The engine has to work harder to do the same amount of work.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bob, I didn't see a cooling coil or heat sink on your parts list. Not a bad idea to increase the life of your components esp after a long track day.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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marks right, in the end it is the same difference in hp loss. Its just what you prefer.

I dont run a steering cooler on the RR track. I know you need them for autoX
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lightbulb

Wild swing: If you are building a performance car you want all the power the motor develops to accelerate the car. Using electric power steering as well as electric fans uses energy from the battery which gets replenished any time the motor is running. The power to turn the fan and the power steering pump is a drain on power to accelerate the car. A lot of drag race guys even use electric water pumps and fuel pumps to extract every fraction of a HP to accelerate the car a number of these guys do not run any kind of a charging system they just charge the battery betwen rounds. Modern F1 cars use a KERS ( Kinetic energy restoration system) to recharge the battery pack as do a number of current Hybrid cars. I think any electric powered system is the way to go for performance and overall energy efficiency.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've been checking out fast Freddie's EHPS system. Pricey, but what's another $1500 at this point...

After cruizing around the last couple of days, I've decided the manual steering is a little harder than I'm willing to deal with, especially since I'm wanting to do autox in the future.

Seen plenty of good feedback for the Fast Freddie's system, but anyone have any negatives?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Very similar to what I just ordered. To save some money , I went with a Jones racing double water pump pulley, so I didn't have to spend the money or time replacing the water pump. I hope i dont regret going with the faster AGR rack, 2.75 turns lock to lock. Others said they really like it. Please post a follow up when you get it all done.

Do you think you will need rack extenders? I discovered today that I don't have enough threads for the outer tie rods.

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I autocross w/ Fast Freddie and can tell you his kit is top notch stuff. He is also very happy w/ Autozone racks and has used 10-20 of them in cars he has worked on. I used one a month ago to go from a 3.0 turns to 2.5 turns. It was approx $105 including shipping to my house. One advantage w/ the electric system is the instant adjustability of effort by simply turning a knob. Also, since the pumps were originally used on a small japanese car, they were designed for something near an FFR in weight. My feeling is that there has to be an advantage vs redoing stuff originally designed for a car a 1000 lbs heavier. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tickwomp View Post
I've been checking out fast Freddie's EHPS system. Pricey, but what's another $1500 at this point...

After cruizing around the last couple of days, I've decided the manual steering is a little harder than I'm willing to deal with, especially since I'm wanting to do autox in the future.

Seen plenty of good feedback for the Fast Freddie's system, but anyone have any negatives?
After a lot of research, I bought the system from Fast Freddie, and will install in my Mk3 this winter. It is a little pricey, but I would have to change out the also expensive March front dress on my SBF in order to add an engine driven pump, so it was an acceptable cost alternative. The only negative I've heard about the system is some say the pump is loud. FYI, it's a Denso pump originally installed on Toyota MR2's. Some don't like the noise, others say they can't hear it once the engine is running.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sorry for getting OT here fellas, but now were' talking stuff right up my alley. I don't often get a chance to contribute info to the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cone Basher View Post
...Using electric power steering as well as electric fans uses energy from the battery which gets replenished any time the motor is running...these guys do not run any kind of a charging system they just charge the battery betwen rounds.
CB, I understand what you're getting at.

However, in a running street car with a charging system, power will flow from the current source with highest voltage; the alternator. Best case (unloaded) the battery's voltage is approx. 12 volts. A spinning alternator produces 14 or more volts. Current will flow from the alternator only as long as the system voltage remains above battery voltage. Only when the current flow out of the alternator is high enough to produce a voltage drop large enough to drop system voltage to that of the battery's nominal voltage will current begin flowing out of the battery. Even then, how much current flows from the battery as compared to the alternator will depend on the internal resistance of each.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warsaw Jim View Post

It would be nice if you continued this post (or supplemented it somehow) in detail so that those of us interested in completing a transition to power steering could use your experience as a guilde. Thanks..
I plan to do just that. But, I do expect this project to take 4-6 weeks at a minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra 302 View Post
Bob we are both in the same boat.

I am a little shocked over your prices.

John
You and me both! I did a lot of shopping around for both the best price and service. At some places, the price looks good. But when you contact them, they couldn't get what I wanted, or the price on the web site was incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor View Post
Bob,

Just a note, i bought the less flow valve fittings(#4-#7) and ended up using the least assist valve (#4). I have an 2.5 turn rack with a small 13" wheel.
Trevor
As said above, I bought the #6 valve. I'll start with that on the street, and see how I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren View Post
Did you consider electric power steering? At that price it seems to be a wash. No horsepower robbed either I only mention it because I've been considering it.
Yes, I did consider it. "No horsepower robbed" - not possible. Life is full of trade offs. You just have to pick what you're willing trade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobramd View Post
Bob, I didn't see a cooling coil or heat sink on your parts list. Not a bad idea to increase the life of your components esp after a long track day.
I did consider it - and I still am. I'm not sure I need it. The KCR pump is supposed to be pretty efficient, and it won't be spinning that fast. I'll keep an eye on the temps during highway and track driving. If the temps are too high, I'll add a cooler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emac View Post
Very similar to what I just ordered. To save some money , I went with a Jones racing double water pump pulley,

Do you think you will need rack extenders? I discovered today that I don't have enough threads for the outer tie rods.

Ernest
I considered a variety of pulley configurations, including the double water pump pulley. I looked at so many pulleys, it made my head swim. In the end, I went with simplicity over cost.

Not sure about the rack extenders. Once I get the rack installed I'll see how the tie rod ends line up for bump steer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
After a lot of research, I bought the system from Fast Freddie, and will install in my Mk3 this winter. .
I have no doubt that Fast Freddies equipment is top notch. That system uses an electric motor to drive a hydraulic pump to provide the power assist.

Engine power is converted to electricity, which is converted to motor power, with is converted to hydraulic power, which is then converted to steering power. It's a basic law of physics that with each conversion, efficiency is lost. I also suspect (but could be wrong) that it might be a bit heavier.

Again, life is full of trade offs.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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One misconception I keep seeing here is that electric power steering and electric water pumps are free power. They are not. The power, as stated above, comes from the alternator, which comes from the engine.

Don't think that because you can spin your alternator by hand that you could do that with an electrical load. It takes horsepower. Look at how big an engine is hooked to an emergency generator. Physics doesn't give anything up for free.

Drag racers can gain some HP by only using a battery and no alternator at all. That is where the "electirc water pumps give you HP" comes from.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Interesting discussion... The electric power steering pump used for Freddie's system was originally designed for the Toyota MR2, where with the mid-engine design they used an electric pump in the front for power steering to eliminate the need for hydraulic hoses to run the length of the car. Later versions added a speed sensitive feature to reduce the assist at higher speeds. Electric pump driven power steering is now nearly the norm on newer DD's because of the speed sensitive feature, allowing the pump to only be drawing power when needed. In this way, it actually does use less engine power than an engine driven pump that runs all the time. Kind of the same thing as when cars switched from engine driven cooling fans to on-demand electric fans. It's not free power, but it's more efficient.

Another factor promoting electric power steering (and other accessories, for that matter) are cars with start-stop technology (e.g. engine stops when stopped at a signal) and the need to keep accessories running without engine power. Start-stop is expected to become much more widespread in the future.

But, as I stated earlier, I'm adding power steering with Freddie's system to my Mk3 to eliminate changing the front dress, changing the water pump, etc. Bolting in the electric pump and running the lines is a relatively easy add-on. I don't have any illusions that it's necessarily a big power saver vs. an engine driven pump. My new Mk4 build, just starting, will have power steering from the start and I will set it up from the beginning with an engine driven pump.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Cone basher, I dont think that is true. The alternator, which is driven by the engine, provides power for the car. The battery is there to turn the starter and then acts as a cushion. You can take the battery out once started and drive the car away.
You can see my engine draw down at idle when the massive 3500cfm cooling fan kicks on. The alternator load is significant. Im not sure what the benefit of having an elec. water pump vs. the regular style.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Holy crap...you spend more for steering than I spent for my donor car!!!
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wildswing: I see your point but I still think it takes less energy out of the equation to spin the alternator then it does to constantly turn the power steering pump to circulate fluid. If you are running a carbed motor the energy from the battery/alternator does not having to deal with the EFI system. If you have a temp sensor to turn the electric fan(s) one this is also a plus energy wise.
Trevor: If you are running a 3000+CFM fan I understand the energy draw.
Neat discussion!! I still like the electric PS idea because it is a cleaner look to the front of the motor and adds less rotating mass (pulleys). No one builds these cars for energy efficiency and if you guys have a motor driven power steering that works for you that is all that is great.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Just because I am a nerd, I want to comment on the efficiency of PS and water pumps vs their electric cousins. Keep in mind that an electric pump will be single speed. The crank driven components are driven at variable speed, from idle to 6000 or whatever your shift point is at. These components must be able to do their job at idle, just the same as your shift point, so they become VERY inefficient at higher rpms. I have seen power draws for power steering pumps into the 20+ hp range on the dyno in the upper rpm range. So yes, there can be some sizable power gains when switching to electric driven components, but mostly in the upper rpm range where crank driven parter loose significant efficiency.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:09 AM   #22 (permalink)
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good point Brian, makes a lot of sense
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:25 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Just add a Flux Compasitor and no more problems!

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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P/S can be done for a lot less money than what I'm spending. Used factory parts can be had for very cheap. And most donor cars have P/S already, so you already own the parts. It's almost free. Hard to beat free.

But, this is also a race car. If you lose a track day because your your factory pump popped a seal, you havn't really saved any money. I'm spending money on the very best high performance parts I can find. Expensive now, cheaper later.

As for the electric steering, I took a close look at that. A very nice set up, no doubt. I'd be really interested in seeing some real data on efficiency. I suspect that there are so many variables, that it would be hard to compare. And I think for a street car, the difference wouldn't be enough to matter.

The folks at KRC tell me their pump cost <5hp at the top end. Gordon told me a factory pump costs 25hp.

In the end I decided against the electric steering for a number of reasons. But it was a close call.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:27 AM   #25 (permalink)
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P/S can be done for a lot less money than what I'm spending. Used factory parts can be had for very cheap. And most donor cars have P/S already, so you already own the parts. It's almost free. Hard to beat free.

But, this is also a race car. If you lose a track day because your your factory pump popped a seal, you havn't really saved any money. I'm spending money on the very best high performance parts I can find. Expensive now, cheaper later.

As for the electric steering, I took a close look at that. A very nice set up, no doubt. I'd be really interested in seeing some real data on efficiency. I suspect that there are so many variables, that it would be hard to compare. And I think for a street car, the difference wouldn't be enough to matter.

The folks at KRC tell me their pump cost <5hp at the top end. Gordon told me a factory pump costs 25hp.

In the end I decided against the electric steering for a number of reasons. But it was a close call.
KRC is also trying to sell you something...just sayin'
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #26 (permalink)
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The folks at KRC tell me their pump cost <5hp at the top end. Gordon told me a factory pump costs 25hp.
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KRC is also trying to sell you something...just sayin'
That is very true! That's why I mentioned both figures.

This is the quote from Norm, at KRC:

"I'm always asked what hp loss will be and that is a really open question because there are a lot of factors that determine the hp used. The pump works the hardest when the car is not moving and it’s being turned. As the car moves the pumps works less. No steering input or very little at high speed the pump consumes very little power. Heavy braking, sharp turn ins and sticky tires at the same time requires more power from the pump and also from the engine. There are no specific horsepower numbers such as 5hp for this and 2 hp for that because it varies on the situation. I will say that the aluminum Pro Series pump requires the least horsepower compared to our cast pump and for that matter the competitions pumps."

I also got this from Norm:

"Flow valves increase or decrease flow and with that add or take away assist, but in no way do they change the pumps pressure. In our industry we hate the two words pressure and suction. To us these words do not have the meaning that the general motoring public thinks they do, in fact they are parts store terms for those who buy and sell power steering hoses. The terms input and return are the proper ones. Power steering pumps actually feed by gravity. Under normal condition they do not suck the fluid in. They can but if they are forced into suction it is because the natural flow has been interrupted."

In my research, I found a lot of people talked about using the flow valves to decrease pressure, and decrease hydraulic assist. The flow valves only adjust flow, not pressure. Otherwise, they'd be called pressure valves. I ordered a flow valve that's two steps down from standard. Then I can adjust from there.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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"I will say that the aluminum Pro Series pump requires the least horsepower compared to our cast pump and for that matter the competitions pumps."

I'd be curious to know how that is achieved given the basic design between the cast and aluminum pumps are very similar, use the same size pulleys, use the same flow valves, etc. The only thing I can imagine is that the aluminum version produced less pressure overall and therefore probably consumes less hp too. I imagine it to be similar to the comparison between low flow and high flow water pumps where the difference is in the impeller design.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I just read an interesting story in the new Car and Drive mag I get. Looks like electric power steering adds 1 mpg to cars that have it. This means the energy that is used to power the mechanical pump is now available to accelerate the car or get better MPG. It does have some down side for handling feel though, nice read check it out.
I also found some info on electric fans vs mechanical fans for Trevor and found the following:
With an electric fan you have no parasitic drag on the motor once the fan shuts off, it flows the same amount of air any time it is on since speed does not vary with motor speed. It does add a load to the alternator when it is on which you can definitely detect when it kicks on at low speed. The electric fan shuts off once the motor temp drops.You can calculate the power draw from an electric fan, here is an example:
Assuming the electric fan draws 6 AMPS at 14 VOLT this means the fan needs 84 Watts of power to spin P=VxI). If 1 hp=746 WATTS this is .11 hp when it is running. Using this .11 hp it is about 1% of the total for a 100 hp motor. This translates to a 10 or 11 hp loss for a mechanical fan on a 100 hp motor.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:56 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Electro-hydraulic power steering systems, like from Freddies, in theory should have no different feel than an engine driven hydraulic pump. Newer designs of electric power steering actually have motors directly in the steering system. This is where some are noting a different feel.

Ready for more electric on your car? Electric parking brakes are very common on many European cars, and are now starting to show up over here. Electric assist on the primary brakes is now on production on some cars (pretty limited) but is expected to become pretty common. Electronic throttle control (e.g. no physical cable) is pretty much the norm now.

All of this is about increasing efficiency. But it's also about safety beyond just traction control and ABS, e.g. accident avoidance, lane departure avoidance, etc. All these electric assist devices can be programmed to operate without the driver. Can you say fly by wire? Yes, it's happening.

OK, hijack over.
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