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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It has been a while since I posted on this forum. I am not making or selling anything. I have posted this on couple of other forums and this is not for everyone.

Some of you have manual steering and I though you might like to see how added electric assisted power steering in my 1964 Falcon. Some of you may have come across the Saturn Vue conversions but I think I have found even cheaper and better alternative with no caster issues!

My testing shows that most Japanese branded cars and SUV with electric steering works in Fail-Safe mode if the control unit (ECU) is disconnected from CAN BUS. The effort in Fail-Safe mode feels just right like my 2013 Honda Civic. Not too much and not too little. Just like Hydraulic Steering, if the Electric Assisted Steering completely fails, the steering is back to completely manual mode maintaining car control.

The biggest advantage of using EPS from Toyota, Nissan and Kia/Hyundai is that the EPS works in Fail-Safe. The ECU for the column is mounted remotely and cab be disconnected and removed. The EPS from Saturn Vue and Chevy Cobalt has the ECU that cannot be disconnected and must be de-soldered for remote mount. More importantly there is no Fail-Safe and a 3rd party eBay module is needed in order for it to work. Additionally , people have reported that with after market eBay module, the Saturn EPS does not self center the steering wheel coming out of a turn. You have to make constant corrections.

Below is the list of Car that I know of that has Fail-Safe Electric Steering. Only 3 wire connection. Ignition On, Power and Ground to the Steering ECU. That's it !

2004-2009 Toyota Prius
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS)
2007-2009 Nissan Versa
2009-2012 Nissan Cube
2012-2014 Kia Soul

ECU Part Numbers:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius 89650-47102
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla 89650-02300
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS) 89650-52120 / 52050
2007-2009 Nissan Versa 28500-EM30A / 991-30303
2009-2012 Nissan Cube 28500-1FC0B / JL501-000932
2012-2014 Kia Soul B2563-99500 / 4PSG1312 / FPSG1312

The output shaft on Toyota is little larger than the rest and therefore the Borgeson 312500, 11/16 36 X 3/4 smooth bore weldable coupling should fits nicely. This couple fits the others as well. The Kia EPS is the biggest and appears to be most heavy duty. The Prius & Corolla EPS are very easy to find at salvage yards so this is the best bet. I picked up these EPS for testing for $35 each at my local pic-a-part

Note: As with any modification, there are risks. This post is intended to show how I did my modification. Use it at your own risk!

Waid
 

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Fantastic info.

How does the Falcon drive with the EPS in fail safe mode compared to the hydraulic system? Is it overpowered at cruise speeds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fantastic info.

How does the Falcon drive with the EPS in fail safe mode compared to the hydraulic system? Is it overpowered at cruise speeds?
My car is not ready for the street yet. In my garage, its comparable to my 2013 Honda Civic. I know couple of people that are using it and like it just fine. I guess it will depend on your preference and better than complexly manual steering!

Waid
 

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Thanks so much for posting this. Great job and I'm sure it will help a lot of people. I have a classic truck project in process that needs this upgrade. >:)
 

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Great information that I am sure will be used by a number of people.
I am curious about the steering rack modifications.. Do you feel that by removing the spool valve that you're resolving the self centering issue? Or does the EPS unit know where center is and provides power input to center the steering?
I've not had any issues with Fox body Mustang PS racks just connecting a hose from input to output lines on the Cobras I have worked on. My only concern here is the welding on the shaft and the metallurgy changes by the introduction of heat and mild steel wire.
There are a gazillion Saturns in the bone yards - mostly with failed CVT transmissions / Cash for Clunker cars. It may take a little while for the 4-5 year old donor cars listed to actually hit the bone yards in high enough quantities to bring the component prices down.
I would love to read more on how these drive and how much power steering input is actually there..

Thanks again for posting all this information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did the mod after seeing how the Miata guys did it. People have been doing this mod for a long time since a manual rack is not available for everything. This mod has nothing to do with centering. Google manaul rack conversion and you will get tons of hits.

On a completely manual rack, the Input Shaft and the Pinion Shaft is one piece. In a power steering rack, there is torsion bar that twist before the power comes on. Since this occurs very quick, you will never notice it. You will notice it if you lose power steering fluid.

The self centering issue has to do with the after market module that is sold on eBay to communicate with Saturn Vue EPS. When you turn the car, the Saturn Vue EPS provide assist. After coming out of the turn and you release the steering wheel, the steering wheel does not go back to center no matter how much caster if put in a car. The Saturn Vue EPS appears to hold the motor in place. This leads me to believe that the eBay module has just enough code to activate the EPS.

As far as the welding goes, I only tack spot welded the Input Shaft to the Pinion Shaft. This is just enough to remove the slop between the Input Shaft and Pinion Shaft.

Waid
 

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Once I build a car (FFR) I don't go back and change it... Until #7787. With the 17" tires and wheels it was a hand (arm) full at low speeds. I found the Saturn Vue mod and it was On. I ordered the Controller off ebay. Honesty the best 130 bucks I spent was on the EPS (electronic power steering) mod. After watching the video's, looks like the ebay controller is Not needed and several other EPS units that are usable.

The EPS made my FFR much more driveable, why did I cut the Cruise Control out of the harness!(?)
 

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Waid, great info here. Thank you. Is the 2007 Yaris unit the only one that you could use the VSS input for variable assist, or can you connect the VSS signal directly to the other units also to get variable assist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The holy grail is the Yaris with non-ABS which is very hard to find. This can we wired for variable power assist.

I have one

In the Yaris Car itself, the CAN BUS system gives the steering ECU to turn on. I found that without CAN BUS and installed in another car like Mustang or Falcon, it requires both Ignition On & VSS signal. However, no VSS signal is generated until the car moves so no assist until you start to move. When I tested it, I used Ignition On and LED pulse generator at the same time and it came on instantly.

I am in luck. Since I am using Explorer 5.0, it has a reluctor pulse generator on harmonic balancer. I also have a Explorer 8.8 which also has reluctor wheel. Therefore I will use two way relay. During engine cranking, I will provide momentary pulses to steering ECU from the harmonic balancer which will make it come on instantly. After the motor is on, crank if turned off, I will feed pulses from the rear end. This will give me variable power assist depending on speed of the car!

Waid
 
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