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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't visit the forum much anymore, but I thought I would post on my recent EPS install. So my car is a MK3 completed in early 2007 and registered as a 2005. Originally built in Granite Bay ,CA. by me garage paint and all. It's a basic aluminum headed 5.0 roller cammed 4 barrel double pumper 4 into 1 headers, solid live axel 15 inch PSE wheels a/c heat and heated seats and almost forgot an APE hard top with flip up sliding windows. So now it also has EPS or Electric Power Steering I used a Saturn Vue unit that I purchased off ebay 4 yrs ago, yep 4 yrs ago...

First I'll give an overview of finished product. WOW ! I mean WOW!!!!!!!

Single greatest improvement bar none of any mod or improvement I've made that includes all my various brake upgrades....


The project took about 20 hrs including paint and 2 two trips to Tractor Supply. I have a welder and other basic stuff but no lathe or even a big drill press anymore. I made this to be fully removeable / installable without loosening the steering rack or disturbing any other component. If it was during the build process and I could sit in the engine bay and not worry about scratching or messing up anything I would take 3-4 hrs especially if I could weld it in place. If you were to make the steering shaft rigid non collapsible ala ffr mk3 probably about 2-3 hrs.

Biggest challenges 1. getting vertical 3/4" support bar in correct plane as to not torque motor 2. Keeping everything aligned and steering wheel indexed 3. making connection to starter ,no room left on the lug.

I didn't make this a how to, too many variables but here are some pics of the completed project.

I'll answer any questions I can.....


Vertical 3/4" tube and mount bracket are separate pieces 1/4-20 bolts welded in place and also act as ground points


sleeve over cut ffr steering shaft and pinned with two 1/4- 20 bolts


Franken Bracket----FFR spline cobbled to Saturn Vue motor output
 

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Have it on my MKII

I found tweaking the caster & camber affects it too.

My one negative is that it does lessen "road feel"
 

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Have it on my MKII

I found tweaking the caster & camber affects it too.

My one negative is that it does lessen "road feel"
Is this the car that you track? Do you switch the unit off for the track? Does it feel just like a manual system if you switch off the unit? I'm really curious because I have installed the Vue/Equinox unit in my GTM with the manual steering rack, figured I can switch it off to regain road feel for the track. In my garage, with no power to the unit, the steering effort at rest feels no heavier than before I installed the EPS unit.
 

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Beeman,

I keep the unit always on, but vary the "boost" or assist depending on the situation. I have run my FFR with hydraulic PS, Manual steer, and the electric unit, and each as it's good and bad. One good thing for the electric is that it helps me tailor the car for the road.

With hydraulic, it was good for average on the street, but overboosted and twitchy on the track, so I looked for alignment settings, pulley speeds, and other methods to lessen the boost. With the high boost, it feels like I was turning the car in early on corners on the track, so had to make steering adjustments in the corners.

With manual, it was like driving a dump truck. Heavy, clumsy, and always late on turn-in. But rock steady at speed, depending on the alignment settings and tires.

The electric allows me to very the boost, so that on longer smoother tracks like VIR, Watkins Glen, and similar, I run less boost so I do have to work it, but not fight it. Tighter tracks, such as NJMP Lightning, Lime rock, and tighter slower track, I dial in a little more, so I have more assist. Slow street driving, a little more boost so it's fun to cruise along.

If the unit is off, it is much heavier, as now you are also turning the electric motor, so I always keep it on.

I also have a switch, so I can have the steering "on" with the motor off to make pushing the car around the garage easier.

Alignment settings seem to be much more important with the electric, so pay attention to that.

Hope this adds to your knowlege base.

Dan
 
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Thanks for the reply Dan.
Are you using the variable controller from the guy in Europe? Maybe Portugal, I can't remember where it arrived from?
I have normal hydraulic power steering on my roadster, I absolutely love it on the street and track, I'm about 6.5 caster, 1 camber.
I cranked up the caster in the GTM to about 7, camber around 1-1.25. I think the EPS option is cool and much cleaner than running hydraulic lines from the engine bay. I'm hoping I like the road feel.
Sorry for hijacking the thread.
 

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No problem, as this is a subject where more info the better.

Yes, I am using the controller from Portugal, found on ebay.

On my roadster, running 1.7 Camber (top tilted in), 3.5 caster (spindles laid back from vertical), toe zero. Seems to be a good compromise.

When I had the hydraulic, I also went to about 7 - 7.5 on the caster, but it had the turning radius of the Queen Mary. But was stable at high speed.

When I had manual, caster reduced to about 2

Many have their own specs, so alignment is trial end error.
 

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NC1Mike:

I notice that you left the ECU attached to the EPS unit. Is it affected by header/engine heat? Also, did you use the Ebay controller (like others that have done this mod)? Is it affected by rain/wet conditions?

Obviously, I am planning the same mod to FFR 8317 over the next few weeks, so I am interested! :smile2:

Thanks!

Frank B
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Frank B,
Yes, I used the controller off ebay, I think from a guy in Portugal. My headers are wrapped in in thermo blanket, originally to protect my brake master cylinders but it reduces under hood temps dramatically. I think I will get a wrap for the EPS controller to be on the safe side. I also completely sealed the EPS motor and the electrics with caulk sealant and then painted it for a little extra protection.

My alignment specs are camber -1 and caster + 4 with about 1/8 toe I'm going to get towards +6 caster as it has little centering force now but is stable at speed. Good luck on your project.
 

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FI will get a wrap for the EPS controller to be on the safe side.
Note that if you wrap the EPS controller then any heat that it generates cannot get out. This may cause it to overheat.
 

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I made a heat shield for the EPS from Galvanized sheet metal, formed it in a contour of the whole unit on the exhaust side, and spaced it off the unit by 1/2". Does deflect the exhaust heat, and allows airflow around the EPS. I have a bonus on my car, in that the hood is vented above the exhaust area on both sides, so in theory, the heat escaped. I am running more compression and a big cam on my 331, so I also generate more exhaust heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Note that if you wrap the EPS controller then any heat that it generates cannot get out. This may cause it to overheat.
That's a good and valid point. Since my headers are already wrapped in a thermo blanket maybe I'll just let it be or I could fabricate a little deflector /heat shield out of tin or alu.. So far so good though. I have 5 hrs of combined twisties and freeway still working. Did I mention that I LOVE THIS MOD....
 
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