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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had this kit sitting on my shelf for a while now but never wanted the car to have down time to install it. Well, when my battery died and with approaching cold weather, I knew it was time to get this done.

Once I finally got the steering shaft removed, I measured 6 times and cut it to remove 9" from the distal shaft. Next I had to get a few couplers welded on. An interesting few interactions with an older gentleman who may have inhaled a bit to much zinc and welding fumes in his day, and I had my two piece steering shaft back. While his conversational skills might have been lacking, he did a decent job on the welding.



I got the brackets mocked up, drilled, and painted, and installed on the motor.



I "fabricated" a quick and dirty mount for the control unit by modifying a bit of thick aluminum angle, and I mounted it to the F-panel. After several hours of getting the electrical hooked up, it's finally installed. Power and chassis ground go to the controller along with a few wires from an adjustment knob mounted in the cabin. The adjustment knob gets wired into a keyed 12V and chassis ground, and the motor plugs into the controller box. Overall, it's a simple, if time consuming install.



I'll tidy up wiring a bit more once it gets warmer. I just got the new battery installed, but I haven't fired things up to test function just yet, and it will be at least a week before I can take a drive with the cold and ice/snow coming in. Once I verify that things work correctly and get a few blocks in it, I'm going to take it in for a professional alignment all around.

Looking forward to warmer weather, easier parking lots, and more settled highway cruising.
 
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I did this conversion a few years back, very similar. I do enjoy being able to vary the boost. But, the EPS unit did remove some of the road feel. So been playing around with different front end settings.

I'm still glad I did it, as I was going through PS stuff regularly. Now you have to make sure you battery and charging system are top notch.

362146
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did this conversion a few years back, very similar. I do enjoy being able to vary the boost. But, the EPS unit did remove some of the road feel. So been playing around with different front end settings.

I'm still glad I did it, as I was going through PS stuff regularly. Now you have to make sure you battery and charging system are top notch.

View attachment 362146
Have you had charging issues when running specific to the EPAS? I just replaced my battery with a higher end 800 starting amp group 34 (dropped rear battery box), and I have an alternator that is very commonly used.
 

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I put in the biggest (Highest amp charging rate) alternator I could fit. Also upgraded the battery cables, and added better grounds, so I knew the full charging system could turn over a house if needed. The EPS does pull power the split second it senses a wheel turn, and does pull a few amps just sitting still. I would upgrade the full system. Besides, always good to have the capacity, in case you get a cranky hot start situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I put in the biggest (Highest amp charging rate) alternator I could fit. Also upgraded the battery cables, and added better grounds, so I knew the full charging system could turn over a house if needed. The EPS does pull power the split second it senses a wheel turn, and does pull a few amps just sitting still. I would upgrade the full system. Besides, always good to have the capacity, in case you get a cranky hot start situation.
I have 2 gauge cable throughout along with good grounding, so I think I'm good in that area. I'll keep an eye on things with the current alternator and see how it goes.
 

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I did this conversion a few years back, very similar. I do enjoy being able to vary the boost. But, the EPS unit did remove some of the road feel. So been playing around with different front end settings.

I'm still glad I did it, as I was going through PS stuff regularly. Now you have to make sure you battery and charging system are top notch.

View attachment 362146
I have a very similar setup, but I used a unit from a Toyota Prius. I might be looking to the commercial EPAS unit because I only have the factory setting on this one. I would like to be able to change the feel also.
 

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Mine is from the Saturn VUE, I think they are all similar. I put in without adjusting, wondering if they can be adjusted for sensitivity, etc....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I believe mine is a Saturn unit as well.

Tonight I cleaned up the wiring a bit and then realized I forgot the fuse in the power run, so I added that in.





I switched the battery switch back on, and with the adjustment all the way down, the relay worked as it was supposed to (clicked on and then back off after about 10 seconds). I then slowly turned up the adjustment a small amount until the relay clicked back on, which represents the lowest amount of assist. The EPAS worked like a charm. Then I maxed the assist, and wow! It works great. Can't wait to get it on the road and then adjust the alignment.

Maybe when it's not dumping snow and headed toward below zero temps with wind blowing 30-40 and -30 wind chills. 😐

When I switched the battery back on, I discovered that my fan thermo switch has crapped out since the fan immediately kicked on, even though it was 30 degrees in the shop and the engine dead cold. Turns out the top of the switch has broken loose and is rattling around in the housing. Always something ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I completed the alignment tonight along with re-greasing the front suspension. I used my caster camber gauge and toe plates that I've had, but I also picked up some turn plates, and man, they make a world of difference. I set caster at 7.5, camber at -0.5, and toe-in at 3/32."



I also mounted the adjustment knob for the EPAS on the far left dash by the door so it's close to hand for adjustments.

All that's left is to fix my thermo switch (coming in Monday) and take it for a test drive.

Oh, and one more thing: the four post lift with trolly/bridge jack makes this an actually enjoyable job. Huge, huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
First Impressions:

In spite of not having my fan thermo switch (USPS delays), I took the cobra out for some test driving. It was in the low 40s, and I have a manual fan override, so no worries.

I was most concerned about driving stability at speed as with the manual steering and conservative alignment, the car was a bit twitchy, especially on worn or bumpy pavement. It wasn't hard before, but definitely required close attention to keep it centered. If the pavement was smooth, there wasn't much of an issue; however, I never had confidence heading around curves on narrow roads at speed because of the twitchiness.

Now? Wow! What a difference. It's obviously not the EPAS alone that is creating the difference, but the power steering alignment. I think, too, that having the turn plates really helped me nail my home alignment. The car is very steady, both in a straight line and around corners. I took it to roads that specifically have given me more issues in the past, and it performed great. I felt confident meeting oncoming traffic around a specific curve on a narrow two lane road for the first time. It's not that I ever had an issue with staying in a lane, but taking the slight twitchiness away makes all the difference in the world in steering confidence.

There might be a slight loss of road feel through the steering wheel, but not much, if any. Mainly, while you still feel the road, the steering wheel isn't being nudged quite so firmly by every bump.

I was never really that concerned with slow speed steering effort, and I figured the ease of steering would be a pleasant bonus for the at-speed stability. That said, it is MUCH easier to drive around town. It's easier to take off form a stop around a corner, and the driving stability is just as apparent around town as it is on the highway. Much, much easier to just drive and enjoy the car at slow speeds.

Overall, I've very pleased with the performance so far. My steering wheel is off center by about 10 degrees, but with the added steering couplers and splines on the motor shaft, that will be an easy fix for a warmer night when I don't have to give the 4-year old a bath. I still like the lack of clutter in the engine bay, so on the next build, I will likely go electric again, though I'm open to a traditional pump as well if I can make it look right.

I only have the adjustment turned up to 1/4, and it's plenty of assist in town and parking lots. Here is where I mounted the steering assist adjustment knob:

 

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Curious on your alignment specs?

I'm looking to reset mine to 1.8 camber, 6 caster, toe dead.

You are accurate at the EPS absorbing some of the road feel
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Curious on your alignment specs?

I'm looking to reset mine to 1.8 camber, 6 caster, toe dead.

You are accurate at the EPS absorbing some of the road feel
I'm sure it is, but it didn't detract from the experience, at least in my case. It just made it more enjoyable for me.

I set alignment at a pretty standard PS setup: 7.5 caster, -0.5 camber, and 3/32" toe in. I don't track it, so I set it up mainly for cruising enjoyment.
 
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