Steering finished

Finalised power steering The picture above left shows the ecu for steering. this comes bolted to the column but has to be removed and fitted elsewhere. I have tucked it up above the pedal box on the outer footwell panel but this meant that the short loom back to the column torque sensor had to be extended. The picture on the right shows the speed control unit – this little box is connected to an independent speed sensor located at the diff UJ and effectively controls the maps for speed sensitive power steering assistance variation I will be able to fine tune this once the car is moving. As a side note I am also working with Dave at Canems to hopefully make this box redundant since a modification to the canems ecu allowing it to collect speed input data is eventually going to enable direct control of the power steering maps and the tremec reverse lock out solenoid.

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Power Steering Column Fixed to Body

I have bolted the power steering column end to the body with a simple u clamp type arrangement this has a fairly substantial backing plate on the underside. The  blue tape is the position for my bonnet lock down keep brackets.

Finally fitted the ujs and shafts down to the steering rack and was able to power up the unit – very pleased the steering feels excellent very smooth and silent whilst in powered mode!

 

 

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Power Steering

Eventually got round to making more progress on the power steering installation. After a couple of trial fits in the car and lots of measurements I am now very happy with the position of the column. The top left picture shows the replacement cross member – this replaces the GD cross member due to structural and geometry requirements. as well as substantially beefing up the mounting bar and the side fixing plates it has to lie in a slightly different position to accommodate the power steering. I chose to mount the power steering to a top hung bracket so the columns collapse mechanism can operate as intended in the Oem installations (hope i never get to test that out though)!

Once installed everything fits very well and the wheel position falls in the correct place.dsc_0065

only just fits in – but im happy with “Only Just”. Notice the little bracket on the square section bar with two holes – these will take further reinforcement straps fixed down the side of the body tunnel adding even more rigidity to counteract the torque of the motorised column.

New wiper motor mount cradle required. and new demister vent fabrication to allow for glovebox.

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The column on the engine bay side. A new bracket will be fabricated to fasten directly to the body at this corner location Rather than fasten it to the GD chasis. This should work  well since it means the uppermost column is attached entirely to the body, with the lower part of the of the column attached to the chassis. The next section of column incorporates a splined slip joint, so small movements between body and chassis will be taken up in this joint.dsc_0042

Final Check that wheel sits nice and square to the car and approx 120mm back from the A post shutline.

Power Steering

Well I know it wont be everyone’s cup of tea but i believe a car of this caliber deserves to have power steering so I’m going to have a go at putting something together. The tidy choice seems to be to go for a fully electronic version or EPAS – a lot of cars have this now and it has several advantages. No messy hydraulics, ecu controlled and mappable to provide the correct balance of assist (no or little assistance at high speed, full assistance at low speed), compact and dare i say, relatively easy to install. There are quite a few choices out there either new or second hand new systems are quite pricey and will run from a few thousand pounds. A very popular choice for several years has been those from Vauxhalls corsa range – they have been used on all sorts of conversions kit cars and rally cars etc., so there is a fair bit of knowledge out there on how the system works. I found a particularly helpful write up at.http://www.super7thheaven.co.uk/blog/corsa-c-electric-power-steering-epas/                                                                                                                                               This covers a great deal of the background on the ecu and maps etc – all very helpful stuff, and not the sort of info you will find in a Haynes manual – or from a Vauxhall technician for that matter.

Electronic Control

It seems the majority of the units get fitted with simplified dial in electronics that either set the amount of assistance by dialing a knob or use other methods of timing such as allows power assist for first 20 seconds after engine start or after pushing a button. Most of these systems look like a compromise on how the system is supposed to work so I’m aiming at a properly speed related self adjusting system.

A few companies seem to do their own variants of aftermarket kits but essentially rely on the stock Vauxhall Corsa B or C column. example below.

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The good thing is the units are still readily available and can be purchased for as little as £50 or £60. Try to get a good low mileage one if possible and it seems the tilt steering version will be an advantage to gain a bit of “inclination” on the steering wheel – more of that later.

Geometry

The biggest challenge will be getting the geometry correct and making sure it has a substantially engineered bracket system to attach to the car. (power steering can exert a lot of torque to its mounting points. I’m sure the GD monocoque shell will be more than man enough to handle it but the bracket that transfers it to the shell will have to be equal to the task. Keith A was incredibly helpful in providing me with some accurate dims to ascertain the standard position of the steering splined shaft, kindly removing his steering wheel and checking a few dimensions for me – great photos and great help – its gonna save me a lot of head scratching. With his photos and dimensions i can be pretty certain of the desired X Y and Z position of the steering wheel.

Keiths photos and dimsl

I firstly roughed up the position of the steering column into the body shell by a bit of temporary joinery work acting as support battens and props. Once I had the column in the correct position I can take a few measurements to make up the final bracketry. It soon becomes apparent that i wont be able to use the GD windscreen support cross bracket as it slightly interferes with electronics on the column, but that’s not a bad thing as it allows me to beef up the cross over assembly that will be transferring the power assistance loads.

It will be getting some additional fixtures to the body work around the gearbox tunnel as it develops… more pics and details to follow…