Jack Worstell

1937 Special Power Steering

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I thought several of you might want to know that  we just installed an EPS out of a 

2005 Saturn Vue in our 1937 Special.

We have a lot more testing to do...but at this point it looks good.

 

We mounted the motor part in the engine compartment and the ECM box under the dash   ( all examples I've seen

on the internet is everything under the dash...but we think our set-up will work )

We wrapped the exhaust pipe coming off the exhaust manifold  with some insulating material so

as to give some temperature protection to the unit.

 

Our Special is 8V (    changed to 8V battery   and  8V   alternator a while back )  and the EPS needs   12v.   So we added  a small 12V

lawn tractor battery in the engine compartment ……..passenger side  

and we will keep this  charged  with a small   "boost converter"  (  $30).    This will provide the 12V for the EPS  unit.

 

We didn't have any example to go by (  except   post  WW II    examples on the internet )

so there was some trial and error.   At this point it looks like we made the right guesses.

 

Asian   EPS units are somewhat easier to deal with in this regard  ….but with a Saturn/Equinox

unit it is possible to adjust "boost".   Whether or not this extra versatility is worth the extra effort

 we can't say at this  point.

 

Again  …..we just ran the first brief test today.  W e have yet to do a road test.     It will be a while before we have

full confidence.

 

Jack Worstell      jlwmaster@aol.com

 

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Ben   and  Don

 

No it will be a while before we are confident.    We will probably road test it next week for the first time.

 

This week we will finish adding the "boost converter" which will take 8V   and boost it to  12V  ( to keep the

12V lawn and tractor battery  charged up....this 12V battery powers the EPS motor )

 

And we have found that we need to add some support to the EPS motor unit.   To install this we had to cut out part

of both the outer steering column and the inner steering column tube......and installed

the EPS motor unit...which is a bit heavy...…...in the space we cut out.   We lost a little  rigidity here

and we have to get it back with some bracing of some sort.

 

You can figure on having toe remove the complete steering column.....along with the steering box since you can't separate them

 

We garage tested the unit again today and again it gave plenty of boost to the steering.

 

In the interim....there's a fair amount of info on the internet and UTube if you want to get

familiar with this.  Then later....if I'm successful...I can add the "1937 Special"     aspect.

It will be hard to describe what we have done if you haven't already

reviewed some of the stuff on the internet/UTube  stuff   for example

 

https://ls1tech.com/forums/suspension-brakes/1848775-35-electric-power-steering-fail-safe-no-ebay-module-no-caster-issues.html#post19425307

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4TYQ_KJSpc

 

http://www.epowersteering.com/

 

Jack Worstell       jlwmaster@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's an  addendum to the previous post above I did about 40  minutes ago.

 

There's a lot more on the internet than just the three I listed above...…..some Internet/Utube searches  along the lines 

"EPS Installation"  will bring up more stuff.

 

If you should go down this road the first thing you will have to decide is between

a GM  ( Saturn Vue/Equinox)  type unit or an Asian type unit.

 

The Asian unit is a little easier to install and doesn't require an add-on module....but you can't adjust boost level.

The GM  unit is a little more difficult to install and requires an a small add-on module  (  buy off of eBay for about $50 )

but with it you can adjust boost level.

 

 So far we have $35  in a used Saturn Vue ( 2005)  EPS unit      about  $50    for a add-on module off of eBay  and

about $30 for the converter to recharge the 12V battery.   The battery cost us nothing...off of a used lawn tractor.

And maybe  $50 for wire and misc.    We needed a modest amount of machine work but my buddy has a machine shop

so no cost here

 

For the three of us working  two afternoons a week this has been a two month project.  Sounds like a lot

but we are in no hurry  and also there has been a lot of trial and error as we learned about EPS units  etc etc.

Someone learning off our experience could do it faster

 

Jack Worstell      jlwmaster@aol.com

 

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Another thing...the EPS motor can pull a lot of amps.

If you turn the steering wheel hard ….and   fast....it will pull 30 amps and maybe a little more.

But this heavy current is brief.     Going  "straight down the road"  the unit only pulls about 0.5 amps.

 

We used 10 ga wire to the motor...wanted only very minimal voltage drop.

 

I wasn't sure the lawn tractor battery with the boost converter ( whose 12V output with 8V input is only in the 5-10 amp range)

would be enough.

 

However after our ( admittedly brief )  testing  I think this will work out after all. ….but it's something we need more confidence in

via more complete testing.

 

Jack Worstell      jlwmaster@aol.com 

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Whenever I see someone doing this kind of major modification to a car I have to wonder what would happen if this failed and caused an accident.  How would the government and the insurance companies handle this?

 

I'm also kind of surprised by the reaction of the members of this board.  When I first came on 10 years ago after buying my beater '37 Special I was attacked because I wasn't keeping my car totally stock.  I even got some really nasty private messages from member telling me I shouldn't have gotten the car if I wasn't going to keep it stock.  This is a major modification.  Maybe the old geezers who came after me 10 years ago are no longer with us.   

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24 minutes ago, bobj49f2 said:

I'm also kind of surprised by the reaction of the members of this board.  When I first came on 10 years ago after buying my beater '37 Special I was attacked because I wasn't keeping my car totally stock.

 Bob I was just amazed you were taking on such a massive project.

 

Carl

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, bobj49f2 said:

Whenever I see someone doing this kind of major modification to a car I have to wonder what would happen if this failed and caused an accident.  How would the government and the insurance companies handle this?

 

I'm also kind of surprised by the reaction of the members of this board.  When I first came on 10 years ago after buying my beater '37 Special I was attacked because I wasn't keeping my car totally stock.  I even got some really nasty private messages from member telling me I shouldn't have gotten the car if I wasn't going to keep it stock.  This is a major modification.  Maybe the old geezers who came after me 10 years ago are no longer with us.   

 

I personally like my cars as they were originally manufactured. I try to be nice and not "attack" anybody for making what I personally see as a major difficult to reverse modification. I think that you will see that I did suggest earlier in this discussion that in my personaly experience, a properly restored 1937 Buick is easy to steer. If I could not drive a particular antique car as it was originally manufactured, I think I would find a different antique car that I could drive, but obviously not everybody feels the same way that I do.

 

The BCA does have a modified division, so probably here in the BCA section of the forum, this sort of thing is now a bit more accepted. If it were posted within the AACA section of the forums, it would probably receive a bit less welcome reception.  

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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If anyone is interested in knowing more about this project and info on how we are going about this

( pictures etc etc )   contact me via email.

 

Jack Worstell     jlwmaster@aol.com

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Posted (edited)

I didn't mean to chase anyone off this discussion.  I just made a comment and an observation.  I'm sure there are many who are interested in the process.  The best way to promote it would be on this board.  

Edited by bobj49f2 (see edit history)
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Yes, Jack. Please continue here. You can be sure we are interested in what you are doing. Many of us are in our 70s and 80s and want to continue driving the cars we love as long as possible. My 1920s junk is not really amenable to power assist. As broken up as I am, I feel extremely lucky I can still muscle the heavy cars around. Not for much longer, though, so I hope to find suitable female power to chauffeur me when the time comes.   -   Carl 

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Yes myself and my two buddies are on our 80s...……...we need more "accommodation"  than years ago when we were younger.

 

In a few weeks I'll  post some write-ups describing how we went about this.   We went thru a lot of "trial and error".

 

We put a "Lloyd Young" overdrive in the Special  a while back.  A previous owner had already switched to

a 3.9 ratio rear end.....so overall gearing ( when in high gear overdrive )   is only   about  2.75 !!

Yes it "bogs down"  a bit when driving in the hills.....but not as much as we thought it might.

At any rate.....the ease of cruising at 65mph is well worth a few more downshifts into second gear.

 

Jack Worstell

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On 5/4/2019 at 8:46 AM, Jack Worstell said:

Yes myself and my two buddies are on our 80s...……...we need more "accommodation"  than years ago when we were younger.

 

In a few weeks I'll  post some write-ups describing how we went about this.   We went thru a lot of "trial and error".

 

We put a "Lloyd Young" overdrive in the Special  a while back.  A previous owner had already switched to

a 3.9 ratio rear end.....so overall gearing ( when in high gear overdrive )   is only   about  2.75 !!

Yes it "bogs down"  a bit when driving in the hills.....but not as much as we thought it might.

At any rate.....the ease of cruising at 65mph is well worth a few more downshifts into second gear.

 

Jack Worstell

 

 Or just shifting from OD back to direct.

  Looking forward to the write up.

 

  Ben

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I don't know if this will be helpful to you, but I just acquired a 1936 Packard 120 that appears to have two separate electrical systems--the original 6V setup which drives everything as it did originally, plus a separate 12V battery and alternator to start it and run an electric pusher fan. Everything still works on 6V, the original 6V generator is in its place on the block, the 6V battery is under the seat, and it still starts (albeit very slowly) on the 6V system, too. I've been looking at how they did it and they just seem to have installed the alternator and battery, plus a solenoid to kick the starter from a button under the dash. The starter has cables from both the 12V battery and the original 6V setup. Here are a few photos (not great for seeing the modifications, but it's all I have):

 

074.thumb.JPG.05b510eca3e7a2d4c293236fc7a6c809.JPG075.thumb.JPG.2158e0eab7213adf29e6a5ba73a8d102.JPG

 

This might be both a more self-contained solution and one that can better accommodate the somewhat large spikes in power that a power steering system might require. It takes a lot of juice to turn the wheels and a tractor battery with a converter might not be able to accommodate it, or not for very long. I commend you on not wanting to switch to a complete 12V system, but this might be a good solution that doesn't change the car significantly and still gives you the power reserves that you'll need.

 

Hope this helps and please keep us posted, I know there are a lot of people who might benefit from such a modification.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2019 at 9:45 AM, bobj49f2 said:

I

Many years ago when my dad used my '49 Ford pickup in his auto repair business he installed a additional 12 volt system to do two things, jump start customers cars and to use to add extra umph to the starter on cold Wisconsin mornings when the truck didn't want to start on the 6 volt system.  I tore the 12 volt system out when I restored the truck 25 years ago.  He had a 12 volt generator mounted on a piece of steel plate bolted to the top of the flat six engine and used a 12 volt starter solenoid to send 12 volts to the starter using a push button on the steering column to activate it.  

Edited by bobj49f2 (see edit history)

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The used lawn tractor battery....I think it was about  230CCA.     We mounted it in the engine compartment      passenger side   close to ( but not up against ) the firewall

It sets on a small wooden block which it turn sets on the frame.   It's a nice fit.   In the photos you can see the open fuse holder. with the 60 amp fuse removed.

We will probably change out to a 50 amp fuse

You can see that the battery is up against the blue front passenger side fender.

 

We have installed a "boost converter" to get from 8V ( the car has an  8V battery and an  8V alternator ) to 12V

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZXYL8PK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We have used a couple of these in the past with mixed results....we have our fingers crossed on this one.   We should be able to test it tomorrow.   We mounted

it on a 1/4" thick aluminum plate inside...….up against and in the middle of the fire wall.....under the dash.

 

We were at first skeptical that the lawn tractor battery would be enough   but we have a little more confidence in it now.

In the garage it works great.   We'll see how it does on the road

It's the boost converter that we have more doubts about

 

If we should be driving along and the 12V battery runs out of juice....the unit simply will revert back to manual steering until the 12V battery gets recharged

 

Jack Worstell   jlwmaster@aol.com

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We used the EPS unit out of a 2005 Saturn Vue like this one on eBay

https://www.ebay.com/itm/02-07-SATURN-VUE-EQUINOX-COMPLETE-ELECTRIC-POWER-STEERING-PUMP-MOTOR-COLUMN-EPAS/323798822787?epid=772348461&hash=item4b63e9ef83:g:FxsAAOSwbfRcjyB3

 

However we bought ours from a local salvage yard.

 

Note that the ECM module is fastened to the motor unit.   With  other EPSs I've seen these two are separate and hooked 

together by an umbilical cord of several wires.

We had to separate the two and this involved     extending the six short wires that hooked the two together ( but

not in an umbilical fashion...you have to remove several machine screws to part the two...….. see the photo on eBay )

Six wires...two are "power:   and four are very small gauge "signal"  wire.     These four small wires are very hard to work with.

 

We separated the two because

   (a)   we mounted the motor unit in the engine compartment and there wasn't enough room

                 for the ECM also.

    (b)  we thought the ECM electronics wouldn't hold up in the engine compartment

 

Most ( and maybe all ) GM   EPS units won't work once they are disconnected from the computer. of the donor car   

A "controller"  has to be added to "fake out" the EPS ECM.    These are on eBay for about $50

 

Most ( and maybe all)  Asian    EPS  units will work even when disconnected from the computer of the

donor car.....they will default to a "safe" mode of operation.

 

The big advantage of going the GM route is that you can adjust the level of boost

either manually with a rheostat that comes with the controller   or automatically with the controller version

that reads the signal from the torque sensor in the motor unit

 

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=142461763061&view=all&tid=1632139425004

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Automatic-Saturn-Vue-Ion-Equinox-Controller-Kit-Electronic-Power-Steering/142463173598?_trkparms=aid%3D444000%26algo%3DSOI.DEFAULT%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20190129125700%26meid%3D81e8d4cb1ebb41dea87b0c98cbba8d24%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D3%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D142461763061%26itm%3D142463173598&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982

 

We bought the "manual" version controller...only because the automatic version wasn't available at the time.

 

More later....I figure peoples eyes are fogging over by this point.

 

Jack Worstell              jlwmaster@aol.com

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

To install the EPS motor unit in the steering column you will have to remove the entire steering column assembly

from the car....including the steering box since the box can't  be pulled off of the column ….at least

we couldn't figure out how to part them

 

Note the rectangular slot cut out so as to preserve the horn function.

 

Measure

   (a) top of outer steering column to the top of the inner steering shaft...in our case this was  1 3/4"

   (b)  top of outer steering column to the top face of the ignition lock assembly...….…

           in our case this was about  10 1/4"

Be sure that after all is said and done ….that these two measurements are kept.

 

It's a tight fit...cut the input shaft and output shaft of the motor unit off....such that only about 1 1/2" is left.....

just enough for attaching the two couplings to the  53/64" od   inner steering shaft.

 

Cut the outer steering column shaft off such that only about 2" sticks out of the steering box.

Then use a  nominal    1 1/2"   by  2'  exhaust pipe adapter between the approx. 2" long outer steering column stub and the raised hub on the EPS

motor unit.   We cut some slots in the 2" dia end of the exhaust adapter so as to help epoxy the adapter to the motor unit

 

CAUTION...think ahead.     If a mistake is made.....you may end up searching for another steering column !!!!!!

 

More later....enough for now.

 

Jack Worstell      jlwmaster@aol.co,

 

 

 

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Edited by Jack Worstell
"approx. 2" long outer steering column stub" clarification (see edit history)
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For the first time today we did a short ( 20 minutes )   road test with the EPS in operation...…....

It worked just fine.

 

And now we have some more confidence that the 12V lawn tractor battery and the 8V to 12V booster ( charger )

will supply enough power for the 12V EPS.

However the instructions for the booster are not easy to understand and we have trouble

figuring out how to keep it set and turned on.  I think this is just a learning process though.

 

The EPS unit spiked very briefly to almost  50 amps ( we weren't surprised by this )

but I'd say overall that overall average amps is definitely in the single digit range

 

Jack Worstell

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More on Installation

 

DON'T  take the dimensions I cite as "gospel"...…..be sure to take your own measurements.

 

From the photos in a post above you can see that we mounted the unit with the motor in a downward orientation

……….in retrospect...….we probably should have mounted it with the motor in an up ward direction.   Live  and learn.

 

After you cut off the input and output shafts of the motor unit of the EPS you will end up with something

roughly 7" or so tip to tip.     Leave just enough of the two shafts (  1 1/2"  maybe a little less ) so as

to accommodate couplings to fasten these two shaft stubs to the inner streering column

( cut enough out of the inner column so as to insert the clipped EPS motor unit.)

 

The two couplings.....maybe 1" or so od.   One end 53/64"  id ….each coupling....for the inner steering column shaft.

The id on the other ends of the two couplings...I don't recall....in the vicinity of 5/8" …..for the shafts stubs sticking out of the

EPS motor unit.

  Measure carefully. Keep the fits very snug...….so the end result doesn't have "play"   and wobble.

 

Think ahead how you will secure the couplings to the shafts.   For the lower coupling we used  3/16" roll pins.

……...accessed thru holes drilled in the  nominal   1 1/2" by 2" exhaust adapter ( of course first we pre-drilled the coupling and the shafts )

 

For the upper coupling we used 1/4" set screws with locktight.  We could slide the approx.  4" long section  ( with the rectangular slot for the horn )

up and down a little and this gave us access  for securing the set screws.  Again...we pre drilled the coupling and the shafts

 

First the steering box and the EPS motor unit are mounted to the car.....this is easier if you remove the motor from the unit

which is not hard to do.        The upper portion of the steering column is mounted separately later.

 

More later

 

CAUTION....think ahead....a mistake and you might end up searching for another steering column.

 

Jack Worstell       jlwmater@aol.com

 

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What an amazing project.  This is the kind of thing that keep you young, keeps you thinking, using your brain.  Don't stop.

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