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Removing the Power Steering



Parts:

1 foot of 3/8" low pressure power steering hose

(1) St. -3/8" hose to 1/4 NPT (Earl's #984006 is what I used)

(2) hose clamps for the 3/8" hose

(1) 33" 5-groove belt

Some teflon pipe tape to seal it up


OK. This modification will cost $15 at the most. You could even use steel-braided hose, but it would only be for looks. There will be very little pressure going through the hose. The stock power steering system weighs about 10# and takes about 2-5hp. Not terrible, but this modification will also stiffen up the steering. To some it may be too hard to steer. It will take some effort, but not as much as you might think and it feels awsome at cruising speeds. Another bonus is that it becomes harder to steer when your tire pressure is low. So, it will remind you to check the tire pressure once in a while.


A good check to see if it will be unbearable to steer is to remove the drive belt. The car will turn a little bit easier than this with the whole system removed. Note: this will disconnect your air-conditioning compressor if they are on the same belt. Not a terrible idea for racing, but a pain in the summer. Also, I believe that power-steering-fluid is bad for rubber. Make sure to clean up where the fluid drips. To loosen the belt, unscrew the bolt that runs through the center of the tensioner. Then loosen the bolt that moves the tensioner up and down.


Let's get started... Put the front end up on jack stands and put a pan under the steering rack. About 1 quart will leak out once the lines are disconnected. As an initial precaution, trace the lines from the power steering to the steering rack (low and against the firewall). Disconnect the steering rack hose furthest from the firewall first. Loosening the cap on the power-steering-fluid-reservoir should help the fluid to empty faster.


Next, make the bypass hose to reduce the chances of problems and make sure that no dirt gets in the steering-rack. This way you will not have problems reconnecting the system if you want to. Start by inserting the hose connector into the 3/8" hose, because it will be more difficult to insert it into the hose later (pain) than worrying about tightening the hose-end into the steering-rack with the hose already on it (no big deal). You will see what I mean when the time comes. Put a hose clamp on it, but do not tighten all the way. Put the other hose clamp on the other side, about 4" from the other end. Then, rap one layer of the teflon tape tightly around the threaded end of the hose connector. Otherwise it will be too thick to tighten down.


Remove the hose from the second steering-rack connector. We will use this connector as our new bypass hose connector. Now you can work at removing the power-steering system. You are on your own. It's not hard, except for the cooling line up front. I believe that removing the front bumper is the only way to remove it (with out damaging it.)


Now, insert the threaded end of the hose into the open steering-rack hole and tighten it down. Keep in mind that we will want to have some fluid in the system to make sure that the steering rack is sufficiently lubricated. Use your imagination, I don't know of an easy way to top it off without making a mess. I just made sure that some fluid was in it and connected the other side to the second steering-rack hose connector. Now you get to tighten down the hose clamps. This way you make sure they are facing the right way for easy access. Clean up the mess you made and you are done! Be sure to test it before driving on a major street and check for any leaks.


If you have air-conditioning, the correct belt size should be a 33" 5-rib belt to reconnect the air-conditioner. I picked up a Gates brand belt at BAP Import Parts. The part number is K050330. No one else seemed to have it... Snug up the belt and don't tighten the tensioner mounting bolt too much, it needs to spin freely (I will try to find the correct torque for the tensioner mounting bolt.) Tighten until the belt has ~1/4" flex and run motor for a couple minutes. After the belt has seated, retighten it to only have ~1/4" flex at the longest stretch.


Hope you enjoy this mod as much as I have!


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