Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Power Steering Pump

Well, after a two week hiatus (which I took unwillingly) I'm back working on the car. Today was the day to mount the power steering pump. I got the high pressure line back from the custom hose shop, and it looked perfect. They really did a good job. I figured the next thing to do was to see if all my measurements were correct, and if it actually fit.

Since the engine is gone, the means of driving a traditional power steering pump went with it. The most common solution amongst EV'ers that need power steering is to use an electric power steering pump. The most popular is the pump that Toyota put on the 2nd series MR2. If you're lucky, you can get one cheap at a salvage yard. If you're like me, there aren't any at any of the salvage yards in a 100 mile radius, which means they aren't cheap.

I put the pump in the fitting we'd made for it and began assembling the lattice work of steel I'd built to hold it, when I realized there was a better way. I've made an effort to avoid building things twice. In other words, build it once only to realize I'd missed something and then have to rebuild it. But in this case, it was clear I could do it much better. So, some quick measuring, steel cutting, shaping and drilling, and it was ready to go. I was actually able to eliminate twice as much steel as I added, so that's a nice bonus.

Once I got the pump mounted, I ran the new line to it, and it fit perfectly. Ok, it is a tad too long, but that's better than the alternative! Next, I had to figure out where to mount the power steering fluid reservoir.

I had an idea where I would put the reservoir, but hadn't sorted out how I would do it. A moments thought, and I figured it out. I quickly mounted it up and then ran the original feeder line from it down to the pump, only to find it was too short. A quick trip to the auto supply store, and I had one slightly longer hose.

All the mechanical aspects of the power steering system are done. I just need to fill it with fluid, and hope that there are no leaks. That's one more task finished, and that much closer to getting her on the road.

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