Flash

Flash's 1965 Ford Thames

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good work so far Gordon, you are a very dedicated man! Can I ask why you have opted to go for manual steering VS. power steering, especially when you already have a PS rack? Speaking from a Transit van owning point of view (factory fitted with quite heavy steering) replacing the manual box with a PS version was the best upgrade I have done on my van. Made it so much more tolerable on a near daily basis :)  

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Good to hear from you and thanks for the kind comments Conrad. I've been watching the steering upgrade that you have done on your Transit with great interest. Looks like it has worked out brilliantly.

Yep I've got to admit that I'm a bit torn at the moment as I really appreciated the power steering conversion that I did on the Bedford when I built that. The real issue with the Thames goes back to limited space in the engine box. The alternator sits on the left on the 4Y and there is enough space to squeeze in one other ancillary on the right. The choice being either a power steer pump or an a/c compressor. If we were still in NZ the choice would be simple, but having spent 3 summers across here in Queensland we have come to realise that a/c is almost a necessity here. Unlike later vans the Thames has a sliding window setup in the front doors similar to the original Minis and Land Rovers, so natural airflow for cabin comfort is almost non existent. The little floor mounted vent does provide a bit of a breeze, but only at speed. Both factors make a strong argument for a/c. 

I could fit the power steer pump and then go down the electric a/c compressor route but the current price of the 12 volt a/c compressors is scaring me off a bit.

With my limited experience I'm out of other ideas,so I'd be keen to hear if there is another option that I am overlooking.

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Hi Gordon, 

 

what about an electro-hydraulic pump, to power your existing steering rack? Basically the same setup as I have just done on the Tranny. You can mount the pump anywhere, and the Merc A Class pump which I used (made by VDO)  is dead simple to wire up, only 3 wires; ground, +12v and trigger wire. Just 2 hoses, pressure feed and return. I tore this one out of a dead A Class at Pickapart, I think it was $50 or thereabouts.   :)

  

IMG_4240.JPG

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Yikes Conrad, that is an elegant solution !

Thanks for sharing. I didn't even know that these setups existed. I've clearly led a sheltered life . :-)

What do you need to trigger the trigger wire ?

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2 hours ago, igor said:

Is electric power steering possible? 

Don't know much about them Igor. Aren't most of the electric units mounted on the steering column ?

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3 hours ago, Flash said:

Yikes Conrad, that is an elegant solution !

Thanks for sharing. I didn't even know that these setups existed. I've clearly led a sheltered life . :-)

What do you need to trigger the trigger wire ?

Yep they have been around since the late 90's, although most new cars now do away with the hydraulics and have an electric rack fitted.

You just need  a +12 volt feed to trigger it. These pumps are normally triggered by the alternator exciter feed (warning light terminal) so that once the engine is running the power steering kicks in. There is a downside to this though. If you throw a fanbelt, the alternator will stop working, and so will the power steering - not nice! Hence why I just fed mine from the ignition switch, so once the ign. key is in the ON position, the PS is working.   There are other pumps similar to this that are available, although I have found this one to be the most compact, and easiest to wire up. 

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Quote

 If you throw a fanbelt, the alternator will stop working, and so will the power steering - not nice

like a normal alternator and power steering pump set up then

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Thanks for the extra info Conrad. This looks like a really elegant solution and lets me use the available space for an a/c compressor. 

So does the A class Merc unit have a remote reservoir ? It's a bit difficult to tell from your pic.

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Other alternatives which may be a bit easier to source than the A-class would be a 99-07 Skoda Fabia or VW Polo of the same era.  

The Fabia option is definitely remote reservoir, sitting on the opposite side of the car.

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Thanks for the suggestions Alfashark. There are only two scrap yards in town, so stocks are pretty limited here. I do miss Pick a Part.

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4 hours ago, Flash said:

Thanks for the extra info Conrad. This looks like a really elegant solution and lets me use the available space for an a/c compressor. 

So does the A class Merc unit have a remote reservoir ? It's a bit difficult to tell from your pic.

No the reservoir is the black part on the top half, the bottom half is the pump and electronics.  Really easy to mount too, one M6 bolt into the mount on the side, and the base locates in a rubber grommet.    :) 

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Thanks for confirming Conrad. Have you got a rough idea of the overall dimensions of your unit ?

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it is 350H x 140W x 80D. You can mount it pretty much anywhere, I have seen race cars with them mounted in the boot!

Due to hydraulic fluid being fairly incompressible there is little to no lag. Unlike rear mount turbos! ;) …………..    

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Thanks for confirming the dimensions Conrad. I've got next to no space left in the engine compartment. I could mount it somewhere under the van but fluid top ups are going to be the challenge. Unless I can find a comparative unit that has a remote reservoir.

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Mount it under the floor somewhere, and just put a little removable panel/access hatch for top ups? 

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Holden astra has an electric pump as well, might be easier to find in straya 

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