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Mike Mileski

Electric Power Steering

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Yep, The first post was accidently sent before I was finished. Please excuse my clummsyness. Thank-you so much for your compliments it is always nice when you work is appreciated.

As it happens I'll be using a T56 so that might be a convenient way to go. How did you hook up a speed sensor to an old Datsun transmission? Sensor on driveshaft? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really curious about what all is needed to get this system up and running.

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I know with the setup I got from Japan (yet to be installed, and I believe the same source that Brain gets the units as shown by Zbuff) was supplied with a speed sensor that connects to the standard mechanical output from the gearbox. This sensor then passes the mechanical drive to the speedo cable.

 

So gearbox drive ---- new speed senor ---- speedo cable

 

For me I will not be running the speedo cable as I have a new electronic speedo.

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My PS is too light so no feel, electric may be a solution?
I guess one of the good things about the electric assist setup's is that they stop working at some speed/point. So you can use some PWM circuitry to change the speed sensor before inputting to the EPAS ECU (Electric Power Assist Steering) and thus giving you the feel/feedback you require.

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I recently went for a short drive in Zbuff's car... sort of. Wet roads, with scattered patches of ice. Just toodling around surface streets and empty parking lots. It's very Camry-like. Easy, pleasant, and no fuss (not a hint of noise either). However it's damping is also very Camry-like. When pushed hard enough to scrub the front tires, the feedback is there, but highly subdued.

 

If you're looking for the ultimate in feedback, a performance oriented hydraulic system might suit you better. Otherwise, its very very nice.

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OK. Wow.

 

1. Nice Z.

2. I want one of these kits - how much did you pay?

3. Where the heck did you get it? Through zcarbum? Whats the best way to get one of these ordered?

 

Very keen to get my hands onto something similar. Would appreciate a pointer in the right direction

 

Cheers!

Shan

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WaaaaaaHooooooo:mrgreen:

 

Today I picked up my '76 280Z 2+2 from the shop with my new electric power steering installed. Wow, does it make a difference on how the car handles. I purchased this unit from Brian K. of [email protected] fame. Thank you Brian your product it is a seriously very nice addition to my car.

 

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The unit was installed by Dustin Rinehart of Peak Performance in Eugene, Oregon. All work was extremely well done with a very nice custom application. No wires are showing, in fact I don't think anyone would notice the car even had power steering unless they got behind the wheel and drove it.

 

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I have driven it very little presently as the rain is still coming down and I have a lot of clean to do after the car has sat for the last few months at Dustin's shop.

 

From the driving that I have done however, it is now a very manageable car. The feeling in the steering wheel is very solid and gives you confidence in the handling of the car. Now instead of using muscle by armstrong when trying to steer the car at a stop, it is a two finger job. Very easy, but not too easy to the touch. There is no noice associated at all with the opertation of the ps when in use.

 

I will be painting the bottom portion of the (motor) black just to hide it from the most discerning eye. Now on to my next project.

 

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I'm interested in buying one of these units - I saw the unit on the JDM site and also the Unisteer unit - I like this one best (ZBuff's install) ! How can I get one? Zbuff can you "steer" me in the right direction?

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Electric power steering is amazing! I have in my new F-150 and I honestly never want to drive with hydraulic power steering again. Amazingly smooth and responsive and you get none of the steering shudder that you would with hydraulic. not to mention you have less strain on the engine, no power steering fluid to deal with and clears up your engine bay. I'm buying this without a doubt!

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This is an older thread, but since there has been progress in this area, I thought I'd add this update.  I just installed this unit into my Z and when it's off, it's exactly like stock.  You can dial in the amount of assist, so it gives you flexibilty in that regard.  Now you can just send in your column for a core and get a ready to go unit, making it a simple upgrade that pretty much anyone can do.  They have sold many to Z owners overseas and here in the USA, along with many 'o hotrodders, '60s Mustangs and the like.  Very cool. 

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If I'm not mistaken, the unit in Gary's pics above came from here:

http://zpowersteering.com/

 

I just (finally) installed one of these in my Z as well, and it's a HUGE difference!  My 4" downpipe meant that I had to pay a little more attention to fitment of the column and clearance of the steering shaft than most, but it's in and working great.

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I had 265's up front and a Momo Wheel...that MSA Auto-X at Pomona.... My hands were shot, stopped counting after 28 passes... I pulled out of line and by that time you were literally making a run and getting in line behind 4-6 cars at staging. With three cars on the course at any given time...it was almost like the drive from the timing box to the start line was just a technical low speed section...

 

Man, Power Steering would have been nice that day!

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If I'm not mistaken, the unit in Gary's pics above came from here:

http://zpowersteering.com/

 

I just (finally) installed one of these in my Z as well, and it's a HUGE difference!  My 4" downpipe meant that I had to pay a little more attention to fitment of the column and clearance of the steering shaft than most, but it's in and working great.

Actually, I got mine locally, which is the manufacturer of the units for a wide variety of cars, but the Zpowersteering guy is a distributor/seller of just the Z unit. Either way , it's the same setup. The original used the top & bottom halves of the stock steering column and firewall mounting flange, but the new version now just uses the top part. Nice piece, for sure and he is selling quite a few for lots of different cars. Good stuff!

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I'm interested in the steering feel and how it operates when you let go of the wheel.  In the ones I have driven they feel numb.  I'm looking for the same feel as manual but with some assist and no damping when you release the wheel.  Would love to hear thoughts on this.

 

Cary

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I drove a car with the same setup and it gives you nearly the same feel, just with less effort.  When off, it feels exactly like stock and is controlled manually via the dial, does not have speed sensing, so the feel is linear. 

 

Of the couple of race teams using this setup, they actually commented on how much better the steering feel is, even in road race conditions and is better than hydraulic PS.  On cars with big flares and slicks, it was an even better improvement and offered better feel & control when pushed to the limit under high loads. 

 

These guys (http://www.usautoperformance.com/epas/ ) have the different amperage units and control modules for different applications, specifically developed the product for the racing and high performance vehicles and NOT the mass consumer market that isn't worried so much about feel & performance, just less effort. 

 

That's my 2 cents. 

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Good to hear.  I drove a Honda with EPAS and it  sucked.  The steering was numb to me.  At low turning rates you could feel pulsing.  Did you upgrade your steering joints to deal with the extra torque?  That would be one concern using older parts with this.  And my final question what amp range did you go for?

 

Cary

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I don't like the price but it sure is interesting. I am very intrigued but would like to hear from more people that have used it. Their website has a place for testimonials but there is only one. 

 

Would it react fast enough for autox use?

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The torque applied to the steering components would be the same or very close, it's the input torque (from your hands/arms) that is reduced through the use of power steering such as this.

Not true. Since your input torque is multiplied, you can put much more torque on the steering components and the chassis with power steering. You can pull the wheel just as hard as you could before, but the power at the rack is increased. Exacerbated more if and when you make the steering faster.

 

I ended up getting a Woodward hydraulic rack because it did both faster and power assist, and in their tech info they talk about beefing up the chassis where the rack bolts on to handle the extra loads. It shouldn't be too hard to add in a steering quickener box to one of these electric systems, but then I wonder if you'll be pulling the rack apart, wrecking the bushings and joints.

Edited by JMortensen

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