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whitev6
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Hi
Its been a while since Ive been here, but I'm getting the V6 out of mothballs..
Question:
I really enjoy the drive experience of the BA, however I was wondering if there is any way of reducing the power steering assistance, as it'd be good to have more road feel at driving speeds..
Ive been really spoilt driving my MX5, and would like the BA to at least have a similar steering weight..
Has it ever been done??
A smaller wheel is one possibility, but dont want to go messing with the airbag wiring.

I was thinking some sort of pressure reduction valve

Anyway thoughts please


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:28 pm 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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whitev6 wrote:
I was wondering if there is any way of reducing the power steering assistance, as it'd be good to have more road feel at driving speeds.
Ive been really spoilt driving my MX5, and would like the BA to at least have a similar steering weight.. Has it ever been done??

I was thinking some sort of pressure reduction valve


AGGGGGHHHHHHH !!!!!!!

*Takes a deep breath*

Apols, my friend, but you just hit the big red button, as the rest of the club will tell you :laughing6:

I've just endured a year of pain first reinstalling the PAS on my V6 - which took a couple of weeks as it had been completely deleted, and then months looking for a suitable new pipe after one of the flexi pipes was damaged. So I know the V6 PAS system for the KFDE intimately, and also know what an absolute PIG it is to work on at the steering rack unless you take the engine out first (I had no means of lifting the engine, hence all the pain).

Obviously, with respect I don't know how familiar you are with the PAS (or indeed the V6 engines) but hopefully you are familiar with the engine and will either have a ramp or are able to lift the engine.

If such a valve is theoretically compatible with the system (and I have no idea on that point - I'll leave that to someone like Hughie to answer) I don't know where you'd place it: presumably you'd have to modify the rack itself, or cut in to one of the two skinny copper-coloured pipes directly under the engine that connect the left and right sides of the rack. If you've never taken these off before, they are highly fragile, and if you bend them even slightly out of whack then they won't thread properly into the space designed for them, and may not align properly with the rack and thus you won't be able to tighten up the screw fittings where they connect to the rack. Given how and where they are attached, even getting these off requires a lot of effort and manual dexterity with a stubby spanner, and preferably small hands.

I don't think there's any way you could add a valve to the pump, unless you had a custom pump, as the standard one is a sealed unit.

The upper pipes connected to the pump are rubberised, so you might sneak in a valve there, BUT everything is shoehorned into such a tight space down the side of the engine bay that it's difficult even to get a spanner or socket down there, let alone modify the pipes to insert a valve ... again, unless you have the engine out.

I imagine a custom PAS reservoir up top with a valve attached might be your most painless option, if a valve is technically possible (and as said, I'll leave that point to someone else to answer).

Unless you're driving the car mostly in a racing context, from my recent experience I'd strongly advise NOT removing the PAS system completely, as everyday driving and parking becomes a complete b*d ... trust me on this. Unlike the MX5, weight-wise the V6 is not a sporty little racer but a comparatively heavy car (I suspect that's mostly because of the V6 stuffed into it, as my 1.5 GXi is far lighter).

ALL THAT SAID ... if you still want to give it a go, I now know the V6 PAS system pretty much inside out, so feel free to ping me any questions, e.g. I now know all the spanner sizes you'll need, where all the critical crush washers are, and the shortcuts to removing the pump etc. in the most efficient way possible in order to access the rack.

S

_________________
"Never tell me the odds!"
"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maint thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maint thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with PAS. Oooooh.

https://www.instagram.com/sj323f/


Last edited by SerenaJ on Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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pitrack_1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Oh, dear. I got in too late to warn you whitev6. Sorry Serena! :D

Anyways they only suggestion I can think of, besides some valving change (probably in the pump as Serena suggests), is a rack ratio change. Again this no doubt requires custom work unless you can get something to magically fit. Even a 10% change (e.g. 3.3 to 3.0 turns lock-to-lock) will make a tangible difference- at least it did on my old N13 Pulsar which (apparently) had two rack ratios either through supplier or model differences. Through a couple of rack changes I got to evaluate both.

Mazda being Mazda and with much commonality, it may be you can get a different ratio rack innards from some donor (e.g. MX-5?) and fit them to your rack. Alternatively, if perhaps the MX-5 pump fits and has the reduced assistance you want, perhaps that may fit.

Patrick


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maZZda
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:44 pm 
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Have no one thought about changing pulleys?
I did that on my F and it turned down the PAS significantly.
I did change the main pulley(harmonic balancer) with an aluminium one, that way everything except the alternator(as i mounted wheel on it too) is turning slower.
Water pump and hidraulic pump are turning 30-40% slower and that way the feel is like on sports car.
My intentions were different thou, i wanted the power that is trapped to produse pressure for the rack and coolant flow to go to wheels, and it did.
If someone is interested, check my car tread or just ask directly.
Cheers!


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SerenaJ
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:51 am 
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My Car: BA '97 GXi, BA '98 ZXi

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 am
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maZZda wrote:
Have no one thought about changing pulleys?

No, but easy to access through the wheel arch - maybe that's the OP's best solution, then? As presumably the pump and bracket/adjuster can stay on, and you don't have to go anywhere near the rack.

Incidentally, I should add to my essay above :laughing6: that the air con has also been removed from my V6, so I didn't have any of those big pipes in the way along the side of the engine bay. I'm pretty sure that if they had still been there then I'd have had to remove those temporarily as well.

S

_________________
"Never tell me the odds!"
"She'll hold together. (Please baby, hold together)"

Image

'Sundance' maint thread here (BA 1.5 GXi) - Proudly un-lowered!
'Butch' maint thread here (BA 2.0 V6 ZXi SE) - Now with PAS. Oooooh.

https://www.instagram.com/sj323f/


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whitev6
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:37 am 
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maZZda wrote:
Have no one thought about changing pulleys?
I did that on my F and it turned down the PAS significantly.
I did change the main pulley(harmonic balancer) with an aluminium one, that way everything except the alternator(as i mounted wheel on it too) is turning slower.
Water pump and hidraulic pump are turning 30-40% slower and that way the feel is like on sports car.
My intentions were different thou, i wanted the power that is trapped to produse pressure for the rack and coolant flow to go to wheels, and it did.
If someone is interested, check my car tread or just ask directly.
Cheers!


Funnily enough changing pulleys was my very first idea, and was expecting to see it on line somewhere as a possibility.

I daren't even mention it/suggest it as i assumed it was too naive an idea..and was afraid of being torn down due to space requirements for a larger pulley. This was all assuming I mounted a larger pulley onto the ps pump..But i like the idea of swapping out the main pulley.. Does it affect the cooling at all??

Thanks for the replies thus far


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whitev6
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:50 am 
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Also interesting to see that Pitrack_1 is in Canberra A.C.T as too am I!!
What are the odds?, with the declining car numbers/interest in the 323, that another "active member" is here in this small metropolis...
There you go


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pitrack_1
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:24 pm 
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I had thought of the pulley size & Mazzda's changes there.

I'm assuming a constant pressure type of PS pump.

Don't know what the setup is on the V6.
- If there is only one belt then you'd need to change the pully on the power steering pump. If you change the crankshaft pulley, everything's affected. Hopefully there's enough belt adjustment. Don't forget a slower spinning alternator simply tries to make things up with a larger exciter current/voltage, also gets less cooling fro the in-built fan. You may just end up wearing out the alternator brushes quicker or not being able to charge enough.
- If there's multiple belts you can just change the pulley for the PS on either the crank (if possible) or on the pump.
- If the pump simply reaches a given pressure at a given rpm and pressure releases anything above that, then all you'll change is the rpm at which you reach this point- you'll still end up with the same assistance over that rpm, the rpm point will just be higher.

I still think you should look at the pressure valving as that will provide less assistance also at lower rpm- because the pump will reach the lower cut-off pressure at a lower rpm.

Patrick


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