Power Steering issues on track.

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Power Steering issues on track.

Post by Ted FM 13 on Wed May 17, 2017 2:06 am

Has anyone needed a PS cooler on track? I was running in high 60 F temps on Monday and couldn't do more than 4 laps (2 by mid day) before the PS started to act up (not work) with high RPM's. I thought it might be low fluid and added til it was at the top end of the hot range. To no avail.

I recently put in a reman 87 Chevette PS steering rack, a reman 04 Camry pump and an 87 junk yard Hundai reservoir. I believe this is what Gray Fowler had on the original build of 2012 #154 which was working fine til I overheated the motor last summer. at that time, I took the PS off since melted parts of the PS reservoir were suspected to be gumming up the rack and pump. Tried a manual rack but it was too stiff on track at even 1.3 G's. So back to a PS rack. Anyway with a fresh install on these parts and perfect performance during spirited driving up in the hills, I thought I was good to go.

At the track that was not the case. The PS assist stopped working at high RPMs but would come back if I backed off and drove 60%. There is some leakage from venting of the reservoir as the head covers are covered with a PS fluid film. The new clear fluid after just a few miles, is dark brown to black. I've heard heat is the most likely cause, but I don't see a lot of talk on the web (Sweet engineering or Woodward) about PS coolers for race cars. What is your take on this? high pressure hoses are rubber and short and the plastic reservoir is small and does not dissipate much heat I'm sure.

So a cooler is where I'll go next. And is there a large volume aluminum reservoir that would help with more fluid and therefore, better cooling? ?

Any insight for me? Thanks.
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Ted FM 13

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Re: Power Steering issues on track.

Post by jtmineha on Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:17 pm

Most of the new builds are using a manual rack with electric power steering assist. It works really well, and one less fluid to worry about. Mine was an aftermarket system, but others have used the GM electric assist unit that came in the Saturn Vue and other GM vehicles (can be found in salvage yards pretty cheap). It even has an adjuster so you can dial in the amount of assist.
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Re: Power Steering issues on track.

Post by Ted FM 13 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:44 am

Thanks. a variable electric assist sounds perfect. I'll try that if I find more difficulty with what I have. I put on a cooler and bled it with a vacuum really well and find it perfectly acceptable in spirited driving. But I have not been to the track since that install and although I think I've solved the heat problem, I won't know til I do a 90F track day. which might have to wait 'til next year.

Thanks for the input.

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