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Mo*or Mo**h
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, put off too long replacing that power steering belt.

Today it finally gave up. Now, I'm trying to drive without power steering.
Real workout. New appreciation.

It's o.k. on the highway, but just getting out of the driveway is a real chore, essentially unsafe, too. So, guess what I'll be doing this weekend?

On the bright side, and the reason I decided to post, there's a very significant gain in pep from the old horse. It makes me wonder how much of a drag the PS pump actually is on the engine. Is the PS pump spec'd to some required HP or torque requirement of the engine to which it is attached?

I'm pretty sure there's at least a 10-20 HP gain without that belt.

btw, it broke at that instant when I was getting scratch out of 2nd on an expressway ramp. The steering torqued so hard I almost lost it. More than it ever had due to the gain in power after the belt snapped.
 

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Love the thread title KAHruzer and yes, I can relate to that :lol: ...you've got my attention on that HP gain w/o the PS pump drive belt?!?
 

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Legend driver
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198 Posts
Hmmmm. This is interesting. Could I cut my ps pump belt to improve the MPG on my car? I can see how driving without power steering could be somewhat dangerous. Is there any harm done to the car if you manually steer a non-working power steering system? Anyone know if Legends ever had the option for non-power steering?
 

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No.

While the PS pump IS always "pumping" when the engine is running, it's not actually doing anything when you aren't turning. When you turn the wheel, passages in the rack open and route the fluid to push against certain parts within the rack, left or right, respectively.

When cruising, AKA going straight, the pump is hardly doing any work at all, not draining the engine at all.

On top of that, it's bad for an automatic steering system to be driven like a manual steering car. There's a pencil thick torsion bar within the steering rack, and without fluid pressure, you put a lot of strain on that bar. You can feel through the wheel just how hard it is to turn, now imagine all that force on a pencil thick metal bar. Ker-snap? Yes.

If you're "feeling" an HP gain from your PS pump being disengaged, then there are one of two things happening:
1) You have some form of resistance within the pump itself that is causing friction and fighting the engine.
2) You've established a placebo effect and your butt dyno is agreeing.

As far as a Legend without a power steering option? It's an Acura luxury car. What do you think?
 

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Legend driver
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198 Posts
Thanks for the info. You got power steering on that '68 Jag?
 

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because i can.
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I dont know about his XK-E, but I remember having to drive an 82 XJ6 (about 4500 pounds iirc) without power steering once....now THAT was pumping iron!!
 

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To be honest, I'm not sure. I inherited it from my uncle and haven't been able to bring myself to drive it yet. It's sitting in his pole barn still... =\
 

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Hmmmm. This is interesting. Could I cut my ps pump belt to improve the MPG on my car? I can see how driving without power steering could be somewhat dangerous. Is there any harm done to the car if you manually steer a non-working power steering system? Anyone know if Legends ever had the option for non-power steering?
To answer your remaining question, all Legends came standard with power steering.

I like the butt dyno concept, though I'm pretty sure that mine needs recalibrated as it picks up 5hp when I give it bath....
 

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Legend driver
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Thanks for the input, fellas. If it wasn't going to damage the car, I would consider cutting the ps belt, just to see what kind of change in MPG might result. But since it can cause damage, I won't do it. Small cars are not too bad without power steering. I hear you though on that XJ6. That thing is a beast.
Would love to see some photos of the XK-E, sometime. Those are very, very special cars.
 

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Mo*or Mo**h
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Discussion Starter #10
No.

While the PS pump IS always "pumping" when the engine is running, it's not actually doing anything when you aren't turning. When you turn the wheel, passages in the rack open and route the fluid to push against certain parts within the rack, left or right, respectively.

When cruising, AKA going straight, the pump is hardly doing any work at all, not draining the engine at all.

On top of that, it's bad for an automatic steering system to be driven like a manual steering car. There's a pencil thick torsion bar within the steering rack, and without fluid pressure, you put a lot of strain on that bar. You can feel through the wheel just how hard it is to turn, now imagine all that force on a pencil thick metal bar. Ker-snap? Yes.

If you're "feeling" an HP gain from your PS pump being disengaged, then there are one of two things happening:
1) You have some form of resistance within the pump itself that is causing friction and fighting the engine.
2) You've established a placebo effect and your butt dyno is agreeing.

As far as a Legend without a power steering option? It's an Acura luxury car. What do you think?
I'd tend to agree with you.

It does kind of make me scratch my head because there is a noticable difference. I'm not that crazy.

My PS pump has been making one of those "Push-Chew" noises in recent months which led me to believe it on the way out. Might even explain the belt problem to some degree. So, it's entirely possible the pump was actually producing drag when none is normal.

Then again, the system does need to pressurize upon start, I'd imagine. That noise did eventually dissipate. How long that process normally takes may be a question because mine did take several minutes. And, this event did occur within minutes of startup, but was shortly after another run which had the car warm.

Don't know, but it still feels light on its' feet without the belt. Haven't done the work yet due to weather. I've almost acclimated to the steering, which is only really hard when the car isn't moving. At highway speeds, it's normal.

I think they actually refer to this as "power assisted" steering, meaning it only works at low speeds and backs off as speed increases.
 

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^Again, at high speeds, how much are you really turning? Maybe moving the wheel a few inches at most? And since the tires are rolling, the effort needed to move them is minimal.

It also sounds like your pump is faulty and would need to be replaced. I'd be willing to be that if you did and replaced the belt, you'd still notice the "new" pep.
 

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Legend driver
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I am in the process of finding out the expensive way (from my mechanic) that the power steering in the G1 Legends is actually "variable assist". The system provides more assistance at low speeds, and virtually no assistance at higher speeds. How does it know what speed you are traveling? Well, come to find out that the power steering system has a fluid line that passes through the VSS (vehicle speed sensor), and that has some kind of valve in it that regulates the pressure in the line. Trust me, you don't want to find out what replacing these parts costs. It's a friggin small fortune.
 

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as a joke, one of my co-workers released all the air in my car a few days ago and i had to drive to the gas station to fill it up again. that wasn't fun, especially getting out of the lot. hope you get that fixed soon man!
 

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I am in the process of finding out the expensive way (from my mechanic) that the power steering in the G1 Legends is actually "variable assist". The system provides more assistance at low speeds, and virtually no assistance at higher speeds. How does it know what speed you are traveling? Well, come to find out that the power steering system has a fluid line that passes through the VSS (vehicle speed sensor), and that has some kind of valve in it that regulates the pressure in the line. Trust me, you don't want to find out what replacing these parts costs. It's a friggin small fortune.
Thanks for the input. I had to replace the VSS as the mechanic who replaced my clutch broke the mounting tab off of it. Long story, but he was replacing the clutch for the 4th time and had finally gotten it right, so I decided to leave well enough alone and fix the VSS itself. Anyway, I was wondering why the power steering was routed through it. I thought maybe it was to lubricate the unit, but your explanation makes much more sense.

BTW, the VSS was next to nothing at the junkyard, but putting it in is a little tricky. There are a lot of vacuum connections in the way and you have to avoid snapping any off. Plus the housing is made of pot metal, and it is real easy to snap the mounting tab off if you over-tighten it....
 

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Legend driver
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^^^ Good to know. I may be out in the junkyard getting a VSS at some point in the near future.
 

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I'd recommend getting one from the yard if they're soaking you for a new one, because it's a simple job to remove one - 10 minutes tops. The easiest way to grab a VSS is to unscrew the upper part of the speedo cable and remove the VSS along with the lower portion of the cable. Once you have it out, then you can disconnect the lower portion by pulling up the rubber boot and removing the little clip that retains the lower cable. It's much easier to install the VSS in your car along with the lower cable, because you don't have to go through contortions to try to reinstall that clip since the lower cable is already connected. Also, while you have everything apart, it'd be convenient to lube your cable.

BTW, once you have the VSS removed and before you disconnect the lower cable, it's a good idea to rotate the gear on the VSS and make sure that you can see the speedo cable turn.
 

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The idea of removing or replacing the power steering unit isn't anything new. More commonly in high end racing vehicles (like the Acura NSX), instead of putting in a hydraulic based power steering system, it has an electric motor to turn the wheels. The electric system is overall more efficient in addition to being able to take more wear. There are some other vehicles that have completely removed the power steering for the sake of better fuel economy, like the Geo Metro.

Honestly, I don't think you'll get about 10-15hp by removing the power steering unit. I would venture a guess the number would be more like 8hp.

Though, instead of removing the power steering system, I would recommend installing a underdrive pulley setup instead. While it won't give you as much power as removing the system, it will reduce the power all the slave devices (power steering, alternator, a/c) receive. Overall, that should give you a solid boost of power without completely compromising on wear and safety of the vehicle.
 

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Mo*or Mo**h
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Discussion Starter #18
My hind-end dyno can't appreciably detect the difference between 8HP and 10HP.

Do you know of an electric pump replacement for our PS pump in the Legend?
One which just replaces it in place, but attaches to all the hydrolics, less the belt?

What is an 'underdrive pulley system'? And, could that be done only for PS, while not affecting AC and/or Alternator?
 

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Mo*or Mo**h
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Quick Google on electric ps pumps found this:

Race Pages - Acura Legend Electric PS Pumps

....called them, no such thing for G1 Legends.

Also found this a Wiki, saying electric PS systems tend to be totally electronic, without any hydrolics which are replaced by sensors.

This Wiki site says EPS is a fairly new technology, at least for mainstream installations.

It'd be kind of nice if one could use an electric replacement just to pressurize the hydrolics of an existing HPS installation, however. That's what's called a 'hybrid system' or Electro-Hydrolic System (EHPS) on the Wiki page. Guess that'd be asking too much as a retrofit OEM replacement on old clunkers anyway.
 
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