PDA

View Full Version : Power Steering Installation- UniSteer ElectraSteer



ehansen007
02-16-2012, 05:11 PM
Hello All,

In an effort to put forth more information and make it easier to find, I'm going to post this up and use it in the Wiki for all use.

Installing the Unisteer Electra Steer kit

Let's get started:


http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1727.jpg

Here is the kit from Unisteer:

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1746.jpg

If you're going to order the unit from FFR, then you'll get the needed U-Joints along with it. If you don't you'll need to order 2-U-Joint 9/16 -30 x 3/4" DD found here U-Joint 9/16-30-3/4" DD (http://www.unisteer.com/search_by_product/u-joints/u-joint_9/16_-30_x_3/4_dd.html)

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 05:23 PM
Next we'll need to install the steering motor unit. As most of you know, fitment is entirely dependent on the motor/oilpan/oil filter you are running. I believe the new chassis have gotten it right and I'm not sure if I have one or not but I had to "clock my electric motor unit down away from the oil pan (even though mine was supposed to fit). What this means is simply rotating the electric motor down a bit for clearance and then redrilling holes in the frame plate. They should really just leave the flange with no holes!

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1739.jpg

First see if you can thread the outer most bolt in.

Now, using a jack for support, rotate and get the right position for the unit so it clears your oil pan and filter. Don't worry about it being centered in the hole in the mount plate on the chassis. As you can see here I mounted the left most bolt as mentioned and simply rotated the unit down for clearance. At least one hole should fit!

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1740.jpg

Mark, drill and install. There is no adjustment here so go ahead and tighten her down.

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 05:34 PM
Next we'll work on the linkage.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1752.jpg

You'll need to cut your upper and lower linkage shafts. Measure the distance between the ends of the collars on the UJs (U-Joints)Your length may be different but I cut my front lower to 2" and my rear upper to 14-1/4".

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1754.jpg

Once you've measured twice and cut once, take your short link and round him down a bit on one end as this will make it easier to get into the hole (insert penis joke...come on, you're all all thinking it).

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1751.jpg

Install the U-Joint from Uni-Steer on the ESM (Electric Steeing Motor). Next slide the 2" bar into the joint. Make sure it's easy to get in as you will be removing it once.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1750.jpg

Join the two UJ's together with the small linkage shaft. Again, make sure it's easy to remove. (Shaft not shown installed in picture, I forgot to take one)

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 05:48 PM
Next install the UPPER SHAFT linkage. No need to round the edge on the shaft here: it's much easier. The best way is to put the UJ on the lower end and then connect the top part of the shaft in first by the firewall, then connect the lower UJ to the spline motor shaft. So top firewall joint first then lower spline onto EMU.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1755.jpg

Once you have got both linkages in CENTER THEM INSIDE THE JOINTS AND MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT BIND. Once you have the shaft centered, mark the shaft through the allen bolt hole on the Uni-steer joints only. Now remove the shafts.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1757.jpg

Now that you have the shafts out and they are marked, you need to make the groove for the allen bolt. I found that the side of my grinding wheel did this quickly and easily. You can see I had an oops and had to make two, then I put it back down just for the picture. I'm not making three notches!

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1762.jpg

Once you have your grooves, go ahead and assemble the 2" front shaft, and tighten down.

For the UPPER SHAFT, you can bench tighten the Unisteer UJ onto the notch-end of it.

Next, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR WHEELS AND YOUR STEERING WHEEL STRAIGHT, then install the top of the UPPER shaft into the firewall UJ and then the lower UJ onto the splines. Tighten all UJ's including the FFR ones and check for any binding. The most common source of binding is the shaft being too long.

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 06:07 PM
Wiring and ECU placment

The ECU can be mounted anywhere but with the limitation on the length of the wire, you'd have to extend it which won't be fun. Here's where I put mine.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1759.jpg

Using some industrial double side tape on the bottom and side, I mounted mine on the inside of the body. I've also zip tied it for security if by chance it should come loose. This was about as far as I could get this unit away and out of sight.

I also ran the red wire all the way back to the battery as recommended but I'm using a local short ground to the frame to avoid any interference. I've found long grounds for an ECU can sometimes be a nuisance.

I then ran the remainder of the wires into the car.

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1760.jpg

I ran my light to my door jamb and then ran the green wire up to a switch in my console in case I ever want to turn it off.

All done! At first I turned it on with the car up in the air just to see it turn on and see if it worked. I got a red light which was great but I couldn't hear anything so I thought it wasn't working! Damn it! So, maybe it just needs some force or something against it to work. So I set it down.

Holy ****e!!! SEE video below.

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 06:11 PM
Man, I can't wait to get on the street! This power steering really works and is totally silent. Check out the video to see the before and after. Note: the noise you hear is the tires on the garage floor, nothing else.


http://youtu.be/4yFhFsSOdQg

michael everson
02-16-2012, 07:42 PM
Great write up. I have installed a few of these, and they work great. I even installed one in a Roadster.

65 Cobra Dude
02-16-2012, 08:04 PM
Erik,

Looks good. If I remember correctly, that control box needs to be installed inside the car. It does not like rain. I had to extend the wires to put it behind the dash.

Henry

ehansen007
02-16-2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks Henry,

I'll waterproof it some more. I don't drive in the rain anyways but it's good to know. I checked the manual and it says not to expose it to extreme heat or water. Good thing is, I live in Southern Cal where we get neither! With the heat sinks on it, I figured it could get hot especially during an auto cross so I felt it was best to have it outside where it could be cooled and not under the dash where there is no ventilation. I'll just have to make sure I waterproof it some more to help against condensation etc.

Olli
02-17-2012, 09:31 AM
The triangular mounting flange is different from mine. You didn't show it but did you clear the stock size oil filter (FL1-A size)?

Olli

ehansen007
02-17-2012, 11:30 AM
Yes it does clear the stock filter by about 1/8".

http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac177/ehansen007/Help%20Topics/IMG_1764.jpg

Olli
02-17-2012, 12:27 PM
Something is very different from mine....as I already stated the triangular mount flange is a mystery to me and the overall placement of the unit seems to be further back than mine. I know that I have a pre-production chassis so things could/should have changed. I wonder if the FFR chassis mount has been moved back?


Olli

ehansen007
02-17-2012, 01:32 PM
Maybe the triangle is different because I ordered directly from Uni Steer but the rep said all the units are the same. I do know that FFR changed the mounting point on the chassis though.

ehansen007
02-17-2012, 02:44 PM
I just drove it for the first time and all I can say is wow. It's a different car and way more fun to drive since you can steer with one hand easily. This is so much easier with a manual. I'd say this is the best mod I've done so far and would highly recommend it. The only drawback I see is that it gives you a numb center but I think it's worth it.

sheephearder
02-17-2012, 06:08 PM
I started my ps install today and gave up trying to file the center hole for the aluminum plate to fit through from the front of the car. Thats the way it is in the manual. I then took the aluminum plate off to put on the firewall side like you did, and the unit hit the bottom of my motor mount. Went to hardware store for longer bolts and washers for spacers to extend the entire unit foreward to clear the motor mount. No problem with the oil filter clearance. Don't know if there is room for the short shank or not, but was willing to give it another try tomorrow. Came home and read your post. Now I'll just drill 2 new mounting holes tomorrow and be done with it. I don't guess there will be a problem with the unit on the forward side of the mounting plate and the aluminum plate on the firewall side. Your pic shows me you did it that way. I think thats better than moving the whole unit forward. Glad to hear how it drives. Thanks again for your post's.


John

ehansen007
02-20-2012, 11:02 AM
Well, I'm not sure how it comes in the box from Factory five but with mine, you can see there's a steel plate between the two separating the triangle mount from the body. So it made sense to me to do the same in relation to the frame. Not only that but it gives you more room to adjust within the hole and move it around vs just being able to rotate it.

j33ptj
04-24-2012, 03:02 AM
I have seen on the RideTech 33, they mounted the powersteering system under the dash against the firewall...

Anybody seen that, more experience with that set up??

Thnx
Robert

sheephearder
04-24-2012, 09:48 AM
I plan on extending the wires and mounting it behind the firewall. I'm still in the fitment stage and hope everything will fit without problems.

John

ehansen007
05-07-2012, 12:12 PM
After putting some miles on the car and doing some auto crossing, I've found that the car is really light on the steering especially on the FWY at speed. Putting it on a switch lets me turn it off helps but I'm also planning on raking it out a bit to 7 degrees of caster based on Jim Schneck's recommendation. I'll report back on that after I get the car back together.

ehansen007
05-11-2012, 10:43 AM
I've guided Tim over here from the other forum and he had some poignant questions so I figured I'd answer them all

1. How long/miles have you been driving your hot rod with the power assist and do you think it was a wise purchase? 500 long ****ty miles without, 1000 fine, luxurious, easy going, miles with. Hell yes.
2. Have you driven a hot rod without the power assist, and if so, what is your impression of the difference between manual and power assist? Night and day
3. Did you install your unit initially when building your car, or added it later? Added it when I realized my skinny arms could no longer take it. And autocrossing was a nightmare.
4. If you replaced the manual steering with the power assist, what challenges did you face with the changeover? Just clocking/rotating to clear the oil pan.
5. Did you buy the unit through FFR or direct from Unisteer? Bought Direct from Unisteer at the Grand National Roadster show at a huge discount $800 plus $150 for the u joints vs, $1149 from FFR
6. If you did not buy the unit and are still running manual steering, do you wish you would have gone for the power assist option? Just buy it brother, you won't regret it. You can steer with one arm and enjoy a nice relaxing ride.

timdks
05-11-2012, 11:03 AM
I've guided Tim over here from the other forum and he had some poignant questions so I figured I'd answer them all

1. How long/miles have you been driving your hot rod with the power assist and do you think it was a wise purchase? 500 long ****ty miles without, 1000 fine, luxurious, easy going, miles with. Hell yes.
2. Have you driven a hot rod without the power assist, and if so, what is your impression of the difference between manual and power assist? Night and day
3. Did you install your unit initially when building your car, or added it later? Added it when I realized my skinny arms could no longer take it. And autocrossing was a nightmare.
4. If you replaced the manual steering with the power assist, what challenges did you face with the changeover? Just clocking/rotating to clear the oil pan.
5. Did you buy the unit through FFR or direct from Unisteer? Bought Direct from Unisteer at the Grand National Roadster show at a huge discount $800 plus $150 for the u joints vs, $1149 from FFR
6. If you did not buy the unit and are still running manual steering, do you wish you would have gone for the power assist option? Just buy it brother, you won't regret it. You can steer with one arm and enjoy a nice relaxing ride.

Darn Erik, you beat me to it. I was going to post my questions over here when I checked out your post. As always, a great report on your add-on. Thanks for doing that. One question I didn't ask was how long it took for the install? Just trying to figure if I can get one installed before hitting the road on June 5.

And you have sold me. Unisteer wants $995 on their website without the additional U-Joints, which is not a whole lot different from what FFR wants today at $1199. Don't expect to be at a show to get a discount for some time. It may be worth the bucks to just go for it through FFR.

ehansen007
05-11-2012, 11:12 AM
It would have taken me a day to do it but I didn't know I needed the Ujoints. I ordered and waited for them. It's an easy job though since you've already done the linkage. Just buy from FFR since you wont' be at a show anytime soon.

Tom Veale
05-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Erik, That's a great report. Thanks for the info. My car was a BETA build and I'd have to look at the frame to see if there's even a flange down there for PS. So far I'm content with manual, but I was born a long time ago and learned on manual steering and brakes! Your experience makes it an interesting possible winter project for next year. Maybe at some event I'll get to try the power assist and see if it's something I like.

Best regards, Tom

crash
05-11-2012, 12:21 PM
There may be a way to use this...

http://www.myraceshop.com/Power_Steering_Controller.html

Myself and a couple others from the forums have developed this product for variable power assist steering on the GTM using an electric over hydraulic pump to power the Mustang PS rack. This controller has actually been modified to control various different things. Basically what it does is connect to a wheel speed sensor and count pulses. It then is user programable for number of output pulses based upon an algorythm so that when speed increases, assistance is decreased to the rack. This gives you the best of both worlds as far as low speed assistance and high speed "feel". Probably something we could work on interfacing to these units so that a speed sensitive situation is created. Oh, and there is also a rheostat that is dash mountable that allows you to adjust assist "on the fly". Interesting idea for sure. I will be looking into it.

Olli
05-11-2012, 12:24 PM
Tom, the flange is there on the early chassis. It is the same flange that the flange bearing for the manual steering is bolted to. Judging by Erik's pictures, the flange on yours might be a snick forward, which is fine. It only means that you would have to switch to a shorter oil filter. (WIX 51311 / NAPA 1311). It appears as if FFR moved the flange back a bit at some point.


I have the Electra-Steer on #003.

FYI Beta builds were; 002,003,004,005. Starting with 006 it was production.

Olli

ehansen007
05-21-2012, 10:56 AM
While I understand the thinking behind keep the unit completely tucked away and out of the engine compartment, I want make sure that most know that this is not a necessity. The Unisteer manual simply says

"The unit CANNOT be mounted near a heat source, exposed to excessive moisture/water or submerged under water."

I take that to mean, water resistant vs. waterproof and is their disclaimer for units that get abused (they sell these for off road vehicles like the Terryx, Rhino, etc) I spoke with Unisteer and they confirmed this. The unit itself has an epoxy lining inside for weather "resistance". So unless you plan on going James Bond with your 33 or consistently driving it in the rain, I'd say you're pretty safe. As always though, for some, the best insurance is reassurance so mount to your liking.

timdks
05-21-2012, 01:22 PM
While I understand the thinking behind keep the unit completely tucked away and out of the engine compartment, I want make sure that most know that this is not a necessity. The Unisteer manual simply says

"The unit CANNOT be mounted near a heat source, exposed to excessive moisture/water or submerged under water."

I take that to mean, water resistant vs. waterproof and is their disclaimer for units that get abused (they sell these for off road vehicles like the Terryx, Rhino, etc) I spoke with Unisteer and they confirmed this. The unit itself has an epoxy lining inside for weather "resistance". So unless you plan on going James Bond with your 33 or consistently driving it in the rain, I'd say you're pretty safe. As always though, for some, the best insurance is reassurance so mount to your liking.

Good to know Erik, since I've now ordered the unit based on your and other posts.

timdks
05-31-2012, 10:37 AM
Someone mentioned to me that the front end should be aligned again after the power steering unit is installed. I'm puzzled as how the front end might fall out of alignment by adding the power assist motor after the car has been built, but I'm puzzled about a lot of things. Should the car alignment be tweaked after the Unisteer unit is installed?

Olli
05-31-2012, 12:33 PM
What they might have been getting at was that you can dial in more castor with power steering. When you change the castor you need to correct the camber and toe.

You don't have to do an alignment just because you added the power steering unit, only if you want more castor.

Olli

timdks
05-31-2012, 04:21 PM
What they might have been getting at was that you can dial in more castor with power steering. When you change the castor you need to correct the camber and toe.

You don't have to do an alignment just because you added the power steering unit, only if you want more castor.

Olli

Thanks Olli. That makes sense.

maczter
02-24-2013, 09:11 PM
Can anyone tell me the model number of the Electra Steer unit? Can it be bought from them or only FFR? I found one on eBay for $890, but not sure it is the right one. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unisteer-8051500-Electra-Steer-Electric-Power-Steering-Model-A-1930-32-Ford-/330870541721?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessorie s&hash=item4d096bcd99&vxp=mtr

Arrowhead
02-25-2013, 08:24 AM
Sure looks like it's the same one. Just keep in mind you'll need 2 of the spline x D shaft universal joints and the FFR price includes them. See Erik's first post above.

maczter
02-25-2013, 07:58 PM
They are on eBay too, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unisteer-Universal-U-Joint-9-16-30-Spline-x-3-4-DD-/160694932999?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item256a2a1607&vxp=mtr. Total on eBay is $1030. FFR wants $1199...saves a little money.

maczter
03-13-2013, 04:09 PM
Has anyone using the SBC installed the Unisteer? Care to share any issues and/or pictures?

maczter
06-11-2013, 11:13 AM
Went to install my 8052160, 4500# kit last night and ran into an issue. The documentation calls for 9/16" spline and 3/4" DD u-joints as with the previous kit. However, these DO NOT FIT this unit, the spline is larger. I measured them with a digital caliper and it came out to 2/3", which is not an offered size. So I called Unisteer, and they did not list the size I needed, but sold me the ones to fit the unit for $45 each for black or $78 for polished.

mcrumay
11-22-2013, 06:07 PM
Day late and dollar short.
I just installed Unisteer unit (front portion). I thought this can't be right, little shaft is too long. t decided before I cut it I will check the forum. Found this thread.
Why didn't I read it before starting.
Great post. Many thanks.

Mike