How about electric power steering?

jfcroni

Precision Fit
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Did you get out for a test ride yet Gary? Any more feedback on your project?
 

duke94

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OK guys, I took her out for the first time today and life is good! Steers just like it has power steering. The amount of boost can be controlled by the potentiometer I installed on the dash. I didn’t venture too far from home but made lots of turns and it works well. I didn’t notice any tendency for it to try and turn the wheel without any driver input. The steering on a Willys is so slow, I doubt very much if you could beat the system with a fast turn. I turned the key off while driving and the system reverted back to the stock manual steering.

On the down side, I noticed that the steering wheel does not want to come back to center on its own. It wasn’t that great before the install, and the internal drag of the power unit didn’t help. I’ll tinker with a couple more degrees of Caster and see what it does. I know Jeep CJ’s like 6-8* and the Willys is only at 3*.

A few comments:

> I would consider this a Universal kit since it was more than just bolting on parts. But I knew that going in, since no direct fit kit was available. Just remember to “measure twice and cut once”.

> Instructions were minimal but more than adequate for anyone with mechanical skills.

> Wiring was plug and play. Hot wire, ground and a wire to the run side of the ignition switch.

> Welding of the adapters on each end of the power unit is required. My local welder did it for 20 bucks.

> It would have been nice to get a labeled bezel for the potentiometer so you know which way to turn it for increase/decrease boost.

> The one negative I had and it’s minor to me, is that the shaft through the power unit is solid so I can’t get the horn wire up to the steering wheel. Guess I’ll just add a button on the side of the column.

> The customer service from Jenee' Wieland at EPAS Performance was excellent. She even answered my (our) questions on the weekends.

> It took me 15-20 hours to do the complete installation, but I cleaned up a few other things along the way.

Conclusion: System works as advertised. I should have done it long ago. I highly recommend it.

So there you have it, one down……WHO'S NEXT?

Gary
 

Pointy Grille

Sharpest Tool
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Thanks Gary, you're write up has been great! Sure answers my original question about "power steering in a stock '60 wagon".
 

hames57

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harry
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Great idea. But, I have one thought as a new guy to Willys. The poster mentioned that standing still, the power steering was great. As I've watched various re-builds of the stock steering gears, they look low tech and a bit flimsy. So, question is: Were these stock steering gears designed for frequent stand still lock to lock steering? Of course for 60 years, people have been doing the stand still lock to lock with the stock Willys steering system but I suspect they naturally didn't like doing it. But without the power steering, in the case of my old 54 Chev Belair, I realized that steering that car was very easy as long as I was moving some, so my habit was to move whenever and however possible even when parking. I just didn't like the feel of the steering train when the car wasn't moving. I wonder if power steering that uses the stock steering train will cause earlier failures and wear.
 

duke94

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Yep, the stock steering gear is more suited to a Jeep CJ than a 1 ton truck, but the point was to show that the power unit had enough power to turn the wheels without burning up wires or dimming the headlights.
 

Blindmelon

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Years ago a relative gave me brody knob as a gift... Looks neat but I've never used one... My Pop's always told me
that they were not a good idea.........Well, after 5 or 6 years now I finally put it on to try.........Wow, it really helps in
parking lots and tight turns.... Now, if I can keep from breaking a thumb, like Dad warned me I'll be happy.. I really like
this electric power steering deal.. Maybe if I last to 80 I'll try it... Only 8 more years..
 

duke94

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Years ago a relative gave me brody knob as a gift... Looks neat but I've never used one... My Pop's always told me
that they were not a good idea.........Well, after 5 or 6 years now I finally put it on to try.........Wow, it really helps in
parking lots and tight turns.... Now, if I can keep from breaking a thumb, like Dad warned me I'll be happy.. I really like
this electric power steering deal.. Maybe if I last to 80 I'll try it... Only 8 more years..
You mean one of these guys?

Steer wheel_LI.jpg
 
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Nice work Gary! There sure isn't much extra room under the dash is there. I wonder if the vendor would be interested I joining the forum? Maybe save members a few bucks.
 

duke94

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Nice work Gary! There sure isn't much extra room under the dash is there. I wonder if the vendor would be interested I joining the forum? Maybe save members a few bucks.
Maybe, they've been following this post. Jenee are you lurking out there??
 
Joined
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Gary, in you're opinion do you think under everyday driving conditions that a stock generator would be sufficient to power one of these steering units?
 

duke94

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Gary, in you're opinion do you think under everyday driving conditions that a stock generator would be sufficient to power one of these steering units?
Not sure, I think I have an AMP meter that will handle the current so I can actually measure it. I know this was a concern of some other forum members. I'll see if I can do it.
 
Joined
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Gary, if you're amp meter dosent work would it be possible to do it with fuses? What size fuse is in the circuit now? What size wire feeds it?
 
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