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Old 08-25-2004, 11:15 PM   #1
bboy
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Default Can you reduce the "power" in power steering?

I have an '04 STI and I'm bothered by the ease of the power steering. It's just too easy to turn, little feel for the car in turns. I have new springs and rack bushings.

I wonder if there is a way to gain some "weight" in the wheel by adjusting the output of the power steering or a more aggressive alignment that puts more effort back in my hands? Any ideas?
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:20 PM   #2
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Let some air out of the tires.
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:40 PM   #3
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An underdrive crank pulley should decrease the assist to a small degree. I felt a small decrease in power assist in my WRX with an underdrive crank pulley.
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Old 08-26-2004, 12:02 AM   #4
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More caster makes the wheel slightly harder to turn also.

More caster is always good as well.

-Tom
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Old 08-26-2004, 12:17 AM   #5
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Stiffer steering rack bushings will eliminate slop and make the wheel feel "heavier".
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Old 08-26-2004, 02:27 AM   #6
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I did the steering rack bushings. The bushings really help with the sloppiness of the stock steering. I think I'll try more caster via alignment or maybe one of those "comfort" ALKs that also add some caster (or is it camber). The pulley idea is interesting. I guess it works by reducing the hydralic pressure. Thanks for the ideas.

I'm used to the "power assist" steering of euro imports or no power steering, but the STI is almost like an American car. New to Suby.
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Old 08-26-2004, 02:35 AM   #7
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I wonder if an underdrive pulley on just the PS pump would have any impact on the situation....MMMMMmmmmmmm.....methinks this needs some more research.

an ALK is a good idea, regardless of the side effect of better steering feel....
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich10
An underdrive crank pulley should decrease the assist to a small degree. I felt a small decrease in power assist in my WRX with an underdrive crank pulley.
No, an underdrive pulley has no effect, exept at idle. The PS pump on the STI has a recommended operating rpm of 700-redline. As long as you're in that range, it's operating. The thing supplies hydraulic pressure and flow regardless of engine speed via its flow control and relief valves. The underdrive pulley will only make it harder to turn at idle because you're dropping the pump out of its operating rpm.

To increase steering effort, do this:
-get wheels with less offset (stock is +53... look at some +48s and gain track width as well - this works by increasing the scrub radius which increases steering effort, not to mention wheel bearing wear and an effective reduction in suspension stiffness, but not by much)
-get more caster. The whiteline Anti-Lift Kit, Caster Bushings, or a set of caster-adjustable strut top plates are all good ways to add caster. The ALK is probably the best because you also get a reduction in anti-geometry as well as stiffer bushings.

Your steering wheel linkage (U joint, etc) is not really intended for the full effort/stress of a manual steering gearbox so be careful about adding too much steering effort - you'll end up wearing out the U-joint faster.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
I did the steering rack bushings. The bushings really help with the sloppiness of the stock steering. I think I'll try more caster via alignment or maybe one of those "comfort" ALKs that also add some caster (or is it camber). The pulley idea is interesting. I guess it works by reducing the hydralic pressure. Thanks for the ideas.

I'm used to the "power assist" steering of euro imports or no power steering, but the STI is almost like an American car. New to Suby.
I totally understand how you feel. When I got my RS in '99, I felt the same way. My prev. cars were (2) VW Rabbit GTI's and a Civic Hatch (non-SI). none had power steering or power assist. After spending 12 years getting Popeye forearms from turning at low speeds, it took a while to get used to, but you will get used to it.
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:51 PM   #10
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Thanks again.
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:41 PM   #11
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ALK + caster/camber plates =
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:42 PM   #12
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you can get a new,smaller diameter steering wheel. I felt that that increased steering effort the most out of the other things i've done.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petawabit
you can get a new,smaller diameter steering wheel. I felt that that increased steering effort the most out of the other things i've done.
and if you have long legs, it'll give you more room to turn the wheel without your hands hitting your knees.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:23 PM   #14
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and it'll take your airbag out :-P Why don't you just take out the power steering and get some weight reduction out of it?
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petawabit
and it'll take your airbag out :-P Why don't you just take out the power steering and get some weight reduction out of it?
because "Your steering wheel linkage (U joint, etc) is not really intended for the full effort/stress of a manual steering gearbox"
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driggity
ALK + caster/camber plates =

Y E P...
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #17
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I'd like to do this same thing, but I just want more steering feedback, I want to achieve this by using a larger power steering pulley, or by bypassing power steering completely.

If the first option is not available, is there stronger versions of the U-joint, etc. that would make this doable?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #18
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Well I tried finding the thread. It was on a outback or legacy specific forum but it went into detail of lowering the pressure to increase weight. If you had a spare pump to take apart you should find a pressure relieve valve setup. I dont think it was as easy as the oil pump but something along the same lines. Now that was for the older pumps the newer ones I think are different.


Where does it say you cant use the stock column in a manual unassisted fashion? The joints on the column are much stronger then the torque you can put though the steering wheel. If the case was that you couldnt drive without power steering because the column shaft would break that would be a major safety problem. I know on my 95 impreza I drive home on a 30 mile trip without PS because the belt broke so that would be a factor the manufacture ie subaru has taken into account. Now with the life of the joints be shorter? Yes but not enough to worry about even on a DD.

If you did want to remove the PS pump loop the supply and return lines together or gut the rotary valve and grease the rack.
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