Less Power Steering - how ?

Chassis, Suspension and wheels

  1. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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    Hi out there
    I took the LeBaron for a drive today - first drive this year due to neverending Winter. The ride is quiet and very soft - no real complaints there.
    I would like to upgrade the suspension some day and make it firmer, but not until I can do something about the sloppy steering. The main problem is that the PS is on 100% all of the time, and that just makes the whole experience less enjoyable.
    Is there a quick fix to "dial down" the PS or do I need to change the whole system, and in that case to what ?
     
  2. 89.Fifth

    89.Fifth Well-Known Member

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  3. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at this before, but I could not find any info on whether it would give the feeling of a modern PS or it´s just a rebuild of the original housing.
     
  4. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    It'll get you about as good as you'll ever get from a recirculating ball steering gear. I replaced the stock gear in my Aspen with the FF Stage 2 and it's certainly not like rack and pinion but it was a 1000% improvement. With the stock (overhauled) gear, there was no road feel at all and it was about impossible to go straight down the road. After installing the Stage 2 gear I found it was worth every dollar. Not sure about the Stage 3 version, except that it's "stiffer" than stage 2. FF recommended the stage 2 for my car so that's what I went with.
    I don't know of any practical way to adapt a variable assist system, similar to newer vehicles. They need speed inputs to a processor to vary the pressure, and some also use a steering angle sensor to determine the rate of turning, along with braking pressure inputs among other things. It'd be nice to do though!
     
  5. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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    Okay so the FF gear will get you a more precise steering, but the "light" feeling in the steering wheel will remain ?

    I´m thinking that the capacity of the PS pump has something to do with it.
    I once had a 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV, which had no PS as standard. This was a rack/pinion system, so steering was precise, but so heavy it ruined much of the handling at low speeds. So I installed a complete PS unit from an Alfa 75 (called Milano in the US) which has the same technical layout. This took care of the issue at low speeds, but the PS disappeared at speeds over 30-40 mph. The car had no speed sensors connected to the PS system; it was completely mechanical/hydraulic.
    That leads me to think that the PS pump on old US cars may be too powerful ? On old US cars you can usually turn the wheel with one finger; you could not do that on a European car from the same era; it takes more effort.
    I am on the right track with this theory ?
     
  6. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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  7. kkritsilas

    kkritsilas Well-Known Member

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    Borgeson makes a steering box that can be used. I'm not sure if it is a recirculating ball, or rack and pinion, but every report I have read says it is an extremely noticeable improvement. It is not cheap, though.
     
  8. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing good is cheap!
     
  9. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Toro67, the FF box takes away the light feeling. Probably depends on the car, tires, etc, but I can't turn the wheel with one finger while stopped like before (big block and A/C adds JUST a tad of weight to the front of the car) It feels similar to my '96 Dakota or '08 Mustang for assist. Both of those are rack and pinion so the steering is more precise but the turning effort is similar. Hope that helps.

    No experience with the flow restrictors. It wouldn't do anything for the on center dead spot Chrysler p.s. gears have. It may increase the turning effort but with stock reaction springs in the box, handling is still going to feel vague most likely.
     
  10. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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    Well, it sounds like I have to cough up a minor fortune for the FF or Borgeson box if I want to solve the problem the right way... Thanks for the input all:)
     
  11. iScamp

    iScamp Member

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    Try shimming the pressure relief valve spring in the pump. Look at Mopar Action's "Pump It Down" article by R. Ehrenberg.
     
  12. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Mopar Action did a tech article about modifying the pressure valve in the pump to turn the boost down. It's not up anymore since the publisher went bust though. I attached the article to this post (might not show up).

    Can also get it here:
    http://www.mopar-forum.eu/download/file.php?id=6221&sid=c89c9332b4b4f477d26ff5061860698d

    You can make your own shims out of copper crush washer like I did. To file the outside diameter down to size I set up a few in a drill and ran them against a file I secured in a bench vice. Total cost for this mod is probably $10 and does make a substantial difference.

    As mentioned though earlier in the thread, this won't eliminate the slop at 12 o' clock. The Borgeson box will. I installed one of these four years ago and couldn't be happier. Feels like rack and pinion. If you opt for this then order it through Bergman Autocraft and pick up his column adapter. Not cheap though at $800 for everything.

    One last thing worth mentioning: the mount point on the K frame for the box is really weak. Below is a video of my box right after installing it. I only checked this because I just put the box in. It was probably doing this with the factory all along. Ended up forming a piece of flat stock to fit on the back side and welding it in place.

     

    Attached Files:

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  13. Toro67

    Toro67 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Duke. Thanks for the article and the advice. I will consider either the FF or the Borgeson box at some point.
    That is quite a bad flex you found there. I will have to check if mine does the same ! It´s probably not helping the slob either..
     
  14. Derekb

    Derekb Active Member

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    Borgeson sells a kit for around $20 that comes with the shims for the regulator and a jig for the vise.

    I did this and poly b body bushing and it helped alot but the borgeson box really changed it
    Bang for the buck shim the reg
    20170510_144226.jpg
     
  15. Derekb

    Derekb Active Member

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    Borgeson 899001
     
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  16. M_Body_Coupe

    M_Body_Coupe Well-Known Member

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    Take a peek at one of the threads on the forum regarding Suspension Options I believe...I posted a detailed write-up on that nifty $20 fix...really, it is that cheap, and if you can live with a bit of the existing center-slop in your steering this will make quite a bit of a difference in the overall feel. The additional shims take out a significant amount of pressure which means the steering is less assisted.