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Power Steering Conversion

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Old 06-02-10, 10:15 AM
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Default Power Steering Conversion

Does anyone have experience with EZ Electric Power Steering for classic cars which donít have power assisted steering? The firm is located in Holland and have agents throughout Europe incl. UK. They manufacture a conversion which is totally electric and can be fitted to the existing steering column. This power assisted steering is proportional to speed so that maximum assistance is obtained at low speed and zero at high speed.
Kits are available for a range of cars but not yet for Bristols. I saw this system at the Bremen Classic Show the other day and the guy said that they would be very keen to develop and fit one to a Bristol at no additional cost over the standard charge.
This seems to be a very worthwhile addition for those of us who are no longer quite so strong in the shoulder and should improve ease of parking and manoeuvring considerably. I shall certainly consider it for my 405!

Richard
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Old 06-02-10, 11:45 AM
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For quite a while now I have been reading about how the electric power steering that is fitted to a Vauxhall Corsa / Fiat Punto etc ,is being retro fitted to a lot of classic cars and rally cars. I have found someone that is confident of fitting the system to a 408. Has anyone already done it yet to any Bristol ?
I notice that Aston Workshops are offering the same system for a DB5 for £3500 !! It shouldn't cost any more than £500. 12" of column space is needed and the amount of power assistance is controlled by a rheostat.

What I like is everything still appears standard and the steering would still work even if power was lost.

Greg
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Old 06-02-10, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREG View Post
Has anyone already done it yet to any Bristol ?
The guy from EZ at the Bremen show told me that their system had not yet been fitted to a Bristol. But they had had an enquiry from a 408 owner in Berlin

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Originally Posted by GREG View Post
It shouldn't cost any more than £500.
The EZ system costs about 2600 Euros ie. about 2300GBP for a MB 190SL including installation which is supposed to be done by a recognised workshop.

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Originally Posted by GREG View Post
What I like is everything still appears standard and the steering would still work even if power was lost.
Yes, in fact it is not visible being hidden under the dash and can also be switched off if required. In case of failure it just reverts to manual.

Richard
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Old 06-02-10, 12:14 PM
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Default EZ

EZ, like the others I have seen use the Vauxhall Corsa unit. I have bought two of them tested from ebay £80. To go with the unit you need to buy the box of tricks which plugs into where the ECU connection would go on the Corsa and combines with the power control knob ( about £30 ) .Then , as you say, it's finding a competent experienced engineer to fit it. The guy I have found in Lancashire has done loads of race / rally cars along with many classics but no Bristols yet.

I was hoping not to be the first ! I am going down the route of using a second hand 407 / 408 column so I can swap it back if I am not happy for any reason. He tells me that everyone has been delighted so far.

Greg
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Old 06-02-10, 12:18 PM
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I asked Bristol the cost of upgrading -- £14,000 . So it would be easier to buy a 409 and swap the number plate :-)
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Old 06-02-10, 02:19 PM
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The other thing to note if considering electric power steering is the need to convert to negative earth and fitting an alternator due to the units requiring a 45 amp supply. I used the superb single wire alternator from Martin Barnes at ACCS. 100 amp I think in either classic black or chrome. Or alternatively you can have an alternator built into the body of the existing dynamo. Greg
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Old 08-02-10, 11:12 AM
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Default Power steering electric conversion

Please bear in mind that the gear ratio of the non-power steering systems is much lower than for the powered systems. A 408 needs many more turns of the steering wheel lock-to-lock than a 409 with PAS. So it may be nice to have the assistance for parking, but once the car is rolling along, it will probably make the steering far too light.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:36 PM
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Yes it's a good point - the kit comes with a knob to adjust the strength of assistance. It would be good if it could be designed to turn off when second gear engages and back on again for reverse and first. The guy that fits a lot of these tells me that most people find a setting that suits all !

I know of two people interested because of reduced strength due to disability.

Is it something many Bristol owners would be interested in ?

I have never driven a pre 407 Bristol but I believe the steering is light.

Greg
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Old 08-02-10, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREG View Post
Yes it's a good point - the kit comes with a knob to adjust the strength of assistance. It would be good if it could be designed to turn off when second gear engages and back on again for reverse and first. The guy that fits a lot of these tells me that most people find a setting that suits all !

Greg
I would be happy if it was set up with a cut-out at, say, 15mph.

I wouldn't say the steering of my 405 is "light" but probably typical for its time! Certainly I can live with it as is but with increasing years it becomes more of a struggle to manouerve into tight parking places. Certainly my wife cannot drive it but with some assistance she might.

I have asked EZ Power Steering to give me a quote and will report back. Incidentally they say that positive earth is no problem.

Richard
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Old 08-02-10, 03:04 PM
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Another company called Pajoe have a electric power steering system. Below are the companies that fit their system. Obviously more popular than I thought !

Sport Racing Ltd General Motorsport Preparation Bracknell & Southampton 01344 452020 02380 663448 Xsport Racing - Motorsport Preparation, Roll Cages, Composite Panels & Much More
Classic Car Restoration
Claremont Corvette Corvette Restoration Specialist Snodland, Kent 01634 244444 Corvette at Claremont Corvette UK's original specialist
Classic Restorations Classic Car Restoration Alyth, Scotland 01828 633293 Classic Restorations Scotland - Bentley Alvis Rolls Royce Jaguar Restorations
Earley Engineering Alvis & Classic Car Restoration Abergavenny 01873 850979 Alvis Specialists - Welcome to Earley Engineering
Goldsmith & Young Aston Martin Restoration Mere, Wiltshire 01747 860715 Aston Martin restoration and servicing by Goldsmith & Young
Holloway Alvis Alvis & Classic Car Restoration Brackley, Northants 01280 705967 Power Steering Conversions - Alvis 3Litre Specialists
Migliore Ferrari Restoration Specialist Bromsgrove 01527 576355 UK independent Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini Repair and Servicing Specialists (Covering Birmingham and the West Midlands).
Mike Morgan Cars Classic Bentley Specialist Wokingham, Berks 01189 340919
Peter Edney Classic & Sports Cars Classic Car Restoration Leaden Roding, Essex 01279 876976 Home | Classic and Sports Cars
Racing Green Classic Jaguar & TVR Specialist Ashvale, Hants 01252 544888
Racing Green Cars - Jaguar and TVR specialists for South East England
Racing Green TVR - Main TVR dealer for South East England
The TVR Shop. Online Parts and Accessories.
Red Triangle Alvis & Classic Car Restoration Kenilworth, Warks 01926 864867 Red Triangle - Welcome To The Home of Alvis Cars
Richard Thorne Morgan & Lancia Specialist Reading, Berks 0118 983 1200 Richard Thorne Classic Cars Welcome to Richard Thorne Classic Cars
Royce Service Rolls Royce & Bentley Restoration Reigate, Surrey 01737 844999 Royce Service & Engineering | Homepage
Sherwood Restorations Classic Car Restoration Nottingham 01636 812655 sherwood restorations - classic and sports car specialist - vintage and classic car sales and restoration -
Specialised Automotive Services Classic Car Restoration Clitheroe, Lancs 01282 776081 Specialised Automotive Services
Twyford Moors Jaguar XK Specialists Clanfield, Hants 02392 570900 Twyford Moors - Jaguar XK Specialists
Niche Vehicle Specialists
Connaught Low
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Old 08-02-10, 03:20 PM
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Home | Pajoe Engineering Ltd

This is the link to a UK manufacturer that makes a speed sensitive system

Greg
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Old 08-02-10, 05:44 PM
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I have the complete front suspension subframe from a 411 s2 sitting in my garage. If you want to convert to PAS that would be another way to do it, though fairly involved I don't deny...!
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Old 08-02-10, 07:49 PM
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Default Power Steering Conversion

Hello Greg, it was me who asked them because my wife does not like to drive our 408. They said they would try to convert the car at costs of around 4000- to 5000§. Maybe we sell the car and look for a later 411. Hans.
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Old 14-02-10, 07:03 PM
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Default Power Steering Conversion

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Originally Posted by 408Berlin View Post
Hello Greg, it was me who asked them because my wife does not like to drive our 408. They said they would try to convert the car at costs of around 4000- to 5000§. Maybe we sell the car and look for a later 411. Hans.
I investigated different possibilities before selling my R-Type Bentley recently. I was quoted between £6,000 and £10,000 by Power Steering 'specialists'. Having said that, I encountered a Volvo P1800ES owner last week who had had a purely electronic conversion done on his car that was a fraction of this cost.

Like the 408, the R-Type has beautifully designed steering, so that above circa 4 or 5 mph it is as light as a feather, but shuffling round carparks, well that is another matter.

George
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Old 31-03-10, 03:22 PM
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ACCS has just completed an electric power steering on a 408. I beleive that the speed sensor works off the prop to cut the assist at around 45 mph. The original steering wheel remains and looks completely standard.

Greg
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Old 31-03-10, 04:26 PM
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Default Power Steering Conversion

Hi Greg, interesting to hear about the conversion on a 408. I just had a nice tel conversation with Mr. Silverton from Bristol cars and he said that the guys from Holland who do the electric power steering were in London and they found out that it would be impossible to convert the early V8s - 408... If a conversion is possible does it make sense to put in a new steering box if there are some tolerances? Thanks Hans
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Old 31-03-10, 07:54 PM
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I had the same conversation with Toby. I thought it must be possible and it is.

I don't know why you would want to change the steering box?
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Old 31-03-10, 08:15 PM
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Default Power Steering Conversion

I wonder what would happen if I install an electric power steering and my steering box has some tolerances - would this increae the effect - I mean will the tolerances becoming stronger? or just the feeling of the tolerances? I hope I could explain myself. Hans
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Old 31-03-10, 11:19 PM
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Can't you just "upgrade" a 408 to PAS using the same components as Bristol on the 409 Mk2 ?

Given that the chassis is the same and engine is essentially the same I can't see that it would be such a big deal, but maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 01-04-10, 12:41 AM
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All I know is it is much more complicated than you would imagine to use later steering components on a 407 / 408. Maybe because the engine is located in a different location. I know that ACCS would have tried it if it were a straight forward solution and BCL told me it would cost £15 k ! EPS also has the advantage of keeping the car looking completely standard.
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