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Thread: My EPS adventure...

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    New Guy
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    My EPS adventure...

    So I decided to see if I can get an EPS to work on the van. How bad could it really be?

    First off, here is the unit I chose to use. From what I have seen and read there are lots of options available for these units that will operate in "failsafe" mode. As I understand it, there are units that are a variable assist which you can use a VSS sensor with if you are running a late model swap like I am, or units that offer a simple Power/Ground/Ign+ hookup to the brain unit. Once the unit realizes that the original vehicle's body control unit is not hooked up, it operates in the failsafe mode and provides a constant amount of torque when you steer.

    Most 04 and up Toyota Prius and Corolla use these, along with a slew of Nissan vehicles. GM vehicles also come with them, but apparently there is no failsafe mode, and you would need an eBay control box to make them work.

    The unit I chose was out of an 08 Nissan Versa because, well, it was there in the yard and looked like a low mileage car. Not even really sure why it was in the junkyard, but... An hour of pulling the dash apart, tracking wires, and unbolting stuff and the unit dropped out easily. It was harder to find the control box under the dash than it was to get the steering unit out. Cost me $82 for the steering unit, bracket, and the control box for it. Compared to the $1000 price tags for the kits, I thought this would be a bargain.

    My first impression of this unit is that it is larger than I thought it would be. The Toyota units appeared smaller at first glance but not actually laying hands on one, I can't say for sure. Perhaps the Versa unit being larger will help with the torque.

    It's important to note that the unit only boosts the cranking power you generate. It's not doing it for you. There have been concerns about these units having enough torque to turn a steering box instead of a rack and pinion but I have seen them turn the front wheels on musclecars, and I can't imagine the vans would be much different, if not lighter than an old Caddy or Chevelle or Continental...

    I'll post more as the adventure continues...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210110_101244a.jpg  

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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    that`s the one I installed in my 69/90, drive it everyday, love it
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

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    Prius EPS installed

    Here is the unit from a Prius that I had installed in my van.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sitting on top of the wheel

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    New Guy
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    So here's several pictures of the process. I will try to caption them as they show up. They show the unit in various stages of disassembly and reassembly and the final product.

    Rather than post a very long explanation I will leave this up and be happy to answer questions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210116_100835.jpg   20210116_100813.jpg   20210113_165105.jpg   20210112_155659.jpg   20210116_100842.jpg  

    20210116_100931.jpg   20210116_101248.jpg   20210116_101257.jpg   20210116_103133.jpg   20210116_110215.jpg  

    20210117_214357.jpg   20210117_214406.jpg  

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    OK, I'll bite. Is that double swaged tubing you used to join the upper shafts part of the Nissan EPS unit? I see it is splined on the lower end.
    Did you remove the splines on the upper end in order to slip the van's shaft inside?
    tb
    Last edited by tinlizard; 01-18-2021 at 11:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinlizard View Post
    OK, I'll bite. Is that double swaged tubing you used to join the upper shafts part of the Nissan EPS unit? I see it is splined on the lower end.
    Did you remove the splines on the upper end in order to slip the van's shaft inside?
    tb
    We decided it would be easier to cut the Nissan end off of the upper slide tubing, machine it out to match the diameter of the original steering shaft, and then slide a piece of the original steering shaft inside of it to drill, pin, and weld the old shaft once we could establish the correct height of the end sticking out of the turn signal switch housing. It was only splined on the lower half. The splines were left alone.

    We used a simple piece of exhaust tubing to cover the slide unit and welded it to the bottom of the cup that mounts the turn signal housing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210116_103716.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Vette View Post
    Here is the unit from a Prius that I had installed in my van.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I see those units put the motor down by the floor.

    I tucked mine up high partly because I had the clutch pedal still there, but I have big feet and having that motor clocked that way would interfere with my clown shoes.

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    Looking good. I recommend a visit to epowersteering.com. They sell a lot of stuff for doing these adaptations, most importantly, a control box that allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the steering. It replaces the interface to the vehicle computer. Not sure how the motor will operate without it.

    Good luck! I love the way mine works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushin69 View Post
    We decided it would be easier to cut the Nissan end off of the upper slide tubing, machine it out to match the diameter of the original steering shaft, and then slide a piece of the original steering shaft inside of it to drill, pin, and weld the old shaft once we could establish the correct height of the end sticking out of the turn signal switch housing. It was only splined on the lower half. The splines were left alone.

    We used a simple piece of exhaust tubing to cover the slide unit and welded it to the bottom of the cup that mounts the turn signal housing.
    Got it. Thx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madillow View Post
    Looking good. I recommend a visit to epowersteering.com. They sell a lot of stuff for doing these adaptations, most importantly, a control box that allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the steering. It replaces the interface to the vehicle computer. Not sure how the motor will operate without it.

    Good luck! I love the way mine works.
    I have the control box from the Versa. It operates at a constant assist in failsafe mode without a knob or any interface with the body unit from the donor car with just the one orange wire from it hooked up to an IGN+ source. I chose this model just for that reason.

    I would have to do more research but I believe also if I hook up a VSS signal it may perform as a variable power assist depending on the speed, but I haven't tested it.

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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    The Versa unit is the one I installed in my 69, my daily driver
    I have no desire to change the amount of power assist it has,
    the three wire hook up is all I have connected, can turn with two
    fingers sitting still, and has nice feel at 80 mph, my front wheels
    spare 15x8 corvette with 215/65 r 15 tires, love the way it drives.
    one last detail, itís going on 4 years this unit has been in my van,
    not one issue with itís performance, would use this modification again!
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

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    Wish I had seen that before I went the Saturn Vue route. Would've saved me a few $$. The actual motor assembly looks almost identical so likely the same installation.

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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    the lower shaft is the same as the Vue, the upper is different.
    they are made by the same company.
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

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