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wheee!

Silvermine Motors Electric Power Steering System

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Looking forward to seeing more on this project.  Thanks Mark.

- from another Metallic Green Z owner!

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@wheee! Mark, did the unit require a core charge for the old column to be modified or was it shipped as shown with no exchange of an old column required?

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No core, no return of old parts. From what I can tell, this is a completely new fabrication, no use of old parts.

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Here’s a good shot of the motor and the clearance with the pedal box.
IMG_8626.jpg

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And a couple more of the linkage through the firewall.
IMG_8620.jpg
IMG_8622.jpg
IMG_8623.jpg

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In conversations with Edan @silverminemotors, it appears the offset firewall opening was designed to allow more room for exhaust headers. This is especially helpful for people with V8 swaps etc. The amount of change in mounting tab position is minimal, but he is looking into whether a small angle adjustment in the firewall plate will position the shaft closer to the pedal box mounting points. In the end, this should improve the design and make install easier, but not affect functionality or performance in any way.

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That’s interesting.  I’m surprised that he would prioritize V8 swaps as a design criteria over stock engines/exhaust headers.  Are there just more V8 swaps than straight sixes?  Just curious.

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I don't think it's a matter of prioritizing the V8's over the L6's as much as a design change that improved the fit for one and had little impact on the other. That said, there is room for improvement in the design, and credit to Silvermine, he is looking at modifying the plate to accommodate both with no negative impacts.

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Update: silvermine is shipping out a set of the firewall and collars for me to fabricate a correctly positioned shaft support.
He wants to make sure it is correctly positioned in a car before setting the jig up to a different angle.
I will bolt up the shaft to the pedal box with the collar loose, poking through the firewall plate that will be bolted to the chassis, then tack weld the collar on at the correct angle while everything is correctly aligned.
Doing this in an actual car will ensure the fit and angles are correct. I will then ship the part back to silvermine to use as the template for the production line.

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Doing this mod while the car is disassembled is a no-brainer for me. I know my wife will appreciate the creature comfort of power steering (and so will I)! As for @silverminemotors, Edan has been awesome in communicating with me about the design. He needs to ensure the final product works with his V8 swap customers, but is very motivated to improve the product for the benefit of all S30 chassis owners. For my part, I am happy to assist in the quality control of the final product.

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I'm not sure I understand what the problem was with the original feed through column support flange. Do you have any pics that describe the issue you are (were?) having?

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1 hour ago, Captain Obvious said:

I'm not sure I understand what the problem was with the original feed through column support flange. Do you have any pics that describe the issue you are (were?) having?

Unfortunately I did not take any pics of the column not aligning with the pedal box when I installed it. It slid into the collar on the firewall and ended up being low and to the right from the drivers seat perspective. I (gently) persuaded it to line up with the pedal box mounting bolts and bolted it in. I mentioned it in the thread for due diligence in case someone else ran into the same issue.

After speaking multiple times with Edan, it was discovered that the offset position was required to clear the headers from the V8 swapped cars (Edan has one). Somehow the jig was slightly off (at least on the one I received) and the column didn't align perfectly. After I pulled it into the proper position, the slight angle change at the firewall was now correct for the parts to align.

What I intend to do is release the bolts from the pedal box and photograph the relaxed position of the column (it may or may not go back down and to the right) and see if it still needs correcting. Then I will replace the firewall mount and collar with the seperate pieces supplied by Edan and bolt the assembly back together in a relaxed position. Then I will tack weld the collar in place so that a jig can be made to replicate the offset & correctly angled collar to ensure a direct bolt in fit for both L series engines and V8's, no pulling of the column required. 

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It appears to me that the location of the centerline of the steering shaft was moved up and to the left at the flange where it pokes through the firewall. That would make sense if you were trying to create more room for headers.

And then, if you moved the centerline of the shaft up and to the left at the firewall end, you would then angle the steering column a little towards the right side of the car to catch the two mounting bolts. Since the two mounting bolts are designed to slide in the column, the mounting slide bushing on the right side will be closer to the top of the slot than the right side.

Am I doing all that correctly?

I've messed with my steering column (and others) way too many times now, and I've found the original flange at the firewall to be an inexact science. It's flimsy and easy to bend (probably by design for crash safety), and is mounted on a squishy indeterminate rubber gasket. The point of all that is.... I've never had a column install at the bottom and then had the top come right up against the mounting surface. I've always had to lift the column up to get the bolts started and often had to slide the mounting bushings fore or aft to get holes to line up. Again, I think those slidey bushings at the top are a safety feature to allow the column to push down in a crash instead of impaling the driver. I think it's designed to slip out of it's upper mounts if you compress the column enough (maybe 25mm or so?).

Out of curiosity... Is that Silvermine firewall flange pieced together by welding a number of separate pieces together?

Edited by Captain Obvious

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Is the car going to sound like the Terminator when turning?  The Turninator?  

I've never seen, or heard, an electric power steering system.  Will it need a high output alternator for the twisties?  My inner nerd needs to know....

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I don't have the Silvermine kit but built a similar setup and there is no noise at all, it is easy to forget it's there until I'm in a parking lot and give it a half turn of the knob and use one finger on the steering wheel. The best thing is to be able to turn it off once you're out on the Hwy.

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The firewall flange is welded together.

And you are correct. The mounting tabs would indeed be moved as you suggest.

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Well a new issue has arisen that should be detailed here. The offset firewall plate has another aspect I had not considered.

Apparently the steering shaft now contacts the stock motor mounts. The V8 kits obviously use another style of mount and this is not an issue there.

I have contacted Edan to let him know. I have a feeling we will need two different firewall plates. One for each motor type in use.

Pics below show the contact.

IMG_8747.thumb.jpg.8e6796bec557026f956fbf7fe120fb96.jpg

IMG_8748.thumb.jpg.286b79eb893645b53c4465672c2101af.jpg

 

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The best-laid plans of mice and men...

I blame @ConVerTT.  This is why we don't post pics of all those misfires.

Oh, and Murphy is laughing his proverbial butt off at you right now. You know that, right?    LOL

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I’m thinking I should just drop a V8 in the car now... LOL

 

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Well there's another solution that I didn't think about.  Way to approach the problem from a different direction!

The difference with your and my suggestion is that yours might actually work!

Edited by Captain Obvious
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