When I was deployed I said I’d get it back up when I had a chance. So here ya go kids. But first, a pic that always makes me laugh…
Okay on with the tech:
Link to writeup in Microsoft Word (.doc) format:
[b]90-93 Integra Power Steering Removal[/img]
Words: Mark (zoomintegra)
Snaps: Jonna (mojogsr92) and Jake (turbogeekDA6)
First off, I gotta send props where they’re due. I couldn’t have done this mod without reading posts by Jonna and viewing photos contained therein, and I couldn’t have done this writeup without the help of Jake and his trusty digicam. Big ups to both these kids for the help they contributed, whether they know it or not.
Now on to the meaty stuff……so you’re sick of p/s takin up room in your engine bay and creating parasitic drag on your engine, eh? Well let’s fix that, whattaya say? Some of your options:
- Remove PS Belt
- Swap in manual rack
- Breather setup (explained soon enough, just stay with me)
- Looped rack setup (the method I’ll be delving into most)
First off, plenty of people have tried step 1, removing the belt. While this solves the problem of parasitic drag off the engine, it does nothing to free up space in the engine bay, nor does it remove the immense weight of the power steering pump, reservoir, oil cooler, and hardlines, as well as all that viscous fluid. Another drawback is the amount of force needed to steer at low speeds due to the pressurized fluid in the system with no assistance from the pump anymore. It’s a start, however, and usually will hopefully lead to more in-depth removal at a later date.
As far a swapping for a manual rack, this definitely addresses not only the parasitic drag but also the major weight issue. The manual rack from the 88-91 civic is a direct bolt-in and also weighs far less than the DA power rack—7 lbs 11 oz to be exact! (source: Ben Ogle’s EF Tech Site) Not to mention all the weight saved by removing the p/s pump, reservoir, cooler, lines, and fluid. All in all it figures to around 18-20 pounds saved. However, the one drawback I found while using the manual rack is that the steering ratio suffers. It requires more turns lock-to-lock, and on a track that just won’t do. Heck, even on the street, the fun factor suffers because of it. Which leads us to our next two options, using a breather on the existing power rack, and looping the existing power rack. We’ll explore the breather first.
The premise for this setup is that the lines for the power steering gearbox are attached to a breather tank. 2 of the lines are looped onto each other, and the other 2 are teed into a small breather tank to allow air and fluid to circulate through the system. I first came upon this idea when surfing Honda-tech and came upon this thread (which is an EXCELLENT resource if you prefer to use this method). The weight savings aren’t as great as they are with the manual rack, however, the small weight you retain in this driver’s opinion more than makes up for the ease of turning found at lower speeds with this setup. One of the major drawbacks found was that the breather can have a tendency to become Old Faithful during hard cornering, so constant monitoring of fluid level and engine bay cleanliness come into play. However, upon further scraping I came upon something even cooler….
…And that’s where the looped rack option comes into play. I was trolling in the auto-x forum of Honda-tech and came upon this thread with lots of details thanks to Jonna, member mojogsr92. I saw jonna’s photos and decided to embark on this route myself, adding a special twist. I removed the valves from inside the rack, thus relieving a major area of bottleneck and resistance to fluid flow, which also (at the time, in theory) should create an even easier-to-turn low speed rack. The following is a detailed explanation of the steps for my method, with photos courtesy of Jake, member turbogeekDA6 on G2IC. Enjoy, and if you have any questions feel free to email me!
Disclaimers: Please remember, this supplementary article is no replacement for the factory service repair manual and a good mechanical knowledge base. Also, the procedure described herein is definitely going to be a messy one, but then, how much fun can it be working on your car if you don’t get a little greasy, right? On to the fun stuff.
Step 1: Obviously, you’ll need to remove the rack. The process is described in the helms manual, so I won’t delve into it very deeply here. You’ll need to disconnect the steering joint inside the car by the pedal assembly, as well as remove the outer tie rod ends from the rack, drop the exhaust and shift linkage, and disconnect the 4 lines in the rack. This can get quite messy, so be careful and make sure to have a receptacle available to catch the fluid. Once this is done, you have 4 bolts to remove, 14mm. 2 on the passenger side and 2 on the driver’s side. Carefully lower the rack out of the vehicle.
Step 2: Once the rack is out of the car, you’ll need to remove the valve body unit cover. This is done by using a 10mm socket to remove the bolts illustrated here with a red dot:
Step 3: You won’t be able to remove all 3 bolts; 2 will come out and 1 will come out part way. This is all you need, as the cover will slide away from the valve body unit. When this happens, it should look like this:
Step 4: The bolt marked in blue is the one that will not come out all the way. The parts marked in red are what you will be removing. The long rod-type piece will slide out either direction, and behind it will be 2 metal slugs, followed by 2 springs, followed by 2 more metal slugs. Also, there are 2 springs to the right in the picture. Behind them are a couple valves that will come out. When everything is done, your valve body unit will look like this:
And here’s everything that came out of the valve body unit, for inventory purposes:
Step 5: Put your rack back together, but keep it out of the car for now. We have other things to worry about first!
Step 6: Time for the looping. You’re going to need fittings for the rack; I used the factory fittings and just cut the hardline about 2-3 inches off the fitting. You can either get new fittings from Aeroquip or just use the factory ones like I did. My philosophy is since you have the fittings there already, might as well use them, right? In the photo below, loop lines a and b together, and loop lines c and d together. (if you’re using a breather setup, you can run either c and d or a and b to the breather and tee off the other two).
When you have the looping done, it should vaguely resemble this (photo courtesy of mojogsr92):
To add fluid to the system, I just undo the brass coupling and add fluid through the hoses that way. I will be changing fluid every time I change oil, but then, I’m an anal-retentive neurotic. You probably don’t have to be as religious, but then overcaution hasn’t killed me yet.
Step 7: With the looping done and the rack ready to go in the car, it’s time to reinstall! Which, consequently, is the opposite of reverse. It’s VERY handy to have a friend available at this point, because trying to get the pinion through the floorpan and up into the steering coupler can be trying, to say the least. I know my vocabulary was extended for the procedure.
Step 8: Enjoy your new steering setup! If you want to remove the other components (pump, reservoir, lines, oil cooler) that’s entirely up to you, and is MUCH MUCH MUCH easier with the engine out of the car. To be honest, that’s the only way you’re going to get at all the lines.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email myself or Jake (turbogeekDA6) for more information!!
Zoomintegra – email@example.com / AIM: AirForceTeg
turbogeekDA6 – firstname.lastname@example.org / AIM: IcemansZ28