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    Thread: Power Steering, keep it, or get rid of it? Mk2 Golf Project, Auto Cross, Rally Cross, possibly Rally

    1. Member
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      07-07-2011 06:07 PM #1
      Mk2 Golf Project, Auto Cross, Rally Cross, possible stage rally.

      Power Steering, keep it, or get rid of it?
      Is there any advantage to using power steering for this type of car and racing?

      If I do get rid of the power steering system, should I just keep the power steering rack in place?
      I notice the power steering rack has quicker turning of the steering wheel lock to lock.
      Or will it be to hard to turn the steering wheel and should I switch over to the non power steering rack?

      Im thinking of just keeping this rack in place and getting rid of the power steering pump and pulley setup.

      Any suggestions? thanks

    2. Member chois's Avatar
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      07-08-2011 08:04 AM #2
      caveat - I don't know rally other than thinking that it is cool, and too hard on equipment for me to participate.

      From a driver perspective, there might be some rationale to keep it, if autox and rallyx are target activities. It does help with steering quickness. However I could see potential for fluid getting hot and other issues too.

      From a car perspective - I would absolutely dump it. The pump is in a vulnerable position, and the whole system just adds un-needed weight to the wrong end of the car. The manual rack will be the lightest, but just removing the pump and lines and looping the lines at the rack will be the cheapest, and will retain the quicker ratio. If you are not constrained by rules, this would probably be the best route.

      In my road racing application it was a no brainer to go to the manual rack.
      Chris
      2007 GTI 16v, 4 door, 6sp (well really that one is Brandy's)
      2004.5 Passat Wagon 20v, 1.8t, 4mo, 5sp
      1986 GTI 8v road racer - DIYAutoTune.com

    3. Member flyinglizard's Avatar
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      07-08-2011 09:30 AM #3
      For autocross on sticky tires , keep it. You cant turn the wheel fast enough without it , esp with any smaller wheel than the stock one. Road race, lose it. IMHO, MM
      The http://www.fwdracingguide.com/ Money back guarantee!, You can go 100$ faster with this 20$ guide
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      07-10-2011 05:50 PM #4
      Thanks. I think I will just remove all the power steering stuff, and keep the power steering rack. I dont like having that extra stuff on the drive belt side of the engine robbing hp and extra weight.
      I think no power steering in this car gives better road feel too.
      I want to go in the direction of rally cross and dirt rather than auto cross, but any kind of racing sounds fun.

    5. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-08-2011 10:09 PM #5
      If you have an LSD, I would say keep it. After going from w/o to w/ ps in the same car, it was night/day. You no longer needed to keep a very firm grip on the wheel, lest a tire breaks traction and the one with grip wrenches the wheel loose and then you get to nearly break a thumb (happens mostly coming off turns where the other hand might be shifting). And speaking of shifting, you can actual drive the car and shift and not have to worry about what the wheel will be doing.

      We added the ps when we swapped in the 16V motor and picked up nearly 30hp at the wheels, the car was never so easy to drive. There is a slight loss of feel at the front, but that trade is IMHO worth the ease of actually getting to drive the car vs handle the car. You don't say if you use R comp tires, they will tend to make the effects of the lack of ps worse.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

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      08-13-2011 01:48 AM #6
      Hey thanks.
      Now your making me want to keep the power steering.
      What kind of driving or racing are you doing with this power steering?

      I have already removed the power steering, and pulleys. I will try it with out for now and see how it goes. All that power steering stuff weighs a bit, which may make no difference, and seems like it would have alot of drag on the drive belt side.
      I also removed the 90 golf digifant, crankshaft pulley, the balance pulley or vibration damper I think they call it. It is really heavy, I wonder if I can do with out it and just run the older rabbit style or older mk2 style crank pulley without vibration damper. It is way lighter. Or will the engine vibrate lots more.
      If I use power steering I have to use that heavy crankshaft vibration damper pulley.

      Also does anyone know what that super heavy rectangle cube shaped block of iron between the pass side axle and exhaust is? Its just super heavy and it just bolts on with two bolts and sits near teh bottom behind the oil pan kind of. I removed that. I think it is maybe again for vibration damping, maybe for the axles? Does anyone know? cant find that in the bentley.

      Thanks for this feedback. Well I dont have R rated tires, have not even started racing yet or anything, just would use normal tires for now. I have heard the power steering is to advantage in baja racing offroad to go faster. Maybe less driver fatigue im guessing or quicker reaction time to lots of little steering wheel movements?

    7. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-13-2011 02:29 AM #7
      Our car was strictly auto-x/hillclimb use. For auto-x the ps was very much a great help. For the hillclimb events, it was not needed near as much as cornering speeds were not as slow as auto-x can be, nor nearly as tight. As for the damper, the motors we ran never had that item, so I cannot give you a good answer on that.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

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    8. Member chois's Avatar
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      08-14-2011 08:44 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by kurt333 View Post
      I also removed the 90 golf digifant, crankshaft pulley, the balance pulley or vibration damper I think they call it. It is really heavy, I wonder if I can do with out it and just run the older rabbit style or older mk2 style crank pulley without vibration damper. It is way lighter. Or will the engine vibrate lots more.
      Also does anyone know what that super heavy rectangle cube shaped block of iron between the pass side axle and exhaust is? Its just super heavy and it just bolts on with two bolts and sits near teh bottom behind the oil pan kind of. I removed that. I think it is maybe again for vibration damping, maybe for the axles? Does anyone know? cant find that in the bentley.
      My 86 came without the damper pulley, but my engine builder recommended adding one. I took one from a later car and turned some of the mass off when I modified it to accept the smaller aluminum pulley that I made.

      The big weight was added to the A2 to improve NVH. It just adds weight to the subframe to change its resonant frequency. Take it off.
      Chris
      2007 GTI 16v, 4 door, 6sp (well really that one is Brandy's)
      2004.5 Passat Wagon 20v, 1.8t, 4mo, 5sp
      1986 GTI 8v road racer - DIYAutoTune.com

    9. Junior Member schnellgti12's Avatar
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      09-09-2012 02:39 PM #9
      For rally I suggest using power steering. Remember for rally you'll put several hundered miles on the car in a given day so the last thing you want to do it tire yourself out. Also beyond that things can get a bit dicey at times, power steering comes in handy when your going lock to lock trying to keep the car out of the woods.

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      09-12-2012 06:45 PM #10
      Chiming in late but wanted to add to the no PS for autocross. My car came with the PS already removed but retained the power rack. Its not looped and has been this way for 10+ years with apparently no issues. I've thought about looping it but its one of those "if it ain't broke" kind of things. Compared to other cars I co-drive, I can't really tell a difference at speed. Moving around in the paddock and grid is another story. I have stockish sized "street tires". Can't comment on any off road racing but I can see the pros of better manuverablity with the cons of something else that could break.

      Try it out with the looped rack, if you don't like the way it feels, you can always put it back on.
      Last edited by 87GOLFITB; 09-12-2012 at 06:49 PM.

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      09-12-2012 10:43 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by 87GOLFITB View Post
      Chiming in late but wanted to add to the no PS for autocross. My car came with the PS already removed but retained the power rack. Its not looped and has been this way for 10+ years with apparently no issues. I've thought about looping it but its one of those "if it ain't broke" kind of things. Compared to other cars I co-drive, I can't really tell a difference at speed. Moving around in the paddock and grid is another story. I have stockish sized "street tires". Can't comment on any off road racing but I can see the pros of better manuverablity with the cons of something else that could break.

      Try it out with the looped rack, if you don't like the way it feels, you can always put it back on.
      What do you mean by looped rack? Do you mean manual steering rack without power steering?
      Well I have been driving the whole time so far with the power steering pump and everything removed and kept the power steering rack and just capped off the lines. What I have learned is this:
      The power steering tie rod boots are a bit of an issue, as they are made to breath from side to side, I took that steel rod that connects from one side to the other out, and maybe I should have left it in, but could not fit it back in I think. Anyhow the boots need to breath I think, as the boots get colapsed in if you dont let it breath, maybe cuz I have the fluid lines capped.

      I think the steering wheel is a bit harder to turn in parking lot situations with using the power steering rack with all the power steering pump etc deleted.

      I think if your going to go without power steering then it is best to use the manual p/s rack.

      I dont think there is anything to be gained by the quicker ratio power steering rack if you use it without the p/s pump etc.

      I think if I had wider tires on the front it would be even tougher to turn steering wheel at slow rolling speed.

      I would like to try the power steering setup, and see how it reacts, maybe will put it all back in someday. But alot of work to put it all in, then to just say you dont like it infact and decide there woudl be nothing to be gained by using it. There is probably times when it would be advantage to use and times when not. I dont like all those extra belts and crap in the way when doing work on that drive belt side of the engine.

      Does anyone know the hp the p/s setup robs? Is it very minimal. Or is it more like the engine wont spin up as fast?
      Seems like most people with rabbits dont use p/s, and some mk2's use it, like 16v I think, and maybe all mk3's come with it. Maybe as the car gets heavier there is more of a need for it?

    12. Member 87GOLFITB's Avatar
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      09-13-2012 02:45 PM #12
      Looped = capped. A guy in the MK2 Forum sells a loop kit consisting of a SS line and caps to keep the fluid in the rack. Mine is open (no caps or loop). Proably dumb but I don't seem to have any issues in 3 1/2 seasons with the car. Boots look like new and they're 10+ years old.

      I also have a small diameter aftermarket steering wheel and that may with steering effort too. Just a guess. Its your car and your comfort.
      Last edited by 87GOLFITB; 09-13-2012 at 02:51 PM.

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      09-28-2012 01:59 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by kurt333 View Post
      Does anyone know the hp the p/s setup robs? Is it very minimal. Or is it more like the engine wont spin up as fast?
      x2
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      09-29-2012 08:28 PM #14
      2-4hp @ 6000rpm. Plus rotating mass through the gears. no value given but lots of stuff spinning.
      The http://www.fwdracingguide.com/ Money back guarantee!, You can go 100$ faster with this 20$ guide
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      10-02-2012 11:52 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by flyinglizard View Post
      2-4hp @ 6000rpm. Plus rotating mass through the gears. no value given but lots of stuff spinning.

      thank you for clarifying. i figured it would be the same parasitic loss that the air conditioner presents. or a supercharger for that matter.
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      10-02-2012 01:35 PM #16
      Spinning the AC system with it off is about 4hp , on is about 10- 12.
      A super is about the same or worse, but hard to measure if it makes pressure.
      The http://www.fwdracingguide.com/ Money back guarantee!, You can go 100$ faster with this 20$ guide
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    17. 10-04-2012 12:08 PM #17
      Power Steering?
      My mother got an 89 Nissan Sentra and driving the car was a workout because of the steering. We put the power steering in it and after a couple days still no improvement. Whats going on here? Also have been told it needs a new water pump. Anyone have any idea of how much that would cost to fix?

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      10-04-2012 01:03 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by cattymano View Post
      Power Steering?
      My mother got an 89 Nissan Sentra and driving the car was a workout because of the steering. We put the power steering in it and after a couple days still no improvement. Whats going on here? Also have been told it needs a new water pump. Anyone have any idea of how much that would cost to fix?
      If you feel no improvement in the steering feel ease of turning, then the power steering is not working.
      Check your p/s fluid level make sure it up.
      Make sure all the lines are hooked up to the steering rack.
      Make sure the belt that runs the power steering pump is tight.
      Should not cost to much with a nissan sentra, that is a pretty simple car I think.

    19. 11-20-2012 01:57 AM #19
      This pertains back to OP.
      My experience is with rally-x and road racing. My car will hopefully be seeing stage rally in the spring time.
      In rally-x you will want power steering. FWD cars dart as soon as a tire gets traction, also called torque steer. This is a huge problem if the car has a LSD of some sort or a welded diff. When racing your hands will be flying all over the place (you'll be surprised how many times you'll turn your windshield wipers and blinkers on :] ), having power steering will allow you to still shift and handle the car properly.
      In road racing either one is fine. I prefer PS as it's faster and less tiring, especially during endurance racing. In auto-x I would also keep the PS. The ratio is much faster for the power rack, and it will require less effort. You lose some steering feel, but auto-x is so fast paced that most drivers can't adjust properly mid corner.
      If you really want quicker handling you can always add a steering quickener. They can be installed in a day, and cost about $100.

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      05-17-2014 10:27 PM #20
      I have been daily driving only with my power steering hooked up now for maybe 8 months. I like it. And on my mk2 90 golf, the power steering takes a vibration damper pulley to make it work, and I think maybe that smoothes the engine out.
      Anyhow now I have a major problem, it blew power steering fluid out the tie rod boot area inside, like at the inner tie rods.

      Why would this be? Because the seals are blown?
      The pump is putting out to much pressure?
      What happened? I did drive it hard a number of times.
      Could it be that I really should have used the expensive vw recomended power steering fluid?
      I used just normal generic power steering fluid. I doubt this would make a difference.

      Anyone else have this problem?
      Now I have to fix it again, and delete the power steering most likely.
      Also I noticed that both inner tie rod boots for the power steering are ripped and they were new 8 months ago, must be cheap junk as usual.
      Last edited by kurt333; 05-18-2014 at 03:06 AM.

    21. Junior Member schnellgti12's Avatar
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      05-17-2014 11:44 PM #21
      I've never heard of that issue but I've always been told to run ATF instead of power steering fluid because its better on the seals.

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      05-18-2014 03:13 AM #22
      I think I read in the bentley manual that you can add atf instead, so maybe I should have gone that route. Because it does seem like a thinner oil thank power steering fluid, the clear stuff.
      I think the vw brand recomended power steering fluid is synthetic.
      Maybe the seals just blew out from old age, or maybe there was a blockage and pressure was not able to circulate properly so blew out the seals, the closest place to go out.

      Well thanks, I will use ATF next time.

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