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Short ratio manual steering, tight course

Old 05-16-04, 05:05 PM
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Short ratio manual steering, tight course

Today I went to a local autocross event where there was only one nice zigzag sweeping turn long enough for me to wind up first gear and get any kind of speed going, and the rest of the course was shaped like a snake. Two times through a slalom, funky zigzag box right after a tight little 180 curve made me work my arms like crazy in my 87 base FC with its 225 tires on 16" rims. This was the first course where my lack of quick steering was the major limiting factor in my times.

So I came away a little more enlightened today about autocrossing. The weight of passengers doesn't really do much if you can't steer well, and the weight of a PS system is about 1/10th the weight of my lightest rider today, so I think I'm going back to the junkyard while a certain GXL is still there and get its steering gear . .

How do you guys / gals feel about power steering? I really had to whip that wheel around today, and it's the stock big wheel with the shorter geared manual rack.
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Old 05-16-04, 05:40 PM
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I've autoxed my ITS car with manual steering a few times. Using 225 tires I don't have any problems with the weight of the steering but as you have now seen the slow ratio is a major handicap for the autocrosser. I feel it's adequate until you need to correct and then it's hard to catch up to the inputs required. I use a 13" wheel too which helps but not enough.

I've also autoxed a basically stock GXL with the power steering. It was a huge improvement over the manual rack in quickness.

If I were to setup an autocross only car it would have the power rack minus the pump. The quicker ratio without the weight. Not sure what class this would drop you in. If you want to run stock class I know you'll need to keep the pump.
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Old 05-19-04, 02:35 PM
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I am not that familiar with FC power steering systems, or how good/bad they are, but I like the power rack with no pump system route. In some cases, really cranking on the wheel can overrun the power steering pump causing it to stall, basically hydraulicly locking the system for a split second. The only time I had it happen was in a Stealth R/T TT, went to crank a tight section, and went left, cranked right, then back left, and it was locked, no biggie, just plowed some cones, but still an eyeopener. I thought something was messed up until I got to looking at everything and checking with others, and that is what we came up with. Just some more unsolicited advice.

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