If you do decide to remove your power steering pump Matt, I would recommend one of two things - replacing the rack, or installing a lubrication kit.
A few issues back in Honda-Tuning they showed an install of one of these kits. Pretty much, it's a fluid reservoir and some lines to keep power steering fluid around the rack. Granted it isn't being pumped through the rack, but it needn't be, as the pumping action is what gives the power assist. If you're not wanting to change the rack and are interested in this option, I'd be happy to dig though my archives and find the info for you.
If you go the route of replacing the rack, there are a few things. Try to mark the steering column u-joint before unbolting it, or you may spend some time trying to get your steering wheel straight after installing the new rack. You'll need to attempt to get the other rack close to the same position before you install it. You will still probably need to tweak it some. Second thing is to get an alignment immediately after you install the new rack! Other than that, it's easy - unbolt the steering u-joint, drop the exhaust downpipe and shift linkage, pop loose the steering ball joints, remove four bolts, and fish it out from under your car.
I'm assuming you're doing this on your ED3? I'm considering fully rebuilding my non-power steering rack on my ED6 very soon.
Why did I just assume the power steering rack was just the rack inside the cockpit of the car? I didn't even think that it might involve stuff outside the car.
This would be done for my sedan, but as it is now I'm thinking to leave it like it is unless I can notice a huge gain in mpg. I have enough projects already and the last thing I need is another one before I finish my dozen or so half completed projects.
Hi guys - I posted this in BetterMPG group and thought you might benefit from this idea as well:
Interesting thread on selected charging with the alternator. My experience with my polished alternator pulley on my 94 Geo Metro was that when it was loaded with lights and wiper motor during rain or just the lights at night I could turn the motor off when going down hill or when I could tolerate a little speed reduction and what would happen was the alternator load was reduced and the belt would catch and stop slipping and the battery voltage would come up faster and fully charge. Keep in mind that to run the engine requires power to the fuel pump, computer, ignition for plugs, lights, all which take considerable power constantly. Adding a high capacity battery and lowering the charging voltage on the alternator during light loads or hard acceleration would give you maybe a couple of HP or more at high rpm. Biggest savings would be under light loads when you are drawing lots of amps and going slow as you are using more HP to run the alternator than to move the car. Recharging on downhills or braking would be excelent as you want engine braking anyway - sort of makes it a hybrid. I would recommend a battery that can take a high amp rate charge and switching to a more efficient high output alternator to maximize the savings. Most of the alternators in cars today have pretty low efficiency from what I hear.
Another option a little more complicated but I think way better is to add a second battery that charges the primary constantly to lighten the alternator load so that it does not need to put out anything as the voltage on the primary battery is high enough. Then the second battery takes all the abuse and can be allowed to run down lower without affecting car performance. Then when you hit the brakes you can recharge the second spare battery hard or even recharge it when parked with the grid or solar.
Hey weird thing today as the Synlube starts to take effect I noticed that I can coast at 30mph and get 300mpg unless I turn on the heater fan then it raises the idle and burns more fuel dropping the mpg to about 150mpg. Turn off the fan and it comes back up to 300mpg - also the engine really likes operating at 186-188 degrees instead of 182 that it usually runs at so I think I need to raise the thermostat a little.
i went for a nearly 50 km / 30 mi trip today - nearly an hour - with my alternator belt removed. the engine seems to run nicer, particularly at low rpm where i usually have it - but that *would* make sense in a low-power 3-cylinder where the electrical load is a proportionately larger portion of total load.
round trip: 73.x mpg (US), 14 C / 57 F, combination of city & rural secondary roads, 30 mph avg, 45 max.
the battery was down to 12.4 volts after the trip, meaning i used roughly 20-25% of its capacity assuming a 12.6 v start. this was a low load trip - no lights/heater blower, even relatively little brake/signal lights.
i got the battery back up to 12.7 with 4 hours on the 2A 12v charger - which i believe means I put 8 amp hours into it. which means that's nearly what i took out of it (not accounting for losses in replacing those 8 Ah): the car's electrical demand averaged about 8 amps in almost 1 hour of driving (incl. multiple key-starts - maybe 4 or 5).
my jury rigged inner tube-based water pump belt popped off once. i was expecting this and had a spare one.
if i'm going to keep doing this, i'll have to put one of my deep cycle batteries in the car, or i'll end up wearing out the starting battery prematurely.
i was thinking about testing this and was only hesitating because i'm getting behind on my various other projects. :O
but today i found a shorter stretch (maybe 1 km long) of level road much closer to home than my preferred 6.x km long test road. but if i use this shorter one, i'd be trading more accurate (longer) scangauge averages for easier access & quicker testing.
on the plus side, this bit of road cuts through a fairly dense forest/marsh area (thus level), *perpendicular* to the usual wind direction. it's really well protected against that wind, which is great for testing. (the longer test route runs parallel to the prevailing wind, which is why i always try to wait for calm days for testing there.)
help me design an adequate mini-test...
the challenge is A-B-A, since if i do (A) with alternator, then (B) without, when I go back to (A) i'll be running on a slightly depleted battery, which will increase alternator load and skew the final A results.
i suppose i could just drive some distance between B and A to recharge, and then return to the test road.
i don't think there's any doubt this is worth a couple of percent more FE on my small motor. i'm just as curious to get a concrete number.
Taking a change with the water pump belt - the engine coolant can develop hot spots without the water circulating all the time. Maybe a small electric motor on the pump.
just to clarify, i do have a belt on the water pump. but i had to customize something to fit, since those pulleys are non-adjustable.
i ended up using a multiple layer section of inner tube, cut to fit and stretched around the crank & water pump pulleys.
i'd agree i was taking a chance *if* i hadn't been keeping a very close eye on the temp gauge. but i was, and i caught it the moment the belt (prototype #2 ) came off. belt prototype #3 seems to be working, though i definitely wouldn't lend the car to anyone with this setup until i have more experience with it.
an electric motor driving the water pump would be ideal; it would transfer even more load from the ICE to the battery/grid. i happen to have some extra motors from the red swift (rad fan, wipers, heater blower) to choose for this. the challenge is that there's precious little room under the hood to rig it up. that's down the list anyway.
Yeah I caught that tube belt - I think there is a stretch belt sort of a emergency belt that is round and can be stretched over the pulleys. Actually you need a turbo driven pump because more cooling is needed when more power/throttle is used.