Will any damage result from driving with out the Power Steering?
I can't prove anything but I would be concerned about the longevity of disconnecting the PS pump on a steering system that is designed to be boosted. Steering at high speeds doesn't take much effort but low speeds require a substantial increase in the torque that you have to apply to the steering wheel, as you observed. This means much more stress on everything between your arms and the rack, and especially the U-joints. Wear could be greatly accelerated, especially with a heavy vehicle. I've tried tried FAS coasting into a parking space once or twice and I just can't imagine that it's doing anything good to my car.
It would be great if there were an easy/cheap way to replace the belt-driven PS pump with a load-sensitive electric version. Dare to dream, right?
To keep the gaskets primed and the pump working, it probably needs to run once in a while -- kinda like running the A/C every once in a while in the colder months to keep everything in check. Maybe take a drill and hook it up to the pump once in a while get the fluid moving once in a while.
As far as operating it manually, any manual steering operation would take a toll on the U-joints and such, just because it's easy for someone to steer inside the car doesn't mean the same forces aren't applied to the mechanicals from the pump to the wheels or the steering wheel to the pump or gearset. Manual steering basically has a gear box with grease in it hooked to the rack, right? In this instance, the grease is a bit thinner and can withstand higher temperatures and pressures (and it has a pump to help it along). Sooo, does that mean it can operate independently of the pump -- it does with the engine off. What I don't know is how it works with the engine off. When you turn the wheel, are you acting as the pump? Or are you turning a gear set? Or both? I think the anwer lies there...
I think that the mechanicals of everything can withstand the pressure, perhaps execept for whatever translates the turning motion into the rack: pump, gear, or both. Any thoughts?
And still, can you rig an A/C clutch to it to run it whenever you want? That sounds reasonable to retrofit.
All I know about my xB Scion is that the owners manual says not to steer with the engine not running - I tried turning the wheel when the engine off and it REALLY didn't want to move at all even with 38psi in the tires and rolling slowly. Keep this in mind however - the gear box for the steering has light ATF type fluid not 75-90W gear lube so without the hydralic pressure pushing the rack around I would think you could be doing damage. I will talk to my brother about it as he has worked on these systems and see what he says later today.
This morning we move my Geo into the barn to start the welding process for the front suspension WOO WOO!! 4 months later . . .
ALl I know abobut my xB Scion is that the owners manual says not to steer with the engine not running
I think nearly all vehicle owner's manuals say this as a legal/safety statement, so people don't loose control because they didn't realize that the steering gets harder. Even if it's electric, cars have to have the ability to steer (although difficult) with the engine off, again for safety purposes. I guess it comes down to how it works exactly if damage will be done.
good point. you have to be able to steer the car if the engine quits.
reminded me... when i was in university, i used to teach defensive driving part-time. one of the topics was: "what to do if your engine quits while driving" (the teaching car was a jetta automatic).
we would discuss the effects of losing engine power on steering & braking, then demonstrate it in a parking lot or on a quiet street.
depending on the skill of the student and the traffic conditions, for the duration of that lesson (after moving on to other topics), at random times i'd reach over to the ignition and "stall" the engine for fun while we were driving around.
Was able to find a belt for just the PS today went out and did my standard 41 mile test loop. These results are with just the PS and no belt on the AC. Temperature was in the mid 70 with south winds gusting to 25 mph.
First run: No belt on AC or PS.
Gal used 1.1
Avg MPH 40.0
Second run: Belt only on PS
Gal used 1.1
Avg MPH 40.0
So it appears that the the PS drag is minimal but there is around a 7% loss of FE caused by the AC pulley belt on Casper the lead sled. Which seem like alot. I wonder if the belt was to tight or if the AC getting ready to go. The pully spins freely. Iím just going to leave it with the PS hooked up.