Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

yabaiani
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Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby yabaiani » Tue Jul 26, 2022 1:37 pm

https://technotoytuning.com/toyota/ae86 ... -rack-ae86


Has anyone purchased this setup from T3? Any pro's and con's of it? Especially just for refreshing the steering rack in the car. Thoughts?

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby sirdeuce » Tue Jul 26, 2022 2:54 pm

I have the Quaife kit in my AW11. I love it!

Few things to keep in mind.

Steering gets a bit heavier.
keep the stock diameter steering wheel, or build up your arms
Keep the stock caster, or build up your arms
Smaller diameter wheel and increase your caster adjustment, build up your arms

Really though, I have 6 degrees of caster in my 2, just cruising or highway miles are fine, parking can be a bitch. Track use can be tiring with a bunch of caster. Countersteer comes in so damn much faster!
Like I said, I love it, but I've come across a few that couldn't change back to stock faster. Those peeps also are "power steering" addicts with Spaghetti arms. If you ever come across a girl driver that loves hers, don't piss her off.

Outside of all that, I'd recommend at least trying it. Don't get rid of your old steering set-up until you're sure you love it.
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:23 pm

Tire size has to be considered. OEM manual rack was never any problem with 185/60 tires.
But I ran a set of 205/60 tires for a while and they definitely felt a lot heavier at parking lot
speeds. Stock ratio rack is perfect for normal, even "spirited" road driving. The only time
less turns might be helpful is if you track or drift the car. Too much caster gives a very strong
"self-centering" feel that adds to steering effort.

So if you start to mess with caster make small changes and test drive after every adjustment.
Oh yeah... and build those arms up :D

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:44 am

AE86 power steering arms used with a standard non-power steered rack gives almost exactly the same effective ratio as the Quaife steering rack.
Power steering arms and a Quaife rack might be extremely sensitive in a straight line, you could increase the caster to help straight line stability but this would make the steering even heavier.
Watch the front corner of your car when you turn the steering (car stationary) you will see it lift, yep you are lifting that front corner with the steering wheel, the more caster, the more lift.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:15 pm

"Ultimate" for what use ? Ome size does not 'fit all' ....depends on vehicle use
For full street AE86:
stock steering sux + wheel diameter too big
manual steering sux - effort too high, especially parking. So it needs that dorky big az steering wheel
power steering sux - too easy, over assist
All steering ratio sux - too slow

'My 'ultimate' would be..
Shorter steering arms(even shorter than oem PS), to make ratio quicker. Looked into steering quickners & other PS racks
Ideal diameter leather wrapped steering wheel. Oem in some cars are perfect (diameter, feel & quality imo)
Slightly reduced oem assist. Seen this done via restricted fluid

Drove a compact car where the electric assist steering column, seem to get it "just right".
Ratio still a bit too slow. Probably where oem deem it 'safe' for average driver.
Maybe the 'future', as our PS gear ages plus we junked soooo many

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby sirdeuce » Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:51 pm

Techno Toy Tuning has a set of steering arms that allow many adjustments. Take a look at them.

As for the quick steer racks, they're not too bad unless you add a steeper caster angle. Smaller steering wheels just make extended track periods tiring, auto-X and drifing not so bad. Spaghetti arms are bad either way.
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:48 am

I really like the standard power steering, not over assisted and nicely weighted at speed.
Spaghetti arms are bad but so is streering that is so heavy that accurate inputs become difficult.
The T3 steering arms look good for a power steered car and with the necessary bump steer correction they could, in my opinion, offer close to the ultimate (spaghetti armed :D) steering.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby yabaiani » Thu Jul 28, 2022 9:59 am


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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Sun Jul 31, 2022 9:29 pm

good video, AE-specific with useful tips

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Tue Aug 02, 2022 12:52 am

About 10 years ago I had a look into this conversion out of curiosity. Can't be certain of the details
now, but IIRC there was a bit of an issue with getting the correct vehicle speed signal for the Yaris
P/S controller. Seems the controller ramps the power assist level down as the vehicle speed increases.
In the vid the guy mentions running the EPS in "failsafe mode" which I guess is full power assist at all
vehicle speeds. That would indeed make the car a bit twitchy at high speed :D

My Mitsi Colt has EPS and there are two things I have noticed after driving it for quite a few years.
The first (and I think the guy in the vid mentioned this) is that the steering has very weak self
centering. If I let go of the wheel while making a gentle turn at motorway speed, the car really just
wants to hold the turn and not straighten out by itself. Does better with tight turns but still not great,
so you basically need to return the wheel yourself rather than just let the self centering action do
it while the wheel slides in your hands.

The second thing is that it lacks the sensitivity of hydraulic PS. It seems like I have to apply more
than a certain minimum amount of pressure to the wheel to get the EPS to actually sense my input
and apply power to the EPS motor. So long gentle turns tend to be a series of short straights joined
together rather than one smooth curve as you get with hydraulic. Analog versus digital input I suppose
you could call it :)

To be on the safe side it would be a good idea to drive the model of donor vehicle for a day just
to check if the issues I have described exist, or if they have been cured for later model Toyotas.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:54 am

Here in the U.K by far the most popular electric conversion uses a Vauxhall Corsa power steered column. Adjustment of feel can be achieved with this:
https://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayI ... spheader=1
Most are fitted to Ford Escorts when using high geared steering racks.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:21 pm

adjustment knob won't compensate for vehicle speed as oem tho..... only simulate/supply a 'fixed' sensor value I think

isn't caster responsible for on-centering ? Rack shouldn't matter as it's only a servo onto the column ?
Or servo doesn't accomodate rack's effect ?
Either way, the street EPS applications I've experienced worked well. I'd welcome all over any manual AE crap

No spaghetti arms, but don't wanna fight the car, just enjoy the drive....
no more than I'd yank out the sound/heat insulation and AC, and keep a cardboard fan on hand

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby sirdeuce » Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:27 pm

Caster and SAI have modulate your steering feedback and centering. The new "electronic"steering assist" sense the column movement and will work with the feedback to center the wheel, at least it should.
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:37 pm

jinx wrote:adjustment knob won't compensate for vehicle speed as oem tho.....
only simulate/supply a 'fixed' sensor value I think

isn't caster responsible for on-centering ? Rack shouldn't matter as it's only a servo
onto the column ?Or servo doesn't accommodate rack's effect ?

Yeah... that's what I thought. Without a VSS input it will only be possible to adjust the
amount of assist supplied and it will be fixed at all speeds. Kind of like manual steering with
some of the effort removed.

Caster does cause the steering to return to center but the reduction gears in the EPS take
some effort to drive backwards if the motor is not helping. And what seems to happen on my
car is that the steering column torque sensor has to see a minimum torque before it activates.
While the setting is very low it is below the torque required to make minor corrections on
long radius gentle curves.

So I have to make a series or small "nudges" on the wheel instead of just gently varying the
pressure on the wheel and have the car respond smoothly as it does with hydraulic PS. Not
so easy to explain that :)

In the same gentle curve situation if I let go of the wheel the car tends to just want
to stay turning rather than straighten out due to the self-centering effect of caster. Again,
I think that this is because the torque sensor is not reading enough torque to activate the
PS motor. This is not a problem on bends or corners with more road steering feedback.

These comments relate to the EPS on a 15 year old Mitsi and the same minor issues may not
exist on other makes or more modern EPS setups.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:37 am

Most modern cars with stability control use electric P/S and have an angle sensor built into the column. Apparently the E12 Corolla needs an ecu re-set if new steering parts are fitted.
My E12 steering went into error mode and switched off after the front end slid on a wet cattle grid. l got away with re-switching the ignition whilst steering straight.
It is probably this angle sensor that is missing or not connected which creates a non-linear feel. The ecu does not know where straight ahead is so it doesn't try to power the steering to that position. A failsafe mode.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:51 pm

Because this is quite an interesting topic, I did a bit of googling :) Seems the minor criticisms that
I have of the early Mitsi EPS were common to a lot of the early EPS systems in different makes and
models of car. Over the years there have been many improvements and additional inputs added to
restore the "feel" of the steering to give the driver feedback just as good as the best hydraulic
power steering systems. This is part of paving the way for autonomous driving cars where the
steering is completely under computer control.

Anyway, late model EPS systems have multiple inputs to the car ECU which computes the amount
of assistance required and commands the EPS controller. This means any transplant will need to be
able to emulate the OEM ECU output... not such an easy task. So retrofits would be better chosen
from early EPS systems that can operate with nothing more than a VSS input.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:33 am

Having just spent two Years testing and developing autonomous cars l can safely say that the starting point with steering is far from ideal!
Getting back to "ultimate" steering l would be looking at a gts manual rack, power steering arms with corrected bumpsteer and reduced caster.
I might add 1° extra camber to compensate for the caster.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:16 pm

if quickened manual is so annoying at in-town low speed & parking... a basic EPS operate only then, fixes that
A tremendous improvement, I'd think. At-speed behaviour and centering 'should' remain unchaged, and effort a non issue then

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby Jayrdee » Thu Aug 11, 2022 9:22 am

yabaiani wrote:https://technotoytuning.com/toyota/ae86/ultimate-steering-rack-ae86


Has anyone purchased this setup from T3? Any pro's and con's of it? Especially just for refreshing the steering rack in the car. Thoughts?



I got this steering rack installed on my Levin. I love it.
The only complaint I can see someone having is the extra strength it requires to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds. But then again you're not turning your steering wheel as much so its a trade off. I have a 360mm Nardi in my car too so I have some extra leverage. I'm sure it'd be a little more difficult to steer if I had a 330 or something like that.

Its perfect for autocross or driving technical sections. It only takes roughly 2.5 full turns to go lock-to-lock.
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:36 pm

jinx wrote:If quickened manual is so annoying at in-town low speed & parking... a basic EPS operating
only then fixes that. A tremendous improvement, I'd think. At-speed behaviour and centering
'should' remain unchanged, and effort a non issue then

There it is... the answer :) Quick rack plus basic early model EPS that only requires a vehicle
speed input. Power assist tapers down to zero at around 70kph and after that you have full
manual steering. Best of both worlds !!! Can use a small diameter wheel too for bonus points.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:27 pm

with the basic 'dial', you may be able to find a sweet spot for low speed assist... switch off for higher speeds
Would be a tremendous and worthwhile improvement, most likely

Adding a steering quickner to power steering, may do the trick as well. Custom fabrication required, just as an EPS
...but I can see one, 'hit the target'

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Fri Aug 26, 2022 12:48 pm

So today l got to try a Vauxhall Corsa electric steering column converted to an AE86 with a quick rack. This system included an adjustable weight control.
Whilst l remain very impressed with the lack of kick back through the steering wheel it really didn't matter where the weight control was set there seemed to be a 'dead' feel of the steering around straight ahead, initial turning seemed quite light and then it weighted up. This feels rather odd at turn in and for that reason l'd not consider using this conversion for competition driving.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Sat Aug 27, 2022 8:32 pm

I'd hazard a guess that the car you tested had one of those "basic" single knob EPS controllers.
So without any of the vehicle speed, engine speed or steering angle inputs normally used by the
EPS controller to decide the level of assistance required, it was in "limp home" mode :)

I recall reading many years ago how one clever dude actually went to the trouble of locating
sources in his vehicle electronics for all the necessary sensor inputs, and got an EPS to work
exactly like OEM. But it was a lot of work and he was electronically inclined.

Looking around I see that there are a few people who make a more sophisticated aftermarket
controller for the Corsa to Escort EPS conversion. One of them is this UK based business...
https://easysteer.co.uk/controllers/ They offer three versions depending on user application
and preference. More money of course, but if I was going to the trouble of converting a car to
EPS I would expect it to feel at least as good as OEM hydraulic power steering !!!

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Sun Aug 28, 2022 1:08 am

Yes JD it was a single adjuster type.
l had a chat with the owner of the car and he is using the manual adjuster from the manufacturer in the link above.
The positive to the conversion is the facility to use a 2.5 turn rack without added weight.

Personally l think that the factory power steering is very good and the ideal might be a 2.5 turn power steering rack/pinion conversion.
Having done some rudimentary measurements (rack displacement distance for 360° pinion turn) the factory power rack is 'slower' than the manual rack. This may be the reason Toyota used shorter steering arms on the power steered cars.

Ford have a very interestng steering system on one of the Focus ST models, it actually increases the amount of lock the further the steering is turned, it sort of starts off as a 3.5 turn lock to lock and ends up at 2 turns! Ford are very clever with steering input and the system felt almost completely linear. l guess you can do this when you have their resources, a whole department just dedicated to vehicle 'turn in' for example.

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Sun Aug 28, 2022 4:24 am

Looks like every man and his dog have been having a go at it....
https://www.autozine.org/technical_scho ... ing_2.html

Just another complex thing to go wrong and be super expensive to fix. I'd guess
that drive by wire steering can't be far away and then the "steering ECU" will be
able to do all of this clever stuff faster and with less moving parts. After all fly
by wire has been used in airliners for quite a few years and I haven't heard that
there have been a lot of failures :)

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby totta crolla » Sun Aug 28, 2022 9:03 am

That is an interesting article, the Honda system pre-dates Ford by more than 10 Years.

Lexus used, l assume, a fbw steering system on the first GS450h
It was designed to limit input correction when correcting oversteer, presumably they were mitigating an instant torque increase from the electric motor.
We managed to 'fool' the computer when driving fast on a banked circuit, eventually it said... nope.. that is too fast for that amount of steering so l'm going to remove all assistance and try to steer you straight. It was some workout, fighting the electric steering :D

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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jondee86 » Sun Aug 28, 2022 4:55 pm

I read something relevant recently, but can't remember if it was from BMW or Toyota.
Seems that some EPS can react to driving mistakes faster than the driver can. So when
the EPS gets input from the stability control system it can increase the or decrease the
steering angle. If the driver makes a steering input that would induce dangerous
oversteer or understeer at the current speed, the EPS will reduce/increase the steering
angle to improve the chances of the driver being able to maintain control.

Probably going to be other helpful inputs from the stability control system as well. No
problem so long as there is a switch to turn that sh*t off when having fun :)

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby sirdeuce » Mon Aug 29, 2022 1:21 pm

So many sytems out there. Still trying to catch up with Nissans Atessa.

Would be nice to adapt a complete stability control to an older car. I'd like to see adaptations to the AW11 and the SW20, especially for newer drivers in that couple of cars. So many peeps get into trouble with them.
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Re: Ultimate Steering Rack for the AE86

Postby jinx » Mon Aug 29, 2022 2:08 pm

No problem so long as there is a switch to turn that sh*t off

There is.... don't install that crap, to begin with. Hate all this modern 'interferring' nonsense
Thought that was the 'magic' of living with an old simple fossil
Way too much "Control" in your life as it is, without the over-reach
There was nothing was wrong with a throttle cable(for us).... except for 'them'

Years ago, my sisters' rental seem to have a 'demon tour guide' on board - turning the steering wheel, applying brake, etc..
She immediately returned the pos citing, "I think this one is already being rented" :lol: