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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been a while since I posted on this forum. I am not making or selling anything. I have posted this on couple of other forums and this is not for everyone.

Some of you have manual steering and I though you might like to see how added electric assisted power steering in my 1964 Falcon. Some of you may have come across the Saturn Vue conversions but I think I have found even cheaper and better alternative with no caster issues!

My testing shows that most Japanese branded cars and SUV with electric steering works in Fail-Safe mode if the control unit (ECU) is disconnected from CAN BUS. The effort in Fail-Safe mode feels just right like my 2013 Honda Civic. Not too much and not too little. Just like Hydraulic Steering, if the Electric Assisted Steering completely fails, the steering is back to completely manual mode maintaining car control.

The biggest advantage of using EPS from Toyota, Nissan and Kia/Hyundai is that the EPS works in Fail-Safe. The ECU for the column is mounted remotely and cab be disconnected and removed. The EPS from Saturn Vue and Chevy Cobalt has the ECU that cannot be disconnected and must be de-soldered for remote mount. More importantly there is no Fail-Safe and a 3rd party eBay module is needed in order for it to work. Additionally , people have reported that with after market eBay module, the Saturn EPS does not self center the steering wheel coming out of a turn. You have to make constant corrections. No center feel.

Below is the list of Car that I know of that has Fail-Safe Electric Steering. Only 3 wire connection. Ignition On, Power and Ground to the Steering ECU. That's it !

2004-2009 Toyota Prius
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS)
2007-2009 Nissan Versa
2009-2012 Nissan Cube
2012-2014 Kia Soul

ECU Part Numbers:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius 89650-47102
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla 89650-02300
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS) 89650-52120 / 52050
2007-2009 Nissan Versa 28500-EM30A / 991-30303
2009-2012 Nissan Cube 28500-1FC0B / JL501-000932
2012-2014 Kia Soul B2563-99500 / 4PSG1312 / FPSG1312

The output shaft on Toyota is little larger than the rest and therefore the Borgeson 312500, 11/16 36 X 3/4 smooth bore weldable coupling should fits nicely. This couple fits the others as well. The Kia EPS is the biggest and appears to be most heavy duty. The Prius & Corolla EPS are very easy to find at salvage yards so this is the best bet. I picked up these EPS for testing for $35 each at my local pic-a-part

Note: As with any modification, there are risks. This post is intended to show how I did my modification. Use it at your own risk!

Waid
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
YouTube Videos:

DIY Electric Power Steering 1 - EPS with Fail Safe

DIY Electric Power Steering 2 - Bench Test

DIY Electric Power Steering 3 - Mounting Options

DIY Electric Power Steering 4 - In Car Test
 

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Dude this is awesome. I have the Vue / Ebay setup in my 68 Mustang. Yeah it's better than manual, but it has all the issues you mention. On center steering feel is terrible.

I might have to do another swap, would give me a reason to put in a tilt column :)

*Edit

I see you posted this over on VMF too, strong work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dude this is awesome. I have the Vue / Ebay setup in my 68 Mustang. Yeah it's better than manual, but it has all the issues you mention. On center steering feel is terrible.

I might have to do another swap, would give me a reason to put in a tilt column :)

*Edit

I see you posted this over on VMF too, strong work!
Tilt will be hard to do.

Since you already have Vue setup, and Vue has same torque censor as Prius, get a ECU from a Prius and just plug in Ignition On, Battery and Ground. Your center/caster issue should go away!

Waid
 

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Can you elaborate a bit more on the ecu need - I'm missing something as I thought "fail-safe" mode meant a failure of the ecu to control the steering unit, therefore no ecu was needed.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you elaborate a bit more on the ecu need - I'm missing something as I thought "fail-safe" mode meant a failure of the ecu to control the steering unit, therefore no ecu was needed.....
There are actually two Fail-Safe. If the steering ECU lose connection with CAN BUS (communication with cars engine computer, ABS, traction control, etc...), the steering ECU goes in to a Fail-Safe mode and provides a fixed level of steering assist instead of variable assist.

The 2nd Fai-Safe is manual steering. If the steering ECU lose power or burns up, the steering gear box will still operate in complete manual mode. This is just like if you lose power steering fluid in hydraulic power steering.

Waid
 

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Thanks for the excellent information. I just picked up a column from a 2009 Prius. However, I was not able to get a matching ECU for it. I went to another salvage yard and they had a 2008 Scion Cube and I got the ECU from it. I suspect that uses the same column as the Yaris. From what you said earlier, it sounds like I can mix and match the column and the ECU. Can you please confirm?

Andrew
 

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How 'bout we adopt the term "CCU" -- COLUMN control unit....at least that will help be from continuing to be confused....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the excellent information. I just picked up a column from a 2009 Prius. However, I was not able to get a matching ECU for it. I went to another salvage yard and they had a 2008 Scion Cube and I got the ECU from it. I suspect that uses the same column as the Yaris. From what you said earlier, it sounds like I can mix and match the column and the ECU. Can you please confirm?

Andrew
2008 Scion Cube? Nissan makes the Cube !

2004-2009 Prius uses same Power Steering ECU. All Scion don't use same steering column. If the Prius connectors fit the Scion Power Steering ECU then it should work. You can bench test it and confirm. Post some pics so I can see what you are talking about.

Waid
 

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2008 Scion Cube? Nissan makes the Cube !

2004-2009 Prius uses same Power Steering ECU. All Scion don't use same steering column. If the Prius connectors fit the Scion Power Steering ECU then it should work. You can bench test it and confirm. Post some pics so I can see what you are talking about.

Waid
Waid,

Actually I was wrong. So I have the controller from a Scion xD and the part number is 89650-52240.

The plugs are exactly the same as the Prius controller.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
From looking at eBay pics of the Scion Steering ECU, it appears to be almost identical to the Prius. If the Prius connector fits, the Ignition On is Pin 6. All you have to do is provide +12 Power, Ground and Ignition On. I would bench test it first. Remove the electric motor from the column for safety. Lock down the output shaft on a vice and turn the input shaft. The electric motor should turn depending on which way you move the steering input shaft.

Waid
 

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Waid,

Do you have any more pictures of how you dealt with the upper portion of the column? I see that you made a collar to adapt your stock upper column to the Prius motor. What I am looking for is some pointers on how you removed the stock Pruis upper column. Did you just cut it off? Did you remove the snap ring at the very top and the stock upper tubes slides off?

Thanks in advance.

Andrew
 
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