Series 3 Steering Upgrade

For the enthusiast upgrading their E-Type
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Barry
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Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#1

Postby Barry » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:04 pm

I am contemplating upgrading the steering on my V12 OTS. I want to have more steering feel, and a heavier feel. CMC do a replacement steering rack, but having spoken to them there are unanswered questions, like who makes it, is the ratio changed, and does the steering feel heavier. The other potential solution was to put an adjustable valve in the system. However, I gather from Paul at Eagle it isn't really satisfactory. Any advice, thoughts or experience much appreciated.

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V12 Epyte
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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#2

Postby V12 Epyte » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:14 am

1971 Series 3 FHC 2+2 RHD Manual
1971 Series 3 Roadster 2+2 RHD Manual
1986 Rover SD1 Vitesse Twin Plenum

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Barry
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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#3

Postby Barry » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:36 am

Thanks John. I'll investigate. Hopefully, those who have fitted one will comment on this topic.

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Whitact
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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#4

Postby Whitact » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:16 am

I have Rob Beere's adjustable valve in my OTS, perfectly happy with it. Adjustment seems quite progressive so you can add as much weight as you want. Straightforward to fit and no problems at all.
Cheers
Adrian Turner
S3 OTS & FHC
S1 FHC (Project)
XK140 FHC

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MarekH
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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#5

Postby MarekH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:41 am

There are lots of things you can do, but it'd help to go back to basics and just think about the physics of what is going on and what actually want to be going on.

Power assist is effectively a leverage of the the amount of torque you are putting into the steering wheel.

All of the above "fixes" are an attempt to mimic that but what they are doing is capping the assist force one way or another.

The way it works is that rpm related hydaulic pressure is supplied by the pump and it has a spring loaded pop-off valve at its output. This is because it needs to provide assist at low rpm so is able to more than provide assist at higher rpms. As such, the assist amount is always capped out in normal running. All of the "fixes" attempt to adjust this assist "cap" one way or another, either by way of a washer in the pop-off valve to give a lower cap or a splitter valve to divert some of the fluid straight back to the pump.

What is really wanted is to make the wheel harder to turn and one simple way to do that is to use a smaller steering wheel. This gives your arms less leverage and makes the wheel harder to turn at all speeds. This is because your hands are nearer the centre of the wheel and effectively turning "a higher gear" just like being in top gear on a bicycle is harder work on your legs going uphill than when being in a low gear.

The real "fix" is to have that built into the steering column pinion assembly with a stiffer torsion bar inside the head.

kind regards
Marek

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#6

Postby Barry » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:56 am

Thanks Adrian. I was informed the valve change with the control was perhaps a little annoying after a while, having to switch is back and forth on a frequent basis. That is what Eagle had told me. If it is something you perhaps only adjust when in a tight parking situation, and then back to fast Road mode then that may be just fine. Can you explain how you have used it and the real benefits on the road. I have to say a new rack may not be necessary, and the fact the source is unknown, linked to the variable quality of SNGB it seems the valve change is perhaps the way to go. It gets down to user feedback. Thanks.

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#7

Postby Whitact » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:05 am

Hi Barry,
The reasons I went for the bypass valve option was partly because I wanted the option to adjust to a setting that suited me, ease of fitting, reversibility and cost. To fit it you just have to cut into the two hydraulic pipes, so if anyone wants to put everything back to standard all it takes is replacement of those two pipes.
After fitting it it took me a few days of driving to find a setting that I was happy with, in my case I ended up leaving it set about one third of the way shut. That gave me a good compromise between too light at speed and too heavy when parking. Since then I have just left it alone and am happy with it.
Before you do anything at all it might be worth checking the caster settings on the front suspension. If they are at the maximum specified, or even a bit above that, you will get a bit more steering weight (and better high speed stability) than if they are set below the spec.
Cheers
Adrian Turner
S3 OTS & FHC
S1 FHC (Project)
XK140 FHC

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#8

Postby jagwit » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:34 pm

I had read somewhere that by installing additional washers in the pressure regulating piston in the power steering pump, the pressure of the system could be reduced, thus firming up the steering feel.

I actually did so on the car I've been working on, but I have no before and after comparison because the car arrived "dead on my doorstep". I added a washer similar in size and thickness to the ones already there while the engine was out and the car (with std steering wheel) certainly does not feel as light as my own car (which has a 14.5" steering wheel) but it certainly still is not anywhere near "firm". Still very easy to park.

At this point, I would not hesitate to add another washer assuming the first one did firm up the steering.
Best Regards
Philip
71 E-type V12 Coupe,
83 DD6, 80 XJS (EFI by Megasquirt & EDIS-6 + 5sp manual overdrive)
73 Jensen Interceptor
74 Interceptor (EFI by Megasquirt + overdrive 4sp auto)

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#9

Postby Barry » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:33 pm

Thanks Adrian. I got in touch with Bob Beere, and ordered one of his kits. So helpful! He immediately sent me the installation instructions. By the way, after you have cut the pipes, do you have to bleed the hydraulics? No mention in the instructions, so I presume all is fine.....it seems so easy even an idiot like me can do it! What is the favoured place to mount the adjustment knob?
Cheers Barry

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#10

Postby Whitact » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:16 am

Hi Barry,
Yes Rob is a great guy.
Once you have refilled the fluid the system seems to bleed itself pretty quickly with just a few turns of the wheel from lock to lock and a recheck of the fluid level.
I ended up positioning the adjuster valve up on the front frame cross rail so its easy to access. I just used cable ties to keep the flexi pipes well secured back from any moving parts of the suspension and drive belts etc. I've had it on the car for about 5k miles with no problems.
Good luck,
Adrian Turner
S3 OTS & FHC
S1 FHC (Project)
XK140 FHC

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#11

Postby Barry » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:04 pm

Cheers for that, I am most grateful for the info and advise. I'll fit it next week after it arrives from Rob.

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42south
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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#12

Postby 42south » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:24 am


Hi,
I did the washer mod on mine, which was the jaguar solution to the oversensitive steering.
It does work very well, and gives a nice positive feel in the corners, as opposed to that driving on ice feeling.
However the rob beere solution sounds simpler and effective.
Cheers
Mark Brown
1971 S3 Etype
When my ship comes in it will probably be at the airport.

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#13

Postby Ashcloud » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:39 pm

Hi, I just purchased an XKE S3 OTS 72/73. Since it is my fourth Jaguar I was not surprised that even after a good presales inspection she starts to leak on every possible corner.
Right now I am clearing up all cooling oddities before driving again (one thermostat is slow, the right coolingfan is dead and the tankcap barely touches the seat and blows off after each drive).
Now to the important question. The power steering is loosing fluid and after refilling twice I think it is time to fix instead of replenishing. Reading many post here I came across the „washer mod“ but cannot find any instruction on how to do and where to place that because this simple fix might prolong the seal life of the PAS.
Can anyone post a link for instructions or the original bulletin that was published by Jaguar to fix the soft PAS.
I only drove the car for a few hundred Kilometers and I thought it felt ok. But it would also be interesting to find out if that mod has been done already.

Oh, one more thing. I tried to replace the rubber seal around the headlight and in order to do that I need to take the front chrome ring off. I can unseat the top but at the rings bottom I cannot get it off. Is there a special trick that is not in the maintenance manual?

Sincerely,
Bernhard

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#14

Postby MarekH » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:21 pm

Dear Bernhard,

Power steering systems of this type can operate at up to around 1300psi. Adding a washer into the pop-off valve assembly will only reduce that maximum pressure down to about 850psi. If it leaked at its likely maximum of around 1100psi then it'll probably still leak at 850psi.
Just use Google to look at "Saginaw power steering pumps" for details of how washer fits into the circuit.

You haven't described where the leak is coming from, so perhaps take a look at an exploded picture of the relevant assembly (which will show you where the seals and gaskets are) to decide how to proceed.

There is a steel spring clip at the 6 o'clock position of the headlamp holding the chrome finisher ring in place. You should be able to see this in the Parts Manual.

kind regards
Marek

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#15

Postby Ashcloud » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:15 pm

Thanks Marek
I have not had the car on the lift yet but this will happen as soon as I get back home from Santiago de Chile this weekend. Since there are multiple wet spots I have to clean everything first before the search can start.
The washer mod just sounded very interesting especially since Jaguar suggested it. I had no problem with the soft feel so far but the car came with a slightly smaller NARDI wheel installed. Feels light but very predictable at all times.
It cannot have a huge leak since I miss only half of the reservoir after 30 minutes of driving. No other symptoms like grinding noise or so. Had a leak on my XKR pump itself recently and it took just seconds to dump most of the fluid.
Concerning the Chrome ring .... there is a spring clip on top (12oclock) and the parts book showed 2 off (I thought 1 on the left and 1 on the right headlamp). Any trick to unsnaping without breaking anything? I tried pushing the ring slightly downward to unseat such a clip but it sits tight at the bottom center only. I can move the rings top side forward but it feels stuck. I will look underneath from the inside of the bonnet just in case some idiot has put a screw into it (I have seen too many unbelievable „solutions“ on classic cars)
Bernhard

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#16

Postby MarekH » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:16 pm

The parts book is wrong.

The spring clip is at just before 6 o'clock. There are two flanges at about 1 o'clock and 11 o'clock on the black bowl which, together with the spring clip, hold the chrome finisher. You can either pull (down and forwards) a lot at 6 o'clock which probably won't work, or you can push the chrome finisher upwards at 6 o'clock (or pull at 12 o'clock) so that the chrome finisher lifts and clears the two protruding lugs at 1 o'clock and/or 11 o'clock.

kind regards
Marek

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#17

Postby Ashcloud » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:13 pm

Hi Marek
Finally I got the chrome-ring off. In my car it is exactly the other way around. It is the way as displayed in the parts and workshop manual. In order to get it out I had to use a flatbladed screwdriver to lift the ring over (actually under) those flanges that You have at 1 and 11 o clock position. This placement is quite tight.
Thanks
Bernhard

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#18

Postby MarekH » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:49 pm

Trust Lucas to make similar parts which are exactly opposite and fit htem to the same car. These headlamp bowls were used on the Mini and other cars as well so it is no surprice that there are variations.

On my 1974 car, the spring clip is at the bottom and the flanges are at the top.

kind regards
Marek

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#19

Postby Ashcloud » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:56 pm

Yes, those are mounted with 4 screws in the bonnet so I guess we have 4 choices on how we like it best, maybe sideways would be more accessible.
Thanks, the most important thing was that you described that there where those flages so I could look for them and prey the ring off.
Sincerely,
Bernhard.

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Re: Series 3 Steering Upgrade

#20

Postby MarekH » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:39 pm

No - you do not have ANY choice which way round that headlamp bucket goes into the bonnet. Consider that the headlight will only fit one way and so the light beam will have to point downwards. Any other "choice" will make the dipped beam versus main beam point upwards or vertically across the road at 90'.

kind regards
Marek

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