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Power Steering?


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#1 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2013 - 10:56 PM

Anybody ever tinker with the idea of adding power steering to your machine?  I am building a FEL and backhoe using the PF Engineering plans for the GT18 and kinda realized that she's gonna be a mother to turn with a full bucket over uneven ground, the steering wheel is tiny and its hard enough as it is.  I upgraded the stock tie rod ends to some hi performance ball swivel ones I got from McMaster and that helped a little, but since I'm adding a hydraulic pump anyway for the FEL and Hoe I figured why not add power steering in the process.  I realize I need a power steering cylinder, but I've never monkeyed with it so I dont understand how you set up the steering box/wheel to make the cylinder do what you want it to.  Anyhow, if anyone has taken a crack at it before and can offer me some pointers and pics of what you did I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.


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#2 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2013 - 11:50 PM

Have you looked manual section? the ford lgt 195's have power steering on them from the factory. I am like you and haven't messed with it so I'm really interested to see where it goes.



#3 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 12:29 AM

Well no, it's a Sears GT18, no power steering ever offered with it since it's a gear tranny and not a hydro.  I was surfing Surplus Center's site and I came upon a torque generator where a guy could do power assist for about $600 with some modification to the steering linkage.  The power steering valve alone is $550, then you need the ram ($150ish) and a new column too.  I'm going to try the power assist route I think but might wait to a few more folks weigh in.


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#4 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 06:36 AM

I have power steering on my LGT 165 and love every bit of it. With the rig you have now you are in for a real challenge. Mainly because you don't have a hydrostatic transmission to tap from. The pump you need for your loader and how is too large for your application of power steering and will create tons of heat if not run through a cooler before returning to tank.
This could get very exspensive !
You need to do some serious homework on this or it will turn into a pile of $$$$ quickly and wont work.
Your hardest part to overcome is the need for a low volume pump for steering. (1.5-2gpm max) your loader and hoe want 6-8gpm .
A possible 2 section pump could be used but may get $$$$$ this is homework;-)
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#5 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 06:47 AM

There was a thread a short time ago that one person talked about adding thrust bearings to the king pins to make the stearing alot easier. they were supposed to help alot without costing alot. Look at what the original manufacturer used with their FELs. Good Luck, Rick
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#6 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 10:36 AM

As boy scout stated,you can add the thrust bearings on the bottom of the axle spindle where it sits on the axle. From a couple people that I know who have used them, they say it's like going to power steering.

I have a Sears Suburban with a small johnny type bucket on the front and can haul probably close to 400#'s in it. While you can't turn the steering sitting still, once you get moving it's not that bad actually. I know an true FEL will add tons of weight, but not much different than the cars of old that did not have power steering.

Try the thrust bearings first, then see if you need to move up.

I think you could add a hydraulic ram off your system, you would need obviously hose splitters/T's, but maybe some type of pressure regulator/relief valve to get the pressure down so you don't rip the steering off with too fast or too much pressure in cylinder.

 

 

http://www.mcmaster....earings/=pod24h


Edited by TAHOE, December 05, 2013 - 10:36 AM.

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#7 refracman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 11:50 AM

I've done a couple of conversions on WH's, but these had hydros. I used the obitial valve(steering valve) and cylinder off a JD318. If you use a hydraulic pump to power the obitial valve you will need to reduce the pressure from 2500-3000psi down to 700psi. Surplus center has what you will need for the psi reduction.
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#8 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 01:43 PM

Thanks guys, this has been pretty helpful.  What do you think about the power assist idea I posted last night versus true power steering?  With what Skyrydr proposed, I'm a little hesitant to get too deep into it.  I found this on Surplus Center:

http://www.surplusce...ATOR-9-7122.axd

looks like it's a simple valve/hydraulic mechanism that when connected to your steering column helps you turn the steering linkage.  Would I still need a cooler for that?  The PF Engineering plans dont specify for a cooler so I wasnt planning on running one.  The pump I was going to use is a .55 to .61 cu in pump that'll give me between 5 and 6 gpm.  I think the power assist might be simpler, but I realize I might have to beef up the stock steering that came with the Craftsman.  It's kinda flimsy anyways, 3/8" rods and whatnot, the Ford has 3/4" rods and 1/2" ends.  Lemme know your thoughts.  Thanks



#9 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 01:49 PM

As boy scout stated,you can add the thrust bearings on the bottom of the axle spindle where it sits on the axle. From a couple people that I know who have used them, they say it's like going to power steering.

I have a Sears Suburban with a small johnny type bucket on the front and can haul probably close to 400#'s in it. While you can't turn the steering sitting still, once you get moving it's not that bad actually. I know an true FEL will add tons of weight, but not much different than the cars of old that did not have power steering.

Try the thrust bearings first, then see if you need to move up.

I think you could add a hydraulic ram off your system, you would need obviously hose splitters/T's, but maybe some type of pressure regulator/relief valve to get the pressure down so you don't rip the steering off with too fast or too much pressure in cylinder.

 

 

http://www.mcmaster....earings/=pod24h

Sorry for the dumb question too, but what kind of thrust bearings would I need (open, needle, ball, etc) and just exactly where do they go and what are they replacing?  Bottom of the axle spindle, I'm assuming driving that pin out of the axle, pressing the spindle off and replacing the washer with a bearing right?



#10 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 02:33 PM

Sorry for the dumb question too, but what kind of thrust bearings would I need (open, needle, ball, etc) and just exactly where do they go and what are they replacing?  Bottom of the axle spindle, I'm assuming driving that pin out of the axle, pressing the spindle off and replacing the washer with a bearing right?

 

A dumb question is one that is not asked.....unless you are my 14 yr old blonde daughter :wallbanging:  :D

 

If I were to buy them, I would presonally go with needle bearings, they seem to be a thinner assembly. I think the spindle is 3/4", but I am not sure. The would have to be greased regularly or somehow make a rubber cup to cover them to help keep dirt out.

look at pic, the bottom circle is where the bearing goes, between the flat washer the axle rides on and the axle itself. You may need a thin flat washer on top of the thrust bearing, I am not sure.

The upper circle, there is a snap ring I belive that pops off and allows spindle to slide out of axle. There should be enough up and down play for thrust bearing to go in there, would actually tighten it up some.

I have not done this on my own, just a couple guys I've read about on other forums that have.

 

SEARS AXLE.jpg


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#11 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2013 - 02:38 PM

The thrust bearings do help, and I've added them to all my machines, both power steering, and gear steer.  They will NOT replicate the feel of real power steering, however.  Not even close.  One of my loader machines had manual steer, with thrust bearings, and I do feel that it helped reduce spindle wear, but there was no noticable difference in steering effort with a loaded bucket, before, and after I added teh bearings.  GT's with FEL's get an awful heavy nose with a 350#+ loader, plus material.  I was 100% unable to turn the wheel (and it was a LARGE steering wheel), with a load in the bucket, if I was not moving.

 

As recommended, I'd poach the obitial valve and cylinder from parted out tractor to go about your conversion.  Do you have a PTO source you could add a car power steering pump to, for pressure?  You wouldn't need a whole lot of resevoir for just the steering.  Those babies are all over junk yards and pressure can be regulated.

I'm just wrapped up collecting all the components I need to add power steering to my Simplicity 7790 diesel.  That engine weighs 100# over the KT's offered for similar models, and she steers hard with wide front tires.  (let's get real...the power steering is COOL, and I WANT it for absolutely no other reason!)


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#12 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted December 06, 2013 - 06:17 AM

For a little gt a power steering pump from a car is WAY overkill if used just for steering!! Now you have a much greater potential to have powered goodies!! BUT..... They still pump a lot more oil than needed . I have one for aux. Hydraulics on my LGT, it used to run the p/s but created a ton of heat ... So I decided to use the hydrostatic charge pump circuit instead and it made a huge difference. As it only puts out 1.5 GPM and 600 psi . perfect for gt power steering.

My full sized 10,000# Ford 1841 has a gm power steering pump with a Char-Lynn orbital steering valve and it will peel the tires off the rims under a fully loaded bucket turning the wheels!!
And as stated above..... Nothing beats power steering!!
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#13 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 06, 2013 - 12:51 PM

Yeah I'd like to just tap into the hydro's, but unfortunately this is on my Craftsman GT18, geared/belt driven tranny, no hydro.  I think I'm going to do the thrust bearings and see what that buys me.  The true power steering looks crazy expensive and after looking things over last night, the power assist option may work, but I'd have to completely custom build the steering from scratch and I'm not confident I've got the skill (or time, how many of you guys have a huge backlog of projects on your GT's?!?) to do it right. I might try to utilize some parts of other GT's like using the JD318 parts like Refracman and Talntedmrgreen suggested but down the line, too many project too little time. 



#14 Firemang OFFLINE  

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Posted December 06, 2013 - 02:39 PM

Still dont want to raise the white flag on this so I did some more checking on the internet and found this: http://www.superatv....-Kit-P5150.aspx

It's an electric power assist kit for a UTV/ATV.  I'd have to heavily modify the steering column, but I think this would work.  It'd get me around some of the expense, as well as the hassle of running all the hydraulics/toning down the pressure from my FEL/Hoe pump. The only question I have, is would my electrical system have enough poop to keep up with it.  They offer a 170 watt and a 220 watt kit in 12 volt.  Dont really understand watts, wish they gave it in amps.  Anybody want to weigh in, I'm all ears...


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#15 refracman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 06, 2013 - 04:12 PM

Thats a sporty little gizmo, But I have had less that 500 in each conversion.

 Take your time in getting the parts together, the deals will show up. I am allways on the lookout and have enough to do another PS conversion and build another FEL, just got to find the time now. LOL


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