404 Power Steering - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 07:10 PM
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EPAS systems are the future. The Ford F150 pickups are now running electric power steering. It is becoming quite common.

So common that last Thursday I opened a box that came from Europe with a complete EPAS system for the Pinzgauer. We expect to get it installed in the next week or two and see the results.

Discussions are already underway in regards to the 404 units.

If you look at the benefits they are huge.

#1 - "Assist" is programmable. You have a little dash mounted knob that you can adjust for more assist and less assist.

#2 - No Disconnect Within the column. Lose the assist and you still have your regular steering.

#3 - Ease of use/installation. Very straight forward installation with no permanent modifications required. Wan't to return back to stock....a couple of hours.

#4 - No power steering pump needed, no hoses, no HP drain on the engine.

Only drawback I can think of at this point is we are having difficulty with finding these in 24V. Amp draw is not that bad, but an electrical system modification will be required to get the 12V feed.

We shall see. I'll drop in a video of our installation on the Pinz. Hope to get a couple of 404 columns up to the manufacturer in Germany for testing/fitment soon.

Cheers,

Scott

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#2 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 07:52 PM
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Hi Guys,

First and foremost you are messing around with one of the most important if not the most important system for a vehicle. Secondly, most of the units in the junk yards are going to be integrated into numerous computer controlled functions.

There are also numerous configurations. From what I understand the manufacturer of this unit has a selection of 40+ electric motors based upon weights, forces, ratios, etc.

The unit we are testing here is made by EZ Powersteering. EZ Electric Power Steering

It appears to be pretty plug and play, designed for our application, computer controls taken care of and a sensitivity knob.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,

Scott
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Don't Miss our CONTINENTAL PROMOTION - FREE TRUCK FREIGHT....

Current Inventory: 4 x U1350L's in PERFECT CONDITION, 1 x 1995 Stewart and Stevenson LMTV, 4 x U1300L Troop (Turbo/Fast Axle), 4 x U1300L (Naturally aspirated), 3 x Haflingers, 1300 Engineering with Winch, RW1 with Turbo and Overdrive......

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 08:18 PM
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Very sweet setup Scott! I will be excited to see your results. That will make both the pinzgauer an the 404 so much more fun to drive.

FOR SALE: 1985 U1300L 200HP $50,000
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 12:42 PM
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404 Power Steering

Wanted to copy Scott's post about the new EPAS setup he is testing in a Pinz to it's own thread.
Seperated out for future search and future updates for 404's

-------
Tech
KCBS CBJ

Last edited by techMOGogy; 04-25-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 04:00 PM
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That is a cool unit I can't wait to see how it works on a 404!
Need any testers? Hehe
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruggeri6199 View Post
Scott,

This looks like a very promising setup for those of us 404 guys looking to upgrade to power steering. I'm currently contemplating the 406 route maybe through Von or a ram setup and this is a fresh look for sure. Anyway, assuming the price comes in about the same as one of those systems it would be well worth it especially considering all the work saved mounting rams and pumps as others have mentioned.

A few things I'm curious about both technical and not. I know you plan on giving this device a thorough field test but I'm wondering do you see any ill effects on the 404 box due to the torque multiplication from the drive motor on the steering shaft. I guess I'm curious because presumably this motor can generate far more input torque into the stock steering box than any of us could with our own muscles. I'd be particular interested in what happens when the tires are bound and someone cranks down on the wheel or repeated pivoting of the vehicle on the rocks especially vehicles with over sized tires. I guess I just have no idea what forces the stock box can take, I know its a big mechanical box but I'd imagine this device would really let one find the limits. Possibly getting ahead of myself but if things went well do you envision EI offering upgraded steering rods?

Anyway, so that's my somewhat technical rant/curiosity my other one is when do you imagine will see test data or if all goes well production models?

Cheers,
Braden
Hi Braden,

I don't know enough about the systems to be considered any type of expert. Like I mentioned we are just beginning our investigation of the systems. Brian my engineer took a trip out to Colorado and test drove a Pinzgauer with a an EPAS system installed. The work had been done locally, but based upon his observations and positive evaluation we went looking.

I can speak to the concern of the stock 404 steering box. It is built very strong. So strong in fact that we don't sell that many steering boxes.....evidenced by hundreds of New boxes sitting in inventory! Failures under normal circumstances are rare.

In addition in the late 1990's we offered a power steering system that mounted a Char-Lynn hydraulic torque generator into the steering column of the 404. We delivered in the range of 15-20 full kits. These units were used hard and I do not know of any gearbox failures as a result of the additional forces put through the box. Small sample, but definitely gives me a positive feeling. That system had some major drawbacks....think 1970's Cadillac with a trunk full of bricks.....

If you do some research on the link I provided it looks as though the EPAS units that we are talking about have a clutch system built in. If they receive too much resistance the clutch will slip. This is applicable to your question about being tight against a rock. It is also one of the reasons we are pleased to see a "specialist" company that takes these types of question into consideration when making up the motor/gearing combinations for the various applications.

My shop has done a number of the 406/416 type conversions. They can be done very nice, but they are a lot of work and not for the faint of heart. Not to mention you are cutting your frame and pretty much making modifications that cannot easily be reversed.

The other thing that you may want to discuss with those that are running the 406/416 systems on the 404's are the steering arm failures. I know of at least 5 conversions who have all had steering bolts break out of the knuckle causing some issues. If I'm not mistaken Eric Messersmith has torn his bolts out of his knuckles on at least 3 occasions...?

In regards to production/delivey/etc. I do not know when or if we would even offer this type of system. Initially, we are trying these out ourselves to see what we think, but I am not even sure if we would offer them. In todays world it is about Liability. We had to renew our liability policies this year with a new carrier as our business has grown to the point where the parts sales are substantially more than the dealership vehicle sales. With that renewal came a 66% jump in premiums. Blindsided does not even begin to describe it. What was very interesting was the insurance companies interest in exactly what parts we are selling, to who, and the risk they are taking on. Realistically if we do pursue offering this kit we would probably not have initial testing done for 4-6 months.....However, there is nothing stopping anyone from being the guinea pig themselves.....again I posted the source for a reason

Hopefully this helps. Cliff Notes: I think it's going to be a viable option on the 404, but will not know for quite sometime.......

Cheers,

Scott Ingham

Don't Miss our CONTINENTAL PROMOTION - FREE TRUCK FREIGHT....

Current Inventory: 4 x U1350L's in PERFECT CONDITION, 1 x 1995 Stewart and Stevenson LMTV, 4 x U1300L Troop (Turbo/Fast Axle), 4 x U1300L (Naturally aspirated), 3 x Haflingers, 1300 Engineering with Winch, RW1 with Turbo and Overdrive......

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#7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:17 PM
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Sweeeeet! A 404 with power steering would drive better than most cars on the road. They drive so nice already the noise and lack of power steering are the only things that tell you your driving a truck. I have been in many a situation where power steering would have made things so much easier.
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#8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:42 AM
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This could be a winner. It is unfortunate that liability issues would become a barrier. Running a small business today is tough going on all fronts. Maybe I could get the insurance company's risk manager to try a 3-point turn in my 404 with a snow blower hanging off the front....
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 04:59 PM
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looks like a "kit"... price is right. see buyer question and seller answer.
In my dreams tonight

Peter '63 404.1 ragtop Doka .......
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 08:35 PM
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Scott- Any news on this project?
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