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Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

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Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

Old 03-07-2018, 10:29 AM
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Default Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

Hey everyone.

It's almost that time of year. Time to prepare for the next track season. I have a 1993 Honda Civic del Sol Si. Since picking it up in 2012 I had been running a d16z6. Up until last May it was making 158whp and 116wtrq and was mated to a custom short-ratio 5-speed with Quaife LSD and carbon synchros. Disaster struck when a valve dropped destroying the engine. I've since swapped in an OBD1 JDM GSR with S80 LSD ITR transmission.

I was only able to drive it for about a month or two before storing it for the winter. I'm scheduled get a tune done at the end of March. At the moment it doesn't have power steering.

I'm debating whether I should install power steering. I've only ever tracked cars (road course, open lapping, autocross) with power steering. My car is primarily used for lapping days but I do sometimes take it out on the road. It is more difficult to turn the wheel when it's near or at a complete stop. It's easy to turn when the car is moving.

My question goes out to those that have experience on the track. Do I loop the rack and go without power steering or should I go with power steering? Why?


Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

I ran my 4dr ex-v with fat tires and a b20 swap for a couple years with the power steering disconnected only cuz I was too lazy to look for the parts, eventually it went back to power steering. It was a chore while parallel parking, and if you had to steer really quickly you will wish you had the pump hooked up.

The looped is much stiffer than if you were to use a manual rack, I believe the ratio is also different. If you have everything to have power steering in the car I would use it, otherwise swap to a manual rack if you need the addition few lbs weight reduction. Although I doubt this or you wouldnt be driving a del sol
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

My vote would be to fix the power steering. My racecar has a looped power steering rack. At speed it makes no discernable difference in feel or steering effort. But when I'm trying to putter the car around the paddock or load it onto a trailer it's a tremendous chore. 3 point turns become 6 point turns because I can't turn the wheel when the car isn't rolling forwards or backwards. It's even scarier if I have to get back on track after a spin. Doesn't happen too often, but when it does I wish I could crank the wheel while stationary and get the car pointed in the right direction as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

I thought I'd mention, since no one else did, P/S runs from a belt off the crank pulley. Which potentially means your stealing a minor amount of horsepower to run it.
I have little/nothing in direct experience to add. I run an 89 civic hatch with the original manual rack. I don't have any problems moving it around, it doesn't weigh anything.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

We just did a 12 hr ChumpCar race in a Prelude with no PS. No problem. Just make sure you drain the rack, you don't want to be pushing fluid back and forth unassisted.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

Third option is to take the rack apart, and cut off the PS seal. The rack is manual with power assist, just get rid of the assist.

I've never liked PS on fwd. With a bit of toe out you'll never miss it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

Originally Posted by Creator View Post
I thought I'd mention, since no one else did, P/S runs from a belt off the crank pulley. Which potentially means your stealing a minor amount of horsepower to run it.
I have little/nothing in direct experience to add. I run an 89 civic hatch with the original manual rack. I don't have any problems moving it around, it doesn't weigh anything.
supposedly it can sap 5 hp or so but it only really loads the engine when you're turning

i drove a te72 corolla coupe with a manual rack and it was a bitch to turn when the car was going slow or when in parking lots and that car is no more than 2,000 lbs
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

power steering. i originally deleted it in my DA with the same idea. after a couple simple drives around town I realized how much i wanted it back. It makes the car much more enjoyable to drive without heaving the steering wheel while stopped/slow (any paddock time). I also want to do an occasional autox where slaloms would have sucked not being able to put steering effort in fast enough.

plus if you ever want wider tires the effort increases even more
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

This is all great info. Thanks everyone for their input and perspective.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

I prefer a "vented" setup.
The feed and return lines run to a small reservoir that has a small vent hole at the top. This lets the fluid move through the rack and any pressure to bleed out. I've used setups like this on my track car and never had a any issues. I really can't say it's better than a looped system though.
My car is a 93 Civic and the car feels fine on track. It hasn't been street driven in a long time so I cant really comment on how it would feel in those conditions.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Power steering vs Looped P/S rack for track (road course) - '93 del Sol Si (GSR)

Power steering has been hooked up. I used a power steering pump from an ITR. The tech I took it to said that the lines from the del Sol worked fine. It was a straight forward install.

Thanks again everykne for your input and advice.
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