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Old 10-15-2016, 12:01 PM
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$35 Electric Steering with Fail-Safe: No eBay module needed. Pics & Videos !

I am working on a 1964 Ford Falcon and wanted power steering but 60's power steering sucks. I started to look in to Electric Steering and I know that the Saturn Vue can be made to work with aftermarket module from eBay. I am not too crazy about any aftermarket module interfacing with my electric steering due to safety. If you google Saturn Vue EPS, you will find tons of stuff. Everyone assumed that all EPS are like Saturn Vue and that an external module is needed. No one bothered to try other EPS and test them to see if it was true.

Couple of months ago, I was at my location pic-a-part and ran into a 2010 Toyota Corolla and a 2009 Toyota Prius and I pulled both of them and took a risk. To my amazement, both of these worked on the bench with only the Ignition On, heavy gauge Power and Ground. That's it! 3 wire connection. After further digging and finding the service manuals, I found that these units go in to a Fail-Safe mode and provide steering effort that is just about right when the CAN BUS not present in about 10 seconds. No eBay module needed!

I was not done. I pulled a 2014 Kia Soul EPS, a 2010 Nissan Cube and a 2008 Nissan Versa and all worked in a Fail-Safe mode and without the eBay module. I also pulled a 2007 Toyota Yaris that also works in fail safe mode but requires a VSS signal.

The biggest advantage is obviously they all work in fail safe mode but also they have a remotely mounted ECU that can be unplugged. It's important to get the ECU when pulling the Electric Steering Column. The ECU on Toyota Prius, Corolla and Yaris are mounted under the top dash cover close to the windshield on drivers side. On Nissan Versa and Cube, it is mounted on the steering column but it has long wires and plugs and can be removed. Therefore, the Nissan units can be found on eBay with ECU still attached.

My testing leads me to believe that just about any Japanese car brand with Electric Steering works in Fail-Safe mode. I did test the Chevy Cobalt and does not work in Fail-Safe just like Saturn Vue even though they are all made by Koyo. For me, I would trust any EPS working in Fail-Safe mode as intended by the manufacture over adding external non-factory module. Lots of testing and development goes on in to these systems.

Below is the list of Car that I know of that has Fail-Safe Electric Steering:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS works in Fail-Safe).
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (Non-ABS needs VSS signal or flashing LED)
2007-2009 Nissan Versa
2009-2012 Nissan Cube
2012-2014 Kia Soul

I will be updating this list as I find more information.

ECU Part Numbers:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius 89650-47102
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla 89650-02300
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS) 89650-52120 / 52050
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (Non-ABS) 89650-52070 & 520140
2007-2009 Nissan Versa 28500-EM30A / 991-30303
2009-2012 Nissan Cube 28500-1FC0B / JL501-000932
2012-2014 Kia Soul B2563-99500 / 4PSG1312 / FPSG1312

Note: The Prius & Yaris Steering ECU are interchangeable. Since Prius is the best selling Hybrid and Corolla is the best selling car in its class, they are easy to find. Also the output shaft is little bigger and therefore the Borgeson 312500, 11/16 36 X 3/4 smooth bore Weld On fits nicely over the Prius/Yaris/Corolla EPS. It fit's little loose on Saturn Vue EPS.

The Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris has the smallest gearbox, motor and overall package. If you are going to use it with Steering Box, they will work fine but will be too small for a Rack and Pinion because of high loads.

The Versa has the ECU mounted on the column but it has connectors and it is removable. On the Prius, Yaris and Corolla, the ECU is mounted high up under the dash cover on drivers side.

I have not tested it but there are several later model Nissan Versa Steering Columns with ECU for $100 on eBay. I am willing to bet it also works in Fail-Safe. It's output shaft is same as Saturn Vue.

I picked up these EPS for testing for $35 each.

Waid

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Old 10-15-2016, 12:04 PM
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This is the general information:
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:05 PM
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Electrical Diagrams
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:07 PM
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How I modified the upper steering steering shaft and steering tube.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:09 PM
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This is the lower shaft for steering box. I later swapped it out for rack and pinion.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:10 PM
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I swapped out the steerinbox with rack and pinion
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:12 PM
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For later cars with Collapsible steering columns and a rag joint:
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:14 PM
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YouTube Videos:

DIY Electric Power Steering 1 - EPS with Fail Safe
https://youtu.be/f4TYQ_KJSpc

DIY Electric Power Steering 2 - Bench Test
https://youtu.be/cERfqzKfoAk

DIY Electric Power Steering 3 - Mounting Options
https://youtu.be/JAE1D70MHgk

DIY Electric Power Steering 4 - In Car Test
https://youtu.be/lDGjRSHUj1g
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:51 PM
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WOW! Very cool! Great info, bookmarked page.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:07 PM
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In order to use the Electric Steering with power steering box or power rack and pinion, they must converted to manual by tack welding the input shaft to worm shaft or input shaft to the pinion shaft. They must be one. This is how I welded my input shaft to the pinion shaft in my rack and pinion. I removed the valve sleeve.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:34 PM
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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!
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:09 AM
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I used a Saturn Vue EPS with ebay Module in my Street Rod and I'm very happy. The module allows you to adjust the amount of assist on the fly. That I really like. On the highway I dial it down to almost no assist and when I get to a show and jockeying into a parking spot, I turn up the assist. It's just a POT like a radio volume knob on the dash. In fail safe mode you can't make adjustments. It drives people nuts when they see me steering with one finger to park and then I open the hood and there's no visible power steering. Important to mention, all power to EPS and Module must be off when ignition is off or component overheat will happen.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:53 AM
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Couple of questions:
What happens if you don't have fail safe?
What are the rough dimensions of the vue unit?
Anybody used this on a speedway straight axle with Vega box?
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang16 View Post
Couple of questions:
What happens if you don't have fail safe?
What are the rough dimensions of the vue unit?
Anybody used this on a speedway straight axle with Vega box?

The Electric Power Steering (EPS) provides variable assist depending on car's speed.

Fail safe means is that if the steering ECU looses contact with the ABS Module or the Car's engine Computer (i.e. putting it in another car), the steering ECU defaults to pre-set level of assist. The Electric Power Assist provides variable assist.

The Saturn Vue does not have a fail safe pre-set setting. It will not default to pre-set setting if it loses contact with the cars computer. Therefore, you need eBay box that can talk to it in order to make it work. With Toyota, Nissan, Scion and Kia, no other external module is needed. I have been told and seen it myself the issue with the Saturn EPS which external eBay module. The steering will not self center (return ability) coming out of a turn. This is not an issue with other EPS.

Additionally, if there are any faults in the torque sensor, the EPS will stops working all together can the steering will be all manual - same as if you lose hydraulic fluid.

Most people who are doing this mod are doing it with manual steering boxes. I tested in my Falcon with steering box and works great.

I will get some pics with tape measure and see if that helps.

Waid

Last edited by waid302; 02-08-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:28 PM
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One more EPS / ECU that works in fail-safe/limp home mode.

2008-2011 Scion XD It's almost identical to Prius but just tad bit smaller than Prius.


ECU Part Numbers:

2004-2009 Toyota Prius 89650-47102
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla 89650-02300
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (With ABS) 89650-52120 / 52050
2006-2011 Toyota Yaris - (Non-ABS) 89650-52070 & 520140
2007-2009 Nissan Versa 28500-EM30A / 991-30303
2009-2012 Nissan Cube 28500-1FC0B / JL501-000932
2012-2014 Kia Soul B2563-99500 / 4PSG1312 / FPSG1312
2008-2011 Scion XD 89650-52A10
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