HOW TO: In­stall EPAS

Make light work of your clas­sic Ford’s steer­ing by up­grad­ing to elec­tric power steer­ing. Rick Bir­chall of Mk2Ma­nia shows us how it’s done.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

Step-by-step guide to go­ing down the elec­tric power-steer­ing route.

T hese days we’re all used to power-as­sisted steer­ing (PAS) in modern cars. In fact, it’s al­most fright­en­ing to think PAS has been stan­dard on most models in­clud­ing base su­per­mi­nis for at least 15 years. So when step­ping out of your modern daily and into your clas­sic Ford, one of the first things you’re re­minded of once you first make that first turn is that damn heavy steer­ing.

All is not lost how­ever, as 10 years ago Rick Bir­chall of Mk2Ma­nia/ Easys­teer no­ticed there was a mar­ket for fit­ting elec­tric power-as­sisted steer­ing (EPAS) sys­tems into clas­sic cars and he soon de­vel­oped his B-se­ries kit which caters for those of us who are be­com­ing fed up look­ing like Pop­eye while try­ing to par­al­lel park their clas­sic.

Rick’s B-se­ries kit can be fit­ted to any ex­ist­ing Ford’s non-PAS steer­ing col­umn, though he does point out if you want to tackle the whole job your­self, some fab­ri­ca­tion work is in­volved. How­ever, for those of us that aren’t so handy with a lathe or welder, he does of­fer the op­tion of fit­ting the kit to your ex­ist­ing col­umn once posted to him, so the hard work is done for you. Then it’s sim­ply a case of slot­ting the B-se­ries col­umn com­plete with its steer­ing gear­box, mo­tor and ECU into place and plug­ging the wires in, which could eas­ily be done in an af­ter­noon. Al­ter­na­tively, he also of­fers the op­tion of a full, in-house con­ver­sion.

Our mule is a Cortina 1600E with its orig­i­nal steer­ing box in place, though rack-and-pin­ion sys­tems can be mod­i­fied with the B-se­ries sys­tem, too. Be­fore start­ing work, Rick takes the car for a drive around the block to check for any ex­ist­ing steer­ing play or veer­ing to one side. There’s lit­tle point in fit­ting EPAS to a car if the ge­om­e­try and align­ment isn’t cor­rect as this will ex­ag­ger­ate any ex­ist­ing prob­lems. Luck­ily, Rick has the knowl­edge and equip­ment to cor­rect any steer­ing is­sues.

We don’t need to point out the ben­e­fits of EPAS, es­pe­cially if your typ­i­cal day in­volves plenty of town driv­ing and tight park­ing. Hav­ing felt the steer­ing of this car be­fore and af­ter the EPAS sys­tem was fit­ted, we can con­fi­dently con­clude the dif­fer­ence was huge, es­pe­cially at slower speeds. It’s not just cars Rick takes on ei­ther, he’s happy to work his magic on any ve­hi­cle. He’s even had a clas­sic camper­van drive over from Den­mark, whose el­derly owner would have had to give up driv­ing his pride and joy, had it not been for the op­tion of fit­ting power steer­ing! Here’s how it’s done.

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