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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have posted this information as on other forums as part of my Cougar build, but I also wanted to share it here. I know there are a lot of installation details buried in other threads, but I thought it would be nice to have this as a single thread that can be referenced by other.

The first thing I did was fix the attaching points of the lower column support. From the factory the column support is held in place with sheet metal screws that go into the firewall. I figured I can improve on that a little. I got an inexpensive rivnut kit on Amazon, drilled out the holes and installed 1/4" rivnuts into the firewall. Sorry for the weird picture, but I forgot to take a picture this afternoon so I took one with a flash light.



The UPS guy showed up and brought me the lower steering shaft bearings. I ordered two kinds. I really liked the one on the left, but it turned out to be disappointing. As it turns out it isn't a bearing at all, but just a swiveling bushing. The bearing on the right will do nicely. The bore fits on my steering shaft much better and there are two set screws in the retaining collar. The three hole bearing will go back to Speedway.



I then made a paper template of the column support, transferred it to some 16 gauge steel, and punched 4 holes in the appropriate locations. I made the holes a little bigger so there is a little bit of give and take when the column gets installed.



I am going to wait until the column is done to mount the bearing, but it will go something like this.



I am going to use a 1.5" ID steel collar to attach the upper column tube to the Toyota motor.



The OD of the collar is exactly the same as the OD of column tube. I figured it was going to be a challenge butt welding that collar to the end of the tube. Now, if I only had a little lathe!!!



I used my angle grinder with the thin wizwheelofdeath and "machined" a step in the collar. The tolerances for this sort of thing don't exactly have to be to the .00001". Turned out pretty nice!



There is a little bit of a tapper in the step, but it fits snugly inside the column tube. I figured this will be much easier to weld, since I won't have to worry about blowing through the thin wall of the column tube. A couple of taps with the hammer and that sleeve will fit perfectly inside the column tube.



Tomorrow I should make some more progress. The second column will be here, hopefully around 11:00am. The weather should be good too, with only a 30% chance of rain.

To do list:

1. Measure and cut the upper column tube.
2. Weld collar to tube.
3. Figure out what to do for the upper steering shaft.
4. Decide if I am going to add an extra mounting tab for the motor on the pedal box.

That should keep me plenty busy tomorrow. Wish me luck!

I am also making some videos of the entire process, so please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I would really love to get to the 1000 subscriber mark.

https://www.youtube.com/user/projectgattago

And yes, I am working in my kitchen...

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Discussion Starter #5
Made some really good progress today. The UPS truck showed up right on time, but then my buddy Jack asked me if I wanted to get an early lunch. Needless to say, I didn't get started until about 1:00PM. I keep forgetting that it will get dark around 5:00PM!

I mentioned before that the 1.5" bore collars have the same OD as the steering tube. So I attached a couple of them to the Prius motor assembly and mocked things up in the car. The motor ends up being clocked at about the 2:30 position. I wish I could move it up some more, but the wiper motor is right there. I thought about using some sort of smaller motor for the wipers, but given the time frame of this project, I will have to leave that for another day.





It looks like it will be in the way when viewed from a low angle, but in reality, when sitting behind the wheel, the motor is barely noticeable. It also doesn't get in the way of the feet. Oh, BTW, the new bearing pedals feel amazing!!! Super smooth and just solid.

Also, the steering ECU is going to live up against the firewall, over in the corner where the dimmer switch lives. You can sort of see the spot in the picture above.



With the Prius motor mounted, I was able to take some measurements. I had to take into account the collar that I machined yesterday, etc...etc...I expanded the slot a little so the set screw would slide in.



Here is the cut upper tube.



I needed it to be 14.5" total, with the turn signal portion of the column attached.



Then came the scary part. I knew that when I cut the column tube, it wasn't going to be perfectly square. I also knew that the collar "machine" job wasn't perfect either. With that said, I had to make sure that the collar was square to the tube. I actually messed up the first time. This was my second attempt and I think I got it good enough for what this is.



Rotated 90 degrees.



With the tube tacked to the collar, it was time to mock it up in the car, one more time. The length was perfect and the stock upper column support fits perfectly with the anti-rotation tab fitting in its slot.



Then came the paralysis by analysis. As I mentioned earlier, my plan was to make a shaft on the output side of the motor and pass it through a bearing that was to be mounted to a plate (I made this plate yesterday!) in the location where the stock lower column support attaches. As I was looking at the mounted motor and feeling how much it rocked up and down, I just wasn't comfortable with my original plan. I know people have done exactly that and the steering shaft will of course help to stabilize the upper column, but I just didn't feel comfortable with it.

The output shaft has a lot of torque on it already and then stressing it in other directions to stabilize the whole column seems like a big ask for a 3/4" shaft. I decided that I was going to build a lower tube. Having a lower tube that attaches to the motor will put the loads of holding the column rigid on the tubes, and allowing the shaft to take only the forces of steering the car.

I was at Tractor Supply yesterday, buying some hardware. However, I looked all around the store just to see what they have. I remembered seeing some bearing flanges so I went back today with some measurements in hand. I ended up buying these (came in a pack of two). The size was right and they are stamped out of 14 gauge material. Plenty sturdy for this project.



What I needed to do next was to get them concentric with the output shaft. I ended up using the bearing from the firewall mount and wrapping it in making tape to make up for the diameter difference. The ID of the bearing fit the output shaft of the steering motor perfectly and I kept it in place with a couple of set screws that are on the bearing collar.



If I was This Old Tony (from YouTube), I would have machined a perfect alignment tool for the job, but I am working in my kitchen FFS...

I then took the lower bearing from my old column. This part is obviously not stock but came from TCP as part of their rack and pinion kit. At this point, the lower tube is not cut to length.



You can also see that I have the steering shaft installed and it is attached to the coupler that matches the splines of the Toyota motor and transitions to 3/4" smooth bore. I then pushed the steering shaft and the tube up against the flange. The flange has a smooth tapper and the tube has the factory square cut. This forced the tube to be concentric and square.





Then I fired up the welder and made some tacks around the circumference of the tube. Yes, I forgot to grind the zinc platting off the flange. Yes, there were fumes...pray for me....please...



After tacking the tube to the flange, I mode holes in the flange for attaching hardware and installed the whole thing, passing the lower tube through the lower column support and into the engine bay. I don't have pictures of this because it was almost dark out. With the column installed, I mocked up the intermediate shaft from the rack, and laid out the right length for the lower column tube. Here is the final lower tube, cut to length.



There will be a total of 3 bolts that hold the lower tube to the motor assembly. That is all the holes that are driller and tapped in the motor casting. There is another hole that is marked, but not fully drilled or tapped. I thought about drilling and tapping this location, but I figured the 3 bolts are plenty, even though they are not symmetrically located.



And here we have it; the whole column, sans the upper portion. The upper shaft is the stock Toyota shaft. This needs to be cut and mated to the Cougar upper shaft.



Tomorrows task are:

1. Finalize the lower shaft.
2. Complete the upper shaft
3. Quick strip and paint the upper column in parchment color and lower column in black.
4. Install column for good.
5. Wiring and testing!

If you like what you're reading, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will have videos of all this uploaded next week.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today was a miserable looking day. It was raining all morning and I wasn't able to get as much done as I wanted, but I made solid progress.

The gentleman that first documented the Toyota Prius installation had a couple of suggestions as to how to make the upper shaft. Here is what he did on his Falcon:





I didn't see anything wrong with how he did it, but there is one problem, I don't have a lathe. Even if I did, instead of turning down the Falcon shaft, I would have bored out the Toyota stub to .750" to accept the Falcon shaft. Anyway, doesn't matter, no lathe.

Keep in mind, the Toyota stub has internal splines on the left side of the shaft. I made my first cut where he suggested, and as he noted a stock .750" shaft doesn't fit. However, notice that the Toyota stub has a little bulge, so if a cut can be made a little further to the right of where he made his cut, the ID gets bigger. So I took my wizwheelofdeath and cut off about 1/8" off the Toyota stub.



I was getting close now. Making that second cut got me really close to .750", so from here on out, I snuck up on it with a file. I wanted the Cougar shaft to fit snugly into the Toyota stub.



I cut the Cougar shaft a little long, so I can trim it exactly to the right length later. Here you can see the Cougar shaft fitting snugly into the Toyota stub.



You can also see by the silver mark, how far the Cougar shaft slides into the Toyota stub. This is important, because the Cougar shaft bottoms out on a taper that is inside the Toyota stub.



By having a tight fit at the opening of the stub and then having the shaft bottom out into a snug taper, assures that the two shafts are concentric to each other. This is obviously important, because we want as straight of a shaft as possible.

The final length of the Toyota stub ended up being right at 5.100"



Now it was time to cut the Cougar shaft to length. Again, a lathe would be the perfect way to do it, but no lathe. I had purchased a few .750" ID collar at Tractor Supply (officially my new favorite store) and I used one of them as a guide for my whizwheelofdeath.



This worked very well and gave a pretty square cut. The other thing that I wanted to do was stake the two shafts together. My welding is OK, but this is pretty critical hardware. So I drilled a 1/4" hole through both the Toyota stub and the Cougar shaft.



I then took a 1/4" grade 8 bolt and provided a mechanical pin that holds both shafts together. Then I cut the bolt and welded it in.



Then I welded the Toyota stub to the Cougar shaft.



The lower shaft is pretty straight forward. I used a Burgeson adapter with the Toyota spline on one side and a .750" smooth bore on the other side. Here I did exactly the same thing. Drilled a hole through the adapter and the shaft, 1/4" grade 8 bolt, welded bolt, then welded shaft to adapter.



Here is the final upper shaft. It ended up being 13 5/16" overall length. Keep in mind there is some wiggle room here because the left side of the shaft is splined. I made it as long as possible to engage those splined fully. The collar is there to keep the steering shaft from pulling out the top and it bottoms against the upper portion of the column. I really don't see this being an issue, because the splines on the Toyota stub fit really, really tightly on the input shaft of the motor, but I wanted a positive stop there anyway.



With the shaft installed and the upper tube attached you can see that the shaft length is perfect. You can see the groove for a circlip just above the stock upper bearing.



This is the lower shaft installed on the output side of the Toyota motor.



I ground flats on the end of the lower shaft (this was harder than it seemed) to mate with the u-joints for the intermediate shaft.



And here it is, fully assembled and ready for a coat of paint tomorrow.



The weather is supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so I am going to throw this thing in the car ASAP, get it temporarily wired up, and see if it actually works.

Andrew
 

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Thank you. I saw that when you first posted it. I have a question for you. Does the column feel solid when you're driving? I keep going back and forth as to whether I should make a lower tube or do as you have done.

Andrew

Andrew your doing a great job, love the pics. Regarding mine, haven't driven car yet, still in peices. Hopefully this spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This morning it was in the mid 30s, but I managed to get outside and get some work done. My wife was on her way home, so the clock was ticking!

The big news is that IT WORKS! I hooked up the temporary wiring, turned on the key and I was rewarded with one hand steering. Now for some details, mostly in words, but a few pictures.

If you've been following this build, you might remember that I had some electrical problems when moving to Alabama. The issue was ultimately traced to a really crapy inline fuse holder. At that time I fixed the problem by installing a Delphi power distribution center under the hood. These are fairly common parts in 90s GM vehicles, and all of the miscellaneous parts can still be sourced from Mouser, and other vendors. Here is what it looks like.



On the bottom you can see the 4 gauge wire attaching to the central bus bar and power is fed to the fuses on the right. The fuses on the left are "duds" are are meant strictly as spares. The top fuse is what feeds a big relay under my dash that powers the Holley dash and a few other components. When I installed these parts, I knew that I was eventually going to do the EPS swap, so I ran extra wires from under the hood to under the dash. Position number two on the right is what powers the EPS. I also "stole" one of the other wires and used it as a ground, which I attached to the front of the cylinder head.

That took care of the power feeds, but the Toyota ECU also requires a "turn on" 12+ signal wire. Here is the schematic for the necessary connections:



To make everything work seamlessly, I decided that I was going to integrate the "turn on" circuit through the Holley Dominator ECU. I created a 12+ output and programmed it to turn at temperature above -30 degrees. This assures that the output is triggered during any realistic conditions. In other words, as soon as the ECU boots up (this takes about 5 seconds) the EPS is on.

I also added a wire from the Dominator to the Toyota ECU for a speed signal. As of right now, this feature will not be enabled but I will post more on this later. For now, the EPS will operate in "failsafe mode" and give a constant level of assist.

Then it was time to make everything pretty. I know this sounds weird given the patina look of my Cougar, but I couldn't put the raw metal column back in the car. Scott Drake makes a rattle can paint to match the Ford 'parchment" color, which is what my Cougar is. I painted the upper portion of the column in that color and the lower portion was painted black. For now I left the motor assembly "natural" but I may end up painting all of it black as well.



The last bit of details is the wiring for the turn signals. On Mustangs these wires are external to the column and have a little snap in cover. On Cougars, the wires are internal to the column and exit under the dash. Since I now have a lot of things occupying the space inside the upper tube the wires have to be external of the column tube. To make the 10 wires more presentable, I loomed them in an expanding covering.



That's about it for today. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to stay nice, so I will assemble everything and take it down the road for the first time with power steering.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Side note, im doing same thing with my cig lighter port, also what radio is that, is it a blue tooth amp?
It is a Kenwood bluetooth amp. I actually have two of them mounted under the dash, just behind where the stock radio plate is located. One amp is the "brains" and powers the front speakers:


The other amp is from the same Kenwood line but is strictly for the subwoofer.

Andrew
 

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I couldn't tell if the allen screws (11th photo in 5th post and in the 6th post) were just temporary or not but I would not bet my life on them nor the life of my loved ones. You did some wonderful shaft grafting welds later, personally I like using half shafts "D" with a 1" overlap welded together.

IF you can mount the motor assembly solid enough, you shouldn't need the firewall bearing - I didn't. I was actually able to use the rubber from the Equinox firewall which happen to fit perfectly inside the stock rubber on my 66 to seal that area - held in place with some Ultrablack.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I couldn't tell if the allen screws (11th photo in 5th post and in the 6th post) were just temporary or not but I would not bet my life on them nor the life of my loved ones. You did some wonderful shaft grafting welds later, personally I like using half shafts "D" with a 1" overlap welded together.

IF you can mount the motor assembly solid enough, you shouldn't need the firewall bearing - I didn't. I was actually able to use the rubber from the Equinox firewall which happen to fit perfectly inside the stock rubber on my 66 to seal that area - held in place with some Ultrablack.

M
Those little allen head bots hold the blue bottom bearing plate attached to the tube. I am sure they will do the job just fine. That bearing mount is not really stressed at the fasteners.

I am not doing a firewall bearing. I decided to do a lower tube instead.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The painting turned out pretty well. I let everything dry overnight inside the house and it was ready to go in the morning.



I decided that for now I was going to leave off the little cone shaped part of the upper column. Here you can see how the turn signal switch wiring is routed.



A while back I converted the column wiring connector to a Metripack GT280 connector.



This is the stock Ford connector.



Here she is, painted and ready to be installed for good. You can also see the intermediate shaft in this picture.



The ECU had all sorts of weirdly shaped bracket on it that I whizwheelofdeath off. It fits nicely just above the dimmer switch and the wiring comes in from the top.



I am glad I got rid of those sheet metal screws for the lower column support clamp.



A while back a friend of mine gave me this stuff. He swears by it.



I have not had a chance to use it yet, but I figured this was an appropriate occasion. This stuff is white and doesn't get EVERYWHERE like the silver stuff.



Mounted my Holley dash and almost ready for the first drive.



Driving impressions to come in a bit...

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Driving impressions.

The short answer is that as of right now, it is a mixed bag.

The good:

I can now easily steer the car with one hand, where this was absolutely impossible before. Driving through a parking lot is absolutely effortless. Parking is a simple one handed maneuver, etc...

The bad:

With the fixed level of assist, it is overly boosted at any sort of speed above 30mph. The return to center is pretty bad. Before the EPS the steering wheel would snap to center, almost violently. I literally used to hang on to the wheel so it wouldn't return to center too quickly. Now, I have to sort of steer it back to straight.

At highway speed the on center feel is just mush. Before, small movements of the steering wheel were met with quite a bit of resistance as the wheels wanted to go straight. Now, small movements of the steering wheel are met with almost zero resistance and it doesn't want to snap straight again. So I found myself constantly having to steer to keep the car moving straight. This is annoying.

I am hoping that once I implement the speed input from the Dominator that all the bad stuff improves.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I won't bore everyone with the details, but I have it working now so the level of assist varies based on speed, automatically. With the limited driving that I did today (it was raining very hard) it seems a lot better! Once I get more miles on it, I will post more driving impressions.

Andrew
 

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Looking good hope you get it dialed in the way you want. Your not boring us with the details. I look forward to seeing how and what it takes for people to accomplish mods on their cars.

_____________________________
Never argue with a Moron. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How did you set it up to change the level of assist based on speed? Is your alignment now set for power steering?
I have not changed my alignment specs. I had to go back and see what they were, but they are 0 camber, .25 degrees toe in, and +5 degrees of caster. Keep in mind, this car has a full TCP front suspension kit with coil overs, and a TCP manual rack. Those alignment setting are what I have always used.

I used the non-ABS Yaris ECU and integrated it with my Holley Dominator EFI system. The Dominator gets a VSS signal from my T56 transmission and then outputs a square wave signal to the Yaris ECU.

I was poking around the Dakota Digital website, and I think they have a product that can be used to generate the needed VSS signal on older vehicles that do not have EFI.

GPS Speed/ Compass Sender/ BIM

From the product description:
"The GPS-50-2 is also fully compatible with other aftermarket electronic speedometers. Offering a user selectable output of 4k, 8k, 16k PPM signals and a selectable signal type of a Sine Wave or Square Wave, the flexibility is endless."

This box takes speed information generate via GPS and then outputs a 4K (and others) PPM signal as a square wave. This is exactly what the Yaris ECU seems to want. I have my speed output currently set for 4629ppm, which triggers the middle level of assist at about 35 mph. A 4K signal will get you really close!

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looking good hope you get it dialed in the way you want. Your not boring us with the details. I look forward to seeing how and what it takes for people to accomplish mods on their cars.
...
Thank you Sir! I actually drove it quite a bit today and I am very pleased with it. Steering effort is light at low speed, and driving around town it switches over to middle level of assist. On the setting the effort is modest and it tracks very nicely. On the highway, it switches over to low level of assist around 55mph. The on center feel is way better than it was in "failsafe" mode.

The other thing that I noticed is the amount of damping it now has around town. The TCP rack is very quick, I think it has 14:1 ratio (don't quote me on that). So before, just with manual steering, every little bump and imperfection in the road was transmitted to the steering wheel. Going over a particular set of railroad tracks in town, the steering wheel would just rattle back and forth as the car went over them. It was so bad that I usually took my hand off the wheel when crossing these tracks. I went over them today, and felt almost nothing. There wasn't any steering wheel jerking or any other dramatic thing. It just rolled over the tracks smoothly. :pirate:

I am happy to share all the nitty gritty technical information about any part of this installation, so please do not hesitate to ask!

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alright. Awesome news. I wanted to temporarily try the PWM+ trigger to turn on the steering ECU. I am able to configure the output on the Dominator all in software. So I simply reprogrammed the original speedometer output and created the PWM+ output and assigned it to the same pin as the speedometer output (the speedometer output had to be virtually unpinned from that location). Anyway...

I set the frequency to 1000Hz and a duty cycle of 50%, so half the pulse is on and half the pulse is off, very much like a speedometer signal. Turned the ignition off, turned the ignition back on, and immediately had power assist. The diodes will be here tomorrow so I will add the second wire to the steering ECU speedometer input. The result should be having immediate PS as soon as the ignition is turned on and there after, it will receive the speedometer signal and operate by changing the level of assist based on speed.

Andrew
 
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