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Power Steering motor

 
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Power Steering motor Reply with quote

The power steering on our 1995 E-10 has become very stiff almost unusable. I wonder how one would troubleshoot this. All the markings on the label of the motor have worn off. Oil level is good motor is turning but with low RPM and stalls when the wheel is turned.

Is there any measurements of output from the controller such as voltage under load.

What is the RPM speed of the motor.

Are the controllers interchangeable between P/S and A/C they seem to be similar but one is tuned to 90% and the other to 34%.

I am afraid that it is down without steering. It is -37 degrees F below zero wind chill with -12 degrees F below and has been below zero for over a week.
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, I think what you are seeing is the lack of viscosity in the power steering fluid. It was about 18 degrees here on Sunday, when we went over to some friends for the pregame stuff. The truck sat out in the cold (normaly in a garage at home) and when we left several hours later, I noticed that my power steering felt very sluggish when I was pulling away from the curb. As I got moving the steering of course was easier but still not as free as the normal steering.

I stopped and checked the pump motor and it was turning just fine but slowed a lot as I had my wife turn the wheel. I turned the truck off and pulled the cap off the pump. The fluid was very thick rather than the normal thin film of warm fluid.

Because this is a hydrolic system needing the fluid to move freely, I realized that moving that thick fluid with such a small pump was the real problem. I haven't looked for any "winter" power steering fluid but realized that the colder it gets the harder it is to turn the wheel. I also noticed that by the time I drove about 6 blocks, the fluid must have warmed up enough to thin out because the steering was back to normal when I got home.

The biggest problem in using the PS at such cold temps is that you can actually blow seals in the pump if you force it too much too fast.

In answer to your other questions... I don't think the controllers are interchagable as far as I can tell. The PS and AC motors are different so the controllers are more than likely different as well. Not sure of the RPM but it is slower than the AC motor.

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Jeff Wilson
US Army (Ret)

Plug in the cord... not the pump!
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Power Steering help Reply with quote

Jeff, Anybody:

My initial acessment may have been misleading. The wheel is not hard to turn it is impossible for me. Lately, it has always been weak, but this is totally new.The pump seems easy to turn by hand at the pulley. I have not seen winter steering fluid don't know anybody up here who has ever changed steering fluid. I will research that too. I checked resistance of the windings in the motor they are about 2 ohms The motor I have "unidentified" has two brushes and they are 3/8" long. I blew the dust out of the motor commutator looks good no sign of arcing. When hooked up to the controller I can stop the motor with my hand. I suspect the controller.

Does anybody have any specs or idea what the output is supposed to be for one of these units or could some one measure thiers' with a digital meter to see what output they get. The output I got was strange and I am going to try again My meter will not give me a DC output from the controller is this because it is pulsating DC?
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got to say I've never tried to stop the motor by hand. Never had the ambition to grab the moving pully...

I can tell you that turning the pump is always easy until you put steering pressure on it. Most any hydrolic pump spins freely until you put pressure on it like turning the wheel. That's when the pressure starts and climbs quickly.

I've driven my truck without the power steering and it is nearly impossible to turn from a standstill without it. There isn't enough leverage in the linkage without the pump. I'm at a loss if it isn't the cold fluid. The other possibility is that there was moisture in the fluid and it has frozen in the lines thereby locking the fluid which would cause extremely difficult turning of the steering.

Have you any way of heating your garage up to at least above freezing? I still think it is the fluid but I could be way off base. But, knowing the trucks history, it would not suprise me if there were in fact some water in the lines that you would not notice until it froze in your extreme cold right now.

As far as the controller is concerned, all it does is regulate the voltage and amperage to the motor. It uses 3 mosfets and any one of them fails and you have a condition that would cause maximum amp flow and burn out the motor like I had happen to my AC motor when that controller failed. So I really doubt that it would be a controller problem. If it were, you'd notice that the pump motor would be running even when the ingnition key is off. Mosfets fail on probably 99.999% of the time when they fail.

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Jeff Wilson
US Army (Ret)

Plug in the cord... not the pump!
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:46 am    Post subject: Frozen Power Steering Reply with quote

Well Major when you are right, you are right! I heated the power steering with a heat gun and it worked a little better. It was difficult to believe but after changing the power steering fluid it works a little better the old P/S fluid was dirty looking. I also did two things which are different. The P/S cooler loop the goes in front of the A/C coils is now bypassed, the pump is connected directly to and from the steering box. Also The controller was dissasembled and the the percent of rate changed from 35% to about 50%. The A/C and P/S controllers appear to be the same with the exception of a resistor that is mounted into two small test points and can be removed just by pulling it out. The P/S pump now runs a little faster and seems to have a little more power. Since the temperature has risen it is hard to say if this a fix but it seems to at least improve it. The A/C contoller was set at 90% and the P/S controller was at 35%. The resistor in the A/C was 124 ohms, the P/S was 1163 ohms. To change it I just ratioed it out to be about 18 ohms per % point. The resistor I put in was a 1K ohm.
Oh! about the pulley I wouldn't advise any one trying what I did. However, that being said I did use a heavy leather glove and gripped slowly. -12 below can impair your judgement if your in it long enough.
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Jimmy Argon



Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Az

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: ps motor Reply with quote

Art,
In most cases the AC motor is 140 vdc , sometimes 120 vdc. The Power steering motor is 90 vdc. The controllers are pulse width modulated power supplies and essentially detuned for the the motor requirement: ie 120 or 90 vdc. The calibration resistor you switched has increased the voltage to the 90v motor and may lead to damage of the motor.
One thing you need to check are the brushes, I know you looked at them but one scenario that can fool you is the brush length. These brush springs tend to be a little short and even though the brush looks good when they wear to a short length, may not be pressing up against the commutator with the full force of the spring. This leads to an increase in resistance (poor motor performance) and most of the time is the cause of a brush getting hot and anealing the spring -thus puting it in a loop of increasing resistance and heat untill the brush fails.
Let me know if you need brushes, also I can repair your controller if needed, or swap it for one that has been refurbished (plus a reasonable fee). If you are interested let me know.
TIP: do not remove the load on the controller (unplug the motor) while it has input power - over time this will lead to controller failure.
Good luck,
Jimmy
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Power Steering motor Reply with quote

Thanks Jim

Good to know that you can repair the controllers. However, is the controller not working, it seems fine? What is the expected output under load?

If the controller is pulse width controlled. what component controls the pulse width. I am going to put my meter on the controller under load and see what the peak voltage is. for both units.

About the brushes what I and all right thinking people need to know is how long should the brush be? In other words what is the new length and what is a no-go length. This varies for different brushes and motors. If you have new ones how long are they? This would be a good thing to have in an archive of facts about the vehicle.
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Jimmy Argon



Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Az

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the controller is still operating you only need to replace the original calibration resistor in the socket. As far as monitoring the output with a volt meter the voltage should always be around 90vdc. You would need an oscilloscope to see what is happening within the circuit.

The tricky part about "brush length" is it is not only determined by how much brush material is remaining but how long the connecting braided wire is from the end cap to the brush itself, if it has a short wire the brush wears out until the braid acts as a tether and does not allow the brush to advance any further. The easy way to see if this is occurring is to install the brush and if you need to compress the spring after the brush is up against the commutator. Bottom line - if you compress the spring .5 inches you will have better contact with the commutator than if you only compress the spring .1 inches. When you take the brush cap off the spring should pop out, if you have to drag out the the whole length - it is either too short or the spring has been weakened. Replacement brushes can have different brush, wire and spring lengths. It is sometimes necessary to adjust one or more of these.
Hope this helps
Jimmy
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Power Steering motor Reply with quote

Thanks Jim:

Good advice I will double check the brushs. As I recall they were not easy to put back in. I have a digital meter that will monitor both freq and peak voltage although it would be nice to have a scope always makes things clearer and more accurate.
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