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Old 08-08-2005   #1 (permalink)
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DIY: Removing Power Steering

So I finally got around to removing my power steering pump last weekend, basically modifying the power steering rack to a breather system. Yes I know that there are many Civic drivers out there that believe it is impossible to drive such a “heavy” car without power steering. I beg to differ. I have driven around for the past 6 months with the power steering belt off and even my wife can drive the car. If you feel that driving a Civic without power steering is something you are unable to do, or if your Grandma drives your car on the weekends, please hit the BACK button above now.

Installing the breather allows for fluid to remain in the rack to lubricate the internal seals while reducing the pressure in the rack to allow for easier turning without the minor parasitic losses for the power steering pump. There are several threads on HondaTech that discuss this modification, with this one being very informative.

This is the procedure that I used to remove the power steering pump, reservoir, and lines and to replace them with a breather system. I am not recommending that you remove your power steering, but I am informing you how I removed mine. I assume no liability if you decide to do this, if you get power steering fluid on your paint, etc.

First off, I purchased Aeroquip fittings and hose for the assembly. Yes this is overkill since there will never be enough pressure in the rack or fittings to need the Aeroquip fittings, but that’s what was used on the HondaTech thread and the fittings were easy to find. For the breather I used a Honda clutch fluid reservoir. A full parts list will follow at the end for those interested.

To begin, I put the front of the car on jack stands and drained the power steering system. This is done by removing the return line from the reservoir and inserting it into a container. Turn on the car and turn the wheel from lock to lock until no more fluid comes out. Turn off the car. Dispose of the power steering fluid responsibly.

Now the pump supply line can be removed from the pump. I removed the wing nut and two bolts that hold the pump to the bracket and removed the pump and belt. I plugged the nipple with paper towel to avoid getting any fluid on my paint.
Click the image to open in full size.

Follow the supply line from the pump to the rack. This is where most of the action is. The supply (black) line and return (greenish) line are circled in yellow. There is an inline sensor (circled in red), I unplugged it and moved the plug out of the way. As per HondaTech, this will be a useless sensor now so it can be removed (sensor increases/decreases pressure based on vehicle speed, or something like that).
Click the image to open in full size.

To the front of the rack there is a bracket that holds the black supply line to the rack. I removed the screw circled in yellow. There is a bracket just under the previous bracket that holds the return line to the underside of the rack. I removed the screw circled in red (hidden under the throttle cable).
Click the image to open in full size.

I squirted the supply and return lines at the rack with WD-40, I don’t think it helped any because they were pretty easy to remove. Now to remove the supply line from the rack, I used a 14mm wrench. There is just enough room to rotate the screw enough to flip the wrench and rotate, then flip, then flip...
Click the image to open in full size.

I then removed the return line from the rack. The service Manual states this is a 16mm flare nut, but my 17mm wrench fit on it perfectly.
Click the image to open in full size.

Follow the return line and there are two brackets on the driver’s side strut tower that hold the return line. I removed both brackets. (I also took this opportunity to move my clutch fluid reservoir down to the top bracket location since I will be installing a front upper strut bar this week).
Click the image to open in full size.

Now the two lines are free and can be removed. The return line is annoying due to the shape and that it goes behind and under the rack. It took a little time and finagling.

I then installed the assembly for a test fit and to measure the small hose length.
Click the image to open in full size.

I measured close to 2 1/4". So then I assembled the assembly (except for the two bottom pieces) with the T section at a slight angle.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The two bottom fittings were screwed into the rack holes using an 18mm wrench, back one first. Installing the assembly is a pain! Due to the front vertical portion of the assembly and the firewall, it is impossible to get a full turn on the wrench on the rear vertical screw. I hand tightened the front and rear as much as possible. The 18mm wrench can get on the rear portion for a partial turn, then I used the needle nosed pliers to turn it enough to get the wrench back on it for the final tightening. I’m probably going to go buy a cheap 18mm wrench, cut it down to 2 inches, and try to tighten it a bit more, if even possible. The front portion is easy to tighten. Then I installed the hose on the remaining barb piece and attached it to the assembly.

To hold the breather (clutch fluid reservoir) I decided to use the original power steering reservoir bracket. The problem is that it is backwards (breather would be on driver’s side instead of facing toward passenger side). So I got my trusty hammer and flattened two tabs and reinstalled it the way I needed it, with the wedge facing the passenger side.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now the nipple from the reservoir is pointing straight at the alternator, so I got my trusty channel locks and bent it so the nipple lines up with the incoming hose. In order for the breather to breathe, I removed the black plastic baffle but kept the white piece in the reservoir. I cut the hose to length and clamped it to the breather nipple. Originally, I laid the hose across the motor mount bolts but the vibrations are starting to tear into the hose. I’m going to install a zip tie around the hose to the plastic wiring harness (not the wires) circled in the picture to clear all bolts.
Click the image to open in full size.

As per HondaTech, the less fluid in the rack, the easier it is to turn. So I filled the breather to the max line and blew it into the rack. I did this twice. I might add more fluid, I’m not sure.

So the review everyone is waiting for: After driving for a week, it is easier to steer than with the belt off. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being with power steering and 1 being without the belt, I give it about a 4.3. It’s not quite twice as easy or half as difficult but it is easier. I also have gotten used to driving with the belt off and parked in a parking space between two cars the other day one handed while talking on the cell phone. It is easier to steer, but it is not amazingly easier. But it is a step better than having power steering!

There are two remaining brackets from the power steering that I guess I am stuck with for now. The bracket that once held the pump has a small bracket that holds and A/C line, as well as the bracket that held the supply line. The bracket that held the supply line will get cut off when I get a chance, but the pump bracket looks a bit more involved. I’ll try to fashion some piece to hold the A/C support one of these days.

So before
Click the image to open in full size.

and after
Click the image to open in full size.

For reference
Click the image to open in full size.

Another pile of stock crap taking up space in the garage
Click the image to open in full size.

Supplies
Click the image to open in full size.
Aeroquip fittings (find local distributor - click Aeroquip and insert postal code)
FCM2240 14mm supply line fitting
FCM2241 16mm return line fitting
(2) FCM1512 barb pieces
FCM1562 180 with barb
FCM2062 T fitting
FCM2915 swivel coupling
FBV0600 hose (3'-0" was plenty)
Clutch fluid reservoir from Majestic (#33)
#4 hose clamp
Bottle of Power Steering fluid
Total cost $80 (not including tax or Majestic’s handling fee and shipping since I got a bunch of other stuff too)
Total time - about 3 hours start to finish including taking pictures and about three interruptions from the wife complaining about something.
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Old 08-08-2005   #2 (permalink)
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So i guess the main reason of doing this is weight savings?
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Old 08-08-2005   #3 (permalink)
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djmota is just really nice djmota is just really nice djmota is just really nice djmota is just really nice
very nice diy. this should be permanantly put in the diy section
great write up
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Old 08-08-2005   #4 (permalink)
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You gain what 2 hp, and how much does could all that weigh, 25 lbs. I mean really unless making room for turbo, i see no point in this. I could see removing a/c for a drag or autocross car, but PS, no way. Just my opinion though.
I have to give you rep for the right up cause it is very nice, and it seems like you did a good job, so again nice work.
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Old 08-08-2005   #5 (permalink)
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im puting in a new motor this week, and i really want to remove both Ps and AC, but for some reason i cant convince myself to do it. lol
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Old 08-08-2005   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIZZLE
So i guess the main reason of doing this is weight savings?
The primary reason I did this was since my last civic (90 DX) did not have PS and it was one of the most responsive cars I've driven. The increased feel of the road is worth it to me to have a little tougher steering feel. Yes I admit, it's no picnic, but the increased feel of the road and tighter feel of the corners is very beneficial to me.

Once the car is rolling above say 10 mph, there really is no difference than with or without PS. The only noticable speeds are low speeds like from a stop and in parking lots. The breather makes it easier to steer than just removing the belt.

I know several people are looking to ditch the PS and A/C for racing purposes. My daily driver with the hopes of AutoX won't benefit from losing the parasitic loss or weight of the PS system. I did it for the better feel of the road.
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Old 08-08-2005   #7 (permalink)
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very nice diy. this should be permanantly put in the diy section
great write up
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I have to give you rep for the right up cause it is very nice, and it seems like you did a good job, so again nice work.
Thanks guys. I just hope those who want to get rid of their PS realize how easy it really is. And that the breather makes it a bit easier to steer than just capping the rack lines.
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Old 08-08-2005   #8 (permalink)
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not sure if this is good for me, but VERY nice write up!!!
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Old 08-09-2005   #9 (permalink)
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nice write up! iw ould rather get rid of the ac instead of power steering. i want driving to be as easy as possible.
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Old 08-09-2005   #10 (permalink)
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It actually makes a huge difference in throttle response. It is a noticable power increase to remove a/c and p/s in one shot. You lose weight and get a better feel of the road. You also will notice that rev matching your downshifts is noticably easier if you have an aluminum flywheel to boot. Your syncros dont have to work as hard because there is less engine inertia. If you are a serious performance enthusiast you should understand the point. All the little things add up in the end.
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Old 08-09-2005   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsagator
The primary reason I did this was since my last civic (90 DX) did not have PS and it was one of the most responsive cars I've driven. The increased feel of the road is worth it to me to have a little tougher steering feel. Yes I admit, it's no picnic, but the increased feel of the road and tighter feel of the corners is very beneficial to me.

Once the car is rolling above say 10 mph, there really is no difference than with or without PS. The only noticable speeds are low speeds like from a stop and in parking lots. The breather makes it easier to steer than just removing the belt.

I know several people are looking to ditch the PS and A/C for racing purposes. My daily driver with the hopes of AutoX won't benefit from losing the parasitic loss or weight of the PS system. I did it for the better feel of the road.
I agree with you so much... when your up in the canyons you cannot feel the road or if your aproaching the limit with this civics powersteering. The powersteering on this car is horrid.. It over compinsates while making tight turns and the wheel becomes extremely loose.

However, being mine is a daily driver bitch that I dont race.. i like powersteering for three point turns, U turns, parking...stuff like that
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Old 08-10-2005   #12 (permalink)
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The powersteering on this car is horrid.. It over compinsates while making tight turns and the wheel becomes extremely loose.
Exactly. I have been trying to get rid of the PS ever since I inherited the car for this reason.

One thing I did notice after removing the PS is that there seems to be a little more front wheel hop when accelerating through sharp corners. I can't say if it is because there is actually a little extra pep or not, but since I finally installed my front upper it seems to take care of most of it.
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Old 08-23-2005   #13 (permalink)
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very very good write up, but i have one question that might be dumb question, but why metal fittings? cant i just use hoses and clamps with a T fitting?
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Old 08-23-2005   #14 (permalink)
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very very good write up, but i have one question that might be dumb question, but why metal fittings? cant i just use hoses and clamps with a T fitting?
I used the Aeroquip fittings because that's what they used in the HondaTech threads. I admit, it's overkill and a bit expensive. I'm sure hoses with a T would work just as fine as long as the hose(s) don't kink. Let me know if I can help with anything and how it works out.
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Old 08-24-2005   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo1040
im puting in a new motor this week, and i really want to remove both Ps and AC, but for some reason i cant convince myself to do it. lol
There's a huge misconception about A/C and it's parasitic effects. The A/C will NOT rob horsepower unless its running. It only creates drag when you turn it on. Removing the A/C is pointless unless you want to lose weight or free up space in the engine bay. The P/S, however, is constantly running and therefore creating extra drag all the time.
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Old 10-26-2005   #16 (permalink)
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the pictures are all gone. can you repost em?
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Old 10-26-2005   #17 (permalink)
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The picture links were revised so they should show now. If not, let me know and I will try again. FYI the pictures are in my member's ride section.
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Old 01-03-2006   #18 (permalink)
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Well, I got sick of looking at the gangly little reservoir everytine I opened the hood so I moved it (plus I think it was one of the ratlles at high RPM). Basically, I took the bracket and bent it twice into a Z to install it with the same bolt as the clutch fluid reservoir. I cut the hose from the rack to fit and bent the bracket to get the line straight and not interfere with the throttle and cruise control cables.

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Old 01-03-2006   #19 (permalink)
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very nice. I took mine out about 2 years ago i like it.
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Old 01-03-2006   #20 (permalink)
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looks good. how are you liking the extra 5hp. every bit helps. oh and if you don't like that blue color hose you could always put some loom over it.
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Old 01-04-2006   #21 (permalink)
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removing the PS makes the car more stable when running at high speeds? i remember my friend had no power steering and his car was boosted...for some reason i kept thinking it's safer to have no PS with boosted cars.....hmmmm
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Old 01-04-2006   #22 (permalink)
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the stock ps is way too loose for me. i can drive with one finger and that doesn't feel right to me.
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Old 01-05-2006   #23 (permalink)
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i've got mine taken off and it's okay when actually on the street, but in parking lots, it's a f*cking b*tch!
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Old 03-20-2006   #24 (permalink)
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Actually, the A/C compressor shuts off at WOT.

Great DIY. I plan on doing this in the near future.
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Old 03-21-2006   #25 (permalink)
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Great DIY. I plan on doing this in the near future.
Good luck, if you need anything let me know.
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Old 03-21-2006   #26 (permalink)
my vtec brings all the girls to the yard
 
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i'm plannin on doing this as well i hate a clutterd engine bay. when i do my K swap no p/s for me so i might as well get used to the feel of it
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Old 03-21-2006   #27 (permalink)
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I'm going to do this soon. You should post a DIY on removing the AC. Anyway thanks for the writeup.
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Old 03-21-2006   #28 (permalink)
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Sorry, the AC stays. It gets too hot for too long here in FL, maybe when I finally move to TN...
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Old 11-26-2009   #29 (permalink)
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Re: DIY: Removing Power Steering

pics are back up!!
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Old 02-19-2011   #30 (permalink)
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Re: DIY: Removing Power Steering

my powersteering pump is whining and its getting annoying can i take off the belt to stop the whining or will that mess something up if the belt is off???
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Old 02-19-2011
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