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Old 11-13-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
GlennCoco
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1994 SL1
Default Variable assist power steering

OK, so a number of months ago my brother-in-law replaced the power steering pump in the car. As far as I understand it there is a special kind of plug on the pump this is some sort of variable assist for lower speeds. My brother-in-law was very tired and forgot to plug that in and didn't want to do it after he finished the job. I don't know, all I know is that it is a pain in the rear to turn at very slow speeds. This makes my job as a pizza delivery person more difficult! Am I correct in thinking that is what this plug is for? Is this a super difficult task?

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Variable assist power steering

He probably installed the wrong pump. SOHC cars like yours did not have variable-assist PS. He didn't connect the plug on the pump because your car doesn't have anything to plug into it. What's odd is that, AFAIK, when the variable-assist pumps get no signal, they "default" to being full power, not the other way around.

Did he buy the pump new? If so, from where, and what's the part number?

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
GlennCoco
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Default Re: Variable assist power steering

I bought it at Autozone using the part lookup for my vehicle. This has been so long though that I don't remember exactly what part it was.

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Old 11-13-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
madpogue
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Default Re: Variable assist power steering

Time to eat my words; evidently the aftermarket supplies the same pump to both applications. Drilling through both Autozone's and Rockauto's web sites, you get the same selections whether you specify an SOHC or DOHC car. But as I said, an SOHC won't have any wire to plug into the EVO. This is sounding to me like a bogey new pump, quite possibly the EVO not open all the way. But of course, check for the obvious first -- fluid level, kinks/restrictions in the lines down to the rack, leaks, etc.

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
GlennCoco
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Default Re: Variable assist power steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Time to eat my words; evidently the aftermarket supplies the same pump to both applications. Drilling through both Autozone's and Rockauto's web sites, you get the same selections whether you specify an SOHC or DOHC car. But as I said, an SOHC won't have any wire to plug into the EVO. This is sounding to me like a bogey new pump, quite possibly the EVO not open all the way. But of course, check for the obvious first -- fluid level, kinks/restrictions in the lines down to the rack, leaks, etc.
I must be confused, since it has been a few months, but I really thought there was a difference when he had something plugged in there.

What happened was he took the old pump out because it wasn't working, put in the one I got from Autozone with something plugged in and I seem to remember it working just fine. However, he dropped one of the bolts and couldn't find it so a week later took the pump off to rebolt it and didn't plug anything in, by his own admission. Ever since then it hasn't seemed like it worked properly. Like I said though, I may just be confused.

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Old 11-19-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
madpogue
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Default Re: Variable assist power steering

Oh, waitaminit -- I seem to recall that all the first-gen cars (not just the DOHCs) had variable power steering. Hopefully someone with a gen-1 will chime in to confirm.

Still, I always thought that the "default" mode was full power, that is, the orifice wide open.

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