This car is becoming much more of a hybrid parts mix as time goes along.
One of the major problems I had last year with the car was the power steering. I built it with the original GTR pump fitted but deleted the rear Hicas section. While things were fine in theory, I couldn’t stop a constant fluid leak at the front of the pump. This meant I had to drive with no power steering which was ridiculously hard for my tiny arms. I did temporarily fix the problem in December when I drove at Winton, but it still wasn’t perfect.
The GTR pump is actually a really big pump, mainly because of the Hicas block on the rear half. You would have thought things would be pretty nice if the rear half could be taken off completely, but unfortunately cars are never that simple. I contemplated going for an electric power steering setup because I’d seen a few other guys moving to them in the past few months, but there wasn’t enough information or feedback to jump on it so I had to figure out something else.
My resolution was a chance encounter, didn’t even think about it until the answer was literally sitting in my hands.
Since the start of the year, I’ve been trying to clean out the shed of crap and all the parts I’ve gathered since I started. I’ve still got heaps of junk bits and also some old CA things that came off my 180sx. One of those things included a power steering pump!
I was laying stuff out to make a list and thought… I wonder if I could make this work? I had spent so many hours trying to find the perfect option elsewhere, when it was literally right in front of me. It was half the size of the GTR pump and had the same ports, all I needed was a bracket and adjuster to fit to the RB26. After all, this is an S13, so if anything is more at home than the engine, it’s a power steering pump off the same chassis.
So why do I want a smaller pump? Bigger is better right? Well, sort of, but not when you have a tiny space to work with.
This is a photo from a few weeks earlier when I was pulling the front end apart.
See how close the GTR pump is to my manifolds?
I wanted to move it down and out of the way so I could at least see the manifolds and get it away from the heat.
I mocked up a few different mounts and they seemed like a decent idea, but I was still bothered by the size of it. I didn’t need the Hicas block on the back so I was basically just carrying a useless piece of metal on the back. On the positive side though, the new brackets moved it away from the manifolds!
After I picked up the CA pump and looked over it, the option of fitting it looked really promising, so I got the GTR pump off and looked over what I needed to do to make it all work.
It might look like I have a heap of room to play with, but once you add in all my cooler piping and radiator, it gets busy.
This was the solution to that problem (I hope). On the left is the CA pump, on the right is my GTR Hicas pump with AN fittings.
First thing, the little CA pump had a 3PK pulley, GTR had a 4PK pulley. Easy, I just swapped them over.
While the GTR piece is slightly larger, it just means I need a smaller under driven pulley to slow it down when the engine is under a bit of load.
Next was swapping over the pressure pieces.
For those who have never pulled apart a power steering pump, the piece above is what a high pressure fitting looks like. To put it simply, without this your pump will be closed and no fluid will run through.
I had to get rid of this style because I needed to run my AN fittings to suit my lines. I couldn’t just screw in my fittings though, I needed another pressure piece that had a female thread at the opposite end.
This is where I had to salvage some bits off my GTR pump. See the big nuts out the right?
That’s where the high pressure hose usually runs into on a GTR. I took off the Hicas nut which won’t effect anything if I ever want to reuse the pump or sell it because the Hicas is deleted.
So that’s part one of the CA pump fit out complete! Now just need to sort out the other port. Looked like TORX bolts, which unfortunately I don’t have in my tool set. So I used what I had to get them off.
Definitely one of the best little tools I’ve ever bought!
A few minutes later and I was ready for part two.
I took an adaptor from the GTR pump, opened up the holes a little to line up the port and O-ring and got it fitted!
Both AN fittings fitted and it was exactly what I needed right from the beginning. Much smaller, yet works just as well.
What took me half an hour and a bit of imagination, had possibly solved my issue with space.
Admittedly, it’s not from a GTR, but the pump doesn’t know what engine it’s on so it doesn’t matter!
Last piece to the puzzle, a bracket. I grabbed some scrap steel from my supplies and measured a few things.
I wanted it mounted really low and as far away from the heat as I could possibly get it.
A bit of cutting and shaping later and I had somewhat fitted a CA power steering pump to an RB26.
All I needed now was an adjuster similar to the alternator, which I’m working on this week!
Much like the alternator setup, I’m really happy with how this turned out. And, the fact that my 180sx can share some love for this car is awesome.
Before I finish, you might notice a couple things have changed on the motor (if you didn’t notice, have another look). I’m halfway through getting some bits done and have organised a few other bits over the next few days which I’m hoping will make the engine bay stand out a bit more. I guess that’s ironic considering it already stands out a lot.
More updates on the way this week.