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Old 05-11-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default Power steering removal idea

OK I searched around here and on m.net and did not find an answer to this. So sorry if I missed it, but here goes anyway.

So I want to remove the power steering to make some more room for my IC install. I have read up on the FM method, looping lines, etc. etc. and understand all that. My question has to do with replacing the PS pump with the idler pulley assembly. Instead of spending $100 on a new idler pulley setup, or taking a chance on a used one, why not gut the PS pump, remove the hoses, grease the bearing, and use IT as the idler pulley? Looks like the pump is only worth about $30 used, so why not.

I checked out the diagrams in the shop manual and it looks like it is a simple rotary vane type pump. So if I remove the rotor bits, that should kill the pump. Assuming it has a bearing that can be greased it should work fine. Either that or I could plug it with some kind of breather hole, and just fill it with PS fluid.

Anyone ever try this?
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
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is this because you have a/c? if you don't have a/c, just take the belt off completely, it only runs the p/s. if you have a/c, I think theres a shorter belt you can use to run only to the a/c, although I may be completey wrong. just ditch the a/c.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
is this because you have a/c? if you don't have a/c, just take the belt off completely, it only runs the p/s. if you have a/c, I think theres a shorter belt you can use to run only to the a/c, although I may be completey wrong. just ditch the a/c.
no you cant do that.

the PS pump is used as a tensioner and has tension adjustments.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
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kinda figured. ditch the a/c. or listen to someone who knows what they're talking about.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:53 PM   #5
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subscribed. I have been wondering the same thing.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:14 PM   #6
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If I was going to remove powersteering in order to gain more room for IC plumbing then the main priority would be removing the pump. The resevoir, lines, and puny cooler in front of the condenser are all easy to move around and modify. It's the pump that's in the way of an IC install more than anything else. So even if you could just loop the lines on the pump itself and fill it up with fluid you'd be wasting effort it seems.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:46 PM   #7
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Air Conditioning for sissies. Just apply a liberal dose of Gold-Bond to your *******/taint area and sweat it out on hot days.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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Okay, i guess the next question is, what are the chances of you being able to get a belt tight enough on the crank pulley/ac condenser.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:44 PM   #9
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You can't get a belt tight enough to do that, thus the idler/tensioner that you have to buy from mazda.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:46 PM   #10
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OK let's back up here...

Removal of the a/c is not an option. Gold Bond provides that nice fresh feeling from what I hear but... The a/c compressor is fixed so there needs to be an adjuster, a la the no-PS with-a/c factory idler pulley assembly. No good way to get an a/c belt tight enough without it.

For what I am doing removal of the pump is not the only worthwhile reason to remove the PS. I am not doing a traditional FMIC so the pump itself is not what is in the way. It is all of the hydraulic interconnect hoses and, in particular, the fluid reservoir. The pump itself is actually pretty small and about the same form factor (diameter wise) as the pulley. Unless the non-PS idler assy pulley is a lot smaller it will not help me out, and maybe not even then.

Plus, there is the improved steering feedback from the lack of no PS factor.

OK, so all that being said, back to the original question... Anyone ever try this?
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:22 AM   #11
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Whats the worst that can happen? I think you should try it and see how it works out. Then report back and i can try it myself.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:25 AM   #12
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I may just go ahead and try this. I will let you all know how it turns out.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:39 AM   #13
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I'd think you will probably have to gut the pump, or it may eventually seize with no fluid going through it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:44 AM   #14
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Dude, I've never heard of the stock idler pulley failing... have you done research to see if this is a common thing? I bet if you call PlanetMiata they'll probably sell you one for next to nothing if it's not a common-to-fail part. I can't imagine they're a "demand" item.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Dude, I've never heard of the stock idler pulley failing... have you done research to see if this is a common thing? I bet if you call PlanetMiata they'll probably sell you one for next to nothing if it's not a common-to-fail part. I can't imagine they're a "demand" item.
What do you mean by stock idler pulley?
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:51 PM   #16
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As mentioned above there is a stock idler pulley assy for cars WITH a/c but WITHOUT ps.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I'd think you will probably have to gut the pump, or it may eventually seize with no fluid going through it.
Yep that is the idea.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Dude, I've never heard of the stock idler pulley failing... have you done research to see if this is a common thing? I bet if you call PlanetMiata they'll probably sell you one for next to nothing if it's not a common-to-fail part. I can't imagine they're a "demand" item.
OK well the proposed experiment may be over before it begun...
Planet Miata had no used ones in stock, only new, $170 each. Ouch. Flyin Miata had a used one in stock, $40 including shipping. That is cheap enough for it to be the method of choice so I am going that route; reliable stock configuration, easy to implement. I am going to remove the PS and loop the lines on the rack.

FYI according to the guy I talked to at FM the NA and NB idler pulley assy is the same unit.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:38 PM   #19
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well, thats no fun. I may just have to try this out myself. I am cheap.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:08 PM   #20
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I think it would work. The pump looks like it comes apart pretty easily from the exploded diagram in the shop manual. As long as the rotor is not required to support the inlet shaft (and the pulley), it is sealed up (with a small breather hole), and the bearing is lubricated it should be OK. I am tempted to try it but since I have a functioning PS pump I am going to sell it to offset the cost of the idler pulley assy.

Either that, or I will rig it up as a pump for some sick hydraulics. The Miata is so light I'll bet I could make it do backflips with the right setup. All the playahs at da NOPI show will think it's illin fo sho.
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