Electric Vehicles

How To Install Electric Power Steering On An Old Car

Table of Contents



How To Install Electric Power Steering On An Old Car: Modernizing an old car often involves a delicate balance between preserving its vintage charm and enhancing its performance to meet contemporary standards. One transformative upgrade that seamlessly achieves this equilibrium is the installation of Electric Power Steering (EPS) in place of traditional hydraulic systems. As automotive technology continues to evolve, retrofitting an old car with Electric Power Steering emerges as a practical solution, offering improved maneuverability, reduced effort in steering, and enhanced overall driving experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of how to install Electric Power Steering on an old car, breaking down the process into manageable steps. From selecting the right EPS kit for your specific make and model to the intricacies of removing the existing steering components, we cover every aspect of this conversion. Throughout the installation journey, we’ll explore the advantages of Electric Power Steering, addressing concerns about compatibility, wiring, and potential challenges. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a DIY novice, this guide serves as an invaluable resource, providing insights and instructions to breathe new life into your classic vehicle while embracing the advancements of modern automotive technology. Buckle up as we embark on a journey to seamlessly blend the best of both automotive worlds – preserving the nostalgia of the past with the innovation of the present.

How To Install Electric Power Steering On An Old Car

Can you convert a car to electric power steering?

Many aftermarket companies offer electric power-assist steering conversion kits. They cover a wide range of vehicles, including classics and hot rods. This electric-power steering kit fits a Ford Mustang from 1968 to 1970. By swapping out the hydraulic steering pieces, the engine bay is cleaner.


Technical Feasibility:

Converting a car to electric power steering (EPS) is technically feasible, and it has become a popular aftermarket modification. The process involves removing the existing hydraulic power steering system and installing an electric power steering kit. This kit typically includes an electric motor, control unit, and sensors. The electric motor assists in turning the steering wheel, providing the necessary power assistance without relying on hydraulic fluid pressure.


Components of the Conversion:


The conversion process includes several key components. The electric power steering kit comprises a brushless motor that assists in turning the steering column. The control unit interprets the driver’s input and adjusts the amount of assistance provided by the motor. Additionally, sensors monitor various parameters such as vehicle speed and steering wheel position, ensuring optimal performance. The conversion also involves mounting the electric motor on the steering column or rack, connecting it to the vehicle’s electrical system, and integrating it with the steering linkage.


Benefits of Electric Power Steering:


One of the primary motivations for converting to electric power steering is the potential benefits it offers. Electric power steering systems are known for their energy efficiency, as they only consume power when assistance is needed, contributing to improved fuel efficiency. Additionally, electric systems provide the flexibility to adjust steering assistance based on driving conditions, enhancing overall vehicle dynamics. The elimination of hydraulic components also results in a simplified and lighter steering system, potentially improving the vehicle’s overall weight distribution.


Challenges and Considerations:


While converting to electric power steering is feasible, it’s important to consider potential challenges. The installation process may vary depending on the specific make and model of the vehicle. Some conversions may require additional modifications to accommodate the new components, and compatibility issues must be addressed. Furthermore, proper calibration of the control unit is crucial to ensure optimal steering feel and responsiveness. As with any aftermarket modification, it’s advisable to consult with professionals or follow manufacturer guidelines to ensure a successful and safe conversion.


Regulatory and Safety Compliance:


Before undertaking an electric power steering conversion, it’s essential to comply with local regulations and safety standards. Different regions may have specific requirements regarding vehicle modifications, and it’s crucial to ensure that the converted vehicle meets all necessary safety standards. This may involve obtaining approval or certification from relevant authorities. Ensuring regulatory compliance not only ensures the legal operation of the vehicle but also contributes to the safety and reliability of the modified electric power steering system.


Can you fit power steering to an old car?

Adding power steering is a very popular modification for older vehicles, most notably old trucks or muscle cars. These vehicles usually have large V8 engines that put a lot of weight over the front wheels, and the trucks often have large, heavy off-road tires that further exacerbate the problem.


Assessment of Compatibility:


Before considering fitting power steering to an old car, it’s crucial to assess the vehicle’s compatibility. Evaluate the car’s structure, chassis, and steering system to determine if modifications can be made without compromising safety or structural integrity. Some older vehicles may have limitations in terms of available space, clearances, or design constraints that could affect the feasibility of retrofitting power steering.


Choice of Power Steering System:


Selecting the appropriate power steering system is a critical decision in the retrofitting process. There are different types of power steering systems, including hydraulic, electric, and electro-hydraulic systems. Each has its own set of advantages and considerations. Hydraulic systems are traditional and might be easier to integrate into certain older vehicles, while electric systems are more modern and may provide additional features. The choice depends on factors such as available space, budget, and the desired level of assistance.


Installation Considerations:


The installation process involves integrating the chosen power steering system into the existing structure of the old car. This may require modifications to the steering column, addition of a power steering pump, installation of fluid lines (for hydraulic systems), and integration of electronic components (for electric systems). Precision and expertise are crucial during installation to ensure the proper functioning of the power steering system without compromising safety or reliability.


Alignment and Calibration:


Once the power steering system is installed, proper alignment and calibration are essential. The steering geometry must be adjusted to accommodate the new components, ensuring that the wheels respond appropriately to steering inputs. Calibration may involve fine-tuning electronic systems or adjusting hydraulic components to achieve the desired level of assistance and responsiveness. This step is critical for achieving optimal performance and maintaining vehicle stability.


Safety and Legal Considerations:


Retrofitting power steering to an old car should adhere to safety standards and legal requirements. It’s essential to check local regulations and ensure that the modifications comply with safety standards for roadworthy vehicles. Properly engineered and documented retrofitting processes will not only enhance safety but also provide peace of mind for the driver and any passengers. Regular inspections and maintenance checks are advisable to ensure the continued safe operation of the retrofitted power steering system.


How much does it cost to install electric power steering?

The exact cost of replacement varies by make and model. Labor costs also vary from one auto shop to another. With that in mind, a budget between $500 and $800 is enough for the pump replacement, allocating $100 to $800 for parts and $ 300 for labor.


Conversion Kit Cost:


The cost of installing electric power steering (EPS) largely depends on the type of vehicle and the specific electric power steering conversion kit selected. These conversion kits typically include components such as an electric power steering pump, an electric motor, a torque sensor, and a control module. Prices for these kits can vary widely, with basic kits for smaller vehicles starting around a few hundred dollars, while more advanced kits for larger or specialized vehicles can cost upwards of a thousand dollars. Vehicle-specific kits may be pricier due to the precision engineering required to match the components to the particular make and model.


Labor Costs:


In addition to the cost of the conversion kit, labor costs for professional installation should be taken into account. The complexity of the installation process can vary based on the vehicle’s make and model, as well as the specific requirements of the conversion kit. Labor costs can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on the expertise of the technician and the time required for the installation. DIY enthusiasts may choose to install the kit themselves, potentially saving on labor costs, but this approach requires a good understanding of automotive systems and the necessary tools.


Quality of Components:


The quality of the electric power steering components can significantly impact the overall cost. Higher-quality components from reputable manufacturers may come with a higher price tag, but they often offer better performance, durability, and reliability. While it might be tempting to opt for a lower-cost kit, investing in quality components can contribute to a more satisfactory and trouble-free long-term driving experience. Considering the safety implications of the steering system, it’s generally advisable to prioritize quality when selecting components for an electric power steering conversion.


Vehicle-Specific Challenges:


The cost of installing electric power steering can be influenced by specific challenges presented by the vehicle’s design or existing systems. Some vehicles may require additional modifications or adaptations to accommodate the new electric power steering system. For instance, if the vehicle has a hydraulic power steering system, there may be extra costs associated with removing or bypassing existing components. Custom brackets or adapters may also be needed to fit the electric power steering components into the vehicle’s engine bay.


Professional Assistance and Certification:


Opting for professional assistance during the installation process may involve additional costs, but it can ensure that the electric power steering system is properly integrated and calibrated. Some jurisdictions may require certification or approval for modified steering systems, and professionals can help navigate these requirements. While professional assistance adds to the overall cost, it provides peace of mind regarding the safety and legality of the conversion. It’s essential to consider these factors to ensure compliance with local regulations and standards.


Can we convert non power steering to power steering?

Can you convert a car to power steering? Some cars were produced equipped with power steering as an option. If you have one without, you can most likely add power steering without too much trouble (work/labour/money) just by adding and replacing some parts.


Compatibility Assessment:


Converting a non-power steering system to power steering is feasible, but the first step is to assess the compatibility of the vehicle. Some older vehicles may lack the necessary components and structure to accommodate power steering. The vehicle’s frame, steering column, and front suspension must be evaluated to determine if modifications are required to integrate a power steering system effectively.


Selecting the Right Kit:


To convert a non-power steering setup, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate power steering conversion kit for the specific make and model of the vehicle. These kits typically include components such as a power steering pump, steering gearbox or rack, hoses, brackets, and a power steering fluid reservoir. Selecting the right kit ensures that the components are compatible with the vehicle and that the installation process is smoother.


Installation Process:


The installation process for converting non-power steering to power steering involves significant mechanical work. It includes mounting the power steering pump, installing the steering gearbox or rack, connecting hoses, and integrating the power steering fluid reservoir. In some cases, modifications to the steering column and adjustments to the front suspension may also be necessary. Precise installation is critical to ensure proper functionality and safety, and it may require professional expertise or a well-equipped DIY enthusiast.


Alignment and Calibration:


After the physical installation, alignment and calibration become essential steps in the conversion process. Proper wheel alignment ensures that the vehicle drives straight and handles well. Calibration involves adjusting the power steering system to achieve the right level of assist, preventing issues such as over-assist or under-assist. Professional alignment and calibration services may be necessary to guarantee optimal performance and safety.


Testing and Fine-Tuning:


Once the conversion is complete, thorough testing is essential to ensure that the power steering system operates as intended. This includes checking for leaks, verifying proper fluid levels, and testing the steering response under various driving conditions. Fine-tuning may be required to address any issues that arise during testing, ensuring that the converted power steering system functions reliably and enhances the overall driving experience. Regular maintenance and periodic checks become crucial to keep the converted power steering system in optimal condition over time.


Which is better electric or power steering?

This method reduces the amount of weight in the vehicle. Also, the EPS system doesn’t use power from the engine as the hydraulic systems do. Overall, the electric power steering system is more efficient.


Responsiveness and Precision:


Electric power steering (EPS) is often favored for its advanced technology that provides superior responsiveness and precision. Unlike hydraulic power steering, EPS systems use an electric motor to assist the driver, allowing for more precise control over the steering input. The electric assistance can be adjusted dynamically, providing optimal responsiveness at various speeds and driving conditions. This results in a smoother and more tailored driving experience, particularly in urban environments and during low-speed maneuvers.


Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Impact:


Electric power steering systems are known for their energy efficiency, contributing to improved fuel efficiency in vehicles. Since electric assistance is only applied when needed, there is less continuous power consumption compared to hydraulic power steering systems that rely on a constant flow of hydraulic fluid. This energy efficiency not only benefits fuel economy but also aligns with the growing emphasis on environmental sustainability. As the automotive industry moves towards greener technologies, electric power steering plays a role in reducing the overall environmental impact of vehicles.


Space and Weight Savings:


Electric power steering systems offer advantages in terms of space and weight savings. Without the need for a hydraulic pump, fluid reservoirs, and associated components, EPS systems are generally more compact and lighter. This is particularly beneficial in modern vehicles where efficient use of space is essential for accommodating various technologies and features. The reduced weight also contributes to improved overall vehicle efficiency and performance, making electric power steering an attractive option for manufacturers and consumers alike.


Ease of Integration and Advanced Features:


Electric power steering systems are inherently more adaptable to integration with advanced driver-assistance features and autonomous driving technologies. The electronic nature of EPS allows for seamless integration with sensors and control systems, facilitating the implementation of features such as lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automated parking. This adaptability to emerging technologies positions electric power steering as a key enabler for future advancements in vehicle automation and safety.


Cost Considerations and Maintenance:


While the initial cost of implementing electric power steering may be higher, the overall cost of ownership can be competitive or even lower over time. Electric power steering systems typically have fewer mechanical components and are less prone to leaks and wear compared to hydraulic systems. This results in reduced maintenance costs and greater reliability in the long run. As technology continues to advance and economies of scale come into play, the cost difference between electric and hydraulic power steering is likely to narrow, making electric power steering an increasingly attractive option for a broader range of vehicles.

Is electric power steering reliable?

Electric power steering is superior to hydraulic steering. If you’re buying a newer car, the chances are good that you’re already using it. With older cars, you’re likely dealing with a hydraulic steering system. Either way, you’re better off than you’d be with manual steering.


Precision and Control:


Electric power steering (EPS) has gained popularity in the automotive industry for its reliability in providing precise control and feedback to the driver. Unlike hydraulic power steering, EPS relies on an electric motor to assist steering efforts. This design allows for fine-tuned adjustments, providing a level of precision that can enhance the overall driving experience. Drivers appreciate the ability to customize steering characteristics, tailoring the system to their preferences, and enjoying a responsive and controlled feel on the road.


Efficiency and Fuel Economy:


One of the key advantages of electric power steering is its efficiency in power usage. Unlike hydraulic systems that constantly draw power from the engine, electric power steering only consumes energy when the driver is actively steering. This on-demand operation contributes to improved fuel efficiency, as the system minimizes the overall power requirements. Many modern vehicles are equipped with EPS as part of an integrated strategy to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions, making it a reliable and environmentally friendly choice.


Low Maintenance and Reduced Complexity:


Electric power steering systems are known for their low maintenance requirements and reduced complexity. Without the need for hydraulic fluid, pumps, and associated components, the potential for leaks and fluid-related issues is significantly reduced. The simplicity of electric power steering contributes to its overall reliability, as there are fewer components that could fail over time. This characteristic makes EPS an attractive option for consumers seeking a hassle-free and low-maintenance steering solution.


Adaptability and Advanced Features:


EPS systems offer adaptability and versatility due to their electronic nature. The software controlling electric power steering can be programmed to adjust steering feel based on various factors such as vehicle speed, driving conditions, and driver preferences. Moreover, electric power steering facilitates the integration of advanced driver-assistance features, such as lane-keeping assist and automated parking. These additional features enhance overall vehicle safety and functionality, showcasing the adaptability and reliability of electric power steering in modern automotive applications.


Diagnostic Capabilities and Safety:


Electric power steering systems often come equipped with advanced diagnostic capabilities that can monitor system health and detect potential issues. The system can provide feedback to the driver or service technician, alerting them to any problems before they become critical. This proactive approach to maintenance contributes to the overall reliability of electric power steering, ensuring that issues can be addressed promptly. Additionally, electric power steering systems are designed with safety in mind, incorporating features such as fail-safes and backup systems to maintain steering functionality even in the rare event of a component failure. This commitment to safety enhances the reliability of electric power steering in real-world driving scenarios.

How To Install Electric Power Steering On An Old Car

Can electric power steering fail?

Motor. Today’s electronic power steering systems may fail due to issues with the mounted electric motor. In particular, excessive heat on the motor is likely to cause the failure modes. Infiltration of the system environment by water, dirt, or other contaminants will also likely lead to EPS failure.


Sensor and Electronic Component Failures:


Electric power steering (EPS) systems rely heavily on sensors and electronic components to interpret the driver’s input and control the steering assist. As with any electronic system, these components can be susceptible to failures. Sensor malfunctions or issues with the control module may result in a loss of power assistance or erratic steering behavior. While modern EPS systems are designed with redundancy and fail-safes, malfunctions in electronic components can still occur and lead to steering-related problems.


Power Supply Issues:


Electric power steering systems require a stable and reliable power supply to function correctly. Issues such as a failing alternator, battery problems, or electrical system failures can impact the power supply to the EPS system. In the event of a power supply disruption, the electric power steering may become inoperative, requiring increased physical effort from the driver to steer the vehicle. Regular maintenance of the electrical system is crucial to prevent such power-related failures in EPS.


Mechanical Component Failures:


While electric power steering systems are generally less complex in terms of mechanical components compared to hydraulic systems, they still have critical parts that can fail. The electric motor, gears, and other mechanical components responsible for translating the electronic signals into steering assistance are vulnerable to wear and tear over time. Mechanical failures can lead to a loss of steering assist or, in extreme cases, complete system failure, necessitating repairs or replacements.


Software Glitches and Updates:


The software that governs electric power steering systems plays a crucial role in their operation. Software glitches or bugs can lead to unexpected issues, affecting the steering performance. Additionally, manufacturers may release updates to address software-related issues or to enhance system performance. Failure to update the EPS software in a timely manner can result in suboptimal functioning or compatibility issues, emphasizing the importance of keeping the software up to date.


Environmental Factors:


Environmental conditions can also contribute to electric power steering failures. Exposure to extreme temperatures, moisture, or contaminants can affect the integrity of the electronic components and sensors. For instance, water ingress into the EPS system can lead to corrosion and short circuits. Regular inspection and protection measures against environmental factors are essential to mitigate the risk of electric power steering failures related to adverse weather conditions or external contaminants.


Can electric steering fail?

If this component becomes worn or damaged, it can lead to problems or even power steering failure. Electrical Problems: In electric power steering systems (which are becoming more common in newer vehicles), issues can arise from a failure in the electric motor, sensors, or electronic control unit (ECU).


Electronic Component Vulnerability:

Electric power steering (EPS) systems rely heavily on electronic components such as sensors, control modules, and electric motors. These components are susceptible to wear and tear over time, as well as exposure to environmental factors like moisture, heat, and vibration. If any of these electronic components fail, it can lead to a malfunction in the electric steering system, resulting in a loss of power assistance or even complete failure. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of worn-out components can help mitigate the risk of electronic failures in electric steering systems.


Software and Calibration Issues:

Electric steering systems often incorporate sophisticated software algorithms to optimize steering response and assist levels. Issues related to software glitches or calibration errors can potentially lead to malfunctions in the EPS. These problems may manifest as sudden changes in steering effort, erratic steering behavior, or a complete loss of power assistance. Manufacturers continually work to improve software reliability, but occasional updates or recalibrations may be necessary to address emerging issues and ensure the proper functioning of electric steering systems.


Power Supply and Battery Concerns:

Electric power steering systems rely on a stable power supply, typically provided by the vehicle’s electrical system and battery. If there are issues with the battery, alternator, or other components in the electrical system, the electric steering system may be affected. A weak or failing battery, for example, could result in insufficient power to operate the electric motor effectively, leading to steering failure. Regular battery checks and maintenance are crucial to prevent potential power-related issues in electric steering systems.


Mechanical Component Failures:

While electric power steering systems are predominantly electronic, they still have mechanical components, such as the steering column and gearbox. Mechanical failures in these components can impact the overall functionality of the electric steering system. For instance, a malfunction in the steering column or gearbox may hinder the transmission of the electric motor’s assistance to the steering mechanism, resulting in compromised steering performance or failure. Regular inspections and timely replacement of worn-out mechanical components are essential for maintaining the reliability of electric steering systems.

External Interference and Safety Concerns:

Electric steering systems are susceptible to external interference, including electromagnetic interference (EMI) from other electronic devices or radio frequency signals. In rare cases, this interference can disrupt the communication between the various components of the electric steering system, leading to malfunctions. Ensuring proper shielding and grounding of electronic components can help mitigate the risk of external interference. Additionally, the safety implications of electric steering failures underline the importance of regular inspections, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, and prompt resolution of any identified issues to prevent potential safety hazards on the road.

How To Install Electric Power Steering On An Old Car


The transformation of an old car through the installation of Electric Power Steering (EPS) represents a remarkable fusion of nostalgia and innovation. As we bring this guide to a close, it is evident that the decision to retrofit an old car with EPS goes beyond the mere act of upgrading; it is a testament to the passion for automotive history and the desire to enhance driving dynamics. The journey of installing Electric Power Steering on an old car involves a meticulous process, from selecting the right kit to navigating the intricacies of the conversion. As enthusiasts undertake this endeavor, they not only modernize their vehicles but also preserve the essence of classic motoring.


The advantages of EPS, including improved maneuverability, reduced steering effort, and a heightened driving experience, become the rewards of the journey. Embracing technological advancements while cherishing the timeless design of a classic car creates a harmonious blend that captivates both seasoned collectors and novice enthusiasts alike.


Moreover, this guide underscores the accessibility of the retrofitting process, empowering individuals to undertake the transformation with confidence. From dismantling the old steering system to navigating wiring complexities, each step is a testament to the do-it-yourself spirit that defines the automotive enthusiast community.


In essence, installing Electric Power Steering on an old car is more than a mechanical upgrade; it’s a celebration of the rich automotive heritage intertwined with the promise of a smoother, more responsive driving future. As we conclude this guide, the road ahead for these revitalized classics beckons with the promise of a thrilling journey, seamlessly merging the past and the present on every twist and turn.






Vaishnavi vaish

Vaishnavi is an automotive enthusiast and writer with a passion for all things cars. With years of experience in the automotive industry, Vaishnavi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Vroom's platform. Whether it's dissecting the latest car models, exploring industry trends, or delving into the intricacies of automotive technology, Vaishnavi is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content. From performance reviews to in-depth car comparisons, Vaishnavi strives to deliver accurate and engaging information to help readers make informed decisions about their next vehicle purchase. Explore the world of automobiles with Vaishnavi on Vroom and stay updated on the latest developments in the automotive world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Back to top button