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PassatWorld Staff
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You CAN get better feel out of your power steering! Hurray! :D

The return hose to the PS reservoir (the skinny hose) has reducers in it that apparently raise the pressure. Removing the reducers apparently reduces the pressure, resulting in better "feel." It's not dramatic, just a nice little mod that makes the steering more pleasant. I've been running it this way for two months now with no problems. A friend in Denver drove it and said he could feel the difference - he drove the car in June, b4 the mod, and again in August, right after the mod. (Note that since my front swaybar is removed, I have ridiculously light steering effort. It is possible that with a front sway installed, you would feel a greater improvement than I did.)

The people on Audiworld who have done this have drilled out the reducers. I drilled mine out and it wasn't enough. So I just took them out. The easiest way to take them out is to *not* take them out - just go buy 2 ft. (cut-to-fit) of 3/8" I.D. oil/tranny cooler hose, and replace the reduced hose, and the hose clamps while you're at it. This way, if you don't like the mod, you can just swap the OEM hose back in.

BTW, get some VW-approved PS fluid to replace what drains out.


Benefits -
A pleasant, slight increase in steering effort. I can feel it at low speed/parking (couldn't feel any diff with the drilled-out reducer), and in high-speed sweepers, I actually get some feedback! Not a lot, but enough improvement to make it worth the effort to swap the hose. No more video-game steering. Nice.

No more leaking PS hoses. I had re-clamped the hoses with Fuel Injection clamps, and they STILL leaked. Not any more. I've been running it this way for two months. Not a drop. Nice.

Drawbacks -
I can hear the steering rack operating through my steering wheel. It's an extremely quiet little hydraulic noise, and doesn't bother me at all, and only happens under certain conditions - but I bet it would bother someone. Either that, or my pump is going bad, but there are no other indications, so I think the reducers' purpose *could be* noise reduction. Sort of like the 190-degree water temp gauge...

Props to modifiedA4 for letting PassatWorld know that this could be done. :salute:
This is the thread that started the whole thing: power steering boost in 99 v6 passat
This is the post that has some pics of the hose and reducers: http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1405498&postcount=23

Standard Disclaimer: This is a DIY, at-your-own-risk type of thing. I can't guarantee that your PS won't blow up. All I know is that mine hasn't yet.
 

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Thanks! I've been wondering if there was a way to lose some of the assistance from the overly helpful power assist steering.

I always was jealous of the NSX, etc. that have electric power assist (easy to turn down/disable). Once the automotive industry switches to 36V (Real Soon Now), we'll get all kinds of cool stuff like that.
:cool:
 

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the deal finder!
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wow...that's pretty nice, rusty. i always thought the steering on the b5 had too little feedback.

oh, and my mkv gti does have electro-mechanical power steering, so you can adjust it via the vag-com.
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...how is parallel parking effort?
A breeze.

If I had to put this in percent terms, I'd say that low-speed and parking, there's only about 5% increase in effort (and feedback).

High speed I'd say a 15-20% increase in effort/feedback.

Those numbers are highly subjective. But the point is that this mod doesn't do anything drastic. I would have preferred more drastic, like 20-25% low speed and 50%+ high speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmmm. Ok, I have to look into this. :)
You and Chris will be able to drive it in a couple of weeks. :D

Except Kathy, you'll need some stilts or something. The sliders wouldn't work with my new lightweight aluminun seat brackets. Which is just fine 'cause the sliders weighed 5 lbs. But the racin' seat is bolted down. Just like a real racin' seat. Bolted for my 6'2" frame...
 

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ahh ok, so a very small change in effort. not like my parents 320i with no power steering...parking that in the summer heat was a workout!
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The skinny return hose is connected to the reservoir at the top, and PS cooler loop at the bottom. Disconnect it at the cooler end, and let it drain. On the floor or into a bucket, your choice. :)

I found it easier to get the top end off by unbolting the PS reservoir. Then you can tilt the reservoir a bit to get a better angle on the hose and clamp.
 

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I had to remove the old vw cooler and install a new power steering cooler since the FMIC. It improved the power steering quite a bit. It's been on there for over a year without any problems.
 

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i just did this about 20 min. ago. I took the car on a curvy road and just went though some sharp corners, then i went home and changed the hose. When i got back on the road i could feel a very positive change. The wheel dosn't have as much resistance when taking a high speed turn, not anything cazy but a nice change.

I couln't get the noise you reported Rusty, what are these "conditions"?

Great mod if you need something to do some afternoon!:thumbup: Thanks Rusty and modifiedA4 :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
 

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I see this one in my future. thanks, rusty.
 

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For a real reduction of assist, wouldn't the thing to do be to put in an underdrive pulley for the PS pump? Or to get really crazy, why not put in an electrically-operated hydraulic bypass valve that short-circuits the pump so that the power-assist be turned on and off and the flick of a switch?
:cool:

Edit:

I just looked at the power steering article on Wikipedia and figured out that I have reinvented the wheel:
Some more modern implementations of hydraulic systems also include an electronic pressure valve which can reduce the hydraulic pressure of the power steering lines as the vehicle's speed increases (Variable assist power steering)
I wonder if one of these systems could be retrofitted to the B5.5? Now that is something I could really get into -- maybe more than a MBC or BM(the next mod). I totally dug my Porsche 914: no power nuthin' and it you got the best feedback from the controls. :)
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For a real reduction of assist, wouldn't the thing to do be to put in an underdrive pulley for the PS pump?
Well, yeah. You gonna design it for us? :)

I would disable PS entirely, except that on the AEB, the water pump is driven from the power steering pulley. :thumbdown
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Four-month update:

Still no problems running this setup.
Still better steering feel.
Still no leaks.
 
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