The Escort did originally run a power-assisted steering setup a few years back, but when we added the big turbo in our search for really big bhp figures we were forced to remove it. The alternator was suffering from heat soak issues being too close to the much bigger turbo so we relocated it to the other side of the block, but sadly that meant the power steering had to go ion order to make room for the alternator. At that point the car was getting more and more tailored towards quarter-mile drag racing than any kind of street or circuit use, so the lack of power steering really didn’t make too many odds.
But now I want it back! If I am going to use the new version on track (or even on the road!) then I’m going to need to reinstate the power steering – especially as the wider arched will allow me to run some seriously fat sticky tyres!
An electric power steering setup was the obvious choice, so we opted to go for the tried-and-tested route of fitting a Corsa electric power-assisted steering column. So out came the grinder and welded yet again!
The conversion was quite straightforward. The existing steering column was basically a cut-and-shut job of Sierra at the bottom and Escort at the top, so it was basically a case of adding the Corsa electric bit in the middle. We made up new brackets to mount everything in place, and were keen to make sure everything was interchangeable in case of UJ or power steering motor failure. Speaking of UJs, we found that those from the Focus ST170 were perfect for the job! We even made up a sleeve to connect the Mk3 Escort ignition housing and stalks, to help make it all look like it belongs together.
With everything mocked up we did one final check for driver’s reach, height, and comfort. When we were finally happy with all that it was then just a case of welding it all together and refitting it all, along with a brand new bulkhead bearing to replace the sloppy old 80s plastic item!
With the mechanical side of things sorted next up we will look to make the level of assistance adjustable, which can be done quite easily by wiring in a specific adjuster that we’ll mount to the dash. More on that later…