[associates] Re: Back up steering systems

  • From: "Rick Shaffer" <rshaffer@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <associates@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 05:17:21 -0400

John,
This seems to be working wonderfully to get discourse on topics flowing.  You 
did a great service.
Please add me to the list my information is below.
 
Rick Shaffer, CDRS
Coordinator Driver's Evaluation & Training
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Mail Code EC130
30 Hope Drive
Hershey, PA  17033
Telephone (717) 531-7105
Fax (717) 531-4558
 
 
Rick Shaffer, CDRS
Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist, #4720
Coordinator
Driver's Evaluation & Training
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Penn State College of Medicine
Phone - (717) 531-7105
Fax - (717) 531-4558
E-mail - rshaffer@xxxxxxx 

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>>> John Anschutz <johnanschutz@xxxxxxxxxxx> 4/30/2009 9:06 PM >>>
What a great topic.  I am not sure I know the answer.  I sometimes wonder if 
the backup pump is a backup for a problem that could be prevented.   I have a 
van with zero effort steering.   It suffers from stress due to over-heating of 
the steering fluid.   I think the original problem stemmed from two sources.   
1. If the engine is running and the Van is parked or at idle for an extended 
time with the wheels turned it will overheat the steering fluid.  2. Sometimes 
with new drivers or in an eval our evaluators want to really check out the 
client's turning abilities before ever going on the road.  Let me tell you that 
the rate of change in wheel direction with a Zero Effort (sorry I am old school 
- Maximum reduced effort) steering is far greater than what is typical in 
traditional steering.  It really heats up the oil.  Overheats.  The problem is 
that if the oil gets too hot seals can fail and you can have a lot of damage 
and you may have need for a back up system.   
Would a more modern approach be something like installing a steering fluid 
cooler like they do in some dirt track racing cars where they put great demands 
on steering?   I think DSI uses a cooler in their system.   Also, if we had a 
temperature monitor on the fluid then a dangerous or damaging situation could 
most likely be avoided all together.   If you can really do that then would you 
still need a backup pump?  Seems like the consumer would appreciate the ability 
to avoid major repair.   This is kind of like seeing that your car is 
overheating and you stop before you ruin the engine.   In this case the 
complicating factor is that steering is so much more important for safety to 
the consumer.  It would be nice if the consumer can avoid a problem and a 
failure of any kind.   Once you have a need for the backup you are back to oil 
squirting somewhere and you could have a fire situation that you mentioned.
Thanks again & I look forward to seeing other thoughts.
John Anschutz
Please don't anyone change there practices based on our discussion.  We are 
just brainstorming.


Please don't go out and change your practices based on these comments.  
On Apr 30, 2009, at 6:51 PM, cbckj@xxxxxxx wrote:



Thanks for a forum to discuss our issues.  It is really appreciated.  I am an 
inspector and have the unique opportunity to poke my head into, and around a 
lot of converted vehicles.  I am hoping to solicit opinions and guidance from 
this learned group of professionals, and to have some input into the general 
NMEDA community.  Please understand, I just want to stimulate some dialogue, 
not propose policy...case in point:
During inspections I have found that back up steering pumps are mounted in 
areas that are subject to damage even from minor impacts.  My concern is that 
these systems could rupture and leak with high pressure flammable fluids 
spraying into the engine compartment. The pumps are frequently mounted in the 
front bumper.  Back up steering systems have not changed in basic design for 
over 25 years.  One of my discussion points, (besides location change and 
design) is the actual need for these systems.  I have seen more problems with 
back up steering systems than I have heard reports that they serve their 
intended purpose.  The maintenance and installation issues are numerous.  Is 
the intended safety of this device worth the problems?  I'm  looking forward to 
your comments.
C. Kerry Jones
"The Space Between"
cbckj@xxxxxxx 

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