A2 AUA -02 ? Safe to use the car with drained servo steering system ?

dieselfan

Member
Hi All !
My servo steering is dead and I need to move the car back home.
It's winter in my area so there is close to 1m snow-depth and not ideal conditions to trail my A2 to the garage...

Is it possible to just drain/vent the steering system, disconnect the servo pump and use it as a manual steering system ?

I understand that I will have to add more force to the steering wheel... but is it safe ?? but is the steering designed to transfer the force ?
 
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Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
You would need arms like popeye and it would be dangerous. (at slow speed you would find it impossible to swerve quickly enough)

So I for one would recommend against it, but I can see your train of thought.

Steve B
 

BoxyA2

Well-Known Member
Just the fact your asking should raise an eyebrow.. in my opinion no I wouldn’t use it plus if something were to happen and the insurance company found out you’d be in a whole world of bother

Risk and reward plenty of risk no reward.. get it recovered if I was you
 

Skipton01

Well-Known Member
I have used my A2 without power assistance when it kept failing and Audi kept on bodging a fix. It failed on one occasion when I was around 35 miles from home and I needed to use the motorway. I had Audi Assist come out to me and as they couldn't fix it there and then, and a tow was not possible, they suggested I drive home carefully.

Once up to around 10mph the steering weight eased off and at highway speed, it felt fine. Only low speed manoeuvres were difficult, so bear this in mind. Only you can judge whether it's worth doing, based on mileage to your destination and risk of accident/insurance issues. If you choose to do it, just please be careful.
 

dieselfan

Member
Many thanks for the fast response and supportive response to my first post on this Forum :) (Sorry for the late replay, I commute and can most often only reach the Forum during my weekends)

When reading my post again I noticed that I had worded my selves so it could be understood like I wanted somebody's guaranty for my modification to the steering... that was not the intention. I have modified the text to hopefully better reflect the technical part of my problem..

Steve B: My arms are definitively not Pop eye calibre... and your advice will count when I decide what to do next

BoxyA2: I will not move the car before I will be convinced that it can be done without put any unacceptable risk to other people. Today, I do not know if the servo steering gear is like a mechanical steering gear, with an additional unit that "helps" me to steer the vehicle... and can I disconnect the servo unit/ servo functionality and then be able to operate it as a manual steering gear system ??

Skipton01: Brilliant sharing. Have I got it right?; you did not drain the servo system so you probably had to "move" the servo fluid through a non rotating servo pump ? while if the servo system was drained and the rack was vented, one would then not have to move any servo fluid and would not risk to create any hydraulic lock either ??

I would be very happy if any could tell me if my assumptions are right or wrong :) my knowledge wrt servo steering is limited and my A2 is 2h drive from home. To get somebody to pick it up cost me 60% of the value of the car. Towing is impossible.

If somebody know part number for a manual steering gear, that would help me a lot..
Have anyone in here done a servo-to-manual conversion ??
 

Merlin3046

Member
Many thanks for the fast response and supportive response to my first post on this Forum :) (Sorry for the late replay, I commute and can most often only reach the Forum during my weekends)

When reading my post again I noticed that I had worded my selves so it could be understood like I wanted somebody's guaranty for my modification to the steering... that was not the intention. I have modified the text to hopefully better reflect the technical part of my problem..

Steve B: My arms are definitively not Pop eye calibre... and your advice will count when I decide what to do next

BoxyA2: I will not move the car before I will be convinced that it can be done without put any unacceptable risk to other people. Today, I do not know if the servo steering gear is like a mechanical steering gear, with an additional unit that "helps" me to steer the vehicle... and can I disconnect the servo unit/ servo functionality and then be able to operate it as a manual steering gear system ??

Skipton01: Brilliant sharing. Have I got it right?; you did not drain the servo system so you probably had to "move" the servo fluid through a non rotating servo pump ? while if the servo system was drained and the rack was vented, one would then not have to move any servo fluid and would not risk to create any hydraulic lock either ??

I would be very happy if any could tell me if my assumptions are right or wrong :) my knowledge wrt servo steering is limited and my A2 is 2h drive from home. To get somebody to pick it up cost me 60% of the value of the car. Towing is impossible.

If somebody know part number for a manual steering gear, that would help me a lot..
Have anyone in here done a servo-to-manual conversion ??
To answer your original question, many years ago I worked for British Leyland at Canley's Ride & Handling dept. One of the tests we did was to check the car remained drivable in the event of a catastrophic steering power-assistance failure. So the odds are pretty strong that you can safely operate the car without steering assistance given the preparations you describe.
 

dieselfan

Member
Thank you Merlin3046 !

Due to the reoccurring problems with the power steering (pump and sensors) I get more and more convinced that to convert to manual steering is the way to go for me (on permanent basis too)

I want my A2's as simple and reliable as possible :)
 
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Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
But the A2 is not known for lots of power steering weak spots. Yes one or two leak but that is not a reason to try to convert to manual.
It would be cheaper to buy s reconditioned standard rack with a guarantee.
The insurance company would need to be informed and that would increase your premium. If you don’t tell them it could be even more costly.

So I like your @can do” attitude but I fear that it would devalue the car and cost a lot to sort out and it may be a pig to park depending on the ratio of the manual rack. But with the correct ratio to make it light enough to park easily the high speed steering may then be adversely affected.

One of the big pluses of the A2 to me is the feel of the standard steering. It is just right and you never feel that there is no “feel” you just drive it and don’t have to think about it.
Can you sense that I am not sure about your plans?

But good luck in whatever you do to get this sorted to your satisfaction.

Steve B
 

dieselfan

Member
Thanks Steve!, your honest opinions are very much appreciated!

-with reference to the insurance part of it: probably a big difference between Norway and UK, for me the insurance part is easy to fix, I just meet up for an additional MOT and get the manual steering stamped into my registration papers. Simple and to a low cost.
A lot of people in Norway need to commute fairly long distances so to modify cars to become bullet-proof-commuter-cars, simplified (sometimes to the extreme) the only extras you will find is probably elektrical engine heating (to ease starting during winter, I have started my A2 in -34degC )

In Norway, roads are "flooded" with chlorides to prevent ice during the winter. The prize is severe corrosion on most cars, on most brands...
Among the few exceptions one will find the A2 and A8....
My passion for these A2 cars is more driven by low consumption and durability than impression of the front design.
I drive a lot and most of it without passengers so I feel good to pollute as little as possible and keep the cars rolling and save the environment that way.

It may be the salt that cause all the problems with the power steering system over here, just to find a workshop that manage to adjust a steering angle sensor... I have used more money to get this sorted than the car costed... this create frustration. This together with ABS alarms is the main factor for scrapping an A2 in Norway.

I only have supervag as tool to help out. If I was competent with VCDS and had been more impressive with wire'ing.... I would have aimed to repair the original solution for same reasons as you support in your replay above :)

When it comes to the sencing Steve... I can feel a friendly hand on my shoulder trying to guide a new member on the Forum, in his first post, in the right direction... I am lucky :)
 
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Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
Ah,

I hadn't noticed your location.

That is a quite different situation, thanks for the feedback!

Steve B
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
No, unfortunately it is not that simple.

Because the steering ratio will be expecting the power assistance. Without that assistance it will be VERY heavy when stationary or at very low speeds. Unfortunately.

Non-power assisted ones have a lower ratio so that it is not so heavy at low speeds or when stationary.

Steve B
 
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dieselfan

Member
....scary to think of how many miles I have been driving... and how little I know about how power steering actually works...

Thanks again Steve, from what you explain I will need a new manual steering rack and replace the servo steering one ?
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
....scary to think of how many miles I have been driving... and how little I know about how power steering actually works...

Thanks again Steve, from what you explain I will need a new manual steering rack and replace the servo steering one ?
Yes,

But I am not sure which one would suit, but a starting point would be a 1.2 3L A2 rack, but I have no idea if it is an option. At least yours is a Left Hand Drive and so that is one less obstacle.

It would be the right size, hopefully it could be made to mount without major engineering.

Perhaps Rab or someone else who knows the 1.2 3L A2 could comment.

Steve B
 

dieselfan

Member
Brilliant Steve !

Then I try to visit a scrapyard on monday to cut off the interfacing splines from the steering wheel, so I can fit test possible candidates to be my new manual steering rack...
From pictures... the rack from VW Polo and Seat Arosa seems very similar to the A2 manual rack.

I measured on one of my AMF's today and found that one can adjust them almost 30mm each so this give a total play of 60mm in addition to two tie end rods lengths available in the part list.

Steering rack bolt pattern looks to be the same between 1.2 and 1.4 though with a tape measure....
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
What you are proposing to do would normally scare me a lot and I would normally recommend against it.

But you seem to know enough to at least try and attempt this conversion.

As long as the end result is safe then I look forward to hearing of your progress, good luck with the build.

Steve B
 
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