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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/5/20 9:49 a.m.

Before I wade into the various places that are the S2k equivalent of mx-5.nut...

S2000s aren't exactly known for their steering feel and mine is no exception. It's not that noticeable on the street but very noticeable on the track, and I'm not too fond of that. Probably doesn't help that I've owned a few cars that would tell you if the cigarette but you just drove over was Marlboro or Camel, but it didn't help with the confidence in pushing the car harder.

It looks like we had an inconclusive thread back in 2009, and it doesn't look like any of the S2000 specific forums and FB groups have much to offer other than "Honda made it perfect so who are you to complain about it".

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/5/20 9:50 a.m.

That should of course read "an S2000's" - if a mod sees this, would you mind correcting this to try and make me look a little less illiterate? Thanks.

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
4/5/20 10:21 p.m.

Not an expert, but I'm always amazed how much small adjustments to alignment, particularly front toe-in, contribute to steering feel. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/5/20 11:51 p.m.

Also, scrub radius is a thing.

Porsche was really proud of the "zero scrub" of the 924/944 was a thing.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
4/6/20 7:04 a.m.

Is it possible to ad a little caster? Not necessarily by factory adjustment, but by modification.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/6/20 7:50 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Yes, caster is adjustable and I run max. 

Are you running the factory stagger or a square set-up?

I remember many years ago they use to sell bushings for the steering motor. I cant remember what they did, but I assume they played a role in the feel. I never bought them as I thought it was snake oil, but check them out as maybe they help with what you are looking for. 

I will also say that for me the biggest change was moving to a square set-up along with a good alignment. Finding someone that is used to doing race alignments, will let you sit in the car while doing it and spend the time to listen to your input is key. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
4/6/20 10:13 a.m.

The S2000 has electric PS.  Difficult to get really good feel with that while retaining sufficient servo action.

BMW didn't even try. While all of their regular cars were also electric PS, they designed a special hydraulic system for th M series Z cars for exactly the reason you mention.  I own a Z4MC and have driven a regular 3.0 and the feel is words apart.

I wonder if there is another model of Honda that uses a hydraulic rack that could be adapted?

Some of the Miata guys swap out a non-power Miata rack and prefer it to the power version for autocross. Unfortunately simply disconnecting the pump usually renders a power steering rack almost unmovable so that isn't a solution.  Wonder if, say, a Miata non-power rack could be adapted....

Otherwise, check with Flaming River - they do both power and manual racks and make a great product.

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
4/6/20 10:18 a.m.

As mentioned earlier, a proper alignment will make worlds of difference. I would not call my S2000 "lacking" in steering feel/feedback. The solid steering rack bushings do change the feel, but I ended up removing mine because small vibrations seemed to make it back to the steering wheel.  Swapped them out for new rubber bushings, couldn't tell a difference other than no vibration.

 

If you really need hydraulic feel, the FD RX7 rack will go in, but you're still going to have to figure out the hydraulics and tie rods.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
4/6/20 11:11 a.m.

I tried for years to chase the right steering feel. Alighnments, tires, suspension. Added C/R steering braces. However, hard to get the feel with EPS.  I spent 165K miles on my new 01 S2000 for 6 years. Then I bought a 2007 new, which I still have.  COuld never got the steering right. Finally I removed the EPS fuse. That helped the most. 

 

 

THen I added a new Elise to the garage, problem solved. When I want steering feel, I drive the Elise. When I want to get my starbucks, I drive the S2000 :)  Probably the same reason, my S2000 hasn't moved in 34 months.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/6/20 11:15 a.m.
wspohn said:

The S2000 has electric PS.  Difficult to get really good feel with that while retaining sufficient servo action.

BMW didn't even try. While all of their regular cars were also electric PS, they designed a special hydraulic system for th M series Z cars for exactly the reason you mention.  I own a Z4MC and have driven a regular 3.0 and the feel is words apart.

I wonder if there is another model of Honda that uses a hydraulic rack that could be adapted?

Some of the Miata guys swap out a non-power Miata rack and prefer it to the power version for autocross. Unfortunately simply disconnecting the pump usually renders a power steering rack almost unmovable so that isn't a solution.  Wonder if, say, a Miata non-power rack could be adapted....

Otherwise, check with Flaming River - they do both power and manual racks and make a great product.

You can depower a rack. Disassemble, remove internal seals, weld up pinion. In the Miata world, that gets you a faster ratio than a manual rack (hot take: NA manual racks suck).

Depowering an EPAS rack may be a little less easy. Depends on how it was done - if it's in the column (most are), you might be able to replace the column. Or find a way to tell the motor not to assist so much. in 2000, I'm not sure how Honda was talking to the motor back in the day. I could probably pull it off in an ND but it's not something you do in a weekend starting from scratch, there's a lot of background info needed. Chances are you'll piss off a bunch of subsystems.

Alignment was my first thought as well.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/6/20 11:51 a.m.

Maybe get the rack from a Japanese VGS S2000 smiley

At least on yours you dont have to worry about pissing off the VSA system. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/6/20 11:55 a.m.

For having EPS; the S2000, has a pretty decent feel to it compared to other cars equipped with it. Go drive a new WRX or Civic Si, the steering is so numb and light that you can get more feedback from a Logitech video game wheel. Try a square setup with a new alignment and go from there.

There's always the option of getting a custom manual rack built but I imagine that's pricey. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/6/20 11:55 a.m.
BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/6/20 12:19 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

I tried for years to chase the right steering feel. Alighnments, tires, suspension. Added C/R steering braces. However, hard to get the feel with EPS.  I spent 165K miles on my new 01 S2000 for 6 years. Then I bought a 2007 new, which I still have.  COuld never got the steering right. Finally I removed the EPS fuse. That helped the most. 

I should try the fuse at the next track day, whenever that is going to happen.

It has a fresh alignment, which did make a massive difference to the overall feel of the car. Still running the staggered OEM wheels - someone pointed out on this forum a while back that I seem to have a habit of buying vehicles, throwing a bunch of money at them only to be unhappy with the result, then moving on. This time I decided I'll skip the "throwing money at the car" stage, I think.

This is not a race car or time attack car, so I'm not willing to spend a ton of money on custom steering racks, body modifications to accommodate floor mounted pedals etc. I'm trying to keep it reasonably stock so I have a chance to recoup most of my money (although it looks like prices are dropping right now - surprise).

THen I added a new Elise to the garage, problem solved. When I want steering feel, I drive the Elise. When I want to get my starbucks, I drive the S2000 :)  Probably the same reason, my S2000 hasn't moved in 34 months.

So you're saying the fix is to park the S2000 and buy an Elise or another old 911 then?

 

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
4/6/20 3:27 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

If you want to get DIY with it, check Here (links to other threads).  The NSX and S2000 racks are nearly identical.  The way the motor is arranged axially on the S2000 rack leaves one end of the rack gear unsupported, and a bushing needs to be made to support that side of the gear when the motor is removed.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
4/6/20 4:53 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Try the fuse, then buy the 911. 

NoviceClass
NoviceClass New Reader
4/7/20 1:03 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Try the fuse, then buy the 911. 

The GRM way is to 1st buy the 911, throw buckets of money at the S2000, sell them both at a loss, and find a nice forum fly-N-drive deal on an early GTI.

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/7/20 7:54 a.m.

In reply to NoviceClass :

Why would I want an early GTI?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
4/7/20 8:04 a.m.

I'm assuming since the OP is doing track events that he already has a square setup and a decent alignment.

I'm curious what the issue is, I never thought my S2000 had poor steering feel.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/7/20 8:51 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

This OP doesn't have a square setup, but has a decent alignment.

The steering just feels a bit numb to me and I pretty much have to work off visual clues only on the track (yes, I know that's what the cool kids do anyway). Heck, the butt-o-meter is better at telling me what the rear wheels are doing and need than what the fronts are doing.

Keep in mind that I've owned an Elise and do own an a/c 911, both cars that are pretty much at the opposite end of the scale when it comes to steering feel.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
4/7/20 10:19 a.m.
BoxheadTim said:

someone pointed out on this forum a while back that I seem to have a habit of buying vehicles, throwing a bunch of money at them only to be unhappy with the result, then moving on. This time I decided I'll skip the "throwing money at the car" stage, I think.

Sorry, but I have to agree with this.  The weird thing is most of the cars have been excellent cars with one minor issue.  I hope this minor issue isn't what results in the S2000 getting the axe.  Is the steering feel on the S2000 a dealbreaker?  No car is perfect.  I hope you can overlook/deal with this and just enjoy getting seat time.

BTW A Square setup is one of the first things I did for mine and it is a night and day difference.  I don't want you to waste money chasing steering feel by doing this, but if you do wear out a set of tires on the factory alloys, its a good opportunity to ditch them and upgrade.  Make sure you get a bigger front bar at the same time.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/8/20 7:28 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

The steering feel is a side show and it would be nice to improve it, but the bigger issue with the car is that my foot still disagrees with the clutch when driving it on the track. We'll see how that works out over time if and when we get back to having actual track events again.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/8/20 7:31 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

How many miles are on the car? Do you think the clutch is the factory one? It should be very light, at least my 2006 is. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/9/20 7:43 a.m.

In reply to Slippery (Forum Supporter) :

It's got 67k on it, and I do believe the clutch is factory. The issue is with the angle of my foot on the pedal, not necessarily the force needed to push it down as discussed here. Had the same issue with my ND Miata in the past and several other cars (R53 Mini Cooper S, for example).

Carbon (Forum Supporter)
Carbon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/9/20 10:19 a.m.

I depowered the rack on both the mr2s, best mod ever. 

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