KC Laser power steering conversion Page 1 / 2

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 5:03am
Hi all,

I look after an old 1.3 5 Speed KC Laser for an elderly lady. She absolutely refuses to update but the steering is getting pretty hard for her. I have been chewing over surprising her with a power steering upgrade as a present. Just wondering what Lasers would have a bolt on power steer rack/pump that would work?

I am assuming no cert is needed if it's a factory option?

Also, what would be the go with these in terms of an idle up solenoid etc? Just wondering if the 1.3 carb would even have an idle up setup?
Would it be necessary?

All thought's ideas greatly appreciated. Also, the car is not located near me so would have to be absolutely certain I had all brackets, correct belt etc before I left as I would have to get it done over a long weekend or some such and be confident on leaving it in running order.

Thanks in advance.

msigg, May 28, 5:31am
Just put skinny tyre on it with good pressure, as in 38-40 psi, will make a huge difference. Buy a newer small car, a cheap polo.

mrfxit, May 28, 5:31am
Technically it will still need a cert even if there was a factory bolt on option

andy61, May 28, 5:34am
Power steering unit out of a Mazda 323/Familia is a straight fit as they are the same car,many Familias had power steering fitted.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 5:37am
Excellent, I will start looking in that direction. Not having had much to do with old 323's myself, do you by chance know which year/model's would fit?

I am just wondering if they kept the same rack etc around for a while or whether I need to stick to exactly the same model.


thejazzpianoma, May 28, 5:38am
Hmmm do you reckon the wof place would notice?

mrfxit, May 28, 5:47am
maybe, maybe not, now tidy can you get it without looking like it was just put in.
Old bolts etc, give the engine bay a dang good clean & don't forget the underside.
Sooooo many ppl forget the underneath including car yard groomers

tuttyclan, May 28, 5:51am
According to this you need the KC rack http://fordlaser.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18390

andy61, May 28, 6:23am
If the Laser is the 1985 shape , the 1985 Familia is the same ,they are called BF Familia.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 6:24am
Good point, I groomed the engine bay last trip, so well on the way.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 6:25am
Thanks will have a read.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 6:27am
Also, anyone got any ideas on the whole idle increase with steering lock situation? Do they have such a setup normally?

peric, May 28, 6:28am
From memory the KC rack mounts on the bulkhead where as later models mount on the cross member. Make sure rack etc from Familia/323 car has same mounting as they are not interchangeable. I found out the hard way.

intrade, May 28, 6:29am
what tyres has it got the more skinny the easyer to steer. i told my dad when we got the dacia without power-steering or any other junk fitted if he cant steer the car he should not be driving any more

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 6:30am
Ahh this is the sort of gold I was after!
Will look in to this, it's a bit tricky with the car so far away from me and visiting fairly infrequently. Many thanks!

kazbanz, May 28, 6:37am
Give FHM automotive a yell. It was a fairly common conversion back in the day. As I recall it was an "upgrade" package sold by ford NZ.
then go to the local pick a part and rip the whole kit and keboodle out of a 95 familia. belt bracket,pump,rack,hoses etc.
Don't forget the car will need a wheel alighnment

a.woodrow, May 28, 6:41am
Hi Jazz,

I have actually converted a KC laser to power steering. I used a factory KC p/s pump, hoses and rack (power steer was an option so you should be able to get the parts for that model. The engine block had pre drilled holes for the pump but I have a feeling they weren't threaded (was 10+ years ago). Hoses all bolted on easily no modification required and mount holes were already there. Rack a straight swap. Don't forget to buy a new drive belt as the old one was too short for the p/s. I just tweaked the idle up slightly and it was fine. Hope this helps

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 7:10am
Thanks, now I know to put the tap and die set on board, that will save me a headache.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 7:12am
So, you are saying the 95 familia gear will fit, and mount to the firewall the same as a KC?

serf407, May 28, 7:15am
If you made a kick starter page/ crowd fund source money for the following.
http://www.ultimatepowersteering.com.au/electric-power-assisted-steering-epas-1/# (electric power assisted steering) or for the Weber in the engine bay. http://www.weberperformance.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=2_61&products_id=715
and some web grabber seat belts - go granny go.

peric, May 28, 7:26am
I think you would find the rack on a 95 Familia is mounted on the cross member/sub frame. At Pick a Part you can compare racks before you buy.

thejazzpianoma, May 28, 7:58am

Actually, it's funny you mention that. If there was not a bolt on option I was actually going to consider doing that. But instead of a fancy new kit, there are actually some modern car electric power steering units that can be bought secondhand and are surprisingly easy to fit to pretty much any car.

That said though, it would have probably been pretty borderline as to whether it was worth the effort. Perhaps if she lived closer.

As for the webber. well She did have some initial speeding issues after I replaced the original spark plugs (no I am not kidding) and did a rotor and cap. Problem I am having now though is it's darn near impossible to get her to put BP Ultimate 98 in it (for shelf life) and the fuel goes off before she uses it.

I am going to try her on some hotter plugs next time and may even put a squirt of fuel stabiliser in the tank.

Perhaps we should just put a Rover V8 in it, that way the fuel will get used and then with it coming down to either wearing depends or upgrading to a nice new automatic. she might just opt for the later.

richardmayes, May 28, 9:14pm
It's GREAT to see you are finally, belatedly starting to take an interest in good cars Jazzpianoman!

Despite their humble appearance and specification, these are gorgeous little cars that keep alive the basics of what driving is all about; just you, a lightweight body, a little engine that loves to rev, and a super-sweet gearchange, and stylish brown velour seats. These first generation NZ-new Jap cars don't have the charm of the preceding 1970s English, but as soon as you start the engine and put it into gear it becomes obvious why the Japanese small cars took over from the English ones.

If Peric's comment 17 about KC (1985) rack mounts on bulkhead and later ones on the crossmember is correct, then might pay you to double-check kazbanz comment 17 about using a 1995 Laser PS rack.

Yes a power steering rack conversion to any car requires a cert - but REALLY - if you are doing an "as per factory" installation, no-one is ever going to know unless you use brand new bright zinc bolts from a hardware store! Just take the completed job for a test drive through some mud.

kazbanz, May 28, 9:16pm
Have I got it wrong and its the 93/94 familia?

richardmayes, May 28, 9:48pm
To cover your tracks even more, find some "Ghia" badges to replace the "GL" on the boot lid and the "1.3" behind the front wheel arches; if it's the top model then no-one is going to think twice about the presence of a few factory optional extras.

If the car is a hatchback then the switch plate to the right of the steering column will already be full up, with the rear screen demister/wiper switch and the instrument light dimmer, so there will not be a row of blank plates in place of switches to undermine the illusion that it's a Ghia model.

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