The K-series is going mainstream. Plenty of shops are getting experience doing the work, plus there are finally enough wrecked RSX-S engines in the junk yards that prices have come down a bit. There's also been enough time for companies like Karcepts, Hybrid Performance, and others to build entire parts catalogs around the swap.
If you're planning a K swap or if you have one and want it as complete as Honda would have done it, then read on-getting power steering to work with your K swap is a little more complicated than it looks.
It's easiest to break this down by chassis. First would be the '92-'95 Civic and '94-'01 Integra. These are pretty simple and straightforward. Obviously a chassis like a Civic CX that never came with power steering works well without it, but if you wanted to add it, the easiest thing to do would be to add an entire subframe with the power steering rack in place of your non-PS unit, as it will bolt right in.
For those of you with a power steering Civic or a Del Sol, you may want the Integra unit, as some of the Civics and (near as I can find) all of the Del Sols have two returns, but the Integra has only one in and one out. Even better, all Integras share the same part number for the steering rack, which means one is not better than the other. Be sure to get the Integra coupler (from the steering shaft to the steering rack) as well, since the Civic's is too small for the Integra rack.
From here there are two routes. First is to use the power steering pump that came with your K-series. In an EH, the problem is that the pulley won't clear the hood. The solution comes from Jackson Racing in the form of a smaller pulley. Go here: supercharger.com/shop/OrderByPart.aspx-the part number you want is 052-154. The smaller pulley is $92 and bolts right into place.
Next you need a belt-52 inches for K20A/Z1 crank pulley or 52.2 for K20A2 crank pulley. Other crank pulleys, like K24, are typically larger, so a longer belt will be needed. Next is the high pressure hose. Amazingly enough, the one from an '02-'04 RSX (any) is a perfect match-no modifications are needed. For the pump's return, you can do it a number of different ways. The same '02-'04 RSX has a workable reservoir. Same for the Integra, or, if keep your EG steering rack, use an EG reservoir because it has three inputs. You may need to do some cutting or use custom hose, though.
Finally, install some sort of cooler. Power steering fluid runs at incredibly high pressure, as high as 2,500 psi. And it's not helping things by installing a smaller pulley, which is making the pump turn faster all the time. Perma-Cool makes a generic cooler, part number 1007, that is less than $50 and works perfect. Run the return line from the rack and then out of it to the reservoir.
With it all installed, it's likely you'll need to clear some of the underside skeleton of the hood, but that should be all. The only other thing to look out for is the return from the pump to the reservoir. It generally sticks up just enough to rub the hood, so some extra clearance or turning it upside down may be needed. For everyone with an Integra, the hood doesn't slope as steeply, so it's not as big of an issue.
The EK or '96-'00 Civic is of course different. This is mostly because of the various companies that make the mount kits, and how they position the engine. But like the EG, the easiest thing to do here is swap in the Integra subframe with power steering rack since it bolts right up (you can't do this with the Hasport EKK1 kit). There is just a bit more hood clearance on the EK, so things won't be as tight.
Ps Pump Parts List
• 4-01 Integra front crossmember with power steering pump
• 94-01 Integra steering spline coupling (Civics only)
• 52 - 52.2-inch belt (depending on crank pulley)
• Jackson Racing pulley part number 052-154
• Perma-Cool Industries part number 1007
• Honda power steering reservoir (nearly any will do)
• 02-04 RSX (any) power steering high pressure hose
•Approximately seven feet 3/8-inch hose (for rack return line)
Power Steering Parts List
• 91-95 Toyota MR2 power steering pump
• Mounting bracket - custom or Karcepts
• High pressure line - custom or Karcepts
• -10 AN hose for pump return
• -6 AN hose for rack return
• RUS-670531 - Russell Fitting, -6 AN to 16mm x 1.5 Male
• RUS-670521 - Russell Fitting, -6 AN to 14mm x 1.5 Male
• V23232-A0001-X003 - Tyco 12V 75A SPSTpower relay with diode suppression w(same as Bosch 0 332 002 156)
• 75-100 amp resettable circuit breaker
Take that return line and run it through a cooler. A generic one is more than adequate and less than $50 and includes tubing. Don't skip this part! With the smaller pulley we're spinning the pump faster and it's already high pressure.
Out of the cooler into the reservoir; this one is from an '02-'06 RSX, but an Integra unit will work just as well.
Option two is a bit more complicated but very cool. It involves using the electrical power steering pump from a '91-'95 MR2, or from the newer '00-'05 MR2 Spyder. The older pump is pictured and explained here, but the newer one is basically the same. It just wasn't used since it costs more.
The MR2 pump is very cool since it is large pump that can be mounted nearly anywhere. It also has an adjustment screw on it to change the pressure. In its original application, there is also a way to vary the speed of the pump based on vehicle speed, but here we'll only cover getting it installed running at a constant speed.
With this setup, you need the pump, a custom high-pressure line, a reservoir (the stock Honda one from above works perfect), a cooler (same as above), some AN-to-metric conversions, a high current relay with diodes, and a 75-100 amp resetable circuit breaker. Luckily, Karcepts has a custom mounting bracket and high pressure hose-the two trickiest parts.
The pump is mounted near the transmission with the reservoir just above it. But it could be mounted nearly anywhere as shown on the Hasport time attack car. That car can run tires as wide as 275, and the MR2 pump turns them just fine. The only downside to going the electro-hydraulic route is that the older pumps are becoming harder and harder to find. Typically around $150, prices are getting closer to $200.
Whichever route you go, getting the power steering back on your K-swapped car makes spirited driving easy again. Those Popeye forearms you got without the power steering look a little suspect anyway. One of the best things about taking advantage of a K swap is the fact that you can still retain some of the options the RSX was blessed with. Air conditioning anyone?