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HiSun Vector E1 - steering rack gone


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Interesting experience coming down the hill today, as something in the steering rack seems to have sheared off. It works partially, and at low speed, but is basically gubbed. Finding parts in the UK is an utter pain - there doesn't seem to be any good independent suppliers. I guess I'll have to go to the dealer, pay a small fortune and wait a year for it to arrive. Between this, worn out suspension bushes and the ongoing battery issues, my initial enthusiasm for the machine is beginning to wear thin.

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Shop battery chargers at ChromeBattery.com

Update - to my surprise and delight, my dealer has managed to get hold of a new replacement rack already. I picked it up this morning and it only set me back £126. Still got to fit it, but that shouldn't be too hard. It's really not a part that should be breaking on a vehicle that's not three years old yet though.

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Well, getting the rack off was relatively painless. Of course, it helps that I've got a lift in my workshop. New one slotted in fine - a bit of jiggery-pokery needed to make sure it was centred, since it didn't come out of the bag that way. I'm still waiting on a few parts for the front suspension, so no point connecting everything up just yet. Sorting out the tracking is going to be fun once I do.

Taking the old rack apart, it appears the problem was failed seals letting in water. About a pint of brown oily sludge made a horrible mess of the floor when I took the big rubber bellows off, and the internal ball joints were both shot. The spigot where the rack connects to the steering rod is way off centre - pushed forward, as it were - which is no doubt where the water was getting in. I presume there's a worm gear in there, although I've not taken anything else apart yet. Pushed off centre like that means the gear teeth don't interlock properly, explaining why the steering wheel would spin freely in one direction without anything happening. 

Getting the buggy up on the lift has revealed bearings gone on front left and rear right axles, so that's another job to do. I've already replaced the rear left, so ordered a spare set for the front right as it will doubtless be next. Wonderful buggy, but perhaps it needs to be a little more robust for the off-road work it's supposed to be designed to cope with. And lugging about all that battery weight doesn't help either.


Edited by Osney
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  • 2 weeks later...

And another update. Turns out my Vector E1 has the front suspension and bearings of the HS500, not the Sector E1 as I was told. Most of it is the same, but the main wheel bearings are different. Annoying, given I've just bought two sets. I wonder what else is different.

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