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Eric Olsson's 242

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
Corsa C EPAS column

Today I got my electric power-assisted steering column in the mail. It came out of a 2006 Vauxhall Corsa C, and I got it on ebay.co.uk for 58GBP shipped. These columns are commonly adapted for use in rally cars and custom cars, and provide a great way to have power steering without the requirement of a hydraulic pump and lines cluttering up the engine compartment. The column has a build in controller to adjust the amount of power assist based on vehicle speed and steering wheel torque input. There is a great write-up of what is required in order to retrofit one of these in a car over at Seventh Heaven.

After checking it out, I made a part model of it in CAD that contains the important geometry I will need in order to design the mounting points for it.






 

Trevor+

Volvo Friends
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Location
tir porthladd triphlyg
The Frs/Brz has that same kind of setup that might be more easy to source stateside eventually. I'm interested in how you like it, I've got a friend with a thunderbird that has an electric pump and it's rubbish.
 

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
I think a lot of cars are moving in that direction. Chevrolet Cobalt also has one that is very similar to this, but I decided to go the Vauxhall route because it has been proven. The Cobalt one has a recall on the motor, so I'm not sure if the ones on ebay are just the ones that have been swapped out due to the recall or not, etc. The motor and electronics on this one have GM stickers on them, so I am sure they are very similar.
 

sim

Mere Drab Mob
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Location
Port Moody, BC
Electric power steering does look like the way of the future.

Electric over hydraulic has been done on 240s with (at least) MR2
electric pumps. An electric assist column may be new work.

One of my long term goals is to reduce the crank-driven
accessories to just an alternator. I'll be following your
progress closely.

Do you have any interest in converting to an electric water pump?

This edge case stuff is where having the source (And build
system) for your EMS really becomes useful.

Thanks for the link.
 

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
I have thought about the eletric water pump for sure, but have not yet decided on anything. From the research I have done I am not convinced that the electric water pumps on the market can flow the required amount for sustained high horsepower output.
 

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
Yep, and from what I hear it worked great for him. His car is a street car though, so you can only use so much power for so long on the street or drag strip. When this car is finished I would like to do open road racing with it, so it will be cruising at 140+ for about an hour. I need to do more research on what works and what doesn't work for those conditions.
 

Livermoron

New member
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Awesome, been wondering what to do for my engine mounts for B230ft in a 142. I have the 940 sitting in the driveway, hadn't considered using parts from that for the engine mounts, gotta go crawl under it now and see whats ripe for the picking. :)
 

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
BMW E39 Rear Suspension

Well it’s been way too long since I’ve posted an update, but I have actually done some work on the car. I was able to spend some time working on it this summer, and my priority was to get the car rolling, which meant I needed to install the BMW E39 rear suspension in the vehicle.
Unfortunately I was working alone and in a bit of a time crunch, so I wasn’t able to get as many photos of the whole process as I would have liked, and the pictures I did take were just with my phone’s camera, so they aren’t that great. However, I got everything installed and I am very satisfied with the accuracy I was able to locate the rear subframe and how everything went together!
I had previously already removed the rear floor and wheel wells from the 242 and added some 3x2x0.120″ rectangular tube to the stock subframe rails for extra support since I knew I would be removing material in that area. Made a cardboard cutout, then duplicated it in steel and welded it into the body:









So with the stock subframe rails reinforced, it was time to get the car ready for accepting the BMW suspension. I leveled the car with a 48″ spirit level on jack stands using shims. I already knew what height I needed the subframe mounting pads to be at from taking measurements on the subframe, so I added that to the height the car was sitting above ride height, and cut a notch in the frame rail to get started.







As you can see, I wasn’t able to get the subframe up to the correct height before I ran into a clearance issue with the front upper control arm mount. Because of this, I removed more of the stock subframe rail to get the clearance I needed. Now that the subframe was able to sit at the right height, I started making the mount pads for the subframe. First I used my lathe to turn some locating collars to position the subframe, and welded these to some M14 torque rod bolts from a 740. Then I added a 50x50mm steel square to the top of these that could be welded to the vehicle mount.





After this I made the front mounting platforms for the subframe out of some cardboard, and then duplicated them in steel and tack welded them in place. I used the digital angle finder to get in the ballpark, and then used the long spirit level to make sure they ended up perfectly level with the mount on the other side of the vehicle.









Now that the front two mount platforms were tack welded to the car, it was time to locate the subframe. I put the bolts with locating collars into the front subframe holes and tightened them on with nuts so that the 50x50mm square was on top. Then the BMW subframe was lifted up into position with the floor jack so that the 50x50mm squares were against the front platforms, and the rear of the subframe was at the correct height. Next I used a piece of white sewing thread and threaded it through the left 242 shock mount hole, then over through the right shock mount hole, and attached a heavy nut on each end for weight. With a metal ruler I was then able to measure the distance from the thread to the BMW subframe at the front upper control arm mount position, both laterally and longitudinally. By doing this I was able to adjust the subframe to be located within 1mm of accuracy to the stock suspension mounting locations. When it was in place, I tacked the 50x50mm pieces of steel to the mounting platforms.





Now it was time to create the rear mounting platforms for the subframe. Since I did not have to remove any material for the rear mounts, I was able to just make some wedge shapes out of some more 3x2x0.120″ steel. When I had the shapes close enough to their final shape, I marked where the bolts should be on them and welded the two other M14 bolts with locating collars to the wedges. Then it was just a matter of grinding and fitting the wedges until they lined up great with the subframe rail, while making sure they were level from left to right. After I got these fitting and everything checked out, I tack welded those in place and removed the subframe for final welding.





With the suspension linkages reinstalled, I lifted the subframe back into place and bolted it to the car:





And then with some stock E39 wheels I was able to set the car down on the ground and roll it around on its own wheels for the first time in years! After I got done with this, I spent the rest of the summer going on trips and hanging out with friends and family, so I didn’t even bother to take better photos of the install. I guess I will have to get around to that next time I am in the US! *Here is the car sitting on its own wheels:





I had been putting off doing this installation for a long time because it seemed like a big project, but I ended up being able to get it done in about 3 days working alone. Lots of the time was spent running around picking up materials, or going across town to use my TIG welder for some parts, or just staring at the car trying to figure out the best way to do it. Would I do it again? Yeah, and it would go a lot faster.
 

Harlard

Hurlurd?Harland?Bueller?
300+ Club
Joined
May 11, 2007
Location
PDX
Come over and do it to my car. I'll give you a weekend.
 

adomz

Volvo 486 owner :D
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Chepstow, Wales, Uk
Well, what can i say... It's EPIC!! I do admire builds like these, and people that have place and machinery to do it... Well, Skill too!! :D Wish i even had a garage so i could atleast do my own engine stuff and similar things...

Will be looking into this thread from time to time!

Keep up the good work! :)

ADam
 

Arn02

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Location
Amsterdam, NL
That's a perfect axle choice for a 242. I did an e28 axle swap on my 245 (well, still in progress and yet unpublished or blogged). I chose for the semi-trailing arms setup because it's flatter and I wanted to keep full use of the rear folding seat and space. Although looking at what you did I think I might have gotten away with the e39....

 

Poik

Backwards Turbo
300+ Club
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Mountain View, CA
Yeah, originally I was planning to use an E30 rear axle (very similar to the E28), but the more I thought about it the more I leaned towards the E39. For me, it's not a daily driver or anything so I wasn't planning on using the back seat, so I didn't have any problems cutting up the rear floor. The semi-trailing arm axle gives you a reduction in unsprung weight and the ability to tune some of the wheel angles, but you still don't get the good kinematics that a double wishbone axle allows. So now I have an E30 axle just sitting around. For the rear shocks I will be doing a pushrod setup with rockers so that I won't use up too much room for the wide wheels. That could easily be done under the rear floor, but it's cooler if the shocks are sitting in the back seat :zeeall:
 

Arn02

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Location
Amsterdam, NL
Yeah, originally I was planning to use an E30 rear axle (very similar to the E28), but the more I thought about it the more I leaned towards the E39. For me, it's not a daily driver or anything so I wasn't planning on using the back seat, so I didn't have any problems cutting up the rear floor. The semi-trailing arm axle gives you a reduction in unsprung weight and the ability to tune some of the wheel angles, but you still don't get the good kinematics that a double wishbone axle allows. So now I have an E30 axle just sitting around. For the rear shocks I will be doing a pushrod setup with rockers so that I won't use up too much room for the wide wheels. That could easily be done under the rear floor, but it's cooler if the shocks are sitting in the back seat :zeeall:

I flipped the top mount bolts of the shocks and had Gaz make me some custom adjustable shocks. For the springs I welded ears on the side of frame rails. Basically the same principle as the e30 setup with separate springs and shocks (e28 had coil-overs).
The e28 trailing arms have a sweep angle of 12 degrees, e30 has 15 degrees, except DTM M3 cars which also came with 12.
I'll document it when finished.
 

Fjergus

New member
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Location
Seattle-ish
No idea if this is still going, but this is an epic project. I actually graduated from the VRI in 2013, but I don't think I ever met you. I'm assuming you were one of the Viking 45 guys?
 
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