Retrofitting a BRZ Electric Power Steering motor and a GR Telescoping Column into a GD-Chassis WRX.Keep reading
Picking up from last time, we need to relocate the brake light switch that I broke test fitting the BRZ/FRS power steering motor. This will also give us the full range of motion in the GR telescoping steering column.
Space is pretty tight around the pedal assembly so a right angle drill with a step bit is pretty handy here. I picked up a right-angle impact adapter from Amazon and step bit. It worked great.
I used some scrap metal to extend the brake light pad over and trimmed it to fit. The brake light switch is pretty fragile so this doesn’t need to be all that robust.
With the brake light switch relocated I can adjust the GR column through the full range of motion now.
While driving around, I noticed that the steering did not want to return to center without assistance. It would stick on some turns but not others. I thought it might be binding in the steering linkage, or maybe my p/s pump was failing, but with the front wheels in the air, I could hear grinding in the column.
I pulled the column apart to look for some slag that got somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be. Or maybe I warped the steering shaft when I welded it (I am still a novice welder). The issue turned out to be the OEM weld on the steering shaft. This was most likely happening in the STi that this column came out of as I could see witness marks inside the column. My second steering shaft has a similar issue as well. So, if you have a GR WRX or STi with sticky steering this could be the culprit.
I sanded down the weld and the steering was more or less back to normal.
Next up is fitting a cover to the column. I tried using the GD covers. The top piece sorta fit with some trimming, however, it was starting to split in the middle of the cover. And the bottom piece had issues with the GR adjustment lever. Instead of trying to make the GD covers work, the GR covers are pretty cheap on eBay and are designed to work with this column.
The GD dash needs to be trimmed to get the full range into the high position with the GR steering column cover. And we lose that parking light switch that turns your parking lights on accident and you forget how to turn them off.
After trimming the cover it fits no problem.
For the maximum low position, we need to trim the lower dash. I need to locate something to cover up this opening. Or maybe I will just leave as is.
For the clock spring, I wanted to use either an 06-07 STi or GR clock spring, but they are a little over $125 used and they seem to sell pretty quickly. I didn’t know how much wiring I would need to do to get the cruise control and airbag to work with a GR clock spring.
[picture of clock spring mod coming soon!]
Fortunately, someone else is working on a telescoping retrofit and they managed to get the GD clock spring to work with it (a write-up on his method may be coming soon). I forgot to take pics but the indentions in the clock spring need to be removed. It needs to be trimmed down a bit as well.
It is a very tight fit but it works. I still need to redo the mounting setup for the clock spring but for testing purposes it works.
The issue now is that the turn signal doesn’t cancel. I think switching to a GR switch might fix this issue.
To get the BRZ electric motor to work I picked up a controller. From what I’ve read, it will work in failsafe mode if we can get it the appropriate inputs.
From what I’ve gathered this is what the connections do. I already have the harnesses from the power steering motor and I would like to source the two other harnesses for the power and ignition on (Canbus). The power pins have an 80A fuse from the battery and I don’t want to risk a fire with the power and ground touching. And the ignition pin is tiny.
After combing over various harnesses on eBay I found the one we need. It is part of the fuse box harness so it is pretty expensive. So, this will probably have to wait a while…
But in the meantime a new challenger arrives.