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Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
31-01-2012, 05:25 PM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2012 05:28 PM by gavsadler.)
Post: #1
Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Hi all,

I've been a bit quiet on this forum the past few months. Been busy researching and working on a new project car.

Here's my thread from the Opel Owners Forum:

In July 2011, the itch took hold of me again to look for a new toy. Ideally I wanted something which was relatively cheap initially, and with careful planning, could be turned into something a lot more impressive in the years to come. Iâ€ve always liked bakkies, since my younger days, so I decided to pursue that option.

I then began looking around, comparing what was available on the market, and also what would be most suitable for my needs (and also taking into consideration the future plans I had in mind). I didnâ€t want a big 1 tonner, because they are still rather industrial, and not particularly appealing.

Then, of all the half-tonners, the Corsa C Utility just seemed to shine above the rest. It looks good, it can carry a decent load if need be, and it also has the most space (Iâ€m 1.93m tall, so I donâ€t want to be cramped up). Also, it has coil springs all-rounds, which means it would most likely offer the best in terms of ride quality.

So, having narrowed down the search to the Ute, I began looking around. I decided to look for a bog standard base version, with no frills, no fuss. It is mildly appealing to drive something which is still pretty basic, and doesnâ€t have all sorts of electronic nannies and features. Also, with the plans for the future, much of the mechanical stuff will be replaced anyway, so I might as well save up some cash initially. Iâ€m also of the opinion that thereâ€s no fun in buying someone elseâ€s toy. It is far more satisfying to build up your own toy, and watch it evolve over time.
Eventually after about a month of searching, I came across this one:

[Image: DSCF5357Medium.jpg]

2007 1.4 Base, it had a tow bar, nudge bar and a mild sound system in it. The bodywork is neat, although it was apparent that it was used by some sort of self-employed individual. I decided to take it, and this would be the start of it all.

First on the list of fix ups, was to top up all the fluids, and I just fastened the aerial to the roof, as it was a little bit loose. Next up was to upgrade the sound system. I bought a pioneer head unit and some 6.5in Sony splits for the doors. I kept the existing amp and sub. The splits made a world of difference in terms of sound quality. Below are some pics of the spacers I made to mount the splits in the doors. See further along the post for details about the sub...

[Image: DSCF5375Medium.jpg]

Next, I decided to renew the looks of the load bin. It had a couple of scratches and dents, but with some TLC, I managed to push out some of the major dents, and then coated it with some polyurethane paint. Looks much better. I donâ€t have a pic of when it was finished, but here are some pics of before, and after the 1st coat of paint:

[Image: DSCF5377Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5382Medium.jpg]

Following that, I sorted out the interior with a couple of goodies – I fitted some grab handles (also known as OMG handles), and ashtrays front and rear to store coins in for all the stupid toll gates I need to go through.

I also managed to source some side beadings for the doors – I think it looks better, and also has a bit of practicality for all the basement parking lots.

A window tint was next on the cards. I felt quite exposed in the Ute prior to the tint. There are also multiple benefits: improved safety and security, it keeps the cab cooler and also looks better.

Then one morning I was searching on junkmail and came across a clip-type tonneau cover for sale. The cover was still in very good condition and also at a decent price. Itâ€s one I had in mind, so decided to take it, as it fits better than the one I got with the Ute initially.

[Image: DSCF5347Medium.jpg]

[Image: 07102011378Medium.jpg]

Through all the time Iâ€ve had the Ute, Iâ€ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a particular set of rims for it. I had been nagging a lot of places trying to source a set, but because of the scarcity of these rims, it was near on impossible. Then one day out of the blue, I was at a scrapyard and casually enquired about the rims. As luck would have it, they owner had a set available, which he had recently refurbished and was going to use on his Ute, but he had put other rims on in the meantime. So I managed to score a set of Corsa Sport 17in rims:

[Image: 07102011375Medium.jpg]

The centre caps I sourced elsewhere as the original place had lost them. I refurbished these myself, to get rid of all the scratches they had.

I also managed to source a roof-mounted stop light at the same place I bought the centre caps from.

And most recently, I fitted a set of Hankook Ventus V12 Evo tyres to the rims, and had them fitted.

Moving back to the topic of sound, last week I made a new box for my Ute. It sits in between the seats, and is smaller than the original one I had. The box is built to spec for the 10in Lightning Audio sub.

[Image: 21102011403Medium.jpg]

So... this is how my Ute looks after all of the above. Iâ€ll drive it like this for a while, and possibly early next year sometime Iâ€ll consider sorting out the suspension...

[Image: 10102011393Medium.jpg]

[Image: 10102011386Medium.jpg]

Thatâ€s all for now, as other bits and pieces get done, Iâ€ll update this thread.

A quick update, below is a pic of my completed sub box.

[Image: DSCF5525Medium.jpg]

Initially, I had one of those clip connector things to connect the wires, but I found that there was some blow-by through the small holes in the clip itself. So I replaced that, I now just have the piece of wire coming through a small hole in the box, and I'm using push terminals to connect the wires.

[Yes, I know the above sounds dirty, but I have no other way to explain it, lol]

Ok, so it's been a busy couple of days since I've been on leave. I stopped past Christo to go and show him my Ute, and he kindly gave me a pair of OEM Mercedes park lights to fit to my Ute. These bulbs are blue in colour, but burn much whiter than the standard bulbs.

Below are pics where I've fitted the new park light bulb to the driver's side light. The first pic shows both park lights, and then the second pic is with the main beams on (these are the Osram Nightbreakers I purchased a while back)

[Image: DSCF5531Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5535Medium.jpg]

Then, for the sake of keeping the posts together, I went past Autostyle earlier this week, and did an impulse purchase of a HID kit. I justified my spending as an early Christmas present to myself :woo:

[Image: 19122011435Medium-1.jpg]

[Image: 19122011436Medium.jpg]

Being made in China, there were no instructions that came with the kit, but it appeared to be fairly easy to decipher what needed to happen. I just did some double-checking on the tutorials on the UK forum, and then fitted them yesterday. It wasn't too much of a shlep, just it's a bit tight to work behind the lights, and you have to be careful not to touch the glass of the bulbs with your hands.

Here's a pic of them in operation. Definitely much brighter, and it seems well worth the effort. All I need to do is try adjust the driver's light up a bit, cos it seems to be shining a bit low.

[Image: DSCF5592Medium.jpg]
280mm Big Brake Upgrade - Completed

This was something I have been doing some research on for a long time, and I finally managed to source the required parts, and took the plunge to do the upgrade.

To start off, a big thank you to Pas-chill for all the advice around this upgrade.

So, the history behind this upgrade, the Corsa C Ute comes standard with 260mm discs. Now from my trusty sources (and some posts on UK forums) I discovered that it is possible to perform a 280mm upgrade, using OEM parts which will be a direct bolt-on, no other modifications required.

What is required for this upgrade are Meriva Caliper Carriers, and then the Calipers off the Meriva, or Astra G. I managed to source a set of calipers and carriers from a Meriva at SUMP in Springs. The things were filthy when I got them, but after plenty of hours of cleaning, and killing my hands in petrol, they looked like this:

[Image: 13122011430Medium.jpg]

After cleaning them up, I have them a fresh coat of silver paint, to make them look like new again.

For discs and pads, I purchased these from Norbrake in Anderbolt, Boksburg.

The calipers are much bigger than the standard ones, as well as the piston within the caliper. The pads are also much bigger, so more stopping surface should = better braking performance. (More about the science later on...)

Here are some pics of the standard disc and caliper:

[Image: DSCF5538Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5554Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5556Medium.jpg]

And here are some pics of the new brakes fitted:

[Image: DSCF5557Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5560Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5561Medium.jpg]

Here you can see there is about 5mm clearance between my wheel and the new calipers:

[Image: DSCF5572Medium.jpg]

And here is the completed product behind my rims:

[Image: DSCF5568Medium.jpg]

Right, now that you've seen the pics, let me entertain you with a science lesson, lol

The Science

I had a set of Corsa 1.3 Discs at home, as well as a set of discs from my old Kadett 160iS. So I used these to perform a couple of comparisons (for % conparisons, I will only compare the new Meriva brakes to the Ute brakes):

General:
  • Corsa 1.3 Brakes: 234mm x 19mm
  • Kadett 160iS Brakes: 256mm x 24mm
  • Corsa Ute Brakes: 260mm x 24mm
  • Meriva Brakes: 280mm x 25mm (7.7% bigger and 1mm thicker)

Weight of components:
Ute:
  • Disc: 4.7kg
  • Caliper: 2.85kg
  • Carrier: 1.22kg
  • Pads: 0.72kg

Meriva:
  • Disc: 5.5kg (17% heavier)
  • Caliper: 3.22kg (13%heavier)
  • Carrier: 1.46kg (20% heavier)
  • Pads: 0.98kg (36% heavier)

So far it's not looking good, everything is heavier. In total, it's an extra 1.65kg (per side) of unsprung weight to be carried. Time to move onto the good stuff...

Caliper piston diameters:
Ute:
  • Inner: 39mm
  • Outer: 48mm

Meriva
  • Inner: 43mm (10% bigger)
  • Outer: 56mm (17% bigger)

So, the piston of the caliper is much bigger than standard, so as well as being required to push on the bigger pads this should equate to more stopping power.

Brake pad area:
Ute:
  • 43.23cm^2

Meriva
  • 50.76cm^2 (17% more pad area)

The brake pads have a much bigger surface area than the standard pads, so again, stopping power should be better, and because there is more pad area doing the same amount of work, there should be less chance of brake fade from higher speeds.

Disc Diameters:

What I wanted to do here, was measure the inside and outside diameters of the disc, so that I could calculate how much surface area there is on each disc which can be utilised by the brake pads. Going from 260mm to 280mm does not sound like much, but the extra 20mm difference is actually gain in surface area on the disc which can be used to stop (as the centre part of the disc is effectively the same).

Inner:
  • Corsa: 164mm
  • Kadett: 164mm
  • Ute: 166mm
  • Meriva: 162mm

Outer:
  • Corsa: 234mm
  • Kadett: 256mm
  • Ute: 260mm
  • Meriva: 280mm

So, from the list above, I calculated the area of a circle using the outer disc diameter, and then the area of a circle using the inner disc diameter. I then subtracted the value of the inner circle from that of the outer circle. This effectively then gives me the disc surface area which can be utilised by the pads. (For information purposes I included the results of the calculations for the Corsa and Kadett discs as well):

Disc surface areas (in mm^2):
  • Corsa: 21881mm^2
  • Kadett: 30347mm^2
  • Ute: 31450mm^2
  • Meriva: 40962mm^2 (30% more disc area compared to the Ute)

So in conclusion, the components weigh a bit more than the standard stuff, but there are benefits to be had in every area (piston size, brake pad size, disc size etc.

I'm still running in the discs and pads, so can't confirm whether or not my eyeballs will be sucked out when doing hard braking, but initial impressions seem good.

I'm happy with the progress, and I'll update again once I have more news :woo:

Thanks for listening / reading
Having completed the brake upgrade, I decided to try something which I've been meaning to do for a long time. Because my Ute has the black bumpers, I wanted to paint the sills of the Ute in black as well, so as to tie in witht the black wheel arches and black bumpers.

Here is a pic of how it looked before:
[Image: DSCF5573Medium.jpg]

And here is a pic of after I painted the sills:
[Image: DSCF5576Medium.jpg]

Then, having completed that, I wasn't happy with the insides of the wheel arches. There is the black plastic arches, and then the silver of the bodywork was showing. So I took the wheels off and painted the silver parts of the body which were showing - in black as well.

Here is a pic of the front wheel arch before I painted:
[Image: DSCF5584Medium.jpg]

And here are pics of the arches after I had painted them:

[Image: DSCF5587Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5586Medium.jpg]

Overall, I'm happy with the results. I think the black sills tie in nicely with the bumpers and wheel arches, and the black wheel arches look much better, almost as if there is less distraction when looking at the wheels.

Here is a pic with everything completed:
[Image: DSCF5585Medium.jpg]
Hi all,

Just some quick updates of what I've been busy with.

The big brake upgrade is working out well, the pads are bedding in nicely, and there is definitely more bite since when I first put them on.

Then I managed to source myself a seat of cloth seats (I think they must've come out one of the Sport models - not sure). Here is a pic of the driver's seat fitted, along with my standard vinyl seat:

[Image: 04012012455.jpg]

Then here is a pic of both of them fitted:
[Image: 04012012456.jpg]

Don't mind the dark patches on the seats, those are just wet spots from where I had them cleaned.

Then over the weekend, I got a set of stuffed clocks, from one of the sportier models in the range, and I transferred the dial matts and needles across to my instrument cluster:

Before:
[Image: 14012012468.jpg]

After:
[Image: 14012012469.jpg]
264mm rear disc brake conversion - complete.

So over the weekend I went to visit my friends at Lopec, and bought a complete rear brake setup off a Meriva which they got in the previous day. I bought the stub axles, calipers, carriers, discs, pads and brake lines. I also got a handbrake cable which would work with the new disc setup.

I spent the most of saturday cleaning everything up. I noticed that the discs were in poor nick, and the dust caps on the caliper pistons were buggered. So on Sunday morning, I was rushing all over the show to get discs, and to find the correct caliper seal kit.

Here's a pic of the parts after I had finished cleaning them:
[Image: DSCF5663Medium.jpg]

I then sprayed the calipers and carriers silver, and fitted the caliper seal kits. I also sprayed the backing plates in a fresh coat of black paint.

Fitting was pretty straight-forward, a direct bolt on. The only thing which needed some massaging was the new brake lines. I just had to bend them a little to fit better around the springs and shocks.

The real pain in the arse job was fitment of the new handbrake cable. I had to drop the exhaust, and loosen the heat shield to get in there. (It also didn't help that it was getting dark, so the pressure was on to finish before total darkness set in).

In terms of issues, I had to bleed the brakes quite a bit cos there was a stubborn airlock which just wouldn't go away. The handbrake was also not working, but I managed to sort this out by slacking off everything, and then retensioning it.

Here are some pics of the completed job:
[Image: DSCF5691Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5696Medium.jpg]

[Image: DSCF5688Medium.jpg]

Pictures don't do it justice, but it looks much better. :woo: Time will tell if the braking performance is up to scratch, I just need to drive decently for a bit to bed in the pads and discs properly.

And last but not least - thanks to Pas-chill for all the help and advice. rocks

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31-01-2012, 09:11 PM
Post: #2
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Nice , Cost for brake upgrade ?
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31-01-2012, 09:18 PM
Post: #3
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Nice transformation so far - its looking good. Bravo I think a slight drop would complete the look. Thumbs

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01-02-2012, 07:25 AM
Post: #4
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
needs more low Rollsmile

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01-02-2012, 07:29 AM
Post: #5
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Some nice work there.... please let me know when i can send my corsa bakkie to you..... RollsmileRollsmile

oh yes and its way too high....Biglol

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01-02-2012, 07:47 AM
Post: #6
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Looking really good, I agree that it should be lowered. Thumbs

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01-02-2012, 07:51 AM
Post: #7
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Hehe, yeah let me know when I can send my Corsa too!

How are the brakes now? Much of a difference?
The Corsa is a daily drive and workhorse, so more power and better brakes will never hurt! Rollsmile

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01-02-2012, 11:32 AM
Post: #8
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
awesome stuff.

except for the blinding of everyone in front of you hid's in reflectors Fencelook

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01-02-2012, 03:49 PM
Post: #9
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Brakes were about R6k for parts plus a bit extra for "consumables".

Definitely much better braking, although the majority of the benefit is probably from the bigger front brakes. I have to still do some testing, but I need someone to play passenger and operate the stop watch Bluebiggrin.

The lowness is coming - but I'll do that once I've finished fiddling with all the mechanical bits (for a teaser, google Opel Z20LET Rollsmile)

The zenons aren't too bad. I adjusted the driver's light down a bit, and I haven't had anyone flash me yet so it must be bearable, lol.

More updates coming soon....

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01-02-2012, 04:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
That was quite a science lesson... All you could've said was "BIGGER is in fact better".

Thumbs
Great stuff there buddy, pretty exciting, can't wait to see more.

I wish I had the money and time to have build project of my own...Cry


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13-02-2012, 08:59 AM
Post: #11
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Right, time for another update.

While I'm waiting for other things to fall into place, the suspension bug bit me last week. It was so bad, that I had to visit Steve @ Koni in Boksburg for treatment Bluebiggrin

So on Friday, my Ute was kitted out with a set of H&R springs, and Koni shocks. I'm not going to go into a big science lesson again, but it's approx. 40mm drop in front, and 55mm at the back. (If you want detailed measurements, I have them, you can PM me).

I must say I am highly impressed with the new setup. The ride comfort is as good as before, if not better. It is a little bit firmer, but that may be due to having new shocks fitted vs. 5yr old shocks. I haven't driven it that much over the weekend, but I can already tell that this is one of the best upgrades I've done.

Here are some pics. Excuse the bad quality, took the pics on my phone and the lighting wasn't the greatest.

Rear spring:
[Image: 13022012569Medium.jpg]

Rear shock:
[Image: 13022012570Medium.jpg]

Front spring and shock:
[Image: 13022012571Medium.jpg]

The finished product:
[Image: 12022012547Medium.jpg]

[Image: 12022012561Medium.jpg]

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13-02-2012, 09:24 AM
Post: #12
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
looks way better Rollsmile

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13-02-2012, 09:55 AM
Post: #13
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Nice! I love the little utes!! Thumbs

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15-02-2012, 04:50 PM
Post: #14
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Sweet ride dude ,Looks much better with the drop Thumbs

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16-02-2012, 03:24 PM
Post: #15
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Bravo

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20-03-2012, 08:08 AM
Post: #16
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Hi again,

Ok it's been a while since I updated, but I was waiting for some things to get done. Anyway, while I wait for the nonsense with the coupe to be sorted out, I've been spending a few R1000's on other bits and pieces (never ending story....).

First of all, I sent my radio in to be repaired. You may have read elsewhere that I have an issue with static when I first switch on the radio, after it's been standing overnight. Well long story short, after 6 weeks, they come back to me and said that the unit is fine, and that I must check the wiring.

There are some issues around that. 1) The wiring was checked and changed initially, to eliminate that as being the problem, which is why I sent the unit in in the 1st place. 2) The noise isnt constant, it goes away after 20seconds or so. If it was a wiring issue, then it should be constant. Needless to say, I don't think those guys know what they're doing, or they didn't listen to instructions. I think I'll post a thread in Member's Experiences about this....

Anyway, sorry about getting side tracked, but I got my radio back. Now with my plans, I decided to relocate it to the binnacle below the steering wheel. I made a custom bracket, which is attached to the dash, in order to house the radio. I think it came out good:

[Image: 20120320_070412Medium.jpg]

Then, where the radio normally used to go, I got busy with some destructive machinery (a.k.a hacksaw & rasp, lol) and proceeded to make some modifications to the dash. This is in order to house my new gauge pod. It's probably overkill for what I'll be doing initially, but this is my project car, so I'd also rather be safe than sorry.

I've fitted the following gauges:
> Oil Pressure
> Oil Temperature
> Fuel Pressure
> Air-Fuel Ratio
> Exhaust Gas Temperature
> Boost

I'll need to buy the necessary t-pieces, adaptors and sensors for these gauges, but I'll only do that when I do the motor swap. Here's a pic:

[Image: 20120320_070431Medium.jpg]

So that's some of the interior changes I've done. Moving on, I also purchased a bigger radiator. Initially, I purchased the uprated Corsa radiator - which has a brazed aluminium core, as opposed to my existing round tube core. This is a more efficient radiator, even though they are identical in size. It's also a straight drop-in, no modifications required.

But, my research led me to discover that the Coupe's radiator will fit in the corsa, with minor modifications required. So I took the plunge, and exchanged the new Corsa radiator for a brand new OEM Coupe radiator.

The specs are as follows:
Corsa: 540mm x 350mm x 22mm
Coupe: 600mm x 368mm x 34mm

So the coupe is a much bigger radiator in all aspects. Also, from my rough calculations, I estimate the capacity of the coupe radiator is 54% more than the uprated Corsa radiator, and a whopping 150% more than my existing round tube core radiator. In a nutshell, it should keep things nice and cool Bluebiggrin

[Image: 20120320_070714Medium.jpg]

Then lastly, speaking of cooling, I decided to purchase some parts to keep the charge air nice and cool in the coming months, so I purchased a 450mm x 300mm x 76mm intercooler, and 2 elbows:

[Image: 20120302_090937Medium.jpg]

A couple of weeks back, I spent an hour or so, taking out my old radiator, and positioning the new radiator and cooler. Space is tight, to quote the teacher from Spud: tighter than a nun's fanny, lol.

That's all for now. The waiting game continues....

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20-03-2012, 08:45 AM
Post: #17
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
cant wait for the madness to start Rollsmile

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20-03-2012, 09:27 AM
Post: #18
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Great project man. Really nice ute you have there
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20-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Post: #19
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Oh yes, almost forgot:

I went to have a chat to Ross from RBTS racing last week. We had an interesting conversation about management systems etc.

While I was there, he strapped my Ute to the Dyno, it made 66kW and 124Nm at the flywheel, and then based on the drag coefficients etc, it worked out to 51kW and 95Nm on the wheels Bluebiggrin

So now I have a baseline to compare my finished product to in a few months time...

F25 X3 35i M-Sport (The family car)
130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust
Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build Thread Here
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16-04-2012, 04:20 PM
Post: #20
RE: Corsa C Ute - Another Toy Story
Hey all,

So all my fighting and CSI investigation finally came to fruition last week Friday. Went to go collect the Organ Donor for my Ute.

Here's some pics of my dad and I loading it up:

[Image: 20120413_090711Medium.jpg]

[Image: 20120413_091646Medium.jpg]

And here it is - OFFICIALLY in my driveway!
[Image: 20120413_114734Medium.jpg]

[Image: 20120413_114816Medium.jpg]

I started off the weekend by giving it a good clean inside and out. Over a year of standing at the salvage yard meant there was plenty of dust and grime both inside and out. Thankfully it's looking better.

Then on Saturday, I fitted the rear brake caliper again, and bled the brakes. Now at least the car can be moved with some confidence in stopping if need be. I then fitted my loan fuel pump, topped up the tank with some of Total's finest, and gave it a crank. Started on the 2nd attempt once the fuel lines had been primed.

Following that, I decided to strip off the stuffed aircon radiator, and coolant radiator. I flushed what I could out the engine block and coolant pipes, and then fitted the new radiator which I bought. I let it run for a bit to check everything is operating 100%. After letting it cool down again, I proceeded with doing a proper engine flush. I've managed to get a lot of gunk out the system (that being said, it wasnt too bad to start with, but rather safe than sorry).

Then yesterday morning, I fitted a new handbrake cable, so that it can be parked on it's own without the need of 2 bricks behind the wheels. I then also gave the engine a bit of a clean, and gave it another test.

Engine teaser clip

More updates coming soon....


F25 X3 35i M-Sport (The family car)
130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust
Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build Thread Here
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