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jmc14 Reader
11/16/14 10:46 p.m.

In response to mblommel: The rocker panels/side pods are in fiberglass and are part of the body kit.

The kit comes with fiberglass covers that fit flush to cover the lights. I believe that I will have to make the light buckets that will bond to the inner fender and the headlights mount to. But, they could be in the molds that I purchased. I will make polycarbonate covers that will replace the fiberglass ones. They will be flush with the body when installed.

I'm not sure about the tail lights. I'll bet that they are lights that were used on a number of cars as burrito enthusiast has said.

Winston HalfDork
11/17/14 7:21 a.m.
jmc14 wrote: I'm not sure about the tail lights. I'll bet that they are lights that were used on a number of cars as burrito enthusiast has said.

They look exactly like the ones he posted in the 850 coupe pic. 100% match.

jmc14 Reader
11/17/14 7:33 a.m.

I agree that they look like a match. But, I think the lights were used on earlier cars too. The Abarth SP is a 1966 and the 850 coupe came out in 1968 I believe. I think that finding them will not be very difficult.

Graefin10 SuperDork
11/17/14 8:44 a.m.

Late last year I found a 1:43 diecast model of that car as well as several other Abarth sports racers from the era. I love the look.

I wish you well with the project and especially your health.

Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
11/17/14 10:22 a.m.

I emailed to get added to the list. I am in love.

DeadSkunk SuperDork
11/17/14 11:16 a.m.

One of these kits with the current Fiat 500 Abarth powertrain in the back would be neat. Or at least ,the sound of the current Abarth coming from it.

rcutclif Reader
11/17/14 1:55 p.m.

Just sent my email as well.

Mezzanine Reader
11/17/14 3:23 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: One of these kits with the current Fiat 500 Abarth powertrain in the back would be neat. Or at least ,the sound of the current Abarth coming from it.

The X1/9 community is trying to figure out how to bypass/override the CAN bus in the current abarth so they can transplant the motor into X1/9, but it is proving stubborn so far. With the multi-air valve control, you can't just run a standalone and get away with it. If they are successful, I'll likely put one in my Exxie, and I think it'd make a great choice for the kit in question here. Beautiful car, I'd love to have one.

Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
11/18/14 9:28 a.m.

If this kit ever comes together as something I can buy my wife is going to be pissed. I can't wait.

T.J. PowerDork
11/18/14 10:27 a.m.

Beautiful car. I always thought that I'd like to build a car that looked like a Forsgrini because the body work looks a lot simpler.

But that Abarth is a lot sexier and if you already have access to a copy of a body then I would go that way.

mblommel Reader
11/23/14 8:43 a.m.

How about some more pictures?

jmc14 Reader
11/24/14 10:57 p.m.

I've been looking at possible engine/trans combos. I've never owned or built a mid engine car so this is a learning process for me. This is a small car. It was powered by 105hp 1000cc Fiat engine and weighed 1120 lbs.

I was thinking that Bike power would be a good option, Subaru, even VW air cooled and transaxle. There are options like using an Ecotec engine mated to a built VW transaxle or Mendola transaxle, or using the engine/trans out of VW Passat. Then I began looking at FWD options relocated to the rear.

The option that looks like a good fit is the 1.4 liter Ecotec turbo engine and 6 speed trans out of a 2012 and up Chevrolet Sonic. It's compact. It makes good power (138hp stock, up to 160hp with a tune) and there is more power potential as well. A quick search of Ebay and I found very low mileage engines for $700 to $1000. And, the 6 speed from $725. I would not be using the strut suspension. I'm looking at having axles made to drive Miata hubs. What do you think?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/25/14 7:42 a.m.

I suppose one potential concern would be the frame. Mounts for a transverse FWD engine/trans would likely be quite a bit different than the bike engine/trans/diff set-up. Plus, the engine would be essentially in line with the rear axle compared to the more forward position of the bike (not counting the small number of inline FWD cars like the B5 VAG platform).

Another is the shifter. Thanks to various SCCA race cars that use them, bike transmissions are a well travelled path. If you really want to get fancy, there are paddle-shift set-ups with rev-matching as well. When mid-engine FWD cars are also reasonably common, each trans will have unique requirements and custom cables.

The main concern would be height. FWD engines can be tall, so you may want/need to wait until you have the molds and can really measure how much space you have under the rear deck before burning a lot of brain cells on this.

Personally, I still lean towards the bike engine - mainly because one will have more of an "exotic" sound more appropriate for the car.

jmc14 Reader
11/25/14 9:52 a.m.

Thank you Ian for your input. All of your points are valid. It looks like Bike power will be more expensive. But, for all of the reasons that you point out it is a very attractive option.

mblommel Reader
11/25/14 10:27 a.m.

Bike power would certainly sound awesome. The drawbacks would be cost of the engine itself, fabrication or purchase of the diff and the lack of reverse unless you purchase a reversing box or rig up a starter motor like other BEC's.

The Sonic engine doesn't sound bad, but how much aftermarket support is there for that engine?

One thing I've been considering for a while is a mid-engine car powered by a transverse BP or B6 engine mated to Miata uprights. My idea was there there were so many FWD cars powered by this powertrain family that an off the shelf option for axles may exist. With spec Miata there is a ton of support for these engines.

The other idea I had was use a 1st gen MR2 as a single donor. My reasoning is the suspension could be converted from struts to double wishbone using Factory Five style adapters for the upper ball joint. The transaxle control, shifter, hoses, piping and radiator are already in place for a mid engine placement. The 4AGE engine is well supported and parts are reasonable. Lastly early MR2's are dirt cheap and robust. The MR2 rear track width is 57" and the SP1000 is 52". So that may still require shortened axles or possibly a mix-n-match scenario.

rcutclif Reader
11/25/14 11:29 a.m.

I don't think motorcycle engines are expensive at all. GSXR 1000's go all day on ebay for less than 1500, sometimes less than 1k. (Thanks due to stunters, I think)

The GSXR 1000 is not the 1300, but still most models less than 15 years old are 160+ hp, come with a sequential 6 spd trans, lots of aftermarket, and you can lift the whole shebang up by yourself (130lbs). How many other options get you an engine and trans with 1.2 hp/lb for $1k?

Oh, you also get fuel injection, ITBs, DOHC, 16 valves, 4-1 headers, oil coolers, easy actuation (both throttle and clutch are cables = easy to adapt to car), easy shift setup, and very compact packaging. ebay search: GSXR1000 Motor

Now, I'm certainly not saying motorcycle engine wouldn't have other challenges, but I don't agree that expense is one of the challenges.

EDIT: I guess you also get a weather-resistant gauge cluster and key cylinder if you buy a whole parts bike. This could be a consideration on an open-top car. You could also use the sweet gas cap (or even the whole gas tank if you are ok with a small one) in a build.

Apexcarver PowerDork
11/25/14 11:51 a.m.


Diff info for bike power.

How much vertical room do you have for the power plant? If I am reading correctly, it was originally a 1000cc Fiat power plant? That is going to be TINY! You may not even have the vertical space for many bike motors, much less a modern car engine.

Bike power need not be expensive, only if you are going for the latest and greatest motors. Older stuff is pretty durn cheap. Find a wrecked bike and pick up the whole thing to grab the motor and electricals, then sell off the remains and you are doing really well.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/25/14 12:00 p.m.

In reply to mblommel:

The MR2 is also becoming increasingly rare. I think I can count on one hand the number I've seen over the past year.

jmc14 Reader
11/25/14 4:44 p.m.

Thank you for everyone's input, suggestions, and comments. I think that going with Motorcycle power is the way to go. The suggestion to get the entire bike is a great idea. I think that there will be room to fit a Motorcycle engine with out a problem. My goal will be to keep the weight as low as possible.

I have been reading about the different options for a diff and reverse. I came across a diff that has been designed for Motorcycle powered off road vehicles. It has a built in reverse, limited slip, and the option of inboard brakes. The Engine is coupled to the diff with out a chain. The problem is that it is $2500. www.transworks.biz. [URL=http://s1143.photobucket.com/user/jmcbigbelly/media/hyabusatominidiff_zpsc9e47f44.jpg.html][/URL][URL=http://s1143.photobucket.com/user/jmcbigbelly/media/transworksMCdiff_zpsc39d031a.jpg.html][/URL]

coming soon[URL=http://s1143.photobucket.com/user/jmcbigbelly/media/abarathsp-1000bodyoutofmold_zps087f95b3.jpg.html][/URL]

chandlerGTi SuperDork
11/25/14 5:37 p.m.

That body is secksy

jmc14 Reader
11/25/14 5:42 p.m.

Another picture of the Engine with Diff.[URL=http://s1143.photobucket.com/user/jmcbigbelly/media/hayabusawithmindiffside_zps232c604f.jpg.html][/URL]

NOHOME SuperDork
11/25/14 6:14 p.m.

Bike gears tend to be thinner profile than automotive versions since the engine's torque seldom meets a lot of mass caused resistance to acceleration. How well do you expect them to hold up to the increased weight of the Abarth?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/26/14 10:01 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

They seem to hold up well enough in SCCA C/DSR cars.

mblommel Reader
11/26/14 10:15 a.m.
jmc14 wrote: Another picture of the Engine with Diff.[URL=http://s1143.photobucket.com/user/jmcbigbelly/media/hayabusawithmindiffside_zps232c604f.jpg.html][/URL]

Depending on what engine you use you may want to budget for a dry sump conversion kit or a baffled pan. When you turn some of the bike engines 90 degrees bad things can happen with oiling. From what I've read on the internets the R1 is less susceptible to these problems.

If you keep the engine transverse and use a chain drive then Taylor Racing makes a complete self-contained chain drive rear diff, but it's $2600 and no reverse.

I found some more information on using the R1 in a BEC here. I'm wondering if the plan is to use Miata uprights could you also use the Miata rear diff with a small driveshaft going from the longitudinal engine output shaft using one of these output adapters?

rcutclif Reader
11/26/14 1:04 p.m.

I've been trying to think about oiling. Seems that bike engines must be baffled quite well for acceleration and braking in the stock config (think wheelies and stoppies), but maybe not so well baffled for turning (because a bike leans in a turn, so therefore using gravity to counteract some of the centrifugal 'force' on the oil). They would still need baffling though, because riders hang way off the bike to the inside, so the gravity will never totally cancel out the centrifugal.

If you keep the engine mounted similarly in a car, seems like you would have similar issues. If you make it opposite in the car, suddenly the oiling while turning is fine, but the oiling while accelerating and braking is worse.

In general, don't cars turn with higher g's than bikes but accelerate with lower g's? Almost seems to me like flipping the configuration would be better suited to the car's strengths?

Keep in mind I have no actual experience running a car with a bike motor.

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