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SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
10/31/17 7:48 p.m.

Oh look what arrived!

There was a happy dance.

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
11/2/17 9:02 a.m.

205's are too much?

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/8/17 8:53 p.m.

Even the 195's are plenty big for these wheelwells.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/8/17 8:57 p.m.

One of my favourite websites did a write-up on the Firefly! (And there's a link back to my own website AND this glorious one as well).

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/16/17 9:41 a.m.

Interestingly, the fender roller I picked up recently is -almost- too big to fit the fenders on the Firefly. 

But I wasn't dominated by an inanimate object.  The fenders are rolled.

Next week I will pull the front control arms off to move the wheel 1/2" forward.  Not this week though - gotta do e-brake cables on pop's Honda.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
11/16/17 9:49 a.m.

Congrats on the Congrats!

Medchin
Medchin New Reader
11/16/17 10:20 a.m.

SkinnyG, this has been a fantastic build from start to finish. Perfectly exemplifies I think the perfect car mentality: not why, but how? Nobody in their "right" mind would do what you have done. And that's amazing.

I'm impressed the driveshaft shop touched it after you shortened it at home. You know somebody there? When I shortened a shaft for my scout and took it to a shop the guy took one look at it and said "nope". Something about being beaten to death by a rotating rod of death? I don't know... Though to be fair looking at yours you did a LOT better job than I did TIG vs MIG obviously looks nicer too.

Question from REALLY early on in the build: when you built the 2"x3" frame you obviously dictated the frame rail width from the existing sub-frame "rails", correct? If you had elected to keep the factory floor how would you have gone about integrating your new frame? Truck style Body mounts to the unibody from your new frame or just weld the frame straight to the unibody?

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/16/17 9:34 p.m.

Hi Medchin, welcome to the forum!

You are correct in that the frame rail width was determined by the existing sub frame "rails."

I don't think I ever intended to use the original Firefly front suspension (they aren't that strong to begin with), but I wanted to try and keep some of the geometry. I figured that would give me good balance between width enough for the motor (another 6" would have been MUCH appreciated), and adequate length for the front control arms. Packaging was so much the constraint on this one.

If I were to do it again, I would probably weld 4x4" plates in the inside corners of the unibody floor, and perimeter-frame and cage in 1-5/8" round tubing. That would hold the whole unit together, keep the existing floor, and then I'd cut out only what I needed to to fit the drivetrain. I should also have gotten more aggressive in the engine-bay-cage-tube placement to provide more room around the motor and less around the wheels. But I also wanted decent inner fenders, as the car will see weather. My next car will be much better, and the following one even more so; I've learned a lot.

Since rolling the front fenders, I need to re-think the splash shields, as their attachment points are not in the same place any more, and the tires had been slowly clearancing the plastic.

Medchin
Medchin New Reader
11/17/17 12:08 p.m.

In reply to SkinnyG :

Thanks for the info! I gather information like this to squirrel away in my brain so when the time comes for my absurd projects I can learn from others experience. If our auto-shop teacher was anything like you I might have actually taken that class!

I plan to do something fairly similar to my 242, replace the front and rear "sub-frame" rails with a full car length frame to join them -very similar to what you did- and go to mustang II IFS and a Ford 9". IFS should solve a lot of the wheel fitment issues you're having as far as space around the engine... at least hopefully. The plate tip and cage size are good pieces of info to have as well. You know, if the two projects in front of that one ever get going...

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/17/17 6:57 p.m.
Medchin said:

IFS should solve a lot of the wheel fitment issues you're having as far as space around the engine

You may need to review the IFS evolution in this thread (or am I misunderstanding you?).  A MII front isn't going to make anything better for me in this build.

The challenge is making control arms long enough for good suspension motion, that fit the spindle height you have, within the packaging restraints you have; A rigid upper-a-arm location that will also work with the shock mount location, that doesn't get in the way of the engine, that works with the lower a-arm length, within acceptable bump-steer of whatever rack you can fit.

And then - can you actually service anything, like spark plugs?

I probably should have made the front and rear suspensions narrower, to give me more tire room.  But I'm having packaging issues enough as it is.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/27/17 9:53 p.m.

Working on things to fix.

#1 - The front wheels are too far back.

So, remove the control arms. To move the wheel 0.5" forward, I will shorten the forward leg of the A-Arm, to bring the lower ball joint forward 0.7" as well as reduce some of my camber and front track width (I have lots).

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/28/17 10:34 p.m.

Diablo sells these cool hole saws that are longer, and (in this application) don't need a collet thingie.  So I bought one.

I also fabricated a simple jig that can be used for both left and right arms, with a stop for where the ball joint needs to be (I've already removed the poly 4-link bushings).

Then clamp up the arm, and cut the bushing ends off.

Set everything up in the jig, and tack together.

Ready for welding up tomorrow.

This camera is really taking crappy pictures.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/29/17 11:19 p.m.

Next stop - paint!

And nitrile gloves are on sale at Princess Auto - $6.99 a box!

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/29/17 11:38 p.m.

It -looks- like, based on simple trig, that this should increase caster by 4°

If only I knew what caster I had before.....

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
11/30/17 11:09 p.m.

I forgot to take a picture of the arms all re-painted.

I got one arm installed, and was just bolting up the other side and then SkinnyKid story time..... Should have them all together tomorrow night. 

Seem to now have 8° caster, which seems a tick high. I'm real good at mis-measuring.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
12/6/17 12:00 a.m.

Ok, so that wasn't acceptable.

Yes, the wheel moved forward perfectly, but (because I shortened the forward leg, as that would be -in-my-mind- the strongest solution), it also moved the wheels inward (narrower track).

I expected that, I just didn't measure it.  I had made the front track ~quite~ wide, and figured it would be ok (the track was narrowed about 1.2" total). Modifying the LCA as I did made the front track 0.25" narrower than the rear, and at -1/4° camber, the front tires just looked lost in the front fender.

So, I cut them apart, and I am welding in spacers to widen the a-arm legs equally 0.5".  This should fill the fender as I need it visually to be, and allow a slightly more aggressive camber.

I was mid photograph when the camera died.  Should have them finish welded tomorrow.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
12/13/17 8:51 p.m.

Both control arms are done, painted, and in. Dialed more upper a-arm to accommodate the length.

Pretty slow progress, really.  Back pain isn't going away, it's been since mid-August. Physio and Chiro every two weeks, saw the Dr as well. Good times.

Gotta get the Firefly mobile so I can yank the trans out of the C10 over Christmas.  Weeee.

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
12/13/17 9:00 p.m.

Back pain sucks. Still love this project. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
12/13/17 9:01 p.m.

Doing your home exercises? That 2 week gap between visits means recovery almost completely depends on how well you stick to your HEP.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
12/13/17 9:23 p.m.

I've had a series of stretches I've been doing every day from the Chiropractor for the past year.

Picked up a wack more from Physio yesterday.  These ones hurt more, so they're probably better.

I'm not used to such a long recovery.  This getting old thing ain't what it's cracked up to be.

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/14/17 11:49 a.m.
SkinnyG said:

I've had a series of stretches I've been doing every day from the Chiropractor for the past year.

Picked up a wack more from Physio yesterday.  These ones hurt more, so they're probably better.

I'm not used to such a long recovery.  This getting old thing ain't what it's cracked up to be.

Not for sissies (from one having had lower back surgery) .....

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
12/16/17 4:45 p.m.

Old and busted:

 

New Hotness:

 

See the difference?? I like it.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
12/16/17 5:15 p.m.

The deal is in the details, most would have been happy with the first pic unless it was causing an actual mechanical issue.

 

My eye tells me that if the piece of cladding right behind the tire did not seem mismatched to the arch, most of us would not even notice that the tire was not centered in the opening. 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/16/17 6:03 p.m.

Molto bueno!!!!yes

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy SuperDork
12/16/17 6:49 p.m.

Well done!

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