NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/12/13 10:14 p.m.

The crazy quest continues and this is on the target zone. So where do I want to worry?

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
6/13/13 1:08 a.m.

EVERYWHERE. Usually where you can't see it, like inside the pillars, etc. If there is visible rust anywhere it is probably gone where you can't see it.

IIRC if you can't see the seams where the front fenders meet the fascia, walk away.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/13/13 6:46 a.m.

In reply to SlickDizzy:

Yeah... pretty much, but the common places to check are the rockers (inner and outer - they are three layers), floors, jacking struts, subframe rails, front fenders, headlight area, rear fenders, trunk/hatck lips, windshield flange (hard to check, but evidenced by water leaks) and the door bottoms if the drain holes got clogged. The early coupes with the top mounted gas door are prone to rust, clogging and water getting into the tank.

On the plus side, because the rust so easily, patch panels and other parts are available as well as salvage cuts from various vendors who part out cars. Few parts are NLA most notably being the ES rear glass and seals.

Prices for these cars are all over the place depending on the body condition.

SEADave
SEADave Reader
6/13/13 10:57 a.m.

Everywhere but Southern California and Arizona.

nokincy
nokincy New Reader
6/13/13 12:40 p.m.

I know where one is sitting here in west TN that has no visible rust from what I can tell.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/13/13 12:45 p.m.
nokincy wrote: I know where one is sitting here in west TN that has no visible rust from what I can tell.

1800's are notorious for "looking" good from 50 feet away at 50 mph... I've been sucked into buying a car or two because these cars can photograph really well and hide their sins.

Never buy one without inspecting it first unless the price is so cheap (under $1000) you don't care.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/13/13 1:43 p.m.

The undersides don't worry me too much because it is pretty much going to be a tube frame car. Transmission tunnel might or might not stay.

The scuttle rust is a concern because as much as I am comfortable with panel creation and replacement, I was not looking for a major rust repair job. The bugeye and the last 6 MGB sill jobs have taken that wind out of my sails!

I was kinda hoping that for around 5k I could find a car that would be solid enough to avoid any major rust issues.

The bit about the rear glass on the Wagon really bummed me out, I like those!

And yeah, the prices are all over the place.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/13/13 1:49 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

Well, it kinda depends on what you're hoping to do. It's a unibody car, so the frame and sills are kinda important. Plus, the floor area the seats mount to is actually lower than the frame rails, so if you flatten the floor, you run into interior height issues.

What you are proposing is not new ground... I had a similar day-dream: basically build a Cobra-like chassis under the car. It sounded great until I spent a few hours under my car with a ruler. Big round peg; little square hole.

Unfortunately, sill rust is the most common rust area of these cars.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Dork
6/13/13 4:38 p.m.

One of my next projects was to swap a 4AGE and 6 speed into one...

I did some comparisons... and the Volvo and Corolla GTS have a fair share in common...

Both solid axle/panhard rod set ups. The B18B made 108hp and 100# ft of torque stock, the 4AGE is 112hp and 98#ft. The final drive... both use ratios 4.+,

and if the Volvo is new enough(1970+) both have 4 wheel disc brakes...

Oh... and both weigh in around 2400#s

The Volvo far prettier.....

So tell us (or just me if everyone else knows) NOHOME... what is your Volvo fantasy???

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/13/13 7:25 p.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy:

I think I've seen that swap already. If you can dream it, some crazy Swede has probably tried it. Good luck. EVERYONE underestimates how tight the engine bay of an 1800 is.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/13/13 9:27 p.m.

Keith did the Lsx MGB. This would be the Volvo equivalent. Using Miata suspension. I like that the wheels might tuck under.

MichaelYount
MichaelYount Reader
6/13/13 9:38 p.m.

First a 2JZ and then an LS.....

http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?153079-66-Volvo-P1800-Custom-Build-(-Pro-Touring-Ls1-V8-Body-Mods-and-Flush-Mount-Glass)

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/14/13 6:59 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: Keith did the Lsx MGB. This would be the Volvo equivalent. Using Miata suspension. I like that the wheels might tuck under.

Yep. I've had similar thoughts for years. At least since Keith built his car and everytime somebody posts a picture of a Miata "go-kart". The Miata track is slightly wider, but the wheels on an 1800 are tucked a bit, so that shouldn't be an issue. Heck, even the wheelbase between the two is pretty close if you wanted to use the Miata torque frame as well.

Somebody in PA posted a set of Miata subframes in the $20XX forum a couple of months ago for $100 ea that had me seriously thinking. But I'd probably just buy a rusty Miata for the ease of being able to measure and transfer.

However, there are a few reasons not to.

First, a stock Miata engine will be no more powerful than a stock B20 and the 1800 is a heavier car for it lug around, so one would assume a turbo or LS conversion for sporting pretenses - and then costs go up quite a bit.

Second, the 1800 market is by and large a conservative group. Buyers like totally original or lightly modified (reversible) cars and nice ones will sell for a premium. Heavily modified cars tend to be extremely difficult to sell and are almost always sold at a substantial loss. And those are cars that retain the original bodywork and suspension. Start chopping away at the chassis and it'll get exponentially harder to sell. While I know it's easy to say, "I don't care about resale value, yada, yada, yada..." it really should be considered since a decent driver-quality 1800 will be a sizeable monetary investment, regardless of the where you start from to get there.

Third, the car in original condition really isn't that bad to drive. There are easy changes to the suspension that can improve handling quite a bit and it's not terribly hard to build a B20 into a good performer. D-Jet was literally the prototype for modern EFI systems and converting MS is easier than most. I've spent a good amount of time behind the wheel of our nice ES including some spirited runs on twisty roads and other than getting used to the heavy manual steering, it's a fun car. The engine will hum along at 4-5K rpm all day long compared to her Spitfire or my GT6 which sounds like it wants to explode when driven like that. And the g/f's car is not really set-up for performance at all other than an IPD front bar and HD replacement springs (at OE height).

I've followed Robert's build for a number of years. His subframe does look nice, but it's not cheap - over $3000. While it does offer the obvious advantage of newer parts and more room for different engines, I'm not sure the cost is justified.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/14/13 9:30 a.m.

Ian:

Your concerns and reasoning are all valid. But truly, I could crush the car the day it is done and care less, I like the design and fab part of the hobby. If I want a car that is fun to drive, I would buy an FRS.

The bugeye in the avatar was given away the day she was done so that I could make a hole in the garage to start a new project. Not dealing with a rational person here.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/14/13 9:36 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

Point taken. I'm the other way. I just want cars to drive and the build/repair/upgrade side is an annoying means to an end that I don't really enjoy as much. If I could afford to write a check and pay someone else to build my crazy ideas for me, I would.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/14/13 9:59 a.m.

Thanks for the link to the Swede Speed board. Very interesting P1800.

The bodywork is a bit over the top for my taste and "Customs" are not really my thing either. My goal is to find a classic car that I really like and ruin its value by keeping the looks and interior (kinda) stock, while stuffing the equivalent of an Exocet kit car within its bowels. The V8 is just because I want to cruise down the road at 80 mph and around 2000 rpm.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/14/13 10:10 a.m.

True story: The other day I noticed one parked in a yard around the corner from our offices.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/14/13 10:34 a.m.

Hunting demands patience and timing...

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Dork
6/14/13 1:26 p.m.

Ian F wrote: In reply to oldeskewltoy: Good luck. EVERYONE underestimates how tight the engine bay of an 1800 is.

having owned 3 so far... the 4AGE should have no problems fitting as long as I use a dry sump system for oiling. From what I've heard... the front crossmember tends to cause engine placement isses......

Speaking about the front cross member... has anyone fitted rack and pinion steering to an 1800??

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/14/13 2:36 p.m.

Holy setbacks batman! Whats up with that?

SEADave
SEADave Reader
6/14/13 3:49 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: Holy setbacks batman! Whats up with that?
Ian F wrote: …EVERYONE underestimates how tight the engine bay of an 1800 is.

Only way to squeeze that wide V-8 in was to push it behind the front suspension.

Personally I always thought the logical next step was a B30 from a 164. But in reality the existing B18/B20 which is capable of reliably producing more than enough power to make an 1800 very entertaining. I was always told that the B18/B20 series engine has more bearing surface area than a small block Chevy.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
6/14/13 6:08 p.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy:

Look at that picture and think about it again. Sure, anything can fit if you chop out the firewall to put the engine behind the suspension, but then you've built a car that is pretty much useless for anything.

Seriously... that picture proves MY point, not yours...

A B30 has been done, but it's not easy either.

Yes, a rack swap has been done, although I haven't seen a P/S version yet. A guy in NY installed a de-powered 240 rack, using the LCA inner bolts as mounting points. It works, although the Ackerman isn't as good as the OE set-up.

Guys....junkyards are littered with failed 1800 swap attempts. Over the last 8 years of playing with these cars, I've just about seen them all. This is well traveled ground. Pretty much the only way that works is a cross-member swap a la Keith's MGB-type cut and weld or Robert's bolt-in kit.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
6/14/13 8:38 p.m.
Ian F wrote: In reply to oldeskewltoy: Pretty much the only way that works is a cross-member swap a la Keith's MGB-type cut and weld or Robert's bolt-in kit.

The we should be good to go.

Our Preferred Partners
PPGeL2uWfaa49I6obLAwmwKULTAYgjjnvtYxxZD2lpyO8VIDCmGlHMfrRqSmeaDF