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Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/20/16 9:33 p.m.

<img src="20140808_134421" />

Don't expect any rapid progress on this build. I am only in the Collecting Parts phase. This is a 59 Model that, at some point, was converted into some sort of Golf Cart. Originally, the car was equipped with a 15 Hp Fiat engine, which is long gone. As is the transaxle, the floor and most of the glass. A previous owner cut out the rusty steel floor and installed a flat aluminum structure which was then screwed and riveted to the rusty rocker panels and various other rusty spots. A Cushman Truckster rear axle was then bolted directly (no suspension) to the underside of the car. The front brakes were disconnected and the master cylinder removed. An aluminum threaded rod was attached to the brake pedal which was then run under the drivers boat seat and on to the parking brake mechanism of the cushman rear end. Since the rear axle is far too narrow to fit properly, some adaptors were made to space the wheels out. <img src="20161120_144625" /> <img src="20161120_144622" />

Complete with gate hinges on the deck lid

<img src="20161120_145329" />

It does not appear that the car ever ran in its present configuration as there is no evidence that any sort of motor was installed.

My plan, which of course is subject to change, is to use narrowed Miata subframes with stock Miata suspension connected by a tube frame and powered by a Hayabusa or similar engine. I have not decided on whether to use a differential with the motor turned sideways or a chain with the motor in its normal position. There is sufficient space for both. I am inclined to go with the chain drive as I am going to try to keep the weight under 1400 lbs. The chain drive would be set up as a spool (less civilized but lighter and cheaper) or with an enclosed Limited Slip Differential. The aftermarket lsd's that I have found are pricey, so I am looking at some junkyard pieces that can be modified to hold oil without the carrier. If any of you have performed this modification, I would like to hear about your experiences. The subframes will need to be narrowed about ten inches and likely be trimmed significantly after the tube frame is in place for additional weight savings. I picked up complete subframes and suspension/brakes along with 4 steel wheels/tires and a mini spare yesterday and carted them home in the back of my Scion xB along with a floor jack, 4 jackstands and tools

<img src="20161118_171450" />

I plan to use an electric reverse, similar to the one that I have on my V8 Daihatsu Hijet Videos Here GRM Thread Here which uses a flexplate and starter from a late model Ford Taurus. It was affordable, works very well and has been very reliable. I also plan to use the original hubcaps from the Daihatsu which I plan to adapt to the steel Miata wheels for a retro / sleeper look with short side wall tires to maintain stock overall tire diameter

<img src="20161120_144940" />

The right rear suspension from the donor car was damaged so the seller supplied the extra parts needed as part of the sale.

<img src="20161120_141215" /> <img src="20161120_144448" /> <img src="20161120_144415" />

Here are the replacement parts. A little crusty but still good

<img src="20161120_144543" />

I have also accumulated a new windshield, rubber gasket, a new cloth top and various reproduction chrome trim pieces. Currently in search of a wrecked superbike for the donor drivetrain.

My Other Projects are Here:

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Reader
11/20/16 10:28 p.m.

Narrowing the front would require narrowing the steering rack to avoid bump steer issues.

I'd love to see that thing with stock answer subframes and massive flares. :)

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
11/21/16 7:45 a.m.

What was the deal with the cut and welded uprights? That is nuts.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
11/21/16 8:12 a.m.

Not you again! You make me feel like a total amateur!

Great stuff!

PMRacing
PMRacing SuperDork
11/21/16 8:17 a.m.

What you are saying appeals to me, and I'd like to subscribe to your news letter.

Lof8
Lof8 HalfDork
11/21/16 8:22 a.m.

this should be fun!!

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/21/16 10:46 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: What was the deal with the cut and welded uprights? That is nuts.

That was someones idea of crash damage repair. Both control arms were also twisted.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
11/22/16 9:07 a.m.

In reply to PMRacing: He has a YouTube channel and you can subscribe to that.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette SuperDork
11/22/16 9:12 p.m.

Looked at one near me but passed as mostly rust. My wife loves all things Italian and I thought one would be a great fun summer car for her. She DDs a smart fortwo for comparison.

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
11/25/16 7:29 a.m.

In reply to vwcorvette:

The Smart car bits might be a nice fit in there.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette SuperDork
11/25/16 11:07 a.m.
Wall-e wrote: In reply to vwcorvette: The Smart car bits might be a nice fit in there.

Funny, I hadn't actually thought of that. Dedion tube and all. Off to the list of Craig.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
11/25/16 11:43 a.m.
Ben_Modified wrote: I also plan to use the original hubcaps from the Daihatsu which I plan to adapt to the steel Miata wheels for a retro / sleeper look with short side wall tires to maintain stock overall tire diameter <img src="20161120_144940" />

I am interested to see what you find. The lowest profile 14" I can find is the 185/55-14 which is still almost 2 inches larger than the Original tires

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/25/16 4:47 p.m.
Jumper K. Balls wrote:
Ben_Modified wrote: I also plan to use the original hubcaps from the Daihatsu which I plan to adapt to the steel Miata wheels for a retro / sleeper look with short side wall tires to maintain stock overall tire diameter <img src="20161120_144940" />

I am interested to see what you find. The lowest profile 14" I can find is the 185/55-14 which is still almost 2 inches larger than the Original tires

Tire Rack and a few others have a 165/55-14 tire with a diameter of 21.2". The car currently has 5.30x12 tires which measure 20.5". I think that they will work and they are in the $40 range!

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/25/16 4:53 p.m.

I narrowed the rear subframe 13". This will give me an overall width from the outside of each tire of 50"

<img src="20161125_132044" />

<img src="20161125_155136" />

My Project Videos

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/25/16 5:12 p.m.
ebonyandivory wrote: Not you again! You make me feel like a total amateur! Great stuff!

Thanks!

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
11/25/16 6:31 p.m.

Love it!

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
11/26/16 9:32 a.m.

Awesome!I can't wait for updates. Your projects are so fun.

brad131a4
brad131a4 Reader
11/26/16 3:34 p.m.

Not sure if I'm going to keep them but I have a pair of 195/45/14 toyo tires and a set of 225/40/14 toyo tires. They are on my fiat spider but are just a little to small with the gearing that is in the car now. Not to sure if they might be a little to wide for what you need but the 195 is 20.9 in diameter. Hit me up with a p.m if your interested and we can see if we can work out something.

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/29/16 6:41 p.m.

Started re-assembly of the rear suspension. I had this anti-sway bar on the shelf from a cushman truckster. it is about the right width and 1" in diameter. With any luck it will work

<img src="20161129_172529" /> <img src="20161129_172515" />

BenModified.com

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
11/29/16 8:02 p.m.

How long are those axles going to be!?

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
11/30/16 9:50 a.m.

About the sway bar:

Without actually driving it, why do you think a rear sway bar is even going to be necessary?

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/30/16 5:21 p.m.
singleslammer wrote: How long are those axles going to be!?

Stock, they are appox. 25.5" so now 19"

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/30/16 5:23 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: About the sway bar: Without actually driving it, why do you think a rear sway bar is even going to be necessary?

My thought is that moving the control arms so close together will introduce more body roll. Keeping the stock lengths control arms should also give me a decent micro car ride!

Ben_Modified
Ben_Modified Reader
11/30/16 5:30 p.m.

I reassembled the rear suspension today. Also removed 13" from the center of the front subframe, welded and painted. <img src="20161130_084826" /> <img src="20161130_100656" /> <img src="20161130_110304" />

Laid out at the proper wheelbase to fit the Autobianchi..73.5"

<img src="20161130_154833" />

BenModified.com

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
11/30/16 6:02 p.m.

I think, if anything, you're going to raise the roll centers by narrowing the subframes (find any old pic of geometric roll centers and just watch what would happen to the intersection of the lines from contact patches to instant centers if you narrow the distance between the left and right suspensions), and thus have more geometric anti-roll. OTOH, being narrower, you'll have more weight transfer for a given CG height and cornering force, so maybe that balances out. Any which way, I look forward to seeing the result!

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