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Trans_Maro UltraDork
5/27/14 11:32 p.m.

You'll need to redesign yet again but...

A transverse monoleaf tucked into the front crossmember can save a lot of packaging issues.

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/28/14 10:53 p.m.

This brings us to the summer.

I sensed God telling me it was time to get this project car out of the school shop. By September I knew it to be true; I had a mechanics class with a handful of disrespectful and destructive students I could not trust. Among other things, they kicked in all the body panels on a vehicle that had been donated to the school. As of this writing, I do not miss them in the slightest. Even as I write this, I am trying to be respectful - more respectful than they were.... *sigh*

With the vehicle in my own garage, I finished the upper control arms (again), and picked up the cheapest eBay coilovers I could find.


Lower control arms painted in Tremclad Hammered Finish.


Showing my students how to model something in cardstock before ruining metal. But.... will they listen? (I know, I know, "the Old Man don't know nuthin'").


How to attach coilovers to shocks that shouldn't really hold the weight of a vehicle.


DIY Coilovers off Fleabay, and S10 shocks. By this time, I had built my own tubing bender (for a roll bar on Lethal Locost 2: Even More Lethalarer), and bent some forward tubes to secure the suspension. This was a "best fit" scenario. Yay, packaging.


You can see the new motor mounts - more clearance. That, and I moved the engine over an inch or so for more foot room.


Upper control arms got painted in a lighter Tremclad Hammered Finish.


Wait a minute! How are headers going to fit?!

conesare2seconds HalfDork
5/30/14 9:18 p.m.

"I'm just building it for the jaw-dropping horror of it all."

You, sir, have flair. Please; do continue.

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/30/14 10:31 p.m.

Why, thank you! Headers fit like this.... I bought a set of used headers of the local classifieds for $50 and cut all the tubes out of the flanges and collectors.


I attached the flanges to the heads, placed the collectors where they would fit, and began modifying the tubes until it looked like a header. My first set of fabricated headers.

I tell you, making headers that can actually have their fasteners attached, ~and~ be able to replace spark plugs, ~and~ clear the steering, for a V8 where there once was a transverse 3, is a bit of a challenge. I didn't fret too much about equal-length at this point. I also welded in a O2 bung.


The headers can actually be installed and removed with nothing more than removing the spark plugs and steering shaft.


I left the driver's side for last, because I thought it would be easier. Bwahahahahahaha.


At the time, I only had a TIG at home. This became a royal pain to tack these together, because I just couldn't get my hands and helmeted head close enough to see what I was doing, all the while working a foot pedal(I go through enough Tungsten as it is). I nicked a 110V MIG from work to tack it together, then I TIG'd the headers on the bench. You will notice in the last picture, that the brakes are next.

SkinnyG SuperDork
6/2/14 9:00 p.m.

Packaging yet again dictated where the brake master cylinder from the '88 Firbird could go. I fabricated a mount on the firewall that ties into and is braced against the forward roll cage tube. Next, a pedal to run it.


SkinnyG SuperDork
6/7/14 9:51 a.m.

I modified the original Firefly brake pedal to work with the new locations of the master and the right foot. Fabricated an adjustable link to move the master. I had to start paneling over the firewall in order to figure out where my feet had to go.


Picture updates will start slowing down now, as I am pretty much up to where I am in the fabrication.

bmwbav Reader
6/7/14 3:09 p.m.

In reply to SkinnyG: Is that header really as close to your foot as it looks? What are your heat shield plans? Curious for my own project.

SkinnyG Dork
6/7/14 4:49 p.m.

There's about a finger width between the header and the sheet metal. I'm not sure how I will deal with it yet, but there are lots of references online about heat-shielding and insulation. I may wait until after I've melted my first shoe, just to tell the tale.

SkinnyG SuperDork
6/8/14 10:41 p.m.

Started paneling the firewall over. Using cereal boxes to make templates, then cut out of sheet metal. Kind of jig-saw pieced together to fit it properly. I'm liking the progress so far..... I think.


If it looks like "Appliance White" sheet metal, it's because it is. It's from a dead freezer that came with our house (I hauled that puppy up from the basement, by my two wee chicken arms, all by myself, thank you very much!).


Trans_Maro UberDork
6/9/14 12:13 a.m.

Lift with your back in a jerking, twisting motion...

MadScientistMatt UberDork
6/9/14 7:12 a.m.

That is an amazing build.

If that thing ever does get pulled over and inspected, if you could get a video of the officer opening the hood, it's probably going to get a couple million Youtube hits. I'm imagining an officer thinking he's pulled over an econobox with a fart pipe, pops the hood, and spots the V8...

SkinnyG SuperDork
6/17/14 7:30 p.m.


More freezer sheet metal. T-e-d-i-o-u-s.


Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
6/17/14 8:48 p.m.

God damn, this thing tops Project Binky(AWD celica in a old mini shell) in terms of overpowered tiny car insanity.

SkinnyG SuperDork
7/10/14 2:28 p.m.

I've been away from this project for a bit. Was sick; our union went on strike; our employer locked us out; I sold The Hideous Hardbody; brought The Lethal Locost out of storage and on the road; chasing perpetual oil leaks on The Crusty Chevy.... Been busy.

In my boxes of parts, I found the Firefly gas pedal. Made a bracket for it, and shortened it to fit. Now I just need to get a throttle cable sorted.


I was intending to switch out the TBI and run a Rochester and HEI distributor, but since I already have the parts and that means not having to swap intakes and what not, I might as well keep the TBI. Yet another vehicle of mine to MegaSquirt, I guess.

Dusterbd13 Dork
7/10/14 4:41 p.m.

Just leave the factory ecm. With a moates chip and a cheap burner its just as tunable and its already paid for. I prefer tunerpro for my ecm tuning.

That being said im a really crappy tuner.

SkinnyG SuperDork
7/11/14 1:16 p.m.

Likely to keep the factory ECU for now - the engine is factory stock. When the time comes, I'll look at the costs to burn the TBI chips, versus going MegaSquirt. I'm planning a rowdy cam - can I run Alpha-N on the OEM computer? Welded up some of the last remaining holes on the Firewall. Somehow I need to snake the engine dipstick tube through there....


Gearheadotaku PowerDork
7/11/14 2:38 p.m.

run the dipstick into the passenger foot well. Check the oil from the comfort of inside the car!

Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
7/11/14 6:36 p.m.

Kinda pricey but the street rod guys use Lokar flexible braided line dipsticks with good results.

NOHOME SuperDork
7/11/14 8:17 p.m.

Lokar stuff rocks! Last throttle cable I will ever need (or use) on the MG or any hot rod I build.

ssswitch Reader
7/11/14 11:41 p.m.

This is an awesome project. Can't wait to see more!

The footwell scares me more than an original Mini, and that car lets the wheel well share its space with your feet. Are you going to put a scatter shield on in case the flex plate tries to make a break for it?

Best of luck breaking the BC gov't over your knee. What a bunch of cheapwad jerks.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
7/11/14 11:52 p.m.

In reply to ssswitch:

Eh, it's not big power or high revving, I wouldn't worry about the flexplate, though OTOH, scatter shields are cheap.

Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
7/12/14 7:28 a.m.

I hope those spark plugs are new...

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
7/12/14 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Clutch42:

There's so much engine setback I almost think he could cut little access holes in the doghouse.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/12/14 12:39 p.m.

How did I not see this until now? Excellent madness.

I'm working on heat shielding on the exhaust on my Miata. It's not easy. So far, I've got Swain ceramic on the headers and I'm still melting the asphalt off the back of the Cool-It insulation on the tunnel. Next step is gold foil, although in the case of a Challenge car build I'd start with Reflectix in the tunnel. Cheap, light, easy.

SkinnyG SuperDork
7/12/14 3:32 p.m.

RE: Spark Plugs They ~are~ accessible. It's just not fun. I have thought about hole-sawing access in the passenger compartment. We'll see.

RE: Scattershield With this stock drivetrain, there is no greater risk than the original Firebird. A scattershield will be purchased if the local rules require (hillclimb, 1/8-mile, and/or autocross).

The Story Continues.... While chatting about the project with a friend at his shop a while back, he gave me a Ford Ranger radiator that had split one of the tanks. I figure I could TIG up some new tanks with the still-good core.


I haven't decided if I'm going to run the full size core in a down-flow format (I'd have to be really good at fitting tanks), or lop some core off and run it cross-flow. Never can have too much cooling....


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