jamscal
jamscal HalfDork
8/31/08 8:39 a.m.

Any links to people doing a RWD V-8 Swap in a FWD hatchback and keeping the stock front suspension?

I'd like to keep the front suspension for simiplicity's sake but want to keep the front wheels on as well.

The car? VW Golf MKIII

The plan? It just crossed my mind as a very locost-y thing to try.

egoman
egoman None
8/31/08 9:00 a.m.

The drag racing crowd was changing the Gm front drivers to rear drive for stock and superstock comps.A gooogle search will likely turn up what you are looking for. I believe the innovator in this was FJ Smith.

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar New Reader
8/31/08 9:07 a.m.

Back in the ‘90’s Mopar Performance sold a kit to convert Daytonas to V8 & RWD. The kit would work on any of the then production K-based chassis (J-P-G, Lebaron, Shadow, Daytona, etc). It was a different K-member and a pair additional crossmembers. It converted the car from the stock rear steer rack to a front steer unit using a 2WD Dakota rack.

The builder had to fabricate everything else. It was intended to allow racers to convert the production FWD cars to compete in NHRA SS/GT (I think it’s that class anyway). The cars were expected to be tubbed out in the back using one of the commonly available back half kits out there.

There is a guy in PA doing street based conversions for Daytonas. It’s Exline Custom Auto, LLC. He has some pictures up on his site of the conversions. That might give you some ideas for your VW.

I don’t know how much room there is under the hood of your Golf or how/where the rack is mounted. You may need to recess the firewall to make room for a V8 and fabricate a trans tunnel. That will effect seating and controls positions in the interior, then you still need to fabricate a live rear axle suspension, exhaust clearance, etc.

This is just what’s popping up in my head right now. Not saying that it’s impossible, just that it won’t be a walk in the park either.

-Rob

jamscal
jamscal HalfDork
8/31/08 9:28 a.m.

Ya,

Just looked under the hood and decided there's not much room.

OK, I knew that, but didn't realize:

a: how much of the engine compartment is in front of the front wheels (another duh!, I know) and

b: how much the pedals are offset towards the center of the firewall.

Another idea killed at the proper stage.

-James

Jay
Jay HalfDork
8/31/08 9:46 a.m.

So? Just stick it in the back.

J

Keith
Keith SuperDork
8/31/08 10:04 a.m.

And to make life easier, leave the original engine in place

integraguy
integraguy Reader
8/31/08 10:59 a.m.

It has been done with a Ford Focus....but probably involved the use of an "open" bank account.

iceracer
iceracer Reader
8/31/08 6:33 p.m.

There are a couple of ZX2's. Much fabrication, practically a whole sub frame. don't know what they did for the front suspension and steering.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
8/31/08 8:06 p.m.

A Golf has been built with a Northstar in the front driving the front wheels.

Fits. Difficult.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
8/31/08 11:00 p.m.

To answer the original question - I guess the concern is keeping the hub attached without an axle. The cheapest way would simply to retain part of the stock axle, just enough to retain everything. You could separate it at the CV joint or cut it off a bit further outboard. No?

jamscal
jamscal HalfDork
9/1/08 6:57 a.m.
Keith wrote: To answer the original question - I guess the concern is keeping the hub attached without an axle. The cheapest way would simply to retain part of the stock axle, just enough to retain everything. You could separate it at the CV joint or cut it off a bit further outboard. No?

That was my concern.

I was also concerned that spinning the 'stub axle' that had to remain might create too much drag or friction, possibly burning bearings easier, I don't know.

I was fine with cutting out for the frame rails and major surgery, but relocating the driver controls is out, I wanted to keep the simplicity of that, and the fact that most of the engine compartment is out ahead of the front wheels puts the kibosh on this plan.

-James

Wally
Wally SuperDork
9/1/08 9:46 a.m.

http://www.kugelkomponents.com/focus/focus.html

Q: Since this was originally a front wheel drive, what goes on with the front end? A: We originally thought this would be a major hurdle, but this conversion – although complicated in thought – worked out to be a fairly simple operation. We retained the original struts, brakes, springs and lower a-arms. The original suspension crossmember had to be modified by cutting it in half, removing the center portion and installing a rectangular tube between the two halves.

The original rear steer rack will be replaced with a new Mustang front steer rack & pinion and mounted to the new crossmember. We sell this suspension crossmember on an exchange basis. The next modification is the hub & spindle assemblies. We have a front steer & hub modification kit, which includes a spud that replaces the original splined drive and a bolt on billet aluminum front steer conversion which retains all the stock geometry and correct akerman angle. There is also rack & pinion steering extension kits that must be used.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
9/1/08 9:14 p.m.

I missed your axle issue. I thought you were wondering about the engine bay size, which is why I pointed out that a N* has been used.

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