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Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 6:59 p.m.

...say it because, I do. I love the idea of taking a good FWD powertrain and and building a car in front of it. At this point it is a bench racing exercise but I need the discussion to weed out all the crazy thinking that is going on in my head.

My plan is to take a cool looking body from a cheap car - saw out all the insides... and make a racing car tube chassis... set cool body on top. I want to employ as much junkyard as possible to keep this from stalling due to lack of funds.

There are a few lines of discussion I need to pursue:

  • What cool looking body is begging to be a mid-engined race car. I am no body man - making my own skin is out of the question. Vintage iron appeals to me but it has to be light. This is going to be a track-only car
  • What FWD 4 cyl powertrain came with a sweet, rev happy NA motor, strong gearbox and LSD that is also plentiful enough to find in a junkyard. I have already ruled out anything with boost - I have never met a reliable puffer track car. Hold your testimony on that subject... NA only. I'll make it lighter so it needs less power before I'll do that.

GO!

mw
mw HalfDork
11/6/10 7:08 p.m.

I'm going to have to say a honda is your best bet. They like to rev, can be had with lsd's and there is tons of interchanging between them and lots of aftermarket support. I would also look at the toyota celica gts or matrix xrs. I'm not sure if they could be had with an lsd, but I bet you can get one since it's the same tranny as an elise. There isn't too much else that's fwd with lsd. Nissan has some, but the good powertrains are turbo... Also, I know nothing of fwd american cars, so there may be some there.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
11/6/10 7:09 p.m.

Don't know about the LSD, but I'd go ecotec.

Cheap, plentiful, capable, and tons of aftermarket.

If you're not going to turbo it, there's no replacement for displacement.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
11/6/10 7:13 p.m.

Use a Honda del Sol body. That's the most mid motor lookin' FWD car ever built. Again, Honda drivetrain.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
11/6/10 7:36 p.m.

Midlana style?

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
11/6/10 7:50 p.m.

Yeah - ask this website

http://www.midlana.com/

and this one

http://www.kimini.com/

PM Kurt, and then do it and tell us about it and enter it in the Challenge.

Also, older "iron" tends to be quite a bit lighter than modern counterparts, so you're okay there.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 7:55 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: Midlana style?

Well, kinda, but not really... he is making the body too. I am choosing a body, a powertrain and then figuring out how to mate them so my wheelbase and so on will be dictated by those decisions to some extent.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 8:00 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: PM Kurt, and then do it and tell us about it and enter it in the Challenge.

His site is partly the reason for this... but plenty of people have made better looking cars than I am capable of producing so I'll leverage the body of one of those.

As far as the challenge... no intentions of skimping on dampers, brakes, etc. As much as I think the challenge is cool - the compromises necessary are not in-line with a car I beat the snot out of at 150mph near tire walls. At least not at my level of building things.

TJ
TJ SuperDork
11/6/10 8:05 p.m.

Something like this?

Take an old Mini shell - that is light. Cut out the floor.

Design your tube framed chassis with a Honda K20 engine and tranny in the rear.

Drop shell on chassis.

These pics are from Z Cars (link

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
11/6/10 8:16 p.m.
TJ wrote: Something like this? Take an old Mini shell - that is light. Cut out the floor. Design your tube framed chassis with a Honda K20 engine and tranny in the rear. Drop shell on chassis. These pics are from Z Cars (link

Since I have no skill or time, I would seriously pay lots of money for that.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 HalfDork
11/6/10 8:32 p.m.

Grabercars.com also- Steve should pop up here sometime! I think his body is better than the 7, but you're going to pay for it (~$3k if I remember right).

Also- do you really need an LSD in an MR car? I only ask because lotus didn't originally even offer them in the Elise, and only did so in response to autocrossers who wanted them for tighter courses.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 8:34 p.m.

In reply to TJ:

That is EXACTLY the sort of thing I am thinking of. I love the classic Mini too but I think I want something a little easier to find in good shape without guilt (read: that I am willing to destroy)

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
11/6/10 8:40 p.m.

I think an interesting body to start with would be a 70's vette. Being glass, it's fairly straight forward to modify, and the rear does kind of look like there's enough space for a powertrain.

And I've seen them on fleabay for <$500 (just the body).

Heck, I've thought that they would make an interesting body for a Locost chassis....

Toyman01
Toyman01 SuperDork
11/6/10 8:52 p.m.

This:

Having the back greenhouse full of engine would be kind of cool. It's also something you don't see every day. That and most people won't mind if you chop it up to make it cooler

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
11/6/10 8:52 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: I think an interesting body to start with would be a 70's vette. Being glass, it's fairly straight forward to modify, and the rear does kind of look like there's enough space for a powertrain. And I've seen them on fleabay for <$500 (just the body). Heck, I've thought that they would make an interesting body for a Locost chassis....

Kinky, I like it. You could easily go with more than just 4, too, like a Nissan VQ or something. Heck, the SS something (imp or bu) got a FWD version of the LS1, that would be cool.

I would love a Datsun roadster, too. Not nearly the same room for the swap. A sonnet would be weird.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 HalfDork
11/6/10 9:13 p.m.
Toyman01 wrote: This: Having the back greenhouse full of engine would be kind of cool. It's also something you don't see every day. That and most people won't mind if you chop it up to make it cooler

I have that in matchbox. AMC pacer - it was orange (my own kid now plays with it) called "Packin' Pacer". MR v8 drivetrain of some sort.

Didn't know it was real though.

TJ
TJ SuperDork
11/6/10 9:21 p.m.

I think you want a hatch back body shape to have the most room for the drivetrain. How about a early 90's civic hatchback. They are cheap and plentiful. Lots of them are riced out and no worries about cutting one up.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 9:58 p.m.

In reply to TJ:

I have been surfing the weeb looking for pacers

digdug18
digdug18 HalfDork
11/6/10 10:15 p.m.
TJ wrote: I think you want a hatch back body shape to have the most room for the drivetrain. How about a early 90's civic hatchback. They are cheap and plentiful. Lots of them are riced out and no worries about cutting one up.

These have already been done, there is a integra with a h22 prelude vtec engine mid mounted in it as well.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
11/6/10 10:43 p.m.

Duplicate the twin-engined CRX that Car and Driver built years ago! I just got the name of the guy who built it, I'm going to hunt him down and harass him soon.

But yeah, I'm all over the Pacer. That would rock. For bonus points, find a way to make it a rotary.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
11/6/10 10:52 p.m.

80's PU truck and put the engine in the bed. Easier to do than a car.

NOHOME
NOHOME Reader
11/6/10 11:00 p.m.

MGB GT: Plenty of rusty shells and the drivetrain would look good under the hatch.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
11/6/10 11:16 p.m.

Scirocco...

...and all the Vortex dweebs would go apesh1t if you put a Honda engine in it.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/6/10 11:34 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

Hmmmm... love the GT...

oldtin
oldtin HalfDork
11/7/10 12:08 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: MGB GT: Plenty of rusty shells and the drivetrain would look good under the hatch.

^^^ me likey. Mg made a half a million Bs. Gts had a back seat, so there's a little room and plenty of good shells without too much grief from loyalists. Something like 40" between the rear chassis rails. Balance might get a little weird as a MR

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