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gamby UltimaDork
8/10/14 12:18 p.m.
SkinnyG wrote: "Computer-Aided-Design" just means "Very Accurately Done Wrong."

That's one for "Say What?"

Amazing progress. The fab work is really cool. I hadn't checked in on this project in awhile. Looks like it's coming along great.

chandlerGTi SuperDork
8/10/14 8:08 p.m.

Congrats on the pics in the mag, this is a great thread!

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/11/14 10:23 p.m.

I started taking pictures of the upper axle brackets being made, but the next thing I knew they were done, and I had neglected to take more pics. Here's all I took:


Pinion was set at the same angle as the transmission less 1° for bushing flex in the four-link.


I started mucking with the Integra coil springs. I cut 5" off the bottom and it sat pretty good, yet still seems soft enough. I need to adapt the coilover sleeves so I can fine tune the height when I'm done. Stupidly, I think I cut the wrong end off the Integra springs, so I will need to make an adapter to fit it to the adjusting sleeves. Had I cut the dead coils off instead, this wouldn't even be a problem. Not sure what I was thinking. I'm sure it made sense at the time.

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/18/14 9:41 p.m.

Didn't get much done last week. Had a friend visit for a few days, birthday for the eldest, and blah blah blah.

Back at it again....

Cutting the coils as I did, neither cost me, nor saved me time. It's all good. Figured out where the spring mounts needed to be, and made some mounts with some 2" DOM tubing, and some 3/16" plate hole-sawn as stops. I also shortened the coilover sleeve, since I didn't have enough suspension travel to warrant full sleeves.


The cut Integra rear springs look like they might work great. I fabricated a spring spacer, since these springs are larger than the 2-1/2" coilovers are designed for.


e46potenza Reader
8/18/14 9:57 p.m.

Jesus man impressive work.

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/21/14 7:49 p.m.

Fabricated some shock mounts for the axle. Shocks will be mounted using the stock Firefly mounts in the tub. A smarter man would have used these mounts for the lower trailing arms, but I was barking up a different tree at that time.


Pulled the axle out to finish welding the spring mounts, cut off the previously devised shock mounts (still shown), and will paint soon.


VWguyBruce HalfDork
8/23/14 9:50 a.m.

Cool fabrication work. You have solved many problems I've had running around in my head over the years. I have nowhere to apply said answers YET but someday.

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/23/14 5:27 p.m.

Good to hear! I love following build threads, they have taught me a lot. Getting in there and getting your hands dirty teaches you the most, but then you end up making all the mistakes yourself.

If I were to do this all over again: (1) I would have collected all the drivetrain parts I needed before I even cut anything. (2) I would have built the entire frame and roll cage out of 1-5/8" round, and do a much simpler, much more elegant, less intrusive design.

I believe the frame I built to be far more robust than it needs to be. Then again, since it is to be first and foremost a street car, having it "overbuilt" is far, far, better than "just enough." But, this is the corner I've painted myself into. Might as well keep going.

I confess I have been eyeing up current tiny cars for another future V8/RWD swap. I would do a much more efficient build next time. How long do you suppose until the Fiats will get cheap enough to cut up like this? On with the story.... I pulled the axle out to primer and paint it:


And intended to prime and paint just the mounts, so I could carry on with other things. But as I started priming, I noticed so many unfinished details that needed to be finished, so I had to calm my anxiousness to get things done, and instead, just get things done:


Noticed a nasty rust hole in the "framesque" section under the gas filler, so I had to cut that out and patch it:


Don't look at the welding too closely. I'm not having as much fun here today:


SkinnyG SuperDork
8/24/14 1:09 a.m.

This evening I did, however, splash some paint on the axle. I'm using "Zero-Rust", which is cheaper by the gallon, but the gallon is getting old, and the pain is setting up pretty quick now.


NOHOME SuperDork
8/24/14 7:21 a.m.
SkinnyG wrote: This evening I did, however, splash some paint on the axle. I'm using "Zero-Rust", which is cheaper by the gallon, but the gallon is getting old, and the pain is setting up pretty quick now. DSC01986

If Zero Rust is anything like POR its bleeping expensive and wants to cure in the can. I just tried a new technique where I don't remove the lid when pouring; just punched two little holes and pour out. Then when done painting I flood the interior with CO2 from the MIG and seal the holes with aluminum duct tape. Works great. The stuff moisture cures and painting out of the big can or pouring the left-overs back is a bad idea.

SkinnyG Dork
8/24/14 1:34 p.m.

Locally, Zero-Rust is $100/gallon and POR is $150. I don't think it's as durable, either. I have less than a quart remaining, but I did read about your holes/CO2 practice in another thread, and I may try that on the next can.

Tremclad is $42/gallon....

SkinnyG SuperDork
8/28/14 9:14 p.m.

While I'm under the car, I really need to deal with some rust issues. Today I patched a hole on the right side inner. As per usual, I neglected to take a wack of gratuitous reconstruction shots.


Cut out the offense


Weld in the patch (more freezer metal)


Thick coat of primer The driver's side isn't as bad, but will get a small patch in the corner.

SkinnyG Dork
10/25/14 12:37 a.m.

We'll be coming back from the dead soon. Rocker panels hopefully this week. Just finished building a new garden shed.

Also been (and still) fighting a nasty cold that followed on the heels of a misadventure with Robaxacet way back in late August.

And good news!

It turns out I am allergic to Penicillin.

And also Cephalosporin, just to round it all out nicely. The trip in the ambulance was fun.

Trans_Maro UberDork
10/27/14 10:33 p.m.

It's not a Pontiac Astra, but it'll do.

SkinnyG SuperDork
11/1/14 11:13 p.m.

OK, so rockers didn't get done. Partly because the brake at work is only 2' long, and I needed 2-1/2' patches, so I threw one together.


Quick & Dirty fabrication, 3 hours from initial design, to fabricating it with what I had on hand, to loading it in the back of the truck to take home. Plans are coming, though if you look at enough designs on the interweb, you can figure it out easily enough. It's clamped in my bench vise for this picture, since I am very good at workbench clutter.

T.J. PowerDork
11/1/14 11:44 p.m.

I typically don't spend much time in the build log section, but working 7 consecutive 12hr night shifts, I sometimes find myself with some free time. I just read all four pages. Awesome build - I love it.

stk_88_ef New Reader
11/2/14 6:45 p.m.

Ridiculous! I love it! Can't wait to see it go.

SkinnyG SuperDork
11/9/14 11:25 p.m.

At some point during my August/September/October/November health issues, I was able to get the driver's side patch done. Took all the energy I could muster.


In the mean-time, with winter a-comin', and an impending workshop to build in the spring, I built a new garden shed (I've never done "construction" before, so this was all new to me):

image (2)

Door trim still to do Then I tore down one of the old sheds, as it where part of the workshop needs to go:


The kids enjoyed demolishing this (most of the wreckage already loaded for a dump run) Today I formed one rocker panel, and then ran out of energy:


Corolla roof to the rescue! And yes, that ~is~ masking tape you see as a prior rust repair

SkinnyG SuperDork
11/23/14 9:54 p.m.

Oh look! An update!


Tacked into place. Not the bestestest fit, but I detest bodywork, and it will all be covered by the "Turbo" skirts. This also included patching the inner skin, behind the rocker panel. Is it wrong to repair a Suzuki with a Toyota? And now I'm out of gas for the MIG.....

tuna55 UltimaDork
11/24/14 10:42 p.m.

Looks good.

Running out of welding gas is a terrible feeling. Sorry!

SkinnyG SuperDork
12/31/14 10:27 p.m.

Rocker panel #1 complete and sealed up. Rear suspension is now sitting on its own springs at approximate ride height -ish. Moved the car farther back in the garage to make room for the electricians upgrading our house service from 100A to 200A.


Lost a bit of short-lived inspiration as it is -14°C (7°F) outside. Once the new 200A electrical panel is in the garage, I'll turn the car around and take on rocker panel #2.

Still to do:

  • Floors
  • Gas tank
  • Exhaust
  • Brake lines
  • Radiator
  • Electrical
SkinnyG SuperDork
12/31/14 11:03 p.m.

From back in the summer:

mbruneaux New Reader
12/31/14 11:05 p.m.


Stumc New Reader
1/1/15 9:14 a.m.

Great project!

Did you get the dipstick tube figured out? I had to screw around with mine and ended up just measuring the length of dipstick protruding from the bottom of the tube, chopping the ends off and replacing the middle section with some random fuel hose I had lying around. Worked and continues to work just fine.

SkinnyG Dork
1/1/15 11:03 a.m.

Yes. The Dipstick tube took a full day, but it's all there and all good. Getting the plugs and plug wires in, was horror.

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