Ok, so I had a nice close look at the intersection of the upper frame rail and the top of the firewall/ rear window support and you are right Blooz. The upper frame rail does in fact stop short of the firewall but I don't think its a deal stopper for my current design. However, the upper frame rail does have a lowered top section ( that I missed) that is going to require some consideration and design "adaptation". I'll have to add this detail to my current drawing and then proceed from there with a suitable solution.
Thanks for the heads up.
I love seeing 25+ year old frame in this condition. Today I must admit I've only seen 88 fieros with pristine space frame due to they started life later. Finding older frames (84s and 85s) are hard to come by.
88 GT, Loaded, 5-speed. 88 GT, 5-speed. All original.
It is amazing Fierogt28 that its still in such great shape after so many years. The only spots I've found any rust were the seatbelt anchor points ( I recall my sunroof leaked since the day I bought the car new) and I've seen some looking up the lower frame rail where the rear cradle is secured. Other than that, the current surface rust is from us touching it with our sweaty hands....ha-ha-ha-ha
Funny story, the first time I took my boys to Blooz's, he showed us his cars and when he uncovered his mint black Fiero my youngest guy couldn't resist leaning against it hands first. Blooz remained quite composed but we teased Kirk all the way home. I think during our next visit Blooz had a set of oven mits ready to slip on him....ha-ha-ha-ha. To this day, I'm not sure why we have decided to make our own black car. It may be a decision I will live to regret.
Yes, right from when it was new in 85, the sunroof leaked right at the center aft latch, rain, dew, it didn't matter. I use to carry a little towel and lay on the center console by my elbow to catch the drips. Of course, it stopped in 89...... when I put the car in storage until 2012. To finally fix the leaking sunroof once and for all, I've decided to cut the whole roof off and make a spyder.
Well.......we survived the battle of " Select your wheels"....... I think. It was a steady up and down emotional ride of pick a style, pick a size, pick a color and then be dissappointed over and over when you get emails saying "not available at this time". Holy smokes, the online shopping is amazing with access to so many suppliers in one place......... but would it kill them to update their posted stock numbers once in a while? Atleast the company I was dealing with, 1010Tires.com now has more up to date stock numbers because with each choice I made, someone there actually revised their website. Shoppers coming after me will have it a little easier....ha-ha-ha
So, with all that said and done, we were able to stick to our original requirements of wheel size and specifications as well as color and general style (10 spoke flush design). In the end we went with the following from 1010Tires.com. Their prices are competitive, they are in Canada so customs is not an issue and shipping is free anywhere in the country.
Drag DR-31 in Matt Black
Front: 17 x 7 ET40 5/100 Rear: 18 x 9 ET38 5/100
The tires haven't been selected yet but that will be a much easier task I think. Here is what I am considering.
I'll post pictures once the wheels arrive, which should be in a couple weeks. My credit card has been billed so hopefully I am not jinxing myself by posting this information before I have them in my hands. To be honest, everytime I check my email I am praying I don't get that familiar response, "Sorry, no longer in stock".
Not sure if anyone has experience with Drag wheels or similar designs but the sizes I selected above show only one bolt pattern, 5/100 as apposed to two bolt patterns like the picture shows. I can't find any information on this particular wheel size but is it possible that they will only be made with one bolt pattern? This would be fine, but I can't even get an straight answer from the manufacturer. Something tells me its just an error on the website and the wheels will actually be made with 2 bolt patterns, similar to the other sizes on the list.
I've read through the thread you attached. Wow... that is quite an interesting discussion accompaning the development. To be honest, I am only a humble marine engineer and the automotive world is certainly not my field of expertise. [...] Thanks for asking btw.
You're very welcome. Give yourself some credit. Your build thread is progressing very well. You're a skilled fabricator.
BTW.: how did you come up with the source for the Rhino files? Measuring, 3D scan, etc.?
Even if you can't contribute to the suspension redesign, please share your experience and thoughts, as some of the things you've learned from redesigning the rear cradle, or chssis stiffening, or even the Rhino files may be useful for some engineers on the suspension redesign thread.
Thanks for the link Brastic. That is a very cool and powerful way to document your work. I quickly scanned through it at work but I'll go back and read it indepth this weekend. Thanks for sharing.
Austrian Import, I've been measuring everything by hand trying to capture as such detail as possible and as accurately as possible. As you can see, I haven't finished the cradle yet. I did what I needed for the cradle extension and then stopped and worked on the chassis extension drawings. I'd be more than happy to share my Rhyno files with whoever wants them, but only when its all done ( or atleast certain individual components of it) Even parts that are drawn, I find myself going back and making corrections after the fact so I would not feel right sharing something that I know might not be 100% accurate. I tend to draw for a while and then leave it to do some fabrication. Especially if I am doing alot of design work for my job, I tend not to have much of an interest to draw at night as well. You'll notice that I tend to zoom in close to my drawings so that you can't see what I haven't finished yet.
Here are a few pics of the cradle ( or what's done so far) as well as an overall view of the chassis to date.
Did a little Saturday morning shopping today and picked up a few items for the garage; things we'll probably use for our project over the next few years. Gotta love Canadian Tire 66% off sales. For $225 I got a full set of air tools and accessories, a 50ft retractable air hose and a compressor with enough capacity to run the tools I bought. I know they are not commercial shop grade but for our little backyard oasis, they should do just fine. Plus with Canadian Tire's 3 year "no questions" warranty, you really can't go wrong. Not a bad morning...... considering I was only going to the store to pick up an O ring for the dripping kitchen faucet.
I think I better hide the air chisel from the boys.
Nice lookin' tires. Like the ones I bought, under normal circumstances they'd probably last only two years given the sticky performance nature of the rubber compound. On our cars, they'll likely last 10 years since a fair weather car in Nova Scotia is one that gets looked at in the garage way more than driven.
Thanks Blooz. In total they were about $1050.00 installed and balanced, lifetime road hazard, taxes included. I have soft sticky tires on my racing bikes and they don't stand up well to sitting in the hot garage so I hope these do better because like you said, they'll spend more time being admired stationary that they will ripping through the country side of Nova Scotia. I ordered the tires through Coast Tire Center and when he gave me a quote I was happy so I made the purchase. He was quite concered that I would have to wait 10 days before the rear tires arrived and the manager even came out and was also very appologetic. I just smiled and showed him a picture of my car on my build thread. They thought that was quite hilarious. In hind sight, I probably missed an opportunity to get some sort of complimentary upgrade or atleast a Dunlop hat.
[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 04-02-2013).]
This weekend we finally finished fabricating the rocker reinforcement frames. I added an additional transverse support to tie the new rocker frame into the lower frame rail. I used a section of 3" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" HSS with a 1/8" doubler plate cap at the frame rail end. This should tie all the longitudinal frame rails together with the new rocker reinforcement frame and provide a sufficiently strong upgrade to the chassis before the roof structure is removed. I also added a few flanges of 3/4" x 1/8" FB to provide a weldable connection between the new rocker frame and the existing A and B pillars as they are only thin sheet metal and won't take much heat from welding. With everything tacked together, I'll remove the new structure and have it welded and then blasted and primed before having it permantently welded to the chassis. As you can see, I haven't finished capping the frame rails on the passanger side following the chassis stretch. The drivers side is done though so I'm half way there.
Structure drawing and photo showing additional support to lower frame rail.
Looks great! I see you are going to add small gussets at the bottom rear? Just wondered if you may be entertaining thoughts of running some sheet metal from the added rear rail to the trailing edge of the pass. tub behind the door opening? No need for it, as I said, just curious.
Hi Sage, thanks for the thoughts. I have been looking at that area on both sides and trying to come up with a possible arrangement for sheet metal. With the large body scoops on the 355, I certainly have to address the issue of what to do with all that air flow. Unfortunately, with the extra framing I've added for the spider conversion, I will not have the option of installing radiators like Blooz is considering. However, I do see an opportunity to develop a nice air duct for the engine intake on one side and perhaps some type of ducting into the general engine bay on the other side to remove excess heat from the exhaust. In the back of my mind I am thinking 180 headers for my SBC so there will be lots of extra exhaust tubing snaking though the compartment. I don't know if I'll include a challenge grill in the back so I may just look at trying to get as much air flow up and out the louvered engine deck. I am hoping as the project developes I'll have some small eureka moments along the way regarding these topics.
Thanks for standing by RCR. It's amazing how much pressure that little popcorn eating emoticon can add to a persons life...ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. I'll try to keep things moving this spring so those following along don't get too bored. On that note, my new wheels are scheduled to arrive today. . My boys have forbid me to open the boxes until I get them home after work.
Yahoo...... our wheels have finally arrived. Besides the purchase of the extended windshields, this is the next big purchase for our project. The rubber should arrive next week and then we'll get them mounted. I made the purchase of the wheels through 1010Tires.com in Richmond BC. They were great to work with, were very prompt in returning email queries, confirming the order, supplying the receipt and the accurate shipping details and the wheels arrived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia exactly when they said they would. I had a positive purchasing experience and would recommend them for consideration.
edit: remove photos of family members
[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 02-23-2015).]
Thanks guys. We're pretty pumped to get them wrapped in the Dunlops next week. I'm looking forward to the day we get to take some photos with our cars together Blooz. They are really going to compliment each other with their similarities and their differences.
Thanks for the kind words guys. I'm really enjoying being a part of the PFF community. I am always amazed at the depth of knowledge the members have and their willingness to share their knowledge and experience. Its incredible how quickly questions get answered on the forum and rarely if ever does a query go unanswered for more than a few minutes. It's enjoyable to read along and its been an incredible learning experience for me. There are countless technical and build threads that are very inspiring to us newbies. If I can contribute in some small way by posting my build diary, I'll gladly share what I can.
Thanks for following along.
I delivered all my chassis reinforcements to my friend for final welding Saturday. Fred has been building amazing custom rods for many many years and it was him who inspired me to finally tackle this project after many years of coaxing. It was a complete shock when he told me he would be starting chemotherepy this week and has closed his shop but insisted I leave him the parts so he'd have something to help take his mind off the treatments. Best of luck over the next few weeks Fred and don't forget we're still on for a cruise in my car when its finally done.
[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 04-07-2013).]
With the chassis rocker frame reinforcements still out for final welding, it was time to tackle the transverse firewall frame modifications. As I had noted earlier in the thread, we plan to install roll over hoops on our 355 spider and as the top of the firewall is only fabricated from sheet metal parts that have been spot welded together, we felt it was necessary to had more strength in this area and provide a suitable foundation for the hoops. As well, since we are removing the roof, we thought it would be a good idea to substitute the removed transverse roof structure with a frame that would connect the upper frame rails to the top of the firewall. The design we came up with was a 4" x 3" x 1/8" HSS that was cut down to match the slope of the firewall and would fit between the upper frame rails. This left a frame with a rectangular cross section that was 3" high, 4" across the bottom and about 3" across the top, a slightly skewed rectangle I guess. We cut the forward side of the 4" x 3" HSS and then capped the open side a piece of 3" x 1/8" flat bar. We also left material on each end of the frame to form flanges that would be used to help secure the frame in place. This includes a top flange and an aft side flange that was bent back 90 degrees to the frame. As you can see, everything is only tacked together at this point.
With the frame fabricated and tacked together, it was time to modify the top of the firewall to accept the new frame. The top of the firewall has a formed flange with a second 'Z' shaped sheetmetal structure spotwelded to the underside. This structure is probably quite strong as designed originally, however, we wanted to get our new frame tucked right up under the firewall flange so we proceeded to remove the 'Z'shaped structure. Holy crap there were alot of factory spotwelds and as well, the ends of the structure lapped over top of the upper frame rails and sandwiched under the firewall flange. It was a days work just to remove that one piece of sheet metal. As we want to fabricate this structure and then remove it for welding, it had to be able to drop between the upper frame rails and slide forward into place behind the firewall. Thus we had to remove about 4" of the inner flange of both upper frame rails. We'll bead weld the exposed flange edges later. We also had to notch the B pillar on both sides so that the top flange of the new transverse frame would slide through.
These drawings show the original sheetmetal in place, then the 'Z' frame removed and finally the new transverse frame in place.
Here is a picture of the new transverse frame in place and a close up of the drivers side.
The remaining flange on the top of the firewall will provide a great place to plug weld the firewall to the frame where the spot welds were drilled out and as well, with the new frame fitting up tight behind the firewall, the forward face of the firewall will be drilled for plug welding to the frame as well. This, together with the flanges on the new frame should provide ample strength to the whole structure while tying eveything together. I also have plans to install vertical structure that will tie the new frame to the lower frame rails of the chassis for additional strength.
This drawing shows how the rollover hoops will be secured to the new transverse frame by passing through it, allowing them to be welded on the top and bottom faces of the transverse frame. This will all be completed prior to final installation in the car.
As I mentioned, there are still vertical supports to be fabricated and installed and then the whole assembly will slide back and out for final welding and then installation. I am also considering having the rollover hoops powder coated after they are welded to the frame but prior to installion of the frame.
I also plan to investigate a suitable design for finishing the ends of the new transverse frame where they currently pass into the B pillar. Once the roof is removed and the B pillars cut off, the ends will be exposed for attention.
Sadly.... no. The 265 35 18's were special order and they have not arrived yet. Must be on the slow boat from Italy.
I have been working on the firewall frame and the parts are out for welding as well as working on the design for the mirrors and gathering info and material for their construction. I've reverted back to the traditional 355 design with the folding feature.
Finally........ the tires arrived. Just picked them up from the shop. Mounted, balanced and ready to roll. Now......all I need is the car.
I am very happpy with the selection and I think they will look pretty good on an all black 355 spider. I'll have to stop by with a front and rear and slip them in the wheel wells of your 355 body Blooz. In these pictures, the wheelbase is pretty close but my wooden blocks were about 1 1/2" too high. Still, another small milestone reached on what will be a very long project.
As a refresher, they are as follows:
Drag DR31 flat black wheels with Dunlop Direzza DZ101
Front 17 x 7 ET40 5x100 with 215/45/17 Rear 18 x 9 ET38 5x100 with 265/35/18
All inflated to 32psi
Edit: Photos edited for correct tire direction.
[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 04-27-2013).]