I have more or less settled on using the convertible body as the base of my Metro XFI buildup.
I have stripped it down so far to almost the bare shell and will be finishing that up tomorrow if I don't get side tracked.
As of now my plans are to totally strip it to a rolling shell. I will remove everything that is bolted on the car except the suspension and maybe steering. From there Build a tube chassis to replace the unibody and add a roll cage of some sort. After that strip out the remaining unibody structure and leave just the sheet metal body. Inner fenders and other random covers I will probably replace with a plastic of some sort, it will be easier to install and lighter than metal. I will make a custom wiring harness similar to the one on my kit car that uses mosfets to control all the loads so the dash just has some 22ga wiring and is otherwise empty. This also keeps the amount of heavy wiring to a minimum but gives me the annoying part of having multiple fuse blocks.
I will probably lower the car by swapping the springs I have in my car right now into it. I am thinking right now of using these 175/70-14 tires on a set of 14 inch steel rims. I will probably flatten out the floor since it won't be a unibody so just welding in a flat sheet would be easy. I am still thinking that I could seal the underside of the engine bay making a smooth belly pan. If I raise the passenger floor 4 inches higher I could use that extra space as a duct for the engine compartment air and direct it out the back center. Managing the airflow for the required parts of the car seems like it should help me out some. I plan on closing the gap on the front wheels and adding deflectors on the front end to keep air off them.
So far this is about all I have planned. I will probably change my mind on stuff constantly up until the time I actually build that part. Anyone else got any ideas of suggestions on stuff I can do? I am thinking that since this is going to be probably 6 months or so to build that I have time to do some pretty complicated stuff. I am open to anything really, even putting the engine in the trunk and making a can am style nose is a possibility.
I will probably strip the car down the last bit this week and then not touch it other than spraying degreaser on it for a week or so. Rushing into doing work like this usually means you end up doing it twice
after looking around some more at the can am cars, they are all rear engine and have a very low sloped hood. That works for a car with a tiny windshield with no need for a top. But for a car with a windshield the width of the car it would not really gain anything it looks like. If I could find a windshield like in my kit car then I would maybe think about it a bit more.
A setup like that would be totally pointless to start with a convertible. Just start with a pile of steel and a bender and build a car like I did when I rebuilt that car.
I am thinking that maybe a little less radical of a build would be a lot faster to actually get running and maybe still be slightly reliable and practical to commute in.
What tubing will you use for the frame and roll bar? DOM? What diameter and wall thickness? I want to build a tube space frame from scratch, and am planning on using 1 1/2" dia with .065" wall (16 gauge), which should be plenty strong enough, probably over-kill. The big diameter really helps the strength/weight. I might go with chro moly tubing and oxy-acetylene braze it, used that in other projects and like it!
Well the car is stripped down as much as needed now Lots of rust pics to follow...
I am not really sure what size tubing I will be using yet. I was mainly concerned with getting it stripped down first and seeing what it looked like. I will be talking to a few race car builders and seeing if I can come up with a plan. But I figure for this car it has no power and no weight so it can go pretty light with the frame and still be very strong.
This is the frame for the kit car I built, I figured I would do something very similar for the convertible. It was made with 2 inch for the main parts and 1.5 for the rest of it. For the convertible I will probably use 1 1/2" for the main rails, not sure of the thickness yet. I don't see a need to make it race car like though. I will add a roll bar but I am not sure if I am going to do the side impact bars or just leave the door ones in place. Climbing over bars every time you get in or out of the car is kind of annoying.
I think the 16ga thickness is probably what I will end up with in chromoly for the main frame rails and roll bar. All the supporting stuff and bracing I will probably go smaller. I would rather have a very stiff main chassis that is stronger than needed than have one right near what is considered safe, the extra 5-10lbs is not really that big of a deal but it can make the car a lot stiffer and keep the body sitting square much longer no matter the abuse it gets.