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Old 12-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #26
Wilford Brimley
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:08 AM   #27
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If you ever become interested in making another gas tank, I would probably be interested!
Thanks - but I doubt that what I would want for a tank would have people lined up at the door. A new one is around $450 USD (so $600 in my world) - I used this as justification. Total materials were around $300 - time, well that's where the wheels fall off any attempt to make this rational. In fact, if I was doing another tank, I'd build it out of stainless and be done with it. As it stands I'll still have to coat this one to deal with modern fuels.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:44 AM   #28
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I know where this goes and I still love it.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:48 AM   #29
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Next up us the IRS conversion. This was first pitched as an idea a long time ago and I spent a lot of time rolling around under various cars (often at the instigation of Matt Dupuis). The optimal set up would be something that was reasonably compact but that didn't have the issues of the common Jag/Vette set up and was a true double wishbone with SLA geometry. The narrower the better as I'm not into huge flared box arch extensions [well, actually I am into that look, but not on a 122]. The Toyota 8" centre section is a known winner with lots of parts and comes stock with a clutch type LSD. So off to the JY we go looking for a MK3 Supra.

I've heard some people criticize the MK3 with the usual claims from internet experts that the geometry is "not optimal". I've tried to engage in meaningful conversation regarding this criticism and found only opinions from cars that were dumped. No doubt, if you lower this suspension you'll get that "stanced" look the kids all like with nots of negative camber and it will handle like garbage...but I can see nothing inherently wrong with the design. In fact, lots I liked. The Supra MK3 is a heavy pig and more of a GT car than a nimble corner carver. That may colour opinions as well.

So after many, many failed attempts to find a good subframe from the local PYP's (they were usually pretty rust, shot, or both), I scored one on the Calgary Kijiji. The kid selling the IRS said I had to pull it, but he had a garage and "tools" so no problem. I figured if it was junk, at least the YYC boys are good company for the day. Matt and I went over and were met by buddy's Mother. She was barefoot wandering around her yard (it was fall, it wasn't warm out), the sketch was strong with this entire deal. She opens the garage and there sits a MK3 Supra (backed into the garage of course) but it's complete. We brought tools.

Mom was just wandering around the garage chatting away and Matt and I are working feverishly to just yank this thing and get out of this banjo playing in the background scene. I still have memories of rolling under the car to release the subframe and her dirty feet just hanging around. Son shows up and is yelling at his Mom about something. We are almost pulled in 20 minutes. They're astonished. He wants the brakes, shocks and the braided lines. I argued a little about the brakes. I asked why. He says [honest, not making this up] that he's going to get the car going again when he's back on his feet financially. I'm looking at Matt - we're kind of then . Anyway, I paid this kid and we're hauling about 400 lbs of dirty subframe into the back of the truck. While no one is looking, I grabbed the drive line. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time.

That gets me to here about 6 months later.



Note the new brakes (not using them either as it turns out). LOL.

Now this monstrosity is 61" from hub to hub - so that's not going to work and it's uglier than sin. I need it to be 55" from hub to hub. So after many other projects and more time, I made a jig to pick up the suspension points and facilitate moving the suspension in 3" per side.



Then I started to see if things would actually fit, like would the A-arms actually fit up inside the existing frame knotch?



Looks like it will go, but the spring perches will have to go to get clearance when the wheel is in bump and to allow for wider wheels in general.

There was no way these axles were going to work and I couldn't find a bolt on solution that was narrower.



So I sent the axles to Dutchman Axles and they cut me a nice new set.



Approved by The Boss.



I then took 6" out of the sway bar and welded it back together to make a mock up bar.



All of the suspension arms were then remade to incorporate adjustable links.









Some of this was tricker than others. Here's how I did the lateral links.









I cooled all this stuff post weld in the old sandbox.



Then got onto building the new subframe and modifying the chassis to accept these parts.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:30 AM   #30
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This Project gets better and better:D
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:56 PM   #31
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Holy sh*t! this is getting serious
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:27 PM   #32
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work looks great
where did you get the floor pans?

are you looking for the rear glass?
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:21 AM   #33
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work looks great
where did you get the floor pans?

are you looking for the rear glass?
Floor pans are from Vintage Imports (they're the standard Swedish repro's and pretty good).

I've got two spare rear windows since the tragic event. Still have to get new trim as all the ones that I have are in just "OK" shape.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:37 AM   #34
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Floor pans are from Vintage Imports (they're the standard Swedish repro's and pretty good).

I've got two spare rear windows since the tragic event. Still have to get new trim as all the ones that I have are in just "OK" shape.
snap a picture of what you think is OK shape

how much did the floor boards run you
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:48 AM   #35
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snap a picture of what you think is OK shape

how much did the floor boards run you
New rear window trim is now available. I'm replacing the gutter trim and most of the rest as well, so no reason to not go new.

The pans were around $190 per side when I got them in the summer. I didn't want to pull the trigger on these parts as they are pricey, but when I saw the condition of the originals (which were about as good as any I ever see) I saw no economy in just POR-15 and prayers for no rust.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:33 AM   #36
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I thought I'd share how I built the reverse jig...I'd probably still do it this way, but stay tuned as there are several iterations yet to come in this story.

The idea was to reference the differential mount (it's not going to change) and then build a frame around the suspension pick-up points that could be collapsed. So I started out like this...



You can see the mount pick up point locators (the 1" square tubes with the round tube on the tops) and the angle iron provides the "rails".



Here it is all done. Now it can slide to any dimension that I wanted.



Things that escaped my iron clad logic included the fact that the factory frame holes are oval to allow for suspension adjustment. No eye-rolls please, I did build plates that inserted into these slotted holes and gave a single registered location. It's just that the factory frame wasn't exactly a Swiss watch as far as precision goes.

From there I tried out a few ideas for how to get the new frame to connect up...hmmm, that's not going to work.






So we're back to the drawing board (this all happened in 2013 by the way).

Some super high tech drawings were produced to work out the tight points...and I started in earnest to build the frame.



The back plane was the only part of the original subframe that survived. I could have fabricated the entire thing, but the engineering of this part just wasn't worth the trouble.



Some interior reinforcement was needed and mounts fabricated.



Yup, that rail looks like it will work.



Some other brackets joined the party and we've got something like a subframe.



It even fits in the intended location.



I still haven't taken that pinion rubber stop off the car!



Even that front arm is going to clear the frame...nice.



Time to remove the trunk floor.



I removed the spring perches and just seam welded up the plate (optimism at it's best).



Should have tidied it up before I welded it...I do know better.



Started making mount brackets. There will be a cross member, but in the mean time, this looks about right.



Clears everything nicely.



It took ages for me to actually commit to removing the entire rear trunk panel. Commitment issues?



Needs must - you can see how I'm messing with the time line in this photo as the ugly speaker holes on the parcel shelf are still there. Out comes the seat back.



You can see that I've sound proofed the car. Taking this stuff off is a horrible job. You don't need to cover the entire interior - so I won't be making this mistake twice! Weeks later and much varsol and it was all gone.

Wait...what's this? Isn't this the frame rail that we just welded up with part of the spare wheel well? Yup. It had to go to get wheel clearance and the coil over...yes, they have to go somewhere, needed space.



New frame rails from 2 X 3" 120 wall tube. Adding structure to take the forces and weight of the new rear end. Probably not needed, but while we're there, might as well.



Caps for pretty.





Here's the wheel well reinforcement. Whoa - TIG'd the hell out of that . I watch my heat a lot more now.



With those new rails mocked up, I created some fake shocks for mock up parts.



At full bump, the tire gains enough camber to warrant the mini tub that I have already shown.



Set up a few angles and try to work out how to mount the coil overs. [For the record - this post covers one year - I had a few other projects to do.]



And that's a good place to stop for this post. Let's call this version 1.0 of this installation.

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Old 12-20-2016, 11:44 AM   #37
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You're insane, and I'm digging it. Incredible work!
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:40 PM   #38
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That is so cool!
Real nice work.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:26 PM   #39
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You're insane, and I'm digging it. Incredible work!
A testable hypothesis...if I told you this wasn't the craziest thing planned, what then?

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That is so cool!
Real nice work.
Thanks - I'll keep the thread rolling as I have time. I'm about 2 years behind on the progress story. I'm also not even close to done.
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:20 PM   #40
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Incredible work! Not much more to add but that. A very enjoyable read.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:15 AM   #41
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This thread delivers all the things. Great work!
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:46 AM   #42
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Man this is awesome.

Did you measure a Miata rear subframe?
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:41 AM   #43
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Man this is awesome.

Did you measure a Miata rear subframe?
You bet...if it wasn't for all the autocross guys snapping that junk up, it may have been the winner. Gave it some good thinking as it's 56" hub to hub (IIRC) and aside from having to remove about what I did it packages pretty nicely (outboard springs/shocks are a PITA but I could have changed that). Probably easier if you're just going to swap in the existing subframe.

The issues were that it's good to about 300 WHP from what I've heard and has limited gear selections, and at the time there just wasn't one around. The Miata guys have developed an 8.8 swap for a reason. Even the Toyota was about a year of JY trolling. I don't live in a metropolis - we have one PYP yard and I've got to get most things out of Calgary which is 2.5 hours up the road. So it fell off the table.

The Toyota unit is good for more than twice that WHP and TRD has gear ratios covered for cheap to the moon. My unit came with LSD and a 3:91 - but I can change that if I wanted to from 3.0 ish to 4.88 or some such (which isn't happening) but is possible. Most consider the 8" Toyota to be pretty bomb proof. Bomb proof was the sell point to be brutally honest.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:05 AM   #44
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Makes sense. More of a complete swap if you're not going as extreme as you plan...

And I never thought about it, but I guess due to the rule sets in the series most populated by Miatas, the factory gear sets are adequate and thus there is a lack of aftermarket gears and LSDs. Well, compared to the 8.8s, 9", and other more popular swaps.

The guys really getting into the LS swaps for Miatas are trying to shoehorn Jag and even BMW rears under them now...
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:37 PM   #45
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To continue the story - version 1.1 of this IRS swap goes like this. I made the critical error of not making a full frame table to jig pick-up point from and was mostly referencing the front suspension for locating the IRS subframe. I discovered that elements of my original effort to located the various arm locations created a degree of variability - the worst of which was the differential was out of square to the car by 1/4" with the subframe mounted straight and I didn't like that, so I decided to square the differential (thus squaring the drive axles and thrust angle of the car) to the car by skewing the frame. I now know this is stupid, but it seemed reasonable at the time.

This messed up all the suspension pick up points and I ended up with a square differential, but a wheel base that was not square (3/16" more on one side than the other) and suspension geometry compromises that I was not willing to live with. At around this point I did realize that I was in over my head and I took some time off (like a year) and basically read every book on suspension geometry I could find and got on with other projects. So the rear sat skewed for a long time.

Then I figured I could just reposition the suspension mounts and I got inspired and broke out the plasma and did this.



Then welded that mess back up like so.



Then put it all back under the car while I worked out how to mount the coil over. I was still not happy as the cross member was still crooked and I'm well on my way to OCD. But let's let around another 8 months go by.

I had to add a rear cross member for the frame to sit on. A little 10 ga bent up and bingo, we're in business. Now it's in crooked remember . I added some stiffeners inside the cross member and welded on the brackets with sheetmetal returns.









And got busy with an idea for the coil overs.



I have to mount the coil overs a little goofy for packaging and trying to keep a useable trunk. Fitting the tube up in the car was a challenge.

But it worked out just fine.



Now it's still crooked - if that's bugging you, you can only imagine how much it's driving me nuts. I'm trying to make progress and would like to drive the car sometime before I die. There it is - the end of version 1.1. It's done, but I'm super unsure that it'll work. I'm not happy with the coil over towers but can't work out how to make them better, the subframe is an embarrassment as it's not perfect, and I simply can't finish projects unless they don't bug me. This is really, really bugging me. So let's pause for about another 8 months.

I'll show you the solution to all the issues in the next post.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:16 PM   #46
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Sorry for the delay - working hard.

Here we go again. The rear cradle is out to get corrected before final welding. I was always going to drop it to weld it up...but I WASN'T planning on having to redo the entire thing. So to recap - the cradle was welded in the car with the diff perpendicular to the car. To get this to happen, it had to be shifted about 3/16" to the rear. This caused a shift in the wheelbase side to side by the same amount and was causing all sorts of problems getting my suspension to work. Turns out you can't just shift this stuff like you would a live rear axle. Who knew?

So after much thought and a little swearing, I just undid my "fix" of the tube that I had done after waiting 2 years on the fence. Well sometimes it takes momentum to just do it properly. Now I don't have to account for a bunch of stuff that isn't right...like the rear cross member that I built and installed into the car out of square because of the shift in the cradle. Time to get this all squared up and done right.

The subframe has been mocked up on my welding table and I've used some 2 X 4" steel tube as reference rails. Everything is being squared to this reference plane. So off with the tube fix and refit the tube.



Tack the bushing holder back in place square and level. This takes a lot of time when the garage is over 30 C.



I'm also having issues with all the suspension mounts (lower) - they are so tight that when the subframe gets powder coated, there is no way the arms will fit. The torque rod mounts needed to go as they were too tight and not deep enough to accommodate the bushing. Not sure how I missed this detail - but the inside weld was fouling the bushing. So new ones were fabricated and placed in precisely the same location.



Old left - new right.



Jigged - dead perfect.



Done.



I also cut the tacks holding the two differential cross members in place and got the pinion dead square to the frame. No pics. Next will be getting the rest of the errors out of this subframe. I'm still not sure how I could have worked out the location of the pick-up points from the original without my jig...but I sure could have built this frame more accurately without the not so accurate jig. It's not really that bad - just a 1/16" here and there. I will get it to be much better than that.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:17 PM   #47
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Well, after another week of work, we're just about ready to wrap up the rear cross member and get it welded. I have to be away next week for work and this coming week won't see much progress, but after I get home, I should be ready to roll.

The next part that had to go was my fabricated cross member that held the differential snout. The one that I built didn't locate the toe arms correctly and I really wanted it gone as it just couldn't be fixed and not have it look like I hacked it.

So here's the start.

I had cut the brackets off in the hope that I could salvage the part - but you can see the bottom plane is not level and was off 1/2" side to side. So off it came.





Then I started to make this.



Join a few more tubes to handled both the toe brackets and the torque of the pinion trying to climb the ring gear.



And we have this. The bracket mount surface is perfectly level now.



The proverbial K member. The tube ends will be cut and capped when welding. Mounts are 1/4" steel with TIG welded captured nuts.



That's a day worth of tube fitting.



Toe brackets were fun to build as the two legs of the K are different lengths due to the offset of the pinion.



I built them longer then trimmed to fit. Hole saw came in handy for fitting and getting it all tight.



This bracket is mostly controlling motion to the outside/inside in an effort to keep the tire from toeing in or out. The way I had to fabricate it wasn't the way I wanted to do it, but there wasn't any other way to do this and still have things clean and free of areas that will collect dirt and moisture and if welded all the way around, it should be fine.



I left a mostly open corner on both sides of the bracket as that way I can get good penetration from one side.

Backside is notched for clearance.





Next up - fixing the coil over mounts.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:20 PM   #48
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Tacking leads to welding. Cracked open a roll of dimes on these parts tonight.



Welded all the way around the shock tower base.





Then put the reinforcing parts on and welded them up.


Tops coming tomorrow once things cool down.



A lot of this is done either with my left hand or seemingly with some part upside down. Tube is HARD to weld pretty.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:15 AM   #49
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youve scrapped more progress than 99% of this board has ever made. I love your brain and dedication
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:51 AM   #50
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youve scrapped more progress than 99% of this board has ever made. I love your brain and dedication
Thanks - I try to get it right and if it's not setting up the way I want it, I don't mind adding to the scrap pile!
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