Front Suspension Frankensteins?

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Piledriver
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Piledriver » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:54 pm

120mm wider is an absolute showstopper, particularly on a Ghia body, and considering the Miata already runs ET55 offset wheels. You'd have to build a narrower subframe to make it work.

M2/Pinto front track is 55"/1397 but that's with ~zero offset wheels.
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Evil_Fiz » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:07 pm

Thanks for the valuable data. As i said, I have much to learn.

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ChadH
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by ChadH » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:00 pm

Something to think about - the Miata front end is designed to support the weight of the engine, whereas a VW (and especially a Baja with a fiberglass front end) is going to be much lighter. Miata springs, shocks and swaybar are likely going to be much too stiff for a light car. Is it possible to get significantly softer springs, swaybar, etc. for a Miata?

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:34 pm

You can get springs wrapped/wound to match diameters and weights being carried. The same with shocks and the valving done to match intended use.
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:01 pm

ChadH wrote:Looking at pictures of a Miata front and rear sub frames on the 'net. The front subframe sure looks awfully heavy and complicated to incorporate into a beetle. Not that it couldn't be done with some creativity and a lot of hacking, but it would be a lot of work.

Just bantering around with ideas, would it be better to build up a custom tubular subframe that incorporates the Miata suspension pick-up points? Check this out - Project Binky. These guys are grafting an AWD Toyota Supra suspension and drive train into a 1st Gen Mini Cooper. For the suspension, they fabricated a reverse jig off of the Supra to locate critical points, transferred it to the Mini, then built the frame to the Jig. These guys are absolute artists. I'd really suggest watching at least the first few episodes to get a feel for the scale of such a project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VKegYsSRG0&t=803s
Wow, thats a great video series. Lots of good ideas in there.

Right now Ive got the donor car and I am trying to figure out what to keep and what to toss.

Keeping more of the car to incorporate the inner fender/wheel-well to help control road debris and air turbulence is on my mind right now.

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:08 pm

ChadH wrote:Something to think about - the Miata front end is designed to support the weight of the engine, whereas a VW (and especially a Baja with a fiberglass front end) is going to be much lighter. Miata springs, shocks and swaybar are likely going to be much too stiff for a light car. Is it possible to get significantly softer springs, swaybar, etc. for a Miata?

I had the same thoughts. My plan is use the stock set up and test it out on the street for drivability. I know its going to over-the-top stiff but 27 year old spring might be the way to go until proven otherwise. I am planning on getting a set of bilsteins re-valved (probably at Fat Cat motorsports).

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:13 pm

Got the donor car Saturday from the Houston Miata Club Facebook page. $200 for the whole car and it came with an engine stand.

You. Can't. Beat. That.

Here are some pics after me and my nephew stripped it down on Sunday. I still have the front subframe in until I make a decision about where to cut and what I want to keep.
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:18 pm

I am having serious thoughts about using the rear subframe but that presents a ton of challenges.

The most obvious is the CV compatibility, second would be the clearance of the transaxle and motor mounting.

Just eyeballing it, I think the rear subframe would need to be split and the left and right halves would need their own mounting. Just to allow the trans to pass though.

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:28 pm

Piledriver wrote:I spent a couple hours awhile back watching those... Celica GT AWD setup, awesome fabrication.

Another ...simpler option is to use one of the tubular Mustang2/Pinto front clips available cheap.
Can also be set up with struts if you are so inclined.
You can get really good brakes, cheap for that setup, although std bolt pattern is IIRC 4x112 or such.
This was discussed previously as an alternative to the currently available a-arm setup for T1s etc.
It was mostly suggested for the European guys for whom fabricated spindles are a showstopper.
Similar, yes. Cheaper, not this time.

Miata/Mazdaspeed performance parts are on par with everyone else. After being exposed to the Spec Miata class in NASA/SCCA I saw top competitors take 126HP, 2,400 lb cars as fast (or faster) around the track as the mustangs and camaros in the Camaro Mustang Challenge series.

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Piledriver » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:47 am

The fabricated tubular Pinto front clip I posted is reasonably common, costs half what the later posted Miata equivalent did, and its a more or less complete front chassis, (firewall forward) rather than only a bolt in subframe.
It will also likely fit a Ghia track wise with Miata wheels/ tires without having to cut out 5" and reweld..
They can be had as pictured or all round tube for slightly more.
I was seriously looking at one for my square before a ~40K mile T3 front beam fell in my lap for "get it outta my yard".
(last part left from a barn find Ebay part out, I didn't find out about it until long after the fact)
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:52 am

Piledriver wrote:The fabricated tubular Pinto front clip I posted is reasonably common, costs half what the later posted Miata equivalent did, and its a more or less complete front chassis, (firewall forward) rather than only a bolt in subframe.
It will also likely fit a Ghia track wise with Miata wheels/ tires without having to cut out 5" and reweld..
They can be had as pictured or all round tube for slightly more.
I was seriously looking at one for my square before a ~40K mile T3 front beam fell in my lap for "get it outta my yard".
(last part left from a barn find Ebay part out, I didn't find out about it until long after the fact)

MII was were I first looked but even that has extensive fabrication. In the end, my "seat of the pants" estimation was that an MII front subframe was just as time consuming as a Miata. I got my Miata for $200 and have already sold parts off of it and now I have $5 in the miata all together.

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Piledriver » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Ah, makes sense.
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GS guy
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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by GS guy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:15 pm

TOOF - you might be interested in this build. I think he used some combination of Miata suspension bits:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewto ... on&start=0

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by Jadewombat » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:13 pm

Quite an ambitious project TOOF. A couple of things come to mind though.

-It's easy to see why the Miatas handle so well there, no wasted space or parts and everything mounted strong and low. However, that cradle suspension in the front is used to having to support a ~500lbs. of motor/trans., exhaust, cooling system, etc. My guess is those front springs would be a bit much on the front end of a bug and wouldn't have much give without all that weight sitting on them. I would think the car would understeer quite a bit. Do you plan to run lighter springs?

-This doesn't seem unlike the Mendeola/Strange/etc. double a-arm setups you can buy nowadays. How will you brace/support that setup on the bug pan?

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Re: Front Suspension Frankensteins?

Post by TOOF » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:19 am

Jadewombat wrote:Quite an ambitious project TOOF. A couple of things come to mind though.

-It's easy to see why the Miatas handle so well there, no wasted space or parts and everything mounted strong and low. However, that cradle suspension in the front is used to having to support a ~500lbs. of motor/trans., exhaust, cooling system, etc. My guess is those front springs would be a bit much on the front end of a bug and wouldn't have much give without all that weight sitting on them. I would think the car would understeer quite a bit. Do you plan to run lighter springs?

-This doesn't seem unlike the Mendeola/Strange/etc. double a-arm setups you can buy nowadays. How will you brace/support that setup on the bug pan?
We already discussed the weight issue - its not a prob.

I'm going to frame the front suspension into the roll cage using 1.5x.120 DOM tubing.

If the baja guys can do it, I sure as hell can. They put exponentially more stress on their cars than a smooth(wish) road track will.

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