Slow Car Fast
August 18, 2009 - Now here's the right way to do a major swap.
This poor BMW M3 got stuffed full of all sorts of late-model parts. It's a real sleeper and the pictures of the full build are worth a close look. Beautiful work.
What really impressed me was how it was done. Check out that big solid build table. It's flat, straight and level. The front and rear subframes were bolted to extensions on that table to ensure they were perfectly positioned. Then the various frame parts needed to keep them together were welded up, and the car was built up from there. Even the exhaust system used the build table for alignment.
That's how to do it right. None of this "cut the frame rails off, build replacements on the table and then weld them in" stuff that hacks like me do in their garage. The fabrication involved is beautiful as well.
I can't wait until I'm done with the book so I can dive back into this car. I'm going to keep going back to these photos for inspiration so that when the time comes, I'll be motivated to do a similar quality job.
The full story of the build from the guys who did it.
entry 198 - tags: other builds
February 8, 2010 - As part of a muffler discussion on the Grassroots forum, a fellow reader pointed me to a very similar car under construction.
Well, similar in concept. It's an MGB GT that's getting the LS1 from a 1998 Camaro based on the pictures. But it's a very different process. First step was to strip the car out completely and bead blast it clean, with pretty much all body panels removed. Between this and his rotisserie, he's got an excellent base for doing nice clean chassis modifications and he's doing a good job of making the car as strong as it should be.
The engine sits much further back than mine. Since the transmission is an automatic, he's not constrained by the shifter location. Nor did he keep the stock heater box. I'm not sure how he's going to fit a gas pedal in the car with that huge transmission so far back!
The rear suspension is a four-link, a design I stayed away from due to concerns about binding. I don't know how legitimate that concern is, but there you have it. Some of his packaging is easier because of it, there's no Panhard bar and the clearance problems I had between the upper mount and the seat bottom don't exist. Having the trunk floor cut out makes life a lot easier when you're fabricating this kind of thing, that's for sure! It looks as if the front suspension is a bolt-in Fast Cars coilover setup.
We're actually at very similar stages right now. He's done a lot of work to fit absolutely monstrous wheels in the car, both in diameter and width, and they're going under the Sebring-style factory racing flares.
Interesting to watch. We're taking different approaches, but with very similar goals.
Jay's MG build
entry 275 - tags: other builds