View Full Version : Turning 626 GT into an AWD

09-16-2010, 06:40 PM
While the engine project is taking a little break, I started to work on a 626 GT hatch (I have a wagon too but wouldn't it be too much if all the cars on the forum were wagons :D). Anyway, I like to keep the wagon a GT in the true sense of the word; that is, a great touring car. The somewhat lighter and stiffer hatch would be a better starting point for a more supercar-like creation.

I had re-acquired my very first 626, the white GT hatch. It was in a sorry condition; the floor pan was almost completely rusted off, the rear frames were in really bad shape, the rear suspension arms were eaten away by the salt. Top side of the car was in a decent condition however. I think these photos will tell the tale:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/th_tukivarsi.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/tukivarsi.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/th_Ruoste1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/Ruoste1.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/th_Paikkausta.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ruostetta/Paikkausta.jpg)

In a word, the car was a mess. I really didn't know what to do with it, I was planning to install the new engine into the wagon and wasn't really keen on having two projects going on at the same time. However, the engine grew out of original specs and got a bit too extreme for what I'd consider an easygoing GT. Also, it became a bit too much for FWD in general.

By chance, I came across an AWD 626 and purchased it before she was sent to the cube factory (crusher). The car was also a white hatch, but the facelift model and lower spec (like all AWD's around here were).

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_profile.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/profile.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_badge.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/badge.jpg)

It would seem more logical to install the engine in the newer AWD, rather than converting the old FWD with all the constructional and legal problems, BUT there are a few certain factors at play. First, I had the FWD restoration began already, and I certainly didn't want three concurrent car projects going on! Also, the AWD was in almost as bad shape as the FWD, so it would've been a pretty massive undertaking in either case. Finally, because the facelift cars were registered as low emission models, they cannot be turboed without a very expensive re-certification, which would be required any time something with the engine was changed. So I decided it's better to try and stick with the old FWD body.

After I made the decision, which had taken a good part of a year, I took the old girl for one last drive and then started taking out the parts.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_mightypower.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/mightypower.jpg)

The mighty powerhouse of the AWD! This is in fact the only F2 engine I've ever had.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_stripped.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/stripped.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_tinyflange.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/tinyflange.jpg)

And here's the transmission, stripped and ready to be cleaned. The mazda AWD transmission is very fragile and I'm quite sure it's not going to be a very long lasting. I am going to strengthen the heck out of it though and see how far I'll get with it. Even the prop shaft flange doesn't look too strong, just four tiny screws holding the power, it doesn't even have dowels. Clearly there's a lot to do with the transmission to get it even close to looking like a performance part.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_rearsubframe.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/rearsubframe.jpg)
And here's the rear subframe, heavy as hell. It was a nice discovery to find out the subframes are the same width on both cars, even though almost everything else differs.

Back to the project car; It's reinforced to take the stresses of being hanged on a rotisserie, which I'm building myself. Here's the beginnings of the reinforcing...

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_trusses.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/trusses.jpg)

Because the frame rails need to be rebuilt, the body cannot be hanged by the extremes without major temporary reinforcing.

09-17-2010, 03:07 PM
I took the rear subframe apart today, and the sight wasn't pretty... there was substantial rust damage, and it seems the whole subframe is little more than scrap. Also the arms were in terrible shape; fortunately, shaft, spindles and diff seemed to be in good condition.

Here's the hard luck subframe:
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_rotten.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/rotten.jpg)

It got even worse as I cleaned it, but it was too late in the evenign to take photos by then.

Most people who've had GTX's (or even GTR's) will know these parts, but those who don't, here's a comparison between 626 rear subframe for FWD and for AWD. The difference is really considerable.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_AWDFWD.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/AWDFWD.jpg)

09-18-2010, 12:12 AM
time for a tubular subframe/arms ;)

09-18-2010, 01:15 PM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_tubularsubframeCAD.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/tubularsubframeCAD.jpg)

If I only had a proper tube bender...

09-18-2010, 03:39 PM
Gotta love SolidWorks :)

09-18-2010, 04:52 PM
^man i gotta learn how to do that kinda stuff

04-09-2011, 06:58 PM
Since the company let me go last fall (what a nice bunch they were, asked me to work for the one month everyone else was having a summer break and then asked me to resign) there's nothing been going on with the build. Except for planning of course.

This is the situation:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_gd-frame.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/gd-frame.jpg)

Either the frame rails are replaced with new tubular rails, or the car goes to the crusher. The rust damage is too extensive for reliable repairs.

However, if the plan gets an approval from the inspections office (I'm very certain it does) the end result is tougher than new, and it also makes fitting the AWF system much easier. At this point, the task of converting the car into AWD does not add any significant amount to the restoration work needed.

04-09-2011, 08:06 PM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_frame-assy.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/frame-assy.jpg)

Assembly of the frame and the subframe.

04-10-2011, 01:50 AM
This is pretty indepth, you must have some serious laws about cars where you live. Here i just do w/e i want. Cops dont really care, hell ive ran my car straight piped, only thing i got was a loud exhaust ticket. Deff digging the AWD GT build! Cant wait to see more

04-10-2011, 05:16 AM

04-10-2011, 08:32 AM
Solidworks, yeah. I retained a license :D

The construction rules are somewhat strict, though they've laxed quite a bit in the last few decades. The EU is actually putting pressure toward easier rules, but it'll take quite a bit to settle in into the bureaucracy.

I got the rotisserie built last fall, and even got the car ont it, but then winter hit hard with the lack of money and I the project took a standstill. Here are the photos of the rotisserie build:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_frames.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/frames.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_painted.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/painted.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_Spindle1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/Spindle1.jpg)
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_spindle2.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/spindle2.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_spindle4.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/spindle4.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_beamassembled.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/beamassembled.jpg)
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_weldedflange.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/weldedflange.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_1stassembly.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/1stassembly.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_rearinplace.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/rearinplace.jpg)
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_final1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/final1.jpg)

Also, the car gained a few more trusses to survive cutting the floor pan:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_trusses-1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/trusses-1.jpg)

The next task is to ask for a statement from Inchcape motors to confirm the AWD and FWD really do share the same basic frame. That's a requisite for drive train conversion without an exemption permission.

04-10-2011, 10:13 AM
awesome!!! I remember my neighbours friend was making a rotisserie, I've always wanted to do it myself as well. Awesome project!!

04-10-2011, 05:17 PM
seriously awesome. i want to rotisserie my 323 & seam(stitch) weld the floorpan.
but alas. dreams to $ ratio isnt there right now

04-11-2011, 01:48 PM
Very Nice! Takes me back, although your rear sub frame design is allot more in-depth than I did mine. Looks great look forward to seeing the progress

04-11-2011, 04:28 PM
Thanks, guys :) I visited the inspection office today, they were cautiously positive about fixing the body with a frame. They did wonder a bit about using 2mm thick walls, to which I replied about it being the easiest to obtain.

Next: trying to coax a statement from Inchcape motors! That might require some crafty maneuvers. I decided against being nebulous about the reasons to inquire the conformity statement, but I think I'll need to reassure them the end result is not expected to be dealer-maintainable of within factory liability.

04-12-2011, 12:32 AM
inchcape motors.......... what is that???

04-12-2011, 09:05 AM
Inchcape is the Mazda representative in Finland.

After that, though, there is Finnish Transport Safety Agency, which is truly the end of level boss. They don't even adhere to the laws issued by DoT.

For example, an attempt in the past to convert a FWD into an AWD car was halted by them, as they wouldn't accept a statement by the factory the two cars were of the same type.

There ARE however, cases where FWD to AWD conversions do have been approved, and lately the attitude has grown a bit more relaxed. So I'm hopeful.

The severity of the legal process however does postpone rolling in the most extreme car modifications in the initial scrutiny.

04-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Your project is in the fine tradtion of Finnish crazy car projects. I trust you've heard of Makela Auto Tuning? Between what they've done, and your toy, I would have assumed that there was little to no government resistance to hotrodding...guess not. So y'all git r dun despite the FTSA! I hoist a beer in your honor.

04-12-2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks! I hope I can live up to the expectations :)

I know and love the Makela Auto Tuning's Ford Model A project! They have a lot of other cool projects too. The Model A had a nice little legal loophole; cars are mostly subject to the legislation in effect at the time of the first registration, so Model A would be under some seriously relaxed rules indeed :D

Here's a small side story about the fate of the AWD donor car: after I removed the rear suspension, here's how I kept the thing mobile:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/Siirtoakseli/th_akseli.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/Siirtoakseli/akseli.jpg)

I made a transport suspension out of 1x2" and 2x2" tubing with trailer wheel hubs :)

Here's how it looks like installed:
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/Siirtoakseli/th_asennettu.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/Siirtoakseli/asennettu.jpg)

That thing is *very* tall indeed. I actually had to lift it quite a bit to fit 13" wheels! It's intentional obviously, I only need wheel chocks to get under the car now.

04-12-2011, 07:44 PM
Good luck with the conversion :)

Looks like you are well on your way.

Will you be stitching in the AWD floorpan?

04-12-2011, 08:27 PM
I'll be using the central tunnel of the AWD car; but for most parts, it too is quite beyond salvage. I'm going to cut up the pan on that thing in a few months time hopefully.

Meanwhile, I've been doing some more design work, here's what's up:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_Rearframe.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/Rearframe.jpg)

The rails running above the trailing arm tabs are too long and too steep, but those things are just new numbers in the input panel. I'm probably going to need thorough plans with strength calculations. Fortunately, some simplifications are allowed.

04-13-2011, 01:09 AM
regulations seem quite strict on modifications...

04-13-2011, 01:35 AM
Not all modifications are under this much red tape, but the change of drive layout and change of wheelbase are two things they are extremely strict about.

As for the drive layout conversion, I know there are few, but I dare say under ten projects has ever finished. Of course, this is mostly because the AWD option is usually cheaper and easier to just buy.

05-11-2011, 06:14 AM
Okay, this was a crushing defeat. The response from Inchcape was anything but the one I wanted.

Turns out, it was the FTSA that had determiend the model series. And as such, they had decided that all FWD models, including the 4WS, belong to one model series, and the AWD to another. So in other words, the remark in the rules about how drive train can be swapped between cars of the same model series was actually a moot point as they had made FWD and AWD belong to different model series. Well, what you'd expect from a committee of non-elected government officials...

Next: $500 exemption request from the FTSA. With slim chances of success.

05-11-2011, 09:26 AM
:/ what happens if you do it anyhow?

05-11-2011, 09:33 AM
It won't be street legal anymore and I need to turn in the plates - I could still drive it for a week at a time with special transit plates, but it's about 20 bucks for the first day and five for each following it.

I'll start building for the conversion anyhow and apply for the exemption permission - if the verdict is still a no go, I'll REALLY have to start considering my options. FTSA can be bitch to work with. It was well put in a Mustang forum: "Land of decree and home of the nay"

The most ass backwards thing though - I could install 4WS with much less hassle, and that if anything is a huge shift in handling.

05-12-2011, 06:24 AM
Just do it and dont tell anyone. Thats what we do in Australia.

05-12-2011, 10:01 AM
Just do it and dont tell anyone. Thats what we do in Australia.

That's the standard practice for concealable mods, which AWD conversion unfortunately is not :( Thorough yearly inspections an all that...

05-18-2011, 03:33 PM
Ya I know how strict inspections can be. I think here in Germany, it is a bit stricter. Any mod, any, needs to be inspected and certified. Plus all parts need to have a certificate to show to the person testing the car to prove that the parts are certified for that specific car. It's a load of crap, but that's just how it is. Doing a bpt swap here is expensive and frame modification is no way allowed.

05-18-2011, 08:55 PM
The joke is that if you change the brand of tires you need to inspect it...

The rules here are about just as strict for cars with type certification, any modification needs to pass the requirements in effect at the first registeration. Technically possible, practically impossible.

Anyway, I think the difference is again due to the shortcomings of the old type registry. 4WD came with the facelift models, and it's likely the system didn't allow additions to the type already entered to the system. Against that background, an officer with an understanding attitude toward car hobbyists might be easier to allow such a modification, but then again, a hard-nosed bureaucrat will not budge a hair's width.

BTW your signature is highly ironic on this thread :D

05-18-2011, 10:58 PM
That sucks, man...

05-04-2012, 06:30 PM
Okay, almost exactly one year after last post, some progress! It's been tough times with unemployment and all, and the sheer size of the mazda renovation is sumply disheartening. The regulation exempt application hasn't filed in yet either, BUT! I have a cunning plan. I'm going to restore much of the car before applying, using it as one of the reasons to do the swap; the original AWD will be in much worse shape.

What I've achieved in a few days are baby steps, but very important baby steps, it's the first time I'm doing complex compound shapes in repair patches. Here's a couple of shots of the progress.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-03-010.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-03-010.jpg)
This is the new flange for the front rail end and bumper mount box. The L-shape was achieved with a brake, the S-curve was done with a variety of hammers and dollies (including a half rotten bit of 2x4 timber).

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-03-012.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-03-012.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-03-014.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-03-014.jpg)
The replacement panel for the frame rail was similarily beaten from flat stock. The time to beat this panel was few hours. After welding on it bulged out a little, but nothing too much.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-04-015.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-04-015.jpg)
Finally, the new panels for bumper mount box were beaten and welded on. The panel had to be made in two parts, as the original metal had rotten away and I had no pattern to work from, and the shape got a bit too complex. There are some horrible welds, it was a windy day (I'm doing this in a tarp tent) so all the bad welds need to be ground out and fixed. Again, used tools were three different hammers, two different dollies and a stump of wood.

Not much to look at, but as a learning experience on how to beat panels it has been absolutely invaluable. I'm hoping the enthusiasm will carry through the summer, If all goes well I'm certain to have at least a rolling chassis by fall.

05-06-2012, 06:05 PM
I had the subframe sandblasted, what a sorry piece of mangled steel it is... It's almost as if it's designed to rust away.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-017.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-017.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-021.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-021.jpg)
Here's a few detail shots of the car cancer. Doesn't look good.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-023.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-023.jpg)
To create a proper edge on which to weld I cleaned up the ragged holes.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-020.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-020.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-024.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-024.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-025.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-025.jpg)
I found some softer sheet that is easier to form into the complex shapes. The last one was a bit too difficult to hammer into final shape so the shape was finalized in situ

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-06-026.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-06-026.jpg)
Perhaps not the prettiest metal work but I'm sure it's up to the job. I'm going to weld the outer edhes of the patch and the inner edges of the hole for strength. I't not the prettiest job but up to the task, I believe...

05-06-2012, 09:48 PM
Might you be better off making a custom tubular subframe, fabricated from scratch?

05-07-2012, 03:15 AM
I have thought about a tubular subframe, and have one planned out too. However, the legal process for FWD -> AWD conversion is precarious at best, so it might not be a good idea to make too fancy changes at first. Perhaps later, after a few years. The repaired subframe is on borrowed time anyway, there are rust pockets that are impossible to get to unless by cutting the entire subframe to pieces.

05-08-2012, 12:30 PM
And some more metalsmithing.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-08-028.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-08-028.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-08-029.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-08-029.jpg)
It actually took quite a while to bang this piece into shape...

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-08-030.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-08-030.jpg)
Of course, some dressing was needed while welding the piece on. How much of the original steel will be left after I'm done with the subframe, I wonder...

05-10-2012, 11:20 PM
my god that subframe is a rotbox. im sorry to see that.

05-11-2012, 12:51 PM
Yeah, it's a miserable sight. It's getting better though, I'm quite hopeful it'll be in quite good condition when I'm done with it, at least in the best I can do.

The internal shell is made from 2mm sheet and what I have is 1 and 1.25mm, so I went shopping for 2mm... what a disappointment, the steel yard did not have shears to cut it with, so I need to borrow a trailer the fetch the sheet.

However, I got another tool earlier this week...

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_2012-05-09-032.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/2012-05-09-032.jpg)

A 24" roller/shear/brake combination :D Unfortunately only up to 1mm thickness for full width parts, but it'll be great aid when doing bodywork for the car. As for the 2mm sheet, I guess my only option is to blacksmith it.

05-11-2012, 01:07 PM
so far im impressed with your blacksmithing work. i know i couldn't do that

05-11-2012, 01:21 PM
so far im impressed with your blacksmithing work. i know i couldn't do that

I wasn't too sure if I could do it myself, but some youtube browsing helped build confidence and willingness to try:



Even though it's basically an abridged ad for the actual tutorial video, the epiphany was like being hit by a ton of bricks from the orbit. The latter video filled in much of the gaps freom the first. The another thing to understanding was that even though the piece will look as if you've destroyed it, it's just a part of the process. The patch in the earlier post looked like ready for scrap metal bin until close to the end.

05-14-2012, 11:09 AM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-14-035.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-14-035.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-14-036.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-14-036.jpg)

Here's the work done in monday. The left mount is getting ready, the next step will be the 2mm inner panel, which won't be as intricately shaped, but much tougher to shape. I'm quite happy how the replacement panels turned out, especially as there's not much original steel left there. I think the most difficult phase with the rear subframe is pretty much done now. At least I hope so...

05-14-2012, 01:33 PM
Okay, these...
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-14-037.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-14-037.jpg)

...are the first rails of this structure:
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/th_gd-frame.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/AWD/gd-frame.jpg)

Frame is moving along nicely too! :) The inspection officers don't like these, but they actually aren't against the roadworthiness code. They just need to be very, very well made so they can't be rejected on some minor issue.

05-14-2012, 08:34 PM
why does the frame structure overlay like that in the middle?

05-15-2012, 04:13 AM
The stiffening elements of the floor (frame rails, rocker panel boxes, central tunnel) terminate or blend in at the rear couch pedestal; that's why it's making such a drastic change in structural thickness. Same thing at the front, too; at the firewall the same box rails start growing in height to nearly 120mm at the front strut towers.

The overlapping pieces are needed to recreate the required structural height; the ends of the lower tubing beneath the taller pieces are also trailing arm mount points.

05-15-2012, 11:27 AM
hrmm! thanks for explaining that to me.

05-15-2012, 02:37 PM
I finally got the 2mmm sheet I was planning to use on the rear subframe. Here's a quick comparison to the regular sheet I'm using...

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-15-042.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-15-042.jpg)

holy sheeit.

As expected, working in cold was way, way too hard so I had to get out the oxyacetylene torch. Unfortunately it took a better part of the day to admit it, so by the end of the day the shape for the first half wasn't quite as finished as I had hoped.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-15-043.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-15-043.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-05-15-044.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-05-15-044.jpg)

working the red-hot sheet was considerably easier; on par or perhapes ever more so than the thinnest sheet I had used. The bulge is an allowance for a shape in the lower layer. The bottom radius still needs to be worked on, but now it'll be easy work.

It would be so much more fun if I could just get a car and immediately get to the fun part, but nnnnooooo, around here you need to rebuild the car first.

05-17-2012, 07:59 AM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_111.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/111.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_110.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/110.jpg)

Some more sheet metal shaping. The shape must be quite accurate, as these patches cannot be dressed on while welding like the thinner parts, and clamping will surely have more effect on the subframe rather than the repair patch. Anyway, forming the heated sheet turned out quite a bit easier than first expected, so I modeled some more original resembling shapes and stiffening ribs.

05-17-2012, 12:58 PM
Wow, very nice metal work! sucks that you have to fix all that rot, but it is looking great

05-21-2012, 05:28 PM
Thank you :) It terrible though, to repair the subframe knowing there are unreachable pockets of rust... I would need to have the subframe treated in some BRUTAL anti-corrosion bath. Hopefully with good sealing will the new lease of life for the subframe be long enough to come up with a tubular subframe convincing enough to the inspection officers to be registered street legit. Too bad I'm way out of cash to get one made at the moment (a factory/shop made is infinitely easier to register), as I'm also saving up for the turbo. SuperHX40 or HX50MFS, choices choices... Good thing those had a considerable price reduction recently.

06-07-2012, 01:59 PM
Okay, I had all sorts of stupid stuff in the way, including a rather uncomfortable episode with sciatic nerve pain. Fortunately, I'm back in business, with some substantial progress too!

The mount point for left forward lateral arm was rusted to non-existence. After some consideration I decided trying to patch the holes would not be adequate solution, the alternate solution was harsh:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-07-051.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-07-051.jpg)

I simply cut away the entire flank and formed a new part from 2mm sheet.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-07-052.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-07-052.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-07-053.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-07-053.jpg)

The fitting took a bit of time. I made a new bushing for the arm mount point out of 34x15mm thick walled tube. The part attaching to the sheets was turned down to 29mm with a lathe, and the internal diameter was enlarged to size (18/20mm) using a stepped drill bit. It actually worked out extremely well.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-07-055.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-07-055.jpg)
I carefully measured the positioning of the new plate so the hinge lines (bolts) are parallel. A slight misalignment happened when welding on the part, the mount point ended up slightly higher than on the other side. I don't think it's going to cause any real handling issues though.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-07-056.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-07-056.jpg)

Finally, here's the primered part with blended weld seams. I don't think any inspection engineer is going to spot the patch anytime soon.

06-08-2012, 01:16 AM
looks great to me! thats one hell of a chore

06-08-2012, 09:19 AM
oh man I hear you on the sciatic nerve issue, if it's not the left side one week...it's the right side the next lol.

06-18-2012, 05:15 PM
oh man I hear you on the sciatic nerve issue, if it's not the left side one week...it's the right side the next lol.

Yea it's painful as hell... fortunately it's subsiding slowly.

Anyway, the subframe is nearing completion... I decided to redo much of the other side too. Fortunately the inner channel was in such a good shape I only had to cut it away to get to work on the flank, and then weld it back in place.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-18-063.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-18-063.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-06-18-061.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-06-18-061.jpg)

There's so little left!

Also, I just submitted some $480 worth of paperwork... nothing less than the exempt permit application for AWD conversion! The target handling time is 60 days, but it could be a lot longer and damn if they are going to give me "no" for an answer!

06-19-2012, 07:35 PM
what are you planning to use for recoating the subframe? any major rust preventative. such as zinc plating/etc

06-20-2012, 07:04 AM
I was thinking zinc primer, lots and lots of alkyd paint, and truck bed liner. Salinated crud is not to be taken lightly.

06-20-2012, 08:56 AM
^ indeed. i know that pain here in my climate too

07-01-2012, 11:39 AM
I didn't photograph the final steps of the rear subframe, my camera/phone was usually in the charger and I only tried to get it over with as quickly as possible (without rushing, of course!). Here are the shots of the subframe:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-069.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-069.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-068.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-068.jpg)

I don't know if I should add some reinforcements, but for the moment I only paint it with zinc undercoat and figure out the rest later. Right now I'll just put it aside until the rear suspension details have been worked out.

It's time to get back on the car body... starting from the very beginning, here's the cross beam on the front panel:
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-066.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-066.jpg)

It's definitely in bad shape, and since that's also a mount point for the front sub frame, it needs to be fixed and beefed up. Here's the stock for the replacement front end:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-067.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-067.jpg)

30x40x2mm rectangular tubing. It's much heavier than the original structure, but I think I'll omit a few brackets so it'll even out a bit. The original solution was weld nuts on a stiffening structure which then was welded inside the square sheet tube. Such a structure is very hard to achieve here, so I went for an entirely different solution.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-070.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-070.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-071.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-071.jpg)

I drilled through holes into the beam, and welded in reinforcement tubes that prevent the tube from crushing or collapsing; the idea is to replace the weld-on nuts with weld-on bolts, it's a bit stiffer than the original method, and now it has a beautiful similarity with the rest of the subframe mounts :)

Here's the part finished and ready to mount:
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-07-01-072.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-07-01-072.jpg)

The bolts will be welded on only after test fitting the front subframe to ensure the bolts will line up perfectly.

07-01-2012, 03:29 PM
pics don't show^^^^

07-01-2012, 07:48 PM
Hmm... must be Photobukkit acting weird. The images do show up here, with even with cache flush and logging out of bucket. :scratch:

07-01-2012, 10:59 PM
i like the tube reinforcement. I actually did that through my rear frame rails (mounting the tow hitch)
In one picture i was wondering what the extra frame metal was on the front end- but then i realized it was a rotisserie- do ou have any pictures of it??
progress is coming along nicely!

07-03-2012, 05:49 AM
The rotisserie? Sure!

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_frames.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/frames.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_painted.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/painted.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_Bearing.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/Bearing.jpg) http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_liftingcloseup.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/liftingcloseup.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_liftingassembly.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/liftingassembly.jpg)

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_Spindle1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/Spindle1.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_spindle2.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/spindle2.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_spindle4.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/spindle4.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_beamassembled.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/beamassembled.jpg)

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_1stassembly.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/1stassembly.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_weldedflange.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/weldedflange.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_rearinplace.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/rearinplace.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/th_final1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Rotisserie/final1.jpg)

The uprights are made from 90x90x4mm square tubing, the sliding post and tie bar are 80x80x4. Rotator head is mounted on trailer wheel bearings, 100x4 bolt pattern. The rotator beams are made from 50x50x3 tubing; the sliding sleeves for lifting arms are 60x60x4. Lifting arms are 60x40x4 mounted on flanges made from 120x50x4 L-bar. The parts with threaded rods are adjustable feet; the rotisserie can be set perfectly even on uneven ground. If I ever get a proper garage to work in, the pads are easy to swap to wheels. A detail not shown is the rotating mechanism; sandwhiched between the rotator head and the bearing is a motorcycle rear sprocket, and the pinion sprocket is on an angle drive. It works reasonably well but required the car is at somewhat balance in the rotisserie.

There is a design flaw (or a bad decision) in the construction: the lifting arms are only adjustable in span. They should have vertical adjustment sleeves too, the car is too bottom heavy to be rotated upside down (the rotator would probably break at 90 degree tilt) so anyone replicating the design take note: make the arms fully adjustable! Also, the actual lifting brackets would be more versatile if they're made like the holding brackets in engine stands. I'm going to have to fix that at some point.

07-03-2012, 11:31 AM
that is F'in cool!

signature sound
07-03-2012, 02:19 PM
sweet! cant wait to see how this turns out.

09-12-2012, 05:42 PM
Here we go again! I spent the entire summer doing everything but the car, anyway here's the latest...

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_004.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/004.jpg)
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_005.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/005.jpg)

The front crossmember ends are boxed in so it should be pretty solid.

The rocker panel channels are also re-taking shape:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_001.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/001.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_002.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/002.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_003.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/003.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_006.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/006.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_007.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/007.jpg)

It's all furniture tubing, marvellous stuff... The tube is located so the outer edge coincides with the original flange. Now the floor pan will mount on the inner edge, both door sill formers are welded on top, and the rocker panel on the outside edge. Hopefully it adds a bit of stiffness to the structure and resists corrosion better. The rear part needs much larger replacements to complete the boxed shape; after that's done, the trailing arm mount points are ground off. They're far too crumbly to deserve the word "cut". Once that's done, the trailing arm mount points are replaced with new stronger mounts, made from 60x100mm rectangular tubing. It's almost exactly the width of the trailing arm mount, and it mounts on the exactly right height when topped with a 40x60 tubing, welded to the rear seat pedestal floor. Replacing the rear frame rails is a harrowing job. The body will be quite floppy until new parts are welded on, and because they need to be 30mm lower than original, I think I'm going to need an additional stiffeners in the trunk area to regain the structural height.

It'll be really interesting to explain these build steps to the inspections engineer/officer... hopefully I'll find a cooperative one. Provided the FTSA would approve the exemption permit in the first place.

09-12-2012, 11:26 PM
my lord i praise your efforts!!

Mr. Ali
09-21-2012, 01:39 PM
F*cking awesome project! I'll definitely keep follow this one! :D

09-25-2012, 06:37 PM
Heh, thank you all :) I've actually got a paying job again (though unsure for how long... these are uncertain times) so I can actually afford to buy something too :D Here's an update of the latest.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_248.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/248.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_249.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/249.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_252.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/252.jpg)

I found just enough of 40x60 rectangular tubing, so I got to build the trailing arm mount points without having to visit the steel yard. I don't know if it's immediately obvious how the part should be in the car, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. The hole location precision is again going to be serious business so I'll think it well and through before drilling anything. This part has very substantial reinforcements in the factory AWD car, but I hope mine outdoes it. And again, the part is somewhat heavy. I dread to think how much it'll weigh on the scale.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_255.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/255.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_257.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/257.jpg)

I didn't quite yet get to weld the rocker panel in place, but the test fit sure does look good! In my wagon build I fabricated the panel myself, but here I just felt doing so would offer no benefits and I could use the effort better.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_259.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/259.jpg)

Here's how the rear subframe looks today. It's going to get plastic plugs over the holes and a coat of bed liner. And some aluminium/delrin/nylon bushings.

09-26-2012, 01:37 AM
SOOO much work! im still amazed by your patience/effort

10-09-2012, 09:56 AM
Thanks! The task does seem overwhelming at times, especially as there's no guarantee the car will ever be road legal again. Here's a quick update:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-10-08-114.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-10-08-114.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-10-09-117.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-10-09-117.jpg)
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-10-09-118.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-10-09-118.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-10-09-119.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-10-09-119.jpg)

The car is slowly getting patched up... My plan is to work around the perimeter (sills, inner fenders etc) and then strut towers, and then replace all the frame rails and then redo the floor. As the procedure becomes more clear, I'm hoping to pick up the pace (and probably be arsed to work in the winter too!) I'm hoping the chassis might roll in December, but I don't count on it.

10-11-2012, 04:56 AM
whats with the FE head being pooly treated on the ground?? :(

10-11-2012, 06:24 AM
It's a cracked head I've used for measurements and planned on bandsawing to pieces. Turned out I didn't have a proper saw and I've got better use for the money the shop is asking for the job.

10-11-2012, 11:49 AM
ah. fair nuff. i had shed a few tears the moment i noticed it there

10-17-2012, 11:44 AM
The rocker panel is now welded in place and I'm trying to figure out the best way to remove rust from the rear strut tower. I'll probably cut the top open and sandblast everything inside, reinforce liberally and seal off a lot of crevices that collect crud and are mainly responsible for the poor reputation of the rear towers.

After that, it's the same job all over on the right side of the car.

10-17-2012, 05:25 PM
well. call it 50% completed ! :biggrin:

10-26-2012, 04:17 PM
Hah, I wish it was 50% done. Perhaps 50% to the quarter of getting to a rolling body state :D The great discovery was the confirmation of the FWD and FWD having the same firewall. It became illegal here to modify that particular bit of steel in a car a while back. The shifter cable and assembly are also a direct fit, but that became a moot point after the decision to ditch the entire original floorpan and transplant the AWD one; the floor pan on the donor car is in excellent condition, better than in the GT in fact (on the other hand, outside the frame rails the floor is in even worse shape (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/rusty_awd.jpg); much, much worse.)

Considering the extensive modifications required by the AWD parts, it's much more feasible to transplant the entire floor pan into the GT. The only problem is we got the first snow yesterday and since all the work on the AWD is done on the friend's yard... it's pretty harsh work. The goal is still to get the car on it's wheels by December!

The photos I took got a bit blurry, but it was quite dark at time.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_floor1.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/floor1.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_floor2.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/floor2.jpg)

These photos offer some extra insight on the floor structure. The central tunnel is considerably wider, but not deeper than in FWD. There are some mysterious extra parts on the frame rails at the front of the floor. The don't seem to have any purpose, and there are two bolts under each. I have to see if the WSM offers any more insight on these. The fuel pump access hatches and rear seat pedestal is substantially different than in AWD.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_ubframe3.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/ubframe3.jpg)

Here is the front subframe still mounted, and the parts of the FWD subframe. The AWD subframe has an extra crossmember, similar but not identical to 4WS part, and the longitudal frame members are much deeper than in FWD. The kink after the first crossmember where the rails turn downward are much more acute in AWD. The notch is for angle drive transfer shaft. It's interesting how the frame is mounted only with a single stud on the left side of the car in the rear, but the mounting zone is still exactly the same on both models, only the inner stud is replaced with some kind of plug. It got much too dark after assembling the FWD subframe for a side-by-side photo, I'll get to it at the first opportunity.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_unloved.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/unloved.jpg)
The filler neck got little love.

10-26-2012, 04:48 PM
rusty. would be an understatement my friend

11-01-2012, 11:22 AM
I guess it would be more accurate to say there's a bit of metallic iron in that heap of rust... Anyway, here are the promised comparison shots, with a small bonus.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-128.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-128.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-132.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-132.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-133.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-133.jpg)

The AWD on the left, FWD on the right. It's obvious the structures are similar, but not quite identical. The rear transmission mount is further back in the AWD version, and the rails make a much more pronounced kink at the front. Also the left rail on AWD makes a noticeable curve outwards for transmission clearance.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-129.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-129.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-130.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-130.jpg)

These photos illustrate the difference with the structural height of the subframes. The deeper curve in the AWD subframe is compensated by higher A-arm mount points; the suspension geometry is identical with FWD. It's obvious when comparing the A-arms; in FWD the arms are practically flush with the subframe where AWD has a very prominent gap. The deeper subframe is most likely to give more firewall clearance without redesign.

Ultimately, the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in eating it. So here's a test fit of the AWD subframe on the FWD body:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-134.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-134.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-135.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-135.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-138.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-138.jpg)

Fits like a glove... If not for the unused stud in the right side, you could not tell the subframe is from a fundamentally different kind of car! There are times to be grateful for afterthought versions, I think ;)

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-136.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-136.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/th_2012-11-01-137.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/2012-11-01-137.jpg)

Finally, since the shifter is built on AT shifter dimensions, the entire shifter assembly (including the cables) also fit the FWD as if made for it. However, since I'm going to replace the floor, the shifter fitment is kind of a moot point. The cable grommet fit is a very nice bonus though!

In all, the positive surprises in the build have been few and far apart, but this time I can't imagine having it any better. Both subframes are in excellent condition, and AWD one requires absolutely no modifications to fit :jump:

11-01-2012, 02:22 PM
excellent pictures to show the comparison!!

11-08-2012, 07:45 PM
(Apologies, this post should have photos but they turned out all wonky. I'll add them when I get good photos)

Okay, here's a short break from the decay and devastation!

What and why
I bought a set of Silvia 3-projector headlights to upgrade the 626 light output. Common for the designs of the late eighties, the GD never received praise for it's headlights, and now HID projectors setting the bar their shortcomings are more obvious than ever. Given that in winter time we get light for far less than a third of the 24h day, good headlights are very important for visibility and fighting driver fatigue.

Silvia projectors are of course old and halogen based; they won't turn into modern headlights by tossing in HID conversion bulbs. Optics quality and light distrubution differences in the bulbs would make sure the light output would stay far below modern standards. However, the enclosure offers a good platform for HID projector retrofit. A modern enclosure would look out of place in an eighties car; Silvia headlights instead have common design language with Mazda.

Legal schmegal
One great problem with the mod is the legislation. Since fixed headlight Silvias were never made for Europe (or anywhere else for that matter), there are no E-marked headlights, and also the light pattern is wrong. Earlier it would've meant automatic disqualification at vehicle inspection, but since then the rules have slightly laxed, with projectors it's usually enough if the projectors are ECE-approved and the glass is approved wherever.

First impressions
The shape of a Silvia headlight is familiar; slim and long trapezoid with rearward slope and lower corners pointing inwards. At a passing glance the lights appear almost identical, but the looks are deceiving; upon closer inspection, differences become obvious. Even though the plastic housing is about the same size in both, the glass in Silvia headlight tapers considerably. On side-by-side comparison, the silvia headligh is slimmer and narrower (and much more so with the wide euro headlight). Also the glass is much steeper, almost vertical. Mazda glass on the other hand is flatter, Silvia is more convex. The steeper headlight angle adds an interesting feature on the fascia; it gives a similar stepped grille appearance as certain Hondas and early Lancer Evos. Carefully planned chamfers and fillets to fill the gaps between the bumper and headlights could actually subtly modernize the look, without deviating from the original style too much.

Differences mounting
Mazda headlight is attached to the car by four axial fasteners and two extra braces. The silvia unit has two axial bolt holes in the inner and two radial on the outer edge. This means unlike the euro headlight, the Silvia one is probably impossible to line up with hood edges, and given how much narrower the S13 light is, it's not even desirable. Fabricating mounting adapters is, all things considered, a pretty trivial task.

Cutting Corners
With the Silvia headlight geometry and mounting envelope differences known, it's obvious there is no way the Mazda corners are going to fit the Silvia headlights. There is a slim chance the US style corner light wraps far enough front to cover the side mounting studs without too much of a gap, but it's impossible with the euro corners which mount flush on the headlight chamber wall. However, deciding to go Silvia corners is jumping to conclusions. There is a third option, more of it next.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_corners003.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/corners003.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_corners005.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/corners005.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_corners006.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/corners006.jpg)
Headlight layout
The original light setup is, from center outwards, an H3C fog light, a single H3 high beam and a single H1 low beam. Regular driving lights will be replaced by ECE approved HID units for performance and legal issues with bi-xenon projector providing low beam and dual high beam, but fogs will be gone for good. For best performance, fogs should be placed low and wide apart. It also makes certain feature much more useful; connecting fogs independently to the direction indicator switch they become nice cornering lights. Some cars, like most new Peugeots, offer such functionality as a factory feature. I originally planned to use LED DRL's in their place, but I found out there weren't small enough DRL's to fit. Upon realization the corners were going to cause a lot of grief and remembering Mazda6 headlight layout I had a smalltime epiphany; I'm going to use the vacant spot for a Hella 55mm front turn indicator. Corner lights are thus no longer required, and they can be made purely decorative without approval requirements. It allows nicer finish without the legal and technical hassles involved in modifying live units.

Putting it all together
I bought the headlights to better know how I should proceed once I get to building the front end. Right now my #1 priority is to get the body rolling; I've set myself the goal of having the car on it's wheels by the end of the year. I'm not hurrying with the updates on this part of the project, until it's actually time to start building the front end.

I did a sketch of how the front end might look like after the modification; the style is based on KWe bodykit which I like very much.
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Modification%20sketches/th_HIDsketch.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Bodywork/Modification%20sketches/HIDsketch.jpg)

It's a very rough sketch, but at least for me it's a guideline on how to plan ahead with the modifications. I'm not absolutely convinced I'm doing a favor to the looks of the car, but as long as it doesn't look like a hack job and gives 3000 lumens at 4300K, I'm happy.

11-08-2012, 07:54 PM
always loved the silvia headlights, good luck on the retrofit. projectors are an awesome upgrade compared to old style reflectors

11-09-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks! Where I need luck the most is with the inspection officer, everything else is just a matter of effort :)

Updated the post with some pictures too! More will come within the next few days.

Also, I received the trailing arms for the AWD! Here's a shot of AWR made FWD tubular trailing arm and their custom AWD trailing arm. It was incredible how they simply agreed to make a set with little extra cost! They deserve respect.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_Trailingarms.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/Trailingarms.jpg)
Top one is FWD, bottom AWD. The hand brake cable bracket attachment point location caused some confusion first, but it was cleared fast. The mounting points on the chassis are the same in FWD and AWD, the knuckle is different; thus the length difference.

I think I'll paint it semigloss black to reduce undue attention.

11-09-2012, 04:32 PM
nice to see a set of trailing arms whipped up for the project! how much longer exactly are the AWD ones?

11-09-2012, 05:20 PM
I can't remember exactly, I think it was 30mm. The throw reduction for the longer arm is really insignificant, I wonder if they did it for more clearance around the CV joint.

I'm going to need some new bushings soon! The stock bushings aren't too bad, but the constant desire to always make things a bit more extreme isn't letting me off easy here either. The problem with bushing is the harder they come, the more they bind causing unneccessary harshness that won't improve handling but increase fatigue, both the driver and the car parts. The ultimate solution would be spherical bearings, but those are usually forbidden in street use. Then again there's a lot of room inside the bushing barrel. How hard would it be to machine an adapter sleeve that fits inside the barrel and accepts a spherical bearing. Rubber caps would finish the look and act as a weather seal. Hmmm.....

11-09-2012, 05:47 PM
many people in track use have snuck by with spherical bushings molested to look like OEM/and or rubber pieces.
get it on the road. then change them to sphericals.

11-09-2012, 06:16 PM
It needs to be stealth from the get-go. We have yearly inspections (with the exception of new registrations which get a three-year grace period)... it sucks but there you have it. On the other hand you've seen in what kind of condition a car can get here in under 25 years so it's not all just bureaucratic bullying.

12-14-2012, 03:32 PM
I may have found a perfect solution (don't know yet, hopeful!) for the corner indicators. Japanese U12 Bluebird has exactly the same corner indicators as Silvia, but around here they seem to be much more subtle, similar to J30 Maxima, and resembling closely the original 626 light. In any case, U12 corners are very cheap, available, and E-legal! I just need to check if they really do match the silvia headlights, and that's one big problem less if they do!

A NZ J30 corner

04-09-2013, 04:15 PM
Those Bluebird corners turned out to be twice the size of the original Mazda corners. Never go with the initial appearance... I guess I'll be going for Silvia corners then.

Not having a steady job is a terrible thing for the build, can't keep up with the pace I once did. However, here's the latest on the headlights.

I'm really happy I decided to go with aftermarket projectors. The original reflectors are cloudy with milky white areas, either age or way overpowered bulbs. Here's a shot of the low-beam reflector:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_023_zpse0de13bf.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/023_zpse0de13bf.jpg)

The white area below the bulb hole is not a camera bloom; it's really that clouded. The rough areas at the sides are complete mystery to me; perhaps someone thought a crisp cutoff wasn't the best idea afterall. Anyway I'm really happy I decided to check. These projectors are little more than garbage.

Morimoto projectors are designed to fit H4 and H7 bulb holders, but unfortunately since the Silvia projectors have H1s, I couldn't just bolt the set in, and the high beam projectors needed brackets anyway. So I engineered a set and had them made by a laser cutting company. Here's the shots:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_025_zps6ad79744.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/025_zps6ad79744.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_026_zps42bcde98.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/026_zps42bcde98.jpg)http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/th_027_zpsbc664317.jpg (http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd300/Koivusalo/027_zpsbc664317.jpg)

The four-pronged thread inserts have about the same amount of play they had in the original brackets, so I think they should work well without binding. I'm going to fasten the ball socket in place with butyl adhesive, the same stuff the glass cover is glued with. Not fancy, but it works. The third bracket design in the photos are for turn signals. I'm not going to house the foglights in the headlight enclosure (non-optimal placement) and all the available DRL's were at least 90mm in diameter, so those didn't fit either. Thus, a turn indicator it is. I've also noticed it can be terribly difficult to see a corner indicators in a roundabout, so consider it a benefit for the fellow driver.

09-17-2013, 01:07 AM
Okay, a MAJOR snag. I mean a really huge one. The talks for exemption permit were close to being okayed, and then this asshole official decided that because I'm altering the drive train, no big engine changes can be allowed. Why? No why. They do it because they can and because they get no other joy from their work. *Especially* all forms of supercharging were no-go. No real explanation, just a vague "too great power potential". Given that the legal limit for power increase on the street already is 20% over highest rated factory engine, the restriction is simply unreasonable and petty. Ah well. If the turbo plan falls through, I could just build it with the naturally asphyxiated FE DOHC at first and then start the turbo battle later.

09-17-2013, 01:00 PM
mega ****ty :( sorry for the bad luck. Personally. id do it anyway :P

09-17-2013, 01:54 PM
"Given that the legal limit for power increase on the street already is 20% over highest rated factory engine"

jeebus that right there SUCKS right there. I just bet the car makers and legislators would love to shove this down our throats here.

09-17-2013, 04:50 PM
Ah well, that limit is somewhat loosely enforced. You need to produce a dyno sheet from the engine not going over the legal limit, after that there's not much control. If a suspect the engine is over powered, they might want to see a fresh sheet. Not really difficult to come by.

There are 900hp supras out in the streets.

But right now, I'm pissed beyond words with the decision of not allowing any kind of superchargers.

09-17-2013, 07:23 PM
yep, utter crap.

09-27-2013, 01:02 PM
As expected, my request for actual *reasons* to why turbos aren't allowed was stonewalled and responded in typical decree BS. So it seems I'll be building a stock gt with awd :-( You wouldn't call it lazy, but how much more it could've been... Now, if I only had a proper AWD GVwith DOHC, things would be golden.

09-28-2013, 10:38 PM
if you keep harassing them..... will it get you farther? or will they revoke the whole thing?

10-02-2013, 03:07 PM
if you keep harassing them..... will it get you farther? or will they revoke the whole thing?

They would revoke it, plain and simple. They guy isn't ultimately making the decision, he can only present it to his superior with a favourable opinion. That's bureaucracy for ya. In a powerless act of defiance, the first letter of each sentence in the brief "I submit to these limitations" mail spell out "ғᴜᴄᴋ" (lit. "cunt"). I don't think he did caught that.

11-22-2013, 03:04 PM
After a bit of thinking and a lot of fighting back resentment towards FTSA I finally figured a NA AWD might not be so bad. It should keep me from blowing up the transmission (too often) and I've had these strange urges to build an atmo engine. And as E85 is now reasonably widely available, I might go for high compression. 13.5:1 or something. Should give good power. And since it's starting to look like the monster turbo engine is going into a RWD car, I can cannibalize the modified VICS chamber from the turbo engine without penalties.

11-22-2013, 04:38 PM
higher the better. through my experiences the FE3 loves high comp. it starts to wake up as soon as you break the 11:1 mark.
I do wish mazda would have started with 11:1. doing so probably would of yielded alot of needed improvements for its day.
someday id like to make a VVT system hybrid with the FE3

11-22-2013, 05:03 PM
You should do ITB's if the paperwork permits it!

11-24-2013, 12:23 PM
Thanks to the somewhat idiosyncratic legislation, since it's pre-emissions control engine, I can do *anything* I like to it, except: Install non-manufacturer forced induction (since it was forbidden in the permit conditions), swap the cylinder head type (not that there's anything you'd swap a DOHC head to, but it does exclude the loophole of installing the turboed DOHC as a modified F2T) and increase engine displacement more than 25%. Also, the naturally aspirated engines have relatively relaxed power limit of 7kg/kW (for forced induction engines it's just 20% over highest stock rating) which would in my case give nearly 250hp maximum allowed power, so I'm probably not going to have much problems with too powerful engine.

ITB's sound tempting, though I think I'll first try out with the existing hardware and later do a stage update.