Friday, April 20, 2012

Multipla Begins again

So after racing the MRolla at Sears in March it's time to move on to the next project. I have been ignoring the Multipla too long and it really needs my attention. To bring you up to speed, the Multipla is the smallest mini van made by Fiat, it is about 11 feet long and 48" wide and 52" tall So if you have heard the term "Bread Box" you will understand. As you can see in the picture that the car has some big ass fenders. These are actually the subframe of the Toyota MR2 that was installed underneath the body of the Multipla. Why? you ask, well when we bought the Multipla there was no subframe (or should I say there was rusted metal in the form of a multipla. We had to redesign the whole car to fit our needs, I needed it to look cool, fast but still hold most of the charm of the car. What you see here is the rear end rust cut out and replaced with new metal and then painted with Pour 15 to stop any rust.
One of the issues is to shape the new fenders to look like the Fiat 600 Abarth of 1961
Bob came over and helped me out in getting some shape in the fender.
We started by putting wax paper on a rigid plastic and bending it over the back of the body.

Next we mixed a two part marine foam to create a carve-able shape.
A little trick to this is to mix the foam in a plastic bag and cut the end off to pour. Less mess and less waste.

Just make sure all of your holes are covered!

Once we did the back part of the fender we moved to the front part. I installed a motor fan in the wall of the body and set it up so that we can carve a vent in the fender to allow air movement over the engine and back to the radiator at the rear of the car.
The finished product just waiting to be carved and then Fiber glassed to a smooth finish.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bring on the Chaos

This weekend will be the official start of the new season of wrenching for Lemons racing or as some people call it "Utter Chaos" and to make matters worse we are joining forces again with our sister team VRAM. Yes that's right Billy! Larry and I are going to resurrect the MRolla for another run at greatness. What's that Sally? Well sure we are going to have other drivers! Why we are going to have some of the best drivers money can't buy including the likeness of Jim Hall, (Pat Mulry from Texas) Shirley Muldowney, (Judy) and an unknown driver who goes by the the name of Wil who is most famous for being Peddle car champion of 1968-1969.
O.K. enough of the silliness we are contemplating racing two cars in the Sears Infinion race this year. Thanks to Ruben we are seriously thinking of having a Triple Suck weekend at our first race. We will be at the Ponderosa this weekend to actually do some wrenching and pulling of motors, all are welcomed. Stay tuned for more....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Infinion or BUST!

No really it will be or BUST...
We have got a lot to do before Infinion this year. Luckily we have a great team of drivers lined up and itching to get some seat time in the Fiat. So Larry and I are going to go back into the shop and make a plan of attack for finishing up the car. What's left to do you ask? Well a whole sh*tload to be exact. We need an engine, master brake cylinder , master clutch cylinder, wiring harness, brake lights, tires, wheels, roll cage, kill switch, racing seat, and I of course still need to finish the floor panels up front so we can install the front suspension. Since the last time I posted this is what has been done.
First I painted the new steering rails and parts of the fenders that will be covered under the suspension. I then proceeded to pound out new floor pans for the front. Here are a few photos of the progress including a reminder of what it use to look like.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Need brakes part 3

With all the comments I have been getting about the project (at least 5) I felt I should put the brake issue out of its misery. So here is the actual finished product ready to be put back on the Fiat subframe that will soon be finished with a nice coat of Pour 15. One suggestion don't get that shit on your skin, or put the brush in your mouth like I did, I think my lips will be black for a week. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Final Photos.
First the new brake brackets drying on the back porch.

Second. The brackets mounted to the steering arm/spindle.

Third. The caliper assembly fitted into position.

And Fourth. The final product ready to be installed.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Need Brakes Part 2

After working on the possible disk brake set up the next thing to do is to check for clearance between the suspension and brake caliper. With the front sway bar removed and a small chunk taken out of the suspension the calipers will now have the clearance to ride in the suspension pocket on a full turn.
As you can see without the cut the bottom stud of the caliper would shear off on a left or right hand turn. Not a problem in Lemons since all we do is drive in a straight line. Not to worry though the steel that was cut out has been replaced with
more structural steel making the car even heavier.

Here is the mock-up once the notch was taken out. I think it's going to look cool with disk brakes.
Of course I can't allow the rust survive, and it's really getting on my nerves. At this point I just want this part of the project over. As you can see it's on everything!

After a whole lot of wirebrushing grinding and acid washing and lots of showers in between (Thanks Judy for not getting too mad!) here is the end result, with a little help from paint.


Some new shocks, rotors and calipers and they can go back on the car.
Eric wrote: "You are a lot insane". Ummm...yeah a little too much at the moment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Brakes! we need them.

Once the amputation was over there had to be decisions made about which direction we would be able to go with the suspension, original, MR2 or aftermarket? After building a strut assembly and working it into the front suspension I realized it would not allow for the correct clearance for the driver and passenger seats.
What most people don't realize is that the driver is literally siting directly above the wheel in this car, there is no room for adaptation of struts into the drivers compartment.

Fortunately there was only a loss of $100.00 in parts and lots of labor to find this out. (Does anybody need a 86 mr2 front strut suspension with a 4" drop?)

Once I was forced to go back to using my brain, I realized that the the aluminum brake drum was actually riveted to the front spindle.

This is a unusual set up Fiat used to make the front end lighter which kept the car under 1600 lbs. Of course the original engine was putting out an eye splitting 26 horsepower. Not quite enough to kill the bugs hitting the windshield, only maiming them. This cruelty had to stop, and of course with the addition of the 4age motor the car needed to stop too.Once the front spindle was separated the next issue was to find a rotor set-up that would be adaptable to the control arm that would fit both a 14" rim and be hub centric on the spindle.
Once again the 87 MR2 steps in as a likely donor. The rotor was within 1/16 of an inch. I just happen to have a special tool from my woodworking days that I was able to shave the extra metal off the rotor.
The back of the rotor fit perfectly within less than a 1/16 of an inch so the hub fits snugly in the pocket of the rotor flush against the plate.

The next process entails creating a backer plate that will hold the Brake caliper on the rotor

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back in the Garage.

Everyone and no one is probably wondering what's been going on in the garage for the last 3 months. Well the truth of the matter is that all projects were on hold while we finished the MRolla and got it off and rolling around the race track at Reno. Then there was our race with the Killer Zombies in high plains Oregon, an awesome time, track and friends. We couldn't have asked for more. The next race will be Sears Infinion in October and the plan is to get the Fiat on the track.

So now on to the latest progress.
As those who who have been following the blog know the Fiat came into our stable in very poor condition. I have been able to rebuild the rear of the car by fusing half of a MR2 sub-frame to the shell of the Fiat. No simple task in itself but quite a good fit for what I am attempting.
The front end is a totally different beast though. With the extreme amount of rust eating away at the frame I had no choice but to amputate 90% of the front end.

Once the amputation was over there had to be decisions made about which direction we would be able to go with the suspension, original, MR2 or aftermarket? The next process was to rebuild the front chassis to handle the additional braking power and weight added to the front end. In this process as seen in the photographs there was really nothing to work with. I wanted to keep the front end as original as possible to keep the car looking as ugly as the day it left the assembly line so many years ago. This is no easy task, what most people don't realize is that I have no machinist background, no special tools other than my trusty wire feed Lincoln welder, a craftsman 12 speed drill press and a Makita 4" grinder. I of course see no problem with that, most of my racing comrades have been using those tools to keep cars on the race track for the last 3 years. So here is the process I used to build new front I beams for the Fiat, staying within exacting tolerances so that the steering and suspension would actually be true and continue to have years of trouble free driving.

The suspension has been upgraded to 11 gauge metal throughout so as to have more structural stability and lets not forget the ability to withstand a slightly bigger impact to the front end.

Yes that's where your feet will be in a crash.