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Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 08, 2017 04:33PM

I am considering a project with a friend to fabricate a totally tubular front end for a LM Corvair. The idea is to reduce weight and make better geometry, possibly allowing coil overs. I have seem some fab's on the rear trailing arms but never the front. I know the beam is strong but surely not as strong as a full chrome moly frame.

Has anyone done this? Maybe I just need to buy one if it's already being made.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: May 08, 2017 05:47PM

Arms.. yes... but complete? Not that I've heard off..





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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: tony66 ()
Date: May 08, 2017 06:51PM

I doubt you'll save a lot of weight, but it would be great if you can use spindles that improve ackerman, camber gain and also utilize rack and pinion steering.

While not on my Corvair I did build a tube chassis for my '68 Mustang. I based it on an 89 Mustang lower control arm mounting points, but used Pole Position adjustable upper control arms, a mustang rack & pinion and QA1 coil overs. It isn't perfect, but does handle well.

My advise would be to research and select your spindles first for best ackerman, then mockup control arm lengths and pivot points along with steering rack position so you can minimize bump steer while maintaining a good camber curve.

Once you get that set, figure out shock position and you should be able to calculate for appropriate spring rates. don't forget swaybar packaging too.

I think a great reference book is "Chassis Engineering" by Herb Adams.

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: wv-geo ()
Date: May 09, 2017 05:46AM

You want to reduce weight on the front of a vehicle
that is already too light to begin with?

Good luck.

Dan Stark
Hurricane, WV

1961 Lakewood 500, 80HP, PG
1964 Corvair 500 Coupe, 140HP, 4spd (Christine)
1965 Mustang Coupe, 6cyl, 3spd

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: May 09, 2017 07:06AM

If you are going to do it then look into using C5 or C6 Corvette parts.
There is a guy who posted on the other board that built an LS powered car and used all C5 suspension components but utilized a Mustang 2 rack. His name was Tony M and I know he had it at one of the performance work shops.

Lee J
Southern New Jersey near Philly.
1966 Corsa 180/4 speed
1969 Monza convertible 140/4 speed

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 09, 2017 09:14AM

Weight is weight. The less you have the less you burn usable HP. Lots of ways to make the front end stay down instead of adding weight. If the car is used for AutoX, a lifting front end is not a big problem. For road racing, a better front end will make the weight change insignificant.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: Ed Dowds ()
Date: May 09, 2017 02:54PM

There are kits listed on Ebay to put an aftermarket Mustang II suspension into a Corvair. There are plenty of optional A arms for those suspensions. I am not sure you would save much weight over a Corvair front end. I would think there is a lot of weight in the Corvair crossmember.

Ed
Hillsborough, NJ
66 500 rear 4.3 V6 Corvair
69 350/350 TH Camaro was RS
30 Model A Ford Streetrod 350/400 TH
88 Celebrity Wagon (Daily Driver)

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 10, 2017 08:56AM

Yeah, eliminating the heavy cross member is a prime motivation. Then I want to have very broad options for the setup so it can be tuned for whatever track it is running. Optimally, it would be able to be tuned for an AutoX race or a road race without taking a week.

I need to consider what kind of a jig is needed to start.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: May 10, 2017 10:56AM

Wonder if you can modify the corvette suspension and use the whole thing narrowed a bit. The spring is fiberglass might can trim it to reduce the lift and width.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 10, 2017 02:02PM

Marty Scarr told me that David Clemmens made a tube front end for one of his race cars. From the photo, the car was front ended in tube with a rack & pinion. If he doesn't chime in here, I will contact him to discuss. Exciting stuff.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: May 10, 2017 02:40PM

BobV66Vair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Marty Scarr told me that David Clemmens made a
> tube front end for one of his race cars. From the
> photo, the car was front ended in tube with a rack
> & pinion. If he doesn't chime in here, I will
> contact him to discuss. Exciting stuff.


David just posted today that his car might be for sale. Might be a consideration
for you.

Lee J
Southern New Jersey near Philly.
1966 Corsa 180/4 speed
1969 Monza convertible 140/4 speed



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2017 02:43PM by MattNall.

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: Jonathan Knapp ()
Date: May 10, 2017 10:07PM

Bob -

Duane Cartwright, down in your neck of the woods, has talked about this idea on and off. He lives on the southeast outskirts of Clackamas. Can't be too far from you. He knows a suspension builder in Coos Bay (of all places!) if my memory serves me correctly.

I would be interested in talking with you about it, if you move forward with the project. For autocross, road racing, and street performance I have very specific ideas. Building 3 or 4 might bring the cost down. Eric Aos in Milwaukie would be the other person to talk with, as he has built dirt track car frames and suspension.

Jonathan Knapp
Seattle, WA
'66 Corsa Autocrosser

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: May 10, 2017 10:31PM

That would most likely be John Wishon..... Race shop moved to Sutherland Right off I-5





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: vairsnvettes ()
Date: May 10, 2017 11:26PM

Chris Alston's Chassisworks site shows some that look similar to the ones I used to see on the Fiberfab site for the Avenger.


Chassisworks


Mark
Memphis

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: May 11, 2017 05:31AM

Ever since this thread came up I've searching and trying to remember.

Who is the builder of the mostly all red parts with all the trick stuff.

Rotisserie build by a race shop and was posted here about six months ago.

Posts were in different stages of the build...we had never heard of them.

The point is that car had tubular a-arms mounted on a stock crossmember.

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: May 11, 2017 05:40AM

About two seconds after I hit post message above I remembered...super trick stuff.

[corvaircenter.com]

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 11, 2017 09:04AM

Excellent information guys. I think this is enough for me to start contacting people. Great pictures and it's a great photo. Most of the work is done, just a tube cross member to add.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: Jonathan Knapp ()
Date: May 17, 2017 09:50PM

I went back and read the thread about the car that Phil mentioned. It looked really great, but the thread stopped about a year ago. Does anyone know what happened to the car? Did it ever get finished? I'd like to see how it turned out.

Jonathan Knapp
Seattle, WA
'66 Corsa Autocrosser

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: May 18, 2017 09:45AM

I was also disappointed to see that thread end before it was completed. Nothing on their website but that makes sense since it was a customers car. A lot of this could be used as a beginning for a full tube front end. Include the lower stabilizer bar(s) and a mount to the body and your almost there. Some kind of stabilizer to replace the brake reaction rods, maybe more aluminum or tube. I would not start this until the geometry was worked out. Too much expense for a maybe. The adjustments would make this worthwhile, at least to a racer. We don't know if this was to be a race car or a show car.

The rear has promise as well but I would make new spring mounts to be completely custom. I like the ability to adjust the toe angle on the rear. Too bad we don't know if it worked IRL.

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Anyone make tubular front end?
Posted by: didget69 ()
Date: May 18, 2017 07:54PM

I'm still investigating a future EM mod using Miata front a-arms & upright components, and replicating a tubular front subframe similar to this -

[farm5.static.flickr.com]

bnc

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