Nearly one year on

It’s been nearly a year since the first post here and not much progress has been made.  Sadly I haven’t won the lottery so it’s meant having to save a little money here and there to be able to have enough money to ship the GT over.

In the mean time I have been trying to figure out how to accomplish my goals for the final product that is seen in the render at the top of the site.  One of the things that I really want to do is to lower the car on a custom air suspension.  However the GT has a few problems that prevent extreme lowering.  The first major obstacle is that the bottom of the GT is completely flat except for where the driveshaft resides.  There is no channel for the exhaust.  So if I want to lower it to the extreme that I have planned the exhaust would get crushed by the car itself, nevermind any sort of speed bump or road debris.  The next problem is that the front suspension design is an upside down transverse leaf spring.  In most modern cars the front suspension consists of vertically mounted shocks/struts, but with the GT’s transverse leaf spring you can only go so low and it’s not low enough.

The next problem is that I want to have larger wheels.  This is generally accomplished by the plus one factor, meaning every time you go up one inch in wheel size, you go down in the sidewall size of the tire.  The GT came with 13″ wheels and 70 series tires from the factory.  So a plus one would be a 14″ wheel and 60 series tires, plus two would be 15″ wheel and 50 series tire and a 16″ wheel would require 40 series tires.  With the small body size I think I will end up with a 16″ wheel, going much larger would start to look ridiculous.  When you increase the size of the wheel from such a small size you generally also increase the width of the tire.  With most cars this isn’t so much of a problem but the GT has a very small amount of space inside of the wheel housing.  This means that the turning radius of the wheels will be reduced as the wheel won’t be able to turn as far when the tire is wider.  In addition, because the vehicle will be lowered the already small amount of wheel housing space will become even smaller.

The next problem is that I want to change the motor to something like the Honda F20C that is in the S2000.  This is an inline 4 cylinder engine in the same configuration that the GT came with but much more modern with more horsepower, variable valve timing and a higher redline.  However this engine is also a fair bit larger than the stock GT engine.  I don’t know at this point if it will fit or not but so far it looks like it might be “possible”.

Combining the factors of a flat bottom and small wheel housings with a desire for a lower stance and larger wheels and a larger motor brings up a unique problem with several possible solutions.  I could cut and hack away at the body to make it all fit and work but those would be like band-aid “fixes” and not a properly engineered solution.  It would never be the way that I want it.  However I believe that there is an “easier” solution that will be more work overall but will bring many many more benefits.

My solution is to build a complete tubular rolling chassis that will support all the mechanical components and then just essentially “hang” the body on that frame.  This will allow me to build a completely custom chassis that will be able to do all of the things I want it to do.

I am currently evaluating/learning SolidWorks and PST Creo / Pro Engineer to see which works better for me to model the entire chassis.  Expect to see some posts with renderings once I decide on a program and start making some progress.


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