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WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:46 pm
by ST3Racer
Jim S says to not give away racing secrets, but here is a preview that doesn't give a key handling secret away. Just a teaser of the rear suspension moved over from my EP Spider to my fresh Vintage build. Totally stable, controllable traction, no bind. All stock related, and legal for SCCA, NASA, and Vintage. Wear out your rear tires and not your fronts.
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Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:36 pm
by ST3Racer
Fiatistas,
Some 85 of you, guests and members, have viewed this posting. No questions or comments? I am committed to racing a 124 Spider in Vintage Racing, and post here occasionally to see if there is any interest, but get little response. If anyone wants to know more from a long time FIAT racer, please join in. Fast Street, or Racing.

I'll continue to check, but for now, back to the shop to finish my '72 Spider for Vintage. Cheers.

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:55 pm
by fp55scca
--Bill, I've seen this on your EP Spider..... beautiful work, and thanks for "sharing"! :lol:
--When do you expect to have the '72 ready? More pics are always appreciated!

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:21 am
by ST3Racer
Jim, Members, Guests,
I hope to have the new/old racer on track by the end of the season, and do a full season of RMVR in Colorado, CVAR in TX, and the SVRA Championships at COTA, in '20. I hatched the idea to go Vintage from a visit to last September's RMVR event at Pueblo (PMI). There was a full field of 26 Small Bore racers that were having a great time. I investigated the rules, and found I needed to go with an all steel body, and to use a 1.8L for power. So, I needed to find a body shell, as I would be transferring the suspension and systems over from the old car.
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My shop would fit two Spiders as seen in this old photo showing the EP Racer, and the in progress Abarth Stradale replica. I began by stripping down the old chassis.
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I was very lucky to find a straight, solid chassis from Tom at Aspen (you have seen recent pictures of his shop. I purchased the chassis in November of '18, and he passed this spring)
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This chassis is a '79 to be backdated to '72 appearance to run as an SVRA spec Group 3, DP car. I had a later Lancia 1.8 shortblock, and built that first.
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I had to find a shop to torch out the cage from the old car to put into the new chassis, as the "provenance" of this car as a Vintage racer is in the E.J. Trivette 1970 cage, and general build of the time.
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With that done I started to work on backdating the '79 chassis, and completing the extensive fabrication on the new chassis.
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Fuel door and marker lights shaved, conversion to earlier tail lights, and significant body work, including the reintegration for the roll cage. As of now, I have 95% of the fabrication finished, the suspension is being moved over, and I have painted the trunk and doghouse.
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This is moving along as fast as I can work, and almost all of the work is mine, including the bodywork, most of the fabrication. My son, who is an excellent welder, welded in the cage, and the torch shop and engine block machinist, and other suppliers, and vendors (Thanks to Shade Tree, and Csaba at A/R) have all helped.

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:22 am
by ST3Racer
sry about the crooked picts. Can a site admin straighten them out?

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:37 am
by SimcaBertone66
Bill... was thinking the same thing …. not a lot of motorsport devotee's here, can count the number on one hand I think.... thinking about the photo you posted...…. I found something similar and was going to question you ….
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care to illustrate how it integrates with the 124 suspension …

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:13 am
by friedman
Many of us who don't race are interested in you racers and what you do to your cars so keep posting. Curious as to what was illegal about your racer other than glass fenders as I would have thought it easier to reinstall steel fenders than go through a new body prep.

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:27 pm
by ST3Racer
Gentlemen,
Thanks for the interest, and replies.

Joe,
No, not a lot of Classic FIAT racers out there, which is a shame, as the car has won SCCA Championships, and should be better than it is in Vintage.

There is a LOT to be learned from modifiers like me on how to make a Street driven Spider a more enjoyable experience, as well. Your Spider isn't exactly stock, lol... My Abarth Stradale Spider replica is a good example of what can be done in that regard.... just ask. That car is highly modified, but also supremely driveable, and has toured RT66 on a 2800 mile trip with no trouble (28mpg average!) , and has been driven from Denver to Dallas for the Grapevine Show (Trophy Winner). It is great Tourer, and has also survived numerous Track days, and a Vintage Driver's School.

To answer your question, the Wishbone attaches much like your picture, which I don't believe is a FIAT. The principle is the same - a Panhard or Track Bar, creates an unstable arcing/binding movement with suspension travel which is undesirable. The Wishbone is neutral, and provides a more positive location of the rear axle. But that is only one aspect of my Racer's rear suspension.

Most of the faithful here only drive their Classic FIATs in the best weather, and keep them garaged, so modifying them is practical for that kind of use. Just ask a Racer.

Carl,
Some of what I said to Joe... The change to Vintage required a N/A 1.8L engine vs the Volumex 2L I had, and requires an all-steel body. Please understand that the old Racer chassis was a '69, that was never run on the street - it went to E.J. Trivette in Florida (Google that) from new, and then to the track. I bought it in '94, and drove it in 60-70 races. It had been hit multiple times, wrecked badly once, and was just ready to be retired. What is left of the shell will be respectfully taken to scrap. A new body shell was the best answer. Ever try to replace a fender on a uni-body car? Very tough to do right. For the $500 I spent on a fresh chassis, the time and money savings was the obvious best choice for me. A lot of fabrication was required to transfer the racer bits salvaged from the old chassis, but it is now also fresh and ready to go for another 60-70 races...
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On RT66 in Shamrock, TX, May '18.

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:15 pm
by vandor
So no panhard bar then? I worked on a Spider with a similar mod, but it retained the panhard bar and had a single upper arm that was the same length and angle as the lower arms.

Re: WTH Spider Rear Racing Suspension!

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:43 pm
by Slipcased
Oh I cant wait to drive mine! Plus keep us posted...