Update? Pics?So I've come to the realization that I should have built the car from the middle out instead of from the outside in.
Redesigning the front end gave me the opportunity to do just that. I was able to link the two ends of the car by building the 4 tube "spine" made of 1.5" x.120" DOM pictured below. It fits nicely into the exhaust tunnel of the DelSol and I was able to build it with no bending or notching so it went together quickly. The square tubing is there just to help hold it all together as I welded it up and if you look close enough, you can see that the spine mounts are notched to allow room for the AC hoses.
The top 2 tubes will carry coolant to the front of the car and this required building the small bulkhead pictured below which allows me to terminate the 2 upper tubes at a point in the back of the car where I'll have enough room to actually put hoses on them. Its shaped like that to keep mud out of the tunnel. From there, it all bolts into the stock DelSol rear suspension mounts allowing me to use the body of the car for structure. Not pictured are the skid plate mounts and the shifter mount. All this structure is pretty much eating up all the space under the car where the stock fuel tank was but there should be just enough room for the batteries...maybe.
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The rear cross-member is built at 5 degrees and I've started on my trailing arm design, keeping the following points in mind...If I'm wrong let me know now!
1. The axles and the trailing arms should be the same length to minimize axle plunge. To achieve this means lengthening the wheel base a few inches but I suspect that the improved geometry will be worth it.
2. The trailing arm pivots and the inner CV should pivot in the same plane to further minimize axle plunge. I can do this but ground clearance will suffer....I was hoping to have the bottom of the car "slick" from one end to the other but to get everything pivoting on the same plane out back will require that the ring and pinon sump hang a couple of inches below the rest of the car. I can skid plate around it and with 38"s, I don't think I'll have much of an issue with it but whats more important? Good geometry or ground clearance?
3. While I've heard that 3" is about the right distance to offset the inner and outer CVs when everything is level to help minimize axle plunge, that works out to 2.5" as my car will only be 84" wide. The goal is to not have the outer CV in front of the inner CV at full droop which shouldn't be hard to do.
4. At full pack, the rear shocks should be working at a right angle to the trailing arm pivots.
5. A decent rule of thumb for lower shock mount placement on the trailing arm is roughly at a distance 80% down the trailing arm from the pivot and as close to the tire as you can get it without hitting it. I can't remember exactly how I came to this conclusion but I believe it was in a thread about shock/wheel travel ratios.
6. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to use "off the shelf" axles unless I'm cool running this thing at 88" and that's a little too much ass for the places I go. Kartek can shorten them up so I guess thats the plan at this point.
The new front end is going together now and I was able to addresses a lot of nagging little issues I had with the old one.
I have an old Del Sol and would love to find someone to do this for me!