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Old 03-27-2012, 11:32 PM
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what is hot rodding to you? another newbie, with a unique project

hello! another new guy, and i can't wait to learn here. i'm an absolute noob to the rodding scene, and i've been crash coursing hot rods and american muscle cars for the past 3 months to try and see if this idea i have is feasible. i'm starting to lose hope simply due to lack of constructive input (and people trying to rob me on fab estimates). i'd like to ask this forum for help, but i'm afraid of more of the usual responses. so before i even try, i would like to ask what this forum's stance is on non-american hot rodding? what IS hot rodding to you?

i personally feel what i'm attempting is hot rodding at its heart and soul, but so far i've just been stonewalled with doubt and jest. i mean, isn't it all about shoving a big motor into a car that wasn't supposed to ever get it? the more difficult, outlandish, and insane, the better? fat motor, small car, low to the ground, mean growl? i used to think that's what it was way before i ever even looked into the scene, but exposure to it's given me a much different answer. please tell me i'm wrong and i've come to the right place. because walking the same road as everyone else alone is no fun

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:34 PM
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ferk it, i'm just gonna say it. i'm trying to stuff a c5/6 corvette drivetrain into a honda del sol, and source a cheap junkyard ls1 or l33 for the engine. more than enough power, and the transaxle should help even out the weight distribution. i plan to do this with entirely junkyard parts, with a budget of 20-30k. i don't believe it should cost more than that if i'm smart with my purchases and hand the welder a baseline design for the ladder frame and modified roll cage as i'd like it. i'm also giving myself the entire year to both plan and save, and will not make a single purchase or cut until i'm certain this will work with minimal problems.

i intend to keep it fully within the constraints of the existing chassis, save fender pulling to fit the wider tires. possibly side exit exhausts if i have no space to route piping to the rear. full interior as well, which isn't hard since there isn't a lot in there. i know the firewall will be pushed back likely 4-6 inches, but hoping to minimize the firewall movement to just the engine bulge. this will let me keep the dash in the same location (mostly), but will interfere with my stock heater core box location. but i think i can squeeze in the longitudinally-designed corvette or honda s2000 heater box in its place. i have a mini tunnel in the car that i believe should fit the torque tube just fine, and i don't think i have to cut the tube down! but failing that i have a little room to expand the tunnel, emphasis on little. the spare tire well will be removed as well as the stock gas tank to make room for the new rear end, and i'm hoping there's enough room in front of the axles for corvette-style twin tanks. if i can't do that with at least 10 gallons fuel capacity, the new space behind the axles from the deleted spare tire well should be just fine for the fuel cell. i also plan to use c6 front and rear subframes for mounting the new hardware, complete with stock transverse leafspring, shocks and brakes. i'm hoping the magnesium front cradle will be lighter than a custom cradle. i'm also hoping to retain as much trunk space as possible after lifting the floor to fit the rear. the subframes will mount to rails added when i build the ladder frame as they don't currently exist on this fwd chassis.

i plan to daily this car, but i have many questions. for starters, i've never looked into the hot rod scene at all, and don't know how you guys make certain things fit. i've heard of rodders using corvette rear ends and shortening the axle shafts, but do you cut or replace the leafspring or switch to coilovers? it's the length of the entire subframe, but i figure if i run wide tires i may not have to shorten it at all. i could be mistaken though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:49 PM
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Sounds like a hot rod to me!!
Post pics of your progress
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:25 PM
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welcome...Post your questions in the various sections and you should get some answers and opinions.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:35 PM
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Hello and welcome Rymel! Sounds like an interesting project!
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:56 PM
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welcome to the site. I have to agree with what has been said already. Sounds like a very interesting project. Can't wait to see dome pictures of it as you go along.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:06 PM
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i'm giving myself the entire year to both gather the funds and lay out the plans as much as possible before doing anything irreversible. after all, the car still works just fine, and i'd like to keep driving it til first cut. there won't be detailed pics since i'll be paying a shop to do the conversion, but i'll do what i can when the time comes. i've pretty much been lambasted on corvetteforum for what i'm trying to do (especially with the self-imposed budget), but i'm hoping hot rodders can be a little more forthcoming. thanks for the welcome!
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:09 PM
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Welcome to the site.. Can't wait to see it come together..
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:47 AM
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Is the swap doable, ABSOLUTLY, and I think it will be a neat car IF it gets built.

“…….i plan to do this with entirely junkyard parts, with a budget of 20-30k. i don't believe it should cost more than that if i'm smart with my purchases and hand the welder a baseline design for the ladder frame and modified roll cage as i'd like it……..”

Here’s where the rub comes in (I suspect you’ve heard this before on other sites and it’s not what you want to hear) you’re budget is probably 1/2 of what it should be if you’re farming out all the work to competent shop(s). I can also see this project easily taking 1 1/2 to 2 years to complete.

".....(and people trying to rob me on fab estimates)......"

I'm going to take a guess here and say you probably got some realistic estimates and they were not waht you wanted to hear.

What you’re talking about is something that is hugely labor intensive and there will be a great deal of time designing and test fitting to actually make it happen. If you can find a similar project that has been completed to use as a guide and find out what the potential pit fall are going to be it will be a big help but even then this will be a project where the majority of work will be one off fabrication and hours rack up very quickly.

I wish you all the luck with this, but I would suggest you talk to some shops who specialize in these types of projects and be prepared to dig a little deeper in the old piggy bank if you go thru with this.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:06 PM
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"Here’s where the rub comes in (I suspect you’ve heard this before on other sites and it’s not what you want to hear) you’re budget is probably 1/2 of what it should be if you’re farming out all the work to competent shop(s). I can also see this project easily taking 1 1/2 to 2 years to complete."

actually, i want it done in half a year. but with all the goading to do it myself (skills or not, go fig), i'm starting to get tempted to just spend the few hundred on a used mig welder and sawzall and go to town. i could damn well be wrong, but near as i can figure so long as the weld is solid, ugliness of it can just be ground down after. i also hear it's not hard to learn at all. and sawzalls require no skill


"I'm going to take a guess here and say you probably got some realistic estimates and they were not what you wanted to hear. "

i did and i didn't. only two shops actually went out and looked at the car before estimating. they gave me the 20k estimates. the one that gave me a 120k estimate both refused to look at the car, and kept ignoring my distinct requirements for the project. he insisted on his perspective of the project over mine. that is, chopping and stretching the del sol over the corvette frame rather than taking the pieces i need and shoving it inside the del sol. it's very different and i lost a lot of respect for 'the premier shop' of my town. the first 20k shop was quite confident he could mount the motor just fine, build the frame and cage it out. problem was he refused to acknowledge that i required full, as-stock-looking-as-possible interior. can't do that. the 6th and final shop i went to laughed at all 3 quotes and said they could do better. if anyone's from the nyc area, it was S&S Speed Shop. oldest in the area i think. i need to call them back to get the new quote.

"What you’re talking about is something that is hugely labor intensive and there will be a great deal of time designing and test fitting to actually make it happen. If you can find a similar project that has been completed to use as a guide and find out what the potential pit fall are going to be it will be a big help but even then this will be a project where the majority of work will be one off fabrication and hours rack up very quickly."

yes. absolutely. i searched for similar projects. the only del sol-specific project was one that converted to awd using cr-v parts. it proved a driveshaft could fit in the mini tunnel parallel to an exhaust, with minimal invasive cutting (gas tank, spare tire well, rear end). there's a civic hatchback in japan that mounted nissan 240sx parts and made it rwd though, and a civic hatch stateside that put the entire corvette drivetrain into the car. the latter is my most useful source of info, and makes me reconsider garage-working it, but he doesn't respond to messages. i do believe that between the two projects, it gives me relative confidence i can stuff the torque tube in to the mini tunnel with minimal expansion.

i do hear all that's said though, and i have been considering the idea of just doing most it myself, after farming out the frame work. sounds worse than it could be, i swear. i'm not an experienced wrencher, nor am i a complete noob. but i can read instructions and am not afraid to tear into the chassis personally (i just want to be sure first). so far this project hasn't scared me yet. neither the prospect of paying for it or having to do it myself. the car didn't come with front rails being fwd, that's my main sticking point and most liberating problem. it means i can put it any height i want, relative to the 'vette subframes. same goes for the rear since i don't trust the stock 93 civic subframe handling this kind of power over time. the corvette suspension bolts to the subframe, so there's a little less headache involved in overall mounting than having to weld in new shock tower hats to accept new shock bolt patterns, imo. correct me if i'm wrong, please. i need the outside opinions.

"I wish you all the luck with this, but I would suggest you talk to some shops who specialize in these types of projects and be prepared to dig a little deeper in the old piggy bank if you go thru with this."

that's the problem, there isn't any. found plenty of shops who build race cars and street rods, but the smile wipes off their face when i tell them the project. usually more because of fear of the unknown than price estimates...but if it ultimately means i have to put it off for a little longer to fully execute, i'll wait. just something about the idea of pissing off the status quo with an unassuming v8 car that makes it worth doing
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:49 AM
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i did some nosing around in the front and rear. the rails are there (i was so busy looking for reasons it wouldn't fit, i dismissed them as superficial), but not sure i can use them as-is without extra tubing. will find out in daylight.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:07 PM
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Your Project........

Definately do-able,BUT,i would start this project by acquiring BOTH cars,as complete as you can,so you wont be in a bone yard,scratching for odds and ends,take this project one step at a time.finish 1 step before starting the next step,write down a plan,stick to the plan,changing ideas in the middle of the project,is where the money goes,and the headaches start,take the Corvette rear end,look at it,see what has to be changed,to fit in the del sol,pull all the parts not going to be used off of the Del Sol,SELL the parts youre not using.DONT SELL til your sure you wont be needing the parts.remove all the body parts off of the honda,fenders,hood,trunk,to make everything is accessible,put those parts away,so they dont get damaged.same with the vette,you can sell the vette body parts now,you wont be using them.HERE is the place to ASK QUESTIONS,many,many knowledgable guys and gals here.dont be afraid to ask,we are used to dumb,and not so dumb questions, buy a good camera,if youre in doubt as to how something goes together,take PHOTOS.keep a scrapbook,, good luck on the project
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:25 PM
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I have nothing to say here as I am the guy putting a cad engine and trans in a Triumph Spitfire..just expect the project to take 3 times as long and cost twice as much as initially budgeted for..You do need to go the DIY way as much as possible in order to contain costs..

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:49 PM
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If this guy can cram an LS1 into his civic, I'm sure you can too.

EDIT: I see you've already mentioned this car. First thing that popped into my head when you mentioned your idea tho
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:47 PM
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This is hot rodding to me.... as pure and simple as it can get.
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