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Old 08-24-2019, 11:00 PM
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What chassis to use?

I'm considering building a car for my granddaughter. Although I'll put her in an F350 4-door for her daily driver (to keep her safe), she has expressed interest in something light and fast with a flame paint job to use as a toy.

I've always thought I should have built an MGB. I really like the body design and this could be my chance. But the only thing that would be MGB is the body. Everything else would be sourced from another vehicle or vehicles and while an LS motor (maybe blown) would seem to be the logical choice for power, along with a 5-speed, I can't seem to get my head wrapped around a front and rear clip or a complete frame that I could shorten. Being wider than the body makes no difference to me, as additional sheet metal can make it look like the body was designed for the wider track and I know better than to narrow the front suspension. I'm thinkin' a Mustang donor, maybe late 90's, that would have wide support in the aftermarket for huge brakes and a locker for the 8.8" diff.

What do you think fellows, any suggestions?

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Old 08-24-2019, 11:26 PM
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Hello Techinspector1,

In high school there was a 1958 or 9 MGA just setting behind a storage place. I fell in love with the long sleek lines and always wanted to build one with a V8.

As far as Chassis Builders up here is Art Morrison (https://www.artmorrison.com)

and Chris Alston's Chassisworks. (https://www.cachassisworks.com/) They maybe able to help ya get some ideas as they do really interesting chassis.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:04 AM
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I would lean towards something along the lines of the replica Cobras that are raced in the SCCA series. The chassis is definitely race quality but the components from the suspension to the drive train all come from a donor late model Mustang. A friend of mine ran one of these and it was impressive that any replacement part he needed save for the body was as close as Rock Auto or the local parts stores.



Using the same idea and dropping the MGB body on it shouldn't be too difficult. Engineering the frame would take some effort but I would think you could find some information and photos for the Cobra frame that could provide a model.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:01 AM
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2nd gen mx5.

It is a fun car to drive, easy to maintain, and easy to upgrade. It can easily be both a fun sunny cruiser and a weekend track car.

If you are even considering a mg take a mx5 for a drive.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:46 AM
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This guy did it using Miata front suspension parts and a Chevy S-10 Blazer rear suspension. By the way, are you adopting?LOL!

Keith Tanner's 1972 MGB GT with Chevrolet LS1 5.7L V8 Engine
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:32 AM
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Why not keep it mostly MG? These cars have modified a lot since their days (OK, in England!). If your grand-daughter needs more power (does she, really?), swap engine/trans for a modern 4 cylinder engine, Japanese, maybe... There was also an MGB V8 from the factory...
And keep the cool, sleep, unmistakable looks of the MG.
Should someone also wonder if your grand-daughter is a hot rodder at heart, is she ready and willing to live with a "hybrid", something maybe a bit difficult to maintain, with custom parts...?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:55 AM
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On a different topic, some ideas die hard!
"Although I'll put her in an F350 4-door for her daily driver (to keep her safe)":
safety regulations are not as strict (by far) between trucks and cars, cars ARE much safer; a F350 is "safe" as long as you hit something that the truck can crush easily.... But when it comes to hitting a tree head-on, I'd rather be in a Smart car than in an F-350, even though it does not look like it! I have even read that in a head-on collision between a 1/2 ton and a Smart car, you'd better off in the Smart....
Yeah, OK, off topic...
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:01 AM
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No mention of budget, but of course on the low end of that is fabrication. On the other end, my mind goes right to the Factory5 Mk4 Roadster (Cobra replica). I would much rather wreck one of those frames than a home build anyday. Adapt it at your own risk. Like chasracer said, there are a lot of these running around. Enough that I would say the bugs are mostly worked out. If the amount of work already done by buying the over ten grand chassis is appealing, do some measuring and consider using that as a starting point. The shop I work at has built a couple but I was not involved. Pics are from one of those jobs.

On the other hand, if that approach seems daunting maybe look at buying a used, built one. The FF33 Hot Rod might be more appealing to her if she wants flames. You could use the time to build yourself a T bucket to take her for a ride in when she wants some scary.

This is just one idea, and it is what came to mind when someone brought in a Karmann Ghia for a full house build. I have not gone down that road. I would wager that you have a fairly comprehensive skill set to do this with, and fabrication might not be too bad if you find front and rear "halves" you want to use. However what you end up with may not have as much crumple engineering which might come in handy.

I won't ask about budget, just let the previous sentence ring and suggest that you define your usage and priorities before you embark. Its expensive no matter how you slice it, and a matter of strategy in meeting the goals that take priority.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957 View Post
On a different topic, some ideas die hard!
"Although I'll put her in an F350 4-door for her daily driver (to keep her safe)":
safety regulations are not as strict (by far) between trucks and cars, cars ARE much safer; a F350 is "safe" as long as you hit something that the truck can crush easily.... But when it comes to hitting a tree head-on, I'd rather be in a Smart car than in an F-350, even though it does not look like it! I have even read that in a head-on collision between a 1/2 ton and a Smart car, you'd better off in the Smart....
Yeah, OK, off topic...

Here in Washington State a couple summers back we had two head-ons in different parts of the state and about 2 months apart involving Kia's against Ford F250's. The Kia occupants in both cases were all killed, the F250 occupants went home bruised and battered but alive. Both Kia's were obliterated, air bags are of little help when the structure totally fails. One might consider that the real world has different results from those of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's standardized tests. Not that I'm against standardized tests, but it must be remembered the result is only good for the test this doesn't provide the blanket understanding that this is good and that is bad for all conditions which these tests are sold as providing.


Bogie
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:22 PM
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Why not just dump a 5.0 ford from a wrecked pony in a Miata?

They make em quick. Prolly can buy a nice one ready to go and just mod it up a bit.

Cute L'il convertible .
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:41 PM
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Why not just dump a 5.0 ford from a wrecked pony in a Miata? They make em quick. Prolly can buy a nice one ready to go and just mod it up a bit. Cute L'il convertible .
Miata would be my second choice. I just have a real passion for the MGB body style.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrivejunk View Post
The FF33 Hot Rod might be more appealing to her if she wants flames.
If I put her in a cabover, she'd want flames on it. She's a free spirit. If it were 1919 instead of 2019, she'd be strapped to the wings of a biplane and doin' the airshow circuit.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip VW View Post
Hello Techinspector1,

In high school there was a 1958 or 9 MGA just setting behind a storage place. I fell in love with the long sleek lines and always wanted to build one with a V8.

As far as Chassis Builders up here is Art Morrison (https://www.artmorrison.com)

and Chris Alston's Chassisworks. (https://www.cachassisworks.com/) They maybe able to help ya get some ideas as they do really interesting chassis.
I moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1972, I was 30 years old. A couple of blocks away, a fellow who ran a welding shop had a derelict '57 MGA on the property and we made a deal for $35, no motor or trans. Perfect sheet metal and no rust. Up the street, there was an automotive repair shop that had a '58 Imperial (392 Hemi) sitting out by the fence. I stopped one day and asked if the car was for sale. The shop owner didn't know, said the car had been left there several years ago for repairs, but he had the owner's phone number. He gave it to me.

A couple of days later, I called the fellow and asked if the car was for sale. He was an older guy and said that he wasn't interested in selling it, but he would trade something for it....he asked what I had to trade. I was still a snot-nosed kid who had amassed little or nothing in my life so far, but I did mention that I had a Polaroid camera with all the fixins that I inherited from my dad when he died. He said it was a deal, so I contracted with the welder who sold me the MGA to go get the Imperial and drop it off in my back yard.

So, I had the basic motive power and the body, but I needed frame, suspension, brakes, etc., etc. One day I was talking to my auto insurance guy and mentioned that I was looking for a rolling chassis. He said he had a '65 Ford roller that I could have for free. Yep, made another deal with the welder.

I was learning on the fly and having a lot of fun. By the following year, the car had a narrowed and shortened Ford frame, 392 motive power and a sandblasted body in primer. It had no interior. I had kept the phone lines hot between me and Racer Brown in California. He was the smartest man I had ever known up to that point and I learned a lot from him.

One day a young fellow came around and offered me more for the car than I thought it was worth, so she went down the road, never to be seen again.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957 View Post
If your grand-daughter needs more power (does she, really?)
Oh yeah, see post #12 in this thread......
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave1957 View Post
On a different topic, some ideas die hard!
"Although I'll put her in an F350 4-door for her daily driver (to keep her safe)":
safety regulations are not as strict (by far) between trucks and cars, cars ARE much safer; a F350 is "safe" as long as you hit something that the truck can crush easily.... But when it comes to hitting a tree head-on, I'd rather be in a Smart car than in an F-350, even though it does not look like it! I have even read that in a head-on collision between a 1/2 ton and a Smart car, you'd better off in the Smart....
Yeah, OK, off topic...
LOL, A smartcar can barely survive a tractor trailer going by it without getting blown off the highway.
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