Hi Dale - My name is John Bell, and I've been building a VT since about
February. I'm running a longitudinal 5.0 Ford w/ EFI in front of a
Porsche 915 I had modified. Mine is red outside, tan inside, with red and
cobalt blue frame and suspension. I'll send you some pictures when I get
some more scanned in. I really enjoyed your web site, and it's great to
hear about other IFG builders and their problems and progress. FYI it has
taken quite a bit of time to get all my parts too, but they did eventually
filter in. Be patient, real patient! But you might have to bug the heck
out of them to get your stuff though. Anyway, I have wheels like yours
too. Compomotive does a good job. No tires yet though, but I think I can
find the set (Michelin MXX3's) for around $1000 from Tire Rack. I have
a 6 inch wider front suspension and 4 inch wider rear suspension so I could
specify wheel offsets that would look just like a factory Diablo. I should
be ready to hand the body the first time in two weeks. Good luck on yours,
I'll send some .bmp's later. I am getting the axles from Transaxle
Engineering (Jeff Fields, 818/998-2739. These guys are SUPER to work with,
do EXCELLENT work, and I highly recommend them). Since I am using revised
suspension (wider) the axles will be made to the length I'll measure after
I get some weight on the rear of the car. I need to know what the upper
travel limit will be when the car is at about its rolling weight. This
might be a little tricky because the suspension is adjustable. Oh well.
Feel free to use any pictures you want, but heres some better ones too.
The engine adapter I used is from Kennedy Engineering, as is the starter
and clutch. Transaxle Engineering did the tranny ring gear/pinion flip.
Renegade modified my Fiero stub shafts to accept the Porsche CV joints.
Engine electronics are Ford Motorsports - they have EFI systems specifically
designed for street rods or kit cars. Computers, harnesses, sensors - the
whole package, plus an entire book telling you how to do everything. Great
package. I went ahead and came up with a power steering system for mine
too - since my engine already had a brand new power steering pump (and
a/c compressor) on it. I figured I would need it anyway due to the steering
wheel diameter and revised alignment specs I will use. Plus I wont have
to hear complaints from my wife that its too hard to steer! The power rack
actually has a quicker steering ratio than the manual. Let me know if you
want details about it, its pretty slick. I plumbed the fuel system with
braided SS and Aeroquip fittings. I have a 10.25" brake system on it (or
will have if I could get the rest of the parts). Brake and suspension parts
are from Ryane Motorsports, but he's been busy and parts are slow coming
in from Ryane. I'm running two radiators, and am mounting them right in
front of the rear grills. Ray said to mount them in front of the rear wheels
but I preferred the grill location due to aesthetics. You ought to see
the ducting I'll have to use! I am using two 9" electric fans on each radiator.
I had the radiators made to 16X21" with no filler necks. Fillers will be
in-line in the hoses, and mounted on the sides of the engine compartment.
Clutch is hydraulic, using a CNC clutch slave cylinder, and a stock clutch
master cylinder. My Fiero was automatic, so I had to get a used cylinder
and mod the lines (AN fitting brazed to the end of the stock hard line)
so I could run AN Aeroquip hose and fittings between the master and slave
cylinders. I also had to swap the pedal cluster for a three-pedal unit
from a manual car. A/C will be R-134a, as I'll meld the Fiero and Ford
hoses together. Only the AC condenser and fan will be up front (no radiators).
Im taking more pictures this weekend. I'll send them to you shortly. Take
care and have fun.
Hi Dale! - Just wanted to drop you a line to
say hi and encourage you with your progress on your roadster. It looks
GREAT! Thats one beautiful car you have here. I want to build a roadster
next! Maybe after I get this one done I'll begin my roadster too. And thanks
for the update of my project on your web page. I have changed a few things
since I talked to you last. For one thing, I am going to be able to mount
my AC condenser in the back, and still have room for an auxilliary fuel
tank back there too. I'll have a small rear trunk, but a big front one.
I am ready to mount my rear tires now and finalize the body mount. I wanted
to get a few more structural braces in at the rear first though. I now
have my big brake system in, and I'll shoot some pictures for you soon.
I still dont have the radiators in yet, but I think maybe in a couple of
weeks I might. I've had to work the last four weekends so progress is slow
of late, but hopefully this weekend I'll get back at the car again. Take
care and I'll talk to you later.
Hi Dale - Your radiators setup looks super. Mine
looks quite similar too. Are you going to weld in any supports where the
extra trunk and rear bumper were removed? I decided to do that with mine.
I feel a little better about flex and torsional rigidity now. Havent ran
any numbers, but I feel better about the structure. But who knows...anyway,
I'll take some some pictures next time I have the body off and email them
to you. The power steering setup uses a power rack off an '85 T1000 (Pontiac
version of the Chevette). The gear ratio is actually a little quicker than
the manual one. I felt that, with those 245/40R17 tires and the suspension
alignment specifications I wanted, I had to have power steering. Also,
my engine had a brand new steering pump on it and it seemed like a waste
not to use it! First thing I did was find the center of the new rack so
I could mount it on the car correctly. Then I had to cut the old rack-to-frame
crossmember mounting flages off the car and relocate (weld) them outboard
a little. I attached a stand-off to the mounting area for the right mount
becasue I had to modify the original mounting strap (that goes around the
rack) since the power rack has a larger OD on the right hand side than
does the manual rack. The mounting strap is bent out so that it will go
around the new rack. This shortened the strap so the standoff was required.
I used all stainless steel fasteners to attach the rack down to the mounting
flages I welded in. The power rack is a different width (narrower)than
the manual rack. Therefore spacers must be added to the tie rods to bring
them out to the same widthe as the stock unit. However,I have a six inch
(3" per side) wider- than-stock front suspension, which caused me to have
to add three inches (per side) to each spacer's lenght. Mine came out to
a little under five inches I believe. I can check the length if you need
to know the exact number (which is, of course, very important!). The outer
tie rods were attached to the tie rods and then to the spindle knuckles.
The input shaft between the power rack and the steering wheel didnt mate
up either. Both the length AND the ends are different. I installed a Borgeson
shock arrester/u-joint assembly that was made with the correct ends to
adapt the Fiero column shaft to the power rack. I also bought a double-D
shaft from Borgeson and cut it to the correct length to connect it all
together. The firewall had to be trimmed to clear the new path of the steering
wheel shaft. One thing I made sure of in doing mine was to not cut ANY
corners on this one, for obvious reasons. The last thing you want to worry
about when you're driving is whether or not the steering is going to fail,
especially the mechanicl connections of the steering
wheel to the rack, and the attachment of the
rack to the frame crossmember. I feel these are the critical items. I completed
the plumbing by going to a local ydraulic hose supplier and got all the
fittings and hydraulic hose. I used Aeroquip hose with an internal steel
braid and Aeroquip screw-on fittings similar to SS fuel fittings. I'm anxious
to see it go. If you would like pictures, I'll take some more. I have a
few I can send if you would like to see them. Just let me know. Hope this
answered your questions. If not, please let me know, I'll be glad to talk
more about it. Talk to you later---
I have been kicking around the series vs parallel coolant routing scheme
for some time now, but have been leaning toward series. My concern with
this way though is the first radiator will see much more heat and may therefore
overheat. My concern with parallel is getting even coolant flow through
both radiators. The nice thing about this whole thing is that if one way
doesnt work, it would be failry easy to try the other way. I guess thats
what my plan is - I'll try series first, and if that
doesnt work I'll try parallel. Have you gotten any advice from the
experts on this? In case you're wondering, I've only been running my engine
for a couple minutes at a time and havent needed cooling yet. Those fans
I ordered sure fit my radiators nice though.I will be running a Ford Motorsport
oil cooler but no transaxle cooler. My tranny is a five speed manual Porsche
so I've been thinking I wouldnt need one. Hopefully thats not wishful thinking!
The engine oil cooler
will be mounted on the left side of the engine compartment, which,
by the way, will be fairly near to where I'll mount the A/C condenser and
condenser fan. I will place the oil cooler in the condenser fan stream
to help it cool better. I may have the condenser fan come on whenever the
engine is running, instead of just when the A/C is on.With the condenser
mounted mid-aft, I wont have anything up front to take away from my trunk
space. I'll mount the condenser outboard between
the body and frame, kind of in front of the tire but forward toward
the firewall. It wont be visible from anywhere but from below the car once
I get the wheel well put in. I will feed cool air to it through the lower
duct on the left side.
I saw your new toys on the web. Neat! It looks
like our cars will have quite a few of the same pieces. Did you get the
floor mats from Corey? I havent, but am thinking about it.They are supposed
to be very nice. I also got the steering wheel. I put a tan-colord insert
in the center though. I got some left-over scrap tan leather from Ray when
I ordrered my interior, so it matches. Its real easy to do - I just took
off the Lambo bull, peeled off the center black leather, and used 3M spray
adhesive to attach the new tan leather piece (which I cut to fit). Here's
a picture. I bet you are getting excited about the suspension pieces too.
Well, congrats on being such a good guy all year for Santa to send all
the stuff! Keep it up, never know
what you'll need next year...
Talk to you later - John
Hi Dale - I have the basic radiator frame installations finally completed.
I finished the frames last night and obviously haven't ground the welds
and painted them yet - I'm planning on priming the frames and then coating
them with rubberized sealer or epoxy. Its hard to tell from the pictures,
but the radiators are easily removable from the car... even after the body
is installed! The inboard frames which attach to the radiator/fan
assembly, slide out of the receiver tubes attached to the car frame. Then,
the outboard radiator/fan assembly frames are unbolted from the permanent
outboard mounting frames that are attached to the car frame. I can remove
or install one radiator/fan unit in less than 10 minutes with the body
installed. Next thing I will do is finish the final structural racing,
add the framework for the auxiliary fuel tank, and permanently attach the
body. I'm getting closer - just slower than I wanted. Oh well. Let me know
things are going - talk to you later.
I'm mounting an 8-gallon aux fuel tank in series with the stock tank.
I envision a simple layout that will feed right into the stock tank, and
therefore not require any pumps or switching. I though originally that
I would have an aux holding tank that I could pump extra fuel from into
the main tank, but decided not to use this method because I didn't want
to add an additional fuel filler door. So I am going to put the filler
door on the right-hand side of the car (as is with the stock Lambo) and
mount the auxiliary tank inside the frame rails roughly near the stretch
rails. The fuel added through the fuel inlet, travels down a tube into
the aux tank, then just drains through to the main (stock Fiero) tank.
When the stock tank is full, the fuel "backs up" into the aux tank. I think
this will work because the way the stock tank is vented - there is a high
spot in the stock tank that should allow for a vent pocket. The aux tank
will also be vented - in series with the stock vent line. I wont know how
much fuel I have until the aux tank is depleted - then I'll know I have
12 gallons left. My gauge will stay on "Full" for a long time (until I
burn over 8 gallons). I plan on mounting the aux tank independently from
the main frame rails to minimize risk in the event of a collision. I'll
mount it to brackets I'll fabricate and attach to the firewall and to a
sub frame I'll attach to the lower engine cross brace. And yes the radiator
frames look pretty beefy! They dont weigh as much as it appears though.
I made mine a little heavier than needed though because my radiators and
fans together weigh over 20 pounds each assembly. Add water and I guess-timate
each unit will weigh close to 40 pounds. Thats a lot of load to cantilever
out there. Let me know if you can see any flaws in my gas tank idea. Thanks...
Hi Dale - I just finished emailing Andy
about my progress. Sorry about the lack of word. My wife has had me doing
projects for the house and yard (we
moved into this house back in late May and the
Daiblo project still hasn't recovered!). Oh well, I was telling Andy maybe
I could start back with the
Diablo when it starts getting colder this winter...we'll
see! Actually I have redesigned my tranny mounts and have bled my clutch
system lately. I
went to rubber transmission mpounts for my 915
since my engine mounts are also rubber. I previously had solid tranny mounts
and rubber motor mounts.
Andy reminded me that was a bad idea. I cant
believe that one got by me...whoops. I plan to install the new tranny mount
over the holiday break and hopefully get my brake system bled out too.
I am presently in the process of measuring for my axles. I'm getting them
from Jeff Fields and he said it shouldnt take too long to get them built
after I tell him the lengths. They only cost about $200/pr for standard
ones, and more for the 300M versions. I havent
built my 302 for mega power (about 320 hp and
less than 400 ft*lbs of torque I estimate) so the standard axles should
be fine. If I break them, I guess
I'll know I need the 300M's. We'll see.Have a
great Thanksgiving. Talk to you soon,