wheels and suspension

Starting to get to work on the wheels, brakes and suspension.  The design essentially has to happen from the wheels in.  Wheelbase, stance and backspacing relative to the fender openings are determined first and then control arm mounting points are determined from there as the subframe is missing and I have to build it from scratch (out of aluminum!)  This overall concept allows the use of lightweight racing components.  Since I have to buy and install EVERYTHING, I can pick and choose the components.

The front hardware includes Porsche “phone dial” rims which are magnesium alloy and very light weight.  They were chosen to match the rear, for weight savings and for their backspacing.  Lotus makes a very compact front syspension with short arms which were difficult to re-create.  The format was a upper and lower A-arm with coil-over-shocks.  Since the arms that I am using are Mustang II based and longer, I am using FWD type backspacing to save space.  This also allows for an attempt to minimize the need for modifications of the front inner fenders as they are an important part of the overall structure of the vehicle.

As much as it is a good idea to use off the shelf parts, a few custom parts are needed to make some things work.  I wanted to use lightweight components everywhere possible. Aerospace Components makes custom front rotor and brake packages and they were very easy to work with.  They matched the bolt pattern to Porsche and the hub to a Ford Pinto spindle for which the A-arms were designed.  They also did some custom machining on the brake calipers to fit the wheel which I provided for them.  This wasn’t cheap, but didn’t cost a whole lot more than buying equivalent stock components off the shelf that would not have fit together and would have been heavier.

The plan for now is to get some wheels under the Lotus so that it can be transported to a body shop for a few minor repairs to the body.  After this, further work can be done.  I will keep you posted.