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I have a custom 550 Spyder  tube chassis for sale , powdercoated   asking $12,000

solid frame that can handle a turboed Suby motor.  bolt on front beam. ( take a look

at Mendeola A arm set up beam,  or Kool Rides beam)..................

matching Spyder body kit by Kitman Motors is $5995

additional pieces are available and can send photos on request

Custom matching gas tank, aluminum skid plate, tail lights available also.

Dream it, Build it, Drive it, Love it!

Dr. Chris Kleber           PM me  , email (

                                       or call 619-889-8337

or Jonathan,   (  or 858-663-3718 


Images (2)
  • 550 Spyder TIG frame 2
  • Spyder 550  TIG frame 1
Original Post

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Chris.....Are you saying that your Spyder frame will take a Mendeola/Cool Rides front suspension assembly ?  VMC couldn't put one in their Spyder frame for me. After 3 weeks of futzing with one we gave up. A whole new frame and suspension is now being made with a similar suspension but it won't be a Mendeola.  Cool Rides has, however, installed their assembly in a Speedster though.   I really liked the Cool Rides suspension. It is about the same weight as a stock suspension assembly too....Bruce

The Spyder, though similar to a Speedster front end, doesn't have the same amount of room as the Speedster. Especially with Greg's frame tubes.

I don't quite understand why the suspension pickup points couldn't be replicated in a Spyder, and simply use the A-arms and coilovers supplied by Mendeola. It appears the Mendeola uses VW spindles. The rack is rear steer, and might interfere with the tank. The existing VW is rear steer, and the rack conversions for beams stick with that. A 911 rack and double U-joint to the column could be used. But I think using the A-arms without the Mendeola mounting might be the way to go rather than fabricate the whole thing. It looks easy to locate sway bar bushings too.

The rear can be a rather simple 4 bar(two trailing links and two lateral links) with coilovers. I already have a design for a three bar(using the existing trailing arm with two lateral links), this was used in early Corvettes among others. I didn't invent anything, I just figured how to attach the lateral links to the existing frame and have them be strong enough. near as I recall (this was last spring)  Yes, the rack steering was interfering with the tank on the top and the master cylinder on the bottom. The shape of the Mendeola arms was not compatible because they are equal length radius, frt to rear. Even now it may be necessary to put the clutch and M/C up under the dash and work them backwards with bell cranks in order to have enough foot room. I'm very curious to see what the whole assembly will look like when they come up with it.  Greg is very serious about making the switch. We are running out of good used original front axle assemblies.

I admire you for designing and building your own suspension system in the future. There is a time when I would have done the same but now I'm tired of counting my money and need to thin it out a little so I have more time to play. ...........Bruce

Plenty of builders make beams, any width you could want for VW  type 1 suspension. I don’t think we will run out of beams anytime soon. That said, the problem with one offs, is parts replacement down the road.  If Greg could stick to off the shelf components, such as the Mustang II design, this would help alleviate this issue.  Ten years down the road, when ball joints need replacing, a rack is leaking, tie rods are loose, it would be nice to have confidence that parts will be readily available.  I would like to see Greg include a list of the components used for the buyer to keep with the car for future reference.

Bruce, I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

@a356fan posted:

It seems like a replacement parts list should be N easy thing to create, and I agree they should provide one

Sounds like it would be the thing to do,  but it is more complicated, and just as likely inadvisable.

First of all, the manufacturer has no obligation to tell you where you can go to buy something they sell themselves.  If you want to go 'alternate source' shopping, that's your job, not the manufacturer's.

For example, you need a fan belt.  You call the manufacturer (or their dealer) and ask for a fan belt for your model/year.  They give you a price for a fan belt that will fit, and a price to install it for you.  They don't give you a bunch of cross-reference part #s and list of 'alternate sources' so you can go somewhere else.  It would be incredibly bad business if their sales model is to tell everyone how to get the same thing from somebody else, probably for less.

Second, there is some real risk and potential liability for the manufacturer if they did do this.

For this example, let's use a hypothetical front A-arm on a spyder, the one you bent bouncing off a curb.  You call the manufacturer for a replacement.  The manufacturer knows what A-arm will fit your car (and it might be it originated from a certain year Mustang II).  The manufacturer has the part that will fit your specific car on the shelf, or knows where to get it for you.  In either case, the manufacturer gives you a price.  Paying the manufacturer is de facto assurance from the manufacturer that the part will fit and the quality will be appropriate (we are talking front suspension here).

But what if instead the manufacturer tells you they use a certain year Mustang II A-arm.  Then you decide hell-with the manufacturer and his inflated price (which included fit and quality assurances), you are going to the junk yard.  And, when you get there they don't have exactly the specified year, but you decide this other year they have is probably the same.  You buy it (after investing who-knows-what of your time), take it home and install it.  It turns out things are kind of wonky because you thought it was the same and it wasn't, and that bracket the manufacturer welded onto the spyder A-arm isn't on the Ford A-arm so the brake line now just kind of flops around.  You take it out for 'hot laps' through the river canyon, steering is somewhat suspicious, and that crack in the junk-yard A-arm you didn't notice breaks in half.

The accident investigation points to a failed A-arm  --  the one you (now dead) bought based on 'information' from the manufacturer.  Of course, your heirs sue the hell out of the manufacturer because this never would have happened if the manufacturer hadn't enabled junk-yard shopping by someone who's expertise might be qualified as: guessing.

Generally, maintaining proprietary information as confidential is good business.  Sometimes it is also has a more significant purpose.

Last edited by RS-60 mark

@RS-60 mark, what should an owner of a component car do when the manufacturer goes out of business?  How about when they don’t have said part in stock?  

Under your premise, there would be no independent auto repair or parts shops. Should we all just go to the dealer?

This is a real problem in the hot rod world, where parts from all different makes and models are used.  This is why it is becoming more common to keep logs  to go with the car when completed.

When I buy a product, I expect a level of support from that company.  That is part of the price paid.

Last edited by LI-Rick

I’m sorry, I’m not buying any of the hypotheticals or arguments you gave for not providing parts lists.

You can buy a brand new car from any manufacturer and they will indeed tell you what the part is or you can look it up or better yet go to a parts store and get it.

in fact where do you think Autozone gets the information to sell you a replacement part?  From the manufacturer.  Surely you don’t think they look at every new car built and construct a parts list?  That is so funny.

"I would like to see Greg include a list of the components used for the buyer to keep with the car for future reference."

I've spoken to Carey about doing the same thing for their new chassis.  I imagine that anyone who owns a custom car would appreciate such a list.

Jumping in a little late here, but that is what Henry does with every build.  It's nice to have a reference document should I ever need to replace anything.

Bruce wrote: "Why do I get irritated when I go into O"Reilly's and ask for some 5/8" silicone heater hose or some Gates 1/4" neoprene fuel hose and the counter person blankly looks at me and asks, " What year, make and model car do you have ?"............Bruce"

You can blame all of that on a guy I used to work with named Dave Kimpton.  He was a Software Engineer at Data General and was working on relational databases and, in particular, the integration of our Point of Sales and Inventory Management (PSIM) products with NAPA stores, first in the Northeast and then nation wide.  

The inventory management system ballooned into more of a "Customer Requirements Planning and Inventory Replenishment" system and was floundering mightily because of way too many variables:  Many, many different car manufacturers and then even many more different models, the same part used across manufacturers and car models, different parts used across manufacturers/models, different replacement parts (with different part numbers) from different sub-manufacturers and on and on.  

Dave was caught between Data General (DG) Management and NAPA management, getting no-where and realized he had to do something, so he quit DG and formed his own software company specializing in Auto Parts Store Customer Requirement Planning and Inventory Management.  It was Dave's idea to go with the make, model, year (and VIN, later on) as a preface to looking up anything, and then putting all of the available replacement parts into a huge relational database that sees the part first, then has tags applied for different years, makes and models and any caveats at the part level.  After that, it was pretty easy to reference any part to any make/model.  Looking them up at the parts counter was just the opposite - Enter the car make or model and that eliminates TONS of look-ups so the computer can return an answer in seconds, even from huge databases.  

The next thing they realized was that five different people will describe the needed part four different ways, so they had to tag all of those different look-ups, too.  

Eventually, NAPA shelved the DG product (but bought the hardware and database management software) and bought Dave's system.  He marketed it well and it became very popular while expanding into repair shop management and a bunch of other stuff.

The last time I saw Dave was at a DG reunion and when he told me what he was doing I told him he deserved a swift kick in the nuts, just for all of the aggravation when I go to a store for a part for Pearl and the first thing they ask is "What's the year, make and model of the car?"

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