I am having Greg Leach build me a new Spyder and am looking for any advice from experienced owners.  This is a fun car for me to share with my boys and we are just looking for extra ideas to make it even more fun.  For starters John Rykowski with Outfront Motorsports is building me a Stroker Motor which basically makes a 2.45 L Subaru engine into a Bored out 2.6 L.  This includes the new crank and Forged Pistons.  He sent me some photos.  Mike from Rancho has upgraded the transmission accordingly.  Greg says he can have it done by the first week of June.  I am bugging him for photos and ideas as well.  Please share any insights or new ideas to add in this "for fun" project.  

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Looks like a very cool build! To extend the driving season as long as possible- consider heated seats. My wife's '88 VW Cabriolet (rabbit convertible) had them and it made top down driving in cooler weather just that much more fun!  Al

PS- and as wide a tire/rim that you can get on the back! 

You're stuck with a 205/60R15 as about maximum rear tire. 

Get Greg to import Vredestein Sportrac5 tires for those of us that want sticky tires. They are the stickiest tires available in good fitment sizes. Stickier tires are available in slicks, non-radial race tires, and autocross, but they are either not streetable OR are shorter sidewalls.

The Sportrac5 is THE street tire for Speedsters and Spyders, and are available in ALL the sizes we need.

You might want a close ratio transmission and IRS rear suspension, along with NON-VW front suspension. Greg won't be able to deliver that by June. 

You definitely want a good brake package to go along with all that power, and a good-sized front anti-sway bar.

Honestly, 200 hp is about all the chassis can handle and need. More than that is asking for death.

I have 45K and 15 years of seat time in a Spyder(I'm on my second one from Greg) so I might have some actual experience to share.

DannyP posted:

You're stuck with a 205/60R15 as about maximum rear tire. 

Get Greg to import Vredestein Sportrac5 tires for those of us that want sticky tires. They are the stickiest tires available in good fitment sizes. Stickier tires are available in slicks, non-radial race tires, and autocross, but they are either not streetable OR are shorter sidewalls.

The Sportrac5 is THE street tire for Speedsters and Spyders, and are available in ALL the sizes we need.

You might want a close ratio transmission and IRS rear suspension, along with NON-VW front suspension. Greg won't be able to deliver that by June. 

You definitely want a good brake package to go along with all that power, and a good-sized front anti-sway bar.

Honestly, 200 hp is about all the chassis can handle and need. More than that is asking for death.

I have 45K and 15 years of seat time in a Spyder(I'm on my second one from Greg) so I might have some actual experience to share.

I doubt VERY much that Greg would be able to "import" Vred's. That said, though, I know you CAN get any Vred's you want from 305Tires.com High Performance Tires in North Miami Beach, FL. I bought five Sportrac5's in 185/65R15 last August for $85 each ($60 + $25 shipping from Miami to Napa, CA) ...and SOC member JMM (Michael) also bought a set having them shipped to OR. My contact at 305tire is:                                                                                                 Michael Gromadski (sp?)                                                                                                                 cell: 561-260-7020                                                                                                                           michael@305tires.com                                                          Michael is for real and He regularly brings in containers from Denmark to Miami filled with custom ordered tires. You won't go wrong working with him and 305tire.com.  Tell him Paul Watts in Napa, CA told you about him and tell him you're an SOC member. 

By the way, my Sportrac5's are EVERYTHING you've heard about them...and then some! Since my speedie NEVER goes out in the rain (allergies ), these Dry tires are the best ever.

 

 

Dan....Greg is in process of building me a Suby powered  Spyder also.  My engine is a 2.6 ltr. EJ25 DOHC which John built for me as well. The transaxle is a Suby 5 speed. Yours will start and finish before mine is finished since mine different in that it will have Coil-over-shock independent suspension front and rear. This is sort of new territory for Greg so he's taking it slow. Plus I'm in no hurry due to getting 3 serious surgeries this year. I will be using Verd's as well but won't know the size until the suspension and body come together. Hopefully I can get some fat ones in the rear.

I'm not sure if Greg is exclusively using the instruments that use GPS for the speedometer but I would recommend them.

I will add that you picked a great and reliable company to build your car ! Greg is Tops !

Your car is going to be a real "Crotch-Rocket" and loads of fun for you and your boys ! Have you picked out a color for your paint and upholstery ?  Welcome to the Madness !

Bruce

Dan.....Looks like you're from Sioux Falls SD. I'm in Calif but was raised in Spirit Lake Iowa about 90 miles east. I'm sure you know the area. I have young relatives newly settled and working in Sioux Falls. As  young teens, we used to drive over there to buy beer because the age limit was 18.  Especially on Sundays since no alcohol could be bought on Sundays in Iowa back then. Of course we waited until we got home to pop open a barley pop !.....................Bruce

 

ALB posted:

Looks like a very cool build! To extend the driving season as long as possible- consider heated seats. My wife's '88 VW Cabriolet (rabbit convertible) had them and it made top down driving in cooler weather just that much more fun!  Al

PS- and as wide a tire/rim that you can get on the back! 

Thanks!  I will make sure we get those seats.  Especially because I live in South Dakota!

aircooled posted:

Dan.....Looks like you're from Sioux Falls SD. I'm in Calif but was raised in Spirit Lake Iowa about 90 miles east. I'm sure you know the area. I have young relatives newly settled and working in Sioux Falls. As  young teens, we used to drive over there to buy beer because the age limit was 18.  Especially on Sundays since no alcohol could be bought on Sundays in Iowa back then. Of course we waited until we got home to pop open a barley pop !.....................Bruce

 

Good memories!  Now I only get carded for my senior discount and AARP benefits...

aircooled posted:

Dan....Greg is in process of building me a Suby powered  Spyder also.  My engine is a 2.6 ltr. EJ25 DOHC which John built for me as well. The transaxle is a Suby 5 speed. Yours will start and finish before mine is finished since mine different in that it will have Coil-over-shock independent suspension front and rear. This is sort of new territory for Greg so he's taking it slow. Plus I'm in no hurry due to getting 3 serious surgeries this year. I will be using Verd's as well but won't know the size until the suspension and body come together. Hopefully I can get some fat ones in the rear.

I'm not sure if Greg is exclusively using the instruments that use GPS for the speedometer but I would recommend them.

I will add that you picked a great and reliable company to build your car ! Greg is Tops !

Your car is going to be a real "Crotch-Rocket" and loads of fun for you and your boys ! Have you picked out a color for your paint and upholstery ?  Welcome to the Madness !

Bruce

This is my first Spyder so I suspect you are way beyond me.  Thanks for the advice on the GPS speedo.  I think I am going with the silver color---navy blue leather heated seats with double stitch and all the bells and whistles I can get him to add.  Thanks for the reply!!

You should really look into mating a subie tranny 5 sp as most want one after they have tasted the 4 sp and keep looking for 5th.  Just saying. 

DannyP posted:

You're stuck with a 205/60R15 as about maximum rear tire. 

Get Greg to import Vredestein Sportrac5 tires for those of us that want sticky tires. They are the stickiest tires available in good fitment sizes. Stickier tires are available in slicks, non-radial race tires, and autocross, but they are either not streetable OR are shorter sidewalls.

The Sportrac5 is THE street tire for Speedsters and Spyders, and are available in ALL the sizes we need.

You might want a close ratio transmission and IRS rear suspension, along with NON-VW front suspension. Greg won't be able to deliver that by June. 

You definitely want a good brake package to go along with all that power, and a good-sized front anti-sway bar.

Honestly, 200 hp is about all the chassis can handle and need. More than that is asking for death.

I have 45K and 15 years of seat time in a Spyder(I'm on my second one from Greg) so I might have some actual experience to share.

Wow...Great advice.   I think I am sticking with what the plan is for the suspension and transmission.  I am relying on Greg's experience there.  Maybe some day on my second Spyder I'll upgrade.  I think I have the best disc brake package.  Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it..

Napa Paul posted:
DannyP posted:

You're stuck with a 205/60R15 as about maximum rear tire. 

Get Greg to import Vredestein Sportrac5 tires for those of us that want sticky tires. They are the stickiest tires available in good fitment sizes. Stickier tires are available in slicks, non-radial race tires, and autocross, but they are either not streetable OR are shorter sidewalls.

The Sportrac5 is THE street tire for Speedsters and Spyders, and are available in ALL the sizes we need.

You might want a close ratio transmission and IRS rear suspension, along with NON-VW front suspension. Greg won't be able to deliver that by June. 

You definitely want a good brake package to go along with all that power, and a good-sized front anti-sway bar.

Honestly, 200 hp is about all the chassis can handle and need. More than that is asking for death.

I have 45K and 15 years of seat time in a Spyder(I'm on my second one from Greg) so I might have some actual experience to share.

I doubt VERY much that Greg would be able to "import" Vred's. That said, though, I know you CAN get any Vred's you want from 305Tires.com High Performance Tires in North Miami Beach, FL. I bought five Sportrac5's in 185/65R15 last August for $85 each ($60 + $25 shipping from Miami to Napa, CA) ...and SOC member JMM (Michael) also bought a set having them shipped to OR. My contact at 305tire is:                                                                                                 Michael Gromadski (sp?)                                                                                                                 cell: 561-260-7020                                                                                                                           michael@305tires.com                                                          Michael is for real and He regularly brings in containers from Denmark to Miami filled with custom ordered tires. You won't go wrong working with him and 305tire.com.  Tell him Paul Watts in Napa, CA told you about him and tell him you're an SOC member. 

By the way, my Sportrac5's are EVERYTHING you've heard about them...and then some! Since my speedie NEVER goes out in the rain (allergies ), these Dry tires are the best ever.

 

 

Thanks for the tip!  Really appreciate it.

Ray, without re-engineering the entire back end, unfortunately Spyders are stuck with a swingaxle. This negates anything other than a VW.

Dan

Congratulations.  You are going to love it.  Here is the build thread of my Vintage Spyder.  I'm not sure there is anything I would have done differently.  2.5L Outfront with higher compression and hotter cams.  I elected for a Rancho 4 speed Type 1 with a LSD.  My car never goes on the highway so I didn't care about a 5 speed.  Kind of wanted to keep the feel and sound of the vintage Type 1 tranny.  Definitely get the heated seats.  I also have a hard tonneau for the passenger compartment which also extends the driving season.  Add some LEDs when you get the car.  Have fun!

https://www.speedsterowners.co...ic/my-new-car?page=1IMG_0402

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I really wish someone could figure out ABS for these cars.  I was driving down Crabtree Falls Rd from the Blueridge Parkway and I guess I missed the warning of gravel on the road.  Was flying around a blind corner moving right and hit a patch of gravel.  Locked up all 4 wheels traveling across the opposite lane (thank god no one was coming the opposite direction) moving fast at a guard rail.  I think all the motorcycle racing I did when I was a kid clicked in.  Traveling fast directly at the guard rail I instinctively completely came off the brakes, hooked up all 4 tires and pulled the steering wheel back to the right and back in my lane.  

I wrecked a motorcycle in the smokie mountains 7 years ago that took me 2.5 years to recover.  ABS would have prevented that wreck.  

If someone developed ABS for these cars, I would upgrade immediately.

Ed wrote: "By my 10 minutes of research there is no easy way to do it and the hard way is gonna be really hard. "

I agree.  Probably the hardest part for our cars would be retrofitting the sensor ring to the hubs on all four wheels.  Really hard on the front, even more hard on the rear for a swing-arm and pretty easy out back for an IRS car.  Then, you need to find an ABS system with integrated computer that works on a rear-wheel-drive car, like, say, a 2003 Mazda Miata, which happens to have an ABS system with minimal integration to the other on-board systems.  BUT!  The sensor biasing will be all off because the ABS system expects the weight in the front to be much greater (4X?) than our cars or the braking force up front will be too much.

And on, and on......    As Ed says - Really hard (unless you drive an SAS, which retained all that from the donor Imprezza).

edsnova posted:

Doubt it worked very well on SAS cars given the weight differences between the cars.

Exactly what I was saying when one SAS customer was saying the Suby ABS system was a go on his Roadster/Coupe many years ago.

Seems to me that the basic components could be filched from donor cars and/or made easily enough and the software to run it should be able to be made adjustable the way a megajolt spark map or a megasquirt AF ratio table can be tweaked now. But like the article said, no real market for this, so doing it would mean DiY all the way.

Thing is then, the adjustment process... It would probably require repeated (and repeatable) skidding trials over gravel and/or wet roads a la Phil followed by changes to the ABS parameters. Like maybe days of this to set up each car?

And for all these reasons I'm out.

So it looks like these cars will never have ABS.  Guess I'll just have to slow down.  Bummer.

Technology in cars is moving so fast.  I was in my Audi A3 the other day looking to my left at a couple of idiots in the middle of the road trying to figure out if they were going to walk out in front of my car.  Suddenly bells start going off and my car brakes itself preventing me from hitting the car that had slammed on its brakes in front of me.

A couple of weeks ago I went to see my oldest son who just took his first real job as an anesthesiologist in Tampa FL.  He and his wife had just bought Series 3 Teslas.  His wife got the front wheel drive version that does 0-60 in a measly 5.2 seconds.  My son got the AWD dual motor version that does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.  The acceleration is breathtaking.  My neck still hurts.  INSTANT pull.  Seamless with no lag and no sound.  And when we got on the highway, no hands or feet, the car completely driving itself.

Man am I getting old. 

Sorry guys, but I don't get it- why would you want ABS (and complicate your car with yet something else that can screw up)? It's the first layer of insulation from the road.

Take it to the present day- a Speedster that drives itself- why bother?

PS- To me- that's not at all what a Speedster is about.

Last edited by ALB

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