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My Spyder project started in earnest this week.  The guys at Special Editions wrapped up my Basic Body Package along with some additional parts packages and shipped them to me last week. 

Working with the Special Edition guys has been a pleasure, timely responses and detailed answers to my questions.  I initially placed the order with Kevin, Brad handled most of the contract stuff and communication, Carey provided the technical support.

I've just started putting it together, but so far the completeness of the parts packages has been impressive.  Nicely organized hardware packages with everything I've needed so far, saving a lot of trips to the hardware store.

I have a 2165 VW engine that I assembled from a CB Builder's Choice package.  I broke it in on my Sand Rail last summer.  I also have a new Rancho transmission that has no time on it yet.  I'm planning on getting the engine and transmission installed over the next couple of weeks.  My first goal is to get it rolling.

I'm sure that I'm going to have questions.  From what I've seen watching this forum over the last few months, group support is generous and prompt, thank you in advance.

TomIMG_7124IMG_7928       

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Thanks for all the positive feedback, I'll provides updates as I progress.  Hope to wrap up the assembly of the front end this week and add heat to my garage space.  The weather is cold and windy this week so I should have time to make some progress.

I do have a couple of questions.

Should I list my build questions here or start a new topicsVRoZB8FSSRqYbeOoKBXTaQ?  I'm thinking that I will post project updates here.

Access to the top of the steering box?  Working on my Sand Rail has me spoiled.  Once I lift off the body everything is right there to work on.  On the Spyder, the top of the steering box is within 1/4" of the bottom of the frunk.  Should I add an access panel there?

Tom

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Access to the top of the steering box?  Working on my Sand Rail has me spoiled.  Once I lift off the body everything is right there to work on.  On the Spyder, the top of the steering box is within 1/4" of the bottom of the frunk.  Should I add an access panel there?

Tom

You can just reach it with a right angle screwdriver and open-end 13mm, although an access panel makes it MUCH easier. You shouldn't have to mess with it often.

The front adjustment can also be reached with a custom hex wrench and a 41mm open-end. The pictures are on here somewhere of the tool I made. The custom wrench consists of a cut-down 7/8"(22mm) nut welded to a bent(30 degrees or so) piece of 1/8" x 1" flat steel.

Key point: the box should only be adjusted when the box and pitman arm are dead-centered. Also, the pitman arm should be REALLY tight, 1/16 of a turn can make the difference between good and crappy handling/feel.

Cheers.

I got the front end roughed in last week.  Spindles, brakes and shocks installed.  I still need to mount a fuel filter and fuel pump up front, but turned my attention to the back of the car this week.  Worked on a jury rigged engine hoist and a small set of spreaders for the engine over the week end.  Repurposed the casters and 2 x 1 tubing that Special Editions used as a cradle to ship the car on.

Put the transmission in today.  A lot more fiddling around with the hoist and jack stands than you would think.  The weather is good this week, I'll be struggling to put time on the project.

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Thanks for the positive feedback.  For now I'm going to leave the access to the steering box as is, and move on to other tasks.  I'm pretty sure I'll get back a lot of these issues as winter projects.

I'm going to work on the fuel system today.  Securing the a filter and fuel pump up front is the first task.  Right now I'm looking at adding a bracket to the back side of the front beam.   I'd love to hear how other have handled this.

I have not developed any plans for locating the filer and fuel pressure regulator in the back.  It seems that I have a ton more space and choices.  Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing.

Tom     

On a Spyder, a long bolt and a spacer through the beam mounting holes works very well to mount on the back side of the beam. Keep it low to stay away from tie-rods and steering box.

You can also mount the pump and pre-filter in front of the beam, unless you have a front swaybar. That can be snuck in there also if needed.

I think the front is best, as the hose from the tank can go over the beam and stay 100% away from the steering components.

In my Spyder, I have a custom anti-sway bar that I made. I have dual horns, and a filter and pump for the gas heater in front of the beam. Behind the beam is the pre-filter and EFI pump. The post-pump Subaru can filter is in front of the beam.

It can get pretty packed up there eventually. To start I had just the horns, pump, and filter.

I recommend a rotary self-regulated pump(3 to 3.5 psi) if using Webers or Dellorto carbs. No need for the extra complication and connections with a external regulator in the back.

I mounted my fuel pump/pre-filter to the front side of the passenger footwell with these.
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And mounted my Malpassi Filter King filter/regulator with SS cable clamps on the torsion tube on the inboard of the passenger side frame rail.  

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If I had to do it all over again, I’d keep the fuel pump on the beam but use SS cable clamps instead of putting it on the footwell, only because it hums a bit (cause it doesn’t know the words) and the footwell kind of amplifies it. OTOH, it’s comforting to hear it run before I start the engine. It’s inaudible with the engine running.

AC6AD395-5CC7-45EE-8C48-C771362C18FE

FWIW-CAP Hardware sells these rubber covered Stainless Steel cable clamps in just about every size. IMO, they’re one of the handiest things around for building our clown cars.

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Last edited by dlearl476

This is great stuff, thanks for all your contributions.  I was wondering where to get those sweet rubber covered clamps. 

Danny, that front end has a lot of stuff going on up there.  I'm guessing that didn't happen over night.  I put the pre filter and pump right behind the center plate that is part of the front beam.  I stayed away from the moving parts.   

Carlos, if you look at RS-60 Mark's car on BAT, there are some chassis pictures. He used a regular front beam, but mounted the factory-style bar on TOP of the bottom trailing arm instead of under like the factory. Looks like it would clear the frame on a Vintage/Seduction frame.

Tom, yeah, the amount of stuff up there creeps up on you. I usually do a lot of looking and thinking about where EVERYTHING is going to fit and how it will work together. I spend way more time thinking and then the doing doesn't take that long.

I need some help finding a home for my Oil Cooler.  The guys at Special Editions tell me that they put it on the divers side near the shock tower and cross member. I'm not finding a comfortable position above or in front of the cross member.  My current thought is to locate the cooler below the cross member on a slight angle to avoid the spare tire.  To secure the cooler in place I would weld a couple of angles across the member.  The angles would be coped to fit the diameter of the member and hold the cooler about 1/2" below the member.

My concern about this position is that it places the fan about 4" away from the muffler.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

20210416_16261020210416_162622Thanks 

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@DannyP posted:

Carlos, if you look at RS-60 Mark's car on BAT, there are some chassis pictures. He used a regular front beam, but mounted the factory-style bar on TOP of the bottom trailing arm instead of under like the factory. Looks like it would clear the frame on a Vintage/Seduction frame.

@Carlos G posted:

Danny, I saw that and it got me thinking. It'd be so simple too. Now to find a 5/8"ish stock bar. That clam mechanism is also cool a hell!

Yes, that’s very interesting. I’m going to take a hard look at whether I could snake a bar in though the side access in my Spyder. I’ve still got the access panel under my tank/MC/and rear of the beam so I might be able to do it.

I wish I had the mad fab skills like Danny to make an adjustable one, but I asked a local machine shop I work with and they told me it would be about $1K to duplicate what Danny did.

I had no idea I saved that much money. I don't even have $100 in my bar, unless you count the $400 I spent on a new welder!

Tom, that will work fine. The fan might run a bit longer because of exhaust proximity, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it. My fan blows down, but Ed proved that air comes OUT of the grilles so there's that.

I appreciate the solid input.  I will take a look at locating the cooler further back like the Vintage location.  My cooler lit says the fan pulls through the core, so my plan was to have the air blow down towards the muffler.  At first I want the heat to be blown up towards the vents but then I saw I was closer to the engine fan inlet than the vents.  If I end up with the cooler further back, I'll flip the cooler so the fan is on top and the air blows up.

It appears to me that if you slide the cooler back a little you could weld a couple tabs on that shock crossbar. It wouldn't take much to support the other end off the spare mount. Possibly an "L" shape from the spare mount over to the main frame rail. It would still clear the spare tire.

I absolutely LOVE the clamshell holder, Carey gave me one of the first. Probably the only Vintage Spyder with one LOL!

Keep working Tom.

Danny has a good point on the design of the fan blade strongly favoring flow in one direction.  It has also been my experience that fans prefer to pull through a resistance and exhaust into free air.  I took a look at the Vintage position and found that the spare tire makes that area tight.   I don't know how often I'll carry the spare, but I want to leave that capability in place.

On the topic of Cars and Coffee.  I am really looking forward to doing more of them down here.  The Audrain museum in Newport has them every couple of weeks through the summer.  I went to one in 2019, it was their Tour de Elegance, we had a great time.  in 2020 they kept the attendance down to 250 and they were booked up in minutes.  First one this year is at Fort Adams on May 2nd.  Registration starts April 26th.   I'll check into it and get back to you.   

With encouragement from the group I finalized my oil cooler installation.  I like it, it's tucked out of the way and firmly mounted.  Danny suggested extending one of the angles to pick up the spare tire mount for a third point of support.  Worked great.

I had hoped to get the rear brakes on this week but had a setback when the wrong bearing caps showed up.  I'm sure I'll find something to do on the car until the right ones arrive.

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My bearing caps finally came in on Friday.  They were holding up the installation of the rear brakes.  Raining day today , I wrapped up the installation of the rear brakes.  Getting it to roll is a nice milestone.  without a spare engine, transmission and set of tires hanging around my garage is started to have some open space.

I can use your20210425_153900 input on the setup the the emergency brake cables.  I thought I was being cleaver to remember to re-install the spring and washers that came with the EMPI kit before crimping the stop on the brake end of the cable.  Now it looks like the collapsed height of the spring is too long, prevents the E-brake from its full range of motion.  Do your E-brake cable setups have a spring around the cable at the brake end between the cable housing end and brake lever?     

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Not Finished, but running.  I was able to take the Spyder out for a lap around the neighborhood yesterday.  Still a ton of things to do, but it was nice to fire up the engine.  I'm glad to ran the engine in my other car last year,  Being able to have it fire right up was nice.  non of the stress of starting a green engine.  The Magaflow exhaust sounds great too.

I'm trying to arrange insurance so I can start the registration process.  My local guy has a couple of quotes.  They need to see some pictures before the firm up the coverage (Front, Rear, Engine and Trunk).  Haggerty came in at $700/year.  I was told they will only offer coverage including collision.  I put the value of the car at $40K.  Any guidance you can offer is welcome.  I'm working on the local insurance guy to drop the works "Kit Car" from his vocabulary.IMG_7239 

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Not Finished, but running.  I was able to take the Spyder out for a lap around the neighborhood yesterday.  Still a ton of things to do, but it was nice to fire up the engine.  I'm glad to ran the engine in my other car last year,  Being able to have it fire right up was nice.  non of the stress of starting a green engine.  The Magaflow exhaust sounds great too.

I'm trying to arrange insurance so I can start the registration process.  My local guy has a couple of quotes.  They need to see some pictures before the firm up the coverage (Front, Rear, Engine and Trunk).  Haggerty came in at $700/year.  I was told they will only offer coverage including collision.  I put the value of the car at $40K.  Any guidance you can offer is welcome.  I'm working on the local insurance guy to drop the works "Kit Car" from his vocabulary.IMG_7239

Try American Modern and ask for an Agreed Value policy.

@Tom Gilchrist  The last that I heard, RI RMV had adopted “Replica” as a category of special interest cars, along with Hot Rod and Custom.  It often takes a while for the insurance companies to catch up.   They may be more familiar with a Factory Five Cobra replica so maybe play that angle to get them to pay attention to it as a replica?  I don’t know how the RI RMV handles emissions testing on a replica so I can’t offer anything for that.

I had Liberty Mutual on my car when I lived in Tiverton, but it was registered as a ‘69 VW Beetle Convertible.  Also had Liberty Mutual when we came back to Mass. (still as a ‘69 Bug) but when I changed my registration to  ‘57 Porsche Speedster replica they freaked out and dropped me.  I ended up with Hagerty with an agreed value policy and have been happy, so far.

Hagerty knows full well what the cars are, it's the local agents that usually don't know.

I don't know if RI is more expensive than NY but I have Hagerty and added my Cayman to the policy along with my Spyder. Both cars is $900 a year, not bad I think for Agreed Value coverage for both, flatbed towing and zero deductible. Spyder only was about $550(LOL!) or $600.

Thanks for the information and support.  I'll talk to the agent about an "Agreed Value" policy.

The lap around the neighborhood was fun, but it really had to be a lap since I didn't have reverse.  The guys at Special Editions tell me that they very often have to trim a pall to get the shift fork to fully move into the reverse position.  Looks like I'll be spending the afternoon on my back doing some sculpting. 

"Very often" is every single time. It's in the PBS shifter instructions. The reverse fork must be trimmed, best done with a cutoff wheel. The nosecone(tailcone in our case) must be removed to get to the fork. I put a plastic bag over my trans and poked the reverse fork through. A Sharpie mark is a good guide for where to cut. It isn't much to cut, but it must be done. PBS

Temporarily stick a drill bit into the tapped hole at the bottom of the diagram and rest a straight edge against the drill bit, make your mark and cut. Easy peasy.

That picture is all I can find, the PBS website is down.

I usually use two hands to get reverse, the lockout spring is STRONG.

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Thanks for the info on the PBS shifter.  I didn't receive any literature with my shifter, just put it together and put it in the car.  I should have run it through the gears before I put it in the car.  In any event, armed with the info Danny provided above and some insight from Special Editions I got it sorted out yesterday.  I was not enthusiastic about loping off a portion of the reverse shift fork with out understand what the real source of interference is.  I played with the pieces for a while and found that the shift pall sticks further into the reverse fork than the other two.  So much further that the round portion of the pall is sticking into the fork so there were four points of contact between the pall and fork.  The two points on the pall that should contact the fork and two points on the pall shaft, essential pining the fork so the pall would not rotate.  I dressed the pall shaft a little to get some motion started but could not get enough without weakening the pall shaft.  I put a radius on the inboard leading edge of the reverse shift fork to get the rest of the motion I needed.  Works smooth now.

Doing this while installed in the car was not as bad as I thought it would be.  Getting the rear mount off with the engine installed was a bit tricky.  Before I put it back together I drilled through the rear mount so the shift housing bolt that is captured by the rear mount can be removed with the rear mount installed.  It made getting it back together much easier.

Now onto my alignment and brakes.20210511_11200820210511_143448

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Glad you got it sorted, Tom. These things happen when you change the workings of the shift action from an arc to a straight line...

But the function of this shifter is just snick-snick superb. You'll love it. It's definitely better than any rod shifter I've used or adjusted in a Spyder. I've worked on a few different Becks and Vintages besides my own. The PBS is #1.

Carey sent me a beautiful round and polished aluminum shift rod to replace the squared-off PBS dune-buggy looking one. I immediately shortened it(it was pretty long) to the original PBS length and I absolutely love it.

I bought a custom knob from Twisted Shifterz and that came out very nice. They can make MANY sizes, styles, colors, shift patterns, and threads. I did black with white pattern routed into the knob. They really weren't expensive either.

https://www.twistedshifterz.co...lections/shift-knobs

This would help the Speedster guys too, if you like custom stuff.

Last edited by DannyP

Good to hear about how happy you are with the PBS shifter.  I'll look forward to enjoying it myself.  I think the arc versus straight line movement of the shift pall is the source to transmission mod requirement.  I think the angle of the pall slide is a little off.  As in all things, when you did into the details you probably would find that they did the best they could considering all the constraints.

Thanks for the info on the shift knob.  I have one on back order from Special Editions.  The threads on the shift shaft were wearing a hole in my palm so I stopped by Auto Zone to a knob to at least cover the raw threads.  I plan to use it on my lawn mower when I get the real one.  Have a good week end.   

I've got a question about ride height.  Over the weekend I set the rear wheels perpendicular to the ground with no passenger weight.  I then adjusted the front beam to get the floor level.  I used a string system to complete the alignment.  I was pretty happy with the alignment setup, it checked out within a string width when I rotated the wheel boards 180, and gave me good access to make the adjustments.

My concern is that after I drove the car into the garage and my wife and I got out, the rear wheels showed a fair amount of negative camber.  I rolled the car back a forth a bit with no passenger weight and the wheels came back to neutral camber.  I expected this and thought about placing bags of cement in the seats during my alignment, but did not think I needed to go to that trouble.  Now I'm wondering.  If I set it up so the wheels are neutral with passenger weight onboard, it will have more positive camber than I care for while parked.  What is the right compromise?

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What's "right" can be different for everybody.

You've got to get the front high enough to not rub the tires when two-up, but not high enough to look too high.

You've got to get the rear to sit not too high(into positive camber) or too low(bottoming out). I initially ran my Spyder pretty low all around, but raised it after I bottomed on speed bumps going into Lime Rock Park.

I have the rear set around 2.5 to 3.5 degrees negative camber(depending on weight in the seats), and the front to be level with the rear height or slightly lower. Slight front-lower rake helps high speed handling(110+). The front is about 1.5 degrees negative camber.

I run 1/16" toe-in, both front and rear. These settings have served me well over the years on the street, Auto-X, and DE laps.

I've got a newbie question for you.  Yesterday I went to confirm the timing on the engine in the Spyder.  I had set it last year when the engine was in my sand rail.  It became immediately apparent to me that seeing the degrees on the pulley was going to be a problem.  I used a small inspection mirror to confirm that the timing was in the ballpark, but I was not able to read the numbers as well as I would like.

What do you guys do?  I have a borescope that gives a great image, but securing the end of the fiber optic would be a pain and the chance of the fiber optic getting caught in the works seems too high.  As I write this I'm wondering if I should use a selfie stick.

In other news, I have an appointment with DMV next week.  that's how they work now as the result of Covid, anything that you need to do in person requires an appointment that  you setup online.   

My neighbor is a used car dealer and he offered to loan me his Dealer Plate so we could bed in the brakes.  Had some fun on our back roads and then went up to Route 1 to see how it felt.  It was great.  Ran out of gas as required.  I know the hub caps are a faux pau, but my wife loves them.20210601_161309

   

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Tom, I taped a flexible inspection mirror to my timing light so I could hold the light and mirror one-handed.

I know some people have actually cut an access panel in the firewall just to set the timing.

"Ran out of gas as required". Yup, done that. I carried a full one gallon can for a while until I figured to get gas at 1/4 tank LOL!

I filed in a subtle notch on the top of the pulley at 0, 5 before and 30 before TDC. My timing light has a dial on it so if you know 0 you can dial it in to flash at any timing. Set it to "30" and revved to 3000 and looked for the mark, which appeared. Then set the light to "0" and did it again and saw the 30-degree notch.

Then I installed the CB Performance Black Box....

I have an appointment with the DMV inspector on Tuesday.  I'm knocking on wood as I type this but, so far my transit through the registration process has been good.  The hardest part that I've faces is being comfortable being separated from so much money to pay the sales tax.

Test fit the car and my new E Trac's yesterday.  Compared to my sand rail, there is not much to tie down to on the Spyder.  I like the basket straps, they are holding the wheels firmly in place and are independent form each other.

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When I moved from Massachusetts to Tiverton I had to go through the same process (except for that killer sales tax - They hit us up for that with our Austin Healey, though) and I found the DMV and State Police inspectors to be easy to work with and just doing their jobs.  Often, the inspectors are "car guys", too, and can appreciate that you built the car and tend to admire it after they get the inspection done.

Hope you don't have to go too far to get the look-see done.  After all, you're halfway to NYC, way down there in the corner of the state.    

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Thanks for the encouragement Gordon.  I spoke with the inspector on the phone and he sounded like a reasonable guy to work with.  He even mentioned that if I leave the inspection with an open item, he could send an inspector down to me to save a return trip.

Nothing is to far away in RI.  It's funny, somehow the size of the state seems to restrict our movements.  We try to avoid going north of 138 which really only 15 minutes up the road.  Visiting the Tax man in Providence was a big trip, but was only a 35 minute drive. 

My project made it across the line on Friday, we are on the road,  My experience with RI DMV was very pleasant.  Kit cars get sent to an inspection garage up in Providence and get checked out by the same guys that check the city and school buses.  Really nice guys, all very interested in cars.  They put the Spyder up on a lift meant to support a grey hound bus and checked the suspension.  They were impressed with Special Editions work and signed off on my inspection paperwork.  I then sat with the supervisor as he completed my registration and I left the lot with plates and tags.

I appreciate the support and guidance that you guys provided my project.  Also, I can't say enough about my experience working with Special Editions.  Great response to question during the selection and build process and the support after delivery has been great.  20210619_110107       

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That's great news, Tom!

When I went for my replica inspection here in Mass. everyone on my Hot Rod side hoped that I wouldn't get "Sgt. Burns" as he was a real PITA on inspections.

Turned out I got him and he was very brusk at first ("just give me your paper work and I'll figure it all out in my office") but after it was all over and I had satisfied everything he asked for, he turned out to be a nice guy - even a muscle car motorhead!

These guys have to deal with a lot of salvage cars, many of questionable repair quality, that they have to inspect and certify as OK and put up with a lot of flak from the "mechanics" bringing some of them in, so I can see where they might be a little critical.

Now that you're rolling, we'll have to find an event somewhere near us for the NE group to show up at and check out your new ride!

Congratulations and happy Father's Day!!

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