Went to Vintage Motorcars today. I just missed Kevin from Mendeola Suspensions. He brought up an unpainted center section of his Type 1 suspension for Gregs guy to start fabricating a way to mount this unit. The general conscious was that it can be done but a little tricky. This assembly is totally different from a conventional VW front axle assy and takes up room differently up in front. It also uses a rack and pinion steering box which dictates that the steering connections to the steering wheel will need to be re-routed. This will probably interfere with the gas tank. Don't know about the radiator yet either. Other critical measurements will be holding the wheel base and track width dimensions within the same spec's as original with a VW beam.. The good part is I believe Greg and his builder "Grumpy" out in the back have plenty of expertise and experience to pull this off really well. I'm just happy as hell for that ! Here's a couple photo's. Not much to show but at least it shows "MENDEOLA" on the main assembly. It's sitting top of an engine. The others are just photos of frame-in-progress..............Bruce
Bruce, the Mendeola suspension is very nice, but dang that is a lot of metal to cram in the front of a Spyder. It's not like there is a big weight difference front-rear to make up. Stock weight distribution is 45-55, and your radiator may push that slightly forward, but not much I imagine.
Also, there are a lot of possible suspension pickup points on a Vintage frame. I'd think it would be way more efficient to attach the suspension to brackets welded to the existing framework. The lower A-arm could go right to the lower 2" rail. With a small amount of fab work, the upper A-arm could go to a slightly larger diagonal than Greg usually puts, say 1.5" tubing instead of the 1".
I tried to get Greg to get away from the VW beam with my 2016 car, but he wasn't ready to tackle it. It can't be that hard to design a front suspension that has a) little camber change, b) proper Ackerman, and c) LOW bump steer, either using the existing box(no thanks?) or going to a center-steer rack and pinion(YES!).
Getting rid of the beam/swingaxle combo with a modern IRS front and rear with anti-sway bars, and a little suspension tuning would get the suspension to work that much better even with the smaller contact patch tires available. It's what I wanted to do. Best of luck.
Danny...Yeah, it looks massive when it's installed. Sort of like a giant hard boiled egg slicer ! Kevin says it's 6 lbs lighter than the original beam This isn't a done deal yet. If Greg can't get it to fit along with everything else....well....then it's back.
You are right about the possibility of fabricating a front suspension from scratch though. That, as you well know is not a project for amateurs. Ackerman angles, bump steer elimination and 0 camber change are formidable tasks to achieve. It certainly would allow use of a more simple and lighter front suspension as well. It would be nice to have a frame at home here and play around with it, but at this time in my life Im now more interested in having a car to drive and tinker with some smaller projects on it. I have to say that I am thoughtful of the assumption of liability in producing a full front suspension and steering system as well. After all, I would be taking this car down the road at considerable speed and doing things most would not attempt.
Still, I'm pretty excited. By the way, someone bought me a Spyder model from Maisto. Yes, it's silver, but it's so pretty and well made I'm afraid to mess it up by repainting it Pearl White & Burgundy ! Ha ha..................Bruce