Skip to main content

@edsnova posted:

Making progress.

I'm glad you have some good news to report. I didn't want you to get left out. Everybody had a good day today. 

I just read the email confirmation of my payment to John and they gave me some options for Covid-related pick up times: I get to pick up my new disc/drum brakes and assorted hardware and SS brake lines on my birthday Saturday morning! 

Happy Birthday to me!

Last edited by dlearl476

This thing has fought me every step of the way but I think I can see the dawn now.

The new Delrin bushings are all installed, top ones had to come back out yesterday to be drilled for zerks because there's no way to get a drill in there with them installed in the beam.


Reinstalled and made sure they lined up, then put the zerks back. Test fit the upper control arms in these and no reaming was needed.

Lower inners were the hardest but I installed them with a piece of pipe with a washer welded to the end.


This was after drilling two holes through the bottom of the beam even with the dimples (no way to drill into the dimples because of the body work) and installing small sheet metal screws through them to act as a hard stop.

I felt the inner bushings seat on those screws. The outers easily pressed in by hand. While I was at it I painted the spots Tommy missed.


That was last night.

This morning I got the center grubs tightened and the adjusters reinstalled, leaving the spring packs centered and correctly oriented. Later I got all the trailing arms back in—three were easy but the lower driver's side, after about an hour and a half of jiggling and re-trying,  required a bit of shaping on the ends of the leaves with the grinder.

Again the arms went in tight but I did not need to ream them.

Then the driver's hub reinstalled loose for alignment.


Tomorrow after breakfast I'll get the passenger side back on. Ready to re-grease and then clean...everything.

Like, the ramps are covered in grease. Also the shock towers. There's grease all over the trailing arms and on every allen wrench, socket, ratchet, open wrench, screwdriver, hammer, chisel and of course the home-made tools and probes and what-not, both in this bay and also at the welding table and the doorknobs and switches... It's bloody unbelievable. 

And of course the rotors have grease on them. They have to. I need an olympic-sized lap pool filled with BrakeKleen. Very much looking forward to this step in the process.

Then it's just a matter of reinstalling the calipers, shocks, swaybar end links and wheels before re-doing (third time? Fourth??) the front camber and toe-in.

And then? Back to our regularly-scheduled fettling. 


Images (5)
  • IMG_5887
  • IMG_5874
  • IMG_5878
  • IMG_5881
  • IMG_5903

Cleaned grease off everything for an hour today. Used a whole can of Brake Kleen.

I'll have to do that again. There's still more grease.IMG_5906

Hubs and brakes back on. I figured out a better mounting system today to move my sway bar bushings out toward the edges of the beam and make the bar work harder/better. Decided not to do the job yet though.

Reinstalled the sway bar and shock on the passenger side.


I'll line up the camber adjusters as they were to start, then back the car out and bring it back in and check toe-in. Won't be surprised to find it off, but we'll see.

Set that and then go around and try to get camber at -.5 degrees. 

Then check toe again.

Hoping I won't have to pull the steering wheel to get it centered.

Anyway, looks like the worst is over.


Images (2)
  • IMG_5906
  • IMG_5908

Brilliance and persistence prevail! Nice work, Ed. You're obviously a Dapper Dan kind of guy!

Now listen here, that's my pomade, obviously. You have to use another brand. It's gonna come to fisticuffs!

Ed, rubbing alcohol and towels first to get most of it, then give it a final with a lint-free towel and the brake cleaner. Cheaper that way.

In this case, alcohol IS a solution.

Last edited by DannyP

Back on the road today—around the block to settle the suspension so I could check camber. Had to roll the eccentric about 120 degrees on the passenger side to get a little lean in on that side. The other side seemed pretty good. They're straight up and down now fully extended but about -.3 degrees at rest and -.5 or -.6 fully compressed. I think that should be just about right for this car with these tires. Tomorrow I'll check and re-set the tow in to 1/8 inch or so, shoot grease into the beam like a mad man and replace the last bottom panel and then, hopefully, we're done.



Images (1)
  • IMG_5914


I must admit it will be a little sad not having your weekly jousts against the forces of darkness to amuse and enlighten us.

Who knew how many demons and evil spirits could reside in such a tiny car?

You may not have won every battle, but you were never discouraged and always returned with enthusiasm, a bigger hammer, and an almost inexhaustible supply of cardboard.

All hail Sir Edward, Defender of the Faith, and Knight of the Order of the Spyder.


@Sacto Mitch posted:


I must admit it will be a little sad not having your weekly jousts against the forces of darkness to amuse and enlighten us.

Who knew how many demons and evil spirits could reside in such a tiny car?

You may not have won every battle, but you were never discouraged and always returned with enthusiasm, a bigger hammer, and an almost inexhaustible supply of cardboard.

All hail Sir Edward, Defender of the Faith, and Knight of the Order of the Spyder.


Hear, hear!


Ed, it should be obvious to anyone who's worked through these 45 pages that your purpose from the start was to entertain us with the hidden engineering in these cars. That you ended up with a marketable vehicle in the end can only be an unexpected benefit for you.

Anyone could have attacked each problem from the start with the most efficient solution, but what would your audience have learned from that about the angst of how real-world engineering gets done?

It was just brilliant of you to always start with what seemed like an obvious approach, so that you could show us the error of such thinking. I love how you always concealed the 'right' answer until the third or fourth iteration. I can't tell you how much I learned from that.

Another master stroke was saving that whole debacle of the front beam until the very end. Just when we thought you were done, you threw us a classic cliff hanger.

Anyway, please keep up this great explanatory journalism.


And knowing you a little bit, as I do, Ed,  you might be leaning towards being a 70's kinda guy and might not be inclined to be a "Dapper Dan Man" or a "FOP Man" so as I was wandering the aisles of my local CVS today, I found something that might be a better fit for you:


"To every thing.... Turn, Turn, Turn.

There is a season, turn, turn, turn.


Images (1)
  • IMG_0895
@edsnova posted:

Danny will tell you to measure from the outside off a known square that's placed around the car but honestly who has time for that kind of "doing it right" nonsense?

I don't know where that came from, but, yeah, whatever. Do you mean stringing it off jack stands? Then yes, that is a good way.

Mike, I've had decent results using two people and a tape measure. I actually have used tread grooves, as high up as you can, touching the body with the tape. As long as you measure at the same height front and rear, your measurement has meaning. 

I use 1/16" total toe-in, front and rear. It's served me well.

The best way to measure is with a gauge. A long tube or piece of aluminum, steel, wood or even plastic. Anything really that's stiff and light enough. Put a couple 8 to 10 inch arms on it. Make one fixed, and the other one slide but with a thumbscrew. I'm quite sure a guy who can DIY EFI would have no trouble replicating this for less than $20:

I have a much earlier version of the A.R.T. laser toe plates.They are very easy to use. Concrete or blacktop surface required.(NO way would I have spent the money, I inherited these!)

The business resides in Staatsburg NY, about 45 minutes from me.


Last edited by DannyP
@edsnova posted:

Toe in still not set. Checked this a.m. and it was like a half inch toed in. Turned the tie rod a little and checked again and I had pushed it OUT about 3/8. I was out of time and had to go to work. I'll try again tomorrow.

Define "a little" LOL! Try a 1/4 turn at a time next time. Remember, your turning is doubling the adjustment with the left and right-hand threads. It doesn't take much, think of where the tierods are in relation to where you're measuring.

Last edited by DannyP

We use Smart Strings for alignment, and I have camber and caster gauges we use as well.  The smart strings "hangers" don't play well with Spyder and 904 hoods, so often times we have the Smart Strings aluminum bars set on 4x jack stands.  Look at their products and something like that would be very easy to duplicate with a few lengths of pipe.

And before anyone laughs at this set-up, it is used by some of the largest race teams out there, cup cars, LMPs, GPs, etc...

I didn't read the entire alignment thread so may be something you are doing or already suggested, but if you do not have some sort of "slip plate" under the front tires, do that too.  We use actual ball bearing slip plates but you can get a VERY similar result with a couple of vinyl tiles placed face to face.  you just need to reduce the friction of the rubber on the concrete when setting tow.  You'll get a much more accurate result this way, eliminates "spring back".

Agreed, Carey. Ed, take a construction garbage bag and put a little water between the layers, then drive on that. The plastic layers slide really well against each other. Think slip and slide. Cheap and effective.

I always take the car for a ride, then pull back in the shop and re-check. Just to make sure it's perfect.

Last edited by DannyP
Post Content
Link copied to your clipboard.