Bad ideas

I’m overconfident in my welding skills because I made a strut tower brace that has yet to crack, and I have parts cars. This is a dangerous combination. Here are my ideas:

  1. Buick 3800 in a 1997 Honda Civic sedan. I’m actually doing this one this summer, what’s optional are the variations. I will basically be cutting most of the structure out of the front of the car and widening it using box steel as a frame because Buicks are significantly wider than japanese compact economy cars.
  2. Be utterly ridiculous and set up the top of the Macpherson struts on a side-to-side slide connected to the steering rack. Instead of turning the wheels, the steering rack tilts the tires sideways. Like a motorcycle.
  3. Actually try to make this street-legal and get some 1-inch angle iron and aluminum sheeting and make some sort of ridiculous Geoff-like (from Top Gear) wide body kit to cover the exposed engine/struts/etc. but leave it open-wheeled.

To elaborate on my base idea of a 3800 Civic: this is not going to be a streetable car unless I finish it and believe in it enough to make the necessary modifications. This car is the donor for the engine and trans for my daily-driven black Civic, which will leave me with a rolling shell to molest improve. I also know where to get cheap Buick subframes which include engine, transmission, cradle, hubs, brakes, steering rack, etc. all in a self-contained subframe that will bolt to whatever-the-fuck with six to eight bolts depending on what car it came from. Then I will have to create strut “towers” to attach the top of the macpherson struts to, and these will have to sit about 4 inches above where the hood of the vehicle would normally be to account for the difference in size between a Buick and Civic. They will also be outboard. I parked my parts car behind a cradle the other day and it looks like this will end up being an entirely open-wheeled vehicle. In the front, at least. The Buick’s electronics will be coming along for the ride and all telemetry will be via OBD2 because there is no chance in hell I’m going to screw around with wiring up actual gauges.

The most difficult parts I’m seeing will be the steering and the brakes, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it with help from a friend who tossed a 3800 Series II in the back of a Ford Festiva hatchback.

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