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Thread: Mid-Rear Layout

  1. #1
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    Mid-Rear Layout

    Out of curiosity, why aren't there more kit cars designed using Audi quattro or Subaru drivetrains (or at least the transaxles), in a mid-engine rear drive layout, where they just disable/cap the back end since there's no driveshaft? The only one I really know of like that is the Factory Five 818.

    Related: why couldn't a mid-rear kit car use the drivetrain out of a FWD car, located over the rear wheels? (Obviously it'd take some mad fab skills.)

    Just spitballin' here.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
    Out of curiosity, why aren't there more kit cars designed using Audi quattro or Subaru drivetrains (or at least the transaxles), in a mid-engine rear drive layout, where they just disable/cap the back end since there's no driveshaft? The only one I really know of like that is the Factory Five 818.

    Related: why couldn't a mid-rear kit car use the drivetrain out of a FWD car, located over the rear wheels? (Obviously it'd take some mad fab skills.)

    Just spitballin' here.
    If you simply spun the Audi powertrain around in order to have the engine over the rear wheels and still have AWD, with then you'd end up with one forward speed, and five (or six) reverse gears.

    However, there isn't much that would stop you from removing the Audi rear drive shaft from the transaxle and rolling the forward portion to a mid-engine position to drive the rear wheels. In fact that's exactly what Pontiac did with the Fiero, using the FWD Chevy Citation powertrain, albeit the engine is installed transversely rather than longitudinally. It's also what thousands of others have done by swapping in FWD powertrains (3.4L, Dual Twin Cams, 3.8L, 4.9L, Northstars, SBC's, and LSx's) into Fiero chassis.

    There are few guys that have installed (or are installing) longitudinal engines and transmissions in Fiero's: engineman here on PFF http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/123266.html has used an Audi A8 powertrain longitudinally, and Yarmouth Fiero is mating an LS engine to an Audi 01E transmission here: http://www.ns355.ca/

    The reason mid-engine swaps aren't so popular in other chassis is because cars are unibody designs, so the basic structures to resist the powertrain forces (weight and torque) aren't where you need them to be.

  3. #3
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    Shifting the entire powertrain forward of the driveshaft, to the back so that the "front" axles are now driving the "rear" wheels, is exactly what I'm talking about. The back of the transaxle would obviously hang behind the drive wheels.

    I realize that mid-engine swaps aren't popular because the structure doesn't accommodate, I'm talking about kit cars, not swaps. I assume it'd be something that uses a tube chassis.

  4. #4
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    This can be done with the Audi 01X transmission or with the front wheel drive only 01E. The AWD Audi transaxle does not lend itself to be converted to two wheel drive only and you can't use the AWD feature since the output for the other two wheels is now out behind the rear wheels. These transaxles are longer than the front wheel drive only models which presents another problem. Another good transaxle is the 6-speed Boxster S or Cayman unit. The Subaru transaxle can be converted to 2 wheel drive only as is done with the FF 818. I make adapters for various engines to use with the Audi or Porsche transmissions.

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    Is the regular Boxster (non S) transaxle no good?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
    Out of curiosity, why aren't there more kit cars designed using Audi quattro or Subaru drivetrains (or at least the transaxles), in a mid-engine rear drive layout, where they just disable/cap the back end since there's no driveshaft? The only one I really know of like that is the Factory Five 818.

    Related: why couldn't a mid-rear kit car use the drivetrain out of a FWD car, located over the rear wheels? (Obviously it'd take some mad fab skills.)

    Just spitballin' here.
    The Goblin kit car does this with a Chevy Cobalt drive train. http://dfkitcar.com/
    Also, the Ariel Atom and the Superlite Razor do it too, usually with Honda packages.
    Not a new idea.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
    Is the regular Boxster (non S) transaxle no good?
    The 5-speed from the Boxster is rather weak and I would not recommend using one with an engine making much HP. They fail frequently with the stock Boxster engine.

  8. #8
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    But the S model transaxle would work OK with a stock LS1?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dangerrous's Avatar
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    my dna 430 uses an Audi ABZ v8, Audi s4 clutch, Audi 01X 6 speed gearbox out of an A6 tdi, straight forward install, no conversion plates neccessary, Dead straight drive shafts, works a dream :-)
    D

  10. #10
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    Does your 430 use a tube frame? DNA no longer does Ferrari kits, do they?

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