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Thread: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

  1. #1
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    Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    There sure are some bad F355 kits out there. Bumpers way up in the air, lines all out of alignment... I wounder how tough it would be to pull enough original F355 body parts together to build a really accurate kit. Heck, I`d bet that the members of this club have enough spare (real Ferrari) parts laying around their garages to practically complete the task right now. Anything that came up short could be scrounged up pretty cheaply (as someone pointed out, there`s a rear bumper and hatch on ebay right now for $800 total). To be even more cost effective, I`d be willing to bet that some of these private sellers (such as eBay) would be willing to rent those components so that molds could be made - maybe going so far as to take a fibreglass replacement part as payment for the use of the real part (sort of like the owners of the stud animal getting pick of the litter). Anyway, it`s just a thought I`ve been kicking around while I`ve been looking for an even half way accurate spyder kit.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    Just out of morbid curiosity, what real Ferrar parts do guys have out there? Let`s take a bit of a poll and see what we come up with...

  3. #3
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    Interesting idea... although it is what most kit manufacturers say they did in the frst place.

    I don't think it's really a matter of having parts that are the same exact detail as an original 355 part as much as it's hanging those parts onto a chassis that is fundamentally different.

    There WILL be differences unless you build yourself an entirely new chassis.

    It's making those differences invisiable that really counts. Take, for instance, the new GT40 that Ford is putting out. Looks IDENTICAL to the older, original GT40 but it is entirely different.

    Why? Not because they made the panels identical or kept the same wheel base or width or dimensions. It's looks correct because it is PROPORTIONALLY correct.

    The WHOLE CAR is bigger. The same increase in size EVERYWHERE. Any replica car needs to follow the same rule of thumb.

    IFG splashes of 355s look wrong because they focused on the "correct wheelbase" and stretched the car 3 inches only to disturb the everall look by screwing up the proportions.

    That's why I think the Mirage is the better kit to have because they maintain the overall proportions of the car. Albeit, the whole car is a bit smaller by a few percentage points, it LOOKS right because everything is in correct relation with itself.

    If you take to using original 355 parts to make molds, great! Just realize, when you go to install them onto the Fiero, you're going to have to CHANGE them to get them to hang on the car.

    Many kit manufactures have already spent the money to discover this. I'm not saying it can't be done. Or can't be done with a Fiero. What I am saying, is that... done correctly, you'll not have much Fiero there Much like the Attack is "build on an Accord". Yeah right!

    That aside, there are alot of real 355 parts that you CAN use. Many of you know my insanity... err... project. You know that other than the body and chassis, most of my car IS real Ferrari 355 stuff.

    So, listed briefly and generally...

    Full Interior:
    Gauges, Switches, Seats, Vents, HVAC controls, Ashtry, Steering wheel, Shifter, Carpets, Inner Door Panels, Latches and Catches, Rear View Mirror, Coutesy Lamps, etc.

    Exterior:
    Mirrors, Grills, Emblems, Badges, Lights, Lamps, Vent Mesh, Wheels, Exhaust, side and rear Glass, Paint, etc.

    At what cost? that's the BIG question...

    For me, Going on 30K now at last count. Not Including the kit, the donor, the motor and upgrades, the suspension and upgrades, the brakes and upgrades, the wide track mods, etc.

    How nuts do you wanna get? It's about the cost and attention to detail.

    Just be careful... this disease is catchy

    DKOV -

  4. #4
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    That`s exactly what the F355 kit manufacturers claim to have done, yet if they had actually done it (or at least, done it right) I wouldn`t immediately begin to wonder why a kit looks different than the real car when they`re sitting side-by-side. *I`m all about correct proportions and lines, but at the end of the day, I want an exact replica - one that until you lift the rear hatch is utterly indistinguishable from the real. *If the original manufacturers decided that it would be easier to simply stretch everything behind the doors instead of two inches behind and one inch ahead, then more power to them - in the same way that the original 40 piece kit was reduced to 8 - it makes it easier to build, just not as accurate *

    Also, I don`t know if you can modify a Fiero too much... *after all, after you replace the brakes, interior, wheels/tires, body, and engine (not to mention cutting and moving a major structural member of the chassis), the original car is pretty much gone anyway - I`d just like to have the finished product actually look like the car I`m attempting to replicate.

  5. #5
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    By the way, one more thing I wanted to throw in there...

    If you take to using original 355 parts to make molds, great! Just realize, when you go to install them onto the Fiero, you're going to have to CHANGE them to get them to hang on the car.
    Not that I`m an expert, but I don`t know if I exactly agree with this statement. The implication is that the original manufacturers pulled molds off a F355 and then trimed them down (or stretched them out) to get them to hang on a slightly modified Fiero chassis - and they probably did. However, I don`t think that they absolutely had to go that route - it was just easier and basically got the job done (after all, who`s going to notice the differences on the screen under the distractions of a snappy sound track and the fact that the car is being thrown through a window or smashed by a trolley).

    A better way to go, in my opinion, is to build the body and then stretch the Fiero to fit inside it. I`m talking up, down, back, forward... whatever it took to get the wheels inside the wheel wells and the doors behind the door skins. I`d be very surprised if the kits people are building aren`t almost there already and the market is mature enough to make it relatively easy (wide track suspension kits, replica wheels, brake kits, ect.)

  6. #6
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    I can see how that statement was confusing. What I meant was, even though the OUTER dimensions were based on a real car, the way it mounts up is subject to the shape and size of the chassis component you are mounting the part to.

    Case in point... the nose.

    Even though the kit part is virtually identical to the real front bumper assembly on a 355, the frame of the Fiero is HIGHER than that of the Ferrari.

    So, the kit manufacturers cut the front end off to lower the mount points and get the bumper closer to the ground where it belongs. The net result is a curve to the front deck that is to extreme and a nose that still doesn't sit close enough to the ground.

    Granted, it's close. As close as you might get without cutting a Fiero off at the footbox and starting over on the frame and suspension

    I'm not saying it's bad or good. Jus that close is all we're ever going to get. "HOW CLOSE" is the game for some of us and alot of the fun.

    Looking at the choices out there and the finished product, I see alot of kits, not just 355s, that do just as you say... Work from the standpoint of what will be easist to work onto a Fiero or other donor. Building the body and fitting the donor into it is a great idea! That's the way it should be done. You're asking for a custom, frame up build though. You tear apart a Fiero THAT much... it's just not safe.

    I have problems believing a stretched Fiero is safe. I know it's not the way I drive mine

    DKOV -

  7. #7
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    You're asking for a custom, frame up build though. You tear apart a Fiero THAT much... it's just not safe.
    I have problems believing a stretched Fiero is safe
    I don`t know... A Fiero is really just a unibody with a couple of subframes hanging off the front and back. In fact, it`s basically the same set up as many super cars (passenger tub with subframes for the drivetrain and suspension components). I would imagine that the stretch would be a great opportunity to add some well placed bracing. It is possible to end up with a car that is more firm, stiff, and safe than the original product. At the end of the day, one could always simply build a custom frame like many in the Diablo crowd do - overall, it would simply make the car stiffer, stronger, and lighter since the Fiero is such a heavy little motha`.

  8. #8
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    Except that you realize that 50% of a Fiero's strength is based on the top roof rails of the car keep it from folding in half. That same, major component of the Fiero's Safety is what is cut away on most conversions and partially in 355 kits.

    Stress loads are measured at certain factors such as locations and distances from bearing joints. You push out a bearing joint several inches and you significantly reduce the strength of that mated area.

    Just like using wheel spacers on a kit. Pushing the wheels out farther reduces the ability of the bearing assemblies to carry the load evenly. Bearing failure is certain. When and where is the mystery.

    You're right though. Doing a ground up chassis build or a serious reworking of the Fiero chassis into a tube frame, would be a great advantage and benefit. Just time consuming, resource consuming and dangerous if you don't know what you are doing

    To much brains for me!

    DKOV -

  9. #9
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    Well, since this seems to simply be a discussion between you (DKOV) and me, I don`t think anyone will mind if I stray a little...

    I was looking at you site and happened to notice that you`re also into D`s. Strangely enough I`ve got a 2000 Patriot Blue/Slate Grey leather SLT Plus. It`s got all the trimmings, but is still completely stock (except for the clear turn signals - which makes a huge improvement in an all ready good looking truck). Anyway, I was wondering about your super charger... where you got it, who makes it, how much, etc. Not that I`ll be there anytime soon, I`ve still got an F355 kit to find. Speaking of which, why can`t I find one all of a sudden? Two months ago, they where everywhere and now I can`t find a single one. Oh well.

  10. #10
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    Re: Wacky F355 kits (solution?)

    D-stuff...

    Do you belong to the DOC, Durango Owners Club? You can info for the DOC at www.durangoclub.com

    It's a pretty cool club to belong to with lots of regional and National events to attend. Check them out

    Also, more info on my Super Charged Durango R/T can be found at www.gopc.com/F355/Durangox.html

    You can see pictures like this on that site



    The SC is a Powerdyne but that's only the beginning of my list

    I've yet to install these ported heads and M2 Intake

    Kit Stuff...

    Depending on what you want to buy and what you want to spend, there is still a Mirage 355 Coupe up here in the NW for sale. I've got the guy agreed to $8000. It looks just like mine (from my website) and is available. Let me know on that.

    Like you said, Country wide, ther'ye gone and going fast. Even the IFG splash kits are getting rare!

    I think the lack af availablility is that MOST of the kit manufacturers that were still building them were crooks because all the reputable shops were butting heads with Ferrari. Now, the crooks are all but exposed and the good guys wont build them any longer.

    Plus, the 355 is falling behind now. What with the Lambo kits coming out like a red tag sale at Target and the 360 Modena being the "new" body to have. I think that crook populous is concentrating on ways to make people think they have a 360 kit!

    In fact, there is one guy out there that is advertising he HAS one, but it's pics of a real 360!!!

    Anyway, the best way to get ahold of a 355 kit is from some poor sap that bought one and can't finish the project. At least, your odds of NOT getting ripped off are a bit better

    Best of luck!

    DKOV -

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