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Thread: Rear wide track options for AD355

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Rear wide track options for AD355

    Hey guys,
    Thought I'd post on here and give Dave's brain a break. He's been very patient and forthright with answers and tips, but I'd like to spread my ignorance out over a larger area (maximize the "footprint" so to speak) causing less of an impact on any one particular brain, in this case, Dave's.

    The intended project:

    Extend the rear track for my AD355 so that the wheels ( Privat Profil, Silver color w/ Mirror machined lip, 18" x 8.5, 5 x 100 bolt pattern with 40mm offset which is almost the same as stock Fiero rims) both:
    A.) look right visually. Only tucking into the wheel wells as much as they should, not hidden deep into the wheel wells as the stock Fiero rear end set up would.
    B.)Allow for the rear tires (Pirelli 255 40 18 P-Zero) to be mounted without rubbing against the strut everytime it hits a dip in the road.

    The victim:

    My '86 Fiero with a stock 2.8 V6 and stock 4 spd
    Dave had some very good ideas that exceeded my capacity for understanding based on my pitiful experience level with Fiero suspensions.
    He had stated that it was his opinion based on experience, that Held was the way to go. "no excuses."
    Wow. That's a pretty strong endorsement from a very credible source. Also, a very expensive one though. Not that Held rear bump steer wide track kit is THAT expensive, it's not a bank buster, but definitely a wallet drainer at $687.50. But when you take into account I'll need new custom length axles too, well it's starting to hurt. Then there is the problem of geometry with the new extended arms, axles and the stock strut positioning. If you extend the arms and axles, where do you bolt the strut as it either won't reach, or is installed at a really crazy angle. ???
    I called "Chris" at WCF.
    Boy, I never had a vendor make me feel so stupid. (I was an Integrated weapons team member and a mechanic and electronic tech/operator on F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat, P-3 Orion, and did some work with C-12's too.)
    He had a condescending air in his tone and choice of words. I called and asked about pricing for "a custom axle" as I wanted to extend the rear track on my Fiero by about 4". I said that I would flip the original long side to the short side (as I thought it was only about 4" longer based on something I read somewhere) but would need an even longer replacement for the long side. I mentioned it was for a kit car application, to which he inquired "what kind?". I said a F355. Soon after he started coming up with things I'll choose to lable "reasons it can't be done." He came up with everything from bump steer (I mentioned Held's solution, as he was abrasively trying to establish his mental/intellectual superiority over me. This merely inflamed his ego, and he renewed his efforts with obvious fervor.) to strut mounting problems and tire rubbing and strut bottoming out, etc., etc. I was not unfamiliar with these CHALLENGES (as I prefer to refer to them) as they have been discussed here on this forum at length and repeatedly by new blood that didn't catch the discussions that were posted by other members either 5 mos. or 5 years ago.
    HOWEVER, I thought that he would have solutions (read: sales pitches) for each of these. After all, there is NO mechanical/engineering challenge that can't be overcome with dutiful applications of $. If he did, he was keeping them to himself. After some less than complimentary remarks and opinions concerning Kit car "mechanics" in the area of quality and concern for safety, our conversation ended with "get back to me when you figure it out." Darn. He could not see me slowly slide my credit card back into my wallet, where only moments earlier I had withdrawn it dead set on purchasing something he had for sale, and the look of disappointment and frustration that now hung like a heavy veil over my once smiling face. (Okay, a little dramatic, I know.)

    Now I'm calling on the combined wisdom and ridiculous inventiveness of my fellow forum members to help me decide how to tackle this CHALLENGE.

    A few notes of interest:
    I am not opposed to using very large wheel spacers IF that is the only viable option short of cashing in my retirement account.
    I realize that there would HAVE to be a negative consequence on some scale with respects to wheel bearing loading/life expectancy, and the general overall visual negatives.

    Let's hear some ideas! This is brainstorming mode and NO idea is too ridiculous, although it obviously might not make it to the planning mode.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    Use the front k memeber from a wide track grand prix, then 1 inch adpater to go to real wheels.. very simple and can do it for a few $100

  3. #3

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    There are certain areas to an AD355 build that everyone runs into and this is one of them. You can shell out the bucks for the Held kit, Try the West Coast Fiero kit (has anyone ever seen one?), use massive spacers or build your own. I went with spacers because the most important thing for me to focus on was to get the car on the road. I will get a wide track suspension in the future. Good luck with your choice.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Victoria, BC Canada

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355


    I designed and built my own as I wanted the challenge. If you go on my build thread and look about half way through, if memory serves, I go into a fairly lengthy explanation of how I did mine. I did get new axles built by a fellow out in Ontario, Canada but I do not think he is doing them any more.

    I also did up a set of instructions in Word way back and if I can find them, I will post if they are small enough or email them to you. I sent them to someone else here as well so the instructions should be out there if I cannot find mine.

    It really is not that hard to do. You just has to place the hub and wheel in the correct location in the wheel well and then start measuring everything up to line up.

    The items I did do though, which are worth doing, in my opinion, is I moved the pivot point for the trailing arm out so that the pivot on the trailing arm is over the pivot point of the control arm and I removed all but 1/16" of toe in/out at full extension of the suspension. If I have full extension of the suspension I am much more worried about other things than 1/16" of toe in/out..... ;D

    You also have to move the mounting point for the strut hat out. You pretty much turn the outside bolt holes into the inside bolt holes and extend the mounting plate of the shock tower out to house the, now, outside mounting bolt. The bolts are a pita to get at once the body panels are on though so once you get everything lined up before mounting the body panels, weld the mounting bolts facing down through the plate so you bolt from the bottom.

    I built custom tube control arms but Dale Paynter also extended his control arms out by cutting the stock Fiero arms and extending those. Easier to do and keeps all the stock mounts etc. You have options and if you have the bucks, the Held system is a very nice way to go.

    Time and a challenge or money is really the options you choose.

    Good luck and don't be afraid to try it as it really isn't that hard. Any other info you need if nmy thread doesn't do it for ya, reply and I'll try to explain in more detail.

    308 Ferrari replica
    Prova Countach 5000QV

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    Thanks for the replies, any more out there?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    New England

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    There are several ways you can go about doing this, none of which are all that difficult. It will just depend what you can and are willing to do or pay for.

    1.) Rear Wheel spacers - probably the cheapest of the list. I would make sure you get hub centric if you go this rout. This aligns the hub with the rim instead of the lugs. Pros: cheapest option, easy to install, uses existing axles, brakes etc. Cons: Will cause wheel bearings to wear out faster then oem but these are cheap and easy to install. Set the rotor / caliper back inside the rim far. This could be hidden with a fake rotor / caliper set up. I used 4" ones on my last build. I would stay away from Front spacers as your wheels WILL rub when you make a tight turn unless you do some fiberglass and wheel well modifications.

    2.) Go with the Held suspension. Not cheap but from what I heard, well built and is a bolt on application. Pros: bolts on, well designed and better handling. Cons, Expensive, will require new axles

    3.) Cut up your cradle and move it out to the width you need. Pros: somewhat easy to do, can move it to any width you want. Cons: needs to be cut and welded and New axles are needed.

    4.) Go completely nuts and install a C5 corvette suspension Pros: nicely engineered suspension, larger brakes. cons: a lot of work to install, need new axles, a lot of work to install, not all that cheap unless you find a great deal, a lot of work and oh if I didnt mention it... it is a lot of work...

    5.) Jtowsends idea might work too... never tried that one personally

    6.) You can use Don's idea and build your own A frames. If you are ot a good welder, you can always tack weld everything up and pay a welder to finish weld them for you.

    7.) buy a wider tire and deep dish rim

    that is all I can think of at this time... good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    London ON Canada

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    can you get longer axels?
    or is this a custom made thing that you have to get done at a plcae that makes custom driveshafts?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    there are a few places on the web that sell custom axles. is one.

  9. #9
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Re: Rear wide track options for AD355

    Newman Ferrari 355 Suspension Package

    Front Suspension

    Ryane Slalom Wide Track $2,400.00
    Coil Over Shock Suspension
    4.75 Bolt Circle
    Spring Rate / 350#
    Add 2 Each Side
    Front Anti-Sway Bar 1.125 Diameter
    2 Longer Tie Rod Ends

    New Tie Rod Ends $80.00
    Steering Stabilizer $90.00

    Rear Suspension

    Held Slalom Anti-Bump-Steer Wide Track $1,250.00
    4.75 bolt circle
    Spring Rate / 350# (need 400#)
    Add 5 to Each Side
    Rear Anti-Sway Bar 1.00 Diameter $210.00
    4 Longer Tie Rod Ends, $90.00

    89 Cutlass Ciera Upright Assembly (casting for larger bearings)
    88 89 Chevy S-10 Front Spindles and CV Joint Assembly for Front Wheel drive. (bigger bearing, heavy-duty splines,
    larger CV joints and 4.75 bolt circle).
    Ciera Upright Assembly machined to fit S-10 Parts into Casting.

    Ciera upright castings $10.00 each side, Used
    S-10 Spindles and brakes $25.00 each side, Used
    99 Buick Park Avenue Axles, for use with Getrag 5 Speed
    Custom axles, PSI Engineering $400.00 Pair

    Braking System 12 Wilwood Disk Brake Package $2,855.00
    4 - 4.75 Bolt Circle Aluminum Hats
    4 - 12 Inch Vented Rotors
    2 - Caliper Bracketing Rear
    4 - 4 Piston Calipers
    Two Manual Piston Emergency Brake Calipers
    Semi-Metallic Brake Pads, Rear
    High Friction Racing Pads, Front
    Stainless Steel Braided Lines to Match Wide Track Options
    High Volume GM Truck Master Cylinder
    Wilwood Proportioning Valve

    Wheels Used:
    Challenge Car Take offs with 16 miles on them $4,200
    355 Ferrari OEM
    Front 18 X 7.5, Pirelli PZero Tires
    Rear 18 X 10, Pirelli PZero Tires
    Ferrari Center Caps

    Additional Parts:
    Center X frame to stiffen chassis between the wheels under cockpit, $550.00 for parts, $150.00 for shop to weld it in place.
    2 Inch Strut Offset Mount to push bottom of shock into the center of the rear suspension for tire clearance.

    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

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