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Thread: Possible first kit car build/project.... opinions on how to go about achieving goal

  1. #1

    Possible first kit car build/project.... opinions on how to go about achieving goal

    I have access to a body shell similar to the one pictured at end of my post...
    It is basically the body tub with rear hatch,roof,quarters but no front or rear chassis/subframe.
    I have always wanted to build an authentic 360 replica. I considered the DJ MR2, even bought a 1mz-fe MR2 for the body swap, but am thinking I want something with exact dimensions.
    I found Peugeot 406 coupe shells that I could get into the USA and use Extreme's kit on, but I don't want FWD or their powerplant options.

    I have experience fabricating off road vehicle suspension/roll cages/tube bumpers, etc, but never have build a kit car or a project car other than assembling factory vehicles from bare unibodies.

    I am trying to think of what options I have for using a unibody such as the one pictured to build a kit car from.
    First I thought of using the front half of an aftermarket subframe such as the ones used on pro-touring muscle cars, for the steering/brakes/A-arms, etc.
    Something similar to this....

    And for the rear, something like this......


    Then I realized the entire 360 unibody is aluminum, so those chassis components would not directly weld to it. I suppose I could use steel tubing to connect the front and rear subframe/cradle and weld aluminum tabs to the body shell to be bolted down to the steel chassis.
    I know nothing about aluminum race car chassis fab, would it be prohibitively expensive to have those types of components fabricated out of aluminum so they could be welded directly to the unibody?


    My other thought was using a similar wheelbased vehicle (like a Subaru STI) and dropping the unibody over a stripped down version of the Suby. AWD, high power potential, and four seats would be nice too.
    And lastly, I thought of dropping it in a similar way over a stretched MR2 (which I already have) or a Porsche Boxster.

    Which of these plans seems most realistic?
    I think the tube chassis through the existing unibody would be the best, but I have only seen that done with steel unibody cars. The pro-touring movement that is so popular today has a lot of chassis that the classic car unibody is just bolted down to, with some cuts made in the floor. This seems fairly straightforward, would using the Ferrari body on a similar chassis (although one set up for a transaxle and mid engine instead of Front engine RWD) be all that much different?
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    Last edited by TNH; 11-29-2014 at 09:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    TNH,
    If you use the front and rear clips pictured, why even consider a existing subframe (of steel or aluminum) with it's built in limitations and necessary modifications? It will be way more trouble than it is worth. Connect the two subframes with tubing and you have your complete frame. I think that front clip is a Camaro, if so the frame connectors are probably going to be a stock item from the same manufacturer. When those are used on a Pro Touring Car, the entire thing is connected this way and reinforced with the roll cage and the old unibody construction is just along for the ride

  3. #3
    Thank you for the response.
    That is what I was hoping, the pro touring guys just set their unibodies directly over either a full frame or a front subframe linked to a back halve (which ultimately becomes a full frame).
    Yes, that is a camaro front sub. They make them for just about everything, including universal applications, most using modern C5 or C6 suspension geometry. They make frame extensions that can be welded to that, which in turn are usually welded to a back halve that consists of a straight axle 4-link or IFS set up that the unibody is then bolted or welded over.....I suppose it wouldn't be all that different or more difficult to weld in that engine cradle I posted in place of the 4-link type back halves they usually use on pro-touring builds.

  4. #4
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    A used 360 is in the $60k range and hold their value at resale

    You'll probably spend $40-50k or more to build that Ferrari shell into a running. Driving car
    and it has little resale potential

    Just buy a real one . Finance it if you don't have the cash

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cutlass442 View Post
    A used 360 is in the $60k range and hold their value at resale

    You'll probably spend $40-50k or more to build that Ferrari shell into a running. Driving car
    and it has little resale potential

    Just buy a real one . Finance it if you don't have the cash
    I already had a 99 a few years back, I loved it to death, but I couldn't really afford to drive it the way I wanted to. I got tired of putting clutches in it, I racked up the miles on it too much and didn't want to put it away, I kept using it as a daily driver. If the clutches and services weren't so expensive, it would be a different story. Also, their resale is only good if you barely put miles on them (rare to see one with over 25k mi), and at the rate I was going with mine I was looking at 12-15k per year.

    I don't plan on having much invested in this project doing 90% of the work myself. I already have an engine, transaxle, wheels, an amazing deal on the shell, and some interior. I just need to buy the chassis components (or donor if I go that route), buy some repro body panels that are missing, and pay to have it painted.

    I know it doesn't sound believable, but I love the 360 so much that I would never want to get rid of it. It was my dream car in high school, and it was my favorite car I ever owned, if I can't have the real deal and drive it daily, I'd still be happy with the real body and a lightweight chassis with a fun, dependable, and inexpensive to maintain drivetrain (compared to the original stuff anyway).

  6. #6
    Maybe this is an option to consider?



    RKS /Chassisworks "hybrid" frame. The rear section of the frame is not yet welded to the seating section, to allow for various wheelbases. It includes all the suspension, minus coil over shocks + wheels /tires. It also includes a brand new Wilwood 13" 4 wheel disk brake set-up.

    $2700 and I can have the proper wheel base. Thoughts?

  7. #7
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    I have never been fond of the Chassisworks design but there is easily $2,700 worth of brakes and coil overs there, not to mention tires and wheels. If you are near Texas I have a Camaro sitting here that you can see how it is done. Hope the pics attached but do not see an indication that they did.
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  8. #8
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    Well they did! In that case here is one more.
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  9. #9
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    I sent you a PM. I can't help with the chassis, I just don't have time. BUT I do have a full set of 360 front panels layed up and ready to go that I made for someone who never paid. 100% OEM. I do not have a 360 front bumper but do have a 430 front bumper.

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