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Thread: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

  1. #1
    Junior Member scorpiox's Avatar
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    Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    Through experience.. which should i do or get? Very hard to find any good 355 kits though.. any thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Junior Member Ambush's Avatar
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    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    This one is something you need to do a lot of thinking on. I orginaly wanted a non-stretch. then I thought .....How hard can it be so I went with a stretch. It's starting to cost far more money that originaly thought. And it's a whole lot harder than i thought as well. If I could do it again, I would go for the non-stretch. BUT if you want it look correct, you have to stretch it.

  3. #3

    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    That is actually a big misconception. *As has been said before, a stretch does not necassarily (sp?) make it look more "correct". *The wheelbase may be correct, but the width/length/height/track width will also need to be adjusted to match the correct TOTAL dimensions.

    While a non stretch may have a 5% shorter wheelbase (as an example), usually on a good kit, the whole car will also be 5% smaller, therefore, looking exactly correct.

    The main time that this is not the case is with most Lambo kits, as there is such a large difference in the Lambo's to the Fiero (7 to 11 inches), if a stretch is not used on a Lambo, it will look fairly stout and stubby.

    Most Ferrari kits, however, "can" look more accurate without a stretch.

    Keep in mind that wheelbase is NOT the only dimension of a car.

    Just my $.02

  4. #4
    Junior Member Ambush's Avatar
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    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    That is actually a big misconception. *As has been said before, a stretch does not necassarily (sp?) make it look more "correct". *The wheelbase may be correct, but the width/length/height/track width will also need to be adjusted to match the correct TOTAL dimensions. Keep in mind that wheelbase is NOT the only dimension of a car.

    Just my $.02
    I have seen 2 Stretch kits and it is true that ALL of these things will need to be adjusted. Which goes back to the "far more money" issue. There is No way a non stretch will look better than a stretch. BUT a non stretch will save a lot of time, money, and security. God luck on whatever you decide

  5. #5

    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    stretch is fine , my opion as a professional chassis buider and automotive design engineer is do not let anyone tell you you can stretch a car with the engine in the car , the car needs to be jig held and stretched properly , you want a car stretched properlly come to our website or call our company , we would be glad to help , our prices and quality will out perform anyone , read my new posting in the mall forum on new 355 concept in progress[img]URL

  6. #6
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    Cradle Modifications/3 inch Stretch

    I had a need to extend the Fiero wheelbase by 3 inches to match the 355 Ferrari. I am using 355 Ferrari rocker panels front and rear bumpers. Most people in this position will either shorten the body between the wheels or cut the frame cradle and upper frame rails making the Fiero fit the wheelbase of the 355 body. By cutting the upper frame rails, in my opinion will weaken the structure as engineered by GM and make the car flex in the wrong places. There is enough flex in the standard chassis already and I didn’t want to add more. My option was to move the engine back in the engine bay by making the cradle 3 inches longer at the front and moving the rear mounting holes toward the front of the car by 3 inches. That strategy effectively moved the centerline of the axle toward the rear bumper 3 inches and fits the proper 355 wheelbase. In the process of moving the rear cradle to frame mount forward 3 inches, I eliminated a place to attach the tie rod dead ends to the cradle. I decided to use some parts from Held Motor Sports to remedy this situation. Dave Held makes a part that is called Anti Bump Steer Suspension. It works like a Ferrari by having a lower control arm that moves up and down without changing the toe in / toe out of the rear suspension when you turn or compress and extend the suspension. The top of the shock has to be moved to the rear of the shock tower 3 inches. I fabricated a plate to fit inside the top of the Fiero shock tower bolted it into two of the stock holes closest to the front of the tower then re-drilled the holes for the new shock position. The plate is necessary due to the fact a hole for one of the shock mounts will be in the center of where the old shock was mounted. In my car I removed the stock Fiero shock tower bracing between the shock towers and was initially part of the trunk. I removed my trunk and put “X” bracing between the towers that will handle the flexing of the frame a little better. In place of the trunk is now a custom exhaust system and oil coolers for the transmission and engine.

    Additional Cradle Modifications

    I welded two heavy washers and a short piece of tubing into the front of each mounting leg of engine the cradle to replace the two front rubber mounts. (Put a length of rod into each tube as you weld them up to insure they point to each other and you mounting bolted will go into the tubes) On the rear I turned the rear mounting biscuits into solid blocks of metal to make the engine cradle a solid member of the car. Just go to a place that specializes in “Drops” of metal that is used for fabrication. The place I went to is called Alro. I don’t know if they are a national company, but I am sure there are others. Normally, there is a lot of flexing between the engine mounts, cradle mounts and the chassis of the car. I didn’t care for the mushy feeling delivered from the existing OEM set up, so, I changed it while I was in there doing the other work. It complements the new suspension installed on the car.


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  7. #7
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    John Watson Kit. Note windshield, fit of parts etc.



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

  8. #8

    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    ^^^^^^^^ are both pictures John Watson kit's or is the 2nd one a picture of your kit. I've been trying to locate this guy for 4 years, If his kit also has seperate rockers now, it jumps above the Mirage for my $7000-$8000. Guess a trip to GA will be in my future plans.

    guezz is that a flute on the passenger side floor *;D

    BTW does he have any future plans on doing a spyder version?
    Attack Roadster, F355 Spyder, F512TR Coupe &amp; Diablo Roadster<br /><br />If only money grew on freaking trees!!!

  9. #9
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    VETC: Both photos are from John's Kit. The orange fender car was the 2nd generation extended windshield design with built in rocker panels, the gel-coat car is one for one of John’s customers and the current design with Ferrari style separate rocker panels. He makes kits with both stock Fiero windshields/long hook like Mirage kits and extended Chrysler windshields/short OEM style hood. John does make a Spyder rear quarter panel for an extended wheelbase car. I have seen the rear quarters but have never seen one built. Almost all of his kits will have the standard Fiero wheelbase and Standard windshield set up. In my opinion, this guy is the real deal and has been building custom and concept cars (like those you see in the Detroit Auto shows) almost all of his life.

    Hope that helps answer your questions.
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  10. #10

    Re: Stretch or no stretch 355 kit?

    : Great!!! Extended windshield, round roof & seperate rockers. If his business practices are up to par, I think I may have finally found my kit.

    Are the rockers installed below the standard door opening or does it require the door to be trimmed?

    The thing I love about his kit is the finish. The panels look prepped and primed right out the molds. No wonder Bill Welch was selling these things for $9000 before he decided to splash it to increase his profit margins and lower the kits cost.

    Do you have any pictures of his interior?
    Attack Roadster, F355 Spyder, F512TR Coupe &amp; Diablo Roadster<br /><br />If only money grew on freaking trees!!!

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