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Nukem GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/19/23 9:51 p.m.

Keep in mind with whatever you do, you are inevitably going to swap in some proper front suspension.

Look at all that room for a front strut tower...

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
1/20/23 12:01 a.m.

Two bars running from the fender rail attachment points on your export brace forward to that bridge of new material at the top tank of the radiator where you cut the factory structure might be worth investigating.  Keep the radiator top from pitching back and forth as the car goes over bumps. 

TurnerX19 UberDork
1/20/23 1:12 a.m.

I would box the fender attaching rail all the way with a 20 gage foldup that would turn the flange into a slightly tapered box, and then maybe ad a version of the "frog brace" in your square tube that you made the excellent cowl brace starting point. See pic below. May require relieving the inner splash shield some. I think I would try the top parts first without the lower frog leg .

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/20/23 11:48 a.m.

Thanks all for your responses! Turner hit the nail on the head for my current plan. I have a nice long sheet of 18 ga that I am planning to "box" the rail with (triangular cross section). I'll also be adding some angle to reinforce near the bulkhead. If that isn't enough I'll start thinking about adding bracing similar to the frog brace/sofly's sketch. I want to keep weight in this area to a minimum. I didn't have any dimple dies for the box section, so I turned one out of a piece of scrap as a test:

Not a bad result, I think its a bit too large, so I'll turn up a slightly smaller version. 

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/22/23 9:07 p.m.

The new dimple die turned out well, a bit tighter on all dimensions:

After cleaning up the old coatings/paint this piece of thin angle went in to strengthen the junction of a few panels, and connect the hood strut/cowl brace mounts.

After that, I stich welded the existing panel seams at this junction in the engine bay. At this point the fender rail was so stiff that I considered stopping there. Instead, I grabbed some 20 gauge and got to work:

And with some zinc spray on the backside:


After a bit of welding:

The fender rail is now super stiff with very little weight gain. There are more braces that I could add, but I'll try this first.

TurboFource Reader
1/22/23 9:16 p.m.



Since you live in California ( I think) it's probably not a problem, but those holes give a place for dirt etc. to hide, absorb moisture and create iron oxide. 

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/22/23 9:38 p.m.

In reply to TurboFource :

Yes, you are right, I am from the north east so I am always worried about corrosion. I decided to buy one of the spray can tips that goes up inside frame rails to ensure I painted the whole inside. However the tips are $15 a piece... so here is my solution:

Heat up the end of a common red straw and close it off, then heat up a pick and poke a few holes radially at the end. It actually worked pretty well... and was free.

Next step is to duplicate all of it on the passenger side.

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/30/23 3:05 p.m.

So, one of my goals for this year is to take the Bean out on track at one of the "Track night" events. Last week I looked up the schedule for Autoclub Speedway, the closest track to me, figuring I would plan on an event in August or September. However, the only event scheduled for the year was on the 28th of January... I figured this out on the 26th. So the only reasonable thing to do was to take the 27th off and try to get the car track ready in a day.

First finish the passenger fender rail welding:

Then paint. After that, rapid fire nut and bolt check, front wheel bearing adjustment, front end reassembly, brake bleed, fluids checked, etc. I was planning to drop the transmission to replace the throwout bearing that has been complaining, but ran out of time.

Finally the morning of the 28th. Wake up, fuel up and head to the track. Where we got to pit inside!

What a great event. I will follow up with more details later.



AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/30/23 4:12 p.m.

it's later.  the want for more details is strong.

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/30/23 7:31 p.m.

The car felt great! My first session I focused on not being in the way. Learn the point-by, stay on the track, watch the gauges, don't overcook the corners. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not the slowest car on track. I had good oil pressure through all the turns, decent AFR, and temps stayed low. I ran most of the session in 3rd/4th gear. After the first session, the car cooled off nicely before the next session. 

I went out near the front of the pack for session 2, and really enjoyed a few laps with very little traffic. Near the end of the second session I was using 2/3/4th gear, and starting to rotate the car in the mid/exit of the corners.

For the 3rd session, I entered the track at the back of the field and was caught in traffic for most of the session. As I got more comfortable rotating the car, I could tell my line was getting better, and my pace would be improving if I could put a full lap together. I limited my speed to <5k rpm in 4th (~110mph) due to the chassis starting to shake, and not feeling the need to push it faster on the first day on track. Here is the free download from SoCal Premier Photography:


 My biggest concern going to the track was the throw out bearing. However as I approached the track I was gaining confidence in everything other than the brakes. I still have 9.25" rotors in front with stock pinto calipers. The pedal has always been a bit soft since adding the booster. The pedal got progressively longer throughout the day, with a lot of free play in the pedal during the drive home. I haven't taken the time to diagnose the issue yet. However braking performance was good all day. The car was easy to slow down and didn't unexpectedly lock the wheels. 


All in all, I'm excited to get back to the track at some point. Unfortunately, this track is closing after this event to turn the road course into a short track oval. The experience was a big confidence boost though, and I should be able to find other events I can attend in the area if $$ allows. If anyone is on the fence about attending a "Track Night in America" event, I highly recommend it!

wawazat SuperDork
1/30/23 9:13 p.m.

Sounds fun and it looks awesome on course!  Bravo!

Shavarsh HalfDork
2/1/23 2:58 p.m.

In reply to wawazat :

Thanks! appreciate the feedback

Shavarsh HalfDork
2/20/23 7:18 p.m.

Well, I can never be happy with this thing for too long. I've gotten fed up with climbing afrs/rough idle while stopped, and inconsistent afr in all conditions expect for WOT. After shopping ebay for sniper efi systems and foxbody injection setups, I took a step back and decided to start small (read cheap). Any fuel system upgrade will require a fuel return line. Also, a while ago I bought one of these filters, but never installed it:

So, lets install the filter and a return line as a restrained first step.

First time running larger diameter (5/16") nicopp... I'll probably never use steel again.


Now we have a return line, lets give it somewhere to go:

Notes for the future: the new nipple is thick wall stainless tube fusion welded then silicon bronze brazed.

Now lets get things hooked up:

All plumbed in. First driving impressions are that the filter is a definite improvement, but not a full fix. I'll need to do a bit of carb tuning and testing before moving to the next step.

Shavarsh HalfDork
3/3/23 1:38 p.m.

Very pleased with my latest acquisition:


Nukem GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/3/23 1:50 p.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

What size are the meats?

Shavarsh HalfDork
3/3/23 1:55 p.m.

In reply to Nukem :

They are 205/50/15. I currently run 225/50/15. There are 2 worn out tires on these and 2 worn out tires on my current wheels, so I may just have the 2 good tires from my current wheels put on this set and run staggered for awhile. These are much nicer rubber though.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/3/23 5:08 p.m.

Rfp1 is gonna be HOTT!!!

Shavarsh HalfDork
3/10/23 2:35 p.m.

Thanks Duster! 

(note they are actually konig wide opens, but I'm not upset! haha)


So,  now that I have the wheels, I can move forward with the miata spindle swap in the front. First up I ordered some 1" extended stud ball joints (k6024 style) from QA1. The miata spindle is .5" shorter than the pinto spindle, and the stock ball joint (k8212 style) is about .2" taller than the k6024 style. All of this comes out to a .8" gain in ball joint height over stock, and a .3" gain in "effective spindle height" from the stock setup (pivot to pivot).

These ball joints are sweet!


...Unfortunately the housing interferes with the wheel. Currently waiting on .5" extended pins to see if there is enough clearance. Also unfortunate, that means a loss of .2" of "effective spindle height" from the stock pinto spindle. Hopefully this will not be too noticeable in dynamic camber gain. If it turns out to be an issue in practice, I can find a taller lower ball joint to make up the difference. The howe version of these joints have many more pin height options (such as the sweet spot .75" extended pin), but they are significantly more expensive, and I am not familiar enough with these parts yet to start swapping between manufacturers.


Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/10/23 2:42 p.m.

That looks fantastic on track!  There are too many new, expensive, super fast cars at track days, not enough cool, old, unique builds.  Great job!

TurnerX19 UberDork
3/11/23 9:12 a.m.

Maybe I am forgetting something, but is there any way to lower the inner upper pivot point, or move that pivot outward with a slightly shorter arm? That will effect the roll center and camber curve similarly.

jfryjfry SuperDork
3/11/23 9:31 a.m.

Didn't realize you were in SoCal!

  Hope to rub shoulders at an event sometime soon. 

i would build a shield for those lines in the wheel well - not too far fectched to imagine you kicking up some rocks/debris and putting it through a line in there. 

also, check out holley's refurbished section - it's where I got our sniper system. Significantly cheaper than retail, and gone through by them. 

however, we did have an issue that took a little time to pinpoint and required returning the system for them to repair (for free). 


Shavarsh HalfDork
3/11/23 5:34 p.m.

Thanks for the kind words Andy! much appreciated

Turner, I could shorten the upper arm, lowering the upper pivot is possible, but not pretty with this setup. I could raise the lower arm pivot, but at this point I don't think its worth it until I can get the spindle swap done and measured.


Jfry, yes, I hope to run into you at an event soon. Let me know if you are going to something south of LA. I appreciate the suggestion for the hard line cover. Its a good idea, its just gotten pushed down low on the priority list. After considering the sniper, and being convinced it was the best way to move forward, I decided to go with a multiport setup built with mostly oem parts. The ability to get replacement parts at FLAPS stores is a high priority for me. Once I have more of the parts in hand I will make a post revealing my plans.


And a picture to make the post worth it. Here is the stock upper ball joint:

TurnerX19 UberDork
3/11/23 7:15 p.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

I would not consider raising the lower inner as it would raise the roll center about twice as far as you move the pivot.

Shavarsh HalfDork
3/16/23 1:32 p.m.

Slowly making progress. First, the .5" extended pins came in and clearance was confirmed:


After clearancing the upper arms to accept the larger ball joint pattern, I decided too much strength had been removed. My solution was to replace the mounting area.


Test fit looked alright:


So weld em up:


Overall fairly pleased with the upper arm modification. Need to finish it up and duplicate on the other side.

Shavarsh HalfDork
3/20/23 12:08 p.m.

Before and after:

Then a splash of paint:


Next a quick mock up. I have some 1.5" spacers on the front to make up the difference in spindle depth (~.5") and wheel offset(~.75"). The rear could use a spacer as well.

I'm not fully sold on the looks yet, but I need to keep moving forward and reserve judgment until it is back on the road.



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