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 Post subject: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 7, 2016, 8:00 am 
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Image20140808_134421 by Ben Modified, on Flickr
Image20161120_145037 by Ben Modified, on Flickr
I have been collecting parts for a while now. The project is a 1959 Italian car..an Autobianchi Bianchina. It features a foot print of approx. 4 feet wide by 9 feet long with Suicide Doors and a Cloth Ragtop and is similar to a Fiat 500. It was originally powered by a 2cyl 15hp Fiat 500 drivetrain. That setup is long gone as is the transaxle, the floor and most of the glass. as a previous owner converted the car into some sort of golf cart-ish vehicle. The rusty steel floor was cut out and replaced with a flat aluminum structure which was then screwed and riveted to the rusty rocker panels and various other rusty spots. A Cushman Truckster rear axle was then bolted directly (no suspension) to the underside of the car. The front brakes were disconnected and the master cylinder removed. An aluminum threaded rod was attached to the brake pedal which was then run under the drivers boat seat and on to the parking brake mechanism of the cushman rear end. Since the rear axle is far too narrow to fit properly, some adaptors were made to space the wheels out.

Image20161120_144625 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161120_144615 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161120_144622 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161120_144614 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Complete with gate hinges on the deck lid

Image20161120_145329 by Ben Modified, on Flickr


It does not appear that the car ever ran in its present configuration as there is no evidence that any sort of motor was installed.

My plan, which of course is subject to change, is to use narrowed Miata subframes with stock Miata suspension connected by a tube frame and powered by a Hayabusa or similar engine. I have not decided on whether to use a differential with the motor turned sideways or a chain with the motor in its normal position. There is sufficient space for both. I am inclined to go with the chain drive as I am going to try to keep the weight under 1400 lbs. The chain drive would be set up as a spool (less civilized but lighter and cheaper) or with an enclosed Limited Slip Differential. The aftermarket lsd's that I have found are pricey, so I am looking at some junkyard pieces that can be modified to hold oil without the carrier. If any of you have performed this modification, I would like to hear about your experiences. The subframes will need to be narrowed about 13 inches and likely be trimmed significantly after the tube frame is in place for additional weight savings.
I picked up complete subframes and suspension/brakes along with 4 steel wheels/tires and a mini spare yesterday and carted them home in the back of my Scion xB along with a floor jack, 4 jackstands and tools

Image20161118_171450 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

I plan to use an electric reverse, similar to the one that I have on my V8 Daihatsu Hijet (Build at http://www.BenModified.com)

Image20151031_143856_resized by Ben Modified, on Flickr


which uses a flexplate and starter from a late model Ford Taurus. It was affordable, works very well and has been very reliable. I also plan to use the original hubcaps from the Daihatsu which I plan to adapt to the steel Miata wheels for a retro / sleeper look with short side wall tires to maintain stock overall tire diameter

Image20161120_144940 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

I have also accumulated a new windshield, rubber gasket, a new cloth top and various reproduction chrome trim pieces. Currently in search of a wrecked superbike for the donor drivetrain.

http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 7, 2016, 11:59 am 
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
What a great little platform to start with Ben... this one is so far gone you'll commit no sins no matter what direction you go..

Only constructive thing I can add is when you cut the 13" out of the Miata rear subframe, it will call for a dimensionally small pumpkin to be able to squeeze into the small void that will be left.. More work, but maybe take 9-ish" out of the subframe, and 2-ish" out of each control arm as you won't need/want much travel anyway... (I cut 9.5" out of an NA subframe, and was just barely able to get a Ford 7.5 chunk to fit back in..)

Love your vision.. this will be a sweet little screamer when she's up.. a build to watch for sure..

Please keep the pics and updates coming on this BEC :cheers:


--ccrunner

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 7, 2016, 12:33 pm 
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Makes building a car from scratch look easy...

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 8, 2016, 4:48 pm 
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ccrunner wrote:
What a great little platform to start with Ben... this one is so far gone you'll commit no sins no matter what direction you go..

Only constructive thing I can add is when you cut the 13" out of the Miata rear subframe, it will call for a dimensionally small pumpkin to be able to squeeze into the small void that will be left.. More work, but maybe take 9-ish" out of the subframe, and 2-ish" out of each control arm as you won't need/want much travel anyway... (I cut 9.5" out of an NA subframe, and was just barely able to get a Ford 7.5 chunk to fit back in..)

Love your vision.. this will be a sweet little screamer when she's up.. a build to watch for sure..

Please keep the pics and updates coming on this BEC :cheers:


--ccrunner


Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, its already done..good news is that the diff still fits. I read thru your honda build a while back. Very nice! I have posted a video with most of the progress on the Bianchina.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReDBW4OX_gU

I am relocating the mounts to accommodate the diff.

Image20161207_172937_resized by Ben Modified, on Flickr
Image20161208_104103_resized by Ben Modified, on Flickr
Image20161208_104115_resized by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Still need to make a front mount


My Other Projects are here:
http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 12, 2016, 8:15 pm 
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The rear diff mounts are nearly done. Photos soon. I pulled apart an old reverse trike project today for this

Image20161212_170317 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

It is only a 600cc (100 hp / 46 tq) but it is free and complete, so I will use it for now. The plan is to mount the engine in a removable cradle so that an engine upgrade later will be easy. The wiring harness is already lengthened and it has a radiator from a geo metro with a built in fan

Image20161212_170401 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Found the perfect set of tires today. Achilles Economist 165/50-14. Same diameter as the oem 12's, V rated and only $48 each!

My other project videos are here:
http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 13, 2016, 9:36 pm 
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Finished up the rear subframe diff mounts today. Used some leaf spring bushings and a piece of thick wall tubing to make up a pinion mount

Image20161213_125751_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr
Image20161213_125842_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

View from Underneath

Image20161213_140957_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Complete

Image20161213_141029_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161213_140937_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

I added some extra plating and some collars to the carrier mounts with removable bolts. These will also be used to tie in the chassis tubing

Image20161213_133830_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

The rocker panels and the bottoms of the fenders are rotten. Also, the fenders are not removable from the body. That said, I am replacing the entire bottom 4" of the body with some 4" x 4" 14 gauge square steel tubing. It strongly resembles the shape of the original metal and will give me strong mounting points for the tubing

Image20161213_171038_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

View from underneath

Image20161213_171055_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Used a paper template to trace the lower section and started shaping the 4 x 4

Image20161213_171522_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Decided to incorporate a 4" Body Drop

Image20161213_171800_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161213_163958_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

My Project Vidoes are here:
http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 15, 2016, 10:18 pm 
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Got started on the frame

Image20161215_154639 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

Image20161215_082230 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 16, 2016, 9:40 am 
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That's a happy bit of insanity you've got going on there. Keep it up!

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 3:39 pm 
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Frame progress

Image20161218_112137_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr
Image20161218_112147_resized_1 by Ben Modified, on Flickr

http://www.BenModified.com


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 4:37 pm 
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How level is your garage floor?

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 8:19 pm 
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Joined: October 8, 2008, 12:22 pm
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Location: Austin Texas
I think these cars are great, and I have one that's even worse than your starting point, so I'm a very interested observer. For now my kids and work have me busy enough that I won't be getting to my Bianchina any time soon.

I curious about what you have planned for engine placement. With a 72" wheelbase there's not much room in there. I'm about 6'1" and when I sit on a 3/4" thick board in my Bianchina I have to slide all the way back to the step for the rear seat to have enough legroom and then my head is sticking out a few inches above the roof as it curves down in the back. I don't think there's enough room for a rear-mid layout?

I'm planning on building as a convertible with a full roll cage and a rear engine.

Your progress looks great so far. I'm just waiting to see how you deal with the limited space.

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 8:40 pm 
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Location: Northridge, CA
I enjoy watching this project as it share some of the concept details with a build that we're getting ready to start in the shop.
We're working on an NSU Prinz that we're going to convert to a tube frame but use Miata suspension bit (narrowed down as well).
Ours will be powered by an electric motor and get to the wheels through a VW transaxle.

A couple notes that may or may not be useful for you -
The pinion bushing is loaded along the hardware when it's typically done across the hardware.
I don't know if this will cause any issue, but it's something to keep in mind and perhaps monitor when you start driving the car.

Also, A. Moore's question is spot on - how level is your garage floor?
It'll be a bummer to go through such extensive process of building to find out at the end that there's a twist in the chassis.

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 10:01 pm 
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Joined: December 4, 2016, 11:27 pm
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a.moore wrote:
How level is your garage floor?


I shimmed the supports to 0 degrees in both directions. It has also been on my frame table so it's good and flat. Thanks


Last edited by Ben_Modified on December 18, 2016, 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 10:12 pm 
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DeanD3W wrote:
I think these cars are great, and I have one that's even worse than your starting point, so I'm a very interested observer. For now my kids and work have me busy enough that I won't be getting to my Bianchina any time soon.

I curious about what you have planned for engine placement. With a 72" wheelbase there's not much room in there. I'm about 6'1" and when I sit on a 3/4" thick board in my Bianchina I have to slide all the way back to the step for the rear seat to have enough legroom and then my head is sticking out a few inches above the roof as it curves down in the back. I don't think there's enough room for a rear-mid layout?

I'm planning on building as a convertible with a full roll cage and a rear engine.

Your progress looks great so far. I'm just waiting to see how you deal with the limited space.

Dean


There's a back seat??? The engine will be mounted (turned sideways) behind the left seat. I have a seat in place and have measured everything...so far so good, but I always have a plan b. Worst case scenario, I will make it right hand drive. The passenger (on the left) would already have more leg room with the lack of pedals, so less room would not be a problem. Back to plan A, there is no floor and there is more room available than there was in stock form. I had also considered moving the rear wheel openings a few inches back for more room, but felt it would not be necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Micro Car Resto-Mod
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 11:28 pm 
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Joined: October 8, 2008, 12:22 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Austin Texas
Ben_Modified wrote:
There's a back seat??? The engine will be mounted (turned sideways) behind the left seat. I have a seat in place and have measured everything...so far so good, but I always have a plan b. Worst case scenario, I will make it right hand drive. The passenger (on the left) would already have more leg room with the lack of pedals, so less room would not be a problem. Back to plan A, there is no floor and there is more room available than there was in stock form. I had also considered moving the rear wheel openings a few inches back for more room, but felt it would not be necessary.


Sounds good, thank you for satisfying my lack of patience. I should have waited to see what you had planned. That's a layout I've always thought would be good for a track-day car. No chain drive and excellent weight distribution. I'll be interested in seeing how it turns out.

Dean


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