8th September 2010 – Progress update

As it’s been just over a year since the last update, I thought I should give a quick run down of what little progress there has been. In the typical car project way, external factors have gotten in the way of any major progress, hopefully this will change in the next few months and updates will be coming more often.

The major change since the last update is another change in rear suspension design. After fitting the S13 cradle in place and looking at various wheel options, it became clear that the only way to have it work properly was to remove it and narrow the cradle to move the hubs closer together. The main reason for this was the hub design did not allow for the correct offset wheels needed in 15inch diameter. Given the complexity of the Nissan sub frame and the compromises in geometry due to it’s road car design, I started looking at other options. Every where I looked, I was pointed to the Mazda MX5/Miata as it has a simple and effective setup from the factory and is widely used in various racing classes. Comparing the two setups shows the obvious differences and the simplicity of the MX5 suspension design:

   

From the information I have been able to gather, the MX5 diff from the newer 1.8 models is comparable in size and strength to a Nissan R180 diff. I will be using a Torsen MX5 diff with matching factory driveshaft’s along with the larger 1.8litre model brakes. From an installation point of view, I will be using an entirely different method to that used with the Nissan subframe mounting. The Lancer’s chassis rails will be removed and a new rear chassis fabricated to have the MX5 arms mounted to it. This should reduce weight and chassis complexity over mounting the subframe on to the factory rails with additional mounting points.

A couple of other little changes are the wheels, ecu and dash. The 15×6 superlites have been replaced with 15×8 XXR501‘s in black, besides being wider and lighter than the superlites, they also have both 4×100 and 4×1143. stud pattern so they can be used on the Lancer front and Mazda rear without needing to buy separate wheels. The Microtech ECU has been sold and replaced with an EMS Stinger that I had previously installed on another car, the primary reason for the change is the ability to control more devices natively with the ECU and therefore reducing the additional control boxes I would need for items such as thermo fans. Finally, most of the Autometer gauges have been sold and replace with a Stack ST700 Mini Dash that will also display lap times, shift lights and warning lights.

Plans have also been put in place to change the front brake and strut setup, more news on these as details are gathered.

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