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Jack Olsen's Avatar
 
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Building a better Black Beauty #9: The first setback

Well, every big job has at least one bump.

One of the decisions we had to make for a 12-week build on this new car was what sequence to do everything in. Since some fairly-obscure parts were going to have to be sourced for the suspension, we opted to do the majority of the paint and bodywork first, which would allow other pieces to filter in, leading up to the (current) intense couple of weeks of mechanical assembly.

Kevin (Pelicanite KevinP73) at Automotive Innovations and Restorations did a great job at keeping things on schedule, fast-tracking through the bodywork and painting with a live camera over his shoulder. We all got to see the results as he made them happen.

But one of the things he had to do was to build the flares blindly. The wheels I was having made would take several weeks to put together. In order to get the right backspacing for the wheels, we had to do some complicated estimates on the geometry of the (very unconventional) front suspension. There was some guesswork involved.

Well, the good news is that the wheels are right, and the suspension is right. The wheels clear the coil-over springs, and have a scrub radius that is better (proportionate to wheel width) than even a narrow-body early 911. None of that Turbo front end plowing for this car. (Thank you, Herr Professor Schmidt).

But my estimate for how much tire I'd be able to fit under the front RSR flares was wrong. They're not exactly the same size and shape as Turbo flares, I learned, and you have to consider the amount the coil-overs encroach from the inside.

So... the front wheels stick out about an inch past the flares.

What can be done? Well, two options: either narrower front wheels and tires, or wider flares.

Which way am I going?

Wider flares.

The agonizing part is that Kevin is going to have to cut into the work he did so well on those front flares, and extend them out by an inch. It's not a simple thing to do, with a lot of intersecting curves and the lines of the front bumpers to consider.

But Kevin is pretty great at what he does, and the bottom line is he says he can do it. As much as I hate to see those front flares cut into, I know the new ones he makes will look awesome.

Of course, this is going to take more time than simply polishing the already-finished work and assembling everything together. This means the schedule is going to have to expand, slightly. The car was booked for a track day March 12th at Willow Springs. It's looking like that is going to be a very hard date to keep.

We'll see. Kevin says there's a very outside chance. But that's assuming no other surprises come up in putting the whole car together. That would seem to defy the laws of nature. But I've kept the date open. I might have to rent a Neon for the day.

In any case, I see it like this -- if this is the worst surprise in the job, then we're doing great. Even as the project goes into its final couple of weeks, I can't find enough good things to say about Kevin and TRE Motorsports. A 12-week build of a car this complicated is a pretty insane idea, and everyone involved was just insane enough to somehow manage to make it work.

Last edited by Jack Olsen; 02-26-2003 at 10:08 PM..
Old 02-26-2003, 10:04 PM
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can't you just get some of those tack on fender extensions that the 4x4 guys use?
Old 02-26-2003, 10:08 PM
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sorry to hear that jack...

Just run the event without fenders...

you'll look like one of those dirt sprint cars...hahaha

well good luck with the project and keep us updated...I guess this means more BB action on the webcam

while you are at it might as well paint the damn thing orange...I think kevin has a nice batch mixed up...
Old 02-26-2003, 10:12 PM
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Ahh, the "BOHIC" methic of racecar building...at this point I bet you figure you could have saved a lot of time by just dropping trow and sitting on your checkbook.

There's a link around here somewhere to another builder that "extended" RSR flares. You can check my links page but I don't think I've got it. I'd search for ya right now but I'm in a hotel room on a modem. I noted that he was careful with some tricky geometry; he didn't lower the wheelarch. You may also find that the bumper looks "good enough" for a couple track events until you can come back and section it or extend it right.

Now here's the million $ question- are you going to extend the rear out as well? Purely an aesthetic question since I assume the rears fit ok?
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Old 02-26-2003, 10:14 PM
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The rears fit beautifully. The front RSR flares I used were a little narrower than front Turbo flares, so the end effect with the new change will be like a Turbo's proportions, plus just a little bit of width in front.

I loved the proportion between the two the way Kevin did it the first time, but running 275's in front will be more important, in the long run. I think it will still look pretty cool.
Old 02-26-2003, 10:21 PM
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You are not alone Jack !

Quote:
1973 Porsche RSR Replica-Part II 1973 Porsche RSR Replica-Part II

"my ass needs [more] fiberglass"
http://www.brentwoodrocketscience.com/current-2.html

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 02-26-2003, 10:29 PM
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I measured the RSR flares on Jack's car, and compared them to a Factory '76 Turbo that we have in the shop. They are a full inch narrower than the Turbo's.

Also, the rear flares are a little wider than Turbo flares due to a little creativity during the installation process.

Bottom line; they will look perfectly proportianate when done.

I installed the rear tires and wheels tonight. I lowered the car down to ride height on the hoist. They look amazing! This car will look Tough!

Even the front tires and wheels are just huge! The tires we are running for the OTC. seem to run on the wide side for their numbers. That doesn't help for fender clearance. They are very square shouldered. But we've got plenty of clearance in the rear. I may add another 1/4" to the 1" rear spacers to fully fill out the rear flares. This car looks Bad Ass!
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Old 02-26-2003, 10:32 PM
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Jack, keep us all posted. I'd love to see the car out at the Willow OTR event on the 12th! I was planning to tear into my car again next week, and skip that event, but perhaps not...
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Old 02-26-2003, 10:44 PM
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Here's the problem:

Old 02-26-2003, 10:51 PM
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so are you going to use fiberglass RSR that are extended out???

one of the guys on here used metal turbos on the early 911 fenders and just made small metal pieces to make up for the lightbox area...for his ST replica

I'd prefer metal flares on my car...but that is just me...then again the RSR and turbos are round vs squared off...hmmm

MJ
Old 02-26-2003, 11:15 PM
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Steel is too heavy, for this car.

I think it will be fixed like Jack McAllister did it:


Last edited by Jack Olsen; 02-26-2003 at 11:30 PM..
Old 02-26-2003, 11:26 PM
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Jack, why not just run narrower wheels/tyres for the front until you have time to rectify the problem properly. I wouldn't want to rush it after you've waited this long. Wouldn't you have a pair of 17" Fuchs that'll fit the front?

Didn't you have 2 sets of wheels before these latest ones?
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:29 PM
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Talk about setbacks:
-When I finally got my engine and gearbox together, and even after a 1 week trial by my mechanic, a gearbox primary shaft bearing let go within an hour of my driving it (into a holiday trip).
- Last summer we left for a (long awaited) 3 days tour of the Alps, the engine grenaded within one hour...
Do you sense a thread there?

Someone tell me why we love these cars so much.
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Old 02-27-2003, 12:44 AM
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Jack,

Would Turbo flares fix it? I'm not suggesting that as a potential fix, but I'm just interested to know how much wider they are compared to '73 RSR flares.

Edit: D'oh! My eyes must have glazed over Tyson's reply!


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Old 02-27-2003, 03:06 AM
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Pontiac keeps tellin' me wider is better.
Old 02-27-2003, 04:12 AM
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jack,

thats serious sized rubber up front, i'm looking forward to seeing the car finished and in action.
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Old 02-27-2003, 04:15 AM
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If the turbo flares are 1" wider why not utilize a set of off-the-shelf fiberglass turbo front fenders? Bolt-on and finish.
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:42 AM
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Problem solved...

A set of these in gold would compliment the tire past the fender look. Add some gold trim around the wheelwells, and ditch the expensive struts and coilovers for air shocks. Slam it to the ground for killer handling. I call it "pimpin' BB2." Jack, I would not necessarily call the flare problem a setback. You might consider it a calling?.?.?.?

Old 02-27-2003, 05:46 AM
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Jack,

Did you say that the RSR front fenders were narrower than turbo flares? I though turbo flares were 9" frnt and 11: rear and RSR flares were 11" front and 14" rear. Am I thinking of RSR of a later vintage?
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:01 AM
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Lothar,
You are probably thinking about the '74 3.0 RSR, not the '73 2.8 RSR.
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:14 AM
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