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Author Topic: Kelmark XR-2 Project  (Read 16959 times)

Surfnut

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Kelmark XR-2 Project
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010, 03:47:00 AM »

That's a nice-looking engine cradle Rocket and I can see why you like it.  I toyed with the idea of using something like that and bolting it in but the biggest problem was --- what do I bolt it to ?  The VW floor pan is thin, somewhat rusty 40+year old metal and there's no way it's going to support anything safely.  I'd have to add some type of subframe to bolt that engine cradle to and to be honest, instead of adapting an existing cradle it's a lot easier to just build a medium duty frame to bolt to the existing "chassis" of the VW pan which torsionally, is really stiff.  At least it's a lot easier in my situation...

When you do yours, you'll most likely have to strengthen the area where the cradle will bolt to.  Especially so when you think about the crazy power you're going to be putting to the ground !  You'll have enough power to rip the whole works out of the bottom of the car.

Like you wrote, you'll probably have to either fab upper control arms and figure out where to mount them or figure out how to use a factory strut to locate the spindle (and figure out where to mount them !).  You probably remember that I originally wanted to use the stock Capri strut and spindle but as you know, everything snowballed when I realized I had a wheel adapter / wheel bearing /offset problem.


When I get a few more steps down the road with this engine cradle it'll become much more clear why I decided to do it the way I did it.  I think this is going to come together nicely.

What you're looking at in those last pictures is a combination of the engine cradle AND the frame itself.  The 2"X3" rails on top (where the stock motor mount is sitting on) - that's the rear part of the mostly unbuilt frame.  Those 2"x3" frame rails - that's where the upper control arm mounting points, spring/strut mounting, cantilever pivot points and motor mounts to.  Additionally, the lower engine cradle (the 2"x2" structure) will bolt to.  So it's gotta be strong 'cause in one way or another, pretty much everything is going to be bolted to it and when all's said and done, the whole car will be bolted to it as well !

The lower engine cradle is where the drivetrain and lower control arms will mount to.  Obviously, that's gotta be pretty tough too.

I understand what you guys are saying about weight and I COMPLETELY agree.  That's why I cheated a bit - the stuff that isn't essential for structure and strength are a much thinner wall steel.  You know those "X" braces on the back of the cradle in the last pictures ?  All that stuff weighs a total of 3 pounds.  Triangulated though, they're strong as Hell.  95% of the bracing is thin wall (like maybe .083 ?) 1"x1" steel and in total, I'll be surprised if the bracing adds more than 10 pounds when the frame and cradle are finished.  

But it's stiff, adds an incredible amount of strength and I think it looks cool as Hell.  (Which is the most important part    )

As it stands now, all the steel in my frame/cradle totals 72 lbs and other than finished welding, it's pretty much done.

In the end, I KNOW it'll be MUCH stronger then it needs to be, I hope it'll be cool to look at and yes, I'm sure it WILL weigh more than I'd like it to  :(     But really, it's a safety issue and you don't want to mess around with stuff like that.  Overbuild it and don't EVER worry about it.

I went on Friday and bought all my Grade Eight nuts and bolts and the guy at the store asked me if I was building a tow truck.  So maybe "overkill" is the right word...

Thanks a lot guys for your comments and for keeping up with this project.  I sure appreciate it.

Dave
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Rocketman

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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 05:44:00 AM »

72lbs - thats a lot lighter than it looks.

You're going with a dual a-arm suspension?

I'm planning on sticking with something similar to the stock front setup - control arm/strut, or dual lateral links + trailing arm and strut like the GTX rear is setup.

I'm not much of a suspension guru... so I don't know exactly what the benefits of dual a-arms is going to offer. But I'm looking at it as far as real estate goes - trying to make the best use of the little space available to me back there. It looks like dual A-arms will be quite bulky.

(I looked into using a Miata rear suspension for either RWD or AWD, and the rearend on them is GIANT compared to stock or that of the 323 GTX...Miata is dual a-arm.)

And yes, the one unfortunate thing will be having to frame out the rear of the car. But I'm pretty much going to have to do so regardless of what frame I use. I think I can get away with leaving the stock framrails untouched - probably end up reinforcing them.

I'll have to get back out to the junkyard at some point and start measuring. I'd rathing be able to recycle, or use somehthing pre-fabbed, and use that instead of building completely from scratch.
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Surfnut

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Kelmark XR-2 Project
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 01:14:00 PM »

Long time, no post.
I hope everyone's doing well and having good luck keeping those Capris on the road.  I miss mine a lot - they were great cars for me.  Lots of fun and good times...


Anyway, I thought I'd post to let everyone know that I haven't given up on my XR-2 transplant.  I've been slowly working away on my sub-frame but I've got to get another car in the garage over the winter so I moved the frame out today.  Here are some pictures I've taken over the last couple of weeks :


 

 

 

 

 

The sub frame (not including the A arms and cantilevers weighs 115 pounds.  Not light but not crazy-heavy either.


This part of the sub-frame's about 80% done at this point.  I plan to get back at it in April but just for shiggles, I decided to fire up the engine before I put it away :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr4EXn2J2cE

Sorry the video's so poor but there wasn't much light when I shot it.  The engine hasn't run for about a year and a half.  It fired up after about 5 seconds of cranking - can't complain about that!

Here's a picture of the engine sitting in the frame :

 

Interestingly, with the XR-2 drivetrain installed, I had a heck of a time lifting the front of the frame.  
I put a scale under one of the 2"x2" 's sticking out the front and there's 120 pounds on it.  Which for my purposes is great because it moves the weight farther forward and will help to equalize the almost no-weight-on-the-front-end problem my Kelmark has now.  It'll help a lot with weight distribution.


I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up with Shockwaves instead of coil springs but these will have to do for now.

Anyway, I just wanted to post to let everyone know I'm still at it, just moving a LOT slower than I'd planned.  

I hope everybody's doing really well.


Dave
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Rocketman

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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2011, 01:30:00 PM »

I was just about to bump your post to see how you were doing - great to see the progress!

The frame is looking great. Really dig the cantilever suspension. Was that an OEM design on the kelmark? Also, what are "shockwaves"?

Winter break, then back to work huh!
-Rocket
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Surfnut

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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2011, 01:47:00 PM »

Hi Rocketman

It's great to chat with you again!

Most Kelmarks came with a standard VW Beetle (late '60's, early '70's era) rear end - torsion leaves etc...  That's what's in mine right now.
I'm going to cut the bottom rear of the car out from underneath and lift my sub-frame into place then tie the whole works to the front suspension and reinforced areas of the floor (amongst other places).

Shockwaves - are shock absorbers with integrated air bags (or specifically, air springs).  Here's an example :

http://www.jegs.com/p/Ridetech/Ridetech-ShockWave-Lowering-Systems/751900/10002/-1

There are a lot of different kinds and I don't have any idea which kind I'm going to go with but my end choice will have to do with vehicle weight and ride quality.  Essentially, I have to figure out how much weight is going to be over the back half of the car so I can get the correctly rated air spring.  That'll have to wait until the car's pretty much finished.

Great to hear from you.  I hope your awesome Capri is still tearing up the roads !


Dave
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rcdraco

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Kelmark XR-2 Project
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2011, 03:19:00 PM »

Saw those on TV once, they're pretty scary when tuned correctly.  Makes a '69 camaro handle like a '98 corvette, without sacrificing ride quality.
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CapriTypeR

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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2011, 04:03:00 PM »

Nice job, Dave! I can't wait to see this thing when it's done!

--Russ
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Surfnut

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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 10:31:00 PM »

Rcdraco - yeah, they're super expensive but pretty much the pinnacle of spring / shock technology for the general aftermarket.  I gotta save my bucks for a while so I can buy a pair of those things!!


Thanks Russ - like you, I can't wait to see this thing when it's done either.  The project's really dragging on but realistically, I only need another week or so to finish this part of the frame, then the rear half of the car will be just about done.

Phase two of the project will be cutting the back of the car out and installing the sub-frame.  (Yes, that makes me VERY nervous ~)

Phase three will be making it all work.  Who wants to bet that this part is going to be the REAL headache?  Between axles, shifter linkage front-mounted rad and A/C condenser and larger intercooler...oh, my aching head.


When I'm done though, I might just be able to run with you big boys and your high-powered Capris  

I still think I can have this thing on the road and fully loaded (with me in it) for around 2200 lbs - that's an honest 500-600 pounds less than a stock XR-2.  Hopefully that weight difference will make up for a pretty much stock engine / trans.  (Currently have a 2.5" mandrel exhaust & Rocketchip.  Still gotta up the boost.)

If it's not power to keep up with you guys, maybe I can sweet-talk Rocket into building me a hot engine....  
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Rocketman

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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »

Getting everything to work should be the easy part! Intercooler, piping, etc should all be straightforward  

Regarding weight - a stock Capri weighs 2400lbs so at 2200 you've got a 200lb advantage. My AWD beast weights in at 2750 after all my mods, the AWD bits + 1.8 and fuel cell, rear end reinforcements, etc all weigh quite a bite more it seems.

Your real advantage is going to be being able to put the power down - and weight balance. You'll probably be able to run laps around your FWD brethren  

We can build you a hotter motor - but I'd really suggest going to a 1.8 - it's an inch longer but can make some serious power with a basic setup, compared to the same for a 1.6. And they're relatively common even in Canuckland!
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Surfnut

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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2011, 04:42:00 AM »

You're the power man so what you says goes.  When you mention that it's an inch longer - do you mean the engine itself is an inch longer side to side?
Does the 1.8 use the XR-2 transaxle ?

I built the frame specifically to fit my 1.6 and there's less than an inch from the crankshaft to the frame and on the other side, I actually had to notch the lower frame rail for the transmission so I don't know if a 1.8 will fit.  
Guess I shoulda thought ahead  (There's something I'm getting real used to saying....)

And the way I drive, I don't think I'll be running circles around anybody.  If I can follow you and keep you within sight at all times, I'll be very satisfied !!
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Rocketman

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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 04:56:00 AM »

Yeah the 1.8's block is about an inch longer due to the increased bore spacing. It requires framerail notching to fit in a Capri but it's well worth it.

Yes, it will bolt to the XR2 g-type - but the stock BP g-type transaxle might be a better option for you. It uses a hydraulic clutch actuation setup, as opposed to cable. And it tilts the engine forward 15 degrees, which would put your center of gravity a hair more forward compared to the 1.6
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Surfnut

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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 05:09:00 AM »

Geez, I wish I would have known that before I started - a hydraulic clutch would make life SO much easier for me and the extra weight in front sure wouldn't have hurt either.

Oh well.  I still think this car will be great with the XR-2 drivetrain.  I've got that 5th gear set so that'll help with revs on the road and when you think about it, I paid $800 for the XR-2, drove it without an issue for 3 or 4 years, (with ice cold working A/C!!) and now the engine'll be powering the Kelmark.  It sure don't owe me nothin' !!


When I get the car all squared away, I'll probably come bugging you for an updated drivetrain.  If you can find the time to build me something, I'll have to find someone to make me a snazzy fender emblem that says, "Powered by Rocketman"  

Coooooooooooolllll    
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Surfnut

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Kelmark XR-2 Project
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2013, 05:44:00 AM »

Hi Guys,


I thought I'd drop a quick line to say hello and tell you I'm still slugging away at my new frame for my XR-2 powered Kelmark.

I've made some significant changes to my original plan and have decided to build an entire frame instead of just installing the subframe (pictured earlier in this thread)into my Kelmark's existing frame.  
Of course this means a lot more work but I've no doubt the end result will be far superior to the original frame.

Some pix soon, I promise.

I hope everybody's doing really well and having continued good luck with your Capris!


Dave
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Surfnut

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Kelmark XR-2 Project
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2013, 01:53:00 PM »

As I wrote earlier, I've decided to fabricate an entire frame instead of melding my new frame to the Kelmark's existing floor pan.  For the front end, I'm going to use a Mustang II front suspension.

Here's a picture of my rear subrame with the spare tire sitting in the approximate area it's going to be mounted :

 

Mock up of center frame rails with front suspension roughly in place :

 

Driver's side of Mustang II front suspension :

 

3/16" plate I'm using to reinforce the suspension:

 

Lining up the rear subframe :

 

 
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Surfnut

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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2013, 02:02:00 PM »

Picture of the center frame rails.  From this angle, you'd be standing beside the passenger's front wheel.

 


Center frame rails from the front :

 

Perimeter frame rails added :

 

 
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