New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

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New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:35 am

Hi everyone:

I bought a Thunder Ranch kit third hand a few weeks ago and plan to set about building it pretty soon. The car is a roller, has a transaxle and most (not all) of the fiddly bits. Planning on a 150 hp 2110 or similar engine, and some period detail, including aluminum cladding, front oil cooler, 8k tach of the proper size, Autopulses, and a couple other things to be revealed later (if I can manage the fabrication).

By way of introduction, I'm a newspaper reporter with a pretty big garage and some ambition. I plan to sell the car on when it's done and sorted.

This will be my first full build. I have previously gone through a VW-based MGTD https://bridgetmgtd.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/painting-finis/, including what I believe to be the world's first and only Subie swap into such a contraption. Years ago I did a '67 Chevy Nova SS from headliner to pipes and bumper to bumper.

Since I have never so much as driven a replica Spyder before (but got a ride from Danny P once at Lime Rock), I am a true noob and will have lots of questions. I've begun going through old posts to see what's been said and done, and I'll try not to be tiresome. I appreciate your patience.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby danstern » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:03 am

Welcome. You'll find a wealth of information and good people here. Have fun with the build.
Dan
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby RS-60 mark » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:44 am

Welcome! You won't be "tiresome". NEVER hesitate to ask anything. I could not have built my car without the help (and encouragement) of spyderclub. You will have fun here!!
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby albaran » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:53 am

I built my Thunder Ranch similar to what you are going to do. Fell free to ask an questions and benefit from my experience (and mistakes).
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:56 pm

Thanks, all. I'll post some pics as well, though will have to reduce them in size, apparently. I also plan to start a separate "build blog" that I'll link here so anyone who is interested can see the complicated/stupid stuff.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby sjgharib » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:36 am

Ah, to be able to do it all over again...
Building my TR was an amazing experience, with a couple of great scars to prove it!
Best of luck, where are you located?
Simon
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:17 pm

Joppa, Maryland (15 miles NE of Baltimore). Thanks for the encouragement, Simon.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Tue May 16, 2017 5:24 pm

Has anyone ever extended the frame rails a foot or so in the front to create a viable front jacking point? I looked and felt around the front of my car and the tube end feels hollow, as if some of the thick-wall dom tubing I have laying around the shop might be fit-in-able and weldable, providing I remove the fiberglass pan so I can get at it with the welder.

Anyone ever done it or seen it done? Or heard about someone doing it? Or heard about someone trying it and failing catastrophically?
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby Larry Jowdy » Wed May 17, 2017 9:41 am

It has been done. Many of the manufacturers have done it including Beck, Special Edition, Vintage and several others. They weld in some tubing (triangulated) and then weld on the Porsche style jacking points.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby sjgharib » Wed May 17, 2017 10:54 am

Anything's possible, just costs more!

I used those nice big frame rails as conduits for my coolant hoses...

I was also loath to add any unnecessary weight to the car - lbs = performance. A lot lighter to move the jack 2 ft back :)
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby Larry Jowdy » Wed May 17, 2017 11:09 am

Personally I don't think a couple of pounds of metal in the front end will noticeably affect performance. If anything it will add a bit of weight to the front end which has a tendency to lift as your speed increases
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Wed May 17, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys. To be specific, I wonder if anyone here has ever personally done this. Like, with your own hands? Like I said, I'm not planning on spending money on the mod: it's like 3-4 feet of tubing, which I have, and a little bit of wire, which I also have, and some electricity.

The tubing weighs about 8 pounds all in. Not worried about that.

Absent instructions I'll just try to figure it out for myself and post the results here.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby Carlos G » Wed May 17, 2017 6:42 pm

I've bolted some towing points to the front tubes of my Vintage that I've also used as jacking points.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Sun May 28, 2017 5:16 am

I like what you did Carlos. I may try something similar.

As promised, I have started a build blog. The first post is up.
https://alongcameaspyder.wordpress.com/

Comments and criticism welcome, always. Thanks everyone for your help.
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Re: New owner with unbuilt Thunder Ranch

Postby EEricson » Wed May 31, 2017 3:55 am

Hey does anyone have any of the dimensional measurements of the Autopulse 500 fuel pump? Not finding anything on fleabay (except that one guy who wants $500 for one), I'm pondering a little DIY project. I figure since they only need to look the part, any kind of material could work, so long as silver paint will stick to it.

So. Anyone ever measure one & want to share the info?
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