Thread: Engine choice
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Old 18th December 2019, 06:19
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I wouldn't get too hung up on the rear suspension components, what works best on a full weight car won't necessarily make much of a difference on a lightweight car like the Corsa Spyder.

My Spyder was on Mk1 Vitesse swing axles with 'short' driveshafts and ran a Vitesse straight six in the stock position. After much experimentation it handled beautifully on the road with the following setup:

Soft springs - I removed the three small leaves and one large one from the rear spring and used 180lb Spitfire springs on height & rebound adjustable shocks up front with standard dampers at the back. Harder springs might work on the track but will slow you down on a bumpy back-road as the tyres won't stay in contact with the road.

Vertical wheels - I ended up with all the wheels completely upright with no camber at rest. That was achieved by removing the rear leaves as above and setting the front shock height so that the lower front wishbones were parallel with the ground.

Toe in/out - I removed some shims from the rear trailing arms to give it some toe in at the rear for directional stability, and dialled in some toe out on the front wheels to give it turn-in. I didn't ever check the number of degrees, I just adjusted it until it felt right on the road.

Tyre choice - I found that the tyres made a huge difference to how the car felt on the road, with high-profile (175/80/14) Uniroyal RainExperts giving a compliant ride, great grip and confidence inspiring turn-in. Oh, and don't worry about tyre wear, the car won't be heavy enough to scrub out its tyres during even spirited road use.

Good brakes - I put a servo (from The MGB Hive) on the single-circuit Vitesse brakes and fitted grooved discs and 'Greenstuff' pads up front with standard drums & shoes at the back. Worked a treat.

Ultimately, just remember that you're not setting up the suspension on a Spitfire or Herald, you're setting up a much lighter car with a lower centre of gravity, so you can expect to end up with settings that are quite different to factory spec for the donor car.

Good luck and have fun!
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