Log In | Join Now
Home > McLaren > F1 > 1976 > blueovalz's McLaren F1
Want to become a Fan?
Login or Register
Login to Message
View the Ride
Forward to a Friend
Updated on Sep 29, 2012
Side Pod Changes
First things First. I removed the unwanted VW front suspension, Corvair rear suspension, Corvair transaxle, and SBC engine. (poor design, poor design, not strong enough, heavier than an LS motor).
Then I removed the copper radiator, steel fuel tanks, and fuel tank framework (heavy, steel and heavy, inefficient use of space)
Later I would cut off the front 12" of the original frame, and the last 48" of the original frame (new suspension arms and pick-up points needed a lot of frame modifications)
After all of this, I basically had a 40 lbs wedge-shape tube frame. Now I needed to build a heavy-duty rotisserie so that I could begin cutting and welding. Fortunately, the remainder of the original frame was exceptionally square and true, and hence became a valuable reference point for every modification from this point forward.
below is a 240SX rear wheel hub mounted to a welding plate and the castered post for the rotisserie
Once I lifted the frame onto the posts, the work began. I removed the heavy steel fuel tanks from both sides of the car (they reside inside the fiberglass tank covers (gray pods on the below left photo). The steel structure supporting the tanks were considerably smaller than the covers themselves. I wanted to use all the available space inside the fiberglass covers, so I cut off the OEM tank supports and fabricated all new support structures that were much stronger and allowed much more storage space inside the covers. The left photo is the OEM fiberglass cover unmodified. The right photo is the front part the OEM tank support structure. Notice the most important tool during this project is the SawZall!
Next I carefully measured the stucture to find out exactly how much I could increase the size of it in order to utilize the full area inside the fiberglass covers, and do it with reinforced walls and flooring (I wanted it to support a reasonable amount of weight). the below photos show the old fuel tank framing or support. There was a lot of wasted space and poor support for these tanks.
After getting both side structures modified enough to hold two new fuel tanks (aluminum instead of the OEM steel ones), and finishing out storage bins, I fabricated fuel tanks for the pods. These tanks hold roughly 10 gallons of gas each.
Shortening and relocating the fuel tanks provided some additional previously non-existant storage in front of each tank one either side of the seats. Once the framing was finished and I knew exactly where the storage bin lids and tanks would be, I carefully cut the fiberglass side pod's top off to match the openings:
Side pods with modified fiberglass covers, aluminum tanks, and storge covers in place:
After the side pods had been enlarged and made more useful in holding fuel tanks and additional equiipment, I started on the main framing of the Mirage. The first thing I did was remove all front and rear suspension pick-up points, designed the suspension configuration, and then started cutting and replacing the OEM framing for pieces that would hold the new suspension. The below photos show the original tubing (red) inside the new tubing rails. Basically, everything from the bulkhead at the top background of this immediate area is new steel. I the lower right photo, the new steel pick-up bracket in the left circle is the final configuration versus the other option in the right-hand circle.
The below photo is all new steel with nothing left of the original framing.
Then I cut off the front of the frame and welded new steel and pick-up points for the front suspension:
Then I accumulated some aluminum plate to rivet and bond to the underside of the frame:
Close to finished on the framing modifications:
Once everything was fabricated (everything major), I removed all of it off the car so that I could take the frame off to the powdercoater and get it blasted and painted. Prior to that stage, I added a couple more pieces. One was the floor tray under the motor:
Tearing it back apart:
And then loading it on the trailer:
Displaying entries 1-3 of 36
nasty race car
One hell of a job!!! 5*
Awesome project!! You did a great job. Check out my SUICIDE cruser,
Show Older Comments
You must be logged in to post a comment
Copyright © 1998-2013
CarDomain Network, Inc (a Source Interlink Media LLC Company). All rights reserved.
Part of the SIM Automotive Digital Network.
No, please link my existing CarDomain.com account with
for quick, secure access.
Forgot your password?
Yes! I would like to create a CarDomain.com account with my