+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 62
Like Tree108Likes

Thread: Mid-Engine Madness, a Blackbird Fabworx Honda N600/CBR1000RR mashup!

  1. #1
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default Mid-Engine Madness, a Blackbird Fabworx Honda N600/CBR1000RR mashup!

    Sharing a project that we've been working on for a while for the benefit of TrackHQers that don't follow our Facebook or IG feeds (@blackbirdfabworx).

    This car is pretty much the definition of project snowballing
    It started when the owner of the car walked in one day and asked about putting a harness bar in his vintage Honda, I recommended a 4 point roll bar instead (for safety reasons) and 30 minutes later when he brought the car in we decided that we should just do a full cage.
    Right then at the very beginning, the snow ball effect already started.





    The lump upfront was originally a motorcycle engine, 600 cc of air cooled menace that left the factory floor pushing out whopping 35 HP.
    This ground rippling power was sent down to the ground through some top quality all seasons on 10" wheels!
    Owww yeah!



    After some basic gutting it arrived at our shop looking like this -





    It'll take a number of posts to bring this up to date, but this was where we started.

  2. #2
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    The gentleman that owns the car came with the idea for a fun street / autox / track build, my idea was to build it with lower door bars to keep it streetable, we don't have to gut the doors but the chassis will be MUCH stiffer if we would stitch it along the rockers, some at the door jambs and the windshield frame.
    He liked the idea and gave us the Green light for it and a few days later the car looked like this -



    We also discussed seats and harnesses and ended up building mounts for a couple of Brides and supplying him with a couple of nice sets of Schroth Hybrid 6 point harnesses (not pictured) -



    With our project coming to an end, I was getting curious as to what other plans are in store for the build, with the one thing I was most curious about being the engine.
    No one goes through building a full cage is going to keep the engine in its earth shattering 35 HP bone stock.
    The owner said that there's someone that specializes in building vintage race engine out of these and it sounded like a great way to waste a lot of $$ on something that still wouldn't make any power.

    ...And so we started talking because it was definitely worth exploring alternative options at that point.
    Seeing that we have a Lotus 7 replica in the shop with a Yamaha R1 engine in it, I brought up the option of swapping to a modern bike engine instead of trying to do anything with OEM lump.
    Shortly after, this happened -



    While our original measurements that we took with the R1 engine showed that will fit in the nose of the car, I had this funny idea of turning it into a mid-engine RWD monstrosity and after going back and forth about it for a few more days we agreed that this was a terrible idea.

    So terrible in fact, that we decided to do it

  3. #3
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    Quick introduction -



    And the sparks started flying -



    Shortly after we were able to do this -



    One of biggest the technical challenges of such swap is the fact that motorcycle engines are mounted to vehicles that (typically) don't need a reverse gear nor do they have a differential.

    There are differentials in the market made to be chain driven (so the bike sprocket is retained) but to compound the problem, our mid engine swap into a micro car means that there is just not enough chain length and unless the chain was residing in a sealed oil bath it will destroy itself rather quickly.

    Our solution was to call Quaife and check into their QBA11R unit which in short can be described as a cush-drive-gear-driven-twin-shaft-reverse-box-feeding-into-a-limited-slip-diff-bring-your-check-book.
    Geez, what a mouthful... the unit itself arrived from the UK some long 8 weeks later and is pretty freaking awesome -



    The part that was a lot less awesome was how this supposedly "Universal" unit was found to be less than universal when we tried to mate it to our R1 engine and had some interference in numerous locations (note cases touching) -



    The interference with the 2003 R1 lump could not be resolved without resorting to grinding on the brand new Quaife unit, which is not a good move in my book... at any rate, it was a no-go.
    After a number of additional emails to the UK asking which engine was the unit designed for originally, we've learned that the unit was made originally to be paired with a Honda CBR1000RR ("Fireblade" in the UK) of the 998cc variety.
    Bingo!

    AND, it's a Honda engine!
    We decided to make the switch from the R1 to the CBR unit, there's something cool about stuffing a Honda motorcycle engine into a vintage Honda that originally came from the factory with... a Honda motorcycle engine

  4. #4
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default N1000rr

    Once we agreed on the switch, my customer was quick source out the CBR1000RR we needed and I had this pic showing up in my inbox just a few days later -



    It's a 2007 Honda CBR1000RR unit, 998 cc displacement with 12.2:1 comp ratio, rated at 172 HP @ 11,250 RPM (red line is just above 12k).
    In a lightweight car, this is going to be a total riot.

    So we get it in, put it on the work bench and get the Quaife diff unit back out from the box... Not even close to fitting!
    Turned out that some dude at Quaife forgot to mention that this engine will only bolt on if the water pump and clutch slave cyl were relocated.
    Grrrrr...

    More emails were fired back and forth and eventually we were able to source out the pieces need for relocation.
    FINALLY!



    And there you have it folks, a Honda CBR1000RR mated to a Quaife QBA11R.

    The N600 was named after it's 600cc engine, so it was only fitting that we had to give it a new name for the new phase it its life.
    N600 + CBR1000RR = N1000RR
    Yep, we're nerdy like that
    Last edited by Blackbird; 12-18-2016 at 09:07 AM.

  5. #5
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    4,106
    Liked
    662 times

    Default

    I think the engine gods were right, this thing definitely needs to have a Honda engine. Awesome build, can't wait to see it finished.
    Blackbird likes this.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

  6. #6
    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,701
    Liked
    1296 times

    Default

    Awesome! MORE insanity please! We need to see MORE and NOW!
    bawareca and Blackbird like this.

  7. #7
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default RIP Frank

    I took another look at the beauty shown above and decided it was time to bust out the grinder and do a bit more "interior remodeling", removing most of the lower sheet metal in the back as well as the rear section of the cage.
    On a good note, the parts pictured weigh 40 Lbs!
    The cut starts much further forward than necessary as a part of the plan for underbody aero.



    Yeah, those are the stubs of the rear legs of the cage that we cut off.
    Bummer to cut something that we already did, but they are much easier to just redo than trying to work around them throughout the entire process of the build.

    Another unfortunate part was that it took so long for the parts to come from the UK that Frank died.
    He will be missed.



    In other news, The CBR1000RR / Quaife combo looks right at home in the back of the little Honda!




  8. #8
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default Rear suspension

    Now that I had a drivetrain to measure and work around, I went to design the suspension.
    I opted for a double wishbone front and rear using Miata uprights which not only work well, but has a many options for wheels and brakes to choose from.
    This is "a good thing".

    After sitting in front of a computer for some months it was time to make sparks fly again.
    Rear suspension brackets got done and there are some good tricks here.
    For the lower arms we are using Miata cam bolts and bushings, so that camber and toe adjustments are both available in the same fashion they're done on the Mazda.
    The upper arms have the ability to to adjust at the inner pivot (roll canter / camber curve).



    The brackets are all going to become a part of the rear subframe.
    The front can be easily serviced top and bottom and therefore has no issue being converted into a tube frame, but the rear will become much harder to service if welded solid.
    Our solution for the rear is to have it all done as a removable subframe, so that any major service or repair work can be done with the removal of the entire rear suspension and drivetrain coming out as a unit.

    Rear subframe getting done -



    You can already see the lower drivetrain mounts tacked in and the pickup points for the control arms are all there -



    Engine mounts are all done -


  9. #9
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    Ready for more?
    Let's rock n' roll!

    With the rear subframe mostly in shape, we turned to the front frame to bring it to a roughly the same stopping point.
    We measured and re-measured and I arrived at the conclusion that with so little of the front section required post conversion (pretty much body only), it'll be easier to just cut the nose off the car, do our work and re-attach it later after we're done.
    So out came the grinder and this happened -



    Which immediately reminded me of one of my favorite comedy skits - "the front fell off" by Clarke and Dawe, enjoy!

    https://youtu.be/3m5qxZm_JqM

    "What happened in this case?"
    "Well, the front fell off"
    "But why did the front fall off?"
    "A grinder hit it"
    "A grinder? Is that unusual?"
    "In a fabrication shop? Chance of a million!"


    The owner of the car reported that the shock of watching his car being cut in half worn off after a couple of helpings of single malt scotch, good call in my book!
    With the front of the vehicle being a lot more straight forward in terms of requirements (suspension, steering and fuel tank), we got things going fairly quickly -





    Wide body fenders will need to be wide!
    We're using 13x7.5 wheels wearing 225/45R13 tires for mockup, with the notion that we might step down the fronts to a 205.


  10. #10
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    Serious builds deserve serious hardware, and those are Koni 2822 four way adjustable coilovers going on the car.
    We also received a box full of bushings for the car from Energy suspension
    Serious hardware!



    Front frame very close to done, missing shock mounts and a few other small bits, but the layout is pretty much there -



    And with the front suspension box mostly in place we turned back to the rear section.
    Having the bushings in meant we can make arms now -





    With shock mounting tabs in place the rear suspension is almost done.
    We got our model to work so linear the shock literally compresses almost exactly the same distance with every inch of suspension travel.
    Gotta love that

  11. #11
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    The rear suspension on our mid-engine madness project N1000RR is now finalized geometry-wise.
    Still need to add a few tabs and mounting brackets for the sway bar, but it's getting oh so close now to roller-day!



    The upper cross bar is not a part of the subframe, there's a bolt in connection right above the shock towers.
    The cross bar will become a part of the roll cage once we attach it to the new rear legs.

    We like bringing both ends of the vehicle to the same stopping points, and once again we went back to the front of the vehicle.
    The first LCA was fabricated, a perfect opportunity to double check the geometry and verify all the measurements -



    Ignore the length of the pushrod (way too long), it's being used for mockup purposes only.

    This is where we're currently standing with the project.
    Please feel free to ask if you have any questions!

  12. #12
    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ventura, Calif.
    Posts
    5,280
    Liked
    2141 times

    Default

    You. Are. A. Madman!

  13. #13
    Senior Member KJSCV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Valencia
    Posts
    107
    Liked
    66 times

    Default

    Honda owner: Hon I'm taking the car down to the fabshop to have a harness bar installed

    Honda owners wife: How much will that cost?

    Honda owner: not much, in and out in a couple days no biggie....
    craZee, 2GRX7, ucfbrett and 5 others like this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    225
    Liked
    131 times

    Default

    So when do you finish the job and get rid of the middle bit?
    bawareca and Blackbird like this.

  15. #15
    Old timer craZee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    El Cajon
    Posts
    608
    Liked
    372 times

    Default

    I have a feeling the car owner is Moti's Father-in-law, and this is how he is helping Moti pay his electric bills LOL

  16. #16
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anorexicpoodle View Post
    So when do you finish the job and get rid of the middle bit?
    Keeping the middle bit and glove box to run it in TA stock class!

  17. #17
    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ventura, Calif.
    Posts
    5,280
    Liked
    2141 times

    Default

    I'm looking forward to seeing the aero work. thinking-face.png

  18. #18
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    2,141
    Liked
    516 times

    Default

    I have definitely got to come by the next time we are in Canoga Park (early January). You guys have way too much cool stuff going on

    Steve

  19. #19
    w00t Nurburgring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Chile
    Posts
    242
    Liked
    105 times

    Default

    This is totally AWESOME!!!
    Couldn´t believe while reading that the nice people at Quaife did not bother to explain much how their product is supposed to work.
    Less powah is better

  20. #20
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northridge
    Posts
    2,137
    Liked
    1780 times

    Default

    The Quaife box is a jewel in terms of the engineering, but the service left a lot to be desired..
    At any rate, while getting things set up was the equivalent of pulling teeth with a plastic spoon, I think we're on the right track.

    We got both FLCAs on the car today and I couldn't help myself sticking tires on the front end to get a visual.. along with the confirmation that this thing is guaranteed to look insane


+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts