The Mite
Part: 31

Finishing up the front suspension and beginning on the rear...


Drilling out the KYB to fit the boss The cheesy shocks I used as mock-up were replaced with KYB gas shocks, KYB 343144 GR-2 Shock , from a 1966 VVW Bug VW. I had to drill out the lower bushing to 1/2" to fit the boss I had welded on to the lower a-arm. After drilling, everything fit fine
The complete front suspension Here's the assembled front end. Everything fits and works great with no interference. I need to make/buy some bushings to center the shock in the upper mount, but other than that, everything is ready for plumbing the brakes.
Suspension with rack and tire And I still need to put in the upper bump stops. I was going to re-use the stock bumpstops, but I think I'll get some nice urethane bolt-in jobs. The rack was rebuilt earlier and I got some new tie rod ends on ebay a while ago.
Rear sprite spring hanger Now I begin the back. The spring hangers are back from the powder coater and secured with grade 8 hardware. yea, it's overkill, but it sure looks nice!
Front rear sprite spring hanger The front spring hangers are also installed, and remember: the spring goes on first, then install the hanger.
Shortened Mazda RX7 axle with bearings Now I've got to prep the mazda rear for installation. First, new bearings must be pressed onto the newly shortened axles. I remembered to put on the cut-down backing plates and the inner spacer. the collar nearest my hand is what secures the bearing on the shaft.
Pressing on the bearings I used a piece of pipe the diameter of the collar and pressed the mess on to the axle with the 20 ton press
RX7 bearings pressed on Here's the assembled axle
Pressing the wire wheel hub off a stock sprite axle I also needed to press out the stock axles from the splined hubs so I could use the hubs on the mazda rear. They were pressed out using the press and a steel rod.
Sprite wire wheel rear hubs This is what the hubs looked like after the axles were pressed out. They will bolt to the mazda axles.
Brake caliper and spot caliper on the rearend Now it's time to make the brakes work. The stock Mazda calipers and brackets hit the leaf springs, so I'm going to use a set of Wilwood Dynalite single calipers and a Mechanical Spot caliper for the parking/emergency brake
Inner view of the calipers This is the location that I want the calipers, so now I have to fab up some mounts for them
Brake caliper bracket template Luckily, the caliper box makes great cardboard template material. Here's the template...
Template design traced onto sheet stock The template was placed on a piece of 3/16 stock and traced. I cut the brackets with the plasma cutter and finished them with a flap-disc on the hand grinder
The finished brake caliper brackets Then, a couple of holes were drilled, and the result is shown in this picture
The caliper spacers to align everything The caliper needs to be centered and squared on the disc. I used a couple of steel shims that caused the caliper to be a nice press-fit onto the rotor to align everything
The nearly finished brake brackets Then, everything was tacked and then the caliper removed and the axles, too. Once the rearend was empty, I tacked both sides to prevent the brackets from moving and then welded them to the rearend. The Two-prong bracket is for the mechanical spot caliper, it's a floater and needs to be able to move on its mount. More on the spot caliper next time.


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