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RWD'ing my Reatta


Old Man Jimbo
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Very cool idea!  As far as the prototypes, GM/Buick was featured on a show, maybe Motorweek, in the late 80s early 90s converting their fwd cars to rwd with V8s and other high performance stuff.  If I remember correctly was one of those skunkworks operations within GM probably shut down with the de-emphasis on performance at Buick.  That's probably online someplace.

 

a bit more, sorry if already posted in this thread...

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/141353-the-fwd-and-rwd-turbo-reatta-w-specs-and-pix-the-car-that-never-was/

Edited by vidsal (see edit history)
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I've had several tire/wheel combinations on my car Even though I like the looks of the tall tires and wheels filling the wheel wells, I don't like the fact that the tall tires will turn your Reatta into a dog when it comes to acceleration. It also hurts braking power on a Reatta. Small brakes and big tires don't go together.

 

Installing a tall tire is like installing a higher gear ratio differential. The tires and wheels in the photo look a lot like some 255/50-17" wheels I tried on my Reatta that came off a 2005 Mustang.  They changed the acceleration of the car so much it made overdrive all but useless. Driving on the interstate in the hills of East Tennessee required keeping the transmission in "Drive all the time to stay up to speed on long hills. If you left it in "Overdrive" it would downshift to Drive as soon as you started up a hill anyway.

 

I've also had 225/55-16 2000 Mustang GT wheels on my car. That size had good acceleration Better than stock wheels & tires in my opinion but they looked a little short.

 

Recently I acquired a set of 16" Cadillac 16" chrome wheels that came with 235/60 tires. They were also hurt acceleration but they looked good by filling up the wheel wells.

 

In my opinion the best combination for looks and maintaining decent acceleration are 225/60-16. That is what I have now and I'm very satisfied with them.

 

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2000 Mustang wheel

 

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Cadillac Wheels

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I might be considered a "hot rodder" at heart as my first car was a 1933 Plymouth 5 window coupe that was in pretty good original shape when I got it.... that didn't last long.    It got a small block Chevy (283, this was 1960) a Packard 3 speed because it had syncro 1 gear, and a Hurst shifter.  I then found a nice 1950 light green Dodge coupe that had a 270 Corvette engine and close ratio 3 speed...purchased it for the motor, but it was such a "sleeper" the motors never got switched.

 

Marriage, kids, money all got in the way and those cars were sold.   The reason for the above is hopefully so you can understand that I am not against modifications but there does need to be some planning.

 

The front of a Reatta cannot take wheels and tires as shown in post #42 without modifications to the front suspension...the bottom of the spring mount limits the wheel size and location.

 

Buick did "hot rod" some 1989 cars and they were documented in several magazines including Buick's own employee publication "Inside Buick" spring 1989

None of the cars were V8's....they were all V6's, and they were..........

 

*Electra wagon with a modified Grand National engine, 0-60 = 5.18 sec

*Reatta, rear drive turbo 3.8, 245 HP ... estimated 0-60 = 7 sec

*Reatta, front drive turbo "low boost' 230 HP.. estimated 0-60 = 8 sec

*Reatta, front drive turbo "high boost" 245 HP estimated 0-60 = under 6 sec

*Regal, front drive supercharged 3800

*Regal, rear drive supercharged/intercooled 3800, 245 HP... estimated 0-60 = 6.5

 

What happened to the cars?  The high boost Reatta was run into the side barrier by one of the journalist (torque steer probably got him) and it was out of service.

 

 

 

 

 

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post-76006-0-34816200-1441374881_thumb.j

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  • 2 weeks later...

The front of a Reatta cannot take wheels and tires as shown in post #42 without modifications to the front suspension...the bottom of the spring mount limits the wheel size and location.

 

Has to be something out there that can fit....be made to fit reasonably easy and inexpensively. The Reatta ride is ok for a stick cruiser, but it could do well to get a little bit more aggressive. 

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  • 2 months later...

Been two months, which may or may not be a long time depending upon your perspective, without an update. Remaining hopeful, but with so many ambitious car projects, the last 10% requires 90% of the time, ingenuity, and engineering. Maybe the same here....but hope not. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Been 4 months now without an update...even if its just winter and the project is on hold. So often, there are beginnings of projects and then they die. Quite likely that the last 10% of engineering takes 90% of the money/effort which kills so many projects. 

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If I was doing this project, I would remove everything from the interior and work on mounting the suspension front & rear. 

 

I would then go to a salvage yard and look for a center tunnel of about the same size in length as the inside the car.  Cars that I might look at for a center tunnel transplant would be a Camaro, Mustang, or maybe even a Corvette if you can find one.

 

Then I would cut a center tunnel area from the interior of the car to match the transplant part.

 

The reason that I would look for a tunnel transplant would be many of the critical clearances around the dirveshaft have already been calculated for you and going to a rear wheel drive the transmission area would also be sized correctly.

 

Just some thoughts.

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Its one thing to mod a FWD, you are just dragging the rest of the car, no torque to transmit to the rear, no body twist.

A full frame should be the way to go. Very few uni-bodies can handle that power. My friend had a Chevy Monza with a 262 in it.

He hopped it up with cam, manifold and carb. He started to see the rear pillar  warping after racing over one season.

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I'm surprised he is planning on DRAG RACING, Vette independent rear suspensions aren't know for drag racing. Half shafts don't like POWER SHIFTING. I KNOW, I ran a 11.02 quarter without power/bang shifting, and was told if I would power shift, 10's were possible, well I chances it, and BANG U-joint broke.

I guess you could tie down the rear so it doesn't squat under power, if you don't, weight transfer will puts the U-joints in bind.

Dale in Indy

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Larry Schramm

I would then go to a salvage yard and look for a center tunnel of about the same size in length as the inside the car.  Cars that I might look at for a center tunnel transplant would be a Camaro, Mustang, or maybe even a Corvette if you can find one.

 

Then I would cut a center tunnel area from the interior of the car to match the transplant part.

 

 

====

 

Did GM cut out the tunnel and replace it? The photos that I have seen do not really look like it, although maybe. It seems that one could get by the way Acura Integras are made RWD/AWD - just get a BFH and "massage" the tunnel for space.

 

Vette rear ends can do more than a lot of people realize. But then, if one just swapped over a SC38000 out of a Camaro, the electronics match up and the Vette parts could easily handle that power. But then, you'd have more of a road racer or autoX car than a one-note wonder drag racing car.    

Edited by scourge (see edit history)
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Did GM cut out the tunnel and replace it? The photos that I have seen do not really look like it, although maybe. It seems that one could get by the way Acura Integras are made RWD/AWD - just get a BFH and "massage" the tunnel for space.

 

Vette rear ends can do more than a lot of people realize. But then, if one just swapped over a SC38000 out of a Camaro, the electronics match up and the Vette parts could easily handle that power. But then, you'd have more of a road racer or autoX car than a one-note wonder drag racing car.    

 

The Reatta is built off the Riviera platform and there was never a center tunnel that I know of.

 

The reason that I make this suggestion is because of the number of mule cars that I have seen and how they are fabricated.  Not a total transplant of parts, but combination of parts to check out future parts/cars in a configuration that the public would never see/notice.

 

There are a lot of wolf powertrains running around in sheep clothing in the Detroit area.

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I need to clear up one thing, my Vette is a Doug Nash 5-speed, pro-stock clutch, so when power/bang shifting occurs, lots of strain is put on the independent suspension.  Now if he runs an automatic then it's more of a constant power action.

 

Vette rear ends are great pieces, but not for drag racing as a general rule.  Ford 9" rules that for the most part. Of course you can go with some great after market pieces too.

 

Dale in Indy

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Sure has been a while and a lot of life has happened and a lot of money has been spent on this project.Last winter I decided to buy an economy car to save fuel expenses as my 93 Caprice Classic Wagon only gets 9 MPG so of all things I bought a 2006 Pt Cruiser... HA !. After 2 months of a total re build of suspension ( Moog ) and any other thing known to go wrong I have a sweet Cruiser that gets great gas mileage although I do NOT like driving it although it looks cool.

I reluctantly decided to scrap the RWD journey mainly because of good ole Arthritis in my old body, sigh . Last week I bought another 90 Reatta so now I have 2 ( a black & a silver ) . The one that I have had for a few years now has a bad engine so I will do a swap depending on a compression check this weekend as the electrical on the new one seems to be a nightmare . Been researching the LN3 to see what can be done as far as upgrades . This has been a humbling experience for myself , the ole gray mare just ain't what he used to be , sigh. 

Bodyw:frnt.jpg

Latest Reatta.jpg

My Reatta.jpg

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I have a RWD Reatta, it is called a Crossfire. Has a 6 speed manual to boot but does not have a boot. My 88 coupe is a much better road car.

 

ps had a 78 Sunbird with SBC and a 4 speed. Cracked everything that did not break, tore the clutch pedal mount out of the firewall. Do not twist though, had a factory torque tube from the trans to the rear end.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 4/1/2016 at 8:08 PM, Old Man Jimbo said:

Sure has been a while and a lot of life has happened and a lot of money has been spent on this project. This has been a humbling experience for myself , the ole gray mare just ain't what he used to be , sigh. 

 

 

Getting older is such the great enemy for all of us. Swapping in a LS engine out of a GTO and same with the seats and rear subframe to keep IRS (or go C4/C5/C6 Corvette) is a tough and time consuming proposition. So many hopes and dreams and talk online, but the last 10% of a build often takes 90% of the time, energy and money. 

 

I still want a RWD Reatta, but there are so many other easier choices that are already RWD (Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice/Cadillac XLR) to start with or converting to RWD is nearly a bolt in affair (Volvo C70 AWD/RWD or Ford Escort with Ford Laser AWD rear subframe or Mercury Cougar with Jaguar X-Type AWD rear subframe for AWD or RWD swap). 

 

I bet a lot of quiet haters read this thread and make comments, but time, energy and money are all in limited supply unless you;re Jay Leno with your own private garage and full staff. My oldest son is still just 5 years old, so I still have time for a father son project. This thread will be research material for those who consider this swap later. 

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