The original Capri was well known for its poor handling, as a youngster I had the very best of the bunch the 2.8i Special.
Ford had attempted to fix the handling as the years went buy resulting in my ‘Special’… it still didn’t handle though.
The issue was often put down to poor weight distribution and almost everyone said you need a couple of slabs in the boot to even it out… however the Mk3 2.0S I bought actually has 50;50 weight distribution as stock, so weight wasn’t the cause.
In fact the cause was very poor rear axle location which would move laterally as you cornered, as soon as grip on one wheel ran out the axle snapped back into its original position which meant the capri had a very unpredictable tail happy rear end that was horrible when pushing hard…. this was made worse by poor front end geometry and a lot of the weight being outside the wheelbase (the dumbbell effect).
All in all not Ford’s best (or worst) work and quite clearly not suitable for the Capri GTT.
Initially I intended to go the tried and tested route of fitting watts linkages etc, however on close examination these actually constituted a modification to the chassis which would have resulted in an the car needing an IVA AND most significantly looking its original V5 identity… it would end on a Q plate.
I wasn’t happy with that and so this simple rule (existing for 30 years and ignored by thousands who do these mods) meant that i changed the spec of the Capri GTT to become an entirely NEW car and not use any original Capri in it at all… my donor car turned into a buck that would be disposed off at the end of the project. So much for spending time finding a solid car!
So due to this decision right at the start it was decided that an entire new design suspension would be need for the car, after months of working through all the theories and going round and round in circles I managed to finalise the design of a full unequal length double wishbone suspension front and rear with my own design alloy uprights and fabricated wishbones.
Once the suspension design was completed and wishbone pickup points were known attention was turned to fabricating the chassis from scratch, a full roll cage was purchased from Custom Cages (much easier and cheaper than having bars bent to my own shape) and a load of T45 was also purchased from them. Its a full space frame chassis with a false floor which will house the exhaust etc and allow air from the engine bay to exit out the very rear of the car.
Considerable amount of time was spent with the engine position, the suspension design i had done actually placed the steering column quite high above the bottom of the chassis and on the front side of the wheel, this meant it was attempting to occupy the same space as the engine…. considerable amounts of time was spent seeing if the rack could be positioned in the same place as the M5 does, however it was always sub optimal. Eventually with all other options explored (even some rather radical rack design solutions) the answer become clear, move the engine back.
So the car now became technically mid engine (engine between the axles) but still at the front, of cause this immediately gave a big issue as it was not attempting to occupy the drivers space as well and driving position isn’t something i will compromise on. My view is it has to be perfect no matter what the consequences or effort involved. After spending many hrs trying to mock up the driving position with the 3 different sets of pedal box’s i already had on the shelf (all hung) it became clear i would need floor mounted pedals, after a little searching i found some extremely nice billet alloy ones from OBP.