I haven't figured a way to use the hinges with the built-in struts as they are meant to lift a much heavier item than the thin fiberglass hood we have. That said, if you set up a steel perimeter frame to keep the fiberglass from twisting, I can't see why you couldn't use those types of hinges.
Your recent posting got me to reading the last few pages of your build journal, and there is good stuff in there that I missed during a few months when I wasn't on the forum much.
I have to say that your chassis is probably one of the nicest, cleanest custom chassis that I've seen for our cars. That is simply a fantastic build and I hope that you find that it performs as well as we all expect it to. Yeah, that might be the highest example I've seen of what can be done with a Subaru motor in our cars in rear-engine format. Very nice job!
Forgive me if it's in a previous posting and I overlooked it. What is the front suspension from? I think you were flirting with a Mazda front at one point. Is that what you ended up using?
I did try mazda RX8 front suspension but the lower control arms ended up in the footwell and this would impact leg room which I wasn't willing to compromise. So I ended up selling it and making few hundred $ on that deal. I also looked at MK4 Toyota Supra which is the same as Lexus SC300/400 but it had the same layout as RX8 and it was much wider. Also considered corvette C5 and C6 but it had the same outcome. After much researching I was unable to find any production vehicle with forward facing control arms which is what is needed for our cars. The only car with that setup is Lotus Evora, but it's too expensive.
My research also included some popular shops that build Independent Front Suspension (IFS), such as Heidts, Fatman, TCI and few others, but again no one had what would fit our cars. One day I was talking to a Hotrod builder and explained my dilemma so he suggested that I should look into drag car setups. It seems that drag racers use front facing control arms as it allows them to shift engine back and keep CG as low as possible. So I came across Alston Chassisworks. They had exactly what I needed. You buy from them a kit that includs control arm set, all brake components, coilovers, steering rack, suspension mounting point and jigs to align those mounting point on your chassis, and a set of drawings on how to set the jigs. All you need is 2x3 tubing for your frame.
The best part is that geometry is all designed by them and you just set the width for your chassis based on your prefered track width.
Yes, I looked at Red9 but the price of it and shipping from Europe was cost prohibitive. In addition there are some engineering aspects about it that I didn't like. Plus the track width was too narrow for my application so I would have to run wheel spacers which I didn't want to do. Also, I wanted something that uses readily available components. The one I chosed uses Mustang spindles and ball joints, Pinto steering rack and Willwood brakes. Here in US I can buy these parts from almost any auto parts store.
Thanks for those postings; I can tell you did some significant experimentation and that's REALLY helpful information to have as part of the knowledgebase.
With the companies you listed it sounds like you probably considered Mustang II along the way. I know that the track width of the Mustang II front isn't necessarily correct for our unmodified cars. And regarding space for the footwell, it isn't configured as nicely as what you went with. But because the upper and lower wishbones on the Mustang II are about the same width as one another, I wouldn't expect it to impinge on the footwell as badly as some of those others did.
At any point did you have a physical example of a Mustang II front available? The reason I'm asking is because I'm deep into researching a solution for my "Project X" car which Is a few inches wider than the original Sterling but has very similar footwell considerations. I've researched a half dozen solutions from production cars hoping to be able to utilize something from a good potential overall donor car but I found the same thing as you did which was that most have a lower arm that extends rearward about the same diameter as the wheel, which causes that interference at the footwell. Lately I've been leaning towards (and kind of counting on) the good old highly established Mustang II as the solution but I haven't invested in one to play with...yet. From you photos it looks like if there was a lower wishbone the same width as your upper wishbone, the chassis could probably tolerate that without much incursion into the footwell. Did you do any mock-ups specifically with Mustang II that confirmed a problem?
I've done a lot of reading on the front suspension geometry and eventhough Mustang II was popular back in the day, its geometry is outdated and not ideal by modern standarts.There is huge advantage in ride quality and handling with uneven length control arms, and hence the reason why they are so popular in modern cars. Plus I wanted adjustable coilovers and Mustang II is not designed for that. So for those reasons it was never on my list.
The once I really liked where what is called modified Mustang II IFS, which are offered with coilovers.
But even that suspension had slight interference with the frame due to lower control arms being too far inboard and wider that upper arms. So even if I could work that in, I still struggled to find suspension with track width I needed. However your case might be different so you may luck out. Just stick with reputable brands such as Heidts, Fatman or TCI.