In early August 2023, we first started to get to know a little bit about a Suzuki Hayabusa-swapped Comuta Car that a guy in Tennessee had just started building. His name is Vasily, and he runs the appropriately named Vasily Builds channel on YouTube.
The first chapter of his ComutaBusa saga covered his getting his hands on the little electric cheese wedge-shaped car, picking it up and bringing it on a journey of several hours to get it home, and of course showing the wrecked Hayabusa he’d procured (engine still OK) to perform his proposed swap.
Now that it’s nearing the end of September, how’s the project going? Vasily has made quite a bit of progress. Like anything you make yourself, though, it’s a learning process. While he clearly has both welding and problem-solving skills, getting everything to fit together the way you want it to is always trickier when you’re making something that no one has made before. Sure, you get to draw your own map, but it also means that you’re the one who must identify the correct directions in the first place.
Vasily has posted a few episodes since the first one, and if you’re interested, you can follow along with the entire playlist over on his YouTube channel. In the most recent one, he’s doing a thing that a lot of DIY people end up doing: Ripping out previous work that he completed because he isn’t satisfied with how it turned out, and he wants to change it.
In a previous episode, he got the front suspension mostly sorted out, partly using some bits from a Mazda Miata. However, some clearance issues and a camber change on the two front wheels, as well as a rethink on the width of those wheels, has him making a few changes.
The story isn’t too much different in the back, either. He’s got the Hayabusa engine securely mounted behind the firewall, and he’s built a steel subframe. He also built out a roll cage to help with both safety and torsional rigidity, and he also previously installed a reverse gear box that sticks out behind the ‘Busa engine. The only thing is, he’s decided to dispense with the reverse gear, so that must come out in this episode, too.
It’s an important reminder that a work in progress is very much a work in progress—and if you’re the one building it, then you might end up encountering situations that make you change your mind. Maybe the way you pictured something at first doesn’t work in real life, so you have to find a different way to accomplish your goal.
The important thing is being able to pivot, adjust what you’re doing to fit the reality that your project is presenting, and move forward in a slightly different direction. There’s a lot more work to go on this build, but it’s coming together—and as Vasily shows, the only way to learn what you need to change on a project is to do the work and try it in the first place. By trying and seeing what doesn’t work, you can hopefully start to make your way toward a solution that does what you want.
In the next episode, Vasily says that he hopes to knock out the rear suspension—but it’s going to be quite a bit more complicated than the front, since it’s going to be a rear-wheel-drive little cheese wedge. We look forward to seeing how it progresses, in any case.