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unsinkable 07-13-2017 12:50 PM

Creating something totally new and unique
 
Hey all,
I guess this fits here better than it fits anywhere else, so thanks for having this forum.
I'm nearly 41, I got my first Camaro at 14, and 3 years ago I started on a car that I replaced 95% of it's components with upgrades from other sources. I'm trying to become a custom car builder, and I have the gift for it.
I've always wanted to build my own, from scratch, not a copy of, nor based on, anything else. But because there are only so many practical ways to combine 4 tires, an engine, and a seat, no matter what I create it will resemble something the world has seen before. I can accept that.
I have metal-fab skills, I have a welder I'm proficient with, I have spare V8s, transmissions, even an IFS assembly.
I've studied '23 T-buckets, fake '66 Shelby AC Cobra 427s, and LoCost 7s. None are exactly right for me.
I don't have fiberglass experience yet, but shaping foam and buiulding wooden bucks are under my belt, as is hitch fab and trailer fab. I've done a few suspensions from scratch, all worked as intended. And not one of my welds has ever broken in the last 15 years. Nor any metal failure within an inch of any of my welds. Knock on wood.
I'm not much on social skills, and my budget slows my progress, but I'm good about posting pics.
I found a steel supplier nearby, Wasatch Steel, which will be my source for all the frame and maybe some 20-gauge sheet for any exterior body that doesn't become fiberglass. I may do the floorpan in 16 gauge, some members of my family are very well fed.
I'm not going for subtle, I'm going for outrageous like a later Countach only curvier. Probably mid-front V8 and/or turbo, 1 or 2 seats behind it, probably a convertible. Easy to see out of, easy ingress/egress, rear ABS, easy maneuvering, 1g acceleration/cornering/braking, unreasonably wide tires.
I'm seriously considering a 3-piece modular chassis construction. Front, cockpit, rear. That way it can alternate between single-seater and 2-seater.
Massive overkill is my motto. You can call me Dave.
I hope you enjoy and learn, and comment kindly.

TheBandit 07-13-2017 01:20 PM

Welcome Dave. I very much look forward to whatever you come up with.

QuickSand 07-13-2017 09:19 PM

Welcome. I look forward to seeing pics of your project. You mention Wasatch Steel, are you in the Salt Lake City area? If so, they mostly carry square tubing. If you need round tube or alloy steel such as 4130, check out Marmon-Keystone.

Edited to add:
I would recommend that you consider adding Bend-Tech software to your design/build toolset. You'll be able to create your unique design and then build it with minimal waste. I used it to design and build a sandrail and it really simplified the construction with the bend instructions and notching wrappers.

R.DesJardin 07-13-2017 11:41 PM

Welcome. Attitude to get it done is valuable. Build what you want the way you want it. Makes sense to me. Carry on.

unsinkable 07-14-2017 11:23 AM

Thanks guys,
Last night I went after my IFS assembly, it's from an Opel Kadett B, in the '67-'72 range. The advertised track width for those cars was around 49.4", so it's not very wide. Because of that, I spent an hour pricing Mustang II IFS, salvage-yard S-10 IFS plus bushings and ball joints, etc. Then I started researching what I already had. This online research was done months ago. It uses a 4 on 100 lug pattern, which isn't uncommon. I found Mini Cooper Works 12.44" rotors, to replace the tiny drums, and ordered a pair of cross-drilled and slotted rotors.
Then I started on calipers that would fit the rotors, are 4-piston, and are aluminum. Thanks to Mazda, they exist.
Before I get into wheels, I want to get back to last night. I cleaned the weeds off the assembly, then dead-lifted it into the back of my ride, thereby hurting my back. Not seriously though. Now that I have it at home with me, I intend to photograph it, disassemble it, sandblast most of it, replace bushings and balljoints, rebuild the steering rack, get new shocks, fit the rotors, fabricate caliper adapter mount brackets, and basically make it trustworthy.

unsinkable 07-14-2017 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSand (Post 143281)
Welcome. I look forward to seeing pics of your project. You mention Wasatch Steel, are you in the Salt Lake City area? If so, they mostly carry square tubing. If you need round tube or alloy steel such as 4130, check out Marmon-Keystone.

Edited to add:
I would recommend that you consider adding Bend-Tech software to your design/build toolset. You'll be able to create your unique design and then build it with minimal waste. I used it to design and build a sandrail and it really simplified the construction with the bend instructions and notching wrappers.

Yes, I'm in SLC, and I was planning to fab the frame mostly from square and rectangle rather than round. Nothing thinner than 0.120-wall. If I want round, I liked getting that from Metal Supermarkets or whatever they call it. They have a great offering, even 1"x 0.250"-wall round DOM. I have no plans for that size, but I like knowing they can supply those choices.
I've tried a few different 3D modeling programs, CAD isn't my thing. Steel is relatively cheap anyway. But thanks for the suggestion.

unsinkable 07-14-2017 12:01 PM

So, I really want to run 15x10s on this, and with minimal back spacing they'd both help with track width, and might clear the brakes chosen. I wash I could fit them with a new pair of the old 285/40R15s used on the rear of Testarossas and the front of Panteras.
15x10s would also allow Hoosier 275/35R15 auto cross slicks for Miatas, and even Maxxis Victoria VR-1 245/40R15s.
U.S. Wheel offers styled steel 15x10s in the needed lug pattern, but I'd have to re-center them to correct the offset.
The snag is what ultra-deep 10s would do to the scrub radius, and the relatively small wheel bearings. And steering feel over bumps. The rack isn't the strongest either.
So I found zero offset 17x9s that should clear everything, and should grip adequately on 255/40R17s. Probably something like BFG Rivals.
I'm also considering cutting the whole thing in half, spacing it, then welding in a spreader. It would need a wider rack, not a problem, and a wider leaf spring, which an '80-'82 or '84-'96 Corvette can provide. This is the more appealing option for me right now.

entropy 07-14-2017 12:14 PM

With that much tire.
"I" would choose something better to base the suspension on.
You list design and build as in you skill set, based on that I'd pick an upright that is larger and, or just fabricate one with large ball-joints and wheel bearings. Camaro, Vette, Mustang, ect...

Oh and welcome:beer:
E

unsinkable 07-14-2017 12:21 PM

Stupid autocorrect.
Moving on, I always wanted to try the insta-torque of a 454 in a Camaro, I've had many Camaros and I have one now, I've had a couple of 454s and I have a good one now, but I've been playing with turbocharging the 305, and using the 454 for this. Plus if I tire of it, removing it leaves room enough for most anything else.
I also have an '01 4.8L version of the LSx, but that's going in my Mustang.
I have a 4L80E, it's going behind the turbo 305, and I have a 700R-4, it's going behind the 4.8, leaving no trans for this. Maybe I should get another 4L80E, but I'd prefer a built 700R-4.
However, that's not in the current budget either, so the likely result is my 700R-4 behind my 454, and find a used 4L60E for the 4.8L Mustang.
I really don't want 17x9s front and rear, but maybe if I buy a spare pair I can cut and weld my way to a pair of 17x12s?

unsinkable 07-14-2017 12:24 PM

Lastly for today, I know from experience what sort of traction problems I can get with a 2400-stall behind an LT1, in front of a 4L60E and a 2.73 axle, but maybe the 454 could do the same thing without the annoying loose torque converter?
Maybe I should just make some 17x12s for the front also...

unsinkable 07-14-2017 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by entropy (Post 143286)
With that much tire.
"I" would choose something better to base the suspension on.
You list design and build as in you skill set, based on that I'd pick an upright that is larger and, or just fabricate one with large ball-joints and wheel bearings. Camaro, Vette, Mustang, ect...

Oh and welcome:beer:
E

Excellent points, and I seriously considered fabbing my own using salvage yard spindles from a Police Caprice, but not only is my budget minimal, but my wife doesn't leave me much time for this. Nor do I have a garage, only a private concrete driveway with a tarp over it. So setting up to engineer the Ackerman, anti-dive, roll center, et centers, all of which I've done before, just isn't happening. It just doesn't seem worth it for a cruiser that will never compete. The Opel GT's handling wasn't bad, it's flaws are known and easily improved cheaply, and it's the same IFS I got.
This won't be the car of my dreams. This is practice for the car of my dreams.

entropy 07-14-2017 01:06 PM

You have to build for your needs.

Going back to my SCCA days I would not go much over 225 - 235 on that
set of bearings and pivots, but that is just me:laughing1:

:beer:
E

unsinkable 07-15-2017 10:53 AM

For those unsure on round vs square who haven't bothered to Google it, round is stronger in torsional and far stronger in longitudinal compressive loads. Square is 50-60% stronger in resisting axial compression, and 79% stronger in resisting bend/buckle. This is assuming otherwise identical measurements. Put another way, a 4" 0.188" round = a 3.5" 0.188" square.

unsinkable 07-15-2017 10:58 AM

So if I do door beams for side-impact crash protection, they should be rectangular, oriented flat-wise. If I do a ladder-style lower frame to carry the weight of the iron big block, those should be rectangularturned vertical. And if I do longitudinal tubes through the passenger area to prevent crush if sandwiched between 2 huge trucks, those should be round.

unsinkable 07-15-2017 11:00 AM

Further, tubes between the side impact beams, like in the dash and behind the seats, should be round. A rollover hoop should be rectangular, not round. The triangulation should be round

entropy 07-15-2017 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unsinkable (Post 143302)
Further, tubes between the side impact beams, like in the dash and behind the seats, should be round. A rollover hoop should be rectangular, not round. The triangulation should be round

In theory I agree. That said...
When it comes to the cage I don't think I want to try to “know” where the loads will be input...
&'in what magnitude and vectors...
&'so I don’t want to carry around the tube corners oriented exactly for one specific hit...
(That will be the one hit I’ll never take :laughing1:)
Granted there are areas that one can get real close with their guess in, however cornered tube strength advantage is in basically two planes Cages get hit from all directions if used.
It is a lot of weight to carry based on your/my guess as to where the loading will occur.
This is (IMNSHO) partially the reason why we continue to see square corners in structural steel work and rounds in transportation: the loading is much more predictable and the weight is generally not a performance factor.

Lots of places I will use Square & Rect.
Because the application and design has as much to do with material strength I will continue to build the cage structures out of round, appropriately sized, tubing.

:beer:
E

unsinkable 07-16-2017 09:26 AM

The main problem with round is trying to bend it into nice curves, in a home garage, when it has enough wall thickness to be worth using. I've used exhaust pipe bending tools, the ones bolted to the concrete floors, requiring an 8' handle just to bend 2" with what, maybe 0.030"-wall.? Dang difficult. There's no chance of home- bending .120-wall.
With rectangle, or square, cut the curves from flat plate, cut strips of flat to form the inners and outers, then weld it into a boxed curve.
In one sense, it might be more work and more materials, and it is much more welding. But it's an uncommon look that has uncommon strength. It'll visually separate my roll protection from a million race cars all using round.
So, as we all know that life is what happens while you're making other plans, things developed such that I was left with no time to disassemble my IFS assembly yesterday. Otherwise I'd have pics to post right now, sorry.

unsinkable 07-16-2017 09:28 AM

Oh, forgot to note, I did score a used set of 2.73:1 gears for a Ford 8.8" diff, hoping the 454 can get some decent MPG, over 20, with a moderate cam.

Punk Steel 07-16-2017 09:43 AM

couldn't you just hire a bender or have a tube or two bent somewhere local, and do the rest in box section?
Just a suggestion, not a criticism, we all have our own ways of doing things ;-)

unsinkable 07-16-2017 11:54 AM

Probably, and a valid idea.
I've felt restless for months, needing a new project, overwhelmed with the absolute lack of entry-level DIY cars. Civics and Corollas don't count, and never can. My Camaro and my Mustang and Rex just sit, I daily an '03 Astro AWD, or occasionally a '95 Ranger, where that Opel IFS is sitting.
I've always loved the AC Shelby Cobra 427, but $3900 for a thin fiberglass body is manure. It's less than $900 in materials, where's the other $3000 going?
If I could get one to pull a mold from, I could offer them for $1950 at a healthy profit.
'23 T-Bucket bodies start at a reasonable $400, the frame couldn't be simpler, but only jerks pay any attention to them. Excuse me, Autism can't be helped, it wasn't my choice, so those jerks can go practice husbandry with livestock.
Then there's the Locost. Not up to any power, ugly, space frame is labor-intensive, and getting it square is beyond most DIY guys, even if they can weld.
Doing the simple Mustang II IFS is simple and effective, but no longer affordable. The closest replacement is S-10 based, tubular upper arms from the circle track guys, Caprice spindles for 1LE rotors, to do it right with everything, including a rebuilt manual steering rack S-10s never used, would run $500, but that's still half the M2 cost. And 2/3 cheaper than a T solid front axle setup.
But it's still the high end of entry-level, at best.
Anything you can't get daily-driveable and capable of 1g in every direction for under $5k all-in is BS. If minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would be over $22/hr by now.


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