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Author: Subject: Design Stage Questions
CobaltFire

posted on 26/3/09 at 06:26 PM Reply With Quote
Design Stage Questions

Hello all, my first post here. I've been lurking for about 2 years, but have not joined for whatever silly reason. I'm located in the US, in California currently but soon to be in Texas.

A little about me: I'm 26, Married, and in the US Navy (8 Years). I've done a few HPDE's (BMWCCA) and love riding my motorcycle (BMW R1150R). I'm building a Locost as much for the challenge as because the Lotus 7 has been my dream car since I was young.

I'm in the planning stage for my vehicle, and will probably be utilizing a slightly different selection of parts than most here due to what is available to me. My father has MANY vehicles laying around (he builds street rods in his spare time) and quite a selection of parts for me to choose from.

Due to this selection, I am leaning towards using Pinto front uprights with a DeDion rear setup. I have a slightly different concept in mind than the book chassis (not radically different), so will be pursuing that.

Now, to my questions:

What is a good software package to assist me in my design? I've thought about picking up a CAD program, but would like some input from the rather experienced people on this board as to which to purchase. Money is, of course, not unlimited. I do have a decent budget to work with, however.

Would a Ford Lima 2.3l SOHC Turbo be a reasonable engine to use? I have several of them available for use, along with T5 or T9 transmissions and a Sierra Diff (Merkur XR4Ti here). They seem as though they may be a bit heavy, but free is always a good price! I do already have some experience with these engines, having built and driven a ~300whp Mustang SVO powered by one.

Any other input you may have would be appreciated. I am taking my time planning before building, as I don't want to make too many mistakes.

Thank you in advance!

[Edited on 26/3/09 by CobaltFire]

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Guinness

posted on 26/3/09 at 06:33 PM Reply With Quote
Welcome to the site.

Have you had a look at the plans for the Haynes Roadster? That is Sierra based (I'm guessing Sierra is the same as a Merkur).

The turbo Pinto engine will be great! There are loads of lads on here using pinto's, from 1.6's to 2.0's

Mike






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omega0684

posted on 26/3/09 at 06:36 PM Reply With Quote
welcome to the forum too.

im one of the pinto possy so will be happy to help out where i can, i wouldn't mind a turbo for my pinto i tell thee. should be more than powerful enough for your first engine!

most people that design there own chassis use CAD

[Edited on 26/3/09 by omega0684]

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jacko

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:17 PM Reply With Quote
Welcome from me too
and another pinto man
just ask if you need help
Jacko

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RK

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:29 PM Reply With Quote
Why would you want to design your own, when there are several out there that are proven? If you want a 7, build a 7 that somebody else has already designed! It doesn't make sense to me to reinvent the wheel. That said, good luck doing it in North America. Many succeed, most don't.
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mangogrooveworkshop

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:29 PM Reply With Quote
Welcome

Which engine is it http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/4cylinders.html
and which gear box
http://www.merkurencyclopedia.com/Trans,Diff/transmission.html

[Edited on 26-3-09 by mangogrooveworkshop]






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theconrodkid

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:30 PM Reply With Quote
http://mcsorley.net/locost/ is a good guide tho there are a few bits missing or buy the book from our own chrisg...his kids needs shoes you know





who cares who wins
pass the pork pies

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CobaltFire

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:45 PM Reply With Quote
mangogrooveworkshop

2.3l Turbo from a Mustang SVO/T-Bird TurboCoupe/XR4Ti

T9 from an XR4Ti or a T5 from a Mustang SVO/T-Bird TurboCoupe

As far as redesign, etc: I'm using the basic "7" premise and design, just adapting to better fit my suspension/component choices. If I wanted all the fun stuff (engineering) done for me, I'd just buy a Caterham. I'm sticking with tried and true suspension types as a progression in my learning curve, having previously modified street vehicle suspension for track use (geometry, etc on the SVO). The only true changes I am debating involve increasing ground clearance, changing driving position slightly (preference), and what my wheelbase/track will end up being. Also, if I do use the turbo, I'd have to setup the intercooler, etc.

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rodders

posted on 26/3/09 at 07:46 PM Reply With Quote
I have used a few CAD packages and found that Solidworks the easiest to program to use as a beginner. It would be a lot of money to purchase but you should be able to get hold of a copy somewhere on the internet for free.

Rhod

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Steve Hignett

posted on 26/3/09 at 09:33 PM Reply With Quote
Hi Cobalt,

Welcome to the UK forum!

As above, Solidworks is a good place to design a chassis. Although I would also heed slightly the advice offered by RK. The reason for this is because he has experience in trying to locate non standard parts on your side of the pond, but not just that, has increasingly encountered problems which wouldn't of necessarily been a problem had he gone with a proven entity.

Having said that, I am actually going to be building a chassis to my own dimensions, so who am I to talk. But I think it's readily accepted that if it is your first time and you want to be driing the car in a reasonable amount of time, then following a proven design (even just loosely) does have it's advantages.

All the best mate,
Steve






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Blackbird

posted on 26/3/09 at 09:43 PM Reply With Quote
Be sure to visit the US based locost forum at www.LocostUSA.com as we have many builders who use the drivetrain that you're contemplating.

Also, where in CA are you?
We have quite a few builders in CA and TX.
I'm in SFV and you're welcome to stop by and take a look if you're around.

Moti





A wise man said - don't count your years, make your years count!
.
.
.
Or was it beers?
Either way, it's a pretty good advice.

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CobaltFire

posted on 26/3/09 at 11:16 PM Reply With Quote
I will definately heed the advice to stick to a design. I don't plan on this being my only build, just the first. As far as modifications, mainly it would be modified to utilize those parts that I am familiar with, and to fit it to me.

I am currently in Central California (Fresno) and will be moving to Dallas/Ft Worth.

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Canada EH!

posted on 26/3/09 at 11:31 PM Reply With Quote
Get all your brake line and fuel line stuff before you head for Texas, or is Earls all sold out.
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RK

posted on 26/3/09 at 11:38 PM Reply With Quote
Thank you Steve! Seriously, making the car fit your existing parts is a recipe for frustration. There are plenty of designs using things like Chev S10 parts, Mazda Miata, European Ford, various motorcycle engines (not that I condone that sort of thing) and even Volvo parts, but the further away from what hundreds of other people have done is going to put you quickly in a minority of one and that, believe me, is no fun.

As we used to say in the airplane business "Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself"

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C10CoryM

posted on 27/3/09 at 12:29 AM Reply With Quote
I initially looked into using the 2.3L lima because I had one laying around. it's very tall, and very heavy for a locost. You may have a hard time fitting it under hood.
I actually ended up with a taller engine but at least it will look cool sticking out from the hood

I used a rear axle from a mustang though. You may want to run a +4 which is 4" wider frame. Im running very high offset rims to fit my front knuckles so mine fits my normal width one. +4 also gives you some more pedal room if you are going to use a large engine/trans combo.

Mine is completely my design, except I followed the book for aesthetics/proportions (I should have just done those myself as well). I would ignore the rantings of "don't design your own" if that's what you want to do. You will learn a HUGE amount and hopefully it will even work . However, it is a massive project. Don't kid yourself, there will be times where you don't want to do it anymore. Some people quit at this point, others carry on.
I believe Dale is building with a turbo2.3 but his isn't locost bodied.

Cheers
Cory





"Our watchword evermore shall be: The Maple Leaf Forever!"

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C10CoryM

posted on 27/3/09 at 12:30 AM Reply With Quote
Also wanted to mention, if you are just looking for a program to bang ideas out and make the odd CAD part, Rhino3d is a good program. Super easy to use. Not as easy for high accuracy stuff as solidworks though.
Cheers.





"Our watchword evermore shall be: The Maple Leaf Forever!"

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RK

posted on 27/3/09 at 01:20 AM Reply With Quote
I've never said he shouldn't do one of his own design; I said if he does, he's asking for trouble. I don't give a poo what anybody does, but just because NASA has gone to the moon doesn't mean you can.

I wish people were honest with me when I started. They were not. They all said "hey, no probs, anybody can do this", especially the American "we can do anything" types. and not everybody can. I am the ONLY guy who has never finished one of these things, I guess. Am I bitter? bleeping right I am.

[Edited on 27/3/09 by RK]

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CobaltFire

posted on 27/3/09 at 02:25 AM Reply With Quote
I understand what everyone is saying. I just can't do anything the easy way!

I picked up the Haynes book today, some good reading there. As far as my design, I'm doing this more to learn than anything.

For CAD, I'm not a big one on Pirating, though after checking the price on SolidWorks I was tempted. I'm going to go ahead and try BRL-CAD first, however; it's free and from the military.

Thanks for all the inputs so far! My father and I are going to have a sit-down and discuss parameters for the build on Saturday!

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RK

posted on 27/3/09 at 02:40 AM Reply With Quote
You MUST go to the locostusa site. Those guys are building all kinds of stuff, some of which actually looks very nice! What I meant to say is that they can be quite "positive" and "optimistic", as they go into their 8th year of their build (not that there's anything wrong with that!!!!). You have to be to do it over here. I'm just not that kind of person.

But there are very knowledgeable people on here, who are very generous with their wisdom you should get to know too.

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Daddylonglegs

posted on 27/3/09 at 05:46 AM Reply With Quote
Welcome to the 'other side'

Also a Pinto (what the guys on here call 'the anchor' 'cos of it's weight ) user.

Whatever you decide in terms of design or components, the most improtant thing is never despair (plenty of really helpful guys on here) and if in doubt....ask

Good luck with the build.

JB





It looks like the Midget is winning at the moment......

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Blackbird

posted on 27/3/09 at 06:14 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RK
I've never said he shouldn't do one of his own design; I said if he does, he's asking for trouble. I don't give a poo what anybody does, but just because NASA has gone to the moon doesn't mean you can.

I wish people were honest with me when I started. They were not. They all said "hey, no probs, anybody can do this", especially the American "we can do anything" types. and not everybody can. I am the ONLY guy who has never finished one of these things, I guess. Am I bitter? bleeping right I am.

[Edited on 27/3/09 by RK]
You're not the only guy who never finised his car, hell, I've seen more unfinished projects exchanging hands than finished cars on the road.
It isn't rocket science, but it's probably not for everyone and the tone of your message sounds like it's definitely not for you.

You need some skills and patience to learn what you don't know.
Both the UK and the US forums have lots of knowledge to offer which is very helpful, but no one can push you into the garage to do the work.

JMHO,

Moti





A wise man said - don't count your years, make your years count!
.
.
.
Or was it beers?
Either way, it's a pretty good advice.

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hexxi

posted on 27/3/09 at 12:43 PM Reply With Quote
Hi,

As a CAD programme I would also recommend you Solidworks. You could also consider Autodesk Inventor. Personally I haven`t tried none of these. In my work as a design engineer I use Catia V5 witch is a great but difficult to learn and too comprehensive for simple tasks.

You need a real CAD programme...Rhinoceros or 3D Studio are not CAD programs allthough you make 3D geometry with them. With them you cannot for example make drawings of the parts designed.

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Staple balls

posted on 27/3/09 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote
Sketchup might be worth a look, it kinda helps that it's free.

Not used it in years, But I did model a fair bit of my indy with it to give me some solid measurements to work off.






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RK

posted on 27/3/09 at 01:07 PM Reply With Quote
Um, just to clarify, Mr. Blackbird: I've been into the garage most nights and weekends for two years, and I'm on here all the time trying to learn when I'm not. I don't do anything else except go to work. It's not going in and doing the work, it's knowing what needs done, using tools you know need to be used. Also you have to acquire parts somewhere, and know where to put them. These have been my main problems.

It is definitely not lack of going to the garage or basement, and slogging away. Please don't imply that I haven't put the garage time in, because I have.

Also, I don't think you can learn anything doing a job 5 times and wrecking all your parts. You need hands on help to have things demonstrated.

My hat is off to the people that finish, particularly incomplete kits or scratch built cars.

Back to the original poster: because you have your father to run ideas off of, you have a good chance of getting somewhere, so good luck!

[Edited on 27/3/09 by RK]

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CobaltFire

posted on 27/3/09 at 04:37 PM Reply With Quote
I really do appreciate all the input here!

I really will be depending on my father for idea reality checks, and he's pretty excited about the project, too. That is actually where some of the component choices come in: It is all stuff he has used before (excepting the DeDion rearend; he thinks I should go live axle).

As for solidworks, if anyone knows where I can get a functional version that works with Vista x64, please let me know. I don't condone pirating, but I also cannot afford a licencse for that program! I thought they would at least have a lower spec version for a private user, but they don't...

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