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Author: Subject: Kit TO Self Build... hmmm
EViS

posted on 10/4/06 at 06:29 PM Reply With Quote
Kit TO Self Build... hmmm

I've decided to jump ship and look into something which I earlier reckoned was the impossible...

I've come to terms that my budget of 4k is possible, but truly pushing it, even so, 4k still doesn't cover my insurance (which for a 19 year old with one years experience is still rather steep).

So (hide those smiles please ), how likely (on a scale of 1-10) is it for me to complete the following in 3 months of full time work, full of enthusiasm and diligence;

- Design and weld together a chassis,
- Design and make the bodywork,
- Get everything painted,
- Take apart a donor,
- Build the car as if it was now a kit.

Now (keep holding your smiles in please), costs of such a project;

- All Chassis and body work materials (incl. gas for the welder and anything else besides the metal used for the chassis),
- Renting (or if cheaper to purchase) a welder,
- A final cost for the average completed build (half the price of the average kit build?).

Tuition;

- Is it possible to make the bodywork out of fibreglass (GRP?), or would i need to keep to Al panels?
- How long should it take for me to learn how to weld (i'm guessing on a course lasting for a few days?),
- Where do i get the information from for building the chassis and all other parts to then fit those of a donor.

Any comments will be much appreciated .

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k33ts

posted on 10/4/06 at 06:43 PM Reply With Quote
if i were you with no experience in welding and grp i would highly recomend a kit,
robin hood is one the cheapest on the market i believe,
as for your question out of 1-10 = 0





tukcustoms.com

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JoelP

posted on 10/4/06 at 06:43 PM Reply With Quote
if you design the car so that you also have to make your own bodywork from scratch, you stand no chance whatsoever of finishing in 3 months!

That said, i think you should do it and i know you will enjoy it a hell of a lot more!

Costing wise, you are looking at 100 for metal, 300ish for a semi decent mig welder, 50 on gas, and allow extra for any ally panels you may need. If you currently cant work fibreglass, forget making your own in that time scale! It just wont happen. If you are already proficient, then its possible but still hard. Myself, i would recommend that you build a chassis that will suit a manufacturers bodywork.

Remember, the penalty for deviance is lots of wasted time!

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Macbeast

posted on 10/4/06 at 06:44 PM Reply With Quote
IMHO get a copy of "Build Your Own Sports Car " by Ron Champion which has chassis design and a lot more. Try library for a copy. Book is on sale in Halfords at (hem hem again) 17.99
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Kissy

posted on 10/4/06 at 07:12 PM Reply With Quote
All good pointers I'm afraid. If you need convincing do a project plan. Gas will cost more than 50 IMHO, you need to get the bottles rented first. 3 months is a very very short time, ask the guys who have done more than one; and who, no disrespect to you, have a wealth of experience. If 3 months is your target I'd stick to book style kits, buy an unfinished one, and stick to ally skinning (as book).
Best thing you'll do is trawl this site and ask questions - the time you'll save is amazing.

Go For It.

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mark chandler

posted on 10/4/06 at 07:16 PM Reply With Quote
3 months full time maybe, dump the idea of designing a chassis, us the plans here.

Practice welding on something easy like the build table, leave wishbones until you are accomplished.

Get a decent tools that you need, not ones that you fancy, ie no plasma cutter just a hacksaw and good blades for the chassis. Jigsaw for panels, quality welder with proper gas and regulator ( you will weld like a pro but the time you have finished, READ SOME BOOKS ON TECHINIQUE or get someone to show you how), 15 4.5 inch grinders are fine, get plenty of discs and googles (an auto darkening welding helmet will also be invaluable as it takes two hands to learn, one to steady the wrist)

Flat panels wherever possible, maybe invest in front and rear wings or get a cracking deal on a body kit (stuart taylor etc).

Select the donor with care, decent wheels and tyes that will keep you happy, maybe pay more fore one thats blinged up !!! as long as it drives okay in a light chassis with your bum just off the ground it will feel fast anyway.

Then do not loose interest, 9 hours a day until its done !

Can,t see a problem myself as long as you do not get bored.... The death of many a good project found on Ebay abounded.. ( so maybe just get one these and finish it).

Regards Mark

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big_wasa

posted on 10/4/06 at 07:17 PM Reply With Quote
This is just my opinion !

You would need to have a lot of time on your hands and would already need to have the skills needed to get the job done ,in this sort of time scale. Read this as unemployed with no familly ties.

first photo was less than a weeks work

Image deleted by owner

the second pic took me to nearer six months

Finished
Finished


My advice, stick to a proven design. That way you can buy what you cant make. The chassis cost me circa 200 inc roll bar to make and has tought me loads. The cheapest pro one is going to be nearer 700 with a roll bar.

But boy will you appreciate how they earn there money.

[Edited on 10/4/06 by big_wasa]

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caber

posted on 10/4/06 at 07:38 PM Reply With Quote
I could weld though was using new technique and equipment so was learning, basic chassis took about 50 hours since then I have spent another 40 hours and nearly finished the chassis, mounted running gear and invented quite a few bits I didn't realise I would need, latest being an alternator bracket to fit a Micra altenator onto a Pinto.

Get proper lessons to start you welding most technical type colleges do an NVQ or SVQ as a part time course day or evening this will build confidence, meanwhile hack apart your donor to get angle grinder practice, remember and mark up everything you take off particularly electrics and all the plumbing on modern cars.

I gave up trying to find a worthwhile donor at a reasonable price so have bought a lot of bits from scrappies, people on the forum or ebay, some of which will go back on ebay or for sale here however a donor is a cheaper alternative until you start messing with IRS . Find someone else in your locality who is building or has built a locost they will be helpful and a source of moral support when enthusiasm flags or you hit a major problem.

My budget is 1500 I will go over but still trying hopefully to hit it. You should start with a 1300 engine much better for insurance you may get away with a 1600 there are a lot of them around that no one wants I got mine for nothing thrown in with a cheap type 9 box ( Thanks Joel!)

I would have loved to have taken 3 months off and built a car however I did spend about 6 months researching and planning before I started so I am proceeding faster than many given the time I have had to spend on the build. I suggest you get hold of THE BOOK the How to Build a Tiger sports car and a haynes manual for whatever you think you will use for a donor, try ebay and Amazon both are cheaper than Halfords. read them from cover to cover then think what you will do and the best order for you to work in, i am sure if you stick to a simple design you could do it in 3 months but probably a few 50 and 60 hour weeks!

Good luck and let us all know how you are doing

Caber

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kb58

posted on 10/4/06 at 07:42 PM Reply With Quote
No way is there enough time for any composite work - buy 7-style parts.

Not enough time to design a chassis from scratch, use the book/McSorley plans.

Then, yes, three months of full time work and it can be done. This assumes you've taken a welding class *before* the 3-months starts.

Of course you've already committed the first mistake - setting a deadline! This is supposed to be fun and it's already become must-suceed-at-any-cost-even-if-I-must-work-24-hours-a-day project. Is that fun?

There was an excellent TV show called "I'm not nuts, I'm plane crazy" about a guy who set out to design and build a composite airplane in 30 days. It was an experiment in human stress - and he basically broke down near the end.

He ended up buying a kit plane and helped construct it *at the factory.*





Mid-engine Locost - http://www.midlana.com
And the book - http://www.lulu.com/shop/kurt-bilinski/midlana/paperback/product-21330662.html
Kimini - a tube-frame, carbon shell, Honda Prelude VTEC mid-engine Mini: http://www.kimini.com
And its book - http://www.lulu.com/shop/kurt-bilinski/kimini-how-to-design-and-build-a-mid-engine-sports-car-from-scratch/paperback/product-4858803.html

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JoelP

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:08 PM Reply With Quote
i read 'full time work' as working around a full time job, not full time on the car!
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EViS

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:20 PM Reply With Quote
Well, just got back from the gym... hurridly navigated to my thread, and wow, impressed as ever with everyones help and advice .

Firstly, JoelP by 'full time work' i mean 3 months of free time, no paid jobs, no commitments, nothing .

As I understand it, a book chassis can be built in about 2/3 weeks?

Do more people than not who build from scratch purchase their body panels from a manufacturer? Or do more allow themselves more time to construct their own panels?

[Edited on 10/4/06 by EViS]

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Jubal

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:23 PM Reply With Quote
Have you looked round for a part finished kit? Someone just got a bargain on a Sylva Phoenix on ebay for 2.5k with nearly everything needed to finish. Amongst the usual tat there's a decent looking locost on there too:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Locost-part-built-bec_W0QQitemZ4629535420QQcategoryZ29750QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Of course, if it's the challenge you're after I'll shut up and leave you to it.

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JoelP

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:29 PM Reply With Quote
i'll revise my estimate then - just possible! You can buy assorted bodywork off ebay and modify as required.
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EViS

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:29 PM Reply With Quote
More of the challenge and learning experience for me ta .
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rusty nuts

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:37 PM Reply With Quote
Just a thought, do Luego still do the locost self build chassis? All parts cut to correct size and shaped, still needs to be welded but would save you a lot of time cutting and shaping
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EViS

posted on 10/4/06 at 08:51 PM Reply With Quote
The cutting and self design is all part of the fun unfortunately . Which is why i'd also like to spend some time designing my own chassis... Will take a look at those books people have recommended.

I know everyone has advised me not to make my own bodywork, but what if I DID make my own (and there was NO 3 month time limit). How would I go about doing this? I'd much rather GRP work, where do i start? Again, any courses for this, or is it something i can simply read up upon (books?) and practice?

[Edited on 10/4/06 by EViS]

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stevebubs

posted on 10/4/06 at 09:04 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EViS
The cutting and self design is all part of the fun unfortunately . Which is why i'd also like to spend some time designing my own chassis... Will take a look at those books people have recommended.

I know everyone has advised me not to make my own bodywork, but what if I DID make my own (and there was NO 3 month time limit). How would I go about doing this? I'd much rather GRP work, where do i start? Again, any courses for this, or is it something i can simply read up upon (books?) and practice?

[Edited on 10/4/06 by EViS]


Far harder than it looks to get good results first time. One guy on here has spent over a year on the bodywork along....and ended up hiring a professional in the end.

Competition Car Composites is a good book to read if you want to try your hand, though.

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ReMan

posted on 10/4/06 at 09:05 PM Reply With Quote
3 years!





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∙،. ˘≈ﺣ

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Simon

posted on 10/4/06 at 11:03 PM Reply With Quote
Here goes

"I've come to terms that my budget of 4k is possible, but truly pushing it, even so, 4k still doesn't cover my insurance (which for a 19 year old with one years experience is still rather steep)."

Mine cost just over three grand

So (hide those smiles please ), how likely (on a scale of 1-10) is it for me to complete the following in 3 months of full time work, full of enthusiasm and diligence;

Most on here reckon on 800 - 1000 hours, so if you can do 10 hour days non stop, you'll get in 840 hours

- Design and weld together a chassis,

Buy one, it will save a lot of time and only knock 10% of your budget

- Design and make the bodywork,

This is easy (see Steve Gustersons site or order the CFS info - I did all mine and it cost a couple of hundred quid.

- Get everything painted,

Easy

- Take apart a donor,

I stripped a running Sierra to a bare (and that means bare!!!!) shell in 2 days

- Build the car as if it was now a kit.

Once you have all parts made/bought it's only a matter of assembly, therefore, by default, it's a kit

Now (keep holding your smiles in please), costs of such a project;

- All Chassis 500 bought or 200 made and body work materials 200 (incl. gas for the welder and anything else besides the metal used for the chassis),
- Renting (or if cheaper to purchase) a welder Buy for 150 - 200
- A final cost for the average completed build (half the price of the average kit build?).

47 (alledgedly) to 10,000+

Tuition;

- Is it possible to make the bodywork out of fibreglass (GRP?), or would i need to keep to Al panels?
See above- How long should it take for me to learn how to weld (i'm guessing on a course lasting for a few days?), Buy a welder, get a pro to give you some one to one, practice on scrap, and you should be ok quite quickly
- Where do i get the information from for building the chassis and all other parts to then fit those of a donor.

"Build your onw sportscar for as little............"

ATB

Simon

[Edited on 10/4/06 by Simon]






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EViS

posted on 11/4/06 at 12:43 AM Reply With Quote
Which Chassis design book should I be purchasing from the examples below;

Build Your Own Sports Car for as Little as 250 Pounds: And Race It! ~ Ron Champion, May 4, 2000

or

Build Your Own Sports Car for as Little as 250 Pounds ~ Ron Champion, October 1, 1996

The same for the bodywork tutorial, which from the below;

Competition Car Composites: A Practical Guide ~ Simon McBeath

or

'CFS' (?) - Quoted By Simon.

Also, any other books which I should be made aware of or can be recommended by you guys? I'll be placing an order in from Amazon sometime this week so may as well get it all in bulk .

[Edited on 11/4/06 by EViS]

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stevebubs

posted on 11/4/06 at 01:13 AM Reply With Quote
a) The former - it's a second edition of the latter

b) I found the Comp Car Composites very good when based on the musings of people here but, for balance, CFS stuff can be found here

[Edited on 11/4/06 by stevebubs]

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James

posted on 11/4/06 at 08:07 AM Reply With Quote
Madness!

People frequently highlight Rob Lane who built his lovely car in 3 months so I guess it *is* possible. Thing is, Rob's been building this sort of car for years. I have no idea if his was built before the SVA test either and whether he did his own GRP.

I'm sorry to pee on your parade EVis but really don't think it's possible for someone who's never built a car before. Particularly when you're on a restricted budget and even more so now that you're talking about doing your own GRP and the like.

TheConrod Kid has been messing around building cars since the year dot, and had already built a Locost when he built his MKIndy. It still took three months (+SVA time).

If you bought a chassis with wishbones etc. plus GRP but did your own side panels and rear panels I suppose you might manage it.

If you didn't re-build any of the donor's parts you'd save a load of time aswell.

The bureacracy of registering it is going to be a big problem. I've waited 4 weeks just to get my donor's v5 from DVLA. That then allows me to get a chassis number and *then* I can think about booking SVA!

Either way, to have any hope you'll have to plan it like a military exercise (I highly recommend downloading Microsoft Project and doing a proper Gant chart) and also make damn sure you're got a ready supply of friends to help you.

Sorry to be negative, don't want to put you off, just have realistic expectations!

Cheers,
James





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Dutchman

posted on 11/4/06 at 09:23 AM Reply With Quote
well I have something to say.

In my country there is no Locost , sevens or anything like that , I bought a book and faund about this site . I never done any welding so I payed a friend to weld a chassis for me. I couldnt find a Escort so I started with all diferent donor possibillity ... now I bought new Lada parts and started to self design allmost everithing ... you may say that is Lada ... but new parts are new parts and cheep... and FIAT engine will fit

so If U want to build it just start doing it , there is no rules in this proces ... I think that the secon one that I will certanly build after I finish these one will be around 2000euro and 2 months 10hour days ...

This is the thing that you are doing because you love it the time is not a factor , and dont waist time fore something that is cheeper to buy allready manufactured...

so live in hope i have only the chasis and 30% of parts and hope that I will finish it for summer holiday in August .... just start it and don't lose hope....





Tarzan English with foreign accent!

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EViS

posted on 11/4/06 at 10:01 AM Reply With Quote
James, that didn't sound negative at all . It's perfectly realistic!

I will most definitely be using my donor parts (just restoring them with some electrolysis ).

Furthermore, I think i'll be kicking my time scale into the corner, and just take it easy, as has been said, not much fun in rush rush rush .

This has brought me onto my next question;

If designing my own frame (keeping to a similar 7-type design), what parts will I have to make, and what parts will I be able to use from the donor (say a Sierra)?

- Frame
- Wishbones
- ....?

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Dutchman

posted on 11/4/06 at 10:39 AM Reply With Quote
Well if you want to have as much as 0 changes I would do the nose with wishbones and back also with wishbones and than atache the front to the back as you wish

look funy but it is the easyest way





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