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PostPosted: August 1, 2015, 1:22 pm 
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Joined: August 1, 2015, 11:24 am
Posts: 89
(Edit here, added: August 21, 2015):
My thread just got moved to this forum yesterday. I joined this website to "just learn more" about building a frame similar to the Locost for my vehicle... I had every intention of building it, but what happened on page four of this thread (having my thread moved to this forum), changed everything for me... I had intended to 'start" a build thread once I began "actual fabrication", but I became convinced by other members here that by coming here to learn, design and create drawings as well as creating my first scale model of this trike (even if they were filled with flaws), that my "build" had actually, already begun!

Thinking about it and with joining this website still so fresh in my mind, I can see where others in my position, might only have a dream, but might be daunted by the perceived complexities and skills required to do the actual building, might keep them from "diving in"... (Trust me: the members here are WONDERFUL and beyond helpful!) It made sense to me that sharing the very beginnings of asking questions when I knew nothing at all, was indeed the beginning of my dream come true! So here, I leave the rest of this thread intact as if it were a scrapbook, I can look back at thinking about my beginnings and remember how far I have come as I drive down the road in my "dream come true"!

Below, is my very first post here:

Hello to all!
I've been "lurking" here for over a month, reading and learning So much! Since I'm building my first (probably first of many!) scale models of my frame design, I figured the best forum here to post this was here.

I'm guessing that I won't be able to post any images until I've submitted a few posts, so I'll start with a little info about myself and my project.

I'm 61 (don't look it or "feel" it... Until my body reminds me when I "try" to get out of bed in the morning). I'm a professional special effects artist and prototype developer. Films include: The Power Rangers, The 5th Element, Star Trek IX and more. Prototypes range from full size land speed bicycle trikes, rigid wing, three axis controlled hang gliders, deep sea diving equipment, and lots of toys for companies like Hasbro and Mattel. I have a pretty complete shop, saws, mills, lathes and a plethora of hand and other power tools.

I've had a great Victor oxy/acetylene welding set but to be honest, I'm much better at "burning holes" than welding metal! LOL! After reading the threads here, I've signed up for a welding class at our local junior college (starts in September).

My first concept drawing for an electric vehicle was created at age 14 using a bicycle trike, a 12v starter motor and a deep cycle lead acid battery. I've come so far in all the skill sets and experience that, after sharing the old drawing with my wife, she's TOTALLY on board! :D

My goal is to produce a Hybrid reverse trike using an older Honda CB500 for the rear end and ICE system, connecting an AC motor to the output shaft of the motorcycle and using LiPo batteries for EV power. The vehicle will be able to be powered using either electric or the motorcycle engine. When running on fuel, my electric motor will be regenerating (charging) the batteries. I'm pretty certain that I will be able to pass 100mpg... My real goal is to top 200mpg! I'm estimating 40 to 60 mile range on electric (or more!). I'm not really a race driver (although I KNOW there will be times (at first), where I will want to "punch it", just to see what it will do. The layout is a side by side passenger configuration.

I spent months researching the threads over at the "DIY-electric cars" website before registering and asking direct questions about the EV power system, components, performance etc... Once I got that part of this vehicles' components fairly figured out, one of the members there suggested that I come here and learn more about vehicle fabrication... So... I've been here for about a month and have read most of the threads in this forum as well as motorcycle powered vehicles and a few more...

I ordered a few recommended books and returned them and then discovered "Chassis Engineering" by: Herb Adams... WOW! Perfect blend of technical info and concept understanding that I could apply to my design.

I began with styling sketches until I came up with something I really liked (I don't believe that a high mpg vehicle has to look like something your grandma would drive.) :)

I then created a few scale drawings (Top and side views), to layout the components, ergonomics, establish correct balance and geometry before laying out the tubular frame that would fit the layout and support the body (Fiberglass and carbon fiber over foam).

I found a scale motorcycle model in 1/12 scale, so I'm using that as my size reference (The kit still hasn't arrived from Amazon. It's a Tamiya kit that has the components molded exactly like the real bike is made, so I'll gain the ability to figure out the frame work to connect the bike to the main frame. I'll be using the headset (where the forks and handle bar are connected), as my starting point figuring that is the strongest part of the frame, but I need to see how the exhaust pipes are laid out underneath. There are two frame tubes that run forward, just above the exhaust pipes that I hope to tie into. I'll be using the whole bike rearward of the headset as everything is already done (engine to rear wheel alignment, suspension etc.)

After reading more about front end suspension, I decided not to even think about creating one from scratch! (My metal fabrication skills are more with aluminum than steel even if I were to follow plans.) So I decided to use a VW beam axle front end. I'm speaking now with a local fabricator/VW mechanic who has build several sand rails about extending the beam outwards to gain cornering stability of the trike design (one of it's sensitive points (balance, CG, and front wheel track width.)

I think this will be all for my "introduction"... I'll come back with more info before posting images...
I'm building my first frame model this morning and will take photos. I can already see discrepancies between the top and side views and will have to see the model as it is being built to solve those and clarify some "fuzzy" areas of the design to figure out how to lay the frame out. (All I keep saying is "Triangle".. Triangle".. Triangle!!! :lol:

One thing I can share with you, is that this vehicle WILL get built! :D

Motivation could not be higher, support could not be greater and after waiting 47 years, My skill sets are such that I think I'm ready!

I'm hoping those following this thread will offer their critiques, criticism, support and advise on my drawings and models...

Best,
Richard

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"If I can draw it, I can build it!" ...Right??? ROFLOL!!!

"To design a flying machine is nothing... To build it, little...
To make it fly, is everything!"

-Igor Sikorsky


Last edited by Jarel Design on August 21, 2015, 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 1, 2015, 2:15 pm 
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Welcome Richard, enjoy your time here. Sounds like your reading is paying off.

Once you manage to connect your VW beam to your motorcycle, I'm not sure you will think anything has been gained by keeping the motorcycle frame. What you build between the two will need to be just as structural and I'm guessing the shapes will work better if you just break down and do it all. I think the important thing here is practice. Sometimes you hear people say how much better their welding is when they are done with the frame compared to when they started. That's not ideal obviously, although you can expect to keep improving a long time. Find a welding project or two to help you along. A welding cart, table or shelves etc. If nothing else just cut up a tube your going to use and practice on that. Even Home Depot sells 1" square tube. You might want to get a MIG or cheap TIG if you don't have one.

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SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.


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PostPosted: August 1, 2015, 3:22 pm 
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Hi Horizenjob!

Thank you for the welcome!

I'm one of those people that knows a lot... Enough to enter into a project like this to approach it with eyes wide open and an attitude of "I don't know anything"! :D

What you shared about building the entire frame, makes all the sense in the world! I think, my motivation to keep the frame comes from a fear of not being able to line up the rear end to the engine AND, my lack of welding skills...

I've signed up for a welding class at the local junior college that starts in September. I "anticipate, beginning the real frame fabrication spring of 2016... I plan to do a LOT of practicing... As you shared, many fabricators find they have become better welders "after" having built a substantial part of their frame... I'd like to enter the fabrication feeling VERY confident of my welding skills, practicing and testing (to destruction), practice welds using the actual tube I'll be using on my frame...

One of the advantages of building the "motorcycle section from scratch, is that I can find or fabricate a rear end that would accept a wider rim/tire AND have a situation where I have more options for installing the electric motor... As I'm building my scale model, I'm recognizing that where I had intended to mount the motor (in the area of the bike that houses the air filters and battery), may not even fit, let alone provide room for adjustment...)...

After reading through the motorcycle powered forum. I can see where I can create a second "sprocket shaft" that the ICE turns and then incorporate the motor as part of the intermediate sprocket shaft where both ICE and electric motor can drive the rear wheel...

Right now, I'm using a foam cut out of the bike (a photo that I scaled to 1/12 scale), to build my first balsa frame model. Once the real scale model arrives, I'll be able to play with the ICE section and explore designs to follow your advice... Honestly, I haven't been real happy with the solutions I've come up with for attaching the entire rear frame of the bike to the main frame...

THANK YOU for your advice! I do welcome intelligent perspectives and advice... even if it's something I don't want to hear! LOL! I leave my ego at the door when it comes to learning and approaching the design and engineering aspects of this project and comments like yours is what I came here for!

Thanks again!

Richard

(OK... This makes two posts! I wonder how long before I'm allowed to post images?) :)

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"If I can draw it, I can build it!" ...Right??? ROFLOL!!!

"To design a flying machine is nothing... To build it, little...
To make it fly, is everything!"

-Igor Sikorsky


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PostPosted: August 1, 2015, 4:35 pm 
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Your set now on post approval and can also add pictures and PM other folks on the forum.

Good luck, lot's of folks will enjoy this thread.

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SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.


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PostPosted: August 1, 2015, 5:06 pm 
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COOL!!! :D

Unfortunately, Tresa (My wife and BEST friend EVER in my life ...and #1 supporter of this project ...Even after letting her know this "might" cost $10, to complete!) and I are leaving in about a half hour until early evening...

I got the scale VW front axle (with shocks and brakes), completed. Made a fixture to support the bottom frame at the 5" ground clearance, (Had to cut it to allow the wheels to hang down to the bottom building board which will represent the ground as it stands), and completed the outside perimeter and cross tubes (including miters)... But, alas, I had to "step-away-from-the-project" once again!

I'll take a few photos of the frame as it is and attach them along with some other images (top and side view as well as the main styling rendering and probably my first illustration I did when I was 14 and another reverse trike I designed in the mid 1980's... It will at least give you some long term background reference...

OK...

Thank you for my status update here...

This has got to be the best website for this kind of dream building!!!!

:D

Richard

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"If I can draw it, I can build it!" ...Right??? ROFLOL!!!

"To design a flying machine is nothing... To build it, little...
To make it fly, is everything!"

-Igor Sikorsky


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Plans:
PostPosted: August 2, 2015, 9:29 am 
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Horizenjob:

Couldn't stop thinking about changing the frame layout, eliminating the motorcycle frame and building it straight through. Besides loosing some weight on framework I don't need, shortening the design (It's now 14'+ long and I was hoping for 12', Building the rear bike part of the frame opened up a major solution to integrating the electric motor! I had planned on modifying the MC output shaft to accept 2 sprockets (one going to the rear wheel and the other going to the EV motor), but starting from scratch allows me to mount the EV motor in between the ICE and the rear wheel: single sprocket at the ICE to the EV motor, 2 sprockets on the EV motor (MUCH easier), with the second sprocket then driving the rear end.

I "knew" I came here for a reason! LOL! :D (I will have many questions as I continue to post, but I'll save those for when I share my "final design" (Not so "final" anymore! LOL!)

Background: Motion picture special effects artist, prototype designer/developer/fabricator. Pretty well equipped studio and shop on our property. (Photos of some of the things I've created)

The oldest evidence I have of dreaming of building an EV was a bicycle based trike (yellow illustration) drawn when I was 14. The next (red,low slung "missile-looking vehicle) was a reverse trike based on a shaft driven Gold-wing drive train..I added an option for shorter wheel pants with headlights mounted in them.

Later on after I broke into the motion picture industry, I designed and built three hand powered trikes designed to break world land speed records... They did! (The last one still holds the record.)

My wife and I teach self sustainability (besides our regular jobs), growing over 75% of our food here at home on a regular city lot. Vegetables, Chickens (for eggs... we can't have loud roosters here), Rabbits for meat, Quail for meat and eggs as well as Aquaponic grown Tilapia for fish. I've designed most of the systems, automatic feed and water systems, cooling, cage racks, fodder growing systems, and much more. Designed and built a 2-stage evaporative cooling system for the house (250 watts max), that replaced our central air conditioning system and reduced our monthly power bill from about $500+ to $160. Now working on a 28 watt solar air heating system with mass heat-sink collector that should effect our power consumption in the same way. I need to complete it and get it installed before the end of fall. (This takes up a lot of my time!)

OK... Sitting here with my first cup of coffee and Tresa's enjoying her sleep (which is why I'm here writing.)

I'll post this along with some images, refresh my coffee and proceed to sharing the newest vehicle.

Richard


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File comment: ICE Reverse Trike Concept
Reverese Trike concept sketch, 1.jpg
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File comment: First vehicle design. Age 14
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_________________
"If I can draw it, I can build it!" ...Right??? ROFLOL!!!

"To design a flying machine is nothing... To build it, little...
To make it fly, is everything!"

-Igor Sikorsky
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PostPosted: August 2, 2015, 10:12 am 
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OK... here we are with what I plan to create:

A hybrid reverse trike using a 400cc to 600cc four cylinder chain drive ICE coupled to an AC EVE drive system (The details for the EV drive system are captioned under my first pencil (side view) sketch.) The plan is to be able to choose (on the fly) to either run on fuel, or battery with the option of charging EV drive batteries while under fuel power. My "goal" is to reach 200 mpg. I know I can hit 100 without even trying (This is why I'm not going for a larger motorcycle engine, keeping the weight down and streamlining as much as possible.)

Things that are written in stone: Side by side seating (Tresa and I love to just go out tooling around the countryside, traveling to small towns mostly within a 500 mile (round trip) range. Although I know I will "punch it" when I get this up and running, and tested, just to see what it will do, I am NOT a race car driver and enjoy driving for fun with the stereo on in a relaxed state, so high performance for me, means range, not speed. Maximum speeds will be 55mph-65mph and I will be totally fine with that... Depending on the strain on the ICE, I'd like to gear up to run at lower rpms while cruising, but not close to straining the ICE...

The first sketch (side view with specks), had open wheels with articulated fenders. (I quickly decided that if I was going to build this, I didn't want it to look like a motorcycle or a kit car.) I used to have an old Alpha spyder and loved it... It had power, but not that much... It was just a great handling, "cruising sports car"... This design was pretty aerodynamic with the open wheels, but creating a 'car-like" front end while retaining the open wheel efficiency needed some more thought.

NOTE: Although I'm engineering for super high mpg, I am NOT wanting a Bonneville looking vehicle... been there, done that, enjoyed it, but I want to drive in something that belongs in international concept car show. ('m into styling... If I'm going to build this, I want it to look like something I'd like (This is just a matter of personal preference and we all have them... I also love the old 30's Bugatti, the older Ferrari etc...)

The three-quarter view rendering is where I'm at now. There's still a lot that will probably change (I don't like the front grill, I don't like the height of the rear tail etc...). The doors are gull wing opening connected to a dorsal pair of frame tubes running from the windshield to the main roll bar. They will be removable for "convertible" driving (We'll make up some "jeep like" fabric roll up doors with vinyl windows (Tresa has created a lot our boat fabric for our sailboat). These will be stored behind the seats and easy to clip on for driving should we head out on a sunny morning and encounter rain at the coast.

The fenders are actually wheel pants/fairings with an opening between the main body and the inside surface of the wheel. The horizontal louvers will straighten out the wind entering this area, which will pas through to an open rear end at the back of the fender. Additional louvers will straighten out turbulent flow so that the exiting wind will be cleaner as it travels along the rest of the body.

The front end will be an extended (probably type 3) Volkswagen front end. I'd like a width at the outer surface of the wheels to be somewhere between 74" and 78" with thinner automotive tires. This is to enhance stability.

There are two "boxes" up front. One in front of and one behind the front axle. These are the EV drive batteries (Trying to get as much weight forward to yield a 60%-70% front end weight for reverse trike stability. The batteries are mounted as low as possible (also for stability).

I can't think of anything else at the moment.... (Oh, there's LOTS more... just can't think straight this early on a Sunday morning. LOL!)

I created top and side scale views and already began building my first generation frame model (1/12 scale chosen to match a motorcycle model kit I have) yesterday. Although I am now completely sold on building the entire frame from scratch, I'm going to go ahead and finish this one, just for fun (most of the building I do for work is on a tight deadline and with super high tolerances (+/- .0025"), so this is more like "basket weaving therapy" for me. :D

I'm going to have to go back to the motorcycle engined forum and re-examine some of their solutions for mounting... Already went on Craigslist to look for "motorcycle parts"... Boy! There are a LOT of crashed bikes for sale! Mostly front end fork damage! And they are MUCH cheaper than buying bike ready to ride! :D

So far (and again, I'm open to change once I understand and learn more), I'm looking at using 1.25" X .065" mild steel for the frame. Although I do want light weight, I also want a safe vehicle that I won't even think about the frame integrity while driving. I was considering using the same OD tube for windshield and main roll bar going up to .095" wall? Also wondering about using the same for the bottom outer frame tubes running front to back... (Overkill?) This is where I ONLY "think I know" based on ready so many threads here where my brain hurts! LOL!

I have signed up for a welding class that starts in September. I've read so much about welding. brazing etc... That I "think" I want to use a gas shielded MIG welder. I will certainly consult my instructor before making a purchase, but I'm wondering: When you say "cheap" MIG welder, do you have any brands/models as suggestions/examples? I will not be using this for anything else but this vehicle... I see ratings in AMPS but do not know how to match that to the welding I'll be doing on this project.

OK... my eyes are going crossed and my brain is hurting again! (I've been at this: reading, exploring and taking notes on the web for about two months now! At LEAST 4 hours a day! When I decide on doing something, I commit big time.

Hope you enjoy the images... (Again, forget the rear motorcycle... I'll finish up the model, but from here on, I will be exploring (reading through the motorcycle forum here) to re deigning the rear end... As for frame design: I "began" getting articulate in my triangulation but I already see a few flaws... (This is what I'll be practicing with this balsa model: Structural integrity design...

OK... That's it for now.

Best,
Richard


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#1 Concept Sketch, 7-19-15.jpg
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"If I can draw it, I can build it!" ...Right??? ROFLOL!!!

"To design a flying machine is nothing... To build it, little...
To make it fly, is everything!"

-Igor Sikorsky
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PostPosted: August 2, 2015, 1:52 pm 
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Wow. I am impressed. I love that power rangers movie as a kid (I'm 27). I'm keeping an eye on this one. Horizon Job (Marcus) knows his stuff and I completely agree with building your own frame. I'm a welder by trade and it's not that hard. If you buy a welder buy one with infinity heat and wire speed settings. I have the older northern tool welder and it works great but there is only 4 heat settings and 3 isn't enough and 4 is too much for 16ga material. It's just easy to blow threw if you don't move quick enough.

You'll learn all you need to build one of these in the class you are taking. If you are buying a welder and need help picking one out let me know and I'll point you in the right direction.

Looking forward to see how this one turns out. So it will be a full body vehicle? The front end reminds me of a Audi R8.

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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 2:07 pm 
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Briggs,

Thank you for your comments (The Power Rangers movie was my first "real film"...and yes, Initial inspiration for the "look" was the Audi 8! :)

So half way through building this model I became VERY disappointing: With my history and experience designing, engineering and fabricating prototypes for over 20 years, my "expectations" (I REALLY have to eliminate this word and all that goes with it, from my vehicle build!!!)... My "expectations were MUCH HIGHER!!! I read SO many threads here, took notes, cut and pasted word documents to read over... I "Thought" all I had to do was figure out the details for the bike attachment... HA!

As you look at this model, you'll not lots of "triangulation at the forward end... After the back of the front wheel, I just wanted to get this over with (Really felt like I was kicked in the gut!)... I did learn a lot though and glad that I "completed it"...

My primary goals for the frame for this vehicle is keeping it light (Absolutely paramount for EV (Electric Vehicle) power efficiency... And for strength/safety... I will not be exceeding 70mph and most of my driving will be 55mph and below. No race-like cornering and in general, kind of laid back cruising country roads and tooling around exploring small towns. It seems strength and weight fight each other... I approach this project with a lack of experience and fueled by the fear of the frame cracking or being over stressed. As I saw the direction this model was taking, I went back to this forum reading again the many threads on frame design and building. I had "originally" had this vision of a beautifully built/welded 1.25" X .065" round tube frame... NOW, I understand the gravitation towards square tubing!!! :lol: So "now", I'm looking at 1" X 1" X .065 SQUARE tubing! :)

There is so much that went wrong with this model... The seats were inaccurate (scale-wise) as they represented the seats AND arm-rests. About the only thing that was accurate, were the two battery boxes up front.

Now that Marcus inspired me to build the complete frame and eliminate the motorcycle frame, I'm back to square 1 design-wise... (Thank you!!!)

The one thing I did not do, was to at least estimate the cross sections along the length of the model... That was my first mistake! I may clay up the body close to this frame, vacuum form some plastic shells and cut them up into "ribs" (kind of like a wooden boat) to coordinate interior fabrication with body requirements. This vehicle will have a completely enclosed body and interior sculpting so the truth is that none of the frame will be visible except to open up the "hood" to maintain batteries and access a small trunk that will be built over the batteries. The flooring (nose to just ahead of the motorcycle ICE compartment will be for aerodynamics and to protect EV electronics. (I'll enclose the EV motor separately and provide a fan and ducting for cooling.)

Whew!

I'm typing away here, totally crushed s I'm sure I'm forgetting more details...

The front VW axle: The paper represent thick sheet metal welded to the tube axle beam with the thought that I would bolt it to the frame and have a "slot" to remove it for maintenance or replace it for repairs in case of structural damage. Not sure if that will be necessary or desired structurally, but I can see that I learned something (even if I got it "wrong") regarding providing rigidity throughout the transition from the tubular frame to the axle to the other side of the axle. (theoretically)...

I'm taking a break from this... I just have to emotionally! I also need to speak with the VW mechanic regarding details about the front axle modification and I need to go visit some motorcycle shops to inspect donor engine candidates (Looking for 400cc to 500cc), to see how they could be mounted to a space frame before re-designing this frame.

Tresa has been an absolute sweetheart through all of this taking up slack around the house and our "farm" with nothing but smiles and meals brought to me because she knew I wouldn't "take a break", even if I didn't know that I "needed it"... So, I wanted to share here and go spend some time with her (She works for the school district and her vacation will end later this week... It might be nice to take one of our drives to the coast or whatever else she might desire... She deserves so much more than I have given her this past week building this model (AND the weeks I have been researching all the different elements that will go into this vehicle!)

Not sure what I'm hoping to receive from you guys... Again, only the forward section of this frame "seems complete". After the rear portion of the front axle beam, I just wanted to get it done... I'm "pretty sure" the roll bar is weak as is the frame for the windshield... The twin tubes that run along the center between the two are for mounting the gull-sing door hinges. I still have to figure out how I want to build the front body and what (if any) frame-work I want for this section. I'm pretty sure I'd like to see two tubes coming out the sides along the top of the fender section to add support and probably a rectangular frame at the rear part of the open ended fender... With my composite skills, I'm pretty sure I can build this to pretty much support itself.

SO MUCH more to learn, SO MUCH more to figure out... I won't be building another model until I go through laying everything out on paper again... I still have the scale Honda CB750 model coming in with an accurate engine (I've scaled the 1/12 model to match the 750 as if it were the CB500. I'll go ahead and build new seats that are a LOT more accurate. The two battery boxes will remain the same and once I speak with the VW mechanic about the front axle modifications, I'll speak with some wheel/rim tire people to establish the width, diameter and dish out/in on the rims. I'll probably turn a scale model of the rim/tire on the lathe and mold it in plastic... Once I have ACCURATELY scaled models of the different components, I'll start drawing again...

I have two client projects coming up so I probably won't be able to do that much work on the vehicle, but I will certainly be spending early morning and late night hours visiting this site to learn more and hear what you think about where I am with this project and any advice you might offer...

Questions: I KNOW I'll have more, but for now, I'm wondering if I am on the right track switching to square tubing and is using 1" X 1" X .065" (mild steel), the right choice? Over building? Under building?

OK... enough... I need to take the rest of the day "off" from this.

Thank you so much for your support!

Best,

Richard


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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 3:25 pm 
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Joined: June 12, 2012, 8:40 pm
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Location: York,Pa
Some random thoughts:

Jarel Design wrote:
My "expectations were MUCH HIGHER!!!


No need to ditch the high expectations. It will probably take a few iterations of the design to get where you are going. You've obviously got design skills. We have construction skills here. Those of us that built Lotus Seven replicas already had many of the design features already done for us, we just had to build.

VW front axle - I understand the simplicity of using it. I used to race a Formula Vee, an open wheel racing class using VW parts. It does go against your lightness ideal though. Building your own suspension will shave off pounds. I recall the complete VW front end assembly as being quite heavy. On the other hand suspension design is difficult. There are some here that have spent many hours with computer programs trying to get it right. I just copied others and didn't worry about not being perfect.

Structure ahead of the front axle - What is it for? I'm not being silly, just think about it. What is its purpose? It supports the front batteries. It holds up the front bodywork. It can be a crash structure. Going with the lightness thing again, you could simplify it quite a bit. Really, if you didn't have the batteries up there you wouldn't need it at all.

Round vs square tube - Square is easier to build with. The joints are easier to cut and the welds are easier to weld. Round is more efficient and easier to bend. You will want some round tubes no matter which you choose. The roll bar behind your head needs to be round tube with bent corners not square. Round tubes can be curved like the guys with the exoskeleton cars do. Curved tubes can help with body shape.

Front of the body - Looks great. Most of us wish we had that kind of talent. I don't think it goes well with the 200 mpg idea though. Aero drag at highway speed is very significant. Maybe Jack will jump in with his experience. If I'm remembering correctly he went from 70 mpg to 100 mpg with a change in bodywork.

Don't loose faith too soon, this is the kind of build we like to watch.

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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 7:08 pm 
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if I am on the right track switching to square tubing and is using 1" X 1" X .065" (mild steel), the right choice? Over building? Under building?


They weigh the same. The round tube is more stiff and somewhat more difficult to fit, but it is satisfying to do.

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Structure ahead of the front axle - What is it for? Really, if you didn't have the batteries up there you wouldn't need it at all.


I was going to mention that too. I've learned to laugh at myself sometimes, and realizing the one part of the frame you think you've finished isn't actually required is sort of in that subject. :) It's OK.

I think your hoodline is a little higher than needed from the size of the driver.

The model making will be a big help, just keep at it.

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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 7:27 pm 
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Hey Jarel Design,

If you look at my design it is very close in concept to yours. I have not finished it yet but the basics are all there. The details are taking some time, plus the fact that I am not in a great hurry.

Look at the particulars which I have laid out awhile ago; it might help your design process. Also, ask questions as they come to you; I am here to help and I have a lot of design experience.


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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 10:21 pm 
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I can agree with the ditching of the VW front suspension. Yes suspension design is hard but we have plenty of experts here that can help you with that. Once you get the hang of it and get the general idea it's not too bad. Just gotta check the little details. If anything I would use a Miata front suspension, lighter and you could just plug the stock pickup points of the Miata into your frame. Not much design needed.

I suggest using sketch or some other design software. It's really easy to use and a lot of us already have models and parts saved they we can send your way via google drive or upload to the 3d warehouse online. I'd be willing to help. I'm kind of on a hold on my build due to moving.

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PostPosted: August 3, 2015, 10:56 pm 
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Nice resume and a cool looking build.

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PostPosted: August 4, 2015, 3:33 pm 
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oksym, I've ot a reversetrike I scratch built and completed, and I drive it every day.

some comments:

1. that air-cooled CB500 engine is going to absolutely HATE being enclosed, unless you're going to shroud the cylinders ( as VW type1 thru type 4 engines are shrouded for cooling) and provide ducting and high volume fans to blow cooling air over the engine. otherwise that poor little air cooler will cook itself.

2. 1.0 inch square tubing .065 wall is plenty strong for your purposes.

3. I've got a northern industrial brand 135 amp MIG welder, and it welded everything but the driveshafts. the #3 heat setting is plenty for .065 wall tubing, as long as you use .035 wire. the wire speed settings on the inside of the door aren't so accurate.

4. you mention the 1000lb weight goal but, speaking from my own build, you will not achieve that with a full body, all those various extra fins and vents, full doors with latches and hinges, the twin-I beam type 1 vdub front axle, and the extra complexity of the EV drive, (electric motors aren't especially light, neither are lead-acid batteries), For comparison, the B-3 weighs 940 lbs with 1/w2 tank of gas.

as someone who pretty much lives a scratch built three wheel reverse trike every day (I commute back and forth to work with it, have it on vacation with me right now, and I do beat the crap out of it occasionally - burnouts, full throttle thru the gears, howling the front tires in turns, inadvertent spinouts, etc) I welcome another build to those ranks. when I hoof it away from a stop, my GF will actually say, "wheeeee!"

My advice would be to simplify your body feature-wise, cut the roof height, if you're going to mount the engine mid-ships, chuck the air-cooled engine for something water cooled. don't over think front suspension design (mine was designed as TLAR, to a very large degree). reverse trikes aren't like cars dynamically, and it has been my experience that I've had to go my own way a bit on alignment settings.

also google the Dirigo high mileage diesel reverse trike. (thought the Dirigo project website seems to have vanished from the web). its a full bodies homebuilt with a small diesel engine that got a solid and honest 99 mpg.

http://gas2.org/2011/09/21/project-spotlight-dirigo-the-homemade-99-mpg-car/

you should have this build log, moved to the "non traditional builds" section of the site.

keep the pictures coming ;-)

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