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#97793 - 23rd Sep 2005 12:25am Building a kit car
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
I got into the idea of building a kitcar a couple of years ago. I've amassed enough stuff that I have bought because they were cheap and thought I might need it in the future that I can actually start now.
I know what is involved in it, I've read loads and have spoken to loads of people. I know that there are limits to what you can do with a production car, the more I've gotten into it, the more I'm surprised how many corners manufacturers cut to save a bit of money.

The first step is the scariest - the spaceframe, this is an example from a Caterham:


It can be lifted by one man, it is a simple lattice of hollow, steel tubing. It looks weak, but is incredibly strong. If you launched this into a wall, it wouldn't twist or bend. (A production car is based on a cost-effective, ladder frame:


or a pretend 'spaceframe':



It is part strengthened by the shell that sits on top of it. The shell is redesigned prior to this, so large pieces of sheet metal are removed to save money. The fact that cars need strut braces to reduce them bending round corners is a pretty good indication. The Model T-Ford used this design, and it has been in use ever since.)

The spaceframe needs welding to a good level of accuracy and symmetry, and also considering what is going in (engine/gearbox). The spaceframe can be pre built, they're from about 500 quid. If I compare this one more time to a conventional production car chassis:



A kitcar chassis has protection all round, from the sides, the front, the rear, and even above. A normal car has to meet the minimum of safety standards to pass the tests. Even driving the 'voted safest car of the year', I still wouldn't like to have a crash in it at anything above 30mph, especially if it rolls over. When a kitcar enters it's own Single Vehicle Approval, even a sharp edged nut on the rear number plate is deemed dangerous!!

I'm sticking with vauxhall power, including either a Manta or Omega F25 gearbox, however I'm wondering about the running gear.

I'm looking forward to spending loads of time on it, it's the norm to spend most nights and every other weekend doing it, and not have anything drivable for a couple of years (!). It'd be pretty awesome to have some to drive that you built from scratch, for a single purpose. I guess I'm just sick of production cars (and getting my arms cut to shreds for the sake of the manufacturer's cost cutting reductions).
Sorry about sounding like a school book! wink

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#97794 - 23rd Sep 2005 9:49am Re: Building a kit car
Anonymous
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You can do it! Go for gold! tease

If i had the know how i'd love to do it, being able to say "i built that car" would be a great achivement smile If you've got the tools and got the smarts i think you should go for it smile

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#97795 - 23rd Sep 2005 11:15am Re: Building a kit car
Cali_16v Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 17th May 2004
Posts: 6261
Loc: Birkenhead
ask punto driver he's making one at the moment
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#97796 - 23rd Sep 2005 4:23pm Re: Building a kit car
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
Go for it these things are Rapid! and if anything goes wrong with it you will know the ins and outs of the whole car thumbsup

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#97797 - 23rd Sep 2005 8:42pm Re: Building a kit car
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
As all others have said,go for it,it'd be mint. What is it going to look like?
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#97798 - 23rd Sep 2005 9:53pm Re: Building a kit car
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
The amount of metal for the frame is costing 350 quid (!) - whether it's worth going for a premade bespoke frame for 500 quid, I don't know. It's two full on 14 hour sessions of weekend welding. smile

There's a lot of metal there


I'm after that Lotus 7 shape:


but probably more like this (as the above one costs 40 grand and are built by professionals):


^hand built in a garage
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#97799 - 26th Sep 2005 6:10pm Re: Building a kit car
mikebroomy Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 20th Nov 2003
Posts: 3041
Loc: moreton
Very impressive, do it and keep us updated with your progress.
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#97800 - 26th Sep 2005 6:45pm Re: Building a kit car
Johnny Alan Offline
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Registered: 15th Sep 2004
Posts: 2082
Loc: wirral
I dont know wher the hell ya getting ya metal from mate but that is way more than it cost me mine would have cost about 100 but my boss got it for me. You should look at the book by ron build yourself a sportscar for "250 it based on the lotus but is renamed a locost and gives you all the chassis drawing etc. If ya want a look at mine for ideas or need any help pm me rhys
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#97801 - 26th Sep 2005 7:18pm Re: Building a kit car
tony_220 Offline
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Registered: 27th May 2004
Posts: 1225
Loc: wirral
look at that lovely metro engine! pmsl!

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#97802 - 27th Sep 2005 12:41am Re: Building a kit car
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
That for the whole lot cut to length in varying thickness high grade tubular steel.

I got that book on pdf, absorbed it totally - stupid amount of measurements and angles of 3.1265 etc. Gulp. Fortunately you can buy all the bits, and the Locost way is quite a cheap and nasty way of doing things when you can get nice double wishbones made for the job for 50 quid.


Proper!

What are you using for the running gear and engine?

That's a Zetec innit?
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#97803 - 7th Oct 2005 7:12pm Re: Building a kit car
Johnny Alan Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 15th Sep 2004
Posts: 2082
Loc: wirral
you can buy all the locost bits from suppliers like tiger made to the ones in the book. As for the locost chassi ive compared it to many sevens and it is the same except for independant rear wishbones. Locost is'nt a nasty wasy if you are a skilled person and know coded welders who can weld it up for you. Many chassis bought are mig welded this is a s..t way of welding and is weak because it is a cold weld with no penetration I got mine tig welded only the best for a locost. I am doing a locost and you can ask many mine aint nasty. In fact people on these board have given me offers and have tried to persuade me to sell it. AS for running gear i had purchased a 1.8 zetec and was using a type 9 g-box I soon found out that it is difficult to get it to run on injector properly so i thought i would run it on twin dcoe's but in order to do this I was going to have to purchase a 2d or 3d engine managment system which is 800 up. So i changed the engine for a pinto lump although heavier parts are cheap eg cam and you can get larger carbs from the granada pluss you have less to worry about on emissions when puting it through a sva as the engine in pre 1993 so no need for a cat so i put a carbon bike can down the side. Am using the cortina upright with brembros and escort mk1 and 2 for the drive shaft and back axle. You are welcome to come down and hav a lokk for ideas.
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#97804 - 8th Oct 2005 11:49pm Re: Building a kit car
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Where are you based chief? How long's it been running?

Unless I have a full weeked free, I'm buying the frame fully made up from Stuart Taylor. I've got a few more bits, a rwd gearbox from a Carlton. I have an 8v 2.0 engine from a Calibra which bolts very snugly on top. There's three engine mounts. It's difficult visualising it without seeing it. it doesn't fit well with driveshafts and what not, but after years of Ford I'm not going back to it.

Getting the dimensions and AutoCAD'ing the whole lot up.
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#97805 - 24th Nov 2005 6:12pm Re: Building a kit car
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
Hows ur goin miek?

I want to make one now.

Hows ur rhys.How much power does the pinto put out. I would want 1.6 ZETEC power (since im gonna have a 1600zetec spare
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#97806 - 25th Nov 2005 12:42am Re: Building a kit car
GazzA Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 646
Loc: Prenton
There's a nice Kit car on Balls road in Birkenhead by andy's tattoo place.... think its a VW

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#97807 - 28th Nov 2005 8:59pm Re: Building a kit car
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5608
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
I need a garage with an electrical point, if anyone knows of one, or even a small industrial unit, I'm really desperate!!
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