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Looking into building full chassis car and need some good readings.

Old 05-18-10, 12:15 AM
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Looking into building full chassis car and need some good readings.

Hey Guys,

I'm looking for some good books, or online articles on how to build a proper tube chassis and designing the suspension properly. I know there are also programs for the suspension part if anyone has dealt with any and would like to say which ones they used and if they were worth it or not let me know.

Basically what I would like to do is build a similar car to the ariel atom but with a rotary engine in the back. I've been meaning to do something like this ever since the atom came out, just haven't had much time to dedicate to it. This build will most likely not take place till atleast 3-4 years from now, but would like to get started on the design and what not.

thanks in advance.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:00 AM
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Since the build isn't happening for 3-4 years, that will get you most of the way through a mechanical engineering degree... that'd be the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com/Race-Rally-Car.../dp/085429984X
http://www.amazon.com/Competition-Ca.../dp/1844253287
http://www.amazon.com/Engineer-Motor.../dp/0879381868
http://www.amazon.com/Chassis-Engine.../dp/1557880557

Good luck
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Old 05-18-10, 11:01 AM
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Are you in school for Mech E or was Travis just messing with you? If you ARE, you should see if your school has a Formula SAE team.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:31 AM
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Buy the current Grassroots Motorsports magazine. Somebody did exactly what you are asking about. there is also an article in there about the tools you will need to build it.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Are you in school for Mech E or was Travis just messing with you? If you ARE, you should see if your school has a Formula SAE team.
I have not attend university for Mechanical Engineering, although i have helped out my local University's program in the Fabrication. I pretty much do all the welding for their car and do quite a bit of the machining also. Its just that I find their methods a bit crude in the development department. Its not that they're a horrible team (came 20th overall last weekend at the Michigan Event), but I wouldn't consider it to be the best. Besides this will also be a street legal car, so some things would need to be rethought a bit more properly to make it last longer.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Travis R View Post
Since the build isn't happening for 3-4 years, that will get you most of the way through a mechanical engineering degree... that'd be the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com/Race-Rally-Car.../dp/085429984X
http://www.amazon.com/Competition-Ca.../dp/1844253287
http://www.amazon.com/Engineer-Motor.../dp/0879381868
http://www.amazon.com/Chassis-Engine.../dp/1557880557

Good luck
Have you personally read these books? I just ordered the last one listed on the list there yesterday actually.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
Buy the current Grassroots Motorsports magazine. Somebody did exactly what you are asking about. there is also an article in there about the tools you will need to build it.
Actually this is what inspired me even more. I have noted quite a few things from that issue, but mine will be with a bit of a twist ... I'd like to keep that twist as a surprise
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Old 05-18-10, 12:15 PM
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Sounds like a hell of a project Sam. But having seen what you've accomplished so far, I have no doubt that you'll pull it off. I'll be looking forward to seeing your progress once you get started on it.




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Old 05-18-10, 04:00 PM
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Aerodynamics and cooling systems, and a place to stick the monster hi-flow muffler that the rotary will require; keep all these things in mind up front while designing, not after thoughts that are tacked on later.

This is the best aero book I have found:
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Car-Aerod...4216304&sr=8-1
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Old 05-18-10, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by speedturn View Post
Aerodynamics and cooling systems, and a place to stick the monster hi-flow muffler that the rotary will require; keep all these things in mind up front while designing, not after thoughts that are tacked on later.

This is the best aero book I have found:
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Car-Aerod...4216304&sr=8-1
Thats is one key point that I bring up to that FSAE team that I help out, but they just don't seem to listen to me. I will be designing the engine and everything that revolves around that (intake, exhaust, drive train, cooling ...) I am very tempted to design it with all the cooling at the front of the car actually unless I do an under car flow to it aided with side also. I'll have to see once I design the rough shape of the body.

I will most likely be building my own intake and muffler again so I'm not stuck with per-manufactured bulky parts.
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Old 05-18-10, 06:31 PM
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Those are some great books listed above. Also, You can not go wrong with the entire "to win" series of books.

Not a tube chassis car but you should read up on Palatov's build of his DP1 car. He documents a great amount of the design and thought process needed to do what you want to do. I did some of the machine work for his first build.

Click this link and then the ? on the top right. Each page progresses with the numbers on the top of the page:

http://www.dpcars.net/dp1dsn/index.htm

He also has some later stuff where he went into production as well as other car designs.

http://www.dpcars.net

Another friend of mine has a good site for Aero stuff.

http://www.mulsannescorner.com/


When you get a bit deeper let me know, I may have some software for you. I will need to dig it up but I should still have suspension software.

-billy
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Old 05-18-10, 06:43 PM
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Putting the cooling in the front is a good idea IMO, that's where the best air is and it will get some weight to the front so you don't have too much in the back.
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Old 05-18-10, 07:41 PM
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I have not read all the books cover to cover except Staniforth's Race an Rally Car Source Book. It's the one that actually got me interested in Formula SAE.
A book I didn't list, but is on every car designers shelf is
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Car-Vehic.../dp/1560915269
It's a lot more technical than the others. But it's my go-to reference book for most problems.
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Old 05-19-10, 10:56 AM
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Thats some really good info Billy, that carbon fiber stuff is really what I need to learn more about and this DP1 article is pretty good at it.
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Old 05-19-10, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dj55b View Post
Thats some really good info Billy, that carbon fiber stuff is really what I need to learn more about and this DP1 article is pretty good at it.
Carbon parts are easy. Structural carbon parts not so much.....

Looks like he started another project. The DP2 is a tube frame car.

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Old 05-19-10, 04:20 PM
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Not a fan of that chassis and it doesn't look like it would meet the rules of most sanctioning bodies.
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Old 05-19-10, 06:36 PM
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Herb Adams Chassis Engineering

Herb Adams Chassis Engineering will walk you through creating a Trans-am series style 2x3 rectangular frame rail chassis. For an atom-style, look for the how to build a sportscar for $250 books.( By Ron Champion) It covers a front engine locost, but the basics apply for an atom-like car.

First thing you need to do is get the rule book on the series you plan to race in. Make sure the chassis and cage conform to the rules. Second thing you need to do is figure out your tires. Again, check the rules for the class wheelbase and ensure you get the measurement correct. (center to center or outer sidewall to outer sidewall?) From the tires, work in, figure out the uprights. For an atom-clone I'd be tempted to use older Honda double wishbone parts, use the same front and rear. Should be able to either use stock arms or aftermarket modified arms (or build your own).
From there, it is all about packaging. You need to fit the engine, transaxle and structural members to all tie into the suspension mounting points in the strongest manner possible.

Other major tasks should be to design with as flat an underside as possible, generally a slight upslope towards the back will be beneficial.

Between Herb and Champion you should have the big picture.

-Trent
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Old 05-19-10, 08:12 PM
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I can recommend chassis engineering by herb. I own that book and have read it cover to cover 10x times, and the inside of the cover is now all handwritten notes of the formula's the book is full of.

-Jacob
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Old 05-19-10, 09:09 PM
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The Car will not be built to compete in any specific class, more of a street car/weekend track warrior.

Originally Posted by TrentO View Post
Herb Adams Chassis Engineering will walk you through creating a Trans-am series style 2x3 rectangular frame rail chassis. For an atom-style, look for the how to build a sportscar for $250 books.( By Ron Champion) It covers a front engine locost, but the basics apply for an atom-like car.

First thing you need to do is get the rule book on the series you plan to race in. Make sure the chassis and cage conform to the rules. Second thing you need to do is figure out your tires. Again, check the rules for the class wheelbase and ensure you get the measurement correct. (center to center or outer sidewall to outer sidewall?) From the tires, work in, figure out the uprights. For an atom-clone I'd be tempted to use older Honda double wishbone parts, use the same front and rear. Should be able to either use stock arms or aftermarket modified arms (or build your own).
From there, it is all about packaging. You need to fit the engine, transaxle and structural members to all tie into the suspension mounting points in the strongest manner possible.

Other major tasks should be to design with as flat an underside as possible, generally a slight upslope towards the back will be beneficial.

Between Herb and Champion you should have the big picture.

-Trent
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Old 05-20-10, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dj55b View Post
The Car will not be built to compete in any specific class, more of a street car/weekend track warrior.
Sam, it is still good to use the competition rules for SCCA or NASA as a baseline for the chassis. These will list tube sizes / wall thickness for the overall weight of the vehicle. As well as any particular mandated support tubes. Max number of bends in certain areas and such. These are all good things to base your chassis on.

From the sounds of what you are wanting to do a good class to use as a basis would be the Sports Racer class in the SCCA. Specifically the CSR since that is where most automotive base power plants run. This is a open class where you can design and build your own purpose built racecar. These guys share allot of their build details and should help you with suppliers of off the shelf pieces and other design ideas. Also some great aero discussions as the class was recently overtaken by floor tunnels and diffusers. They have a forum @ http://dsrforum.yuku.com/



-billy
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Old 05-20-10, 12:36 PM
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I'm going to guess he wants more street and less track than a Sports Racer. But I agree it's a good place to get ideas.
A Sports 2000 might be good to look at too since a lot of them are 2 seaters. I think they are all automotive powered, and tend to be a little older/simpler than a modern DSR/CSR.
We have a few updates to make to our DSR prototype, then we head back to the track.
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Old 05-20-10, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bwaits_ View Post
Sam, it is still good to use the competition rules for SCCA or NASA as a baseline for the chassis. These will list tube sizes / wall thickness for the overall weight of the vehicle. As well as any particular mandated support tubes. Max number of bends in certain areas and such. These are all good things to base your chassis on.

-billy
agreed. a friend of mine actually works as a suspension engineer. they decided to build a truck, and its a HUGE undertaking.

to make it street legal it needs to meet the Federal Vehicle Safety Standard (FVSS) AND the requirements from the army....
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Old 05-20-10, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Travis R View Post
We have a few updates to make to our DSR prototype, then we head back to the track.
Would love to see your progress on this. Is it posted anywhere?

I have a CSR about 75% 3D modeled. I also picked up an Elan DP02 carbon body.

One day I will get back on that project.

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Old 05-20-10, 01:35 PM
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www.zilkervehicle.com
The site hasn't been updated in a while. But the car is basically done. But we found out our front splitter isn't sturdy enough for a bumpy track, so we need to modify it.
www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1460494952311
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Old 05-20-10, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Travis R View Post
www.zilkervehicle.com
The site hasn't been updated in a while. But the car is basically done. But we found out our front splitter isn't sturdy enough for a bumpy track, so we need to modify it.
www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1460494952311
Nice! I really like the design concept on the uprights.

-billy
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