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Thread: Tube Chassis Design

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Tube Chassis Design

    hi everyone, my names steve, long time reader, first time poster. i just had a couple of questions regarding tube chassis for kit cars that i was hoping you guys could help me out. a little bit about myself before the questions just to better help you understand my situation. i have taken a lot of courses on autocad and solidworks so i should be fine in terms of making a model of it. in terms of cars i dont know too much but would like to get into that whole field of work. now on to the questions:

    1.) any recommendations on books or videos that could help me get started with designing and building a tube chassis?
    2.) appox. how much does it cost to build an average tube chassis?
    3.) is there any software (other than autocad or solidworks) that could help with the design?
    4.) if i want to focus just on design and construction of the tubular chassis, what kind of course/subject should i be looking at if i want to take a class on it?
    5.) if a fiberglass panel is made to fit a chassis, how exactly is it attached?
    6.) how difficult is it to build a proper interior for a car with a tube chassis? ive seen a lot of locost 7 replicas but their interiors are pretty basic.
    edit* 7.) if this is the wrong place to ask, i apologize, is there any other forums or websites that might be dedicated to this topic?

    any help to these questions would be greatly appreciated thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    mooresville, nc 28115

    Re: Tube Chassis Design

    hey steve, well first off being a long time fabricator i can tell you thier is a local college here that offers a course on the chassis, where you at? i also know that they use a particular book to teach out of. i also supply this book with every chassis i sell. it covers all the basics of chassis desgin, and set up. and also exsplains the basic functions and understand of the whole works. you should be able to build and set up a chassis with this book. (chassis engineering by herb adams)

    the cost of tubing can and does vary alot, depending on what are you live in. here where i live tubing cost alittle more due to the fact this is nascar country.

    thier is software out their to help assist in setting up the chassis, but i dont know of any for building one.

    as far as attaching panels. well thier is a number of ways to doing this either bonding steel or alum. to the panel, or place ment of the tubing or mounting tab during the construction of the panel is the most common. you need to chose the latter very carefully.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Tube Chassis Design

    There is a large range of costs building a chassis, depending almost entirely on how complete it is and how much work you do yourself. The cheapest way is to mount four wheels and an engine/trans on a bench and connect the dots by tacking everything together, then taking the frame to a certified welder with a flattable. Obviously you need to know about suspension dynamics and geometry, metal strengths, joining techniques, etc. You could build one of these for under $3,000.00. You would then start adding all the brackets, and sheet metal for interior, firewall, bulkhead, and inner fenders. You also need to add brackets for all the small items - brake line brackets, hose brackets and clamps, all the hinges, latches, springs, steering column, seats, motor mounts, trans mounts, exhaust mounts, body mounts, bumper mounts, heating/air conditioning dryer, evaporator, heater core, radiator(s), etc. This is where the time and money is spent and why so few people ever finish these projects. A chassis that is ready to go with all the brackets, mountings, and threaded holes will run up north of $15,000.00.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Tube Chassis Design

    What you could also do is make a hybrid unibody-tube chassis, Ive seen it a few times with Feiro-based lambos.

    They use the fiero basic open top tub, and use tube framing on the top, where the fiberglass diablo/murci shell is mounted...still very lightweight yet, you get to maintain all the original suspension, etc, etc, etc....

    It is also essentially what Extreme does with their MR2 based Murci as well, but I guess could be done custom for just about any exotic...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Re: Tube Chassis Design

    Here is a site that has numerous books and computer programs for chassis and suspension design. You will need a fully equiped fabrication/machine shop or you will need to have the work done somewhere. The Herb Adams book is good but I would also recommend all of the Carroll Smith books as well as How to Make Your Car Handle by Fred Puhn. There are also books about how Chapman designed some of the Lotus chassis that are very helpful.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Tube Chassis Design

    Backbone tube chassis is a type of an automobile construction chassis that is similar to the body-on-frame design. Instead of a two-dimensional ladder type structure, it consists of a strong tubular backbone.
    Read more:-

    lists of cars

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