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Thread: Chassis Material

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Chassis Material

    Hi everyone, hope someone can help me out...

    I'm building a rather strange special, the basic idea is to use a front subframe and steering setup from a Mini and the full chassis and drivetrain (minus the front forks) of a Kawasaki motorbike to make a single seater three wheel special (a Tadpole).
    I'm having a bit of trouble deciding what to make the chassis out of to hold these two major parts together.
    My current thought is 40mm Mild Steel Box with a 2mm wall but I'm not sure if this would be strong enough....

    Basically I want to use Box section as it's easier to work with and get everything to mate up right for welding so what would people suggest?
    Also, as I'm pretty new to welding as well, would you use normal Mild Steel MIG wire for all types of steel?

    This is a pretty crucial part of the project so I don't want to make a mistake and get the wrong materials for the chassis!

    To give a vague idea of the chassis here are some pictures...

    Note the frame design has changed since this wooden prototype, see the new shape above. It's hard to show the connections between the top and bottom but one of the above should give some idea.
    The top section was widened to take the bucket seat (it was too narrow in this form) but the shape should add to the rigidity by having the slightly triangular profile, plus by bringing out the bottom layer it will create air scoops on both sides for the engine.

    Other pictures can be found in my Flickr page:

  2. #2

    Re: Chassis Material

    nice project, im considering doing something similar. basically the way you build your chassis depends on what you plan to use the "car" for normally. the difference between what you need for the occasional farm/backyard fun, driving it daily in the city, and track racing varies greatly.

    for something that wont be around other cars or driving fast, your design made with 1" 16gauge mild steel should be fine.

    if you plan to drive on the streets where you could potentially get hit, i'd say you chould add some more triangulation and maybe use some thicker beams along the lendth of the chassis, and definitely double up the sides of the cabins for side impact protection like F1 cars have. in case you got hit, you'd be glad to have the crumple zone next to you.

    a race chassis should be not only under regulation but also act as a full rollcage. crashing is likely one way or another, so be prepared for it
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