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Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

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  • #16
    Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

    Nah, the roadster would have to be the starting point, if/ when I build this I have to be able to get my wife in it as well so a single seater is out. And I'm not dead set on the skeleton frame, the reason I like them though is that you can set your center of gravity very low, they're very light compared to strength (also why I'm interested in using aluminum tubing instead of steel), and I'm definately looking to stick something bigger than a 4 cylinder. I could adapt the rcr-r to hold a flat 6 probably, and like I said about building a gear box to let me get creative with the placement of the transmission, and engine if need be. I like the awd because as I mentioned in the OP that 1000 bhp/ton is the target power to weight ratio, and putting all that power to the road is going to be a challenge. I like this though, I'm getting a much better idea of what I'm getting into and some really good ideas. Keep them coming guys.

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    • #17
      Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

      Come on by my shop and I can show you how much is involved with developing a sportscar/supercar from scratch...we already have a couple of flat six packages in house ...one happens to have a couple of turbos hanging off the sides

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      • #18
        Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

        RCRFran, no offense intended there about the flat 6. I'm out in Denver for gradschool right now, but sometime near the end of the year I should be back in the Midwest and would love to come check out your shop. Like I said I'm completely in the design/ brainstorming stage here right now and I may just not have any idea what I'm actually getting into here. Are any of your customers out here that would be willing to let me check out their car?

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        • #19
          Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

          Alright a couple more questions. My understanding about the Pagani Zonda is that it uses carbon fiber for the body and frame. I know nothing about carbon fiber, how would one even go about creating a frame in carbon fiber, are there any books I should pick up? Classes I should look into? Or should I just forget about it completely for now? The other question I have is about down force. Most supercars use the body to generate down force. I'm looking to use a exoskeleton type frame. Worse I'm intending to largely enclose the cockpit for the purpose of making it better suited to use anytime its not 85 and sunny. What is the best way to go about generating downforce on a skeleton type frame? RCR I think these are probably questions for you but any advice is appreciated.

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          • #20
            Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

            Originally posted by lunatic1824
            Alright a couple more questions. My understanding about the Pagani Zonda is that it uses carbon fiber for the body and frame. I know nothing about carbon fiber, how would one even go about creating a frame in carbon fiber, are there any books I should pick up? Classes I should look into? Or should I just forget about it completely for now? The other question I have is about down force. Most supercars use the body to generate down force. I'm looking to use a exoskeleton type frame. Worse I'm intending to largely enclose the cockpit for the purpose of making it better suited to use anytime its not 85 and sunny. What is the best way to go about generating downforce on a skeleton type frame? RCR I think these are probably questions for you but any advice is appreciated.
            carbon frame = bazillion dollar autoclave.
            down force = wings/spoilers/splitters or channels in the body/under tray

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            • #21
              Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

              Building a car that you are describing is a big undertaking. As far as the use of Aluminum for the frame. Welding aluminum weakens the metal. You have to consider this in the design and compensate for it or after welding have the entire frame heat treated. The first involves overbuilding it and thus creating a frame that will lose some of the weight advantage over steel that you are seeking. And aluminum cracks when flexed, steel will give. The second is expensive and it's difficult to find a facility that can do a large piece.

              As far as all wheel drive and big power. I would look at a CHEVY LS aluminum engine, turbo charged, and the C5 -C6 Corvette suspension. The front and rear spindles are identical and will accept drive axle wheelbearings. The manual diff ratio for the vette is 3:42. The S10 all wheel drive pickup uses a front dff with a 3:42 gear and is set up for independent suspension. You can use a 460-480L(the electronic auto-might have the wrong designation) tranny hooked up to a transfer case and use paddle shifters. Just some ideas.

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              • #22
                Re: Not quite a death wish but.....(building a supercar from scratch)

                Lotus bond their aluminium cars together rather than weld them. They manufactured the original Elise from nothing more than extrusions bonded together.
                An aluminium extrusion die costs in the range of $1.5k so is quite cost effective for such things.
                Would I drive a car I'd personally bonded together... Probably not as I don't have the time a patience to learn how to do it correctly. I did own an S1 Elise for a while and that was cool (as the experts had crash tested some before I had mine). It sounds so simple but even the simple questions are tough to answer in such a specialist area. For instance, does the glue flex? Does all the flex have to occur in the aluminium section? If so what amount of flex should you allow for a corresponding force in another area?
                Another though is do you want a devastating sports car (ie stupid fast and nothing can touch it but a wild animal at the edges to control) or something that's great fun to drive and quicker than 95% of the cars out there?
                I've been developing an early Subaru with a wild engine that will eat most other things on the road. And give a good few well ridden superbikes a run for their money. Just drove a friends turbo miata and it was 10x more fun to drive and super easy to control.
                Things like AWD and mid engines are great if you want that 'Animal' but they can be really scary on the limit and not that much fun to drive compared to some 'less capable' layouts.
                Don't let me put you off either of these (at the moment I have 2 STi powered subarus and a DNA 360 - mid engined MR2) just wanted to put some more thoughts your way.
                If you're not sure, try going to a local Autox event or novice school. You'll be amazed at what you can have some serious fun with!

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