It looks like nothing is happening with my project, but there's actually a lot going on that just doesn't photograph well. Here's the lowdown as of today.
1) I've got the evaluation version of SusProg3D and I'm learning it's capabilities. I'll need to redesign the front and rear suspension of the Gibbs chassis to suit my 1994 Mustang donor. It's a very interesting program and I think it will help a lot with the design tasks. I fully intend to buy the program when I get to the stage where I have all the critical measurements of the donor suspension pieces and can actually be doing it for real.
2) In the mean time, I'm busy reading the best suspension design how-to books by Allan Staniforth, Herb Adams, Len Terry and Collin Campbell. I love the stuff, but "my head runneth over" although it is starting to sink in little by little.
3) I thought I'd found a solution to converting the '94 Mustang strut uprights to SLA front suspension. I've not found a 100% certain solution, but one vendor has pieces that extend and convert the Mustang uprights to SLA and they have been used successfully in racing, so I think there's a solution out there. However, I haven't got the definite commitment of the vendor that it will work - yet.
4) When looking at the Renault Cleo radiator used with the Gibbs chassis, I know there is zero change a unit of that size will service a 3.8L, Ford V6 even stock, and I plan to get it up to perhaps 250 HP in the final, installed state. I need see what other have done for cooling with larger engines and see what impact that will have on the design of the front frame.
5) I'm half way through a great welding class at my local college and learning all 4 fundamental electric welding processes: stick, TIG, MIG and flux core wire feed. Stick welding sucks, but I love TIG and I know the cheaper MIG process will cover the basics of steel and aluminum for the Locost. I don't think flux cored is the way to go, so it's a choice between TIG and MIG, which I'll have to make in a month or two.
6) Last, but definitely not least, I'm proceeding along very well with my Advanced SolidWorks Class. It's been very challenging, but exciting as well. Thankfully, the instructor is a total car guy and he is letting me model the Gibbs chassis from the Haynes book as my final project for the class. That's not due until May, so I've got a pretty good window of opportunity to work on it. I'll attache a screen shot of what I did today, which is just the bottom, main chassis rails plus the front frame. Much remains to be done, but progress is being made.
15 April 2009 update:
7) The SolidWorks model continues to grow. It's been a very interesting process. Many of the dimensions given in the book are suitable for actual construction of the chassis in (real life) metal, but not that useful for SolidWorks modeling. Of course, the purpose of the book IS to make it possible to construct it, so it's working exactly as designed. However, when you need to make a 3D model from the book, a number of dimensions for the chassis members must be calculated and placed accurately. It's not practical to create every piece-part from the appendices and then assemble them together in one big model.
For example, constructing member D7 as shown in figure 4.8 takes some doing from a SolidWorks 3D sketch so that when trimmed to lower chassis rail BR5 the forward, upper end of D7 ends up lying 491.5 mm from the back edge of BR5. It can be done, but it isn't trivial. Hopefully, an updated snapshot of the chassis will appear below.
File comment: It is now just about at "second stage" as Chris calls it.
Stage2-Gibbs-Locost.jpg [ 174.19 KiB | Viewed 5454 times ]
File comment: It's a start!
Small-Btm-Rail+Front-Frame.jpg [ 36.84 KiB | Viewed 8207 times ]
Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.
Last edited by Lonnie-S on Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.