Step 2: Chassis Fabrication
We figured that the chassis needed to happen first, but the body was probably going to be the most work.
We were fortunate that the fine folks over at Display Devices allowed us access to some of their machinery after hours. This access meant that we had the ability to water jet cut some parts. This opened up doors! We started off running the water jet to cut out our steering column, this piece is intended to be the centerpiece of our build, a full Ferrari horse is prominently presented in the middle of the steering column and it looks amazing!
From there the entire chassis was cut in pieces from flat sheet stock. This chassis had to be pieced together and welded section by section to create a custom tube chassis.
Our process continued and worked toward a complete setup. The frame was a bit of a challenge, the angles that we had were definitely tough to replicate and we did not have a jig in order to build this thing properly, but we managed to get the chassis together within 1/16th inch of square, so we must be doing something right!
The chassis was assembled and we required our wheels to be built in order to finish the chassis setup. We looked around and came up with DMR 20mm thru axle disc hubs. These hubs combined with our Schwinn Stingray 20inch wheels made for a killer combo. The fine folks over at Excel Sports Boulder built these things up for us, and dished them as far to the inside as possible so they would look as much like a car wheel as we could manage.
Once the wheels were assembled and the tires were mounted we mounted to the chassis, now we had to construct a front steering mechanism. Originally we planned on a Kart steering style, with two push links to steer the craft. We ended up deciding on a Pitman Arm with a drag link to replicate what would be in a real car. The assembly turned out nice including custom machined Pitman Arm and drag link, multi position steering column to allow for adjustment of the steering sensitivity and custom bent steering knuckles for each side of the car.
At this point the chassis needed one more thing, Brakes. It is tough to go if you know you can't stop. So we started working on the brake installation. A simple mounting system was devised for our 4 wheel disc brake system and everything was welded up.
Once mounted, the chassis went through a thorough testing process and a few plates were added to the underside to increase the stiffness of the chassis. We then welded a few more sections to add to the stiffness and prep the chassis for paint.
Body mounts were added to the chassis as well, we decided to sink them into the chassis so there was minimal material sticking out when the body was not in use.
The next step in the build process was paint. We painted the chassis a matte black. As good as we are, our car still has a few highs and lows and Matte black is the way to make those a little less apparent. So primer and paint.
While the paint was going on we were working on other projects as well, including upholstering the seats.
Bleeding the Brakes
and chewing on waterbottles
When the chassis was ready we started our assembly. We started with the seats, steering and wheels.
Then moved on to installing our brakes and finishing touches.
The chassis is basically done, we will do a bit of touching up to some areas of the chassis and we will likely make a few more modifications as the week goes by. Our wheels will be checked again for tension and true, our brakes may be bled again just for giggles but overall we are ready to run!