Build your own car from SCRATCH?!


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sgraber
09-09-2004, 01:45 AM
Anyone else on this forum building their own car from scratch?

I'm not talking about kit cars... I mean start with a pile of steel and an idea and go from there.

I'm almost done with mine, but I've been wondering how many others here on this forum are out there building from scratch?

http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/21718-1/GRABER.jpg


http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/21593-1/Bala-Wallpaper2.jpg

ec437
09-09-2004, 01:54 AM
dude, thats freakin' awesome!!! you wanna build me one too?

But seriously... did you custom design all the components like transmission and engine as well, or did you buy those whole?

sgraber
09-09-2004, 05:25 PM
dude, thats freakin' awesome!!! you wanna build me one too?

But seriously... did you custom design all the components like transmission and engine as well, or did you buy those whole?

My current engine/transaxle is 4AGE out of an MR2, but in reality the cars engine bay is completely open to any FWD drivetrain. (Try to think of some good ones, it'll fit. :) ) The only real issue is adapting the shifter mechanism. But that's pretty straight forward too.

Did you visit my site? I have hundreds of photos, some videos and a construction diary dating back to 2002.

mospeed1
09-09-2004, 06:12 PM
how do you go about making it street legal
vin numbers?
insurance?
would you register it as a mr2?

lamborghinirocks
09-09-2004, 06:13 PM
thats awesome, i bet almost everyone here has thought about building their own car, but you're actually doing it!!! :thumbsup:

sgraber
09-09-2004, 08:25 PM
Registering -- I did a writeup on this subject about a year ago that you are welcome to read. Here (http://www.grabercars.com/azdmvrequirements.html) -- Basically it will be registered the same way as a dune-buggy!:screwy: A specially constructed vehicle. The emissions will be tested to the year of the engine. After the car is finished it is towed to the DMV office and a level 3 inspection is performed by a police officer. Upon passing the inspection, a VIN is stamped onto the frame. Paperwork is then taken into the DMV and an application for title and registration is submitted, fees are paid and hopefully I go away with 10 day plates and title. Then it's off to the emissions station for the sniff and hopefully again, a pass... back to the dmv for the final plates and tags.

Insurance is up to your carrier. It is something I am still looking into. My last car was a kit car and my agent allowed me to add a rider to my homeowners coverage... I never wrecked it, so I can't validate if that was wise or not. :cwm27:

Every state is different tho, so your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Starting to build your own car from scratch is not difficult, it's FINISHING that's proving to be hard! :lol2:

FireBball972
09-09-2004, 09:07 PM
thats amazing! something everyone wants to do! good luck with getting it approved by the police and DMV and whatnot. :thumbsup:

sgraber
09-13-2004, 11:52 AM
thats amazing! something everyone wants to do! good luck with getting it approved by the police and DMV and whatnot. :thumbsup:

Thanks! - I get the feeling that the registration process will sort itself out pretty smoothly. I have kept detailed records of everything.

I spent the weekend working on the drivers side bodywork and I have it very very close to finished. By next weekend I should be ready to transpose all the shapes from the drivers side to the passenger side. That's going to be a REAL PITA! :banghead:

falco1
09-15-2004, 11:37 AM
Great job man I will be starting my own some day
I am doing my elana body and the mc12 at this time and the scrab gtr
will be starting a murc kit next mounth .
tube chassis are already in the works will show when i get them done
We are useing a cosworth engine in a mid engine setup
and painless wireing and custome built interior .
I have been :banghead: for sometime you know it cost money to do these things and dont have a lot but I am always working on it

Pictures of my body on this webpage
http://kustumexotics.tripod.com
wow nice job again

Rex Orr
09-26-2004, 08:07 PM
That is a nice peice of work. Will you be molding it when you get the design done? Rex

sgraber
09-27-2004, 12:46 AM
That is a nice peice of work. Will you be molding it when you get the design done? Rex

Thanks Rex, I checked out your website and you are doing some really neat stuff with the hotrods.

My car is very unlike your typical hotrod. I am aiming for low weight, low c/g. No frills. More like a Lotus Elise... or you could even make an argument that it is like a 4 wheel sport-bike with seats and a windshield. :iceslolan Where it's just you and the machine. A basic driving interface and not much else. When I finished the car (pre-body) I put it on the scales and found out that it weighs less than 1,200Lbs! That's a light car.

And to answer your question Rex, yes, I am planning on making molds but I haven't decided how-where to sell it yet.

Graber

muddymike2003
09-27-2004, 02:20 AM
how many hours do you think you have put into it? I am planning to build one later this fall.......i have gotten a lot of ideas just by lookin at ur website...i am almost done designing the car how i want it to look, but is there a cheep program to do this on the computer? cuz im havin a little trouble designing the frame....... and how much do you think you would sell the molds for if you did?

sgraber
09-27-2004, 01:47 PM
how many hours do you think you have put into it? I am planning to build one later this fall.......i have gotten a lot of ideas just by lookin at ur website...i am almost done designing the car how i want it to look, but is there a cheep program to do this on the computer? cuz im havin a little trouble designing the frame....... and how much do you think you would sell the molds for if you did?

You can design your own frame. But you must understand how the forces will be transmitted through the chassis and how to optimize your suspension geometry for the goals you set for the car. IMHO Suspension design is the #1 most difficult part of designing the car. Making a good chassis is actually much more simple. It's a matter of providing attachment for your suspension at the correct locations front and rear, providing room for the passengers, space for the engine and all ancilliary components and then making it stiff enough to allow the suspension to do it's work and not fall apart. There are a number of great books on the subject. I wish I could list them all for you here and now, but I am headed out to a meeting. I'll get back here later with a good reading list.

FYI - I spent a lot of time building models of my frame designs out of Balsa wood sticks and wood glue. It really helps to get a feel for how effective your designs are.

I don't plan on selling the molds, but I will hopefully sell the bodies and either kits or plans for the chassis. I don't have any prior experience in this field, but I would venture to guess that a body kit, (that would be just the fiberglass for the body and mounting the body) will be in the 3-5K range. But don't hold me to that price because I just don't know. :disappoin

In any case, this will NOT be an expensive car to build. It will be much less than most cars in it's performance bracket.

sgraber
09-28-2004, 12:30 PM
I just realized that I didn't answer your question! Sorry bout that.

I and just passing the 2 year mark. I expect to spend another 6 months on the body. Then it's registration and drive time! Drive to the track, thrash on everyone for a while and drive it home. Street/Track car. :)

BTW - Here is a shot of my current state of progress:
http://www.grabercars.com/images/stories/albums/Sept-25%2C-04/IMG_0024.sized.jpg

http://www.grabercars.com/images/stories/albums/album16/IMG_0019.thumb.jpgHere's a small piccy of the rear (lotsa work still needed here) Yes, that's a flat bottom and a diffuser in the works...
Now that the weather is cooling down it will be much easier to motivate into the garage!

muddymike2003
09-28-2004, 01:58 PM
that car.... look sweet as candy :D lol it kind of reminds me of corvettes! Suspension will be the hardest part, i know.. i want to have the car mainly be a everyday driver with a trip to the track every once in a while. do you know the best suspension setup for this offhand? on the frame did you use mdf or just hard board, and will you take the hard board out when its done so it will be lighter yet? ur car must fly at only 1200 lbs!! just...watch out for any strong winds....

sgraber
09-28-2004, 03:36 PM
that car.... look sweet as candy :D lol it kind of reminds me of corvettes! Suspension will be the hardest part, i know.. i want to have the car mainly be a everyday driver with a trip to the track every once in a while. do you know the best suspension setup for this offhand? on the frame did you use mdf or just hard board, and will you take the hard board out when its done so it will be lighter yet? ur car must fly at only 1200 lbs!! just...watch out for any strong winds....

The body (as you see it) is only temporary. It is what is called a Plug or a Buck. Wood, putty, foam, and more is sculpted into what is to all appearances a finished car. With a show car finish. But it's only purpose is to have a mold created over top of it. Once the mold is pulled the body that I worked so hard to create will be destroyed when I remove it from the car. But the mold (which is a female impression of the car) will be used to lay-up thin layers of fiberglass (or carbon fiber) which will be pulled out of the mold. This creates the shell of the car which is then mounted back onto the frame to create the final car. The nice part about having molds is that I will be able to make as many bodies as I need.

before I started on the body the car had been driven (up to about 60Mph at midnight) through my neighborhood, please don't tell my wife! and the road surface was smooth. I don't know yet how it will handle the bumps and potholes of a regular road. I suspect that it will be a stiff ride and since the car has no top, no heater and no radio (you can add your own when you build your car thanks, but I don't want it) it's not reeeally a "daily-driver" but I will try it and let you know how it goes. I suspect that the thrill of blasting around in a lightweight mini supercar will be nice though. :iceslolan I plan on driving it to work and back regularly. You don't really care about those luxury items when you hop onto a sport-bike do you?

Remember - quickness through lightness.

muddymike2003
09-28-2004, 06:16 PM
thats wut i thought, but i wasn't sure, thank ya! ive built fiberglass sound systems and leave the frame in there so that it could stand the vibration so it doesnt crack but this is different and wasn't sure...

I'm not planning on putting luxury stuff in it, unless i make it so that i can take it out fast and easy and only have that stuff for shows :D

that car is going to look and be fast as hell when its all done!!! u got skill

sgraber
09-29-2004, 11:55 AM
Thought you guys might like to see the balance point on the car. I am lifting the front end with two fingers. Once the driver gets in , the center of gravity moves directly below the drivers seat.

http://www.grabercars.com/images/stories/AKO_Gallery/img_pictures/upandrunning11_20040624_779819659.jpg

JoonTae
10-02-2004, 08:31 AM
Sick dude! Are you gonna keep it a one piece body or cut it for sectioned body panels?

sgraber
10-04-2004, 04:22 PM
It'll be built in at least 5 seperate panels. Although a one-piece would certainly be easier... But engine access would be difficult.

Graber

JoonTae
10-04-2004, 06:50 PM
I second the mutly panels. It's just better. Looks beautiful.

jcsaleen
10-06-2004, 05:14 PM
Bravo.

I like people who do work them selves. I give you alot of credit for that. Hope it comes out well.

Btw hello joontae havent seen u here often.

JoonTae
10-06-2004, 09:36 PM
Yeah I sometimes go out of the street racing forum lol. I get bored every so often and check out other forums. I check here cause they have cool micro cars from Europe in this forum. I'm cathin up in post numbers lol.

sgraber
11-18-2004, 02:05 PM
Hi Guys. A quick update. I have totally revamped the look of my website. In addition I am almost finished with the rough plug building and expect that I will be pulling molds of the shape in early January! It's been over 2 years to get to this point.

You can visit my site Here (http://www.grabercars.com)

Here is a photo of the "almost finished" passenger side. Just need one or 2 more coats of filler and a final sanding. It is within 1/4" accurate to the Drivers side. That was hard to do!

http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/Nov_15_04_Passenger/IMG_0052.sized.jpg

Coltion
12-09-2004, 05:28 PM
-With the front revamped and the new idea to the rear, the car is really coming together swell.
-http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=42

sgraber
12-11-2004, 12:00 PM
-With the front revamped and the new idea to the rear, the car is really coming together swell.
-http://www.grabercars.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=42 (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=42)
Thanks, I thought that I would be ready to primer the car and start final sand-downs this weekend, but as I continue to refine the shape I keep seeing ways to improve it. I am working on the tail-lights and the headlights the entire weekend. I had a GREAT idea for the tail lights and how they integrate into the bodywork and am really excited about implementing it. Stay tuned to my website for more updates. :grinyes:

sgraber
12-13-2004, 02:28 PM
Just a quick update to let you know that I have uploaded some new videos on my website shot this morning. You can watch them here:http://www.grabercars.com/index.php?option=content&task=blogcategory&id=10&Itemid=31 (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?option=content&task=blogcategory&id=10&Itemid=31)

Here are some thumbnails showing the most recent progress on the car.

http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/album21/IMG_0022.thumb.jpg (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?set_albumName=album21&id=IMG_0022&option=com_gallery&Itemid=47&include=view_photo.php) http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/album21/IMG_0025.thumb.jpg (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?set_albumName=album21&id=IMG_0025&option=com_gallery&Itemid=47&include=view_photo.php) http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/album21/IMG_0043.thumb.jpg (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?set_albumName=album21&id=IMG_0043&option=com_gallery&Itemid=47&include=view_photo.php)

http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/album21/IMG_0040.thumb.jpg (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?set_albumName=album21&id=IMG_0040&option=com_gallery&Itemid=47&include=view_photo.php) http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/images/stories/albums/album21/IMG_0042.thumb.jpg (http://www.grabercars.com/Mambosite/index.php?set_albumName=album21&id=IMG_0042&option=com_gallery&Itemid=47&include=view_photo.php)

I managed to recruit two local brothers, James and Jason, to help me with the bodywork since my back is going out intermittently. They have been an unbelievable find. Hard working, talented guys, and they observe things very similar to me so it's easy to talk about something that needs to be done and just let them do it! Is that cool or what?!

Cryo boy
12-15-2004, 09:36 PM
You my friend are the most patient man the I have ever had the pleasure of observing... bravo, bravo

sgraber
12-17-2004, 07:32 PM
Believe it or not, guys that build experimantal aircraft are even MORE so! :D I knew a guy that spent 10 years building an airplane in his basement. One day he decided that it was time to take it outside. One small problem. the wing he had built didn't fit up the stairs! Being a creative person he simply dug a hole beside the house, knocked the basment wall out and took the wing out the side of the house!

And I actually thought about building my car in my backyard... but then I measured the width of my gate and decided that it was a baaaad idea! LOL

82KnightRider
12-19-2004, 03:46 AM
I was curious and clicked "Other Cars "catagory and couldnt help but notice this thread.Thats an awsome ride,but does the hood open or is the engine going in the rear?

sgraber
12-23-2004, 03:04 PM
I was curious and clicked "Other Cars "catagory and couldnt help but notice this thread.Thats an awsome ride,but does the hood open or is the engine going in the rear?

Both the front and the rear bodywork will clamshell open. Like the Koenigsegg.

The engine is mid-mounted behind the driver but in front of the rear wheels. Where it should be in a proper sports car. :lol2: :grinyes:

sgraber
01-03-2005, 08:07 PM
Here's a quick update showing the rear of the car. It's still missing the diffuser and the exhaust in this image.

http://locostbuilders.co.uk/upload/RearEnd-Edited.jpg

psychorallyfreak
01-19-2005, 09:42 PM
Absolutely amazing.
I had daydreamed a time or two about building a rear-engined buggy, simply by looking at the "powerpack" of an old Saab 900.
Because the engine sits on top of the tranny, it would be immensely easy (IMHO) to remove if needed.
What made you think of using the Toyota drivetrain?

sgraber
01-20-2005, 10:54 AM
Absolutely amazing.
I had daydreamed a time or two about building a rear-engined buggy, simply by looking at the "powerpack" of an old Saab 900.
Because the engine sits on top of the tranny, it would be immensely easy (IMHO) to remove if needed.
What made you think of using the Toyota drivetrain?

IMHO the Saab drivetrain is ideal for a Middy. I say go for it!

The Toyota drivetrain that I used is out of an MR2 which is already mid-engine. The reason I used this package is because the shifter mechanism was already solved for mid-engine position. The MR2 engine is actually the Corolla FWD engine, but with a bit different transmission configuration. Now that I know how Toyota did theirs, I think it would be very easy to adapt ANY FWD drivetrain into a mid-engine car. For my part I have decided to offer the car as a kit and already have people buying and planning to use an Integra B18, as well as another plans a GNX with Audi5000 transaxle, as well as another with a ZX12 or R1 bike engine... Oh man, do I have some plans! :D

Seademon
02-26-2005, 08:51 PM
That car is awsome!! A mate and i are looking to build something simlar. You mentioned there were some good books on chassis and suspension design, are there any that you would specifically reccomend?

Thanks
-Andrew

sgraber
02-28-2005, 10:06 AM
That car is awsome!! A mate and i are looking to build something simlar. You mentioned there were some good books on chassis and suspension design, are there any that you would specifically reccomend?

Thanks
-Andrew
Here is a list of books that I have found mention of over the years.

Steves List of Recommended Reading for Car Builders (http://www.grabercars.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=2)

I haven't read nearly any of these books, but there you have them!

Graber

Seademon
02-28-2005, 10:36 PM
Thanx for the list, im sure it will be of great help. When we have something substantial to show im sure you will be the first to see it :), your work is a great inspiration to me.

Ghetto-z
03-01-2005, 12:48 PM
What tools did you use, i just finished laying the foundation to extend my garage so i can start a project of somesort. i have built a few go carts from scratch and i really have wanted to step it up a notch, maybe a bigger go kart with a Vtwin motor, 6speed tranny and a suspension for now, but down the road I would LOVE to design and Build a sports car.

I like the tube frame idea, did you a hydraulic pipe bender, or did you weld together pre bought mandrel bends? what did you use for the welding, MIG? TIG?

wow, i would LOVE to pick your brain about suspension setups! how did you finally decide to go with a gas strut A arm suspension (that is what your using right?)

one last question if you dont mind, what is your budget thus far,

PS your my idol :thumbsup:

sgraber
03-01-2005, 02:52 PM
What tools did you use, i just finished laying the foundation to extend my garage so i can start a project of somesort. i have built a few go carts from scratch and i really have wanted to step it up a notch, maybe a bigger go kart with a Vtwin motor, 6speed tranny and a suspension for now, but down the road I would LOVE to design and Build a sports car.

I like the tube frame idea, did you a hydraulic pipe bender, or did you weld together pre bought mandrel bends? what did you use for the welding, MIG? TIG?

wow, i would LOVE to pick your brain about suspension setups! how did you finally decide to go with a gas strut A arm suspension (that is what your using right?)

one last question if you dont mind, what is your budget thus far,

PS your my idol :thumbsup:

Hey, let's see if I can answer these questions quick. I have a big deadline here at the office.

I used 1x1x .063 (16ga) rhs steel almost exlusively. Very little round. The windshield and rollbar were both bent up at a friends house, but could be done by a friendly muffler shop just as easily.

Very simple tools really. An angle grinder with a cutoff blade and a bunch of sanding flap discs, a sawzall, a bunch of clamps of various sizes, a big burly vise, your basic toolbox of pliers, screwdrivers etc, and of course a half decent MIG welder with gas and a lot of practice welding.

I am not dead ceratin that my suspension design is the best possible solution. I have actually designed the entire front cradle to be removable so that I can build other suspension designs on the table and bolt them into place without rebuilding the entire car. Reasons I chose motorcycle shocks and pullrods with bellcranks. Cost, cool factor, rising rate and readily available and tuneable completely adjustable dampers.

Cost? Donor car - Free (Sold most of it for about $800 profit) A pile of steel, some stuff off of ebay, seats, pedals, windshield, etc... - Total project costs are way WAY under 5,000. But I still have to do the bodywork and that alone will be in the 10's of thousands.

You MUST realize that I have spent over 2 years finding solutions that would result in the lowest cost possible with the highest possible performance and lowest weight. Most people won't or can't go to these lengths to lower costs. :grinno: :screwy:

Ghetto-z
03-01-2005, 06:09 PM
thak you, i appreciate the help, btw you dont want to adopt a 17 yo kid do you... i dont eat much and i can sleep in the garage!

sgraber
03-01-2005, 06:24 PM
thak you, i appreciate the help, btw you dont want to adopt a 17 yo kid do you... i dont eat much and i can sleep in the garage!


LOL! You're welcome. I believe that information wants to be free.

No adoptions, sorry. I have my hands full already. Besides, my dog would eat you.
:eek7:

sgraber
01-16-2006, 01:10 PM
Just thought I should post a quick update. I am almost finished with the bodywork phase of my car and will be pulling molds within the month.

I decided to add doors and an optional hard top for the next version. Here are some recent photos and some renderings of where the bodywork will hinge.

I hope you like my progress! It's been a long process, but I am totally commited to making this car come to life, while at the same time keeping the cost incredibly low.

http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/3256-2/LaBala_Primer_Second_Coat_Day2+010.jpg
http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/3253-2/LaBala_Primer_Second_Coat_Day2+006.jpg

http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/3125-1/Bala+Tilt+Hood+and+trunk+3.jpg

http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/3139-1/Bala+Top+1.jpg

G-man422
01-16-2006, 01:17 PM
That thing is going to look great! red looks good. what type of engine are you planning to put in it?

sgraber
01-16-2006, 03:37 PM
I am currently using a 1.6L 4AGE. My next one will use the 2.2L Supercharged Ecotec like this:
http://www.gmgoodwrench.com/perfparts/images/parts/large/12499466_large.jpg
That's a GM crate motor:
12499466 Ecotec 2.0L Supercharged Production Engine
This supercharged 4 cylinder Crate Engine (RPO LSJ) features the following:
DOHC with Sequential Fuel Injection
Bore is 86.00 mm and Stroke 86.00 mm with 9.5:1 compression ratio
205 Horsepower @ 5600 RPM and 200 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM torque
This engine powers the Saturn ION Redline

I also have considered VW 1.8T or VR6, the Honda B16 and B18 and the K20, the Dodge SRT4, Subaru EJ20, the list is really, really long! And they all would fit! :D

supervisor1886
01-17-2006, 09:42 PM
Man, People like You built the USA. You make proud.

The only thing is that your choice of the engine here seems nice (the numbers are pretty good and its light), but not a v8? Even if you dont want a v8 why not at least a 4.3 vortec-a six- maybe some turbo and you will be making lotsa hp staying pretty light.

sgraber
01-17-2006, 11:44 PM
Man, People like You built the USA. You make proud.

The only thing is that your choice of the engine here seems nice (the numbers are pretty good and its light), but not a v8? Even if you dont want a v8 why not at least a 4.3 vortec-a six- maybe some turbo and you will be making lotsa hp staying pretty light.

Thanks, I really appreciate that.

You're right a V8 would be awesome. And the Northstar will fit just fine. Also any of the v-6's would fit no problem either. The key about my car, and it's one that if you know about the Elise you might understand, is that the ultra-light weight will give INCREDIBLE performance out of smaller engines. This car weighs only 1,400Lbs when completed. And without bodywork and it interior weighs only 1,126Lbs! With a V8 and all that torque you would have a very very hard time keeping the tires from spinning all the time. Seriously. I think that 250HP and 200Lb/ft torque is a power level that will blow away almost every single production car in the world.

I've had so much interest in the car that I am starting to put together all the items required to make a kit for it. So if you want to put a V8 in it, I can get you started on that path. Realize that I don't have anything to sell just yet, but if you sign up on my website I will keep you informed when I get closer to production.

sgraber
04-09-2006, 12:57 PM
Here's an update for you. I've finished working on the plug and am now laying up the molds. I've written some new diary entries explaining what the process is and how a am doing it. http://www.grabercars.com

http://www.grabercars.com/gallery2/d/3389-1/DSC01449.JPG

sgraber
04-09-2006, 01:04 PM
BTW - This is what the plug looked like before I started laying up the production molds over top of it.

Looks pretty cool huh? Kinda like a skunkworks stealth fighter! :evillol: You can right-click on the image below and make desktop wallpaper out of it.

http://www.locostbuilders.co.uk/viewthread.php?action=attachment&tid=41263&pid=343518

GreyGoose006
04-25-2006, 06:00 PM
This is all just AMAZING...
all i can say is WOW, and for 5,000!!!
looks like a hot-rod solstice, on steroids.

supervisor, a V8 would be awesome, but you would probly need AWD to handle the torque.

theres an idea, a Mid-engined, V8 powered, AWD, Custom built, racer, all for under 10,000, and under 2,000 Lbs.
SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NewyorkKopter
05-25-2006, 07:19 PM
wow thats awesome. I was just wondering, how much is the car going to cost you from start to finish?

mmcleo11
05-30-2006, 06:05 AM
WOW, man. I am REALLY impressed. I can see that a LOT of time, effort and $$ has gone into your car. Nice choice on the 4AGE engine, there is also the 4AGZE supercharged version and also a DOHC 5 valve per cylinder with quad throttle bodies version of this motor that would bolt straight up!! Both engines make over 160Hp from a 1.6L!!
I should also mention the ECOTEC motor that was listed on a previous page is actually a 2L motor if it has a 86mm bore and 86mm stroke. It would still be a awesome setup!!

I am about to begin constructing my own vehicle as well. I bought a wreck on a Autobacs Garaiya from Japan and plan to swap over the good bits into a custom built all alloy frame, coil over suspension, rose jointed suspension arms and some very well developed brakes ;)

I also follow the light weight = great car philosophy. I am aiming for 800Kg(1760Lbs) from my car as our local laws require that engine capacity is directly related to minimum weight of the vehicle. My donor car was also rear engine, 6 speed manual RWD from the factory so I got a big bonus there ;)

I have an SR20VET engine to be fitted, with 276Hp@crankshaft in standard form. My final goal is extracting close to 800Hp from the engine with performance to shame anything this side of a Bugatti Quad-turbo W16 Veyron!

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I def appreciate your work. It has given me some great ideas to incorporate into my draft design.

Thanks again.

sgraber
06-13-2006, 08:42 PM
mmcleo, if you need any help with anything just let me know. I am not a professional, but I do have a little bit of experience now.

This little car would rock'nroll with so many different engines. That's why I built it to accept almost any FWD drivetrain, plus big-bore bike engines. :screwy::grinyes::naughty:

Building a chassis from scratch using my proven cost-saving methods such as shopping for used items on ebay, buying steel from a salvage yard, purchasing the donor car at an insurance auction for next to nothing and ABOVE ALL doing all the work yourself would cost less than $5,000 total. (including tools!) But the problem is that people are lazy. Well that's not a problem really. Just replace labor with $. And creativity with $. And patience with $. The cost can easily go into the 10's of thousands if you had someone design and build the car for you. What kind of sacrifices are YOU willing to make? :2cents::nono:

The real cost that can't be avoided is the bodywork. I am going to have to sell bodies and kits just to pay the bill! Mould making is not for the weak or meek.

NewyorkKopter
06-16-2006, 10:20 AM
oh, so how much would it be if I were to hire someone to make me a custom tube chassis that can handle 800 hp with 800 ft.lbs of torque? Also how much would the bodywork have cost if you hired someone to make it for you?

sgraber
06-16-2006, 12:08 PM
NewyorkKopter, There are tons of places that can fabricate a chassis to support the Hp/Tq figures you are quoting. Many, many lambo replica chassis are already capable of that and you can just order one and be done.

Your bodywork question is too open-ended to be able to answer it. Are u providing a 3d design that is ready to be cnc'd? a couple of sketches? do you know the dimensions and all of the specifics for the detail work? I guess what I am trying to say is this: When you build it yourself, you can afford to spend as much time as you want making changes and tweaking things and you will get the product as you envision it. If you hire someone or some company to make it for you, then you either give them exact and specific details on what you want in the form of cad drawings, or you constantly make changes to their work. If every hour of someones labor is going to cost you $45, then how many hours can you afford before you say "NO MAS!" ... It might be completely open ended! Just depends on what you want and how many compromises you are willing to make?

Hard material costs for making the mold are over $10K

NewyorkKopter
06-16-2006, 02:33 PM
oh, point taken, but I'd be able to supply them with a 3d model of the car exactly how I would want it to be...then how much would it be?

sgraber
06-16-2006, 04:48 PM
oh, point taken, but I'd be able to supply them with a 3d model of the car exactly how I would want it to be...then how much would it be?

Remember, I built my own car. I have no experience with companies that fabricate this stuff. But just for shits and giggles check out the car 9DP1) built by Dennis over at www.dpcars.net . I think he spent over 30K having the moulds made for his project. He supplied a company with 3D files. I don't know if his cost included getting the first car out of the molds, or if that was more.

NewyorkKopter
06-17-2006, 08:35 AM
oh, thanks. that body looks like its carbon fiber :naughty: So how much is your car going to cost you from start to finish?

kevinthenerd
06-20-2006, 07:53 PM
Thanks, I really appreciate that.

You're right a V8 would be awesome. And the Northstar will fit just fine. Also any of the v-6's would fit no problem either. The key about my car, and it's one that if you know about the Elise you might understand, is that the ultra-light weight will give INCREDIBLE performance out of smaller engines. This car weighs only 1,400Lbs when completed. And without bodywork and it interior weighs only 1,126Lbs! With a V8 and all that torque you would have a very very hard time keeping the tires from spinning all the time. Seriously. I think that 250HP and 200Lb/ft torque is a power level that will blow away almost every single production car in the world.

I've had so much interest in the car that I am starting to put together all the items required to make a kit for it. So if you want to put a V8 in it, I can get you started on that path. Realize that I don't have anything to sell just yet, but if you sign up on my website I will keep you informed when I get closer to production.
The thing is, too, that the ECOTEC motor is very versatile with GM parts. If you pick up the "GM Sport Compact Performance Build Book" (available online for free), you can build up the stock ECOTEC motor into just about any power you can imagine. The stock internals can handle 250hp reliably (or 350 hp at their breaking point). The build book shows you how to build the motor up in stages...

stock to 250hp
250 to 400
400 to 600
600 to 1000
1000 to 1400

It's insane.

kevinthenerd
06-20-2006, 08:29 PM
I found the build book online for you:

http://www.gm.com/company/gmtunersource/html/race_shop_build_book.htm

What I'm going to do for body work myself is to just use a donor. I want to make my car look bone stock, preferably something that's really slow like a Civic or something. I want to make a sleeper.

On the other hand, I think a good donor body would be a 300zx simply because I love the styling of the front end. As far as engine donors, I think I like the idea of a longitudinal mid-engine, like if you use a Miata or RX-7 drivetrain with a shorter driveshaft or something. I don't know yet.

If I'm creative enough, nothing says I can't mix and match my favorite front end with some other back end, but it'll be hard to not make this look obvious or ghettofied.

Mr Wiggl3s
06-21-2006, 02:55 PM
Nice, its good to see that your still updating.

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