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Old 09-09-2004, 01:45 AM   #1
sgraber
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Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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?




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Last edited by sgraber; 01-27-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Added recent photo
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Old 09-09-2004, 01:54 AM   #2
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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?
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:25 PM   #3
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Re: Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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Originally Posted by ec437
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.
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Old 09-09-2004, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

how do you go about making it street legal
vin numbers?
insurance?
would you register it as a mr2?
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Old 09-09-2004, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

thats awesome, i bet almost everyone here has thought about building their own car, but you're actually doing it!!!
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Old 09-09-2004, 08:25 PM   #6
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Registering -- I did a writeup on this subject about a year ago that you are welcome to read. Here -- Basically it will be registered the same way as a dune-buggy! 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.

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!
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:07 PM   #7
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

thats amazing! something everyone wants to do! good luck with getting it approved by the police and DMV and whatnot.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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Originally Posted by FireBball972
thats amazing! something everyone wants to do! good luck with getting it approved by the police and DMV and whatnot.
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!
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:37 AM   #9
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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 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 ] http://kustumexotics.tripod.com [/url]
wow nice job again
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Old 09-26-2004, 08:07 PM   #10
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That is a nice peice of work. Will you be molding it when you get the design done? Rex
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Old 09-27-2004, 12:46 AM   #11
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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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. 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
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http://www.grabercars.com/
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:20 AM   #12
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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?
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Old 09-27-2004, 01:47 PM   #13
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Re: Build your own car from SCRATCH?!

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Originally Posted by muddymike2003
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.

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.
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:30 PM   #14
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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:


Here'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!
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Last edited by sgraber; 11-19-2007 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:58 PM   #15
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that car.... look sweet as candy 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....
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