11 Aug 2008

Here’s the axles, twin-disc clutch, radiator fan, and a poor shot of the new chassis layout. Connecting the axles to the Miata uprights and Honda drivetrain for the first time made me very nervous, wondering if I’d screwed up the specs somehow, but it all went together fine (whew!) They’re rated at 450 hp – to make sure there are no issues with the turbo engine!

Changed the side tubing placement slightly; I’d been trying too hard to achieve some sort of “look” instead of pure function. I finally relented and just let the car design itself – like what happened with Kimini – and put the tubes where they want to go. What it means is that the car might end up looking “like an engineer designed it.” Be that as it may, all the tubes are right where they need to be, making the chassis lighter, cheaper, easier, and faster to build. Over the years I’ve been listening to what builders don’t like about Locost chassis fabrication and designing mine to avoid the issues. For example, builders complain about the PITA (pain-in-the-ass) compound cuts at the front of the Locost chassis. I made sure mine only requires single-plane cuts 🙂

One slight contribution to looks is that I raised the base, and lowered the top, of the windscreen to make it look less dune-buggy-like. It also had the side benefit of moving several tubes right to where they are needed, which avoids additional tubing. I’m trying very, very hard to make the chassis as simple as possible. It’s easy to make a <em>complicated</em> chassis… but very challenging to make a simple one!

I took this week off to push through the toughest part of the design, the front suspension/radiator/master cylinders/steering rack area. I’m thinking that in a day or so it’ll be time to start transferring numbers into CAD.