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Old 01-24-2012, 03:25 PM
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im actually reading up on a free ebook on here about the scratch building.. just showed the process for fabricating the door jamb section which actually leads me to my own ideas for the door jamb...

i dont think ill make this thing exact to the 1930s specifications, i can already see areas i could improve upon for a stronger, cheaper design in some aspects while maintaining the same exterior aesthetics... so its a great book.. tells me what to do with the dimensions i find of the car itself... then i can use my 3D cad program to design the body there, and build a material/parts list for the build that way

at this point though, seeing whats neccessary to make the body im not sure if i should really go through with using the steel aluminum, or wood.. question... how much heavier would the metal scratch body be compared to an origional?

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Old 01-24-2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason41987
... im not sure if i should really go through with using the steel aluminum, or wood.. question... how much heavier would the metal scratch body be compared to an origional?
Unless you already know how to weld aluminum, chances are you want to steer clear of that as your material. True, it is light weight. But it takes a lot of experience to weld it well.

Personally I would also pass on using wood as the body material. That is unless you are a fanatic wood craftsman and you really enjoy the look of wood. I've seen some really cool bodies fabricated with wood, but for any sort of resale value, your market for buyers would be very small.

That leaves steel and fiberglass as the two most likely choices. Randy (New Interiors) has built complete bodies out of both and could give you a nice rundown on the pros and cons of each. But in the end it really boils down to your personal preference and which material you feel most comfortable using. Both require about the same amount of time and effort and my guess is the cost would be fairly comparable in terms of raw materials. Personally, having built with both glass and steel, I much prefer steel. But every builder is different and every builder will have a natural aptitude for one over the other. So there is no "correct" or "incorrect" choice between those two materials.

I also wouldn't worry too much about weight. Unless you are contemplating some sort of racing classification, most V8's are going to power whatever you build without much problem.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:05 AM
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by aluminum i meant for the skin, and my wood i meant for the framework... i could make a wooden frame, fix the aluminum skin to it with flush fitting screws, scrape some filler over the screws themselves and paint without welding on the body, or attach a sheet metal skin to it this way

i could go fiberglass if i make moulds for the parts which im sure i could fabricate but it would still need some sort of structure under it

so whether its a wooden or steel frame under the skin, is fiberglass or a composite really going to be lighter since youre going to need a little thicker of it? or would welding sheet metal to the frame still be best?..

for weight, id like the final product to be under 3,000lbs.. keep in mind if my other ideas for it dont pan out, the least im going to put in it is a newer inline 4 instead of the model As inline 4 for better fuel economy, power, etc..

ive also thought about using a small turbo diesel, and im current in experimentation of stirling engines (external combustion up to 50% efficient)

in the end im looking to build something practical, reliable, and even comfortable for my first build just to see if i can (experiment mostly) and if so my next build will be a roadster, either model A or '32 which i would build to have fun with.. so no V8s for this first build
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:01 AM
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I am going to throw you a curveball and suggest using HDPE. Not only is it lightweight, paint able, and rustproof. UV rated HDPE has a shelf life of over 40 years. Say some soccer mom slams her cart into it. Fiberglass will crack, HDPE may scratch at most. This is why bumpers have been made of it(not the abs ones those fade and crack), for years now. Fabrication is easier then with a fiberglass mold because you only need one side of the mold and just vacuum form the HDPE. You can easily wrap vinyl or paint over it to give the look of wood without all the issues that come with using real wood.

There is a lot when designing a body. I have been designing one for four years now and still am changing it because of crash related concerns. For most cages you don't need a bender. It is a common misconception that you need a bender to make a cage. You can build a stronger cage using proper triangulation with next to no bends. If you do decide to build a cage that requires a bender use an air over hydraulic one. The more practical use is finding someone with a bender unless you feel you will be building a few rides to justify the $1,500 average cost for a good bender. Having a shop bend the pieces for you will cost little compared to the cost of a bender.

The Perkins engine is a good method just heavy. The electric is a better method. Using the heat produced by the controller you can power a sterling motor. It is enough to run accessories like the radio and heater but that's about all it is good for. Even having an on board small engine. You cannot charge the batteries while using them (without an expensive controller). Meaning you will need to stop to charge. If you want to drive to work and have the gas engine charging the batteries while your are at work it works perfect (I have done this). But, for a long cruiser (over 200 miles) electric is not the way to go.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:59 AM
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electric for long range is fine if i do it in the way of a plugin hybrid which is what i was referring to, pretty common, i just need to make sure i have enough power in the engine to power the motors AND charge the batteries, a small diesel would work, but a small 4 cylinder engine would work almost as well and save weight, but i think at first before i do all of that ill use the 2.3L from the ranger donor, rebuilt and optimized for fuel economy with a higher rear end gear.. i should get 30-35mpg highway which isnt bad

ive decided ill get the spoke hubs thatll match the rangers bolt pattern for the axles, and then use motorcycle rims of the same diameter and width as model A wheels (they make motorcycle wheels of just about any size now), then paint them the faded yellow color common on a lot of the As..

ill also paint the fenders/running boards black, the body the olive green available, with a darker top half to the body and maybe a seperate top if i can figure out how to scratch build a body with a seperate wood framed top, though smooth metal would be less drag and less chance of leaks, maybe i could "paint" the seperate top to maintain the general appearance of it..

but yeah... at first i think ill run the 2.3L "pinto" engine which is a very reliable engine with huge aftermarket available while i collect the parts for an EV/hybrid conversion... i have a lot of work ahead of me, im glad is the kind of work i enjoy though
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:08 PM
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how thins the sheet metal for the skin usually?... i only have an arc welder since i do most my welding outdoors
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:08 PM
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Most guys use 18 or 20 gauge metal for the body skins..For the sizes of tubing we use the JD2 or pro tools bender works fine and is more affordable. I use the JD2 myself for what I do..

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Old 01-26-2012, 03:37 AM
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what size tubing are you using for it?
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:12 PM
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im actually starting to practice welding thin sheet metal with an arc welder, its obvious easier with other types of welders, but the arc/stick is all i have right now, also, this body will also be built outdoors and it seems for me arc works better outside than MIG
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