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Old 03-19-2004, 10:58 PM
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Newbie Chassis Question....

Hey guys. I'm sure there's been tons of people that have asked this, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. I've been on this site reading a lot of the posts and technical articles. I'm in college right now studying engineering, so I'm basically just planning out what to buy when I graduate in a year. Right now I'm trying to decide between a 30's model A sedan or the classis 32 ford coupe. Needless to say, I'd pretty much take anything that came along. I'm more interested in the process of building something up rather than being picky about what I build. Anyways, I'm thinking out my frame and I need some advice. My dad says I should get something that's partially done so then I don't have to do a lot of work on it. But, I'd rather do something from the ground up. I'm not interested in having the best ride quality, or anything like that. I am just concerned on price and how cheaply I can put something together. I heard from someone that late 80's to early 90's S-10 frame rails are a good place to start. I know most people frown upon frame swaps, but would I still be able to keep the s-10 ifs on there and whatever is on the rear? The only reason I was thinking about that is because I knew that a 350 could be mounted in an s-10 frame without any problems. I guess I am just wondering what the cheapest way would be to go about the frame and suspension. I don't know if the mustang II ifs is cheaper than a dropped I-beam front axle or any of those combinations. For the rear, I would think that parallel leaf springs and such would be cheapest, but again, I don't know what the cost is like. I know how the stuff works but since I am just getting into it I am not sure of the costs and what the best combinations are. The body, the motor, and all the rest of the build I am not too worried about. But, getting the frame right with all the right suspension components is my biggest concern. If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks a lot and thanks again for all the awesome articles on this site.

-Zeek

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Old 03-20-2004, 05:00 AM
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Zeek, I wouldn't think your proposed project would offer sufficient challenge for a graduate engineer. I would suggest that you build something like a dwarf car or sprint car. You could build what's called a "minisprint" for very little money and learn a lot in the process. You wouldn't be buying pieces and bolting them together, but designing the space frame and suspension components on CAD and then fabbing them.

I'd suggest the purchase of a good suspension book like William and Douglas Milliken's Race Car Vehicle Dynamics, available through SAE or Amazon (cheaper through Amazon, as I recall).
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