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    Thread: The Toofmobile 1.5 Liter (156 MPG) Car "Project" Thread

    1. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:32 PM #1
      I started a thread yesterday asking about transmission options, and a thread today about wheel and tire options... but I decided to start a thread to do two things: Link to the other threads, show what I've already decided, and if I ever do make any progress, show that progress. The other threads are for deciding what to use in the car, this thread is for discussing the project itself.
      Do keep in mind that this project is only in the planning stages, and I don't have any experience doing stuff like this. This project may never take off.
      So, here's the specifications that I've already decided. I'm going to try to work in metric as much as possible here.
      Target width: 1200 mm (47.24")
      Target length: 3500 mm (137.8")
      Target height: 1150 mm (45.28")
      Target weight: 350 kg (772 lbs)
      Construction: Steel space frame (ala Lotus 7,) fiberglass enclosed body with plexiglass (or similar) canopy
      Layout: Four wheels, single-passenger, mid-engine, RWD
      Engine: Kubota D950 (here's a really crappy video of the specific engine in question running: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHV4RZsl-bI)
      Power: 14.5 kW (19.5 hp) @ 3000
      Torque: 55.6 Nm (41.0 ft-lbf) @ 1800
      Max RPM: 3200
      Weight: 83.1 kg (183.2 lbs)
      Transmission: Porsche 901 or 914 (same difference, and if I have to tear into the trans to change gearing anyway, flipping the diff on a 901 isn't going to be a problem)
      Gearing: TBD (3.8570 R&P, 0.5950 5th - have to determine what the optimal ratio spread from there will be)
      (relevant thread: http://forums.thecarlounge.net...33152)
      Suspension: Double-wishbone front, longitudinal Watt's linkage rear (relevant thread: http://forums.thecarlounge.net...89030)
      Wheels and tires: Volkswagen 14x3.5J ET45 4x100 steel w/ Continental CST14 T105/70R14 tires (relevant thread: http://forums.thecarlounge.net...34602)
      Brakes: Front disc, unknown rear, NO power assist (TBD what car they'll actually come off of, suspension and wheels may determine that)
      Crappy sketch of the car layout:



      Modified by bhtooefr at 8:53 PM 3-27-2009

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    3. Member RzinDubs's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:38 PM #2
      What is the purpose of the vehicle?
      Where will you be able to drive it?

    4. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:40 PM #3
      Would you consider basing it off something like a Locost or something of that nature? That may be easier and more feasible.
      Otherwise, kick-ass project. I've considered something similar.
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    5. Banned Fritz27's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:40 PM #4
      It's like a Caterham with all the coolness taken out. Sweet.

      Seems like an intriguing project, good luck with it.

    6. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:43 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by Turbiodiesel! »
      Would you consider basing it off something like a Locost or something of that nature? That may be easier and more feasible.

      While the Locost does buy me the advantage of having a "book chassis" to work off of, it's much longer and wider than I want. Locosts tend to be in the 1200-1400 pound range, with the engine I'm using it'd only be about 100-200 pounds lighter than a book chassis Locost, and Locosts have much, much worse aero (both Cd and frontal area) than I want.
      I can steal a few ideas from them (including construction methods,) but my main inspiration is the Volkswagen 1L Concept.
      Purpose of the vehicle would be a commuter-style vehicle, and to just say that I did it. It should be drivable on any road, even interstates - if I hit my weight target, it'll actually have a better power to weight ratio than a 1.6NA Mk2 diesel, though.
      It needs to be functional in at least three seasons (and possibly have the ability to run snow tires of some sort in winter, to make it a 4-season car.) So, it'll have to at least have a fresh air blower, openings in the canopy for airflow, and some sort of heater.


      Modified by bhtooefr at 7:47 PM 9-18-2008

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      09-18-2008 07:50 PM #6
      Awesome!
      Would it be easier to find a pre-loved, prefabbed and registered chassis, and retrofit the diesel, as well as removing weight etc?
      Cheers - Mike

    8. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:51 PM #7
      The problem is, the few things that are small enough have lousy aerodynamics, or cost $11tybn already, and I might as well build my own. And, I just checked the inspection procedure for self-assembled vehicles in Ohio last night, and they're not actually inspecting its roadworthiness - they're inspecting whether the parts are stolen off of other cars! So, I could get anything through, as long as I've got receipts. The only thing questionable is the engine itself, but technically that's my mom's, so if I got a notarized receipt of myself buying it from her, that'd be fine.
      FWIW, for those that are unaware, here's my inspiration:

      I don't expect to break 200 MPG in this thing, but 150 shouldn't be too hard with careful driving.


      Modified by bhtooefr at 7:53 PM 9-18-2008

    9. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:54 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by bhtooefr »
      Purpose of the vehicle would be a commuter-style vehicle, and to just say that I did it. It should be drivable on any road, even interstates

      How do you propose to register it, if it's not sitting on a road-legal chassis?
      You might consider making it a trike, with the rear suspension and frame and such from a large-ish motorcycle and the front suspension from, maybe, an old Beetle.
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    10. Member Boxer2100's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 07:56 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by Turbiodiesel! »
      How do you propose to register it, if it's not sitting on a road-legal chassis?
      You might consider making it a trike, with the rear suspension and frame and such from a large-ish motorcycle and the front suspension from, maybe, an old Beetle.

      It's surprisingly easy to register a homebrew car in most states. Central Ohio has nothing in the way of inspections or emissions tests either.

    11. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:00 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by Turbiodiesel! »
      How do you propose to register it, if it's not sitting on a road-legal chassis?

      In all but six counties in Ohio (all near Cleveland,) you fully assemble it, take it into a State Highway Patrol inspection station, tell them you want them to inspect your self-assembled vehicle, they look at it for VINs on various components (in case they're stolen) and ask you to present receipts for certain things on the car, then they bolt a VIN plate to the car, and give you a piece of paper that lets you apply for a title.
      In Ohio, the inspection isn't for FMVSS compliance, and self-assembled vehicles only need to meet the FMVSS lighting requirements anyway, IIRC. It's purely to make sure that the car isn't built with stolen parts.


      Modified by bhtooefr at 8:02 PM 9-18-2008

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      09-18-2008 08:13 PM #11
      Yup, Ohio is one of the easiest states to register a home-built vehicle in. You can pretty much build ANYTHING with wheels, and register it. As long as it has lights, mirrors, seatbelts, and no stolen parts, it's a cakewalk.

    13. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:33 PM #12
      Also, I think for simplicity of design, curvature will be restricted to the front and rear of the car. Basically, the car will be designed in three sections.
      (What this also means is, LWB models could be very rapidly designed, and only the cables and hoses would need to be lengthened. )
      If you look at the 1L, it looks like they did the same idea - front part is curved, middle has no curve (along the length or along the width) to it, rear is curved. I wouldn't go so far as to design the chassis in three separate parts, it'd all be one chassis, but...

    14. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:34 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by bhtooefr »

      Is there some reason you want almost all the weight over the rear axle?

    15. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:36 PM #14
      Packaging reasons. And, that thing isn't drawn to scale. And, chances are, weight distribution would be better than 40/60 - the 183 pound engine would be entirely within the wheelbase, and the gearbox is only about 75 pounds.
      The Kammback shape means that I need a narrow rear end, and that the seat needs to be in the middle of the car for optimal headroom. The only engine layouts that work for this are mid-rear and mid-front (front-front is either too wide, or puts the engine outside of the wheelbase, necessitating a longer car,) and mid-front pushes the seat too far back.
      Also, I could always put the fuel tank up front. (This is a diesel, so the fuel tank being punctured is a non-issue.)

      Modified by bhtooefr at 8:37 PM 9-18-2008


      Modified by bhtooefr at 8:38 PM 9-18-2008

    16. Member Benjamin.'s Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:44 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by bhtooefr »
      Also, I could always put the fuel tank up front. (This is a diesel, so the fuel tank being punctured is a non-issue.)

      Not to mention that if you actually get hit, you're going to be dead anyway, so who cares about fuel tank location? Might as well put it in your lap.

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      09-18-2008 08:47 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by bhtooefr »

      Man, you're going to have a hell of a time tracking straight down the road with those frame rails angled like that
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    18. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 08:52 PM #17
      Wellington P Funk: Bite me.

    19. Member 42green's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 09:02 PM #18
      is it going to be built of of plywood? j/k
      good luck and good for you you live in a state you can basically build whatever you want and register it.
      cars

    20. Member Benjamin.'s Avatar
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      09-18-2008 09:03 PM #19
      You need to make it a wagon for it to meet w/ Car Lounge approval.

    21. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 09:18 PM #20
      It's already a diesel with a stickshift!

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      09-18-2008 10:23 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by firebrat »
      is it going to be built of of plywood? j/k
      good luck and good for you you live in a state you can basically build whatever you want and register it.
      first mockup

    23. Member gtiguy1994's Avatar
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      09-18-2008 10:27 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by firebrat »
      good luck and good for you you live in a state you can basically build whatever you want and register it.

      North Dakota has no inspection or emissions tests! Basically if its gets around under its own power and you pay to register it, you can drive it.
      And we dont use salt on our roads up here....just sand.

    24. 09-18-2008 11:34 PM #23
      Maybe you should try using Autocad instead of MSPaint. Why don't you buy a cheap fuel cell for the car. If it gets hit, it will not puncture the inner membrane. Cool idea, but kinda sketch that anyone can make a car and register it.

    25. Member VWestlife's Avatar
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      09-19-2008 12:39 AM #24
      King Midget Motors of Athens, Ohio already did the engineering work for you... 40+ years ago.





      __________

    26. Member bhtooefr's Avatar
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      09-19-2008 08:36 AM #25
      Silenius: I was only using MSPaint because I needed to very quickly sketch how the car was laid out. I'll use better programs for the job when it comes time to actually accurately design it. And, good idea on the fuel cell...
      VWestlife: Somehow, I doubt that that thing has a low Cd or the ability to go highway speeds.

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