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Building a tube frame fiero by gusshotrod
Started on: 01-14-2005 10:12 PM
Replies: 494
Last post by: PerKr on 01-05-2012 05:39 PM
gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-14-2005 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Here we go. Spent a lot of time trimming the center section of the chassis to get this:

Estimated weight is 50 lbs. I left the windshield in till later to maintain alignment. Next item I needed was a simple jig to build the chassis on. Leveling screws are at each corner. Jig is level to within 0.1 degree.

The chassis was layed out on cad. Started the chassis by building the center section. Tubing is 2x2x.120.

The car will have a 406/porsche transaxle.

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Report this Post01-14-2005 10:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MiZerClick Here to Email MiZerSend a Private Message to MiZerDirect Link to This Post
ohh, looks to be an interesting project.. keep us posted!

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Report this Post01-14-2005 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessDirect Link to This Post
FINALLY!
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Report this Post01-15-2005 01:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
Ahhhh!!! The journey begins! Nice windshield frame and door jambs you have there! You definitely got rid of the heavy parts of the cabin shell.

Looking good...

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post01-15-2005 10:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by toddshotrods:
You definitely got rid of the heavy parts of the cabin shell.

And that troublesome heavy engine thing


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Dave E

www.ltlfrari.com
Visit the NC Fieros website at TarheelFieros.org

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-15-2005 07:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
I finished the lower frame today.

Front of frame:

Rear:

Time to start on the roll cage.
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Report this Post01-15-2005 07:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZDirect Link to This Post
Sweeeeet Are you doing it like the old IMSA cars, or is this your own design?

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Report this Post01-15-2005 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessDirect Link to This Post
Okay now, just stop.

You're giving me confidence that I could tackle a project like this! Must... put...down...checkbook....

Are you going off any set plans, or can you recommend something to read for "beginning framers"?

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Report this Post01-15-2005 11:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariDirect Link to This Post
There's a real good book on suspension design (and the chassis is just the bit that holds the suspension in place after all , well, sorta anyway ) by Fred Puhn called "How to make your car handle".

This is gonna be an interesting build thread to follow though.


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Dave E

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Visit the NC Fieros website at TarheelFieros.org

[This message has been edited by ltlfrari (edited 01-15-2005).]

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-15-2005 11:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
The car is my design. As I said, this is laid out on cad and if anyone wants copies they will be available later. I would offer them now but I'm sure there will be revisions during the build. If you are a decent fabricator I don't see why you couldn't build a copy. Probably the most difficult thing for most will be welding 22 ga sheet metal and fitting the roll cage. As far as design, that is waaaay to complex to get into here. If you do decide to get into design, there are a lot of books out there. Read as many as you can. You'll find very few covering the whole design process, contradictions between different authors, and the whole subject migraine inducing. Talk to as many experts as you can, as most of the cutting edge stuff isn't written down anywhere. You must get familiar with the hardware available, not just what it does but the dimensions. Some knowledge only comes through testing, such as what happens to the design during a crash, and where the sweet spots are in suspension design. Make sure you visualize where every hose, line, wire, etc. will be routed before building, and how the car will be built step by step. If you do decide to design your own get the design reviewed by someone that knows what they're doing.
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Report this Post01-16-2005 12:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for slickrick2000Click Here to Email slickrick2000Send a Private Message to slickrick2000Direct Link to This Post
I'd love to get a copy of the CAD design of your frame when it's available.
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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-16-2005 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Jeez, it sure would be easy to chop this thing right now...
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toddshotrods
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Report this Post01-16-2005 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gusshotrod:

Jeez, it sure would be easy to chop this thing right now...

I have been back and forth on that one. I LOVE choptops but the thing that brings me back to a stock roof height is the roll cage. I have the seats mocked up in my car right now, and the interior completely gutted. When I sit in it and envision the cage and where everything will be, along with ingress/egress, I don't think the chop would be such a good idea. I think I am going to raise the beltline (where the body meets the glass)instead.

Mock the shell up over the frame, along with a couple seats, and have a friend sit in it with you before you go for the chop. That way you can see how you feel in it, and get a realistic view of the clearances by looking at the friend on the other side. You can try it stock height and then lower it two or three inches to see what the chop would be like. I did that on the Pro Street Fiero I was building, but after I had channeled it a bit too deep over the new frame. I thought it felt OK, then I noticed my friend looked like a big sardine in a tin can The cage wasn't even in it yet!

If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?

I think you stated in the other thread that the wheelbase would be stretched something like five inches and the engine would protrude in the the passenger compartment by approximately five or six inches.Are you going to move the pedals close to the center up front to regain foot space?

Are you still going to locate the fuel tank in the center hump?

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-16-2005 03:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Some engine mock up pics:



Engine will not intrude into cabin.
I had the same concerns about the roll cage. However the cage will be tucked in so well it will not affect head room. I've built a lot of race cars with a 40 inch roof height and have checked headroom on the cad dwg. I will be using Kirkey aluminum seats which pretty much put your butt right on the floor. Pedals and front firewall are pushed as far forward as possible. The fuel tank will mount in the stock fiero location but will be larger with the fill located in the front hood. The main reason I was thinking about the chop was I would like to use a functional roof scoop to feed the carbs and with the stock roof angle I don' t think I could get any air into it. Oh, and I'm 5' 11".
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Report this Post01-16-2005 04:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruDirect Link to This Post
Excellent project. I was planning a tube chassis car too, but with a front mounted SBC and a porsche 928 5 speed transmission in the rear... but it is on the back burner and several years away..... too many other projects.

Good luck with this project and when the CAD files are ready to send, please add me to the list.

Thanks,

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Report this Post01-16-2005 05:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scott-WaClick Here to visit Scott-Wa's HomePageClick Here to Email Scott-WaSend a Private Message to Scott-WaDirect Link to This Post
Your going to run a drysump oiling system?

What is that induction setup? Those throttle bodies or carbs?

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-16-2005 05:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
drysump: yes. 48mm Webers.
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Report this Post01-16-2005 05:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
Well, with all that solved when's the roof coming down The thing you have going for you is that you removed so much of the orginal space frame's sheetmetal you can tuck the cage in really tight as you said. I couldn't have done that with the Pro Street car the way I was building it.

I didn't mean to say that the engine would protrude into the passenger compartment - bad choice of words. I get what you're saying though.

I don't know if watching you build this car is good for my (mental) health. It took me long enough to come to the "conclusions" I have. The last thing I need now is more options. Yet, I can't resist - does that make me an addict?

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-16-2005 06:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Todd: It just dawned on me what you were talking about. The rear firewall has been moved forward but as the aluminum seats are thinner than the stock fiero seats the actual seating position is only one or two inches farther forward.
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Report this Post01-16-2005 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Russ544Send a Private Message to Russ544Direct Link to This Post
Looks good Guss. It's funny you should choose this time to do this project as I'm also planning a tube chassis car (ladder design round tube) after the IMSA is done. I'm sure you'll give me some good ideas for mine
So is the stock bodywork going back on this thing, or do you have another body in mind for it?
Are you planning to also fab the suspension, or utilize off the shelf parts?

Cheers,
Russ

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"doesn't matter where you've been....... doesn't matter where you're going...... just how cool you look gettin' there."
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[This message has been edited by Russ544 (edited 01-16-2005).]

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Report this Post01-16-2005 08:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for R RunnerClick Here to visit R Runner's HomePageClick Here to Email R RunnerSend a Private Message to R RunnerDirect Link to This Post
Oh Yea! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Good progress for a few days. I would also be interested in that CAD drawing when you have made the revisions. You said it before, but remind me... Stock wheel base right? or is it the stock fire wall location? Just courious, are you going to use a lot of shear plates? Are you going to incorporate a "tunnel" design over the fuel cell for rigidity? Have you already done a torsion analysis on the frame design or just years of experience?

I'm all ears on this project. Try not to show me up too bad.

Paul

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Report this Post01-16-2005 08:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for R RunnerClick Here to visit R Runner's HomePageClick Here to Email R RunnerSend a Private Message to R RunnerDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gusshotrod:

Read as many as you can. You'll find very few covering the whole design process, contradictions between different authors, and the whole subject migraine inducing. Talk to as many experts as you can, as most of the cutting edge stuff isn't written down anywhere. You must get familiar with the hardware available, not just what it does but the dimensions. Some knowledge only comes through testing, such as what happens to the design during a crash, and where the sweet spots are in suspension design. Make sure you visualize where every hose, line, wire, etc. will be routed before building, and how the car will be built step by step. If you do decide to design your own get the design reviewed by someone that knows what they're doing.

Amen brother. Visualize the design. Every hose, every wire. I started with major component location with the secondary in th eback of my mind. then I moved on to tanks, hoses, electrical components, pumps, etc. I think I looked at 10 variations for each component/tank/wire, and 10 different ways to mount each for easy maintenance. My rule of thumb was to make everyting removable by itself without removing other components (if possible). My other goal was to make it possible to remove with one hand. In many places I tack welded nuts or studs into place. Everything fits one way and in 99 percent of the cases does not require and "forcing" to fit.

You probably have thought about it, but since you are in Oregon, Fuel Safe makes a mean fuel cell. I designed the size and connector locations, and they fabed it up. Just a thought since they are close to you. I worked with Gary.

3 gallon dry sump? Coolant/oil heat exchanger or air?

Paul

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-16-2005 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Aeroquip heat exchanger, Moroso oil tank.
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Report this Post01-17-2005 12:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
What's the intended purpose - street, road course, dirt track, ovals, auto-X, or some combination of the two?

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Report this Post01-17-2005 01:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessDirect Link to This Post
I've got a few more questions

What are you planning on doing for a body? Just sheetmetal? Recreating a fiero body?

What's the target weight?

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Report this Post01-17-2005 09:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Russ544Send a Private Message to Russ544Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ryan.hess:

I've got a few more questions

What are you planning on doing for a body? Just sheetmetal? Recreating a fiero body?

It must be a secret.

Russ

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Report this Post01-18-2005 03:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 88gtNewbClick Here to visit 88gtNewb's HomePageClick Here to Email 88gtNewbSend a Private Message to 88gtNewbDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

There's a real good book on suspension design (and the chassis is just the bit that holds the suspension in place after all , well, sorta anyway ) by Fred Puhn called "How to make your car handle".

That is a great book. I must have read through it 5 times now, and there's still lots I don't know. Too bad he doesn't get quite so much into actually building a chassis from scratch.

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-18-2005 09:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
This will be a street car with some auto-x and some open road racing in Nevada. The body will be '86 GT with a shortened nose and the back end will be open. Target weight is 2200 lbs. Suspension will be Corvette spindles, hubs, 13" rotors with Wilwood calipers, tubular sway bars and Pro coil overs. Rims are Corvette 17's and 18's. Rear hub carriers and steering arms will be fabricated. Steering is Sweet rack and pinion. All suspenion links will be fabricated. The tunnel will be structural at least for the front 2./3rds of the car, I haven't figured out a good way to tie it in at the rear yet. I've been debating the top chop and I guess I'll pass; mostly due to the side windows, but also to get the cage as far away from my head as possible. Next progress report will be friday. Should be able to get the rest of the tubing in this week end. Already found my first screw-up. The crossmember directly behind the engine is right where the starter wants to be. I will have to change this to 1x2 tube and move it slightly to the rear. Paul: if you read this, do you think there would be any gains from power steering?
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Report this Post01-19-2005 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for R RunnerClick Here to visit R Runner's HomePageClick Here to Email R RunnerSend a Private Message to R RunnerDirect Link to This Post
Power steering?

How much caster do you plan in running and what is the steering ratio? The IMSA is not too bad except in parking lots but I am running a 2.0 ratio. I have no problem above 10 mph. Then again, I don't drive it much. If you want the car to be more liveable, I would do the power steering. If you intend to drive it once per week, then I would not bother. You can always get the Sweet manual rack and swap it for or add the power steering attachments (I think I saw that in one of the AFCO books). Actually I run an Appleton 2.0 in mine. I would be more concerned about the clutch pedal pressure. Mine is a killer for regular driving.

Paul

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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-19-2005 09:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
I like the Appleton rack better too. Their service is excellent and the servo is intergral to the rack.
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Report this Post01-21-2005 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Got the main part of the cage in today.





The top hoop tucks in real nice so that the shell can be welded to it. Tomorrow I will work on the front.
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Report this Post01-22-2005 12:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
Looking good. Nice job getting it to fit so snug with the shell. What kind of door bars are you gonna have?

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Report this Post01-22-2005 08:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for R RunnerClick Here to visit R Runner's HomePageClick Here to Email R RunnerSend a Private Message to R RunnerDirect Link to This Post
Boy.... it must be nice to have a good tube bender!
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gusshotrod
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Report this Post01-22-2005 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
I got most of the front clip on today:


This is the front lower a-arm mount. The cross-tube with the bolts is to hold alignment during fab.

The door bars are hard to explain so give me a few days and I'll have pics.
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Report this Post01-22-2005 10:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
Have you revised the design for the C5 knuckles, or are you sticking with the C4 knuckles? Just curious because you are already locating the pick-up points.

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Report this Post01-22-2005 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Probably will end up fabing the hub carrier using C4 hub. I'd have to modify either C4 or C5 hub anyway to move the steering arm. If I fab the spindle I can use the tie-rod end rack which puts the inner lower a-arm pick up point one inch too high at four inch ride height. I laid out the C4 spindle on cad and came up with two inches of king pin off-set. Hard to believe. As I said before, the C5 has zero offset and is an excellent spindle but it would cost too much to modify the rack and buy new spindles and hubs.
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Report this Post01-23-2005 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for toddshotrodsClick Here to visit toddshotrods's HomePageClick Here to Email toddshotrodsSend a Private Message to toddshotrodsDirect Link to This Post
Sounds like fun I'm really enjoying watching this one. Our goals are so similar, but the approach is so different. You have a Fiero body going over a full-tube chassis, I will have a one-off body over a highly-modified Fiero chassis.
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Report this Post01-23-2005 04:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoricuasoyClick Here to visit Boricuasoy's HomePageClick Here to Email BoricuasoySend a Private Message to BoricuasoyDirect Link to This Post
i see that the engine is being mocked up in a longitudinal alignment,
what tranny are you planing on using?

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mod it until is perfect.

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Report this Post01-23-2005 07:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for brysonSend a Private Message to brysonDirect Link to This Post
I'm assuming he's still planning on the 406/Porsche transaxle.
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Report this Post01-23-2005 08:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gusshotrodClick Here to Email gusshotrodSend a Private Message to gusshotrodDirect Link to This Post
Worked on the central backbone today. Lots of fiddly bits. This will tie the front suspension to the rear suspension. There are still four pieces left that tie into the front.



I think you can see the trans in one of the pics. Porsche G50 five speed.

[This message has been edited by gusshotrod (edited 05-08-2005).]

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