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Re-creating the Fiero frame by lou_dias
Started on: 07-25-2012 10:48 AM
Replies: 170 (15243 views)
Last post by: FieroLost on 04-06-2016 11:13 PM
retroman
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Report this Post03-29-2013 07:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So, I've been talking with GM for about a week now. So far, no luck. If anyone here has connections high up in the company, now would be the time to pull a few strings. I'm going to continue to pursue GM on this, but I knew from the beginning that it was unlikely that they would be able to provide me with what I am looking for. That is why I think the next step would be to take an unmolested frame and put it through a 3D scanner. From there, we would have a CAD image and could proceed with reverse engineering it. I still don't know if all this trouble will lead to something, but I like pursuing it for the fun of it.
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Report this Post03-29-2013 07:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:

So, I've been talking with GM for about a week now. So far, no luck. If anyone here has connections high up in the company, now would be the time to pull a few strings. I'm going to continue to pursue GM on this, but I knew from the beginning that it was unlikely that they would be able to provide me with what I am looking for. That is why I think the next step would be to take an unmolested frame and put it through a 3D scanner. From there, we would have a CAD image and could proceed with reverse engineering it. I still don't know if all this trouble will lead to something, but I like pursuing it for the fun of it.

I thought CAD files were already available...

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Mr.Goodwrench
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Report this Post03-30-2013 01:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mr.GoodwrenchClick Here to visit Mr.Goodwrench's HomePageClick Here to Email Mr.GoodwrenchSend a Private Message to Mr.GoodwrenchEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by LEEEZARD:

only problem with magnesium is its flamability. once ignited its almost impossible to put out. glows white while burning.


Seen old VW engine burn. Yeah they don't go out easy
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Report this Post03-30-2013 04:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:

So, I've been talking with GM for about a week now. So far, no luck. If anyone here has connections high up in the company, now would be the time to pull a few strings. I'm going to continue to pursue GM on this, but I knew from the beginning that it was unlikely that they would be able to provide me with what I am looking for. That is why I think the next step would be to take an unmolested frame and put it through a 3D scanner. From there, we would have a CAD image and could proceed with reverse engineering it. I still don't know if all this trouble will lead to something, but I like pursuing it for the fun of it.


Just a word on what I had to do with GM to get the info on the 1990 Fiero Emblems. It took me 2 years and many e mails to get connected to the right person. I worked through ex Fiero staff and with many GM marketing higher ups. I even worked through someone I met at the Tech Center that was well placed. They all tried to help but lead no where.

I learned the way the GM e mails went and finally got ahold of the guy that drew up the original Fiero emblem. He then got me to the guy that did the ID package and both of them confirmed that I had found the real deal. I asked for something to document it and he sent me the engineering drawing that GM had and it was sealed in plastic. It is something like 4x4 feet.

All I can say is I am glad I did what I did then as with the GM bail out many of the old timers retired and few Fiero people are left. Add to that many who were connected with the Fiero back then were low level and are not wanting to speak of the car yet today since there was a lot of bad blood with the UAW, Pontiac and GM. For some while they love the car they will not speak easily on the car.

Just some of the things I faced.

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retroman
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Report this Post03-30-2013 04:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6:


Just a word on what I had to do with GM to get the info on the 1990 Fiero Emblems. It took me 2 years and many e mails to get connected to the right person. I worked through ex Fiero staff and with many GM marketing higher ups. I even worked through someone I met at the Tech Center that was well placed. They all tried to help but lead no where.

I learned the way the GM e mails went and finally got ahold of the guy that drew up the original Fiero emblem. He then got me to the guy that did the ID package and both of them confirmed that I had found the real deal. I asked for something to document it and he sent me the engineering drawing that GM had and it was sealed in plastic. It is something like 4x4 feet.

All I can say is I am glad I did what I did then as with the GM bail out many of the old timers retired and few Fiero people are left. Add to that many who were connected with the Fiero back then were low level and are not wanting to speak of the car yet today since there was a lot of bad blood with the UAW, Pontiac and GM. For some while they love the car they will not speak easily on the car.

Just some of the things I faced.


Glad you stuck with it. I didn't know the car caused such a controversy between the union and GM. Would you happen to know who was on the Fiero design team as far as sketching out the frame goes?
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post03-30-2013 04:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:

...I think the next step would be to take an unmolested frame and put it through a 3D scanner. From there, we would have a CAD image and could proceed with reverse engineering it.


You do realize that even if you found a 3D scanner capable of scanning an entire car, that all you would get is the outside shape and not the 273 individual steel stampings that the car is made up from. Even then, only one side of most of the parts would be visible to the scanner since they would be attached to other parts obscuring the scanner's view. For arguments sake, even if you could scan each part individually, nearly all of them were stamped out using several thousand ton pressess and unique mating dies, none of which are available to the average joe. Then you'd have to consider that the for each frame, there were 4300 spot welds. Production of fewer than 50,000 per year on a highly specialized production line wasn't cost effective for GM, so producing anything like the Fiero frame on a smaller scale and making money sounds a bit optimistic.

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Report this Post03-30-2013 04:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It would be a lot cheaper to buy a boneyard in Tucson, and then find every good Fiero remaining on the planet..and send the frames there for reconditioning.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 03-30-2013).]

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Report this Post03-30-2013 05:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TRiADSend a Private Message to TRiADEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:


You do realize that even if you found a 3D scanner capable of scanning an entire car, that all you would get is the outside shape and not the 273 individual steel stampings that the car is made up from. Even then, only one side of most of the parts would be visible to the scanner since they would be attached to other parts obscuring the scanner's view. For arguments sake, even if you could scan each part individually, nearly all of them were stamped out using several thousand ton pressess and unique mating dies, none of which are available to the average joe. Then you'd have to consider that the for each frame, there were 4300 spot welds. Production of fewer than 50,000 per year on a highly specialized production line wasn't cost effective for GM, so producing anything like the Fiero frame on a smaller scale and making money sounds a bit optimistic.



Depends on how you go about it.
If he's not wanting to reproduce the individual parts and just wants specific measurements, particularly at specific points, his plan is perfect (if he can find a scanner that large, etc).
If I were to undertake something like this (not a possibility right now), I'd be making something a lot closer to an Elise frame, but to Fiero measurements.



If that wasn't possible, a tube frame with aluminum liners (like Factory 5), but with all the Fiero mounting points, would be my next choice.

[This message has been edited by TRiAD (edited 03-30-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post03-30-2013 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't mean to be a kill-joy or anything here, but posting a photo of the Elise chassis and saying a similar thing could be made to Fiero specs is an over-simplification in my opinion. First, the Fiero chassis is already no more complicated than it needs to be so I'd be interested in how it could be made simpler, even if you could make a few general statements. That Elise chassis looks simple because it has no roof, no windshield mounts, door mounts, doors, headlight buckets, gas tank, etc etc. Then, when you start factoring all the structure necessary to locate the epoxy blocks in the correct locations to mount the Fiero exterior panels, you start leaving the clean simplicity of that Elise chassis behind.

When it comes to the tube chassis by Factory Five, many of the same issues apply. In addition, it's based on a ladder frame with a small diameter tube frame superstructure to mount the body and doors. I don't think anybody would be happy with the structural rigidity lost and weight gain that this type of chassis would provide over the space frame design of the Fiero chassis... there's a reason why ladder frames aren't used to build cars anymore.

I'll admit both the Elise and Factory Five chassis look cool, but neither are representative of what a modern Fiero chassis could look like while maintaining all the necessary components needed to mount the Fiero body, suspension, and drivetrain, without compromising the structural rigidity and 600 lb weight of the OEM space frame. But by all means, I have an open mind and am interested in other's opinions too.
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retroman
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Report this Post03-30-2013 08:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I found a company in Cincinnati that specializes in reverse engineering. They told me that they do have a scanner large enough to do the job. I don't have any pricing yet, but it isn't going to be cheap. That's a given. Due to the Fiero's status as being the basis for a large number of kit cars, if I were to reproduce it, I would want it to be as close to GM's original specifications as possible so that body panels would fit and most existing modifications would work. I've been thinking on doing some digging to figure out how Dynacorn went about reproducing 1st gen Camaro bodies. Still pursuing GM, but not much I can do over the weekend...
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Report this Post03-31-2013 11:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TRiADSend a Private Message to TRiADEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Blooz, I posted the pictures of the Elise and Factory 5 frames to show the methods of construction, not the design.
Of course anything made to replace the Fiero chassis (and Retro has the right idea, "kit cars" are the ultimate niche for this, we would just reap the benefits as well)
is going to end up looking a lot like the existing one.
I do disagree with your assessment of tubeframe design; design, welding techniques and materials have come a LONG way since this was tried for a production car.
I've seen pictures of F5 cars on slicks doing wheelies off the line, the front wheels were level in the air. I doubt even the over-engineered Fiero chassis could do that.

Regardless, it is an overwhelming task. I'd love to see it come together for Retro, it would be awesome for all of us.


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Report this Post03-31-2013 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, Triad. I appreciate the compliment, but I think we can get a lot further if we can get more people rolling on this. It's going to have to be profitable for it to work, but I don't mind giving up some of the benefits if we could get this done sooner. I'm not in a position to go through with scanning a frame at the moment as planned because I will need to raise/set aside money for it and I will need a pristine frame. My Fiero is a beater that I picked up for $900. Since it required rust repair, it's not a viable candidate. I will need to either buy a clean Southern car, or borrow a frame from someone willing to loan it for a few weeks. I am proceeding as far as I can, but I am also finishing up my commitment to the Navy. I have slightly less than a year left on my contract. Starting a business and working full time for Uncle Sam has been no easy task, but it's doable.
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Report this Post04-01-2013 12:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TRiADSend a Private Message to TRiADEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow, well, first, THANK YOU for your service!!!

This makes me wish I still had the rust-free CA chassis I had years ago.
It was completely stripped except the suspension and would have been perfect for this.
Maybe someone still has it rolling around a garage somewhere?

Any idea on the cost of getting a chassis scanned, once we find one?

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retroman
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Report this Post04-04-2013 09:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TRiAD:

Wow, well, first, THANK YOU for your service!!!

This makes me wish I still had the rust-free CA chassis I had years ago.
It was completely stripped except the suspension and would have been perfect for this.
Maybe someone still has it rolling around a garage somewhere?

Any idea on the cost of getting a chassis scanned, once we find one?


Ugh, my freaking slow internet connection at work didn't take my full reply. So here it goes again. It would be nice if you still had that chassis, but I'm sure we can find another one. I haven't had much time lately to get the pricing info on scanning, but I will post it here as soon as I get done shopping around. Also, my request was forwarded up the chain of command at GM's equity management division. I got a reply back today. Here's what it said:

"Good morning Mr. Moore;



I received your voice mail besides receiving your email to Mary. To answer your questions about blue prints I have to tell you there no car body prints for the Fiero. I may be able to find prints for parts but I would need to have GM part numbers to do that. I am sorry I could not help you more. If you have any other questions, please e-mail me those questions.



Regards,



Gary S. Skelton
Client Sales Manager, GMSPO Licensing Program"

Unfortunately, I don't have any part #'s, but maybe someone has a 25 year old GM parts catalogue lying around??? I assume it would at least have a few part numbers for front clips and such so cars involved in fender benders could be repaired. Looks like the project will be relying heavily on the 3D scanning as no blueprints have been located as of yet. I do have a few ideas to raise the funds necessary, like selling t-shirts and such. There are some ideas for graphic designs that I would appreciate some feedback,and in true military fashion, I even have a name to call this "Operation". I call it Operation: Pegasus Rising. The graphic entails a Pegasus rising from the ashes much like a Phoenix. Now I just need someone to sketch it. I figured it fit for obvious reasons surrounding the Fiero's story. This would be the second lease on life for the car. As always, continued input on the topic is appreciated.

[This message has been edited by retroman (edited 04-04-2013).]

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Report this Post04-04-2013 12:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TRiAD:

This makes me wish I still had the rust-free chassis I had years ago.



I have one.

Jonathan

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Report this Post04-04-2013 01:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:
Unfortunately, I don't have any part #'s, but maybe someone has a 25 year old GM parts catalogue lying around??? I assume it would at least have a few part numbers for front clips and such so cars involved in fender benders could be repaired.


Many people on PFF (me included) have the P-22 (aka P-Book) which is an illustrated parts list of every single part comprising the Fiero for every year along with the part numbers. The trouble is, that as I mentioned before, there are 273 individual steel stampings just for the space frame. Here are the parts for just the front end:





Do you believe recreating these parts is an achievable goal?
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Report this Post04-04-2013 01:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:
Do you believe recreating these parts is an achievable goal?


Sure. Money and the right tooling can make them. Is it worthwhile though? Probably not.
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retroman
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Report this Post04-08-2013 08:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Boostdreamer:


I have one.

Jonathan


Do you intend to hang onto it as is for a few months? Also if you don't mind, I'd like to see a few pics. I'm sorry if I'm being picky, but this has to be done right the first time. I need a frame that is rust free, accident free, with no modifications, non factory cuts and welds, and the fewer owners throughout its life, the better because that would ensure the other criteria as valid although I'm not entirely opposed to scanning say a 7 owner car as long as it has been well cared for. Anyway, I received a quote for $2400 to scan the frame and build a complete 3D model of it. I'm still checking with other companies to see what they have to offer. In the meantime, I'm going to find a graphic design artist (hint hint to anyone reading this who is extremely talented and would like to take this on) to have some sketches made for t-shirts and ball caps. I need to raise money for scanning, and since no one is just going to donate (although you are welcome to ), doing quick sale items is the only option I have. I have a buddy who already gave me plenty of ideas for the sketches, but I'm still open to suggestions. I also have some used parts I'm going to try to sell off.
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Report this Post04-08-2013 09:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:


Many people on PFF (me included) have the P-22 (aka P-Book) which is an illustrated parts list of every single part comprising the Fiero for every year along with the part numbers. The trouble is, that as I mentioned before, there are 273 individual steel stampings just for the space frame. Here are the parts for just the front end:





Do you believe recreating these parts is an achievable goal?


More of a challenge really than a problem. Henry Ford's engineers told him there was no way they could build a V8. He kept pressuring them until they finally had a working flat head. Sometimes, it's good to leave well enough alone. I haven't come to that conclusion here yet. I want to push this as far as I can in order to provide a definitive answer to the original poster just what it would take to re-create the frame. So anyway, do you know where I can find the rest of the P-Book??

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Report this Post04-08-2013 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Silentassassin185Click Here to Email Silentassassin185Send a Private Message to Silentassassin185Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:
So anyway, do you know where I can find the rest of the P-Book??


PM sent.
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Report this Post04-08-2013 04:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PerKrClick Here to visit PerKr's HomePageClick Here to Email PerKrSend a Private Message to PerKrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
why re-create the fiero chassis? If you're going to put that kind of time and money into it, at least try to improve it. Remove the front crossmember and integrate the front suspension mounting points into the spaceframe, make use of modern suspension components, do whatever else you can think of to have a better chassis onto which fiero panels could be mounted. Actually, doing it this way, you might be able to avoid having to invest in tooling.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 02:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PerKr:

why re-create the fiero chassis? If you're going to put that kind of time and money into it, at least try to improve it. Remove the front crossmember and integrate the front suspension mounting points into the spaceframe, make use of modern suspension components, do whatever else you can think of to have a better chassis onto which fiero panels could be mounted. Actually, doing it this way, you might be able to avoid having to invest in tooling.


Silentassassin185, Thanks!!

BT

PerKr, so you are saying that we should take existing frames and modify them. Forgive me if I don't follow, but I thought Archie was already partially involved in that business. Anyway, I have my answer. This is what it would take to build a new exact replica frame from the ground up. It will cost $5500 to have an existing frame 3D scanned and made into a CAD model. Now hold on to your seat, because here is where things get really expensive. It will cost $30 million (yeah, you read that right..) for tooling. Factor in another $1 million or so to have the right facilities to put all that tooling. I have no idea what it will cost to produce one unit, and I would also need to factor in cost of labor and utilities (water, heat, electric) into my costs. Assuming the demand is there, and incurred expenses do not exceed what the market is willing to pay for it, I would need to know how many units I would have to sell before I recoup the initial $31 million investment. I believe it can still be done for anyone with deep enough pockets and/or connections, but as stated in the thread before, building a tube frame is definitely the easier option, but even then certain things like the windshield frame can not be changed from GM's original design because it would make it incompatible with replacement components.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 02:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is a little bit of a rabbit trail, but anyone know what happened to the original tooling or the engineers tasked with designing the frame for that matter?? It's a long shot, but maybe tracking down some of these people could provide further answers.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 02:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Why would you want to spend all that money just to recreate the original cradle and front suspension? As suggested why not make a new and improved cradle and front suspension that will bolt up to the existing space frame?
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Report this Post04-09-2013 03:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I rounded up a bit, to factor in that the things wouldn't be produced instantaneously, and so the cost of electricity/water/etc… will add up quickly, especially with waste disposal, recycling, and other such fees and taxes for industrial development, by adding on another $4 million. At that point, you'd need to sell 3500 of them at $10,000 each, to not quite break even.

I doubt there's any way you'd sell that many.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PerKrClick Here to visit PerKr's HomePageClick Here to Email PerKrSend a Private Message to PerKrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by retroman:


Silentassassin185, Thanks!!

BT

PerKr, so you are saying that we should take existing frames and modify them.


Not really. I'm saying that if one was thinking of spending the huge amount of money required to duplicate the fiero frame one should consider instead to design an improved version while keeping the mounting points for the body panels. I was under the impression we were talking about making brand new frames from the old tools. not simply modifying and repairing existing frames.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Actually, I really wasn't considering selling the cradle, doors, or front suspension at first if at all. Cutting those out would make things cheaper for me, and I know that most car guys have at least one parts car on hand. What I want is to get to the heart of what makes a Fiero a Fiero, that's the space frame, not all the Chevette components that were carried over. There are already suspension and cradle mods out there anyway. Also, it's important to keep in mind that any changes to the frame, even if it's just casting it from aluminum instead of steel, will incur extra R&D charges which ultimately have to be passed on to the consumer. The question to that is "Would the market be willing to pay extra for those upgrades, and if so, how much extra?"
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The $30M you quote is just the tip of the iceberg in my humble opinion. Other costs that you may not have considered are the material costs for the steel to make the frames, the labor costs to manufacture the parts and ultimately the frame even after all the tooling is on hand. You also have to consider the overhead costs in the management of a labor force, insurance, federal and state business taxes, transportation costs of the final product, the one time cost of acquiring the legal right to reproduce patented parts, the recurring royalties payable to GM for the right to reproduce the parts, the maintenance costs associated with operating the tooling & machinery, the cost to borrow the capital for a high risk venture... the list goes on and on. I also sincerely doubt that $1M would come close to building or buying a pre-existing building to house the tooling necessary. The tooling would take several tens of thousands of square feet of floor space... if anyone can find that kind of area with all the necessary utilities already wired up and ready to plug into, heck, I'd buy it yesterday.

In this case I consider myself a "realist" as opposed to a pessimist, but as far as finding both halves of all 273 stamping dies, I sincerely doubt that they existed for more than a few months after the plant was shut down. Some of them would have been steel blocks weighing several tons each. The value for the raw steel would have far surpassed the value of the obsolete die long ago, so they would have been melted down for other uses. Remember, in the day, only a handful of people were buying Fieros so the interest level was very small. Today, that interest level is even smaller.
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lou_dias
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would love aluminum doors. Fiero doors are too damn heavy.
It takes 2 people to carry a loaded door safely, currently.
I know the rear cradle is only 50-60 lbs, but saving 30 lbs is still 30 lbs saved.
I would buy doors and a cradle.

The point about "recreating" vs. modifying and "improving" is that you can bolt up your current interior, etc...rather than having to fabricate everything brand new for your custom vehicle. You'd just be transferring wiring, insulation, etc into this new frame.
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

lou_dias

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quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

The $30M you quote is just the tip of the iceberg in my humble opinion. Other costs that you may not have considered are the material costs for the steel to make the frames, the labor costs to manufacture the parts and ultimately the frame even after all the tooling is on hand. You also have to consider the overhead costs in the management of a labor force, insurance, federal and state business taxes, transportation costs of the final product, the one time cost of acquiring the legal right to reproduce patented parts, the recurring royalties payable to GM for the right to reproduce the parts, the maintenance costs associated with operating the tooling & machinery, the cost to borrow the capital for a high risk venture... the list goes on and on. I also sincerely doubt that $1M would come close to building or buying a pre-existing building to house the tooling necessary. The tooling would take several tens of thousands of square feet of floor space... if anyone can find that kind of area with all the necessary utilities already wired up and ready to plug into, heck, I'd buy it yesterday.

In this case I consider myself a "realist" as opposed to a pessimist, but as far as finding both halves of all 273 stamping dies, I sincerely doubt that they existed for more than a few months after the plant was shut down. Some of them would have been steel blocks weighing several tons each. The value for the raw steel would have far surpassed the value of the obsolete die long ago, so they would have been melted down for other uses. Remember, in the day, only a handful of people were buying Fieros so the interest level was very small. Today, that interest level is even smaller.

Who cares about stamping when you can get them 3D printed?

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TRiAD
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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TRiADSend a Private Message to TRiADEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is where designing an extruded aluminum tub that accepted the mounting points for the Fiero hardware could be a much less expensive option.
If you're not looking to build a car factory, but rather a limited-run facility, with a lot of work done by hand, this alone would limit the numbers required to recoup the investment.
Something like the chassis (design) in a Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora, but made to fit the Fiero mounting points.
You wouldn't need the cradle or any suspension, that's all readily available via the aftermarket already.
Just a thought...

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Report this Post04-09-2013 04:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for yellowstoneSend a Private Message to yellowstoneEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lou_dias:

Who cares about stamping when you can get them 3D printed?


This! I was thinking that in a few years, the people that do car mods will be CAD designers, not metal bashers/fiberglass artists.Exiting times!
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post04-09-2013 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lou_dias:
Who cares about stamping when you can get them 3D printed?


If only!

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retroman
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Report this Post04-09-2013 05:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

I rounded up a bit, to factor in that the things wouldn't be produced instantaneously, and so the cost of electricity/water/etc… will add up quickly, especially with waste disposal, recycling, and other such fees and taxes for industrial development, by adding on another $4 million. At that point, you'd need to sell 3500 of them at $10,000 each, to not quite break even.

I doubt there's any way you'd sell that many.


Assuming I could sell them at $10k each with a very skeptical 5% net profit margin (I might add that this margin varies from industry to industry), I would net $500 profit and need to sell 70,000 units to recoup initial investment. That clearly isn't going to happen, which is why in this position I would be hoping that I could sell at a higher price, lower operating costs, or, ideally, both.
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retroman
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Report this Post04-09-2013 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for retromanClick Here to Email retromanSend a Private Message to retromanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lou_dias:

Who cares about stamping when you can get them 3D printed?


Reminds me of a story I heard where a guy printed a working gun out of ABS plastic. Melted the barrel after a couple rounds, but it's definitely a slap in the face to gun control laws and activists. That said, maybe in a few years, printing won't be out of the question. You could print a whole new dash or modify an existing design. I would print the 273 dies used to make the Fiero

[This message has been edited by retroman (edited 04-09-2013).]

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lou_dias
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Report this Post04-09-2013 08:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post04-09-2013 10:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lou_dias:

http://3dprinting.com/mater...l/3d-printing-metal/

Yes, you can 3D print metal!


Yes, and that's basically how the rods for the new GM engines are made. Metal powder that's heated and cooled very quickly. I don't think there are any printers available, which are large enough to print a whole spaceframe for a full size car, though. Even if there was one large enough, I'm not sure the current methods are feasible for structural metal in a car, due to the way that printing works, and how stresses are applied to the chassis.
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Report this Post04-10-2013 06:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CarcenomyClick Here to visit Carcenomy's HomePageSend a Private Message to CarcenomyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TRiAD:

This is where designing an extruded aluminum tub that accepted the mounting points for the Fiero hardware could be a much less expensive option.
If you're not looking to build a car factory, but rather a limited-run facility, with a lot of work done by hand, this alone would limit the numbers required to recoup the investment.
Something like the chassis (design) in a Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora, but made to fit the Fiero mounting points.
You wouldn't need the cradle or any suspension, that's all readily available via the aftermarket already.
Just a thought...


Seconded. Sounds like your best bet is to find a bunch of design engineers who are enthusiastic, study P22, study a real frame, drill out all the spot welds and disassemble it so their relationships make more sense... truly reverse engineer it then calculate how much could be made with easily tooled aluminium extrusions versus pressings. Quite a few - extrusions would render loads of the pressings unnecessary.
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cam-a-lot
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Report this Post04-10-2013 07:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cam-a-lotSend a Private Message to cam-a-lotEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't mean to be a party pooper, but listen to Blooze... Correct me if I am wrong, but do you guys have any automotive design or mechanical engineering background? I have run 3D scanners, 3D printers, built progressive dies and molds for various cars, have worked in thermoforming, vacuum forming, hot forming, hot stamping etc, so I do know a thing or two about how cars are designed.

3D scanning of a car frame is an utter and complete waste of time and money. It will give you a general "skin" most likely millions of points in 3D space as a giant point cloud, or if you are lucky, a meshed surface in IGES or other neutral format, loosely knit together to look pretty. You will likely be charged thousands of dollars for someone to set up a laser scanning system and give you a pretty picture of the frame which is completely useless for manufacturing purposes. It gives you no info on thickness, strength, fit, material composition, weld thickness or location, fasteners, etc.

I won't even comment on the proposal to 3D print parts of the car- I assume that was a joke?

The amount of FEA analysis, torsional testing, impact testing, etc that goes into a car frame is far more involved than most people realize. This would cost millions of dollars to do, and there is no market for it. You will never get financing for this project, and will never sell a frame even if you happen to make one. The costs would be prohibitive and Fiero owners tend to fall into 2 categories:

-they are broke, so they will never have the money for this...and are waiting for tax refunds to buy that "must have" Fiero part

-they are NOT broke and have a Fiero as a hobby, and have money because they spend it wisely, live within their means, and make financial decisions based on logic and reality.

It is better to be in the second group so please talk to someone with real automotive design and assembly experience, not dreamers on a forum, before spending money on this.

[This message has been edited by cam-a-lot (edited 04-10-2013).]

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TRiAD
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Report this Post04-10-2013 12:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TRiADSend a Private Message to TRiADEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:Correct me if I am wrong, but do you guys have any automotive design or mechanical engineering background?



Yes.


 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:...The amount of FEA analysis, torsional testing, impact testing, etc that goes into a car frame is far more involved than most people realize. This would cost millions of dollars to do, and there is no market for it.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but no one here was talking about mass-producing a motor vehicle complete and legal for the road.
What we're talking about is manufacturing PARTS which would underpin an existing CAR.
You don't need crash testing for that.


 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:You will never get financing for this project, and will never sell a frame even if you happen to make one.
The costs would be prohibitive and Fiero owners tend to fall into 2 categories:

-they are broke, so they will never have the money for this...and are waiting for tax refunds to buy that "must have" Fiero part

-they are NOT broke and have a Fiero as a hobby, and have money because they spend it wisely, live within their means, and make financial decisions based on logic and reality.

It is better to be in the second group



Nice generalization to offend nearly everyone here.


 
quote
Originally posted by cam-a-lot:please talk to someone with real automotive design and assembly experience, not dreamers on a forum, before spending money on this.




I do like how you assume you're the only person here who's even designed a 3D part though. How cute.
I'd venture there are people in this conversation with a lot more experience than I have, and I know a bit about this as well.

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