The New Car

November 2016 update

I’ve made a lot of progress on the frame and have started working out some fabrication details.  There’s still a lot of work before I’m ready to start building but I can definitely see meaningful progress.

No images to share right now but I have been working up a more complete view of the chassis with wheels, engine, suspension and driver that I’ll post sometime soon.

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The New Car

Frame Progress – version 3

It’s been about 6 months since I started on the new version of the frame.  There have been lots of changes.  I’m happy with the progress.  There are still a lot of things to be done but I feel good about the design so far.

I’m now doing FEA in a much more accurate way – better constraints, more realistic load inputs and so on.  

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The New Car

And Now The Coyote

Here’s the Coyote!  This is from a 2014 Mustang GT, 23k miles.  This is about 412HP.   Weight is as shown – no starter, flexplate only, factory exhaust manifolds, no ignition coils.

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The New Car

Cyclone and Porsche In The House

Time to start gathering parts 🙂   After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to start with the Porsche G86.20 gearbox.  This is a 6 speed unit, used in the Boxster S and Cayman.  The gearset is the same as the G96, which is used in the current generation non-turbo 911 cars.  Should be ok for my purposes – at least to start. 

As for the engine… well, it’s engineS really.  I think the Ford Cylone series V6 would make an excellent engine.  I learned to like this engine because we have a 2014 Mustang with this engine.  It’s all aluminum, narrow V angle, 4 valve per cylinder, 7k redline and makes 305HP.  I do think I need to buy a Coyote in order to make sure it will fit.  Which engine will end up in the car?  

The engine and transaxle are NOT connected here – just put them together to get an idea of the package (and big size mismatch). This is going to require some interesting adapter tricks.

The weight shown is the engine, with coils, not throttle body, no starter.

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The New Car

Rear Coilover Orientation

And now, same on the rear.  Horizontal/Longitudinal or vertical?  This one is easier because I don’t think there’s room for vertical orientation.  Horizontal transverse is also possible but that will end up making for a taller package.  I’m figuring I need the space above the transaxle for exhaust. 

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The New Car

Front Coilover Orientation

I’ve been considering which way to orient the front coilovers.  The first design was horizontal/longitudinal.  Up for consideration is vertical, as shown above.  The vertical arrangement lowers the CG a bit but also puts the coilovers in a difficult place to adjust – especially spring perch adjustments.  It also makes for a tight fit for the steering shaft.  Lots to think about.

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The New Car

Suspension Progress

The suspension modeling is coming along nicely!  I am learning a ton about SolidWorks.  You can see from these still images, but you can move the suspension up/down and steer wheels left/right in the model.  I modeled the wishbones, rack and even a pushrod, bellcrank and coilover.  The more I learn, the more I realize has to be taken into consideration and… well, designed.  I am having a great time!

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The New Car

Can You Steer?

At a recent Cars & Coffee in Folsom, I talked to some students in the Sac State FSAE program and one mentioned that during an early design of this year’s car, they designed and built the suspension only to find out that the wheels hit the control arms when steering.  They had to start over.  I occurred to me that without modeling things like steering (with movable components in the CAD model) it would be very easy for me to make the same mistake.  

I decided that now was the time to start modeling “working” suspension and keep it in the model as I build it out. So here you go – primitive suspension that allows you to move up/down and steer wheels left/right.  In this particular case, I wanted to make sure that steering the wheels wouldn’t cause them to hit the frame.  As you can see from the images above, I have a tight space for driver/passenger foot room.   This will only get worse when I start considering clutch pedal movement.  Hmm, guess I better start figuring out how to get that into the model.

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The New Car

CAD Coyote Found!

I spent some quality Google time and finally found a Coyote CAD model. You can see how HUGE that engine is!  

I also have started building the frame perimiter around the engine/trans/people.  These are the 95th percentile models in some seats I found on the web.  That’s another challenge – what seats?  So much to figure out!

Making the long wishbones up front really limits foot room since the driver/passenger’s feet can’t extend into the suspension area.  I’m realizing how hard it is to keep this thing small, which is a goal.  Small is light.

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The New Car

Next Version, Coming Up

While working on the Celette Bench, I took time time away from SolidWorks and did a lot of thinking and research on design, suspension, etc.   I came to the conclusion that the C5 geometry is ok, but I don’t have the limitations the GM did – so why should I live with their limitations?  🙂  I want to make the suspension control arms (“wishbones”) longer.  My current thinking is that designing new uprights will be a very big job so I’m working around the assumption of using the C5 uprights with my own wishbones and geometry.  

I “threw away” the previous frame design and am now starting from scratch.  I started with the tires/wheels, engine, transaxle and passengers.  The engine here is a GM LSx but I’m very drawn to the Ford Coyote V8, but I haven’t been able to find a CAD model yet.  A CAD model is critical because that engine (Coyote) is very large so I’ll need it to be sure it will fit in the chassis.

 Let’s see where this goes.   This stuff is so much fun!

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