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Thread: Electrathon - A Different Kind of "Hotrod"
          
   
   

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  1. #16
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Stovens - EMT is electrical conduit. It's galvanized (zinc dipped) steel. Very thin wall and pretty light. I am using aluminum in a few places, but the main part of the frame is conduit.

    Bob - That Eliici is interesting... If you're serious, you can get all the stuff you need from EV Parts, Pentad Motors, Cloud Electric, and others. There's a list of resources on the Electrathon website (www.electrathonamerica.org).
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  2. #17
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    I would have never considered emt as a frame material, but i guess with proper bracing it would work out well, as proven by your rides. If you go to comercial construction sites you can get scraps all day long.

  3. #18
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    I would never use galvanized ANYTHING on one of my hotrods or stock cars, but in this case where the whole car with batteries and driver is under 400 pounds, the strength of the welds is greater than the material itself and therefore not an issue.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Robinson View Post
    I would never use galvanized ANYTHING on one of my hotrods or stock cars, but in this case where the whole car with batteries and driver is under 400 pounds, the strength of the welds is greater than the material itself and therefore not an issue.
    Yup,EMT is up to the load if design is right,I've never had any prob at all with it over 35+ years of useing it in lite lb load places of all kind.
    These little racers are fun,but we will not be taking #85 to Five Flags do to my van is dead and just too low on $$. I would of added the body for that one for sure,maybe in May,when I get another van

  5. #20
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Hello Bat! Welcome to Club Hotrod.

    Plans for attending the race at Five Flags are looking pretty bleak for me, too. I originally started on this new car with an eye on taking it to Pensacola for that race, but now it looks like I'm going to run out of time.

    OK, the first step in construction is to make some preparation. As noted earlier, I already picked up the conduit for the frame. Next, we need a few tools; in addition to a welder and few other usual fabrication tools, we need a couple of conduit benders (1/2" and 3/4"), an ordinary framing square, a tape measure, and a tubing cutter. Also, not pictured, we'll need a chalk line, a combination square, and a half-sheet of plywood (scrap plywood is OK as long as it's flat).

    I began by splitting a sheet of 1/2" plywood down the center (24" x 96") and laying it across two tables. This will become my frame jig.

    Next, I struck a chalk line down the center. Using the chalk line as the center line of the vehicle, I used the tape measure and framing square to lay out some key points. Then I used a straight-edge and pencil to "connect the dots" and end up with a rough outline of the frame.

    I cut some small pieces of scrap wood to make "fixtures" or "stop-blocks" and screwed these to the plywood in some key locations. More precisely, I put the "outside" blocks right against the pencil lines and then used a piece of 1/2" conduit to locate the "inside blocks. Finally, I was able to start fitting and bending some conduit.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  6. #21
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    Keep it up Jim, this is real interesting!! Ive always enjoyed your design ideas.

  7. #22
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Thanks HRD. Hey, maybe you should get some conduit and build along with me..?

    OK, notice in the pic above that I bent the front of the conduit so that the pieces will come together at the front. They will be positioned so that they come together and also turn slightly upward.

    I determined that to accommodate the shoulders of an average person, the width of the car needs to be 21 inches at the shoulders. On the original car, we tapered from the rear cross member forward. At the area of the driver's elbows, the width has shrunk down to a little over 17 inches. That's fine for a driver that is of slender build, but from driving that car myself, I have determined that comfort would be improved if I maintain the 21 inch width at least to the area of the driver's elbows before beginning the taper. With that in mind, that is how I laid out the outline and set the stop-blocks on the plywood jig.

    With a very slight bend at the "elbow area", the conduit lays in the jig like it should. I used a piece of the 3/4" conduit and a couple of clamps to hold the pieces in place. This was not clamped tightly enough to damage the conduit, just tight enough to make sure they sayed flat on the jig while I did some welding. I then tack-welded the fronts of the conduits together and cut, fit and tack-welded a crossmember where the back of the seat will be. At this point I also formed the main hoop of the roll cage from 3/4 inch conduit and tacked it in place. The crossmember and the bottom of the hoop converge at the same palce.

    Bending the roll cage hoops is a challenge... I do it by bending the conduit a little, sliding it through the bender, bend a little more, repeat, repeat, until I get the shape I want.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  8. #23
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    In the first picture below you can see the main roll cage hoop propped up with the framing square and a couple of small blocks under it. You can also see that I have bent the bottom conduit ends upward. I will trim and shape these a little further later.

    After welding the roll cage hoop and crossmember as completely as I could with the frame still in the jig, I removed the whole assembly and used the jig again to shape the top rails for the frame from 1/2 inch conduit. Keeping in mind that I am working upside-down now, I bent the front similar to the bottom pieces, but left the ends somewhat longer. With the ends clapmed together, I was able to mark where the second bends needed to be and bend the conduit to fit. Finally, I tack-welded the front ends together and tack-welded a temporary crossmember across the conduit at the "elbow area".
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  9. #24
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    Jim very nice shots of the frame build! One question and this may be a stupid one since I just started welding on my own, but someone once warned about welding anything galvanized. Something about gases released(can't remember?) is that a issue?
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  10. #25
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    I would love to build along with you, but im too tied up in home repair right now. When im finished with that, im bound and determined to get the model a started and driving for turkey run. Im rather tired of not having a hotrod to cruise, But watching this thread will give me some ideas to tinker with between projects.

  11. #26
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Stovens - Yes, welding galvanized metal can be hazardous to your health if you inhale the fumes. I'm not sure what gasses are generated, but it is my understanding they can make you quite sick and possibly cause nerve damage. I should have warned that welding this material (conduit) has to be done in a well ventilated area. I usually have a fan blowing toward the work to carry the fumes away. Thanks for bringing this up.

    HRD - OK. You're excused for now. The hotrod has to come first! I guess I'm lucky; I work on the hotrods at home and this project at the school shop.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  12. #27
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    After tack-welding the top frame tubes together at the front and with a temporary crossmember in place, I removed them from the frame jig. I put the bottom frame & roll cage hoop back in place on the jig and now I can fit the top section to the bottom. I set them together so all four frame tubes come together at the front. Then I trimmed the back end of the top tubes so that they intersect with the roll cage hoop 14 inches above the bottom. When I was satisfied with the fit, I tack-welded the ends together at the front and tacked the back of the tubes to the roll cage hoop. The temporary crossmember stays in place on the top tubes for now.

    I need to mention that conduit is easily notched or "fish-mouthed" with a pair of aviator tin snips (2nd pic below).
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    Last edited by J. Robinson; 03-26-2009 at 08:49 AM.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  13. #28
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    This is really cool Jim. You build interesting machines off all varieties.
    I may not be good but I sure am slow

  14. #29
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    Thanks, Bill. Yeah, the variety keeps my brain active and the work keeps me out of the bars & strip joints...

    For the next couple of steps I felt it was necessary to clamp the frame down firmly to the tables so that things would not move while being welded. I was able to clamp the rear of the bottom frame tubes and the frame jig down directly to the edge of the table. Up front, I used a scrap piece of lumber that reached across the table and clamped it at the sides.

    The next piece I fabricated was the piece that ties the roll cage hoop to the rear of the frame. I bent a simple half-rectangle from 1/2 inch conduit and fit it behind the roll cage hoop at the same height as the front tubes. I had to bend the rear upright ends inward to make everything come together. The pictures do a better job of explanation than my words... Once satisfied with the fit, I welded it in place.
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    Last edited by J. Robinson; 03-25-2009 at 06:34 PM.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  15. #30
    OFT
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    Very nice details. I may have to build one also (after the '27). I like the pic of the frame with your coupe in the background.

    Earl

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