Chassis of the car unlike conventional design was build to suit the body rather
then body was build to suit the chassis and was engineered and build so
that maximum space can be utilized for creature comfort and also provide some
weekend luggage space.
From initial concept and due to the layout of cab forward
design there is very little room in the foot well area a traditional outside
frame rails chassis would not allow for any pedal placement and still have
enough room to clear front tires scrub radius, hence a custom tube chassis was
scheduled for the build and making up a custom space frame.
Majority of the chassis is build using 2x1" and 1.5x1" 0.120 wall square tubes
with 2x2" and 0.186 wall for lower rear rails and some smaller tubes
triangulating main tubes.
Chassis is divided into 3 distinctive sections, front section, mid cabin area and
rear engine compartment. There is a separate A pillar and windshield frame that
bolts in to the main structure which has the the cowl/windshield frame surround
body work bonded to it. The chassis has all of the provisions to bolt body
panels right onto it via welded in machined and threaded mounts into the tubes.
More on that is in the body-mount section
The front has a fully seam welded 18ga sheet metal between all the chassis tubes
making up a weatherproof box designated for luggage compartment. The 2 vertical
rails extend past 10" to front firewall making up space for mechanical
components like steering rack, brake booster, wiper regulator and windshield
washer and few other misc components. To stiffen up the rails, they are
triangulated to the center section
Rear part of the car is strictly engine/drive train compartment. Along its
length are 2 parallel tubes interconnected with triangulated tubes with one
additional sloped tube running from top of roll bar behind the seat to the back
which is used for mounting quarter panels and rear deck hinges. Most of the
filled and fully welded with 18ga sheet metal with some clearances for shafts and access
panels to battery and other mechanical components behind it. It is also
triangulated to rear firewall behind the seats with additional X brace between
upper parallel tubes to which upper control arms and suspension are mounted to.
The center interconnects front and rear sections via center tonou that is made
up of triangulated square tubes which again are claded with 18' fully seam welded sheet
metal on all 3 sides and on bottom a skid plate is bolted up from bottom
covering fuel tank running along its length. To provide additional strength and
protection there are 2 parallel tubes on each side within the rockers running
from front wheel well to the back firewall which as well are sheet claded and fully seam welded
with 18ga sheet metal. Bottom tube runs past the rear firewall all the way down
to front of rear wheel. The tube has welded in inserts which are threaded
and are used to
mount the rocker panel and filler sheet to make bottom of the floor smooth and
preventing any road debris of getting onto the hidden chassis and also
protecting plumbing hiding within the rockers. Floor of the cabin is covered
with 14ga sheet metal to protect the occupants as it will be 4" from the ground
Some pictures are with in the chassis
Sheet metal panel fills
We have decided to use 18ga cold rolled sheet metal for most of the surfaces
with exception of the cabin floor as we wanted to make sure that is not flexible
for when a person stands on it and secondly when a debris on the road get picked
up and gets hit it would not go through the floor.
Most of the panels are fairly simple and flat, some that do have bends in them
are fairly small which where bent at home with home build bender. One exception
was in the front trunk that was bent up at metal fab shop and cost a lot more
than it should have. this was unavoidable as it was 36" wide.
Floor though being completely flat 14ga sheet it does have cross braces which
are used to mount seats to and in turn are welded to the side rails and spot
welded to the floor sheet.