Green Transportation

Moving toward a transportation system that fuels healthy people and a healthy planet.

Add to My MSN

MAX Update No. 53: Taking Sides In the Impact Wars

7/27/2010 9:17:06 PM

Tags: MAX, 100 mpg, fuel economy, mileage, safety, Jack McCornack

While I'm adding bodywork, I'm also adding some side impact protection.

MU53The “pontoons” (back in the day, that's what they called the side thingies that go between the front and rear wheels so the air doesn't have to go around wheels twice) could be completely hollow, and if I were making a race car they probably would be, but out on the road, where people go all kinds of funny directions and some of them have big clumsy cars to hit you with, I decided to sacrifice some lightness and add some structure between the cockpit and the outside world.

I researched a number of materials. Urethane foam was one thought (it's what R.Q. Riley uses on his XR3, (see MAX Update No. 5) and a number of production cars use expanded styrene under their bumpers and door panels (an industrial strength version of the stuff that cheapo picnic coolers are made of). I even considered rubber bubber beegle beebers ... reeble beeble buggle bungers ... but it turned out to be so hard to pronounce that I gave up on it.

Instead I decided on yet more steel tubing, like the rest of the frame is made from. There were lots of reasons, mostly boiling down to it's what the car is made of already. Why does that matter? Well, for somebody building a MAX replica, it saves them from finding new materials and changing skill sets in mid-build, and it integrates well with what is already there, and it will collapse and bend in concert with the rest of the chassis in the event of an accident.

Another nice thing about working with welded steel tube is, I can tell how much weight it will add without even having to touch it, all I have to do is look it up. Let's see, 1” by 0.065” wall square steel tubing weighs 0.83 pounds per foot, the 7/8” diagonal braces weighs 0.68 pounds per foot, the 1” round 0.049” triangulation tubing weighs half a pound per foot ... this sidebumper structure will add 9 pounds per side when I'm done. Whoa, how am I going to make that up? 

Actually, I have a plan to compensate for the extra weight, and I'll share it with you soon.

Photo by Jack McCornack 

 


Browse previous MAX Updates.

Check out the 100-mpg Car page for all things MAX.



Related Content

Do You Check Your Car's Gas Mileage?

How often, if ever, do you check your the gas mileage of your car or truck? Did you know it's super ...

The Environmental Impact of Cycling

Discover the environmental impact cycling makes and you can lower your creation of greenhouse gasses...

Living Better on Less Energy: Fuel Economy History Was Made in California

For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.

Friday Fuel Economy: Turn Right

Sometimes the most direct route to your destination may not be the most fuel-efficient.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Jack McCornack
8/6/2010 4:11:33 PM
Hi Robert, that exterior tube "cage" is a racing option on the STL, required in some racing agendas. It is simple indeed, but it's outside the body and so adds considerable aerodynamic drag. In racing classes where it's required, everybody's got one so it's an even playing field. Neither MAX nor the Locosaki qualify as "the same Lotus 7" and if you don't believe me, you can call Lotus's legal department. :-)

Robert Griffin
8/6/2010 11:46:36 AM
I saw pictures of a "Stuart Taylor Motorsports Locosaki". This is a kit version of the same Lotus 7. It had a side impact structure that looked less complicated. I assume that it met the racing sanction requirements. Just an FYI for an alternative design.

Jack McCornack
8/2/2010 8:20:33 PM
Hi Eddie, well it's going to have to be soon 'cause MAX has a race to run in a dozen days and I have to drive it to Iowa to get to the start line. I've made a couple of minor time consuming goofs and the body still looks semi-slapdash so I'd like to wait until I've made it a trifle prettier...I think I'll write a blog entry about goofing up and wasting time. But to answer your question, at least by the weekend.

Eddie Colon_1
7/30/2010 12:51:57 PM
Hi Jack. New framework, new sleeker body..... when are we gonna see pics of the improved MAX ?







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.