MAX Update No. 93: Plugging Away

| 6/29/2012 12:25:40 AM

Tags: MAX, 100 mpg, streamlining, fuel economy, nose, fiberglass, mold, Jack McCornack,


Man, I’d better get this right.

Those who’ve been following the MAX Updates know how hard it was to build this body, and how hard it was emotionally to build the rear fenders twice. To avoid ever doing that again, I made molds for the second set of rear fenders (see MAX Update No. 73: Fenders Sans Benders) and now I can pop out replacement rear fenders like Pepperidge Farms pops out cookies.

Now that MAX has shown its stuff, there’s been a bit of clamor from DIYers who want to make similar* cars, and it’s clear that the streamlined body is a key factor in MAX’s fuel sipping ways. I’ve shown how I made MAX, and the nose alone took two solid months, and other builders could duplicate my steps or we could make a mold of the entire nose and pop out noses too.

As long as you’re making a few of them, molded parts aren’t much more expensive than start-with-a-block-of-foam-and-knock-off-everything-that-doesn’t-look-like-a-car parts. You use the same amount of resin and glass in either one, and there wouldn’t be any cost difference at all except A) the mold itself takes about triple the materials that go into a part (the mold has to be substantially stronger than the part) and B) you have to make the first part first anyway so you can have something to make the mold off of, and if you’re only making one part, you’re done, and if you’re making a mold, your work has just started…and if you mess up on making the mold (hey, it happens) you don’t have a part or a mold and you get to start over anyway. To thoroughly abuse the metaphor, you have to make a lot of cookies to pay for an industrial cookie forge.**

The long story short is, I figured if I spread the cost of the mold over ten cars, it would be just about as cheap*** for builders to buy the body parts as to make the parts themselves, and when people asked if I’d be making (and selling) copies of the MAX body, my answer was: when three people commit to buying bodies, I’ll make the molds.

Gary Baker
7/26/2012 5:53:29 PM

How about calling it "Mini Max" (minimun gas - maximum milage)

Fred Westerhold
7/7/2012 3:23:07 PM

Been following Max's progress--if I was brighter than a wrench and could use one effectively, I'd jump in on your body molds. Anyway, maybe XaMax, DupliMax, EcoMax, EcconoMax? Minimizer?

Dan Dannen
7/7/2012 3:22:30 AM

How about "Envy-aero" "Aero-miser" "Aero-envy"

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