Archive for the ‘ Chassis ’ Category

Car dolly

Due to the car’s general lack of mobility, low working height, and dusty nature of the current body-work endeavours… The decision to get the N2 on a workshop roller dolly was finally made.
Since some spare stainless tubing made itself available after a substantial work-shop clean-up, it only seemed appropriate to construct an eccentric trellis frame worthy of holding such an elegant race machine.

I give you… The Caterham Seven roller dolly!!  Now all it needs is an engine, and we shall deem it: “Project N3”!!!

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Material: 38mm OD 1.5mm thick 304 stainless tubing, spare urethane 6000lb 360 degree castor wheels, and a whole lot of stainless welding rod.

I’ll stop the words and let the pics do the talking.

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Off to powder coat!

Various engine/ body mounts fabricated, lightened, cleaned up, and now off to be powder coated!

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GT3 Crashbox

N2’s chassis was factory fitted with the very securely attached standard Exige/Elise composite crash box in faultless condition.  However, to enable the radiators to be orientated at the most efficient angle and run cooler within the restrictive confines of the front clam; N2 will use the aluminium GT3 specification crash structure.

By using the GT3 spec aluminium crashboxN2has lost over 1 KG of weight over the front wheels and gained more substantial splitter and clam mounting opportunities.

Now facing the incoming airflow at 50° and coupled with the planned carbon exhaust louvers to the bonnet, the radiators cooling capacity has been greatly increased.  This is especially important to the N2 project as the high poweredToyotaengine requires carefully controlled engine and inlet temperatures.  The inlet temps will be moderated through the PWR charge cooling system which shares the same airflow as the engine radiator and requires efficient packaging.

Removal of the crash box, it transpires, is neither a simple nor a quick task.

Once the composite box had been removed (and sacrificed in the process) the work of cleaning away the bonding residue continued.

The new GT3 specification aluminium structure has been offered up to the spotless chassis and fitted in accordance with original GT3 fixing points ready for the radiators to be mounted.

Roll Cage Installation

An all new 8-point cage has been designed for N2 with unique detailing and finished to the highest standards.

Bolted into position, the one piece, no compromise cage operates without restriction to either the driver entering the cabin or spotting that important apex.

Unfortunately the cage that you now see fitted to the car was not the original design.  The first version, produced by another manufacturer was scrapped due to the restrictive view out the front screen.  Designed in conjunction with expert cage fabricators Safety Devices, carefully considered routing ensures that the tubes run alongside the A-pillar and roofline precisely, maximising the available cabin space – an important consideration for endurance race driver changes.

The cage connects the front cross beam to the rear steel subframe mounting to the standard roll bar mounts and rear damper pickups along its path.  Featuring a roof brace and a substantial cross brace along the bulkhead and a separate bar for the harnesses to be mated too.  The cage was built to Nitron’s own specification with additional modifications made by Safety Devices to conform with FIA regulations – it truly is a one-off fabrication.  We are really very pleased with the quality of the welding and the thought that has gone into the cage with fine bracing details throughout – hopefully none of which will ever be required!

Air Jacks Fitted

In the run up to the Lotus Festival, we completed the installation of our Air Jack System using ultralight weight Goodridge Kevlar hose and swaged alloy swivel fittings.

The airjacks are Staubli jacks manufactured by Krontec.  We are using the lighter weight 50mm jacks, all that is required for the lightweight Lotus.  We have one centrally mounted in the front of the car, with the other two on the outer sides of the rear chassis legs that extend back into the engine bay.  We designed the mounts ourselves and had them fabricated to our designs by Bob Hall, who runs Concept Racing.  He did a beautiful job (as you can see), making them even lighter than our original designs.  They were bonded in and riveted using Plexus MA 420 Black Structural Epoxy Adhesive; the mounts are now in permanently and can’t be removed.

We then plumbed the system with Goodridge’s top of the line Kevlar ultralight hose system, with swaged alloy fittings not only do they look great but they also weigh almost nothing.  We went to a lot of trouble to get all the fitting angles and orientation correct, although a painstaking job to do, it will pay dividends later when we are endurance racing.

The system is finished off with a qucik release fill and dump valve at the bottom of the screen, this will allow the driver to see the system being activated, and will also keep the lance man clear of the doors and the fuel fill areas of the car.

AIR JACKS

The Exige requires only 3 airjacks, one at the front due to the light weight and two at the back.  As the Exige has an aluminium structure, the airjacks had to be installed into their own aluminium mountings, which we designed and made to suit the Krontec made Staubli airjacks.  These airjacks are very fast retracting and extremely light as they do not contain an internal spring.  The airjack mounts are bonded onto the chassis and at the rear have a bracket that fits under the chassis to take the load.

Front Air Jack

The airjacks are operated by a fill and release valve which we have placed at the base of the windscreen in front of the driver, where it will not interfere with driver changes or refuelling.  We have plumbed the system entirely in super-lightweight Goodridge PTFE smoothbore Kevlar hose with swaged alloy fittings.  These are more robust than the rigid hard-lines normally used, so are better suited to endurance racing.

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