Why is the Body in 4 Large Pieces?

How To Get Started

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:44 am
Looking at the videos, many crashes have a corner of the nose or tail hit another car or brush a barrier, and the whole nose or tail section brakes loose and appears to suffer damage. The sections are expensive, and they look too large to ship by UPS.

Why are they big one piece sections? Wouldn't it be more practical for them to be broken into 3 or 4 pieces each? For example, the nose into two fenders, a section over the radiator, and a section over the front of the chassis?

The smaller pieces would be less expensive, might be able to ship UPS, and in a crash might break or dislodge leaving the other sections in place. A bit like having two fenders, a hood/trunk, and an end cover.

Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:38 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:37 pm
I am not sure where good break lines would be, but I think if good places could be worked out it would be a nice change. Even though I have just made a mold of the nose so I can more easily repair damage. Another benefit is for those of us that are at the track by ourselves. The nose is fairly awkward to move and install by yourself

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:59 pm
In the 1960s, the sports racers that the Spec Racer is modeled after had large aluminum box sections on the sides as the primary structural element. Today, they are really formula cars, often with a central carbon fiber tube, with an undertray and fenders added. A look at the pictures of the 2017 F1 cars show they really have a sports racer like undertray.

As a result, the bodywork is added in sections. This time lapse shows an Elan DP02 being assembled. It will start where the body is being put so the different sections are clearly visible: https://youtu.be/Pzn2Nyvh5Sw?t=1m19s

This is the Carl Haas price list for NP01 body panels, showing separate front/rear left/right fenders, nose, etc.

NP01 Body Panels.jpg
NP01 Body Panels.jpg (64.6 KiB) Viewed 1529 times


SCCA TA-2 chassis and bodies are sold through 2 sources: Mike Cope and Howe Enterprises. The prices are 50% or more higher than similar parts sold for oval track racing, probably due to a business model similar to the SCCA Enterprises where the cost of components subsidizes the support network. The price lists shows how the body is divided up into panels. The materials used for fenders, noses, and tails is highly resilient and uses flexible mounts also available through Five Star, the body manufacturer.

SCCA TA-2 Body 01.jpg
SCCA TA-2 Body 01.jpg (81.15 KiB) Viewed 1529 times


SCCA TA-2 Body 02.jpg
SCCA TA-2 Body 02.jpg (101.96 KiB) Viewed 1529 times


I posted this question because of curiousity why this didn't follow the current practices of other classes/manufacturers. That is why I posted in "getting started" rather than "technical".
User avatar
Needs a Life!!!
Needs a Life!!!
Posts: 715
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:03 am

Chassis:
828
Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/denny.stripling
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:24 pm
There have been attempts in the past to modularize (my word) the body work so that you could purchase 'clips' for repair, etc. but it never went anywhere. I'm not certain the final reasoning (manufacturing cost, inventory, etc.) but it's been bandied about on more than one occasion and just never took root.
____________
Bay 12, please.

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:20 pm
It is probably even bigger than just the components. The current technology is much more resilient and keeps it shape. These are some promo videos from FiveStar bodies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoD8PjJwabU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTTeeWik-vk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoewovVocqU

I'm figuring 10 pieces, 2 of which (front cowl and rear engine cover) which would rarely need to be replaced.

Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:10 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:44 pm
The more pieces, the more complicated mounting is. More brackets also = more weight.

Didn't the last round of proposals (~ten years ago) for new bodywork call for going from 3 to 5 pieces? With the current front and center pieces (that are hard to remove and handle by yourself) broken up into 2 pieces?

I always liked that plan.
Bruce Funderburg
SEDiv SRF #4

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:24 pm
BFun wrote:The more pieces, the more complicated mounting is. More brackets also = more weight.

Didn't the last round of proposals (~ten years ago) for new bodywork call for going from 3 to 5 pieces? With the current front and center pieces (that are hard to remove and handle by yourself) broken up into 2 pieces?

I always liked that plan.


Are there any threads here about that earlier plan?

The three goals I would think important or UPS shipping, high damage resistance, and rigidity to hold their shape. It should be possible to structure it as an evolutionary change, with the only significant compromise being two cowl (between the front radiator section and the dash) sections: one with separate side pods and one with the current center section.

The some the brackets can be flexible; the body panel bends with a minor impact then springs back. The Five Star site has all those parts listed.

As an outsider, this seems very obvious. But, as an outsider I'm the last person in a position to effect it.

Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:10 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:50 pm
No. The forum moved servers/hosts since those days. So the old posts were lost. Might be able to find bits and pieces with some web searching though. IIRC there was a brief disussion of it during the Gen3 planning. That should be on here.
Bruce Funderburg
SEDiv SRF #4

Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:45 pm
Location: Oregon
Chassis:
404
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Have you research the cost of making a 4 or 6 piece series of molds?
Sure they will sell about 500-600 sets and that's it.
Now pencil out the how many new molded body will ever be replaced. Hmm, none because panels never break. So Enterprises will not be selling any new molded pieces.
How can Enterprises justify the cost of the molds, They Can't

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:35 pm
Mold cost was one issue, but it may have been lost because of the effort directed to Gen3. The new technology isn't invulnerable, but much more rugged.

Is reducing costs important to SRF racers? Racing is expensive and time consuming. But often less than owning a 911S Turbo or these days even a well-equipped regular 911S.

Return to How To Get Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest