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L/w Strengthening


Guest ScotMac
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Guest ScotMac

I have completed the VERY FIRST section of the build, and am now starting on the 15a, b, c, ... diff panels. Here is how i plan to strengthen them...overkill? comments, flames, other ideas, ...

 

Note, for the people that are not actually building a l/w, am sure you have no idea what a "15" panel is. So, for reference, i will post a photo of the "15" panels being installed immediately following this post (from the build video).

 

I am going to add 90deg angle'd aluminum to the above mentioned "15" panels. ie, i will put long angled ally (2" x 4" x length of each 15 'x' section) along the longitudal 90deg bends of the "15" panels (both sides). I am also adding the 90deg angle'd ally to the tunnel bottom (both sides of it). These angle'd ally pieces are 6061 T6, and are 1/8" thick. Pretty sturdy. Each of these angle'd pieces will rivet and glue into the square cross members each time they cross one. This should greatly strengthen the support for the square cross members.

 

Next i am putting 3/16" flat panels on the outside of the diff mounting panels. ie, the diff mounting bolts will go thru the existing 1/16" stuff *and* my new 3/16" panels. I will then *also* put in some small angled pieces hooking these two strong flat panels to the square cross members, thus linking everything together. These 3/16" flat panels are also 6061 T6 ally.

 

I am also using Fusor automotive glue (i mentioned it in a previous thread) to lock all these panels in. I am amazed at its strength.

 

I believe so far the new reinforcements have only added about 12lbs!! So far, so good.

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Guest ScotMac

Yes, Colin, i agree that RH has done a pretty good job ensuring that all the panels fit together tightly, and thus are self-reinforcing. However, i am concerned about the strength of those panels before they actually get to that point (the seat back panel). ie, i believe that the force of the diff torque could rip up the thin ally around the diff mounting bolts. In fact, i can bend that alluminum with my hands...we have done it many times for the build!!! ;-)

 

Note, also, that my strengthening will not add any to the current dimensions of 15 'x' panels.

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Guest warwick7735

Hi

If your strengthening the diff box, I would like to know what your going to be doing to the engine area where the engine mounts fasten to. When I was building mine I couldn't believe it would hold the weight, but it sure does. It's hard to believe how it all ties together and becomes a rigid monocoque.

Happy riveting

Warwick

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I am really interested in the Lightweight, but am hesitant about the structural integrity of a aluminum monocoque. Where can I find some detail pictures of a build? I am also concerned about rivets working loose over time. For such a light weight car, I think a bike engine is the ideal power plant.

 

Thanks

Steve

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I was quite keen on the lightweight, untill I saw one at a show. I was put off by the front wishbones being mounted in aluminium square section.. I wouldnt want my wishbones to tear out from fractured moutings braking at 70mph.

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Guest ScotMac

Warrick, i haven't got to the engine bay yet, but yes, you are right, i will strengthen it too. I will post once i figure it out. In the meantime, anyone else strengthened the engine bay???

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Guest warwick7735

Takumi

I take it youv'e never flown then because when you think that all modern airliners are made of aluminium, think of the loadings the wings have. Can't see the wishbones failing (well no more than a conventional steel chassis whose welds could fail). I love it due to it's exceptional light weight (excuse the pun). I can pick the front of mine clear of the ground with all the suspension, brakes, wheels & tyres fitted less engine.

All those that are thinking of getting one, take the plunge you wont regret it.

Many thanks

Warwick

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Takumi, though i believe the normal ally panels on the l/w are crap (2000 or 1000 series ally), i would *hope* those square sections are 6061-t6, which is quite strong.

2000 and 1000 series aluminum? I don't have a Lightweight yet, but are you sure about that? All panels should be at least 6061 I reckon.

 

Regards,

Steve

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Takumi

I take it youv'e never flown then because when you think that all modern airliners are made of aluminium, think of the loadings the wings have. Can't see the wishbones failing (well no more than a conventional steel chassis whose welds could fail). I love it due to it's exceptional light weight (excuse the pun). I can pick the front of mine clear of the ground with all the suspension, brakes, wheels & tyres fitted less engine.

All those that are thinking of getting one, take the plunge you wont regret it.

Many thanks

Warwick

I absolutely agree with that. Properly designed and built aircraft structures are very strong.

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Guest ScotMac

Steve, try to get the grade of aluminum out of RH...please!!! I have been trying for about 5 months. When i was picking up my l/w, Michael or Paul (both of build video fame) mentioned in passing the grade of the aluminum. I don't remember for sure, but i think it was *2000* series (obviously not 1000, which is pure ally). When i pressed them about it, they hastily changed the subject.

 

So, no, i have no idea what grade the ally is...but i have my suspicions!!!

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Sent as report link, instead of reply from Warwick7735

 

Hi

You are considering a LW, but have a few concerns over rivets working loose, all the assential load areas are fastened by nut & bolts. All other rivets are hefty 6mm ones which I can't see working loose but if they did it would only be a case of drilling it out and fitting a new one. I was considering fitting a Blackbird engine to mine but only after I've got it through the dreaded SVA. I have the build DVDs which I could try and copy and send to you if you want.

Many thanks

Warwick

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