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Moving Forward



With the Contour out of the garage and awaiting a tune I can start moving forward on other projects. The first order of business is reorganizing the garage...again!! This last iteration was a big step up as far as organization and efficiency goes but some more problems have arisen that need to be resolved. The industrial shelving that is serving as the combo weld bench/steel rack at the moment is getting taken down and a new dedicated welding bench and material rack built.


With regards to the Focus, my approach has changed considerably having had time to rethink design and construction.




Pictured is an in-progress shot of one of Andrew Gallacher's Cosworth swapped Focus' on a Celette fixture bench designed for uni-body straightening. Many vehicles are built in the garage with limited fixturing and as those familiar know, stuff moves once the weld pool cools and contract! In this manner, chassis dimensions are not as precise and is more difficult to construct not having reference points or proper means of constraint.


Manufacturing becomes simplified and expedited with this approach. Once the 3D model is completed, all one has to do is build the 'uprights' to support all the primary chassis pick-up points. Completing the chassis is as simple 'connecting the dots' with tube to the pick-up points. Being entirely bolted down, dimensional quality is higher.


I was going to use I-beams for the bench frame but will likely be opting for 6"x2"x.25" or 8"x2"x.25" due to costs and less welding involved (flanges, etc...). I'm attempting to minimize welding so as to not induce additional stress into the frame and minimize distortion in the bench. It will be bolted together instead.


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I'm skewed just a smidge, and within a 16th on wheelbase just measuring a bunch and burnin. A proper frame table would be a treat, but oh, so much in the way. I was cutting and welding I beams today over at a buddy's farm. Unless you use thick, they are flexy. I was using stuff 12x7, 1/4.... 6x6, 3/16.... and long spans do sag. The really stable I beams are 7/16, but then you need the highlift to move it anywhere. Don't pinch ur fingers movin those slabs around.



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I was leaning towards the 2 or 3 x8's as I figured it would have to have a high 2nd moment of inertia. Unfortuneatley I don't have Mechanics of Materials until fall of next year so I'm going off of other's designs and recommendations.


The bench is to be 15' long and ~4' wide. The chassis will be supported from the front strut and rear shock towers with temporary internal bracing to maintain chassis dimensions. Heavy duty leveling jacks are being placed beneath the 4 pick-up points to minimize the bending moment inside the beams which will greatly reduce any deflection (think of truss opperation vs. frame, loading the joints).


Your chassis is simple since you get to build it from scratch to your own liking. :D The Focus chassis members are not straight and mated at right angles so it makes things easier and more precise to do it this way. As I'm likely to build more, it's being made modular too.

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How long before you expect to assemble it? See where I'm goin? I'd be a big helper with weld, pizza, and beer to use it on my frames too.

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