Archive for the ‘Automotive’ Category

How to Build a Rat Rod

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Rat rods go way back to the old style hot rods. Today’s hot rods are designed for speed and racing and show. A rat rod is basically a hot rod build without any real idea of how the vehicle should look. Each one is completely unique to the builder. They are not easy to build but the experience is fun and challenging.

Step One:

Chose the type of engine you will use. This heavily depends on the type of frame you have and how much weight you will need your engine to push along. Really the biggest consideration is your budget. If you can afford to shop around for an engine, online a new, you will be looking for something based on performance specs. If you’re on a budget the best option is probably your local junk yard or pick-a-part.

Rat Rod How to Build a Rat Rod

Step Two:

Next you will have to either build or buy a frame. Rat rods allow a great deal of latitude here as long as your frame is strong enough no to fall apart under the pressures of speed. Whether you are building or buying light weight metals are the trend now but will cost you a lot more.

Step Three:

Now, its time to mount the engine to the frame and get your power components operational. These components’ include things like battery, transmission, wheels and axles. If you’re starting your rod with a junked car finding these parts will be easy and you may still have operational ones attached to the frame. If not any junk yard will have what you need. Things like an electrical system are after thoughts. A true rat rod usually isn’t street legal.

Rat Rod1 How to Build a Rat Rod

Step Four:

Now that you have all the components’  installed, test to make sure the engine will start, run and turn the wheels. Once you have that accomplished and everything is working to your satisfaction the rest of the rod is easy.

Step Five:

You’re almost finished. Install the steering control, gas and brake pedals. Exactly where you place them is up to you. Again, your rat will not necessarily be street legal. You do however have to make room for a seat that can reach all of the controls.

Step Six:

This is the last step. Finish up the body and interior. The inside can be as fancy as you wish, or not, but keep in mind that anything that you add also adds to the weight. If you add body panels, keep in mind that they should either increase or decrease you aerodynamics, or, like a spoiler, increase your tire grip. Any body panels will also increase weight. And painting frames does not increase your speed.

Rat rods are fun to build and race. Simple to build and maintain and a good time for the whole family.

How to Build a Dog Box for a Truck

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Normally, the cabin space of a truck is limited, and it is unusually difficult to handle a dog inside the cabin while driving. The most feasible solution is to fix the dog box in the bed of the truck and securely deport the pet in that box. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a strong dog box.

The first thing that needs to be done is to select the design of the box. The design would depend upon the size of the dog and the amount of space available in the truck bed. The box should occupy the minimum amount of space, but at the same time, the pet should also be comfortable inside it. On an average, the box should be 39’’ long, 24’’ wide and 22’’ high. As far as the resources of the design are concerned, lots of options are available like internet, television, movies, magazines, and so forth.

Dog Box for Truck How to Build a Dog Box for a Truck

Once the design has been selected, its time to choose the building material. Aluminum is considered to be a good choice because it is light weight. Other metals and toughened plastic are also considered to be equally good. If wood is used for the dog box, then it should be weather resistant. Cut the chosen building material into six pieces depending upon the dimensions.

The dog box should be properly ventilated. Hence, on the two sides of the box, cut small holes. Do not cut holes on the top or bottom, else water can penetrate inside the box. After the holes have been made, sand the edges as these may cause injury to the pet. On one side of the dog box there should be a door for the safe entry and exit of the pet.

The next step is to assemble the unit. Use weld or bolts to put the parts together. Ensure that the door is properly attached to the box and opens easily to allow the dog to slip out. When the box has been assembled, sand the exterior and give it a fresh coat of paint. Install the dog box on the truck bed with the help of bolts. Thereafter, make the interiors comfortable for the pet. Test the dog box without the pet. It shouldn’t move or shift even on the rough road. It should be well-ventilated, snugly and cozy. Inspect the interiors carefully, it should be absolutely safe and secure.

How to Build a Roller Coaster

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Who can forget those enjoyable times spent at the local amusement park, carnival or State fair blasting along on the roller coasters. The endless loops and curves and heart stopping drops that brings the screamer out in everyone. Today’s coasters are higher, faster and longer than ever before. Building rollers on today’s scales requires consummate skill in engineering, physics and a lot of imagination. Below are instructions for building a roller coaster that is much simpler to the behemoths in the parks but still a lot of fun.

Step One:

Understand how roller coasters work. The only actual power needed can be easily obtained from a simple electric motor and that only to pull it up the first hill. The length of the track is up to you. The longest in the U.S. is about a quarter of a mile, but yours will be significantly shorter. Determining the height of the first hill is crucial so do that first. This is the height that determines the speed that the coaster will have to have to travel around the track. The best height for the first hill is 262 feet.

Build a Roller Coaster How to Build a Roller Coaster

Step Two:

The next step is figuring out your slopes. The coaster relies on the force generated by the first slope, of the first hill, to travel the entire path. The best slope is one with a curve at the bottom of with a flat path. Now determine the second slope, or exit path. This is the slope that the coaster will maintain its speed after travelling down the first hill. The exit path needs a low slope to maintain a safe exit out of hill number one.

Step Three:

Now follow the same procedure with the calculations of the second hill. This one is just as important as the first hill because the second hill maintains the speed of the coaster, and gives the riders the feeling of weightlessness. This hill is ideally about 230 feet.

Roller Coaster How to Build a Roller Coaster

Step Four:

Adding a loop is your last step. This will give the riders a more exciting ride in terms of speed and feeling the yank and tug of gravity. You can use either a perfect circle loop or an elliptical loop, but whichever you chose, it must be 115 feet high.

Now all you need to do is fasten your tracks and cars to the frame, hook up the power and you’re ready to start screaming.

How to Build a Trailer

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Building a trailer is certainly not an easy proposition. In addition to superlative mechanical skills, outstanding planning skills are also required. A trailer kit makes things relatively easy. All one has to be concerned about is the size and design. Simple instructions have to be followed and different parts have to be put together. However, all the perspectives change when the trailer has to be built from a scratch. The design has to be chosen, blue print has to be created, tools and materials have to be collected, and so many other things have to be planned and done. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a trailer with ease.

The first things that have to be taken into account are the type and size of the trailer. The utility trailer can be flat bed or enclosed or small or large. The size will depend upon the load of the bed, towing tongue dimensions and the distance between the wheels. The next important point that has to be taken into consideration is the purpose for which the trailer would be used and the total weight it would carry. This is a crucial issue which shouldn’t be overlooked because the axle size and the kind of suspension needed depend upon this decisive factor.

Build a Trailer How to Build a Trailer

The motor vehicle that will tow the utility trailer will determine the height at which the tongue should be set and position of the centre of gravity. At this point of time, the tongue weight should also be calculated. At the planning stage, the materials should also be selected. The building materials should be strong, resilient and durable. As far as the tools are concerned, they can either be bought or brought on rent. Some important tools that would be needed are welding machine, grinder, clamps, axle stands and drill.

There are some parts, as axle kit, wheels, tires, lighting, wiring loom, towing latch and hitch, that cannot be built and so they have to be purchased from the market. While buying such parts, it should be borne in mind that they should fit properly in the design. An efficient braking system is also important. As the trailer would be carrying heavy items therefore automatic braking system would be most effective.

After all the planning has been done and appropriate tools and materials have been collected, its time to put ones mechanical skills to test. All the parts have to be assembled according to the blueprint.  The trailer has to be tested to root out the troublesome spots. Once that all the requisite tests and precautions have been taken the trailer is ready for use.

How to Build a Go Cart

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

All is not lost just because you don’t have a driver’s license or a car. If you feel the need for speed but don’t have the means to fulfill it, you could always try learning how to build a go cart. Just remember that these vehicles are not suitable to actual road driving!

You will definitely need to have a welder to build this project. Equipment such as this can be hired, but you should also learn to weld properly, making good quality welds with uniform beads and proper penetration. The plans of your go cart notwithstanding, the size of the vehicle will vary with that of the driver. Kid-sized drivers usually need a frame 50 inches long and 30 inches wide while an adult-sized frame should be about 72 inches long and 40 inches wide.

Go Cart How to Build a Go Cart

Parts for your go cart can be salvaged from a discarded riding lawnmower or even a junked go cart. Scour yard sales and junk yards until you’ve found all the necessary parts. The metal tubing has to be cut out based on your blueprints before the pieces are welded together. Adding gussets at corners will help provide more strength to the structure.

The steering linkage is to be assembled next with 0.5-inch wide steel rod for the linkages and 0.75-inch wide steel rod for the axles. A torch hat may be needed to heat the 0.75-inch rods so that they can be bent at right angles. This is not a job that can be rushed if you want to have satisfactory results. The axle is built with a straight piece of 0.75-inch steel rod and attached to the frame with 2 bushings. The arrangement is kept in position by using washers and drilling cotter pins through the axle.

Go Cart 1 How to Build a Go Cart

The drive pulley is attached on the axle just before the axle is mounted on the bushings. A set screw can be used to hold it in place, or it can be directly welded to the axle. Remember to align the drive pulley with the engine pulley in order to know how to build a go cart properly. The engine is mounted via a flat, 0.19-inch steel plate welded to the rear of the frame. The engine is first placed on the plate so that the holes for the mounting bolts can be marked and the engine and drive pulleys line up on the axle. The seat and floor boards of the go cart can be built from plywood lumber or even metal. As this is a small vehicle only to be used for recreation, you shouldn’t use a large engine or high gear ratio for it, and always remember to wear protective gear when driving one.