We are currently fabricating sheet metal bodywork. We created rough plywood rough outs assessing different body and headlight arrangements.
Lots of fun creating different body styles, headlight locations, and windshield sizes. Many options, some really crazy. Settled on body in left picture with small round projector headlights.
Our Build Chronology
Step 1 : Decide on which layout to build first
We decided to do a two person, side by side seating. Good for a driver and a fun partner next to you !
Step 2 : Decide on drive type
A shaft drive approach would prove that routing and gearboxes were feasible. Since electric was not viable when the concept started, we decided to use a gas engine. Electric will be for our next model ;>)
Step 3: Create 3D Model
Completed by Alex in AutoCAD, the 3D model was a first pass at the mechanical arrangement. A 3D 'Printed' model was produced.
Step 4 : Source an engine
To do more details, we needed to obtain the exact engine to be used. But where to find something we could afford ? A Honda Civic SI engine from a salvage vehicle became our donor. But we did need to get it running before pulling it out.
Step 5 : Remove engine
Engine removal required tracing and tagging of related of the electrical and mechanical components.
Step 6 : Select 90 degree gearboxes
Four right angle gear boxes were required. Unfortunately, for this concept build, we could not afford to have anything made, so we sourced some spiral bevel 1:1 gears with roller bearings. Chunkier and heavier than production would be, but good and solid for our concept.
Step 7 : Finalize base components
This picture show the basic arrangement of the wheels, seats, engine, gearboxes, driveshafts, and gas tank. With engine and gearboxes selected, weight calculations and arrangement details are finalized.
Step 8 : Start Framing
Would there be enough room ? What would the seats feel like ? First framing sets seat and front wheels.
Step 9 : Set Front gearboxes
Front gearboxes and steering rack is set in framing.
Step 10 : Strengthen gearbox framing
Front/Rear/Side strengthening of core around gearboxes, steering rack, and anti-roll bar.
Step 11 : Set Rear Gearbox and Engine
Set location of rear gearboxes and engine. This finalizes shaft lengths, angles, and weighting.
Step 12: Start rear framing
Rear framing begins. Gas tank, swing arm must be accommodated.
Step 13: Finalize major rear components
Rear Gearbox mounts , Engine Mounts, swing arm mounts fabricated
Step 14 : Fab Rear Swing arm
Rear Swing Arm is fabricated
Step 15: First strength test
450 lb motor and accessory weight testing.
Step 16: Luggage Volume test
Trunk space for Lawn Chairs and Cooler check. Must have for a fun vehicle !
Note location setting for air suspension compressors and tank.
Step 17: Fab Driveshafts
Six driveshafts (3 each side), with CV joints to accommodate motor vibration damping and wheel travel. In production, these would be shorter/longer versions of what is in your car today.
Step 18 : Fab Exhaust
Exhaust with stainless mesh sections for vibration damping, muffler, and Cat to keep clean air :>)
Step 19: Major Components Complete
Last picture of open framing with major components. Sheet metal to complete drivers cabin begins.
Step 20 : First roll
Dragonfly stands on it's own wheels for the first time, and takes a peek outside.
Step 21 : First Fans
Front Bumper set, and front framing locations begin. Air suspension installed. Raw chassis will be complete once front framing is finished.
Step 22: Bottoms Up !
With raw chassis complete, major components are removed, and chassis is flipped for bottom work. Once completed, frame will be painted and sealed on bottom before returning upright.
Step 23: Engine Install
Bottom of chassis is completed, and flipped upright. Major components will begin final install. Here, engine goes in for final install.
Step 24: Prep
A fan suggests appearing at car show. Idea of showing chassis is interesting to many. Decision made, chassis components are installed and prepped for show. With only 4 weeks to complete, feels like TV show build.
Step 25 : First public appearance
2017 Car show. Lots of interest and great people. Thanks to everyone who talked to us, and all the positive energy and comments.
Thanks to our sponsors
Thanks to sponsorships from CSF Cooling! Side radiators, small size, performance cooling... who can meet our specialized needs ? Well, meet CSF Racing and High Performance. They had THE goods, and were generous enough to support our efforts. We are using two CSF All-Aluminum High Performance King Cooler (#7065), one on each side. Very nice!
Air Lift Performance
When we made the first Dragonfly design, we needed to select an air system for design detailing. Unfortunately, that was many years ago and the old K-Sport control system had no ride height control and was slowly failing. Searching for a replacement that could support our radical needs, AIR LIFT has graciously agreed to help sponsor our endeavors. Their new systems are really slick. Check out AIRLIFT at https://www.airliftperformance.com/ . More to come as we set up the system.