weChook Racing: Electric 3Galoo Build Log – Building the ‘mono-coffin’
Welcome to the ‘build log’ of Electric 3Galoo, Matt and I have always thought about showing the build process of one of our cars but a rushed build has always taken priority over documenting it. Perhaps that will happen this time as well….who knows, we will try to keep this updated as best we can!
One of the things we really liked about 2Galoo’s design was the use of a fibreglass reinforced foam driver cell. Some of the reasons we like this build method are:
- Strong enough to bolt front and rear subframes to without additional framework
- Immediately meets the requirements for keeping the driver safe in the event of a crash, without the need for bodywork providing any additional crash protection, this leaves our options open regarding a how we make our bodyshell
- Cheap (the rohacell panels that made up the last car was free from a skip!), we got an incredible deal on the Divinycell we are using for this build
- Easy! It really is, as long as you don’t mind the possible mess of epoxy resin the foam is easy to cut and shape to your desired form. You can then test and add to it as required to ensure things like your batteries fit in and your driver is comfy before then sealing the structure solid with fibreglass.
We are going to approach this build in a slightly different way. Build the entire drive cell first and fibreglass it then add our subframes and other components afterwards. It was very messy in the last build trying to glass in the steel subframes and we think we ended up with an overall weaker structure. This new method should allow us to add extra glass where needed to strengthen the areas where the most stress will be put in to the driver cell (harness mounts, subframes, etc). It will also mean we can unbolt things if we want to move them in later versions of the car. Realistically this design cannot get any smaller and still fit me in it so the rest of the car (bodywork primarily) will have to be built to this footprint.
Enough babble, on with some build!
Matt uses the CAD drawings (yes we have CAD this time, thanks Solid Edge) to draw out the shapes we need on to some Divinycell H80 foam. In an ideal world we would get this cut by a laser/water jet cutter for absolute accuracy, but we don’t have one of those so we are making do! Once we have the shapes drawn I got to work with a jigsaw to cut out the shapes roughly to size. It doesn’t take long and the foam is great to cut by hand as well, perfect for schools I would think.
While I cut the main shape out my girlfriend Jodie gets to work cutting the detailed lines using the bandsaw. I then finish off some of the more awkward cuts that my small bandsaw can’t quite get in to do. Once we were finished we had a pile of car shaped jig saw pieces. Overall this took around 2 hours with a few people working. Next job is to try and reduce the thickness (currently 20mm) or some of the panels, then glue them all together!
We have also really enjoyed reading the build blog found here http://greenpowereasybuild.blogspot.co.uk, some great ideas for construction and a valuable read to any teams thinking of scratch building a car.