Register now to get rid of these ads!

60 MPG - Trad Rod Style?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chuckspeed, Mar 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. chuckspeed
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,643


    been thinking about this for a few days now. A friend of mine and I were discussing the silliness of using a 4,000 lb, 2500 HP hunk of metal and steel to transport one 200 lb person around...the result is a vehicle that gets high teens in the city.

    working backwards, you'd get the same bang for the buck if it were possible to duct-tape one's ass to a motor - and the motor would be much smaller - 12 HP to do the same job. While that's impossible, there's a happy medium, which might be a 500 lb vehicle with 40-50 HP on tap.

    We've got some pretty bright folks on here, and it seems like one could have their cake and eat it, too - by building a high-MPG 'fun' car using traditional rodding as a guide....

    - belly tank nose
    - dropped I beam axle
    - single bomber seat
    - motorcycle wheels (2 in front, one in back)
    - Trump bonneville motor (650 CC's, 45-55 HP modded)
    - mid engine, single wheel out back configuration.

    Anyone done or seen anything like this? I'm thinking along the lines of a homebuilt Morgan. I'm aware of the brit kits to do this; would rather have something which looks more like a belly tank streamliner than a Morgan. Figure the little bugger would be fun to drive - and generate better fuel economy than those damned hyrbrid snob cars...
  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,242

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    There is a company in Italy working on that same premise... saw it on the discovery channel the other night, but can't remember their name...
  3. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 727


  4. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,819

    from KCMO

    there is a 3 wheeled one in production. with a sideways harley twin up front driving the single rear wheel in bike mags a few years back.

  5. haring
    Joined: Aug 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,335


    If you can come up with a regenerative braking system for 1940 juice brakes, then you'd really be on to something.
  6. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,118


    There is the video of the motorcycle powered Fiat on here also. I imagine it would be fun (other than reverse) and it likely gets 40+ mpg.
  7. chuckspeed
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,643


    the company was building an egg car, began with an M.

    Cycle cars (like the Imp and the Auto Red Bug) have been around since the dawn of the auto industry, to be later followed by microcars (mostly European, post WWII) which faded in the early 60's.

    My thought process is a wee bit different; a light, streamlined, one person, open wheeled, stripped down go-kart of a car that would be true to the 50's dry lakes streamliner 'look' but be streetable - and have more than moped power. something that light wouldn't need reverse - you push it backwards!
  8. What I'm picturing is a Hilborn streamliner with headlights and one rear tire. Maybe a small rotary engine or motorcycle engine for power. Heck, you could make a bubble canopy like a P-51 or P-47 razorback had to keep you out of the elements. Of course you'd roast like a pig at a family reunion too if the sun's shining.
  9. gahi
    Joined: Jun 29, 2005
    Posts: 731

    from Moab, UT

    heres a v twin one
  10. CHRIS 57
    Joined: Jun 10, 2005
    Posts: 173

    CHRIS 57
    from Upstate NY

  11. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,076


    I have a friend that has a fiberglass mold for a bellytank..
  12. one of the biggest problems i have found in my research on this subject, has been having a reverse. some people rig up an electric motor on the rear wheel for it, some people use a goldwing motor (that i am guessing has reverse?) the 3 wheeled vespa apes used a diffrent reverse gearbox, and i think the harley trikes either had it built into the rear or had a diffrent gearbox.

    i just sold a cb900f that i was considering doing this with, i still might try to do it, but i got to do more research.

    it would be cool , probably deciently fast and good on fuel effiency, i am very interested to see what pop up on here about this.
  13. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    from Tulsa, OK

    I would check some of the newer motorcycle transmissions. The crew at OCC built one awhile back that had a reverse on it, and the size wasn't too big. Figure you could mount a sproket to the input yoke on the rear end, and then use a chain drive between the tranny and the rear. I would think if you used an older carburated motorcycle engine out of a touring bike, you'd be able to get the power you'd want, speed, economy, and all out fun.

    Wasn't this a fad in T-buckets about 15-20 years back?

    Here's some links:
  14. I don't know that is has to be ugly or a single seater. This has been on here before....

    How about Close Enough Engineering's "Alpha"? Walker built this to screw with Alpha and Ferrari snobs in Seattle. It runs early early 60's alpha powertrain, its got a track nose, period racing dash and a removable sidecar (silver thing on the other side) and goes like stink - 1250lbs and 180+/- hp two guys can drag is sideways across the shop floor. Its runs big dual carbs and Steve doesn't give a shit about mpg but it could be redone with better gears and a 5 or 6 speed instead of the stock 4 speed and I bet it would get in the 40mpg range.



    Walker has another odd suzuki (bike) powered 2 seater that is scarry as hell to drive on the street and he has built at the other end of the spectrum with the Diamond T roadster on his site

  15. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753


    I would just build a lightweight super 7 clone with a EFI Quad 4 and a transmission and gears setup for milage.. They got ove 30mpg in a 3500lb car with and auto - what will it get in a 1300lb car with and efficent stick like a T5 and a properly geared rear end?

    Plus they look a lot like an offy motor.
  16. Lil' Toot
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 185

    Lil' Toot
    from Tulsa, OK

    Why not build a track style T, narrow it up to be a one person, put it on a ladder style aluminum frame. Use one of Superbells ultra lightweight aluminum dropped and drilled axels up front. Use a V-twin for power, and modify one of the trike conversion kits available for harleys and goldwings to put a narrowed rear axel out back. To keep proportions correct, leave a normal length hood outfront, even though it would be far more room than necessary, and extend the cowl under the hood, allowing for more foot room and letting the driver sit in kind of a "recliner" posture. Projector headlights hid in the track nose would keep things streamlined outside and keep a race car look. A simple bobed rear with just a tank above the rear would be enough and would look traditional, but a boat tail or sprint car style rear could be added. Go for a 30's or 40's era roundy round racer look. Heck, if a guy wanted more power, there would still be plenty of room up front for a turbo system too.
  17. junk runner jr
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 456

    junk runner jr

    If my turbo 2.3 got 30 mpg in a 3200 pound Merkur, what do you think it will get in a 1400 pound track T? I'll let you know soon.
  18. Lotek_Racing
    Joined: Sep 6, 2006
    Posts: 690


    Back when I raced Toyota Starlets I had one for a daily driver.

    1984 Starlet
    1700lbs complete with interior
    75 hp Toyota 1300 EFI
    5-speed manual
    2:72 rear gears
    Holds 4 people
    About the size of a Nissan Micra

    This thing got almost 50mpg if I drove it like grandma, it was completely stock.

    You won't win any races but you cant beat the mileage.

    Too bad Toyota pushed FWD real hard in the early 80's and dropped the Starlet from the lineup in favour of the Tercel which wasn't as relaible, cheap or well buiilt.

  19. 50 mpg is what I'm shooting for with my track-T/modified. 1200 lbs., Iron Duke w/5-speed O.D., single Weber 40mm side-draft carb, header w/Supertrapp, low frontal area (midget nose), radial tires (horrors !! :)), birdcage tubular chassis, and all aluminum body.
  20. chuckspeed
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,643


    From an engineering perspective:

    a three wheeler greatly simplifies the design, as the frame doesn't see the twist that a four wheel frame does. Three wheels (two in front, one in rear) reduces the parasitic drag of the 4th tire on pavement, driveline frictional losses, and overall wind resistance. The reductions are greater, IMO, than just losing a wheel.

    I built several three-wheeled go-karts as a kid; they are a HOOT to drive on account of the small contact patch in the rear relative to HP; oversteer was just a throttle blip away.

    Did anyone build a belly tank three wheeler (or a belly tanker with two wheels tucked inside the tank) for Bonneville? That would be a design starting point...
  21. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,711


  22. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    from Tulsa, OK

    I had thought about building a lawnmower engine powered, hydraulic driven, automatic transmissioned car or truck at one time. If everything worked right, I could have been measuring fuel consumption in gallons/hour rather than miles/gallon. Growing up down here around some tractors and farm implements can give you some goofy ideas! I just wonder if it'd work?
  23. Why wouldn't you look at something like a four wheeler motor for your power. Most ATV's come with liquid cooled 600 CC with reverse, and shaft drive to boot. The Atv's on the market now are capable ot 75MPH easily with 22" ish tall tires. Could be a realistic posability, small, fuel effecient, liquid cooled, shaft driven, five speed tranny w/ reverse, automatic available, and cheap!!!
  24. chuckspeed
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,643


    the M/C part doesn't bother me; usedta log about 6K miles a summer on a sidecar outfit - or whatever hooligan bike I'd built to terrorize newbie Harley riders.

    There are reverse gearboxes out there; do a web search on Dnepr or Ural and you'll see a four speed box with reverse. Don't like their final drive system, though - I grenaded one not long ago.

    another web search worth doing is on the Velorex; used canvas panels for the body. I like that; could build an alloy spaceframe and cover it like it was the Graf Zeppelin.

    ooh. I can see it now - and I'm diggin' it!
  25. rainh8r
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 792


    You might look at the auxillary trans that the Honda CB900C/1000C used inthe 80's. It was a two speed unit that may be able to be converted to one forward and one reverse gear.
  26. If you go that route, let me know. I used to make awnings and I ran the production shop for 3 years. I can teach what you need to know about covering frames nice and tight.

    You could cover the frame in translucent red and put some extra bulbs inside so the thing would glow at night when you hit the brakes.
  27. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,381


    Only because they are selling bikes in growing numbers without having to meet the normal standards. Private individuals (for the most part) on the other hand can still build what ever they like if it meets the laws of the state in which they live. If you sell product commercially to out-of-staters, then you open your self up to Fed scrutiny, but only after they notice you doing it. ie...substantantial production numbers.
  28. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,120

    Automotive Stud

    That's a great idea. And maybe we can save weight by only using two wheels. You'll have to have balance, but it won't be bad once you get going.

    I've already thought of a name: motored-cycle
  29. ronnyg801
    Joined: Aug 5, 2004
    Posts: 45


    If it is going to be so light you could always just put it in nuetral and push it out of spots that need reverse. (the only thing I can think of are parking spaces that have a need for reverse)

    Sure its not as neat or as convenient as an electric motor or other mechanism but it is also very easy and doesnt cost any money or time for fabrication.

    Or you chould just park in areas that do not require it.

    Sounds like a cool idea though. Ide love to see an end product
  30. Not quite traditional maybe, and as ugly as can be - although A series powered, so that's an ancient boat anchor up front... 360kg, 50-60 mpg, well over 100mph when you dare! Built about 5 of these,

    Jim Saunders likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.