Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

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Moe Stacolli
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Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:11 pm

Hello, I finally stumbled upon what a Formula Vee is and I am in love. The chassis appear to be very basic and I am wondering if there are plans available to copy. I would love to fab my own chassis. I am keen to the Evolution First style chassis but I am open to any designs so long as the trans is facing out the back. Not even concerned so much about fitting into a particular class just want to build a fun track toy on a budget.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by DWP » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:27 pm

I would ask and look around here
http://www.formulavee.org/interchange/

http://www.formulaveeracing.org

and
http://www.apexspeed.com/forums/portal.php

that should be more than enought to get you started.

DWP

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Marc
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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Marc » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:34 pm

If you're not looking for leading-edge equipment, a used chassis would be far cheaper and faster to finish. Check the safety regulations at whatever course you plan to run it on to be sure that you won't need to make any major modifications before they'll allow it.

http://www.sracing.com/ForSale/forsale.htm

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:59 pm

Thanks guys, I am waiting to receive my registration email to post on the formula vee forum. I was hoping if I built the chassis myself, the money I would save would put me closer to leading edge equipment. I have seen some pretty reasonable used chassis for sale but nothing anywhere near me in Illinois. Maybe some of the current chassis builders would sell me just the plans? Would be pretty sweet..

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Marc » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:38 pm

If I were building winning chassis, why would I sell my plans to someone else who'll build a low-rent copy that isn't likely to perform as well as mine, yet be close enpugh to tarnish the brand and reduce the demand for my genuine product?
Perhaps there's someone out there whose business model includes selling his own secrets, but I haven't met him.

As tight as FV competition is, the smallest advantage is competitively significant to a front-runner. If you won't be competing in sanctioned events, just building a "track car" I can't imagine why you'd limit yourself to a "legal" engine...it'd only take a couple of extra horsepower to make a five-year-old chassis as fast as the latest one in 100% legal trim, and you may be surprised how much it costs to build one from scratch compared to picking up one that's collecting dust in the back of a racer's shop.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:23 pm

I understand picking up a used roller is my best option as far as money and I may go that route. Building is part of the fun for me. I was thinking along the lines of an outdated and no longer competitively used blue print.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:03 pm

I have another question/idea that is still relevant if you wouldn't mind giving me your opinion on? What if I were to use an aftermarket and motor mount-less K-member and a-arm setup for say fox body mustang or similar instead of an axle beam? Some of them are pretty light and gives me the option for an inexpensive coilover kit with a lot of room for adjustments. Not to mention mustang brakes and wheels. I'd still have to do research on how a lot of rear suspension set ups are done. My skills and resources for bending and welding pipes are as good as anybody but my understanding of suspension function and design is still being developed, bear with me.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Marc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:33 pm

Formula Vee are all swingaxle rear suspension, their biggest weakness IMO - the stock trailing-arm front suspension is primitive, but works well enough and puts the front roll-center height right on the deck. With swingaxle, the rear RCH is always going to be at the center of the differential no matter what you do for control arm/link or swaybar design. If I didn't need to conform to class rules, the REAR is where I'd devote my efforts first - much more to gain there.
A Fox-body `stang has McPherson struts up front - you'd only be halfway there, you'd still need to fabricate perch points for the tops of the struts. If you're going to depart from the stock beam layout, IMO your time would be better spent on a double-A-arm layout.


If you want to base your front end on junk-yard components, you may want to have a look at a Chevette (seriously....they're cousins to the `74-`78 Opel Kadette Cand the `84-`87 Pontiac Fiero).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v481/ ... 1385245906

The last year Fiero (1988) had an even better setup that looks like something Lotus would've designed, but they're much more rare. You're looking at about 200lbs total with brakes.
http://images.fieroforum.com/pffimages/ ... view_1.jpg
Last edited by Marc on Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by SCOTTRODS » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:34 pm

There is a Formula V chassis for sale on the Volksrod Forums...
I have found them completely missing more than once. - PILEDRIVER

Some pics of My Powder Coating work
http://s244.photobucket.com/albums/gg6/terrellster/
My Facebook Page for Powder Coating
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001788886297

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:46 pm

Steeda and other companies offer really nice tubular k members without motor mounts and coil over top mounts already in place. Double A-arm setups are available, spindle and everything else bolt on. Something like this would give me everything I would need and more without engineering something from scratch. Weld it into the chassis and the chassis from what I can see is not a whole lot more than a narrow roll cage. The rear could be a custom four link set up...? I'm not real sure what all my options are for a rear set up. I am still researching when I can in between the rest of my life.

I will probably only be using a Volkswagen motor, I am open to different transmissions that would allow better rear design. Are there any 5 speed transmissions that can be paired to the vw engine that use a drive shaft? I could easily source miata IRS with a torsen differential. Similar K members are available for the miata that could be used as well. Set up even cheaper actually.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:03 pm

Scott awesome find! Cheap and local if anything it will be a nice guideline for that price. I sent an email, hopefully he still has it.

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Marc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:00 pm

The Miata does not use a transaxle, it's a "conventional" drivetrain with the transmission up front. Even if you cut down the tailshaft and built a shorter t'shaft housing, the overall length of the drivetrain would necessitate an overly long wheelbase. If you'll be using an aircooled VW engine, mid-mounted, a transaxle from a Porsche 914 would be the obvious choice since it's already set up for that configuration. The later ones with "side-shifter" are preferred over the early "tail-shift" ones.
Most any VW transaxle can be converted to mid-engine configuration by simply flipping the ring gear to the other side; nearly all `73-up have a "single-sideplate" case that prevents that. Although they only have four speeds, in such a light car that is usually considered enough and there are a multitude of aftermarket ratios available for much less than the price of parts for a Porsche box. There're also 5-speed conversions made for the VW trans, but they're "geared" more to the street/strip market where 4 close gear ratios are used for dragracing and a stock/near-stock 4th is used as 5th for highway travel...and they ain't cheap. There are also conversions made which squeeze 5 (usually straight-cut, dog-clutch) gears into the space taken by the stock 4, but again the cost might be prohibitive - and they can be a PITA to shift with the typical sloppy mid-engine shift linkage.
One "trick" that you could easily use on a car that doesn't need to meet class rules would be to simply invert the entire transaxle. This requires that you make some simple modifications to the vent system, and of course the drainplug ends up on top so fluid changes are involved but that's no big deal for a racecar. This lets you lower the crankshaft centerline (which is why it's illegal in FV) and puts the starter motor in peril of damage if you don't build a skidplate for it, but overall it's a pretty slick way to go mid-engine easily - you needn't even open the trans up if stock gear ratios will do.

If your primary goal is to build a track car on a budget, there are arguably better options than the ACVW engine. Nearly any FWD car could donate the engine and transaxle; once mounted behind the seat it's an "instant" mid-engine car. Fiat did it with the X1/9 (based on 128), Pontiac Fieros use Citation powertrains...Renault and others have done it too, and there's no reason why it couldn't be done with, say, GTI Rabbit parts. If you go that route there's nothing left of the original FV that inspired you, but if you don't have a special love for the aircooled motor it'd probably be the better pragmatic choice.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticle ... mprove.htm

Here's a vintage Webster 5-speed from the `70s (Hewland also makes them):
Image
Image

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:32 pm

Nice, okay the only reason I am favorable to the acvw is I have two of them and they are easy and cheap motors even on a high end scale they are cheap when compared. Wiring harness's and engine computers are not really my thing anymore, I find comfort in their simplicity and a low boost turbo would provide me with more horse power than I need when I reach that avenue. I think your right about sticking with the 4 speed. I did get a response on the chassis still waiting for pics but only an hourish away. Asking 200 obo missing front axle beam so this gives me the opportunity to consider the proposed coil set up or just picking up a used axle beam. The rear end will be pretty standard and I'll just add horse power like you mentioned. Wheels and tires will probably be the most expensive component if I don't get ahead of myself..

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Marc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:45 pm

Legal FV cars are limited to skinny 15" wheels, but if you need to buy some anyway consider going down in diameter as this will drop your CG with fewer suspension & steering geometry issues than lowering with tall tires. Find a decent 13" tire that'll suit your purposes and design around that. I cannot overemphasize how much swingaxle SUCKS compared to even a marginal IRS layout so I would not put much effort into the former - if you need to build or make serious modifications, put your effort into IRS...or even DeDion.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about for a tire, designed for 6x13" rims which should be available fairly cheaply. Bear in mind that although 13s fit fine over stock Bug brakes there could be clearance issues if you choose to run discs. There are wider options of course, but for the power-to-weight ration I'm envisioning you'll have they should be in the ballpark:
http://www.americanraceronline.com/Asph ... -ford.html

Same company makes <22" dia tires for up to 10" wide rims:
http://www.americanraceronline.com/Asph ... phalt.html

Choosing a modern engine doesn't usually mean that you're committed to running F.I. (or even electronic ignition if that frightens you). There's a carburetion setup made for almost anything, and often there's a distributor made for an earlier engine of similar design that can be grafted in. The mini-stock VW racers at our local track typically use an 1800 or 2000cc Rabbit/Golf engine with a 500CFM Holley 2-bbl; before those were allowed the 5200 Holley/Weber progressive was used with good results. And of course there are Weber or Mikuni multi-carb options for most engines too. I'm a die-hard ACVW guy myself, but I must admit that while they may be slightly cheaper to build the first time than some waterpumper choices, their overall cost to run for a few years is usually higher. A Mazda rotary probably wins overall when it comes to laps per dollar spent (plus they're nearly impossible to break).

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Re: Formula Vee Chassis Blue Prints Available or For Sale?

Post by Moe Stacolli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:54 pm

I really appreciate all your advice, I am learning a lot. Interesting to know other carbed engine options. I never even thought about a rotary, I really have a lot of areas to research now. But definitely IRS and what about a 205/50 or 55/15 on a 7in rim? The vw disc brake kit that uses ford five bolt pattern cheap steal wheels from jegs and star specs from tire rack $425 a set. And I haven't any time at all on slicks, I've been told it is good to really get comfortable on a good set of street tires.

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