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FFCobra Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's something I'm doing & wondering if there's anybody interested in something like this.

One of the things that bothered me about the FFR is the thinness of the floor panels and the tunnel panels. I've been experimenting with some composite panels where I sandwich a layer of kevlar and the strongest epoxy I can get between the original aluminum and a top panel of .040 T-6 aluminum. I'm going to have some tests run (if I can find a shop to do the anaylsis) on the physical properties of these panels (puncture, deflection load, shear strength, etc) vs. the standard panels. What I can say from my small mock-ups is that the combination is incredibly strong but I want the numbers.

What I'm hoping to get out of the panels I build for myself are:

- No fear factor around *anything* coming through the floor

- Built in driveshaft protection as I doubt anything will get through the finished panels

- A very strong floor that 'feels' strong when you step into the car. I've stepped into FFRs and sometimes you can feel the panel flex when you get in

- Additional noise & heat reduction from the drivetrain

Anyway, as you can tell from my icon/sig, I do crazy/stupid stuff so maybe this falls into that catagory. Let me know what you think.

(passing out candy & reading the forum - very nice!)

[ October 31, 2002, 08:42 PM: Message edited by: Ed Hubbard ]
 

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Interesting, idea, Ed.

Now if you had panels on both sides of the frame, had honeycomb cut to the thickness of the frame, sandwiched it inbetween the inner and outer panels with an appropriate adhesive ... those panels would really stiffen the chassis, reduce noise and hardly add a smidgen of weight.

Cheers,

Filippo
 

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I'd thought of doing somthing like that too - i always think of that when i really lay into it. The only reason i never looked into it is i always thought kevlar or somthing like it would be really expensive. How much to anticipate it setting you back? Kepp me updated Ed, thx
 

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This sounds like a really great idea. One of the things I keep thinking about, and that I want to deal with when I start my build in January, is a scattershield and some kind of penetration-resistant flooring. Another thing that occupies my thoughts pending the build is some kind of side protection. But that's another subject. ;)
 

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This is a good idea Ed. I would also like to know what the cost would be. Are you planning to produce these, tell people how to do it themselves, provide the panels, or would I ship you my panels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure on cost at this stage, just seeing if there's some interest from the forum.

My thinking is that I'd just have folks send me their panels & I'd ship them back when the transformation is complete. I want to get the specs first and finish my set just to make sure they turn out the way I want them. If all goes well, I will post the follow-up specs and offer to make a set for someone to give me an outside reference. Post that, I think I'd like to build & sell them.

I will keep folks posted as I progress on this. Thanks for the interest!
 

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On the side crash issue, just look at the spec frame. The MKII frame has only a 3/4"x3/4" bottom tube at the door. The spec uses 2" sq in the same place. I plan to take the spec side bars, lower them to below the door, and incorporate them into the street chassis. As the street frame sits, a moped could kill me in a side impact. If the spec sidebars are kept below the doorline, it would be a big improvement and would be a very minor cosmetic change. My $.02.

Leonard
 

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i was going to line the aluminum around the trans tunnel with bullet proof vests that i have lying around,but the extra thickness would have interfered with the gas pedal and my foot so i decided to just make a trans blanket out of one,hopefully it will at least slow down the shrapnel,your idea sounds much more refined,good luck......vinny
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gotta be a jersey thing! In TX there's just a bunch of guns laying around...
 

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Ed, you will not get much stiffness from Kevlar unless you use many layers. The price is still high these days at $2o.oo per sq. yard for 258 style weave. Two ways to get stiffness; carbon, or a cored panel. The cutting of Kevlar is a challenge if you don't have the right equipment also. What style Kevlar are you thinking of using? #29 or #49 I hope you are not using the WEST Epoxy. It's formulated to stick wood together, but they do formulate a great epoxy for laminating. It was used to build the Voyager Aircraft I believe.
I do have some names of testing companies if you need them. email me & I'll send a few. ;)
 

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I think it has to be a Jersey thing. Driving my Porsche from Philly to LI on the NJ Turnpike - Something (rock, bullet?)hit the bottome of my car - blew a hole though an AC line (thought it was coolant) and through the FRAME.
Repair is over 1000 bucks so far. (parts & tow). havent gotten to labor yet

Starting to make me think twice about the thin floorboards on my FFR
 

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Uhm, guys, the width of the driveshaft is about the same as the width of the driveshaft safety loop. ;)

If you're really THAT worried about it, replace the aluminum sheet floor panels with steel.

You would need to do 4 pieces.

Drivers footbox pan, floor pan, passenger floorpan and the top of the trans tunnel.

If you're REALLY anal you could weld it in.

IMHO it's not necessary. :cool:
 

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Here in Waco, I beefed up the structure of #2651 using various aircraft insulation materials and additional 4130 square aircraft steel tubing and sheet metal from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. I welded steel sheet about .050" thick under all of both cockpit floors. Then I put a high density 3/4" aircraft foam insulation in all of the voids and sandwiched this with liberal use of silicone and then rivited FFR's aluminum on top. To protect bottom of the only primered and painted steel floor, I rivited another sheet of aluminum on the bottom. For the firewall, footboxes and trans tunnel, I "manufactured" walls about 1/4" thick using another Spruce product, a ceramic material for aircraft firewalls, with aluminum on one side and stainless steel foil on the other. Again, I siliconed and rivited this together into a sandwich which is very light and rigid. I also put a rubberized and insulative fabric about 1/8" thick along both sides of the tunnel. (Again from Spruce). I also beefed up the driver's footbox floor, this time, only 3/8" thick using the same type high density foam rubber and a 3/8" torch welded 4130 square steel tube frame which looks like tic tac toe matrix. Again, silicone, & rivits from above & below. I also torch welded a 4130 sub-frame for both footboxes and added .050" steel front plate to the driver's footbox. In my humble opinion, this did a good job at making my FFR much more solid and sound and heat proof. I also used a spent 30-30 shell casing to fabricate a water drain in the driver's footbox. Took about a month to do and added about 40 lbs to the car, but with all this and the Jeg's driveshaft ring which I welded in between the two seats, I think I feel a bit more secure. The best part of the steel underfloor was I didn't have to go nuts trying to hit the frame members to install Breeze's reclined seat wedges. If memory serves me correctly, you can order the Spruce catalog at www.aircraftspruce. They have a super outstanding free catalog. I have almost exclusively used either "8" grade bolts and full metallic lock nuts purchased locally or A/N bolts and hardware from these folks. HOT - I WAS JUST LOOKING UP THE AIRCRAFT SPRUCE ADDRESS TO MAKE SURE IT IS CORRECT AND NOTICED THEY NOW ALSO HAVE A FREE 150 PAGE RACE CAR PARTS CATALOG. I JUST ORDERED MINE. SUGGEST YOU DO THE SAME!!!!
Eddie
 

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Hi,

The company I work for specialises in composite materials, including kevlar and kevlar/aluminum panels. We do repair and manufacturing for the aerospace industry.
We have all of the equipment here for doing all of the tests that you would like. We also do flame testing and weather conditioning as well.
If you'd like to send a sample up to Canada, I'm sure I could take one of the guys here into running it through some tests. Also, know just the materials and epoxies you use, we can put it into our software to do a stress analysis.

Let me know if you're interested. You can get more info on us at www.comtekadvanced.com. We are currently working on opening a location in Memphis.
 

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Ed,
This must be a Texas thing. I too felt the 3/4 inch tubing on the floor a bit flimsy. I replaced with 1x2x.120 mild tubing. (The spec racer uses a 2x2 outside rail, but still uses 3/4 X brace, go figure.) Below the driver and passenger floor welded in 16 gauge steel sheet. While I was at it I extended the passenger side forward, in essence dropping the passenger footbox. Also used the 1x2 to enclose the passenger and driver footbox like the Mark II chassis. I was thinking about making this change last year while I was on a parts run into downtown San Antonio. I turned the corner and right in the middle of the road lay a 4x4, kinda sealed the deal for me.

Don
FFR2546
 

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I guess that does sound a little weird,
I am a handgun,submachine gun,and assault rifle instructor as well as a sniper on our swat team so I get to play around at the range with some of our old expired vests and other items,uh I mean conduct ballistic testing of our safety equiptment for performance evaluation in a controlled environment ;)
we cant sell them for liability reasons because of them being out of date (although I have never had one fail based on its rating)so we test some,and trade the rest in on new ones,so when I was building I thought it would be cool to line the trans tunnel and sides of the footbox with them to protect a little better, I should have just put a steel bell housing in during install but didn’t think of the safety issue until after it was installed and realized how thin and close the flywheel is to you(same with the drive shaft)so until I change my clutch and or trans my homemade trans blanket will have to do (I hope),if I ever do another ffr this is an area I will do a little beefier,your idea is pretty neat

and come on , jersey isn’t that bad :rolleyes: ......vinny
 

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Eddie, I went to the aircraft spruce site but didn't see anything about an auto parts catalog.
Your link doesn't work.
Thanks,
RR
 

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OZONA, you are right about the vac. bagging. Kevlar is tough to work with. It doesn't lay down and conform to a mould surface like most fiberglass products that people are used to working with. I think all fiberglass goods ( randon chopped strand mat and woven goods) are held together with a binder that dissolves when polyester resin hits it alowing the fibers to break free from one another and move. There are differnt binders for epoxy and polyesters. Also; if you get a wrinkle or a crese in Kevlar, it wont come out. Using a hot iron to iron out the wrinkle helps a little. I've never tried using the bullet proof Kevlar in a lay-up with a resin... it might work. It's different from the Kevlar used in composites.
 
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