Top 10 Design Considerations

Billy_the_Kid

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I'm from a circle track/pavement racing back ground, and always trying to go back to my roots and find ways of applying things I learned back then to our off-road trucks now.

So, what are the most important design considerations when building something that will be dirt driven? Let's say a truck for instance. Regardless if its a mini-truck or stock truck/prerunner or a Protruck/Trophy Truck, it's still front engined and not a buggy. I'd like to hear everyone's TOP 10 (or top 5 or whatever) in order of importance. Things like maximum wheel travel, minimum bumpsteer, maximum horsepower, minimum weight, durability, upgradeability, availability, cost effectiveness, design efficiency (Colin Chapman)... stuff like that. I know somebodies gonna respond and say "they're all important". But everyone must still have an order. Here's mine:

1. Safety
2. Light weight (everything)
3. Design efficiency (multiple use parts)
4. Correct suspension geometry (front)
5. Maximum wheel travel (rear)
6. Correct suspension geometry (rear)
7. Maximum wheel travel (front)
8. Maximum horsepower
9. Durability
10. Cost/availability
 

homey

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Material, processes, attention to detail, simplicity, power...There are so many things to consider but I think these are important.
 

CanyonMan

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1) Excellent fabricator
2) Steady supply of frosty beverages
3)Lots of friends to help out
4)BIG engine
5)Big Tires
6)Decent suspension
7)Realistic budget
8)Strong rear end
9)Not enough sense
10)Slightly crazy driver

So far all those things work for me
 

matt_helton

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for me when i built my truck i had these things in mind......

1. saftey, the cage structure came first
2. economy, saving cash wherever i could, by making parts.
3. reliable motor, trans.
4. heavy duty rear axle
5. coil-over front end, decent rear shocks, and bump stops
6. a good meduim-travel custom suspension
7. lots of .120 wall mild steel
8. fridge full of beer
9. quality wiring
10. simplicity
 

FABRICATOR

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Proper weight distribution is also critical. Without it, items 4 thru 8 are a moot point.
 

John Bitting

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Since I am in the process of having a vehicle built, here is what I personally looked for.

Fabricator
Shop (size/location)
Material to be used
Geometry (scrub/camber/roll centers/instant centers)
Timeframe
Willing to build what I wanted
Reliability
Quality wheel travel
Low Maintnance
 

PBR

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1. FABRICATOR
2. FABRICATOR
3. FABRICATOR
4. FABRICATOR
5. FABRICATOR
6. FABRICATOR
7. FABRICATOR
8. FABRICATOR
9. FABRICATOR
10. FABRICATOR

when you hire a fabricator with a good reputation, history, background, etc., you get all the things that are necessary to build a winning truck, that is why they get paid the big bucks...
 

Billy_the_Kid

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Correct, I was asking the question from the standpoint as a fabricator.

I was hoping we could hear from more fabricators, like Porter, Jerry Camburg, FABRICATOR, Thome, Fish, WFODAN. Come on you guys, how about a little input.
 

Donahoe

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Safety, Fore thought, Thinking about the whole truck (.ie what the rear suspension will do to the front and vice versa), Workmanship, weight, Disco factor,Horspower, Chick magnet possiblities.
 

FABRICATOR

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What would you like to hear, a re-do of the last 2 years of babbeling? (lol) Seriously, "they're all improtant." As always, it depends on application. The faster you want to go the more critical everything becomes. What is the application? What is the budget for the car and the maintenance? How good is the driver? How fast do you want to go???
 

Greg

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Well, Im finally getting started on my toyota and so far the design process is as follows; select wheel base and track width, know what shocks and coil-overs im using, figure rear and front design styles (typical 4-link or cantiliver, or whatever), shoot for a certain weight bias, what steering set-up to use, know what motor (or what motor you may upgrade to) and transmission and any driveline specifics (9", 2 peice D/S), know tire size to design around, what tubing size, know seat dimensinos (cab seems huge until seats go in). I know I forgot a bunch of stuff. But then start designing, this is when all the suspension parameters cominto play, figure out what you want stuff to do under power, steering geometry, etc. How much travel do you want? Then its all about packaging, making most efficent use of the available space and making juntions to maximize strenght and reduce overall use of tubing to keep weight down. Safety is always a priority, but proper triangulation should lead to a safe cage from the onset. Ok, thats the design stage, but the MOST important part of any project is the funding, too many trucks get started but never finished.
 

FABRICATOR

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What exactly is "never"...?
 

Dave_G

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RE:"and transmission and any driveline specifics"

Hey Greg,
If you need a sequential six speed for the yota I can hook you up.


Dave
 

Greg

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Sure thing Dave, i'll have my people get in touch with your people. Hell, it takes two cars for me to have 6 gears.
 

orvacian

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My design considerations always seem to be dependent on my budget for the project. Depending on how much money I have, I usually weigh price versus performance and go somewhere in the middle.

I finally figured out the formula for estimating the cost for my projects:
Take the initial amount I am thinking it will cost and double it and then add 50%. Same formula for the time it will take to complete the project.
 

tim_krueger

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well matt_helton or should i call you lap and a half man
i think origionaly you had a fridge full of beer @ # 4 and a heavy duty rear axle @ # 8 and there is definatly no disco factor, but like you say all go and no show

p.s tell currie to hurry their butt up on your back end, i wanna go for another ride
 
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