Sage advice (yeah, right)


I can't advise you on welding. I watched an instructional video six times (Flashdance, starring America's favorite welder: Jennifer Beals) and I still don't have the hang of it. I do Mallard Injected Guano (or "MIG") welding, using special tools as you can see. It's good enough for test fixtures and test samples—in fact I prefer my own work for test samples, because you're not likely to find worse welding than mine, and ideally one tests the worst case—but it's not good enough for you. All the welded parts we sell are welded by professionals. So don't panic when you look at our test photos; your parts won't look like that.

The best advice I can give you is, if you're interested in this sort of car, buy "the book" (Chris Gibb's Build Your Own Sports Car on a Budget, ISBN 978-1-84425-391-3) and read it. We sell it (near the bottom of the <Locost parts> page), Amazon sells it, your favorite bookstore can get it, and without it you won't make much sense out of the commentary on the Locost groups. The next book for your collection is Keith Tanner's How to Build a Cheap Sports Car, also availeable darn near everywhere and especialy from us.

After you have the book, sign on to Yahoo's "Locost North America" Group at <http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Locost_North_America/>; lurk and learn. It has some brilliant stuff on it by some brilliant builders, and I hope once you're building, you'll have brilliant stuff to contribute too. Yahoo also has <Locost> and <Locost_Theory> groups, but <Locost_North_America> is where the action is 'round here

As an alternative (or better yet, a supplement) <locostusa.com> hosts an active forum with a more modern format; plenty of good information in an easy-to-navigate package.

As far as our own contribution to the knowledge base, well...below you'll find bits on suspension prep, a light smattering of fiberglassing, and a heavy smattering of windshield installation.

Also you'll find some rambling about why we went to straight control arms years ago, and our current efforts on quick adjust control arms, and some low budget structural test procedures and results.

     

Techniques

 

 

"Close Enough" Alignment --before your first drive

   
Flange attachment --a fiberglassing primer    
Windshield instllation --in excruciating detail, but it's worth getting right    

Making a windshield template --for custom glass that fits right the first time

   
Dzus fastener installation --mount body parts cleanly and securely    
     
Works in Progress    
Quick Adjust Control Arms --no shims, no hassle    
Double-Dip Suspension --a sneak preview of a new system    
Kinetic 2k7 --a Kinetic kit prototype, scratch-built by high school students    
Our X PRIZE entry is under construction; a 100mpg Locost    
     
Editorials    
Straight Arms and Radial Loads --why rod ends care    
     
Tests    
Load tests--Pedals --a good primer on static structural testing a la Locost    
Control Arm Tests --preliminary results    
     

Ron Champion's Build Your Own Sports Car, ISBN 1-85960-636-9 used to be "the book" but it's out of print now.