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Mid-Engine Sandrail Project

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  • zmotorsports
    started a topic Mid-Engine Sandrail Project

    Mid-Engine Sandrail Project

    Well after about 15 years of wanting to build a sandrail I finally pulled the trigger and commenced my build. I started with one that I purchased that was damaged/wrecked but had some nice parts on it. I cut about 90% of the original car away and fabricated basically an entire new chassis from 1.5" DOM tubing. I am making the chassis wide enough to be comfortable whereas the original was built for a very small individual and was not even comfortable it I were to have just repaired the damage.

    I was going to widen the bench seat that was in the car when I widened the chassis, however, after meeting a gentleman at the dunes a couple of weeks ago and sitting in his car with suspension seats that totally changed my mind. Suspension style seats looked like the way to go.

    I have built several street rods and muscle cars as well as a few custom ATV chassis and felt as though I was ready to tackle a larger all tube chassis. This is my first sandrail chassis and hopefully there will be more to follow. I am really enjoying this build, more so than many of my projects as of the last few years. Thanks for looking, Mike.

    This picture is of the majority of the original car cut away and the new chassis coming together while sitting on the frame table that I had just built.


    This picture is of one of the joints where I joined the new tubing to the original. As per NHRA specs the tube must be at least one and one half the diameter of the tube in either direction of the seam. Must have rosette welds on either side of the seam approx. 1/2 the diameter of the tube from the seam and the inner sleeve must be at least the same wall thickness as the outer tube. NHRA also recommends leaving about a 1/8 inch gap between the two tubes so when welding both tubes and the inner sleeve are all fused together properly.


    This is a view of the rear with the new outer upper and lower main rails bent, fishmouthed and tacked into place.


    This is a picture of one of the welds on the rear crossbar.
    Last edited by zmotorsports; 11-22-2010, 10:08 AM.

  • Blondie_486
    replied
    SWEET!!!!

    Can I have a ride in it?

    Leave a comment:


  • zmotorsports
    replied
    Thanks guys. I was supposed to take it out with some friends for its debute/trial run this weekend, however, the weather did not want to cooperate. May is too hectic this year, the next time I will have an opportunity to take it out is the first weekend in June.

    I will post some pics and maybe a video once it hits the sand. Mike.

    Leave a comment:


  • Titleistfan
    replied
    Sweet project! I'd love one of these built for street.

    You never considered a windshield? I guess if you trailer it to the dunes and wear a helmet then you wouldn't need it.

    Many unique skills required in this build. I don't imagine you'd find too many guys that could do the design, machining, welding, fit up, engine work, electrical, tubing, etc etc required.
    Last edited by Titleistfan; 05-02-2011, 04:41 AM.

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  • On fire most of the time
    replied
    That looks pretty awesome man. Know what your car has that LS cars don't? Much easier service. Alternator is on the top, turbo is to the side, only one manifold...try changing spark plugs on an LS rail. I think you'll be really happy with it once you get the chance to run it.

    Let us know when you get it out on the dunes, better yet, get a video of it running!

    Leave a comment:


  • zmotorsports
    replied
    Interior shots. Check out the subtle design in the floorboard panels that my upholstery guy thought would look good and the cooler cover so I don't have to look at an ugly plain cooler. Mike.



    Leave a comment:


  • zmotorsports
    replied
    She's done!!!

    Well she's finally done!!!

    After 15 plus years of planning and saving money & parts plus seven long months of work it is finally completed. I know it is not as nice as many of the super high dollar long travel 600+ HP LS powered cars that are being built nowadays but on my smaller budget I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Besides that I still think that many of the details and the overall workmanship is what is more appealing than just having a lot of expensive parts thrown at a car.

    It should be a nice first car and I hope it is a head turner when it hits the dunes. Most of the people we go to the dunes with don't even look at a sandrail driving by unless it has 20+ inches of wheel travel and an LS motor hanging out the back. I have caught quite a bit of ridicule from some friends because I did not just bite the bullet and build a long travel rail with mega-horsepower but I cannot bring myself to refinance my house for a toy that I will drive 6-10 times a year. Thanks for looking, Mike.





    View of polished side panels installed.


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  • zmotorsports
    replied
    Originally posted by tyrrellrunnells View Post
    those are really nice dimes you are stacking

    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • tyrrellrunnells
    replied
    those are really nice dimes you are stacking

    Leave a comment:


  • zmotorsports
    replied
    SHE RUNS!!!!!! After a seven month build she runs.

    I have had a couple of long nights trying to tie up the loose ends and get it ready to go to the upholstery shop.

    Monday night I was able to get the brakes installed and bled along with the clutch bled.

    Tuesday night I installed the Turbo and all of the related plumbing.

    Last night I filled the transaxle and engine with lubricants and the coolant. I then put a couple gallons of Sunoco in the tank and hooked up the battery.

    My stomach always gets tied into knots prior to firing up any project build. After checking over all electrical connections with a VOM and making sure all of the wiring was correct I fired her up. She only turned over about a dozen times or so then fired right to life. What a wonderful sound that rotary puts out.

    I am so happy I don't think the wife can take much more of me. I am ready for it to go out for upholstery and then a night or two to install the seats and sidepanels and a ton of detailing then ready for the sand.

    Thanks for all the comments and for those who have encouragingly followed this build-up. I have never posted a complete build-up from start to finish before and have been very happy and I have appreciated the comments. Mike.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ls2cam
    replied
    Nice build ..Keep it up...

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  • zmotorsports
    replied
    Originally posted by dkGoodrich dot com View Post
    How many lbs per min on the turbo you decided on?

    Blow thru carb?

    Wideband and otoscope would do the trick for tuning. What compression and fuel?

    Any idea what it weighs? Seems like it would be fun at the drag strip on a set of slicks

    Good luck with your project!
    \

    Not 100% on the boost as I have not had it in the car running yet. When I purchased the parts I sized the Turbo to supply approx. 12 lbs. boost max. I want to keep the engine alive as long as possible. I have talked to others that are running more but from the information that I have gathered it seems that much over about 14 lbs. or so they get fairly unreliable and tempermental.

    Compression ratio is 8.5:1 with a Weber 40 IDF and the turbo is setup in the blow-through style. Fuel is 100 octane Sunoco, actually 110 Sunoco purple mixed 1:1 with 91 octane pump fuel to give me 100 octane.

    The car is sitting at 900 lbs. right now. I am sure it will be just over that when wet and with the interior completed. Mike.

    Leave a comment:


  • dkGoodrich dot com
    replied
    How many lbs per min on the turbo you decided on?

    Blow thru carb?

    Wideband and otoscope would do the trick for tuning. What compression and fuel?

    Any idea what it weighs? Seems like it would be fun at the drag strip on a set of slicks

    Good luck with your project!

    Leave a comment:


  • aametalmaster
    replied
    Thats sweet looking. Like the purple paint also...Bob

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  • zmotorsports
    replied
    Car on the lift for easier access for fuel line routing.



    Shot of the engine bay.

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