Building the Trophy Truck frame.
Updated: Nov 2, 2019
So as it turns out building the basic frame of the #TrophyTruck was probably the easy part of the build so far. However that is not to say it was a quick job. It still took months of planing.
There are a few key things to remember when designing a frame.
1.Firstly it needs to comply to all the safety regulations of the governing bodies you wish to race it under.
2. It works really well if you design your frame around the body panels you are going to run, so you can limit the amount of excess bar work needed to hold the body on.
3. You are building a race car so the suspension geometry really should rank as a priority. Your suspension design should be already ruffed out enough that you can design your frame around your required pivot points. Nothing worst then having to compromise on your suspension design because you didn't do some forward thinking.
once you have had a good think about those three points you are ready to design your frame. In my case i measured up my Trophy truck body and got all the internal dimensions. Then looked at the suspension design criteria along side the safety cage requirements and started to draw out a basic design in the #bendtech pro Software. (Link at the bottom)
I think the base design changed about 4 or 5 times before it became something i was happy to build upon.
once the frame was complete in bendtech, i exported it into the Fusion360 software where i drew in the suspension pivot points and also set up jigs to jig all the suspension pivot point to the jig table. Now i think i spent 3-4 months on the CAD design of the frame before i was happy enough to even order the chromolly tube and pate to start building.
When the tube finally rocked up in late October 2017 i was ready to get stuck in building. I had about 12 months worth of CAD drawing already done and although there were still plenty more to add and design, that could happen as required.
I set up all the jigs on the jig table which were to hold all the suspension pivot points of the frame and one tube at a time i started to cut, bend, notch and lay onto the jig table. Before long i had the basic floor of the truck done which comprised of the front bulkhead and the rear upper and lower link pivot points. I used a Pro Tools 105HD tube bender setup for electric hydraulic to make bending a breeze.
Once all the floor was complete it was time to take it off the jig table and set it up square and level in the workshop where it was bolted to the floor. The rest of the tubes were then bent up and assembled. Before long the basic frame which could support itself was complete and just needed to be welded out.
Once the basic frame was complete and everything was checked and double checked for square i started to weld in all of the triangulated bracing. This meant lots of tube notching and welding into place.
Next I adding some of the mounts for the seats, engine and coolers.
All of these mounts were once again designed in #Fusion360 and sent out for laser cutting and cnc bending.
The gearbox got mounted and so did the gear shifter and handbrake lever.
The engine oil and power steering coolers also both got mounted up the front.
I also designed a engine plate which i had cnc routed out of some high grade aluminium. you can see it installed in the picture above.
So as the frame sits now i have also started the hard-line water lines which run from the engine to the rear mount radiator. They are made from aluminium and again i used the Bendtech Pro program to design the route and bend them up. Next will be tabbing out the frame for all the aluminium panels and welding on any mounts required for the fuel system. ie pumps,filters ect.
Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for following.
Bend Tech Pro :
Pro Tools 105HD Tube Bender :
AEG 125mm 240v grinder for notching kit:
Magnetic Digital angle finder:
Tube bending rotation clamp: