Hello model builders,
I've jumped right into this one. It's a Ford F150 hill climb/street racer. I was going to do this for the race track group build but decided I wanted to go for it, so that's what I did.
The idea is based on this truck:
It's a 1977 F150 body on a race car chassis - the engine turns out 900 hp. It's evidently used for both drifting and hill climb competitions - I have no idea if it's been raced at Pike's Peak. It looks cool where it has been run:
The pics above are screen shots from a video showing it in use in China.
Yes - this truck caught my eye. Some of you might have seen the various off road race trucks I've built, which feature lots of body and suspension work, but those modifications are intended to maximize suspension/wheel travel while keeping the center of gravity low (yet high enough to run in open desert) and reducing weight.
The fast F150 clearly has lots of modifications to the same parts, except, there is practically no vertical suspension travel and the truck body sits very low to the ground.
Ok, on to the build - first up, the rear end, which in real life is independent, with an asymmetric differential, located on the right side. The driveshaft is a rod, and not a tube. I have no explanation for either. Mine too is asymmetric, using a 9" Ford rear end:
As you can see above, I set up a little template/jig to get the alignment/asymmetry correct. This module is fairly complicated. It's fixed to the chassis - via lower box frame and integration with the chassis/cage on top. In between it some complex geometry. All things considered, mine is close but not exact.
Piece of cake! happy sunny days the whole time! Haha! not quite - this was a real head scratcher to conceptualize and build.
Next up the engine with those twin turbos. This invited some big questions, like what exactly is going on there? how will I at least fake something that is reasonably convincing? and how can I: get the frame/chassis as low to the ground as I can, and keep those turbos as high as possible so they'll stick out above the hood?
Need to start somewhere, so, using odds and ends from various kits and the parts box, build an engine that looks about right and set into some chassis tubes:
Wow!! looks perfect.....then advance the chassis a bit more:
Looking great - just for fun, drop the body on and, discover those turbos are sitting well below the hood. Not perfect. Crap.
So, take the engine out, rework the oil pan - vertical, rather than horizontal (this is more of a visual than practical decision), raise the engine/transmission on their mounts and:
And, now the engine sits higher on the chassis, probably just over 1/4", which I know sounds small but it makes a difference.
As this is not a kit per se, it requires you to solve problems as you go, while trying to achieve the design. As you can see above, there's a lot going on up front. I'd like to have raised the engine some more, but that would create some weird looking geometry on the chassis and suspension. I mention this because while not functional suspension, if this is flimsy or not rational, just like a real car, it won't stay rigid.
A bit more progress on the cab, and front and rear ends solidly in place:
Meanwhile, I didn't forget about the challenges with the body. I've built highly modified truck bodies before, but the changes were about creating cavernous, streamlined spaces for very large diameter (37.5") off road tires. In this case, while bulging, the fenders are quite tight around the tire opening, have a flush/flat edge concentric to the tire, and are pretty curvy around the non-curvy F150 body. So, this is what I did:
Unlike the off road racer flares, which have lots of modifications to the fender walls, for this I focus on the fender opening and projected top line of the flare. I did some heavy cutting inside the well to fit the giant tires, then over cut that to allow for adding new fender material (like on the rear cowling of the 908/3). That's .25 dia rod, running along top, which servers as a seat and gluing surface for .10 card above:
I'll say pretty good - you see the green putty because I laminated several sheets to make the radial, flush fascia and you could see gaps - no more.
Then back to the chassis - this needs the cross members for a variety of reasons: the real car has a complex truss/web, and without this bracing, this would be one flimsy model - as the front and rear parts are heavy. Adding more detail to the front and styrene everywhere:
Along the way, lots and lots of dry fitting, and now, it's looking legit as a rolling chassis that sits flat:
Yes - I "needed" to actually make the driveline/transmission legit - there's a propeller shaft w/front and rear universals from the tranny to chain or gear drive (like a transfer case) then the drive "rod" also w/ u joints. As noted earlier, I have no idea why this is off-set on the real truck, or, why they use a rod and not tube for the driveshaft, but they do, so did I.
and how it sits:
and with the body sort of floating on the chassis and tires:
I'm pretty happy with some of the individual results and the build as a whole, but, those turbos still don't sit high enough @!@!@! I will add more of something over the intake manifold - it has to sit above the hood. But the turbos, are what they are.
So, thanks for having a look - I'll keep cutting and adding.