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Chassis Kit FAQs
What type of welding
equipment (MIG, TIG,
etc) is required
the chassis kit?
A: The car must use the TIG welding process to be accepted per the SFI
specifications. Lincoln sells a 185-amp air-cooled TIG welder with a
street price of about $1700.00. This is a really good investment for
any racer and can be used to weld aluminum.
Q: Will I need some kind of a chassis jig?
A: Yes, it's important to use some kind of jig to keep all the components
Q: Is there an economical way to build
A: For a one-off chassis a temporary jig fabricated from wood can be
here for a photo of the jig built by Mark Williams for the recreation
of the '60s era Rice & Williams T/F car being done at his home.
How do I fit the
chassis to the driver?
A: The basic distance from the rear end to the seat remains constant.
The seat bottom support can be raised for a smaller driver. The inside
width of the top shoulder hoop can be widened to accommodate a larger
person (the normal width of MW front motor cars was 18") without
changing the other measurements of the car. The biggest variable is the
height of the roll cage to accommodate the driver's height.
Q: What do I do about a body?
A: A simple body is relatively easy to construct. The aluminum seat is
the hardest part. The aluminum used is .050 thick 3003-H14, which is
a semi-soft material.
Q: How close do the tolerances need to
A: The really big picture is you use a line to establish a centerline
of the car and triangulate measurements to make sure everything is square,
A level is used to make sure the motor, frame rails, reared, and front
axle-torsion unit are in the same plane. 1/16" variance upright
and rail distance is reasonable.
Q: Can I add any bracing without affecting
the SFI Specs?
A: More can be added as long as the basic structure meets the specification.
Q: How do I go about getting the chassis
A: NHRA division and national event techs certify the chassis. Most divisions
set us specific times for inspections at the beginning of the season.
Q: How much time will it take to assemble
A: The basic tube structure of the chassis by an experienced builder
with an existing jig takes about 50 to 80 man-hours. With a new learning
curve and building a temporary jig it could easily take 200+ man-hours.
Q: What tools will I need to build a chassis?
A: You do need some tools to construct the car. A TIG welder, band saw,
abrasive cut off saw, disc or belt sander and a Bridgeport type mill
will really speed the process and should be on the tool list. The tubing
can be fitted (coped) successfully with drill press coping attachment
but you still need a fairly husky drill press.