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Chassis Kit FAQs

Q: What type of welding equipment (MIG, TIG, etc) is required to assemble
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 properly aligned.

Q: Is there an economical way to build a jig?
A: For a one-off chassis a temporary jig fabricated from wood can be used. Click 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.

Q: 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 be?
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 certified?
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 the chassis?
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.