Building a single-seat race car. Part III- Build



Roll up your socks, pull up your jumpers, helmets on, here we GO! Manufacturing a car is tedious, but it's also extremely satisfying. For all you students out there, try finding a strong manufacturing sponsor. Technologies such as CNC manufacturing, Laser cutting are widely available in India and help greatly simplify the manufacturing process. When you're building a race car where space is at a premium and packaging is difficult, it's important you maintain millimeter precision. Read up on new technologies to build an existing product, and go find people who will do the work for you. You'll be surprised how inviting people are to students who want to design a car all by themselves. Also, unlike the software/ banking/ commercial industries, the manufacturing industry is still run from small manufacturing centres owned by individuals. It's easy to get in touch with them, and they're more than willing to help students embarking on a fascinating project.

Manufacture most of the smaller parts by yourself at the local workshop. You'll need a drilling machine, a lathe and at times a milling machine. Engineering college students have access to these facilities. Else, find a workshop in your local market and ask them to manufacture parts for you. When going to manufacture a part, carry a CAD image of the part with you. Most parts will be required to go through multiple processes to acquire the final shape. Plan in advance how you will proceed with each step during manufacturing.

You might want to consider external sourcing for specialised parts such as the dampers, differentials, brake discs etc. Looking up online will reveal a list of companies that design specifically for FSAE. It's important to stay in touch with them and order early so your parts are ready in time for assembly. You can look up this company called Penske for springs and dampers, Quaife or Drexler for differentials and you can borrow the disc brakes from a Pulsar for use on the car.

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is another part which has to be sourced externally. Performance Electronics makes ECU's for FSAE cars and even provides a base map to start off with. In my experience, it was still difficult to program this ECU for our use. What you can instead do is, get in touch with one of the local tuning houses, Red Rooster or Race Dynamics and ask them to help you out with the engine tuning process.

Aim at finishing the chassis before everything else. That's because, unless the chassis is ready, none of the other components can be mounted on it. Once your parts are ready and the chassis has been fabricated, components need to be individually mounted. This is a very tedious process and requires a lot of precision. Be careful to mount each component as decided in the design previously.