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Discussion Starter #1
Thread title changed from EVan-Tricycle as the project now has four wheels.

This thread is a continuation from my earlier Trike thread which can be found here: LINK.
The direction of the build project changed somewhat due to personal circumstances and so it seemed sensible to split the thread and make it easier to follow.



I am going to revisit this project as I have a lot of parts and I want to build something that will be (legislation allowing) a road vehicle.

On that basis I am not placing any strict long term goals but just experimenting with an idea.
The original concept was for a vehicle to do a 35mile (possibly 70mile round trip) commute but, with the job gone and my ailing health making it unlikely I will ever choose to work outside of the local area, I can relax the requirements and change the concept to suit.

The requirement is a vehicle that will be good for a couple or three miles on 40mph busy roads, with the same again in stop start urban traffic, and have an overall 15-20 mile range (for round trips) with gentle driving.
I will also need to be able to carry my tools and some construction materials to jobs, or a craft stall and stock for Arch and her craft items to go to local markets and craft fairs.

I got the impetus from Todd's Ice Cream Van, now the PackRat project and looking at old vans like this.


The idea would be to look at a forward control (cab over) version to give maximum load area.

I had played around ideas with both three and four wheel versions, including looking at using a Citroen 2CV rolling chassis.

It would be ideal, front motor, front wheel drive, flat clear load area, except that they are getting expensive, rusty, and the brakes and load capacity are tiny. However, a big wheeled 'Beryl' would be perfect.

This is 'Beryl'.


I also would like to use the parts I have, where possible to save money, and that means the MGB front axle assembly.
It has the advantage that the steering rack is ahead of the axle and so easier to rotate the column forwards to put the steering wheel ahead of the axle line.

I am going to work up some sketches around placing a two seat cab (similar to 'Beryl's') placed over the axle, with the wheels under the seat box and foot well ahead of the wheels.
Behind the cab will be a battery pack in the floor with a covered cargo compartment above.

If I go with a trike layout then the existing rear motor and swing arm will be used. However, if I happen across an MGB rear axle cheaply then I can put the motor on the front axle cross-member and have a drive shaft to the rear axle. I think if direct drive was good enough in the original plans then it may still work now, but there is the option of adding a transmission in the middle.

The plan is to use one of the 72v controllers I have been gifted and some 'pre-loved' lead acid batteries to get it mobile and legal (fingers crossed) and then look at how much performance it gives to determine how much more I will need to get the performance and range I want.

Stage one will be to mock up the cab over the front axle and leave the rest of the chassis vague as that part is going to be variable depending on pack, wheel arrangement and load space needs.

This will, as always, progress slowly as I am about to be busy demolishing and rebuilding a bathroom for my folks, and also building my marital bedroom suite.:p


So, when I get a chance for a breather I will do some measured sketches and see if this works and warrants its own thread.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: I want to build a trike!

Thank you both.:)

It is good to be back on the projects. It has been too long since I was last able to think about doing more then one easy thing at a time.:D

I still have to cut down an axle for the tractor too, but that also includes redesigning the whole transmission for it.
Maybe the old, slightly out of balance 12" motor might get a look in there. More torque available, less transmission needed I think!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: I want to build a trike!

I took some time out from other stuff today and reassembled the MGB front axle assembly. It all looks good so far. I have ignored the seals and bushes and so on as they will be changed at a later date.

The steering rack currently points towards the back of the car and I will need to rotate it so that it points forward. That should be straight forward if I cut off the rack mounts and make new ones that are in the right orientation.

The standard bolt pattern to mount the cross-member to the chassis rails are angled so it is narrower at the front then the rear, I am pondering changing those to make them parallel. That will make it easier to build the chassis to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
EVan-Tricycle

Photos! :)

This is the standard configuration on full lock.


The steering rack mounts like this (seen from the other side).


If I rotate the rack over so the column points forward I get this.


The rack mounts will then be above the rack, probably under the chassis legs (seen from the other side).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: I want to build a trike!

That sounds an easy solution, Todd.:)

I was working on how to use the standard MGB tapered bolts that usually mount the cross-member.


I guess no reason not to use other bolts instead. Or even to weld the cross-member to the chassis.
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Hi Woodsmith,
Are you planning to widen the cross member? Reversing the cross member and rack position without rejigging the steering geometry will give you toe in on turn instead of toe out. Sort of a reverse Ackerman steering geometry. Either the rack needs to be narrower or the cross member wider to accommodate the changes that are needed to the steering arms to correct the steering geometry.
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Hi Woodsmith,
Are you planning to widen the cross member? Reversing the cross member and rack position without rejigging the steering geometry will give you toe in on turn instead of toe out. Sort of a reverse Ackerman steering geometry. Either the rack needs to be narrower or the cross member wider to accommodate the changes that are needed to the steering arms to correct the steering geometry.
I don't think he's reversing the crossmember - he'll just be sitting on top of it, rather than behind it, so he's rotating the rack "on its mounts", so to speak, to get the steering wheel ahead of the wheels. There shouldn't be any changes in Ackerman, or any of the geometry.

Did I get it right Woodster? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: I want to build a trike!

I don't think he's reversing the crossmember - he'll just be sitting on top of it, rather than behind it, so he's rotating the rack "on its mounts", so to speak, to get the steering wheel ahead of the wheels. There shouldn't be any changes in Ackerman, or any of the geometry.

Did I get it right Woodster? :)
Spot on.:)

Instead of sitting 2' behind the front wheels I am moving the seating to on top of the wheels. The requires the steering column to be about 3-4' ahead of the axle. So by rotating the rack the column points forward where I will mate it to a right angle gear box to then direct it upwards towards the steering wheel.

It will all become clear when I can mock up the seating and steering wheel.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: I want to build a trike!

This is the noticeboard sketch I made one night when I couldn't sleep.


It shows the steering column brought forwards, the battery pack low on the floor between the axles, an enclosed load area above the pack, and a flat pickup bed over the top. There will be a tow hitch at the rear.

This sketch is assuming the reverse trike layout using the same motor and swing arm I had made up before, and the same bridging structure over the top of the rear wheel to the tow hitch.

If I find an MGB axle then I will go with a conventional four wheeler layout at the rear.
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Hi Woody

How much space do you need? - why not build it a la Lotus 7 and use a trailer when required?

I think it would make a more "fun" car
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: I want to build a trike!

Hi Woody

How much space do you need? - why not build it a la Lotus 7 and use a trailer when required?

I think it would make a more "fun" car
Fun is often different things to different people, I have an electric tractor that is huge fun and 'burns rubber'.:D

Seriously though, it isn't so much about the 'fun' aspect, more the local work vehicle for when I am actively going out to work again. The construction and joinery jobs I am willing to do will be within 10 miles away and mostly via urban roads.

Ideally I would want to be able to carry a few 8'x4' boards and timbers up to 12' long, along with two tool boxes and some power tools. If possible I would want a 1 ton payload but would be happy with around 1000-1500lbs. I also want to be able to tow a trailer as well, for extra capacity. (I think I will need at least a couple of gears in the transmission.)

I will be mostly using it for fetching and carrying and so the cargo aspect is paramount. I can cycle the non cargo journeys, or use one of my cycle trailers for small cargo trips, and the diesel car for longer range when needed.

However, the people at Arch's work also think I have a love affair going on with Beryl, their Bradshaw FB2!
They may not be that far from the truth...:eek:

I have thought about the Axiam Mega van but it is really too light and too slow, I think it was designed to come in under quadricycle regulations whereas I am aiming for IVA and full motor vehicle status. The dealer is only a couple of miles away from me though so I keep an eye on second hand vehicles.
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Woody, you basically redrawn your true love!

The requirements of EU laws for the needs to be more car-like with reverse trikes. I'm now looking into the Quasar style motorcycle route because its the best format for electric. I'd consider a leaning trike retro fit from this.

China loves trikes including reverse. Woodys wishes are leaning towards the milk float/tuk-tuk + trailer. Why not? Low performance, fun and a full machine to convert for several hundreds of £'s. Or at least a format that is easily made using a simple chassis and wood. The windscreen requirements in law are fraught with issues so I'd go for something that has it sorted.


Look here for cheap tuk-tuk & ATV prices(1)
And here too (2)

Want one of these super cheap Chinese items? ;) The firm that CLAIMS to make the kit wants to charge $28k. Yours for 1/10 the price as bought from China.
There's a Brit trike company playing the same trick too.

Designs using sketchup are getting popular.

*Here*

And finally, a humungous selection of trikes for modding behind this link.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: I want to build a trike!

Woody, you basically redrawn your true love!
Shhhh, Arch reads this forum you know!:eek:


Woodys wishes are leaning towards the milk float/tuk-tuk + trailer. Why not? Low performance, fun and a full machine to convert for several hundreds of £'s. Or at least a format that is easily made using a simple chassis and wood. The windscreen requirements in law are fraught with issues so I'd go for something that has it sorted.
That's it really, simple and dirt cheap, but with the styling in the execution.

The windscreen is the place to start though. I am looking at various options and the best thing for size and shape seems to be rear screens.
A Land Rover Discovery rear glass would be about the size and shape, with a useful deeper section in front of the driver. Maybe even get hold of a complete door as it has the wiper motor and surround. The bottom half could be cut off and changed to form the cab front and include headlights.


The glass would also include the heater element for demisting but I am not sure if it would be allowed due to the element being visible.


Otherwise and MGB tailgate screen, without heater, would also be a good size.


Ideally I would like to find a rear screen that is cheap, and common, and comes with and without heater. That way I can try and get it IVA accepted with the heater, but if not I can get the plain one and add a demister blower.

It has to be the starting point though, along with Land Rover Series3 door tops to make the side windows simple.


I do still have the all singing, all dancing, fully electric everything doors from the MR2!
The best thing about them is the auto electric folding electric mirrors and self closing windows when the door is locked.
Don't know if my pack would have enough power to run them though, never mind them being half my payload weight capacity.:D
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

...the best thing for size and shape seems to be rear screens...
I don't know your laws but I don't think a rear "windscreen" would be legal in front, in the US. The front is made with laminated plain glass, while the rear is usually a single piece of tempered safety glass. The reasons it would be frowned upon in front are the thousands of tiny glass fragments that would explode in your face, upon impact. Even though the glass actually fractures into shards, the laminated glass is proven to take one heckuva hit and keep them mostly in place.

I've shattered tempered glass by simply putting too much pressure on it in the cold, trying to get a side window back on track; but have personally seen deep head impressions in laminated windshields, that most of the glass fragments were still intact. :eek:
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Sadly, Todd is correct.
It has to be laminated glass up front. :(
However, kite marked or CE flat laminate is available to buy and cut to shape. A pair of them, AKA split screen Volkswagon bus, top hinged would not detract from what you want...

Oh yea, You HAVE to do the bodywork whatever the shape in lacquered wood or be damned! :D

http://home.clara.net/peterfrost/tryaneii.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/813811.stm
Note the top speed is 101mph... Simply because its a slippery shape.

This link below is the ugly bit... EU LAW. :mad:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:230:0119:0252:EN:PDF
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

Ahh well, we used to have toughened glass, back in the day (feels old now!:()

Still, the split screen idea is good. I could use Land Rover Series screens (E and kite marked), swapped left to right so that the slightly angled edges make the windscreen into a slight chevron shape.:)

Alternatively 2CV windscreen might be small enough.

I would prefer curved glass as it just looks nicer.
 

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Re: I want to build a trike!

I agree about the windscreen matey.
There are plenty of local firms who can make your hearts desire but it might cost. Maybe think of a small car off a scrappie?

http://www.specialistglass.co.uk/index.html

http://www.guardianglass.co.uk/industry/contact

https://www.topclasscarpentry.com/category/Manchester/Design 24 Secure Hardwood Metric Casement Windows - Laminated Glass/3/

http://www.cylex-uk.co.uk/manchester/laminated glass.html

I'd love the idea of a single top hinged flat plate screen though. Would be brill on those hot days.
 
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