As stated on the homepage: “Until the build is done, all specifications are subject to change.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update on the current status of the build, but there are various good reasons for that. I’ve made some progress in the garage with the body sculpting, but all that progress is now irrelevant. I’ll explain why later on in this update.

For the last couple of months this project has received a lot of attention throughout the Internet and it’s both great fun and a bit scary to see both national and international attention. You see, I’m doing this build for my self, but somehow I still feel some pressure with the high expectations that go hand-in-hand with the attention.
And with the spread of this website I’ve been contacted with a lot of questions, tips and ideas from people all over the world. Some of the tips and ideas has been extremely interesting and I decided to pursue them further, more on this later.

I’ve also seen and received a lot of doubt, disbelief and skepticism on my personal skills and the project it self. Most of them are very valid (whereas a small portion just seem to be based on jealousy?) and I therefor would like to clarify somethings:

  • I haven’t done any major car build before, this is my first major build of a car from scratch.
  • I’ve only done some modifications, upgrades and services on my and others cars in the past.
  • I don’t possess the necessary knowledge nor do I have the resources my self to complete a build like this all by my self.
  • I do however possess passion, enthusiasm (+ some IQ) and the will to complete my dream build.
  • And to clarify the time frame for this build; There is none. I have hopes on 2012, but that may be very unrealistic. The major obstacle for a short time frame is the economy part. The budget for this build is based on my private income, basically whatever I can spare from my salary after taxes/rent/food and all other necessary living-costs are made.

So to sum up, I’ve have no particular skills or knowledge valid to a build like this and the budget will take a lot of hard work and a lot of time to create.
I’m doing this project to pursue a dream of mine and to learn. To learn a lot more of the topics and subjects that really interest me when it comes to cars.

Revised plans

Okay, enough of the testimonial stuff, on to the revised plans; What’s going on?

The body is still in high priority, but I’m also trying hard to plan as much far ahead as I can with all the other elements of the build.

1. Body sculpting

I’ve pretty much canceled the manual body sculpting (body plug), at least if all revised plans become reality.
Why? Well, I’ve received a lot of tips of Scandinavian based companies that do molds and/or plugs with CNC-machines (based on 3D CAD-models), ready for carbon fiber or any other composite material casting. This was actually an idea I had from the begging, to continue with the 3D-model and letting a company create the body molds or plugs directly from that model. However I discarded the idea before looking into the different options, I simply thought that the costs would be enormous.
The cost is substantial, but not nearly as bad as I thought. All things considered it’s actually is quite affordable.
So yes, I’ve probably spent a lot more “learning money” by cutting a car down in pieces and not even using it as a plug for the final body. But I’m still learning, hence the term “learning money”.
The cut down body is probably for sale if anybody is interested in doing a similar build, of course for very reasonable price. ;)

2. CAD and molds

Step two in my revised planes is to get the 3D-model converted to CAD and adjusting/fine tuning the 3D CAD-model in preparation for the full scale mold making with CNC-machines. The companies that to this type of work mostly do plugs and molds for the boat industry, and they therefor have really large NC-machines for this purpose.
They make the plugs/molds out of a base of wood and plywood to give it some rigidity and basic structure, then glue a large block of Styrofoam from which the first machining is done with an offset of about -8mm. Then they apply a special paste that hardens and do the final machining, often with an accuracy of 0.3mm.

3. CFD and/or scale model wind tunnel testing

So with the CAD-model done, I’ve got plans to either produce a scale model for some wind tunnel testing at a Swedish University and/or doing some CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) on the CAD-model it self.
I’ve got some interesting contacts with a couple of companies doing CFD work and I’ll go with either CFD and/or scale model wind tunnel testing depending on the costs.
I’m going to continue these dialogs with both domestic and international companies when I get further down the road with the CAD-modeling. To see which way I’ll go, or if I can afford to do both.
To goal here is to try to get data and make necessary adjusting to the CAD-model for the aerodynamics of the car. Both for downforce and drag as well as for cooling.
This will be done before the plugs/molds are made (so before step 2 is complete) so that the final CAD-model and the finished carbon fiber body will have more then just guessed aerodynamics and airflow.

4. Carbon fiber body

I’ve been in contact with a lot of different companies that do composite work with carbon fiber. And I will probably go with the choice of having negative molds created from the CAD-model instead of the procedure of machining a plug → creating molds → casting the body. If I go with the choice of creating negative molds ready for casting I’ll save some time and more importantly money.

5. New wheels and the Nismo Festival 2009

My initial plans was to buy a set of BBS race-3-split-center-lock wheels which is very expensive. But I was set on those wheels and I would have raised the necessary funds to be able to buy them.
But I got a tip on a way to get a hold of some genuine Nismo (Rays) race monoblock center lock wheels, which is virtually impossible to get unless you purchase a GT300/GT500 SuperGT car from Nismo.
The tip I got was that there is a garage sale at the annual Nismo Festival held @ Fuji Speedway in Gotenba/Mt. Fuji, Japan.
At this garage sale Nismo sell the current and past years race gears that no longer hold 100% quality. Like a lot of wheels! And they sell these parts quite cheep. So with this tip I got excited and did a lot (I mean a lot…) of research on the Nismo Festival it self (since I never before heard about it) and the garage sale @ Nismo Festival 2009. My conclusion was that if I managed to get a hold on a set of wheels, I would get the trip to Japan, the experience, the visit to Nismo Festival, refurbishing of the wheels and still “save money” compared to purchasing a set of BBS wheels.

To make a long story a bit shorter; I managed to hook up with a Swedish magazine (actually two) to write an article about my visit to the Nismo Festival and my experience on trying to get a hold on some wheels for my build. In return for writing the article I will receive enough proof to be able apply for press accreditation to the event. (Which isn’t any guaranty to receive press accreditation, just backup information that I’m a valid freelance journalist for this occasion).
Flights and hotels are booked and the shipping of the wheels from Tokyo to Stockholm is more or less taken care of, the shipping from Fuji Speedway to the port in Tokyo isn’t done yet – but I’ll find a way!
So if everything works as planned, I’ll be going to Japan on the 3rd of December for a 3 nights stay in Gotenba/Fuji Speedway to visit the Nismo Festival and a couple of more nights in Tokyo on vacation.
Hopefully I’ll get a hold on the wheels I’ve set my eyes on and this build will have some vary rare genuine Nismo (Rays) race wheels. And I’ll write an article of the whole Nismo Festival experience. :)
However, I’m going to the festival with the understanding that I could come home empty handed. That the only thing I’ll bring home is a nice experience and some memories from a trip to Japan. But of course my goal is to get a set wheels with me home and believe me when I say I’ve done a lot of work trying to make this goal a reality!

If you haven’t hear about the Nismo Festival before, I recommend you to read the articles on GTRblog.com on last years event.

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So to sum up the revised plans:
The 3D model is now in the hands of Bo Zolland @ Vizualtech again for some adjusting and fine tuning before converting it to CAD. Then the CAD-model will be prepared for CFD and for the making of molds. And finally the body will be casted in carbon fiber from the CNC-made molds.

I’ve been in contact with a lot of different companies for assistance with the CAD-modeling, CFD, mold-making and the carbon fiber casting. I’ve spent countless hours in e-mail conversations, on the phone and in both physical and web-based meetings with the different companies. Some small, some big and some I can’t even mention due to NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreements). Both national and international companies.
It’s fair to say that it has been very time consuming, so much in fact that it has starting to affect my work. And that’s no good, thats the source for the budget to this project. ;)
(Not to mention all the time spent researching everything regarding the Nismo Festival visit.)
If you have a tip on the subjects mentioned, or contact information for companies doing the work I need help with, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Any help is greatly appreciated!

So that’s it for this “update”. No pictures to show, no “real” progress. But believe me, I’m working hard to make this project happen, to make my dream come true.
To all of you following this build and sending me feedback of all sorts: Thank you! To be able to receive any type of feedback is the main reason for creating this website and the build/project-threads on different communities. So please, keep sending me feedback. :)