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Author: Subject: How much is too much?

posted on 10/11/12 at 05:43 PM Reply With Quote
How much is too much?

When building your car, what do you consider to be too much work to contract out to someone else to do?

I know we will all be building different kits and therefore some are more involved than others, and on top of this we will have different opinions on the subject too, as one man's idea of a kit build is not another's. So what is your opinion?

Do do it all? Miss out the welding perhaps? Do nothing yourself with regards the engine mechanics?

The reason I ask is that I am considering contracting out to a specialist garage, the cooling system (intercooler / charge cooler), engine install, and exhaust manufacture as a full package on a specialist turbo install. I originally assumed I would be sorting out the cooling with some forum help and guidance from other turbo builders, but after speaking with the specialist garage it may need some serious fabrication and design work to get the best out of the engine....... so my dilemma is; spend the money and get it done professionally by the experts in order to try get smoother running and reliability, and better performance...... or go the cheaper route and attempt it myself but perhaps jeopardize the reliability / performance of the systems?



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dave r

posted on 10/11/12 at 05:48 PM Reply With Quote
depends what you yourself are capable of doing, and what equipment you have at your disposal.
oh and how big your wallet is

I'd love to give my imaginary friend a great big hug,

but this jacket makes it impossible.

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posted on 10/11/12 at 06:24 PM Reply With Quote
As above. Personally, though, if I don't have the tools to do it I buy them and if I can't do something I learn. It's about the process for me. But then I'm not building a kit either, I'm scratch designing, but I will still be outsourcing things like some CNC parts I can't make on a manual lathe or mill. Like I'm being forced into buying a flywheel because it's cheaper than buying a blank and turning it myself.
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posted on 10/11/12 at 06:38 PM Reply With Quote
Well, I think this will depend on previous. Eg I built last car from scratch, I made everything I could - chassis/wishbones/bodywork etc etc.

Next time, I will buy a kit and make nothing. I wouldn't however have anyone assemble anything though.



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steve m

posted on 10/11/12 at 06:40 PM Reply With Quote
As above,

there is always so much one person can do, and with limited space and and tools/equipment
so if you can offload some work (at the right price) why not


And i tottally agree with Simon, !

[Edited on 10/11/12 by steve m]

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posted on 10/11/12 at 09:21 PM Reply With Quote
All builds are different, but unique to the chap who puts it all together “you” whether you farm bits out, do it all yourself, take 10 years to complete, build a Sunday driver or a missile. Its yours and only you can decide the money, time and quality of the build you want to achieve. If it makes you smile, go for it.

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posted on 10/11/12 at 09:33 PM Reply With Quote
I think performance critical things like the exhaust are worth farming out. Especially since by the time you have bought all the bits to make it yourself you are halfway to the cost of having one done profesionally.

In terms of intercooler/chargecooler I would do it myself as the space available will dictate more of what you can have rather than whats best for performance.

I do as much as I can to a standard I am happy with. Anything I can't do perfectly I find someone than can!

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posted on 10/11/12 at 10:03 PM Reply With Quote
If at all possible I'd go for the "do it all" option, partly because I enjoy it, but on these types of cars when the inevitable(?) breakdown/engine change/upgrade/etc. comes you won't be staring at bits of it thinking "how does that work?", the familiarity that comes from building it all will help a great deal
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posted on 10/11/12 at 10:30 PM Reply With Quote
I think first of all, that it is a good question. I farmed out exhaust, engine installation, engine wiring. I farmed out TWO engine installs actually, and it cost far more than I was ever envisioning, but it was done by proper mechanics, who did get it going. BUT at the end of the day, I could have probably done a lot of it myself, some of it better. I just got fed up trying to do things I knew very little about, but have since learnt. It is a very expensive exercise, once you start farming out work. None this kit car stuff is what you would call cost effective by any definition. You do end up with a car that is basically undriveable on public roads, it is so powerful.

My intercooler install was done by me, but I should have looked at getting someone else to make a custom arrangement, to make it fit better. As it was, it ended up with great holes in the bodywork to fit the piping. Not that great looking, that now causes bodywork to flop around at speed.

The builds that are cheaply done, look like it, often, and the good ones are done by very mechanically inclined, talented people, not average people, with average skills.

Before I get accused (again) of being negative, I have actually experienced a car build, put it on the road in a country that does NOT understand kit cars, and lived to tell the tale. It isn't for everyone, and WILL cost money.

If you have to farm out, it kind of takes away the whole point of a kit car build, in my opinion, at least for me it did. You have to decide how much time you are going to allot the project, and how long you might take yourself vs. the garage etc. No clear answer is apparent, in other words!

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posted on 10/11/12 at 10:54 PM Reply With Quote
I think it really depends on how you feel regarding building a car, (or anything else). Is your prime reason to do everything yourself, or are you happy to have others to do it for you. Personaly when I did mine the whole idea was that I would do absolutely everything, and what I didnt know I would bone up on, and that is exactly what I did, even to the point of designing my car from a clean sheet of paper. I purchased books on suspension design, etc. i found the whole thing highly satisfying, and given half a chance would do it all again, (just dont have the room). So the only parts that I didn't make were the Sierra bits, but the remainder, even the moulding of the GRP parts was all done in house. But it all comes down to how you feel about it, DIY or done by others. Just my 2p's worth. Cheers Ray

To make a car go faster, just add lightness. Colin Chapman - OR - fit a bigger engine. Chippy

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posted on 10/11/12 at 11:22 PM Reply With Quote
I suppose too much is more than the value of the end product not counting your time. Or there about, depending how much use and enjoyment you get out of it. Massive question!!!!!

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posted on 11/11/12 at 12:32 AM Reply With Quote
On a nice car I would be wary of a home made turbo setup if the fab work was a bit basic . Unless you have the tools I would pay to have it done especially if there is ally welding involved .


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Fred W B

posted on 11/11/12 at 05:57 AM Reply With Quote
I've found on ocassion when I've had others make bits for me that I have not been happy with the item. If the party concerned did it as a favour it's difficult to complain. If you do something yourself you can do it to the standard you are happy with.


Fred W B

You can do it quickly. You can do it cheap. You can do it right. – Pick any two.

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