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 Post subject: Build times
 Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:40 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:56 pm
Posts: 78
Hi everyone
I would just like to say or offer some thoughts in relation to how long it takes or could take to build a tripod.
WE as in purchasers don't really understand the full comprehension of building or sourcing parts for builds in any shape or form. as we all know the tripod is a unique vehicle and is a low volume build. you can't go to your local spare parts store and buy off the shelf, it takes time to source and then to find someone that cares. (don't we know that Mal)

Since I started MY build it has been very frustrating trying to find the right info and people to assist with parts of the build yes they also find it difficult in understanding what I'm trying to build.
So from Andrew's point of view it is hard when you have to rely of 1/ finding the right parts 2/ volume of parts 3/ people telling you they can do and can't or don't.

I'm sure Andrew's trying to achieve the perfect world and no doubt with the feed back from his current builders will achieve so in all states.
To build a tripod from to start to finish I believe in someone's hands that has some mechanical knowledge could achieve in 6 mths,

This of course is only my opinion and I'm sure if you were to ask other builders
if the kit was complete is would be achievable.

P.S please ask us what we think after we have rego'd and been driving them.


 Post subject: Re: Build times
 Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2016 8:34 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:59 am
Posts: 386
Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld
Hi Michael and everybody,

Most traditional kit cars (clubman, Cobra, GT40) are built over years rather than months. Build time will vary dependent upon degree of motivation, skill set, experience at actually building kits, and yes availability of parts.

So far we have seen our kit built and on the road (registered) inside 6 months (Greg) but most spend about 12 months. Many are taking longer due to life getting in the way for the builder. For many a finish date is not a priority, the build is a hobby in its own right and can take as long as it needs to be completed properly.

In regard to parts, the vast majority we have in stock.

Of course there is a difference between a part (say our front suspension that now having nutted out the best spring rate, length, travel, brand, mount type, supplier, pricing, etc we just order more as required) and something we actually manufacture.

Many of the parts that we build or make on the premises are hand crafted, in a continual state of improvement and are created as almost one offs involving considerable thought and time. Many of these parts then only take minutes to bolt to the car.

This is an area of frustration for all parties concerned. There in fact are only so many hours in a day and I always like to imagine there are more. I suspect if I did not have this positive outlook at the possibilities and how much I feel I can achieve in a given time the Tri Pod would not exist. It certainly took longer than I anticipated or would have liked to get it from a thought and a scratch on a piece of paper to a registered, drivable car. Along that 'road' were many frustrations, they continue to this day in the form of sub contractors who need to be checked upon and reminded of the need for quality work on a continuing basis (it seems).

Whatever your thoughts on parts delivery timelines, various aspects of the design, fibreglass quality or any other issues that arise while working your way through the build of this 3 wheeled contraption, the original idea I had and worked towards remains...

For me is still the most enjoyable driving experience for anywhere near this kind of money.

Do what I did over 6 odd years. Dream a little. Driving over the horizon on that first major long distance drive. Wind in the hair, the birds tweeting, the ridiculously over rated engine humming, almost in the background.

I've said it a lot and maybe I shouldn't repeat it but it is true. If building cars and getting them registered was easy everyone would do it.

Back to real work now, Andrew.

Tri Pod Cars - Simple, light and fun.

 Post subject: Re: Build times
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
Hi everyone, My name is Martin Arnold, and I'm 69, a retired fitter welder. For many years I made recumbent tadpole pedal trikes, tig welded cromo tubing, so I've got a fair bit of experience cutting and welding up lumps of tubing etc.

The real reason for hopping onto this discussion about build times is that in 1993 I started building a Lotus 7 copy, the hard way. I bought a book called "The Legend of the Lotus 7" by Dennis Ortenburger, and from the book I was able to draw up some dodgy plans suitable enough for the transport dept here in WA. Once approval in principle was given I made up a rough but accurate bench/table and bought some RHS tubing. At that time I only had a cheapo stick welder, and hand tools, not even access to a lathe. Laser cut parts? forget it, all bracketry was made by hand in the time honoured way...files, drills and grinder. Before I started I drew out full size the front suspension I wanted ...caster, camber, roll centre all fixed in place using a "string computer" I got from another great book about building a Mini-based Terrapin (Google it sometime).

Once the frame was almost built I came across an ex-Japan front end half-car Toyata 4AG twin cam engine, computer, and gearbox UJ, the only parts I needed, the front end body shell was scrap and I paid $2000 for the lot. The engine was shoe-horned into the engine bay and a 450mm propshaft was made up and married to a Ford Escort rear axle.

I made all the moulds for the fibreglass panels, though on the 7 there is a lot of ally panels, easily made and pop-riveted. For the bonnet I made a full size cardboard template and transferred that to ally, which I bent to shape around the power pole outside of the house for a perfect fit. I made a rolling jig for the brass section windscreen surround and the guy next door, a glazier, cut the glass and acid-etched the correct symbol.

Back to the engine bay I had to move the alternator to the opposite side of the engine because the Gemini/Torana/Triumph 2000 steering parts interfered with the alternator, and moving it somewhere else was the only option. It was never a perfect solution but worked well enough.

It took 2 years of blood sweat and many tears, and the car (registered ironically as a Lotus) failed inspection twice before I finally got it on the road in '95.

There is much much more to this saga of optimistic defiance and sheer bloody-mindedness to see it through, and I guess the reason for this diatribe is that for anyone contemplating the building of a Tripod, or indeed any other kit car, be minded that in the case of this Tripod, much of the hard work will have been done already by someone who has trodden a similar path to mine. The headaches, the heartaches and head scratching will have been, if not removed entirely, reduced to manageable chunks.

You don't HAVE to do it how I did it, unless you're a real glutton. Most of the work putting together any kit car, and I've no reason to believe from what I've researched about Andrew and his creation, that his is any different from others out there, is a nuts and bolts exercise. Of course there is more to it than that, but most of the guesswork has been eliminated. You should end up with something to be proud of, that reflects your efforts. Any silly bugger can walk into a car showroom and drive out the latest and greatest having handed over a wedge of folding notes, but building something yourself is another animal entirely.

If you're contemplating building a kit car, just do it...whether a Tripod, or another make. You'll get a buzz out of it. I can't give an unbiased view, or any view for that matter, of the Tripod, because I've only seen it on the internet, but trust me, if Andrew went through the pains that I did to create a vehicle from nothing, and has over the years garnered a following, then there's a good reason for that. It must be pretty well sorted.

I'd like one for myself, and in time I'll take the plunge. I'm retired, plenty of time on my hands, and when the wife and I aren't cruising the world, I need a project. A Tripod looks to me like it'll do very nicely thanks. I might be 69 but my accelerator foot is still 17:)

How long will it take? Who knows. Mine took 2 years from scratch and nearly ended up as a boat anchor many times, but with persistance you'll get there. Don't worry about the final cost, divide it up into chunks. Mine cost $15,000 20 years ago and I sold it 7 years later for $15,000, so I didn't get a penny back from the effort I put into it. But that's irrelevant, the sheer joy I got from the thing was priceless. You will too, believe me!

Cheers, Martin

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