My RWD solid axle front engine Escort MK2 build

Frederik

Supporting Member
Hi all, this is my first thread here, I have been looking for a little while and posted here and there, thought you guys might be interested to see what I spend my hobby time on currently :)


For full thread of the evolution of the project and all my thoughts process (including almost starting from scratch a couple times) see this thread:

http://www.scale4x4rc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=73820

Edit: as of August 2021, it seems like scale4x4rc forum is gone and will not be returning.. So the original documentation of the early progress of the build is lost, but I still have the pics and uploaded them to imgur since photobucket went down. So for now here is a pic dump, I will add some description later after all the links are fixed.


First frame I made out of aluminum, cut into 1/8 thick plate, using CC-01 axle and Junfac driveshaft.



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Made a Watt's linkage setup in the rear, instead of a panhard bar. With a panhard you always have some lateral movement throughout the suspension travel, more so if the travel is long. And lots of racing Escorts are modded that way, and being a suspension nut I wanted to try the watt's linkage too :)


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First I tried with some old links I had with some wood pieces to test out the geometry, the two outside ends of the links are attached to the chassis, and the middle of the center pivot link (the white piece of wood in the center) has its center mounted on the middle of the diff housing.



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So when suspension compresses, each link pulls a bit on its side because of its radius, but since they both pull the same lenght, the center piece remains centered, the white piece just rotates a bit counterclockwise. I admire the idea! Thanks to Mr. Watt I guess :D


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So I modded the CC-01 axle to add a piece of angle bar and have a mounting point close to center of the axle (the diff pumpkin is off center on the CC-01), and some mounting tabs for the 4 links:


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Here it's got a nice hotrod look with the wide rear wheels :) These are not the wheels that are going to be on that Escort though!


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Here is the front suspension strut design I came up with. The shocks I believe are from a Losi XXX-CR buggy, I bought the shocks used from Ebay. They have a threaded body and are one piece (no cap at the top). So I can just grind off the integrated mounting eye, flip it upside down, and use the threaded collars to mount them on my strut! (I used the extra collar from the unused rear shocks to hold it to the strut-knuckle thing).


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Here you see better how I did the strut. This is an early design, the steering part on the right is waaaaay too big, other parts are ok. The left piece is what the lower suspension arm will attach to.

The two thicker pieces are drilled the size of the bearing to hold it, and the center piece (L shaped) is drilled smaller than the bearing to act as a separator for the two bearings. It also forms the angle between shock and wheel axis. The thinner black painted piece is just a shim to have proper gap between the bearings.

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The Losi shocks before and after grinding off the mounting eye:

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Pick of the tires I am planning to use (the Tamiya M-Chassis mini on the right is 55mm, 60mm the center one, and the left one is a regular touring car tire, way too big and low profile. The 60mm seems like the sweet spot.


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Planning to add disc brakes to the front, but the brake kit (from an RC motorcycle) is still quite big for the mini wheels.


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Here I am deciding to try a new fabrication method :) Just regular plumbing solder and some propane gas. Seems easier to manage than brazing for now.


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Did a few tests for strength, seems to hold pretty good when you have a larger contact area.


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Made the first working part, a mounting piece for the Watt's linkage to the chassis, a piece of brake tube with 22ga autobody steel wrapped around it, and some solder sipped in:

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Reference picture of the front suspension:

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Frederik

Supporting Member
A video of the inspiration for this build, Simon McKinley's white Escort. This is some awesome driving right there I think!


I found some drift wheels that look very nice and close to correct for the Escort! These have a pretty agressive offset so I'm not sure I'll be able to fit them, and also they use touring car tires that have a bit too big diameter.. But we'll see how I could make that work.


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Here with the ridiculously sized 30mm wide tires :LOL:

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I used an shaft from an old RC plane starter to lengthen the Junfac driveshaft. Nothing fancy, just cut to length, and drilled the inside to the same as the junfac male part. I don't weld so I just punched the tube around the shaft with a hammer. Hopefully it will not wobble too much!

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At some point I thought about changing the rear axle from CC-01 to the SDI.. because it can be narrowed to whatever I like. Seems like just cutting the knuckle will give perfect width, just a tad less than the CC-01 so I could run more offset look wheels and still fit the fenders.


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Found some drawings of the 1:1 car, to try and design closer to the actual car..

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Testing a cardboard shape for the front strut towers/engine bay sides (not sure what the actual name is!)

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Bonus Escort jumping pic :)

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RC4WD landies next to M chassis tires, thinking the offroad look could use the landies?

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Frederik

Supporting Member
I put one of the landies on the lathe and made it a bit smaller so it fits the M chassis tires. It fits but does not really hold very well, and cannot use the original beadlock system. So I'll need to rethink that.

In these pics also the steel version of the strut towers, they are two pieces, top plate, and the engine bay side, soldered together, and buffed the excess solder to shape lol

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I ordered and received the SDI axles, they are much thinner and should look way more scale under the little Escort! I also got SDI driveshafts which are slightly telescopic, but still a bit too short.

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I also bought Losi mini late model shocks, they look identical to the XXX-CR I have in the front, but smaller. Should work nicely in the rear in the tight space. Everything is getting much smaller! Look at the size of everything compared to the normal Traxxas rod ends, and the Tamiya spanner in the last pic.


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The tiny steel spool of the SDI axle next to the CC-01 housing.


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The link mounts will also be much smaller now with this axle, here a paper model first:


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Reference pictures of the front suspension, subframe and sway bar (in the factory setup, the sway bar acts as the drag link at the same time, to locate the lower arm fore-aft).


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Making another origami model for the floor/firewall section I plan to make out of thinner steel.

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The shape of the 4-link boxes:


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Seems to fit good! Now I "just" have to make this out of steel, right? :ROFLMAO:

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Frederik

Supporting Member
I have also found this nice schematic of an mk2 unibody, all in separate pieces. Kind of neat for a quick view of the sizes and proportions!

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Mini little small update, I made the axle mounting shapes and drilled one hole (yes, only one lol, got a "baby interruption" event). For reference purpose, the hole drilled in one of the pieces is smaller than an M2 bolt.

I also buffed the knuckle thingies on both ends, all SDI axles have them but I just trimmed them off on the bench grinder.


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9-16-2014

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I also modded the jaws on my bench vise to extend them so I can fold the floor pan, please ignore the complete utter mess of my bench :)


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I think next I will be soldering the floor pan together so it is solid enough to then add the frame rails underneath, then mount front fenders and do the driveshaft tunnel. Still lots to do! But from now on I plan to do a little every thuesday night, so stay tuned :)


9-17-2014
Here is the modification I made to the bench vise, makes it possible to fold long pieces :


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9-23-2014


Hey guys! As promised, here is Thuesday's update :)

It may not look like all that much but I soldered the chassis floor, and added a few reinforcements here and there, most importantly around the wheels arches to make it stronger given the many bends.

I decided I was probably not going to do the chassis rails with sheetmetal. It was already hard enough to solder simple shapes, I don't see myself soldering the origami thing I planned for :)

So I am using a steel piece instead, solid, about 1/8" thick, bent to shape to reinforce the thin floor. I only made one for now, and still need to make a front section, not sure how yet.I will bolt the two chassis pieces to the floor.


Ok enough talking and let's see some pics :)



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Thanks for looking folks!!

Fred
 

Frederik

Supporting Member
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I made the second frame rail, and bolted them to the floor pan. I also made a hole for axle so it does not interfere when I do the suspension:

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The space between the frame rails is exactly the space required between the two link boxes, I slit the floor where the boxes will be (dremel):


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Then knocked out the pieces:

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I cut the 4 link boxes and bent everything to shape:

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And used the existing frame bolts to hold them, note there will be a reinforcement in front of the boxes:



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Frederik

Supporting Member
I made the second links box and made one of the lower links attachments to the frame.

That allowed me to actually mount the axle and I did some more mock ups :) and test the four links with the new chassis.

Did I say I was glad I re-did the chassis that way? :) I am starting to like how it looks!


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Some comparison pics :)

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I mounted my machined F104 wheel in the back and it looks like it will fit! with a slight fender pull.

Not that it is the most scale correct wheel and tire but it is a different style and I would like to be able to swap styles easily. I see these tires as a nice drag setup, with very narrow front wheels. Or a kind of time attack car with big slicks all around. Of course I still keep the original idea that this will mainly be a rally car a la Simon McKinley and dirt rally style.

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I trimmed the body approximately. It looks like retroracing will never ever respond and send me my back half like they promised, so that one will have to do. Thrown some wheels and tires for the pics. I should have an actual update tomorrow :)

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Frederik

Supporting Member
I completed the body trimming (front half) and bolted it to the rear half.

Also I made the second bottom link mount, with a much better design. Instead of being awkwardly facing front, they would have been torn on the first rock :)

1st version:

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New version:


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And a poser shot :)


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Better view of the trimmed front and shell bolted (with temporary bolts)

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I will probably do some more tomorrow night. Good nite all!

Fred
 

Frederik

Supporting Member
Sooooo... ! Here we are, this is where I am at right now with this build, sorry for not starting a thread here when I started this project, I did not know of the site actually lol And also I have to say there are so many top notch builds here that I even after I discovered this site I was afraid of posting my stuff. But now I saw the light and thought it'd be cool to put it here too.

Let me know what you guys think, and thanks for looking!!

Frederik
 

imthatguy

Putting it in "H"
There's no need to be afraid Frederik! That's some extremely impressive fabrication and engineering. I really like how you've taken the actual car and used it as an exact inspiration for your build.

FANTASTIC! ::2thumbs

Can't wait to see more.
 

Frederik

Supporting Member
Hahaha thanks guys :) I do have limited time to spend on this, so it is a relatively slow going project (I have some project that have been on a back burner for a while hahaha)

Thanks for the kind words, and if at times my english sounds wierd that's cause english is not my first language (it is french).

Fred
 

Headquake

...at the H.O.P.
Nice. I was watching this at one point on scale4x4.

Good to see it here and i like the new looks going on. Lots of nice metal work.
:biggthumpup:
 

Blissard

New member
Amazing build! I have been watching it on scale4x4, I'm looking forward to see more.

A friend of mine who has the same MK2 RS Rally in 1.1 wanted me to build a scale version of his car, so your build will be very helpful to me. Especially the Machperson suspension.
 

Frederik

Supporting Member
...very, very great job, excellent craftmanship! Regards Jens

Thanks Jens!

Frederik, Awesome work , love it.

Take your time, this build is already epic!

Thanks for the words Ikaros! Glad you like it

Nice. I was watching this at one point on scale4x4.

Good to see it here and i like the new looks going on. Lots of nice metal work.
:biggthumpup:

Thanks Headquake, I do like the new look better! I might reuse the alu chassis for another quicker and dirtier build :)

Great job! What awesome metal work!

Thanks DtjClarke! It is the first time I work with metal that way, I like it, it is more flexible and steel parts naturally end up smaller because they are stronger than alu, makes for more scale appearance possible!

Amazing build! I have been watching it on scale4x4, I'm looking forward to see more.

A friend of mine who has the same MK2 RS Rally in 1.1 wanted me to build a scale version of his car, so your build will be very helpful to me. Especially the Machperson suspension.

Thanks Blissard! My final strut design should be way more refined than the first test, but the concept should be the same (threaded losi shock reversed with sandwitched halves for the bearings).


Thanks all for looking and I hope you will like how it'll turn out!

Fred
 

Frederik

Supporting Member
That is some amazing building. You sir have some nice skills. Keep the updates coming

Thanks Bruce! I'll make sure to update as I do more progress. Feel free to push me for updates though lol sometimes a little push from fellow enthusiasts helps getting things done :)
 
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