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Old October 3rd, 2013, 08:55 PM   #1
v8bugrod
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Default V8 Bugrod Design Evolution
Re:: Sketch, Refine, Repeat   

I wanted to post the design iterations that I am producing for the V8 Bugrod, but didn't want to clutter up the build thread. So this thread will chronicle the evolution of the design and touch on methods I use. I will greatly appreciate any feedback on either topic.

To begin with, I started with a line drawing of a 1972 Super Beetle that I found on the internet, like so:



I then sanitized it into a "line only" version, and lightened it up to so that I could sketch over the original with my chopped designs:



Then I did about half a dozen sketch iterations, refining the lines each time, and arrived at this design below:



It took me a few evenings to come up with this, and it has become the foundation that the rest of the design has evolved from. But a pleasing sketch doesn't mean you can build it. I spent the next couple weeks researching Beetle top chops, V8 VW chassis, suspensions, etc. This is when I discovered volksrods.com, and joined up.

I will post each design iteration in rapid succession, including the marked up designs and comments about what design elements were changing and why.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/05/2013 - I scanned the 07/17 sketch and used the same ghosted image technique to allow me to sketch many of the underlying components. The following is the most developed of the component sketch iterations:



This portrays a rough chassis design, small block Chevy engine, 4L60 transmission, Ford 9” rear end, Mustang II IFS, triangulated 4 link rear suspension, coil-over shocks, exhaust with cats and fuel tank.

Last edited by v8bugrod; October 3rd, 2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/09/2013 – The previous iteration is the furthest I could take the design on paper only, and it was time to move to the computer. I have used Visio for years as a great method to transition paper designs to a digital format. I started with that Super Beetle image mentioned in the first post. I used the dimensions (in millimeters) on that image to scale the image onto a Visio drawing sheet. Then I added some reference lines at key points around the car, like door bottom, sides, floor pan, ground level, etc. Then I scaled the 07/17 sketch image onto the drawing sheet, lining it up to the reference lines. Now I have a canvas that I can accurately drawn, at full scale, and all dimensionally correct. The following is the first iteration of Visio layouts:



This allows me to pull measurements off hand drawn features, and to overlay accurately drawn geometry that will be used to drive detail design later on. It is also nice to slap other images that are readily available on-line, like the engine and transmission above. The above iteration is the first time that I could accurately estimate what the wheelbase and ground clearance of the 07/17 sketch. Also, this was my first crack at the V8 Bugrod logo. The V8 badge is placed on the hood of the car.

From here, I print the latest set of changes from Visio on 8.5 x 11 paper, and carry them with me all the time. Whenever I have a few minutes, I pull them out and doodle. Sometimes they are good ideas, sometimes not. After a couple days I go back and update the Visio layout. Print out, wash, rinse and repeat.

Last edited by v8bugrod; October 3rd, 2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/14/2013 - The following is the first attempt to draw the chopped body lines in Visio. I started by tracing over body lines of the Super Beetle line drawing, and then literally cut the curves in Visio and rearranged them on the drawing sheet. The chop is 4”, and the body was channeled over the chassis about 1-1/2 inches more than the 07/17 sketch. The chassis is also roughed out using 2 x 4 tubing. The markup shows my intention to move the “B” pillar back about 5 inches, and extend the tail about 6 inches, and try to make it more of a fastback. I also toyed with the idea of some rear fenders (one of those bad ideas).


Last edited by v8bugrod; October 3rd, 2013 at 09:23 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/15/2013 - This next iteration put the “B” pillar move and tail extension into Visio geometry, and improved the front grill. This is the first point at which I realized that the body would not drop onto the chassis because of how the tail sheetmetal curves under the rear chassis where the bumpers will mount. My solution is that the rear section of the chassis will be bolted in after the body is on the chassis.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/19/2013 - I have been thinking a lot about how the chassis and front suspension are going to shake out. The iteration below shows that I pasted in some images of a Mustang II IFS that I generated from a Solidworks model downloaded from GrabCad. The model didn’t include 2” drop spindles, so the axles don’t line up with the center of the wheels. But it provides enough detail to shake out other design elements.

My biggest concern was allowing enough clearance in the chassis to permit full steering articulation. I drew several sketches trying to minimize the notching in the frame rails. I finally gave up and decided to design enough clearance into the chassis to permit 45 degree inner wheel rotation. With good fabrication and plating, there won’t be a problem with strength. This vehicle just isn’t go to have the kind of power that will cause a problem for this design. I was also looking at Akerman angles here, and have a whole other “steering geometry” layer in Visio looking at this. I had reduced the rear wheel/tire size to permit clearance in the wheel wells without messing up the stock body lines too much. Also playing with logo fonts.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

08/25/2013 - This iteration shows the refinements to the chassis and coil-over mounts for the IFS.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

09/08/2013 - This iteration sketches in more components such as exhaust, floor pans, rear suspension, fuel tank. This is where I considered changing the chassis frame tubing to 2 x 3 from 2 x 4, and the 1 inch reduction would be soaked up in the frame channel. This is also the first appearance of the rear whale tail - my homage to the Porsche Turbo Carrera, or rather poke in the eye. I am also trying to taper the rear roof profile to be more “fastback” like.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

09/10/2013 - This iteration was “A Bridge Too Far” in the lowering pursuit. It is only 1 inch lower than the previous iteration, but when I hid all the “components” in Visio and just looked at the body, it was a turn to the ugly side. Also, I realized that moving away from 2 x 4 chassis frame tubing reduced space to route exhaust under the car. But I liked the shorter side window and rear roof profile in this iteration. No problem, I keep all the Visio design iterations in separate files. Cut and paste baby!


Last edited by v8bugrod; October 3rd, 2013 at 09:27 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

09/28/2013 - This iteration resurrects much of the 08/27 body design and 2 x 4 chassis frame tubing. But it includes the shorter side window and lower profile rear roof line from the 09/10 iteration. There is a lot of ink on this sketch, I had two cross-country flights with lots of time to sketch and no time to work in Visio. It includes just about every little detail sprinkled in previous sketches, and includes the roll-cage for the first time. The other big change is that I have gone back to the original rear wheel sizes, it just looks so much better. Bodylines be damned.

I also realized during this iteration that I have to use headers that will dump the down-tubes below the floor-pan before getting to the firewall. Otherwise the headers will interfere with the driver and passenger foot-wells.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 09:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

10/02/2013 - The big change here is that the rear end, suspension, fuel tank and much of the exhaust is in Visio geometry. With some minor tweaks, most of these will be far enough along that I will probably take a break from component design for several days. I will shift focus on getting all the other body lines captured in Visio geometry. I am missing the entire front and rear views, and most of the top view detail. I am showing the original 07/17 sketch geometry for the front and rear views, which have 1-1/2 inch less channeling than the Visio geometry shown.

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Old October 4th, 2013, 04:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Looks like alot of thought has went into it.













Is it done yet?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 05:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

I love it all and killer logo man. Those two little bumper sections remind me of a prowler.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Thanks. Yeah I tried the prowler like bumpers in an early sketch, and haven't come up with a better idea yet. I don't think Beetle like full width bumpers work well with the open wheel design.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Thanks for the feedback. I will try your suggestion while finishing the top/front/rear views. The original "Volvo" uses a traditional frame rail design, but I have been pursuing a more "Track-T" front end. The completed views will help to visualize these details.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

If you're running a tube frame, how about traditional 'nerf bars' for bumpers...clean simple and effective. That'll keep the riff raff away from your grill and trunk
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

I wish I could mock a draft like that. Usually I just point my thumb at the car and guesstimate.. very nice.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

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Originally Posted by Paperweightnate View Post
I wish I could mock a draft like that. Usually I just point my thumb at the car and guesstimate.. very nice.
I was thinking the same thing, I have such a tough time drawing a straight line, or 2 circles that are even close to being round & close to the same size
I need a ruler & all the other fancy drawing tools, as well as the point guess, then cut n weld, changes from there

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Old October 15th, 2013, 04:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Awesome! And the prowler-styled light pods should work well with the track-t nose. Having too much poking out, it seems to me, would take a bit away from the sleekness of your design. The track-t nose is also a fantastic solution to get air to the radiator.
Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out!
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Old December 10th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

12/09/2013 - It has been way too long since my last update. Life has gotten in the way, and we have been moving from Virginia to Minnesota this fall, and I am changing jobs. But I can always doodle on this thing when I need a reality break.

Progress has been slow but steady, and I have a very solid concept of the end result in my head. I have completed transferring the body lines into Visio geometry, and this has helped refine some subtle aspects of the design. Some notable changes include the hood, moving the rear wheels back 2 inches, structure details in the frame, refined exhaust, battery placement and enlarged fuel tank.

A fundamental change in the plan is that I will go with an LS engine instead of the old SBC from my 442. I want this to be an ODBCII controlled powertrain, and be able to have an aluminum block to reduce weight. Will probably go with a 5.7 and 4L60E.

I almost bought a clean 64 shell this past weekend for $400, but after looking it over I made the decision that I will start with a 1968-1972 Classic Beetle. This has to do with the shape/length of the hood, which I will flatten out using a stretcher. The pre-68 hoods are too long. In addition, they probably made more of these year Beetles that any other period, and affordable shells/donor roofs/doors will be easier/cheaper to acquire.

I haven’t revisited the bumper issue yet. Now that I have some clean line drawings with Visio geometry, I will print out some copies and brainstorm a bunch of ideas and try to nail it down. I have grown to not like the “Prowler Pods”, and would really like to not have bumpers at all. But I want to be able to take trips with family members, and I am thinking about how to keep everyone safe. More to come.


Last edited by v8bugrod; December 10th, 2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 05:39 PM   #21
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

12/31/2013 - I haven't changed much with the design in the past couple weeks, but have been refining details that aren't visible with the resolution of the downloaded images. In general, I am shifting into "how to build it" mode. I have been converting some of the design over to SolidWorks, like the chassis/suspension, and a rough cut at the body so I could render some 3D views of the whole car. But modeling the body is going to be too big of a job, and have given up on a 3D solid model body.

My grandaughter gave me one of those "Boogie Boards" that were everywhere in the malls this Christmas shopping season. So I dusted off my high school drafting text books, and refreshed my memory on how to draw perspective renderings. After about 50 attempts, I am getting close to a rendering that resembles what I have in mind.



I have found a nice '72 classic beetle shell for $250, so will start to post in the build thread soon.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 09:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

You need AutoCAD....
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Old January 1st, 2014, 03:44 PM   #23
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Whozawhat - Yes, I have seen the Ragon Fly project, and have read through the thread completely. A lot of really good work, and some great ideas that I am considering.

JiL - I have owned AutoCAD and others in the past. SolidWorks is the package I have a full license for right now. Is there a specific capability that you think AutoCAD has that would be particularly helpful?
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Old January 1st, 2014, 06:23 PM   #24
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

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You need AutoCAD....
Jeff
Shit...I need AutoCAD (and the brains to be able to figure it out)

You guys and your amazing computer program stuff. Definitely can see the use in them - this one is quite interesting.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 06:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: V8 Bugrod Design Evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by v8bugrod View Post
Whozawhat - Yes, I have seen the Ragon Fly project, and have read through the thread completely. A lot of really good work, and some great ideas that I am considering.

JiL - I have owned AutoCAD and others in the past. SolidWorks is the package I have a full license for right now. Is there a specific capability that you think AutoCAD has that would be particularly helpful?
Solidworks is well known. I'm working with Inventor right now. Ohhh, dangerous tool!
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