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205 Endurance Racer Prototype

CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#1
Hi all,

I figure this is the best place to post, but let me know if it needs to go somewhere else!

I'm building a space-frame 205 T16, using a few familiar parts as well as custom fabrications. The intention is for it to be used as a demo car for a potential new low cost endurance series. The basic spec is a mid-engined RWD 2-seater using a Formula Renault engine (192bhp F4R) and Sadev sequential transaxle, carbon-kevlar T16 silhouette body, some Clio suspension & brake bits, and around 750kg kerb weight. At the point of writing I'm about 11 weeks into the build with an expected 4-6 weeks left, so there'll be bulk posting while I catch this thread up, followed by regular updates. I'll explain as much as I can as I go along, but feel free to jump in with questions / comments and I'll do my best to respond.

I'll start at the beginning, as is tradition!

I bought this rather unremarkable 1.6 automatic in June from a farmer in Norfolk, whose daughter had a little weep when I hopped in to drive away. I didn't have the heart to tell her what I planned to do to it!

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Which was to tear it to pieces pretty much immediately:

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And cut the floor out:

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Actually the plan was quite a lot more drastic than that! More to follow.. 😅
 

CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#4
So yeah as per the unfolding plans, the next job was to get the body levelled up, which I used a chassis spit to do.

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Since the car uses a space-frame chassis, the original metalwork is totally superfluous from a structural perspective. In fact, the only metalwork I plan on keeping is the door apertures and windscreen aperture - only because I eventually need something to take a mould off and reproducing these complex details is a total PITA.

I cut the sills to accept a box-section frame, which forms the base of the structure:

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Then this got welded to a stand, to keep it at a decent working height for the rest of the build:

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CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#7
This is the point where things really take off!

I got hold of a carbon-kevlar 205 T16 body from a guy in Austria, so this is going to be a sort-of replica, although really it's nothing like a T16. Since the T16 had an extended wheelbase over a standard 205 (120mm total) and I had no idea which axles were moved in which direction, I needed to mock up the bodywork and take some measurements. Also it looks freaking awesome so I couldn't resist!

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The entire rear end of the car had to be hacked off to fit the rear clamshell - this was a pretty nerve-wracking job!

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Sadly the clamshell seems to have got distorted somewhere along the way, so it's going to take some work later to sort that out, but it looks pretty cool!

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Then the savagery towards the original metalwork continued by chopping back the front end:

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And that's about the amount of it that I plan to keep.

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It'll be bolted down to the chassis and eventually will have moulds taken to produce GRP parts, rather than chopping up a 205 each time a car needs to be made. There's some tidying up to do later, but for now it sits on a little temporary stand when I need it out the way.
 

CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#10
On to making the space frame!

First thing was to do the footplates, which also double up as gussets for the chassis crossmembers:

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Then after popping the shell off & on a bunch of times, get the main hoop in position:

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Then the lateral half rollbars and some longitudinal chassis rails:

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Followed by a few more bits to define the cockpit:

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NorthloopCup

ClioSport Moderator
#11
On to making the space frame!

First thing was to do the footplates, which also double up as gussets for the chassis crossmembers:

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Then after popping the shell off & on a bunch of times, get the main hoop in position:

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Then the lateral half rollbars and some longitudinal chassis rails:

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Followed by a few more bits to define the cockpit:

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Nice welding and fabrication skills in this! Why use the f4r out of interest?
 

CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#12
Next job was mounting the engine..

A bit of delicate positioning & shimming to get the engine at a decent height, straight & level:

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The Formula Renault engine I'm using is designed to be solid mounted to the tub as a stressed member. I won't be stressing it, but will be solid mounting to the frame using the original FR mounting points. This car needs to be easy to work on, so there are special considerations with the engine brackets to make sure dropped fasteners don't just fall to the ground and get lost, and also to ensure decent spanner / finger clearance etc.

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Similar story for the top mounts, which form part of the main hoop X:

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No hands!

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There will also be mounting points on the gearbox, but that will come later. The FR engine came with a Sadev SL75 transaxle which had an integrated bellhousing and dry sump tank, making it about 200mm too long to fit in the car. I'm getting a custom BH machined with SWR at the mo, so until that's done I can't get round to mounting the gearbox.
 

CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#16
Next job, which brings things up to about 3 weeks ago, was wishbone mounts.

I went with the option of having replaceable mounting points for the wishbones for a few reasons. Firstly, it's better to replace a cheap bracket than to chop & weld the chassis after a prang, secondly it gives options for adjusting geometry later without the crude solution of multiple mounting holes on overly large brackets. I got these CNC laser cut & formed at Caged Laser Engineering, if anyone's interested!

This first set of pics is of the chassis reinforcements, which have captive weld nuts. The larger of the two doubles up as a footplate for some of the main space frame members.

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This next set of pics are of the wishbone brackets themselves. I've designed them to allow for variation in the wishbones, which is another plus of having bolt-on brackets as a couple mm of width variation in the wishbone (e.g. post-weld shrinkage) could make fitting to fixed brackets a nightmare.

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I'll be using a Powerflex kit car bush on the inboard pivots.

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Finally, a bit of a change from fabrication pics! I found an original T16 roof spoiler from the Evo 2 in France. It's damaged, with a split up the centre, but it was an absolute bargain compared to a mint one and is at a carbon repair specialist being brought back to former glory!

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CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#17
And to bring things up to date - these are from yesterday!

Anyone who's had a long-term project of any sort will know there's a point you get to where it feels like nothing is getting done - that's been the last 2 weeks or so for me! Everything has depended on everything else to progress, so it's just been a seemingly endless slog of CAD, calculations, and drawings. Thankfully this week saw some more progress - with strut drawings sent off to Gaz and everything finalised geometry-wise, I could get the strut tops jigged up and continue with building the frame.

These are some of the jig parts for positioning the strut tops on the frame:

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Then the jigs for positioning the strut tops in space:

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And then in the space of a day, the frame looked very different!

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CamMoreRon

ClioSport Club Member
#18
A quick update.. it hasn't been the best couple of days!

I took the gearbox to SWR Motorsport last week to have a shorter input shaft fitted (the FR has an integrated bellhousing & dry sump tank, so the assembly is too long for the back of a 205) and a general inspection & service, but they called a couple of days later to say we had massive problems. To cut a long story short: ours was one of the front-runners, and a combination of attacking kerbs at full throttle and running the bare minimum of oil to reduce drag means there's a crack in the case and the whole gearset needs to be replaced - the cost of which is almost the same as a new SL75. So we're getting a new SL75 instead. :dizzy:

The fallout from all of this was that if the gearbox is shot then what state must the engine be in, so a very panicked strip-down ensued! Thankfully the engine looks to be an almost fresh rebuild, and other than some excessive endfloat (from the heavy clutch, I'd guess) requires no major work. I'll be renewing gaskets & belts as a matter of course, and also installing new thrust bearings and ARP bolts following advice from SWR, but otherwise it'll go straight back together.

Panicked engine explosion:

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:fearscream:

In slightly happier news, a sh*t-tonne of parts arrived!

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m&l172ph1

ClioSport Club Member
#28
Amazing work!
Always wanted to do something like this myself with a mk1 escort and a zakspeed kit.
I never considered using box section for the main platform though! I guess it makes it easier to mount it from.
Did an Aston V8 a quite a while back! My Bosses brother at the time ended up in the wall at brands!
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#29
Mmm what an epic thread!! Can't wait to see more updates tbh. LOL at how much of the car you are using though, that's brutal! it looked to be pretty good condition too?
 

Dr Jekyll

ClioSport Club Member
#39
Wow! This is going to be one fantastic project to follow. I love stuff like this.

Your fabrication skill are brilliant!

Plus, who hasn't got a soft spot for a 205?! Even if there is only 2% left of one on this!
 

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