Rat Rod . . My entry to Head Turnerz Februari meet: Rods & Kustoms.
After a few creations that didnít exactly worked out like I wanted (and didnít make it to the internet) I decided to go for a rather Ďsimpleí car. Browsing the internet I came across this Rod and I instantly knew I was going to build a Rat Rod.
Before even beginning the build I already had tons of ideas of how Iíd like it to be. I had nearly the whole bodywork figured out in my head and I ideas for the technical side of it quickly came too. I already had pneumatics and the Unimog tires from an order for a eventually failed MB 600 Pullman. My collection of PF parts had also been growing lately, so I found I had to include some power functions as well.
Unlike usually, I started with the bodywork instead of a chassis. And even more notable, I started with the back and not the front, which is something I very rarely do. Having done the rear part of the bodywork from the very beginning, I started working on the rear suspension. As it should with a rod, I used pneumatics, so at rest the frame would be on the ground and when driving I could lift it up. When I became to know how big the PF battery box actually is when trying to fit it in a car, I realised that it would need to be located very early in the building process. It would need to be easily removable, so I decided to put it under the seats. Instead of hanging the battery box in the frame and building a bench on top, I grabbed the loose battery box and build the bench around it, before fitting the whole thing in the frame.
However, after a lot of attempts to fit the PF motors in I ragequitted on that idea and went with the usual manually operated functions. I had already installed the battery box though and to still utilise it, I decided to order myself a couple of PF lights and include some lights in my build.
After that, I focused on the front suspension, one of the parts that I knew would be hard to build. Whereas I usually donít really pay attention to the looks of my suspension designs, this car did need a good looking suspension, because it would be on front of the car, rather than behind a bodypanel, like it would be on a regular car. After millions of designs I finally got a simple, good looking, yet well-functioning suspension that I also used to fit in the front lights.
I already had some parts of the engine lying around and it was actually one of the easiest parts, just as the grill, which I build straight after I did the engine. Originally the engine was mounted about 2 studs lower, but it had to be moved up to make place for the pneumatic cylinders from the front suspension, that had to be moved from their original place to make place for the engine, because the engine turned out longer than expected.
Then it was time for the gearbox. At that time I still had to decide whether to go for a linear gearbox or one with the specialized Lego gearbox part. Because there wasnít enough place for a gearbox behind the firewall, I realised that the only place suitable for a gearbox would be under the engine. After some effort I managed to fit a 2 speed linear gearbox under the engine, between the pneumatic cylinders for the suspension. Although it had to be removed and replaced to let the PF light cables go thru, it turned out to be the ideal place for it. By fitting the gearbox I had completed the drivetrain, so the only thing that was still to be done were the interior, the doors and the roof.
Building the interior went very smooth and took me just minimal time. Floor from Technic, a Spartan dashboard and a steering wheel hooked on to the steering mechanism. The doors went easy too. No hard to build shapes, but just square doors, so the only actual hard thing about it were the hinges. The roof on the other side, was quite hard to build. I wasnít really able to find a good solution to follow the right shape, but things fell into place fast when I came to the idea of leaving the roof partially open. By leaving this big hole in the roof I also granted myself the ease of not having to build the HOG gear on the roof, because the working steering wheel inside would be reached through the roof. I threw on some mirrors, et voilŗ, finished!
But then came another challenge: taking pictures. Iíve been very good at photographing my cars, but even worse was that this car was black. Anybody that has ever tried to get good photos of a black MOC will probably agree that it is one heck of a challenge to get nice, clear pictures. I had a bit of experience from my Volvo FH12 and in the end, I think the photos turned out rather well. Although I hope to improve more on my photography, I found that for this car the photos are good enough, so Iím posting this. :)
I am really happy and proud of the final result. Although some parts worked out differently then I planned, it is as playable and good-looking as I hoped it would be. The bodywork is sturdy and looks realistic and the technical aspects work fine too. Through the open roof the steering wheel and gearshifter can be reached easily, providing for great playability. And the pneumatics work almost addictive; I can spend ages lifting the chassis up and letting it drop down again...
Anyway, enough of my talking.
Hope you like it just as much as I do. :)
Length: 51.5 cm.
Wheelbase 43 cm.
Front track: 20.5 cm.
Rear track: 24.5 cm.
Minimal height: 14.5 cm.
Maximal height: 16.5 cm.
Minimal road clearance: 0 cm.
Maximal road clearance: 2 cm.
Weight: 2.3 kilos
List of all the functions
- steering via steering wheel in cabin
- liftable suspension
- 2 speed gearbox
- moving V8 with rotating radiator fan
- working front and rear lights
- opening doors
There are 2 flaws in the functioning of the whole car. First is that it makes a rattling sound when in second gear. Iíve been searching for hours to the cause of this, but so far withouth success. Second flaw: the steering wheel. When the car was completed, I was extremely happy to have got the steering wheel hooked up successfully to the front suspension. Wasnít too happy that the steering wheel moves the opposite way as the wheels thoughÖ
For all the Technic fans out there:
Hope you enjoyed!