History of the Classic Cord
Why I built my own Cord
Engineering and Design
Body Construction 1
Body Construction 2
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 1
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 2
Designed and Fabricated Parts 1
Designed and Fabricated Parts 2
Engineering Changes
Final Modifications

Final Details
MN Registration
The World Debut
More Misadventures

Final Recommendations
Glam Shots

The HBC Store
To Sturgis & Back Game

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   Engineering and Design

    Designing and building your own car is very different than assembling a kit car.  Besides designing the overall body, I faced several other engineering and design challenges:

• Front Suspension:
   The 1937 Cord front fenders were originally modeled from early streamline aircraft wheel covers.  The deep pontoon shape features provide little room for modern suspensions.  The challenge I faced was to find a suspension that could fit under the front fenders.  Two candidate suspensions provided the correct geometry.  They were Corvair and Pinto.  I ended up picking Pinto and proceeded to model the geometry on the computer.  I explored the effect of upper arm location and camber, roll center and tire scrub.  In the end I picked a compromise that provided minimal camber change (excellent cornering) and minimal tire scrub (minimal tire wear).

• Retractable Headlights:
   Original 1937 Cord headlights were raised and lowered individually with a crank in the cockpit.  The original design is complicated and inconvenient.  New design is electromechanical featuring off-the-shelf limit switches (Digikey) and miniture DC motor and gear box (McMaster Carr).

• Convertible Roof:
   Designed a convertible roof mechanism that completely disappears within the body of the car.  Major design contraint was the rear cowl support/roll bar.  I worked around strucure by separating roof frame and roof fabric.

• Frame stiffness and strengh:
   Performed FEA on similar frame to ensure safety and maximize torsional stiffness.  Performed Instron tensile tests of weld samples (arc weld).  Achieved 90% of ultimate strength of parent material.  All critical welds feature reinforced plating.

• Front Brakes:
   The Pinto front brakes feature relatively small discs.  The larger the disc, the greater the stopping power.  Stopping power is much more important than engine horsepower.     To maximize my stopping power I replaced the Ford Pinto discs and calipers with 10 inch diameter Ford Granada discs and calipers.  I designed and engineered the adapter bracket that allowed the Granada caliper to be attached to the Pinto spindle.  Stress analysis showed a safety factor of four assuming 1 G deceleration and entire weight of car is applied to the front suspension.

• Windshield Wiper:
   Converted standard windshield wiper motor and linkages into counter rotating windshield wiper blades system (like old Corvette).  This was done for aesthetics as it looks very cool.

• Gas Tanks:
   Designed and frabricated composite dual gas tanks located behind the seats.  Challenge was to find materials that were immune to both gasoline and alcohol.  Currently Minnesota gasoline has 10% alcohol.  It turns out that alcohol is pretty agressive.  Used polyvinyl ester resin and fiberglass to fabricate tanks.  Sealed the inside with an aircraft quality polysulfide compound.  Performed accelerated life test on sample material to verify alcohol immunity.


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