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P4 chassis blueprints

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Horsefly, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Probably already asked in one way or another,...but assuming that somebody wanted to build an accurate P4 replica in the best manner possible,...does anybody besides Piper himself have a real usable blueprint from which to build a correct P4 chassis? I believe that Norwood has the closest to original chassis. But is it REALLY a close approximation to the original style? I'm not quiblbing about every little nuance of the design because with only a few original cars built, and mods made in the heat of competition, no two were really alike anyway. Where does Norwood, or anybody, get a diagram from which to have a starting point to work from? Also,....were the original frames made with round METRIC tubing or American standard tubing? Being an Italian car, I would think METRIC but don't know if there are METRIC or standard varieties of 4130 grade chrome moly tubing available. What did the original use?

    I've searched the net but have found no P4 chassis diagrams anywhere. Where is the mystery vault containing these hallowed documents? There are dirt tracker chassis that are more complicated than a P4 design, so where can one find an original P4 diagram to build a replica from?
     
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  3. tomgt

    tomgt F1 Veteran

    Feb 22, 2004
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    Tom Wiggers
    I have a few
     
  4. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Do you have any of the P car chassis blueprints that are detailed enough to actually be used to weld up an accurate replica frame? Do you have any frame drawings for the 250LM? If so,....where did you manage to find them? (Perhaps better said as "don't ask don't tell" perhaps?)
     
  5. tongascrew

    tongascrew F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2006
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    george burgess
    Get in touch with Norwood. They build P4 replicas. Good luck .You will
     
  6. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2007
    1,773
    Indianapolis
    Norwood's replica chassis have virtually nothing in common with a real P4 chassis. Two totally different things, the replica is not even close in terms of geometry, materials, or design.
     
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  8. tongascrew

    tongascrew F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2006
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    OK, Just a thought.Another possibility is to get in touch with David Piper.To get anywhere along this line you would need to get an audience with D.P. in the UK which would require you to convince him you are justified in your request. Good luck.You will need this and a lot more. You could also contact Talacrest in the UK which has had a lot of experience with at least two of these cars.You might also give Jim Glickenhause a call.Frankly I think your asking for the impossible.As I seem to be the only one on F Chat who has shown any interest in your project I would frankly suggest you drop the whole thing or at best go with Norwood and see if by any remote chance they would come up with a chassis closer to the original.If you get anywhere with this project I am sure plenty of regular F Chatters would like to hear about it. tonga's crew
     
  9. PAUL500

    PAUL500 Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2013
    2,312
    More a case of no one has the answer to the question, than simply just ignoring it.

    Even if the chassis drawings were available there would be little point in replicating that chassis, as unless you have all the bespoke p4 parts to build into it then it would be a pretty useless item.

    Far better to build a chassis to match an already constructed p4 esque body, built around the running gear you plan to utilise.
     
  10. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2007
    1,773
    Indianapolis
    One could, if one had the time and the inclination model the chassis in CAD based on the photographs that exist and knowing the size of other objects that are in the photographs. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a very close approximation. If you aren't a CAD person and would want someone to do it for your expect to pay a lot to have someone do it.

    I was thinking about doing it myself since I have the skills, but I don't really have the time to do it right,which is the only way to do it.

    The key is that the basic dimensions of the frame can be, for the most part, seen in the exterior photos and rivet lines, so you can actually define the location and position of the bulkheads by scaling photos and other drawings, and then you could model the rest. If you had access to a real one, and took a lot of photos with a scale in the photo that would be what you'd need to get all of the parts in the right place. But like I said, this is a very laborious and time consuming project if you want to get it right.
     
  11. 246tasman

    246tasman Formula 3

    Jun 21, 2007
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    Will Tomkins
    Actually Rob Wilson at RM Wilson Engineering in UK measured up and drew David Clarke's P4 and has produced one car with a very correct chassis (though fitted with a highly modified 400GT engine) and made parts for I think two more and a jig to assemble them.
    There was an article about the car in one of the glossy magazines a year or two back.
     
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  13. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2008
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    Steven Robertson
    I spoke to Rob about this car last year. He sold the car to someone in America. He has the P4 blueprints. He told me he's also now making for himself a P4 replica including an exact copy of the engine too.
     
  14. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Seems like a lot of negativity on this thread. Don't tell me that I have actually asked a question for which the Fchat crowd has no answer! As I said before, the actual construction of such an original chassis is probably no more complicated than a stock car frame or a dirt track racer as far as the steel and welding is concerned. It's not like trying to replicate a carbon fiber frame or a Roswell alien craft. It's just some steel and welding of 1960s vintage construction. It would seem that somebody would have a frame diagram in their files without having to resort to an act of Congress to gain access to it.
    Also,... if any of the possible sources for such a diagram are in the business of building replicas for HIGH dollar resale,.... are they really going to send anybody a copy so that they can build their own chassis???
     
  15. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2008
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    #12 miurasv, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    Why don't you contact RM Wilson Engineering to find out about the possibility of them making a chassis for you? Unless you will be using a P4 engine, which you certainly won't be, to mount the engine properly the tubes to mount it will have to have different geometry due to differing engine mounting coordinates of the engine you use. The P4 plans could still be used, as RM Wilson used as the guide, to correctly fit the 400 based engine in the P4 replica he previously made, and as a certain other person did to fit a P3 type engine that has projecting lug engine mountings, and in a different position to the P4 engine. The mounting of the transmission/transaxle will be a major consideration too, as will many other components as Paul has already pointed out in post 7.
     
  16. PAUL500

    PAUL500 Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2013
    2,312
    Or better still David Piper, he may even have some spare genuine running gear to go with it.

    His are so good they are on occasion mistaken for the real thing! :)
     
  17. Vincent Vangool

    Vincent Vangool Formula 3

    Oct 6, 2007
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    Vincent Vangool
    I believe he desires to build his own chassis.
     
  18. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2008
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    #15 miurasv, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    The P3, 412P and P4 chassis used the engine as a stressed member so effectively the engine was actually part of the chassis and needs the engine to bring strength to the structure. These chassis have engine mounting points in the rear bulkhead/firewall which affix to the cylinder heads, the side of the chassis affixes to the side of the cylinder block at two points each side and the rear part of the chassis engine area affixes to the back of the engine so you will be very limited to the engine you can use if using P4 blueprints.

    The 365 GT4 2+2, 400 and 412 engines only have 1 mounting point each side of the cylinder block and the engine is not designed to be used as a stressed member. See here: http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/365-gt4-2-2-400-412/542371-how-were-365-gt4-400i-412-engines-mounted-chassis.html#post145151892

    So if you are going to build the chassis with P4 blueprints and you don't have a P4 engine you have a solution to find to mount the engine so it brings strength to the structure. It would be interesting to know what solution RM Wilson Engineering used when they built their P4 replica with a 365 GT4 2+2 (or 400) engine.
     
  19. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    I don’t doubt that the nuances of an original P4 engine versus a later 400 engine would necessitate different engine mounts. But that would not be a very big problem. No big deal if you had to utilize some sort of adapter or sub-bracket that was not exactly like the original. My purpose is not to exactly duplicate an original P4 because it would cost a fortune and require chasing after unobtainable original parts. But the basic pretense of constructing a general replica is to have an original type frame design to start with. Hot rodders do this sort of stuff every day. Sort of like putting a big block 427 engine in a 57 Chevy. It was never “designed” for that kind of installation but with a few mods and some adapter engine mounts,…no big deal but you have to have a basic original frame to start with. My hypothetical P4 replica would most likely have some sort of NON-Ferrari transaxle anyway that would require modifications, adapters, or sub-brackets, etc.
    The wheels in my brain started turning when I read Scinta’s posting in the replica section showing his aluminum P4 replica bodies. If you had a basically original frame with a Ferrari engine to go under a basically original aluminum alloy body, the creation would be a very worthy project in my opinion.

    As far as the original P4 engine being a “stressed member” of the chassis, my logic would state that while the engine itself does provide some tortional rigidity, I believe the metal chassis members provided most all of the strength. If the engine itself was doing any major work to provide strength to the chassis itself, the stress on the block would no doubt flex the cylinder bores themselves and affect ring seal and gasket seal. I doubt very seriously that Ferrari would want the engine block to be taking any stress that would dare to elongate cylinder bores or risk gasket sealing in a competition engine. Any “stress membering” of the chassis due the strength of the engine block should be easy enough to compensate for by adding an additional cross member, stiffening member, or increased tubing thickness of the chassis tubing itself, etc. Keep in mind that many engine shops attach heavy thick torque plates to engine blocks during the cylinder boring process so that the cylinders are bored to EXACT dimensions with the EXACT correct torque stress they would experience when the cylinder heads are attached. Highly unlikely that you would expect these cylinders to hold their shape and dimension if the block was then used as a stressed cross member between flimsy chassis tubes.
    The purpose of my hypothetical project is NOT to duplicate every EXACT detail of a P4 chassis, I’m just trying to locate an original chassis diagram or blueprint as a working foundation to start with. With such a diagram, I bet that any competent dirt track or stock car chassis fabricator could easily duplicate a 60s vintage chassis. It’s just metal tubing and brackets. Now the rear uprights would be a challenge…..
     
  20. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    #17 PSk, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    Tell that to Colin Chapman, and remember the very successful Lotus 49 which used the engine has a fully stressed member.

    In the P4's case it is only semi-stressed like the Lancia D50 ... so nothing to worry about. Engines have to be designed to deal with a lot more internal stress than a wee bit of chassis applied torsional stress.

    So I assume RM Wilson Engineering installed the 365/400 engine as close as possible to the original P4 engine and it now takes a little bit of torsional stress.


    BUT Paul500 is right. You car will not be a faximile, just make or purchase a body that looks like a P4 and then make a chassis to suit your suspension, engine/transmission, etc. After all the chassis' main purpose is to simply join all the components together. You need to analyse why you want the chassis to be accurate?, for looks, for driving experience, for ego?
    Pete
     
  21. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    I'm sure that there are many engineering reports declaring the great design ideas on the Corvair suspension. Just ask comedian Ernie Kovak. Oh,....that's right,....he's dead after a Corvair crash. And how about the Viet Nam era jeeps that were never sold en masse on the surplus market because the army knew about its bad suspension. Point being,...just because "it was done" doesn't mean it was a good idea. Ford Edsel, Chrysler turbine car,...etc.

    As for WHY a P4 replica? WHY NOT??? It's not like there are any for sale even if I did have a few million extra dollars lying around. Why does Norwood or Hietbrink or Reklus or anybody try to duplicate an iconic design? Because it is enjoyable to be able to obtain a classic car that would, and is, essentially unobtainable. I'm not trying to impress anybody. I think the main strange fact is that with all the F-chat knowledge, nobody seems to know how to find a chassis diagram for a 50 year old car.
     
  22. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    Horsefly,

    Every F1 or serious single seater race car followed Colin's Lotus 49 lead since then and modern F1 cars still use the engine as part of the chassis, ie. a fully stressed member.

    So mate it was as very good idea.
    Pete
     
  23. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    As an ex-draughtsman I think it would be a very hard chassis to draw as lots of curved tubes (to support the bodywork) and tubes appearing to disappear in all directions. This is why most replicas don't bother and just make their own chassis. After all as there are so few originals few people will know the difference if a tube here and there is not in dead the right place ... heck it took over 15 years for the now very obviously wrong chassis details of Jim's #0846 replica to be confirmed.
    Pete
     
  24. PAUL500

    PAUL500 Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2013
    2,312
    Horsefly just because no one is offering up a set of rare and no doubt valuable drawings of the P4 chassis to a stranger on the internet does not mean that they are not accessible to a member from here!

    Enough people have suggested a more practical route to take, but you seem intent on building a hypothetical p4 chassis in your mind so it seems you need to make enquiries elsewhere that's all
     
  25. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Never expected anybody to offer up anything free. It just seems very strange that among the vast knowledge of the Fchat members, nobody seems to have ever seen these elusive diagrams. And NO, I would have no interest in cobbling up a frame in a non-original manner because then everybody would just dismiss the creation as another goofy kit car. Hence the reason to have an original style frame and body.

    And I certainly wouldn't want any of my legitimate chassis blueprint requests to distract members away their valuable time of slinging mud and insults over on the other P4 debate thread....

    I guess that I am the only person who believes that it would be no big deal to replicate a 60 year old chassis design out of steel tubing and brackets.

    I guess nobody ever told Scinta that he couldn't replicate a P4 or a 57 Testarossa body or he might not have ever done it.
     
  26. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Just a reminder,....Chevrolet developed the V8 motor back around 1918 and started building cars with V8s at that time. The original design was a sheet metal engine block that was good in concept but so bad in application that I once read that Chevrolet loaded the returned, faulty, and unsold V8 cars onto a barge and dumped them into lake Michigan. The idea was "good", but turned out bad in application until decades later.

    The double standards on this board are amazing. If you try to obtain information to replicate a design in original fashion, people suggest that you simply make up your own design. Then when you do,....they degrade and put down your hard work and call it a kit car or point out every nit picking discrepancy. Sort of puts a wet blanket on a project.
     
  27. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    #24 PSk, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    So I'm confused. I've been saying the engine was semi-stressed in the P4, and you want it to be close to original ... so to make you worry less about if an engine can handle the stress I reminded you that all F1 cars since the Lotus 49 use them fully stressed AND for some crazy reason you keep going on about failures of design/implementation. Both the fully stressed engine as in every F1 car since the 49 and the semi stressed engine in the P4 were NOT failures!

    My comments though re making a chassis to suit the components you are able to purchase is simply a practicality one. If you make the chassis exactly as a P4, then you will need a P4 engine, steering rack, etc. ... then you to will be able to say you own #0846 ;)
    Pete
     
  28. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    Dec 10, 2012
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    Justin
    How close to a P4 is a 412P chassis? Maybe try one of the owners of those, as well? There are a few in the US.
     

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