Three Wheelers - Your opinions and expertise wanted!

Three Wheelers - Your opinions and expertise wanted!

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Discussion

Steffan

10,362 posts

161 months

Sunday 27th February 2011
quotequote all
Interesting discussion.

I have loved three wheelers for a very long time started driving on a Morgan three wheeler (V TWIN 1100 OH! if I ONLY had it now, then had two BSA Scouts one Ford engine on Twin Matchless. Then Berkeley's, Bond, Lomax and others.

Like F S Morgan my father was a parson with a penchant for oddball cars.

I am currently experimenting with a locost/seven front chassis of doubtful origin (not bad welding) and a Kawasazki frame which I acquired grafted onto the back.

Using some of my kit car engineer contacts as sub assemblers and prototype engineers because I can't build three cars at once and I have too many projects on. (and in truth they are better engineers than me but I am good with bureaucracy and funding builds).

If I could source a really aerodynamic set of Body panels this would be a whole lot easier. We are already at the stage where we know it will work but I do not want to actually make all the panels.

Front of car will be largely as original dimensions of a Locost ( narrow body) with a very wide rear wheel on the swinging arm at the back.

I would favour the tear-drop shape of body covering made in fibreglass. A`sweeping low racer style all enveloping canopy without cycle wings etc is my aim.

As a bonus the MSVA test would seem better (?) than IVA. and CHEAPER TOO

Anybody know of anyone in the UK who could supply this to me. (at a price).

trackerjack

647 posts

117 months

Sunday 27th February 2011
quotequote all
I built my first kit car in the mid nineties and remember going to a show in Warwick where there was a three wheeler using a Ford crossflow driving the rear wheel and it certainly looked good but I cannot remember the name of it, sorry.
In the past I used to do an annual Motorsport run event run by the Haynes museum and one year (2001 I think) the great saloon racer Wynn Percy used a Scorpion, nothing even got close to it, but after a hideous accident involving a three wheeler at Castle Combe in the early 2000's the circuit banned all types of them.

dmulally

4,389 posts

113 months

Monday 28th February 2011
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A tip I picked up from somewhere in my travels is that for optimal handling in a reverse trike, make the rear wheel the same width as the front two wheels combined.

I have a 15 inch wide wheel in the shed I want to use for a 3 wheeler build one day.

dave de roxby

Original Poster:

540 posts

128 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
dmulally said:
A tip I picked up from somewhere in my travels is that for optimal handling in a reverse trike, make the rear wheel the same width as the front two wheels combined.

I have a 15 inch wide wheel in the shed I want to use for a 3 wheeler build one day.
Yes, the business of wheel and tyre selection seems important, also depending on which wheels are driven and steering/braking requirements.

I guess for a rwd 'reverse' trike, relatively skinny front wheels and tyres might be appropriate with something larger at the back for traction. For fwd, maybe more similar sized tyres would work although, from a styling point of view, a larger rear wheel diameter could 'look' right?

But then, there is roll to consider. As Sam 68 has said, roll will be essentially dependent on front suspension design with the rear wheel contact patch acting as a pivot point. If a large potential degree of roll is involved (as, for instance, with a 2CV based front suspension with leading arms) then maybe a motor-cycle type rear tyre would be best?

Then again, with a wishbone type front, roll could be controlled (or even designed out, although that in itself could lead to problems!) and maybe a wider car type rear tyre used.

Some years ago, Onyx produced a quirky Metro based 'sort-of' trike with two rear wheels set very close together (by swapping positions of the left/right rear trailing arms!) to exploit some UK regulation stating that so long as the two rear wheels were close together (maybe 12 inches between centre lines??) they would count as one and the vehicle would fall under trike construction rules. I think the idea quickly fell by the wayside but it raised interesting possibilities! Not sure if this regulation even applies now.

Edited by dave de roxby on Monday 28th February 07:16


Edited by dave de roxby on Monday 28th February 11:44

Wanchaiwarrior

325 posts

147 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
trackerjack said:
I built my first kit car in the mid nineties and remember going to a show in Warwick where there was a three wheeler using a Ford crossflow driving the rear wheel and it certainly looked good but I cannot remember the name of it, sorry.
Your possibly thinking of the Buckland:



http://www.3wheelers.com/buckland.html

funnily enough making a comeback as noted in this thread:
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&t=958250&mid=0&nmt=Buckland+B3


HTH
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mrmaggit

10,146 posts

181 months

Monday 28th February 2011
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I have a Scorpion III, had it for six years now, and it's great. It has the 1100cc 16v engine, and about 100bhp. The new ones are available with the K40 engine and are pushing 170bhp.

They are very well made, well finished, and get you attention (of the right kind) that you wouldn't believe. Our record is less than a mile before having our photos taken!

slomax

4,281 posts

125 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
dave de roxby said:

Some years ago, Onyx produced a quirky Metro based 'sort-of' trike with two rear wheels set very close together (by swapping positions of the left/right rear trailing arms!) to exploit some UK regulation stating that so long as the two rear wheels were close together (maybe 12 inches between centre lines??) they would count as one and the vehicle would fall under trike construction rules. I think the idea quickly fell by the wayside but it raised interesting possibilities! Not sure if this regulation even applies now.
originally the lomax was of this design too! The two rear swing arms just pointed inwardsand the rear wheels closely set together. This was abandoned though, I think due to classification and tax/licensing.

One arm was shortened and the other lengthened between the hub and the elbow by lomax so the rear wheel was central.

dave de roxby

Original Poster:

540 posts

128 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
slomax said:
originally the lomax was of this design too! The two rear swing arms just pointed inwardsand the rear wheels closely set together. This was abandoned though, I think due to classification and tax/licensing.

One arm was shortened and the other lengthened between the hub and the elbow by lomax so the rear wheel was central.
Thanks for that - I didn't know! I wonder if that reg still applies. Maybe Onyx would know? Not sure if it would add or detract from handling? Maybe best forgotten.

Anyway, after much thought, I've decided to concentrate on a fwd design with a fabricated, rather than bike-sourced rear swing-arm. Still puzzling over a donor, particularly engine and box. I'm not after mega performance but something using readily available parts - a cheap but jazzy runabout. Will keep the thinking cap on!

fuoriserie

4,554 posts

202 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
dave de roxby said:
Anyway, after much thought, I've decided to concentrate on a fwd design with a fabricated, rather than bike-sourced rear swing-arm. Still puzzling over a donor, particularly engine and box.
Maybe this could give an idea, a BRA MR3 with a Mini sub-frame

http://www.bra-cars.com/html/mr3.html

Or the very nice looking Pembleton :

http://www.pembleton.co.uk/

slomax

4,281 posts

125 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
dave de roxby said:
slomax said:
originally the lomax was of this design too! The two rear swing arms just pointed inwardsand the rear wheels closely set together. This was abandoned though, I think due to classification and tax/licensing.

One arm was shortened and the other lengthened between the hub and the elbow by lomax so the rear wheel was central.
Thanks for that - I didn't know! I wonder if that reg still applies. Maybe Onyx would know? Not sure if it would add or detract from handling? Maybe best forgotten.

Anyway, after much thought, I've decided to concentrate on a fwd design with a fabricated, rather than bike-sourced rear swing-arm. Still puzzling over a donor, particularly engine and box. I'm not after mega performance but something using readily available parts - a cheap but jazzy runabout. Will keep the thinking cap on!
ths is the best picture of the configuration i can find- it shows it quite well....



As an aside- this may interest many of you too...

Mini based FWD trike with covered engine and an incredibly wide rear wheel. Not much of a looker, but interesting none the less.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1987-BRA-MR3-RED-KIT-CAR-TRI...

ETA- can you imagine changine a rear wheel on that bad boy!! it's bad enough with one wheel, but must be nearly impossible with that config.

Edited by slomax on Monday 28th February 14:17

slomax

4,281 posts

125 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
fuoriserie said:
Maybe this could give an idea, a BRA MR3 with a Mini sub-frame

http://www.bra-cars.com/html/mr3.html

Or the very nice looking Pembleton :

http://www.pembleton.co.uk/
See my post above- the BRA wide boy appeared on ebay relatively recently! we had the same thought at the same time, but you posted first. tongue out

The Black Flash

9,034 posts

131 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
fuoriserie said:
trackerjack said:
Grinnal Scorpion....................ACE.
I like it also...smile
Ended up in an (unintentional) convoy with a couple going down the M6 to stoneleigh last year. Had a closer look at the show, they did indeed look ace smile Very cool.

mrmaggit

10,146 posts

181 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
The Black Flash said:
fuoriserie said:
trackerjack said:
Grinnal Scorpion....................ACE.
I like it also...smile
Ended up in an (unintentional) convoy with a couple going down the M6 to stoneleigh last year. Had a closer look at the show, they did indeed look ace smile Very cool.
Even more fun driving one!

ChrisJ.

544 posts

173 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
New J.A.P. engined 3 wheeler at RaceRetro
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisgoodwin/5476651...

slomax

4,281 posts

125 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
ChrisJ. said:
New J.A.P. engined 3 wheeler at RaceRetro
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisgoodwin/5476651...
looks like the Planet engineering elipse cycle car-

http://www.planetltd.com/id1.html

ETA- is it sad that i recognised what car it was from the three spoke wheels on the front.

Edited by slomax on Monday 28th February 20:00

Steffan

10,362 posts

161 months

Monday 28th February 2011
quotequote all
Great to see so many cars I know the BRA and most of the cars from that era but Mini/metro bits are not quite the lightweight solution I want.

Cast iron in an engine, not for me any more. 150 BHP and 100 kilos is my aim.

The Planet interests me I will contact and view.

But I really want an an all enveloping lightweight body solution rather like the Messerschmitt K200 but updated with modern materials and with far more power and ultralight construction.

I will keep looking and thanks for the suggestions.

dmulally

4,389 posts

113 months

Monday 28th February 2011
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I wouldnt worry about a quick engine. Just a cheap reliable one. Anything that light and that low will come with undies already coloured brown to save embarrassment.

minitici

200 posts

138 months

Tuesday 1st March 2011
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I'm fairly sure that the wide rear tyre is directional/asymmetric and would not be allowed as a single rear tyre on a 3 wheeler.

Just checked MSVA manual and definitely not permitted.

Edited by minitici on Tuesday 1st March 11:12

dmulally

4,389 posts

113 months

Tuesday 1st March 2011
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Can somebody please explain in simple terms how having a car gearbox gets power transfered to the rear wheel?

Frankthered

1,282 posts

113 months

Tuesday 1st March 2011
quotequote all
dmulally said:
Can somebody please explain in simple terms how having a car gearbox gets power transfered to the rear wheel?
Some bikes do come with a shaft drive, you know. It might not be ideal, but I bet it would be possible to make an adaptor from gearbox output to bike shaft drive ...