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mrivard

NP01 build notes

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mrivard

Last weekend we put together chassis number 11, a car that I own as a team with Zane Dexter. We assembled it at Zane's garage in Central City Nebraska and it was a great experience. There were 4 of us working on the project at various times and we spend under 100 hours so far, but still have some body work to install.

 

The kit is all assembled with basic hand tools, but there were a few things we needed so I will detail that here. We were in a machine shop, not a car garage so we did not have a few things but they were easily sourced. We did have a lift, and that was a luxury but certainly not necessary. We began with literally zero prep or knowledge other than looking at the car in various stages online. Starting late Friday around 6pm, we had a rolling ready to run chassis with no body work Sunday at 2 pm. Yes we slept, and even ate all our meals too.

 

The assembly order sheet with parts list is your guide, and I wish I had read it over more before we started, but some of it just makes more sense when you are in the middle of looking at the parts. The diagrams in the documents are helpful, but again, wish I had reviewed them and had them printed in a large format. We used laptops and zoomed and panned as needed.

 

You do need an engine hoist (we had one), the only things we had to buy were a right angle drill and a rivnut tool. We wanted a hydraulic riveter but never did get one. Hand riveted everything, no big deal. The rivnut tools are only 20-25 bucks, and the angle drill is cheap too. We should have purchased this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-variable-speed-reversible-close-quarters-drill-60610.html

but had an adapter instead which did not give us as much clearance.

 

Everything else is basic hand tools both metric and standard, hex drivers are a big help. We should have taken a lot of pictures of the process and intended to, but once we dug in it was hard to stop. We were like children on christmas morning enthusiastically working on our new toy.

 

The body is so much easier to assemble than I thought it would be. I knew the mechanical stuff would be fine, but never having done any body work I was concerned about it before we started. None of the pieces had any fitment issues at all, if you can clamp, drill, and rivet, you can put this together and have it come out looking like you have done many before.

 

If you are considering building the car yourself I would urge you to go for it, such a fun experience and you get to know the car very well. We had a great time building it I want to do it again.

I know Elan will do it too for $8500, which is fair, but I would do it for a lot less for the pure enjoyment of it. It is the only time I have ever worked on a car without getting my hands dirty, that was nice.

 

I am willing to discuss at length with anyone who wants to build their own, just email me mrivard@drivenasa.com and we can get on the phone.

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RockLobster

Share some pictures?

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