Velocar cyclecar semi-replica.

Discussion in 'Motorized Tandems, Trikes and Recumbent Bicycles' started by Intrepid Wheelwoman, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the first time in a long while today I had my garage working clothes on and all my spanners scattered about my bicycles and it was absolutely lovely. .weld

    I live with a disability and I really want to have a lightweight local use vehicle that is as handy as my Hercules trike, but with the potential to offer greater weather protection during Winter and Autumn when it rains here like you wouldn't believe. I don't want a car, - in fact I've just given my car away to my daughter because I don't use it anymore. It was too big and lumpy, too expensive to run, i hated having to mess about finding parking and to top it off getting in and out of it was a pain, - literally!

    So what I want is a vehicle I can still pedal because maintaining a level of exercise is essential for my well being, but having a motor too so as to help things along when I'm carrying a load of groceries, or potting mix, or whatever. Because I like classic vehicles I don't want a Star Wars-like super aerodynamic velomobile because I think they look funny. What I want is a velocar and if it looks like a post WW1 period cyclecar then so much the better. I particularly like the French 'Colombe' cyclecar and this is what I shall be basing my project on with regard to body shape and appearance.

    As to basic design a three wheeler is essential or else I'll have to register it as a car. For a utility workhorse a delta trike is the way to go as they are safer with a load than a tadpole trike. Bicycle sidecars are expressly forbidden here in NZ (don't ask me why) so it really does have to be a trike or else I'll end up having to register my project as a motorcycle which I don't want to do.

    Several years ago now I purchased a lowrider bicycle and a trike conversion axle to go with it. My intention has always been to make some kind of alternative vehicle out of it and now finally it's been dragged out of the corner of the garage where it has been lurking.
    To mark the beginning I've taken a couple of snaps of it (and yes that really is a Villiers engine in the frame) as well as posting some pictures of the Colombe cyclecar. I posted a picture of my early 1950s English Hercules bicycle and my 1990s Indian Hercules trike as well just for fun. They are both my regular transportation around town.

    Tomorrow I will be getting my hacksaw out and making the first cuts as the frame needs to be lengthened and otherwise modified. With any sort of luck I'll have some more pictures to show you too.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    0
    This looks like a fun project, so I'm signing on for the ride.
    SB
     
  3. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,223
    Likes Received:
    16
    Really looking forward to seeing this evolve. Are you going to use wood to make the main frame of the cycle car? Will it be a single seat?

    We suffer the same fate during our fall and winters, which we are just entering, as well. It rains from 160 to 185 days a year depending on just where you live in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. On the other side of the mountains to the east of us it's what they call high desert.

    Sun during that period is as rare as hens with gold teeth.

    Steve.
     
  4. jose Pinto

    jose Pinto New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    [QUOTE=big project my friend, it will still taste great at the beginning and the application of the engine in the frame, and it could not be the usual class to post on your project, keep up the good work, enjoy with this projec txct2
     
  5. Scott.D.Lang

    Scott.D.Lang New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ill be watching this one.
     
  6. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys :) Yes this going to be an interesting project and I'm really looking forward to it. What I will be doing with that poor unsuspecting lowrider bike is sawing it in half behind the seat post and then lengthening the frame by around two feet. By doing this the support for the steering head remains the same essentially robust structure as before and I still have a useful piece of metalwork to mount the steering. The Villiers engine will remain where it is and this whole front portion of the frame will be covered over and will form the bonnet/hood area of the cyclecar bodyshell.

    Yes Steve I'm planning on using wood for the main chassis and the bodyshell as I want to try for a reasonably traditional appearance and finish. The bike frame will form a central spine with outrigger supports to hold the wooden outer chassis rails which in turn will support the floor and the bodyshell framing. The Colombe has one and half type seating with the passenger seat set back from the driver's seat to save space. I don't think I'm going to have room for this without making the rear axle track wider which I'm not keen to do; - though once I have run a tape measure around things a little more I will have a better idea as to whether I can install the additional seat or not.

    lowriderl
     
  7. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    The school of creative staring says not only should you measure twice and cut once, but one should also think at least three times before picking up a hacksaw and doing anything with it. Today after looking hard at the lowrider frame and the trike axle I came to the conclusion that the trike axle was too plain wimpy to use and that my original cutting plan needed to be revised around using a better axle.
    Better axles I had in the form of three and a half quad bike axles in varying states of completeness and general condition. My first choice was a Chinese quad axle which was good for width and wasn't tapered. It wasn't too heavy either. The one problem with it was that the spocket splines and the main axle bearing hub were seriously offset to one side which didn't suit at all. The next axle was rejected straight away; - it was from a Honda quad and it was HEAVY. It along with a damaged and incomplete friend had come from a dead 200cc farm quad bike and while the Honda axle has a nice big drum brake and a pretty solid axle sprocket design it's far too much of a lump for what I'm building.

    Which left the last one which I'd picked up cheap because it's previous owner who had purchased it for a stalled project didn't know what it was and thought it must be Chinese. It's not because the very nice alloy 4 bolt hubs have 'USA' cast into them, but as to the make I'm still none the wiser. The centre bearing housing is alloy too and should polish up a treat. And despite sharing the same overall dimensions as the Honda axle it's nowhere as heavy. It also had a grease fitting which the Honda axle didn't which is also a plus in my book.
    The other useful thing about this axle is that the two space saver spare wheels I had under the house fit the hub bolt pattern. Space saver spare wheels with good tread get thrown away down the local council dump all the time so to my way of thinking a free tyre is a tyre you can't refuse.
    Yes the axle doesn't have a diff, but the Colombe cyclecar didn't have one either so I'll have to see how it goes once I get to road test time.

    The front wheel will eventually be replaced by a wheel from an old European lightweight motorcycle, but I'm not too worried about that at the moment.

    Metal cutting and welding will happen soon never fear.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. caduceus

    caduceus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recognize these initial steps you're taking. I traveled this road myself just a short time ago. Doing the cutting and fitting correctly at the beginning make a huge difference down the road. I like the idea of the body/surround.
     
  9. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    All very true Caduceus. I'm following a set of plans in an old French book on how to construct a basic cyclecar, though I'm having to modify the design to make my vehicle a three wheeler. I'm also modifying the bodywork to make it a copy of the Colombe cyclecar, simply because the Colombe was a three wheeler and it's a better fit for what I'm doing.
    Making the right choice with an axle and then laying it out correctly according to the French drawings is something that can't be rushed because if I make a mess of it my cyclecar/velocar will be a pig to drive and I'll have no one to blame but myself.
     
  10. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    0
    That axle should work nicely. What kind of speed are you figuring on? Pedal type speeds?
    I am so glad you're doing this project. It should be "a treat". I'm also learning some Kiwi talk as we go.

    And speaking of your part of the world, a strange thing happened a week ago. I advertised my old Jeep Cherokee in the local paper and got a call from a young woman with a very different accent... not British, but something like. She came to see and drive the Jeep and bought it. I learned that she just arrived from Sidney and was going to be doing volunteer work at the National Bear Center in the local town for the next six months and would need a good winter car for going back and forth. I wonder how she will enjoy 40 below. Not much I imagine, although it will be an adventure.

    I realize that you are not Australian and that New Zealand is very much it's own place, yet on the big globe of the world you appear to be close neighbors. Do people there still speak of Burt Monroe? One of my favorite films is "The World's Fastest Indian". You might follow it up with a sequel, "The World's Slowest Cyclecar". Ha!
    SB
     
  11. bill2781

    bill2781 Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    ohh wow I like where this is going I new a girl in my home town when I was a kid that had a bike that looked like a car it had a 7 speed and was 3 wheeler it was a cool bike so this should be something realy nice to see ohh and on her bike 2 people could set next to each other and peddle . at the same time
     
  12. caduceus

    caduceus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    I aligned everything to the rear dropouts right at the beginning. After that everything pretty much fit straight or at right angles. However I made plenty of other mistakes!

    The Peerless Leader runs great now! Just took it uptown to pickup a week's groceries.
     
  13. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't worry Silverbear Bert Munroe is very much considered to be a Kiwi HERO and nobody here in NZ is going to forget him in a hurry. I have the DVD of the 'World's Fastest Indian' and it gets watched often. There are one or two cameo spots in the movie which Kiwis instantly recognise in that the mayor of Invercargill took a minor role as one of Bert's friends.

    Oh yes the Australian accent. Kiwis joke that Ozzies speak a different language to us, but mostly we can understand their different ways of saying things without any problems. Most parts of Australia have warm temperatures even in Winter, so -40 is going to come as a big surprise.

    I guess my project is going to be the 'world's slowest cyclecar' in terms of pedaling speed, but with motor assist I'll be happy if it can manage around 30kph. It's only going to be for local use around town so it doesn't need to be fast.
    I'm fairly certain that the axle in the photo is from a Can-Am Bombardier ATV because there is a Can-Am dealer in our region and when I checked out a parts diagram on-line it looked very much the same as what i have.

    I would still like to use the Chinese made axle because it will be simpler to setup according to the French cyclecar plans, but it's going to take a lot of creative staring to figure out how to deal with that offset.

    Caduceus, I really like your tricycle and the way you mounted your axle and placed the engine. It's a method I may well keep in mind for when I rebuild my Hercules trike.

    Bill2781, was this the three wheeler you remember? It's called a 'PPV'.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    Creative staring time continues as I want to get this rear axle business sorted before I get too carried away. I do actually own a second hand Peerless diff, but it came from some sort of contractor's machine and the axle shafts are very short which makes it not really that useful.
    However if you look at the diagram of a Peerless axle you'll see that the axle ends are located in the spider gears by a simple slotted arrangement with a circlip. The Peerless axle is one inch in diameter where it passes through the diff case, so it seems to me that any other kind of shaft so long as it is one inch in diameter could be machined to fit into the spider gears.
    What I'm considering doing is cutting in half an ATV axle, turning down the end to one inch diameter on my trusty old Myford and then filing or grinding the axle end to fit the Peerless spider gears. By doing this I can still use the 4 bolt hubs and the spacesaver wheels, but also have all the advantages of a diff as well. The other benefit is that it will cost me nothing because I've already got everything I need to hand :D
     

    Attached Files:

  15. caduceus

    caduceus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're awesome, and I want your metal lathe.
     
  16. bill2781

    bill2781 Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes that's the bike I seen thanks I was wondering what its called and mabe even one day tring to find one
     
  17. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,223
    Likes Received:
    16
    I was going to say to bad you didn't have a Peerless rear axle which has a differential and lo and behold you have one. They were most often found in lawn tractors over here.

    I like the use of the space saver wheels. We have some Chrysler products that probably have the same bolt pattern with 13" wheels. Of course going through the local tip appeals to me far more. Not allowed here of naturally.

    Steve.
     
  18. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Steve beat me to it... wanted to say how bomb proof your axle is going to be. And the price is right, too!
    SB
     
  19. Intrepid Wheelwoman

    Intrepid Wheelwoman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    We're not really supposed to go tip-ratting in our local recycling depot either, but the staff know me and they know I'm looking for specific bicycle parts or mechanical bits to reuse for my own projects. With the recession some folk try to ruin it for others by taking scrap metal to sell and that is a big no-no because that's what the council does itself to cover some of the depot's running costs.

    There's a job lot of new mini-quad parts for sale on our local New Zealand auction website which includes a rear axle complete with brake disc and sprocket and I've got a bid in. I'm hoping I will win the auction because a good few of the parts are ones that I can use either as they are or with some modifications.

    The Peerless axles aren't all that common here and are often expensive, though I must say I did strike it lucky with the one I have even if it is too short. Combining the Peerless diff with quad bike axle parts should (I hope) give me a darn good strong axle with the plus of being able to mount the rear wheels in a secure manner.
    Wire spoked wheels would be nice, but the spacesavers will do for now. There are various ways to convert spacesaver wheel rims into spoked wheels, but that sort of project can wait until I have my Colombe semi-replica up and running.
     
  20. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,223
    Likes Received:
    16
    That's why they don't allow it here as well. Whatever they recycle pays for running the tip.
    Silverbears city tip on the other hand is a cornucopia of unseen delights. The big city crowd that come up to their summer residences and toss out last years or the year before unwanted items are a blessing to a couple of old scroungers such as ourselves. The metal pile is of special interest of course and it can get quite large even with the constant ebb and flow of give and take that goes on.

    The Peerless are $120 U.S. at Northern Tool in their go kart section. They are 38" long. Of course it's a long way to New Zealand so I'm sure it's a rather healthy price there.

    Worksman Cycle in New York City has a wheel hub that locks on the axle for their trikes. One wheel free wheels. It sticks in my mind that they are 1" axles. I have forgotten how they anchor them to the axle but an email to them should bring an answer. The hubs use a 11 gauge spoke so your safely into moped or light motorcycle range for spokes.
    It probably would not be wildly expensive just to buy the hubs and have the wheels laced there. With two locking hubs you would be set for wire wheels.

    Steve.
     

Share This Page