February 15th, 2018 | by deltaautomotive
With the front bodywork plug nearing its final form it was time to start the process of coating it with a high gloss paint and starting the mould creation process. The purpose of this step is to make the surface as smooth and hard as possible to make sure that the fibreglass laid over the top for the mould creation doesn’t stick to it. The blue layer in the images below is a PVC releasing agent that further improves the chance of the fibreglass not sticking to the plug and destroying everything.
Next step is the gelcoat, which is a spray-on layer that creates a smooth surface as the inside of the mould. The gelcoat is designed to stick to the fibreglass of the mould laid over the top of it.
Once the gelcoat is cured appropriately fibreglass is laid over the top.
Once the glass has cured properly the moment of truth arrives when it’s time to separate it from the underlying bodywork plug. If you’re a genius like Will from Joe Bradley Fibreglass the result looks like this, with the gelcoat that forms the inside of the mould separating from the high gloss plug perfectly at the PVC release layer:
Once you’ve got a mould the next step is to wax it thoroughly to allow the fibreglass that you’re going to lay in it for the actual panel to release. After that the mould is coated with another coat of gelcoat (grey this time) and the glass is laid up and allowed to cure.
And then all going to plan, finally you pull out a perfect body panel!
Ready to test fit on the car.
Thanks for looking. dan.
January 3rd, 2018 | by deltaautomotive
The front bodywork plug for the car had been developed to a certain point and then put on ice until we knew the exact height and dimensions of the windscreen and dash. Once that had been locked in it was time to get the front plug back out and start sculpting the look of the front of the car. Firstly a template was made with the windscreen in place at its specified height and angle. It can be seen that the front plug as it stood was going to be too high and would need refinement.
First job was to trim some height off the back of the front bodywork to get it to better align with the front of the windscreen and allow good driver visibility.
Next was the process of refining the wheel arches and overall curves and look of the front clip. The goal was an aggressive look with muscular wheel arch bulges, dipping down toward the centre of the front bonnet.
Once the bulk of the styling was done a coat of primer was applied to get a better idea of the overall styling without the distraction of the different colours of the various layers of bog and composites building up the plug.
Next was the front bonnet styling. After experimenting with a few different bulge and scoop designs we settled on a subtle depressed scoop design.
Refined and primed…
and finally with a Delta badge in place!
Many thanks to Will from Joe Bradley Fibreglass who was good enough to take the front plug home over his Christmas holidays to keep working on it, his work never ceases to impress – what a champion!
Thanks for looking. Here’s to seeing the prototype on the road in 2018!
June 12th, 2017 | by deltaautomotive
After a few months of delays and planning work, Delta is kicking off the next phase in construction of our Ligero prototype. The fiddly jobs of plumbing in the radiators and mapping out the exhaust system are complete, and after a lot of deliberation we’ve decided to change tack with the power plant for the Ligero. Whilst the AMG donk and Porsche 996 combo would have been perfect for the task, it proved to be a little complicated and expensive for what we wanted for the car. Furthermore, with a view to limited production of the cars, that combination would be a little too unique for reliable sourcing of parts for future cars. With all that in mind, we’ve decided on a Porsche Boxster as the organ donor for the drive train for our prototype. By cutting away the AMG donor, we’ve also liberated ourselves of the constraints of the AMG mid-clip that we had planned to use for the centre of the car, and was causing us headaches in the cabin and leg space departments. It’s been back to the drawing board to some degree with the new plan, but in the long run we feel that it will be a much better solution. The Porsche engine will obviously not supply the power of the AMG engine, but we have a plan for that as well! First things first however, we want to get an operational prototype on the road and then look to refine the car by trimming weight and adding power.
Here’s a few shots of the car as it stands:
The rear bodywork has had its cut lines inserted to allow for a section to be removable to give access to the mechanicals for servicing. The remainder of the middle bodywork seen will be bonded to the space frame.
We’re now in the process of creating ductwork to create airflow from the side intakes over the radiators and into the engine compartment. There’s a video walk around of this below to show the progress in that department.
It’s all systems go now on the development of the front and cabin sections of the car now. We’ve sourced a Porsche Boxster donor car, and the process of transferring the components we need from it is also underway. More to follow soon!
March 25th, 2017 | by deltaautomotive
Work has been progressing at a steady pace on the Delta Ligero prototype, with Andrew at Tricky Performance Engineering honing in on the rear end of the car and concentrating on the radiator and exhaust systems. The main consideration for the radiator setup for the car was naturally primarily to provide an abundance of cooling capacity for whatever engine the Ligero ends up getting, with a little extra capacity to account for forced induction if we go down that path. A secondary consideration was the weight impact of the radiators and their full coolant load, with the goal of the system as low to the ground, and as close to the centre of the car as possible to minimise any potential impact on handling. After considering all of our options for single versus twin radiator systems, and various mounting positions, we went with a set of RX7 type radiators mounted one on either side of the car, just aft of the rear wheels. This position will allow optimal airflow to be ducted from the hip and shoulder air intakes of the car, through the radiators, and then out through the vents in the back panel. Once sourced, the radiators had to be modified somewhat to suit our needs, and all the piping in and out is custom.
The radiators fit snugly inside the rear wheel arch, in between the outer bodywork and the 45 litre aluminium fuel tanks on either side.
From the rear of the engine bay looking forward the view looks like this:
We’re expecting the exhaust cans to come back from the fabricator in the next week or so and their mounts are eagerly awaiting their arrival!
The mockup of the exhaust cans, as well as their dimensions drawn on the outside of the bodywork, can be seen below.
The plan will be for the car to head back to Joe Bradley Fibreglass once the exhaust cans are in place for the next phase of bodywork to complete the rear wheel arches and a duct system to feed the radiators and vent hot air out through the back of the car.
Thanks for looking! Until next time…
February 12th, 2017 | by deltaautomotive
The next phase of the Ligero build is to start fitting all the components into the rear of the car. Andrew from Trickey Performance Engineering has been hard at work completing the rear space frame superstructure to support the rear clip. With the rear dimensions well defined, and the fuel tanks done, the radiators need to be mounted. We’ve gone with a twin radiator system, and after a bit of deliberating over different options, have chosen a twin RX7 style radiator system, which will keep the car nicely balanced and the centre of gravity low. It will also provide good redundancy in cooling capacity to allow for potential engine / induction upgrades in the future without the need to rethink cooling.
The rear space frame superstructure can be seen in the following photos:
This was the first opportunity that I had to inspect the rear fibreglass shell firsthand, and I was wrapped with the quality of the work done by Joe Bradley Fibreglass. The panels are perfectly consistent thickness and an ideal compromise between being thick enough to be rigid whilst remaining thin enough to minimise weight.
I also couldn’t resist the urge to crack the custom Baer brakes out of their box and have a play with them!
Here’s a video walk around of the progress, explaining the layout of the rear of the car and the next steps in the build.
Until next time….Cheers, dan.