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Turbo "Busa" Kart


3/10/08- To see the continuation of this project, please click here.

2/17/08- As promised in the last update, I have completed the front suspension and it is now part of the chassis. This is one of the major hurdles of the project, so the completion of it marks some serious progress towards getting this high performance machine ready for road tests.

The first step was to install the coilover shock assemblies. I used two coilovers from a Hayabusa motorcycle, fabricated a set of mounting brackets, and then welded the top brackets to the front suspension subframe. I drilled four holes in the lower control arms, and through bolted the lower brackets to hold the coilover in postion.

After that, I installed a new set of brake pads into the Corvette calipers, and installed the brake rotors, caliper brackets, and calipers.

Next came the steering rack, and then finally the wheels and tires. I will be using the Corvette's power steering rack, but will not be using power steering, so I will fill up the steering box with oil and make a closed loop with a hose to allow it to circulate.

Next it was time to attach the Corvette front end to the chassis. I like working off flat surfaces, so I started with a 3x3x3/16 steel angle iron. After cutting it to length, I cut off approximately 1.25" off of one leg with the plasma torch, and then made a number of holes in that same leg. The holes would lighten the angle slightly, but also allow me to have more weld area to the underside of the chassis. I located the angle as shown in the pictures below, and then welded it to the chassis. After getting everything lined up preliminarily, I fabricated two 1" standoffs to position the front end precisely, and then tack welded it into position.

I used three short sections of very heavy wall square tubing to solidly join the two assemblies together, and then reinforced it with two short pieces of the same angle iron. After welding everything together I then fabricated two sections of chrome-moly tubing, and welded them to the cowl bar to fully support the front suspension subframe. Only then did I put the full weight onto the new suspension, and it proved to be very rigid in the intial tests of me jumping up and down on top of it.

After I was finished I checked the weight of the chassis with the complete front suspension attached, and I was pleased to see that the whole thing, so far, only weighs 542 lbs.

The project continues. I have ordered the lightweight carbon fiber seats from Tillett in the UK, and should be getting them in a couple of weeks. I should be receiving the wide tire swingarm kit with 360 series tire and heavy duty shock within a week, so I will be able to get started on that very soon. And I am still waiting for the new, more powerful engine which is coming out of California and should be here soon. Next Entry


1/16/08- Making more good progress on the Turbo 'Busa Kart, and we're starting to tackle some of the more difficult parts of the project. In the pictures below I have added the additional bracing on the top chassis rail to provide increased support to the rear rollover structure. Two struts tie the top of the rollover structure down to the frame, increasing the strength of the rollover structure significantly.

After welding in the reinforcements for the rollover structure, I fabricated two firewall/bulkhead plates out of 1/8" thick steel using my plasma cutter. I welded the bulkhead plates to the inside of the roll hoops. The purpose of these plates is to reinforce the roll hoops while providing a separation between the engine compartment and the passenger compartment. Openings were cut in the bulkhead plates for access and also to make them lighter. A quick weight check of the chassis reveals that despite the additional steel reinforcing I have added to the VW floorpan, I have only increased the total weight by just under 100 lbs., from 175 lbs. up to 272 lbs.

At this point, I had a few directions I could work in. I decided to shift my focus on the front suspension because I was still waiting on some other parts, while I had about 95% of the parts I would need for the front suspension.

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that the easiest thing to do was to keep the Corvette subassembly together and just figure out how I was going to attach it to the front of the chassis. This would save me tons of fabrication and measuring, trying to get the suspension and steering geometry perfect when it was already all right there for me. It would also make it easier to duplicate this project in the future. The downside is that the subframe assembly is probably a little heavier than I need for this particular vehicle, but it is a tradeoff I will have to live with.

In order to make this subassembly fit, I was going to have to remove the front suspension mount structure from the VW frame. As shown in the pictures above I hacked it off with my plasma cutter and then went back with the plasma cutter to even the cut out and finished it off with a grinder.

Next I had to remove the leaf spring from the Corvette subassembly. The leaf spring would be way too stiff for this car, and besides, real sports cars shouldn't have leaf springs!!! The next picture shows the front wheel that I have selected for the car. The wheel is made by Ronal, and appropriately enough the model is called R-38 "Turbine." It was very hard to find a wheel with the dimensions I was looking for and a Corvette bolt pattern, but Ronal was super helpful and ultimately led me to this wheel. Check Ronal out at www.RonalUSA.com

Below: 12" monster brake rotors designed to stop a 3,400 lb. Corvette should suffice. I got these aftermarket slotted rotors from Eckler's. Still waiting for a few more minor braking components. Coil over shock assemblies come right off the rear end of the 'Busa. I have another one coming from Ebay for the other side, and the rear end will get a special heavy duty coilover. These springs and shocks are really stiff but I think will suit the car's handling well. (More on that theory later)

Below: I trimmed a section off the of the subframe to make room for the coilover, and then mocked up a rough position of the coilover in between the control arms. I will make the brackets up to hold the coilovers in the next few weeks.


Below: With most of the suspension assembled, I positioned the subassembly in place at the front of the car, just to get an idea of how everything will line up, and how I will weld them together, once I get the few remaining parts I need and fully assemble the front end. It's starting to look like a car a little, isn't it?


I am encouraged. Hopefully by the next update the front suspension will be complete and fully attached to the vehicle.

I am now in the process of ordering seats for the chassis so I can mount them, which will then allow me to position the steering column and instrument panel assembly as well as finishing up the chassis reinforcements. By then, I should have the new engine and the new wide tire swingarm kit, which will then allow me to get into the last major hurdle of the project, which will be joining together the motorcycle frame with the vehicle frame. The excitement is building!

Next Entry


12/21/07- Progress continues on the Turbo 'Busa Kart. I have continued working on the rear rollover structure and the tube frame chassis as shown in the pictures below.


Making the roll hoop mockup and finalizing the rake angle of the roll hoops at 72 degrees. I will use a 7" radius bend to form the top of the hoop.

A Pro Tools 105 Ratcheting Bender I used to form the roll hoops from 1.75" x .095 wall mild steel tubing.

Once the hoop was bent, I checked it against the mockup, then cut the legs at the proper length and angle to give the 72 degree rake. Repeat for the second hoop.

Welding the roll hoops to the base plate using flux core wire. I always bevel the edge of the tubing to get a stronger weld.

In the pictures above, I am adding the top side rails on the chassis and welding them to the roll hoops and the cowl bar. I welded in two vertical supports per side.


There is still much to do on the chassis, but I have also started to think some more about the front suspension. In order to set the ride height properly, I need to mount the wheels and tires to the front suspension. I located a nice set of front wheels that are the size that I want while matching the Corvette wheel bolt pattern. I am still waiting for these wheels to arrive, but in the meantime I have received the front tires, which are BF Goodrich TA 205/45/ZR-16 tires. When I get the wheels I will mount the tires and then I can really get going into the front suspension.

Below is the Turbo 'Busa Kart Stage II engine, which is being prepared by Mike Downs Engineering in Sonoma, California. Mike still has to perform a final dyno tune on the engine before he can ship it out to me. From the pictures you can see the even larger turbocharger, custom fabricated headers, and off course the external wastegate. After tweaking, this engine should produce close to 400 horsepower on pump gas. Next Entry



11/25/07- In the last few weeks I have been working on building in the new chassis reinforcements to take the Hayabusa rear end. I finished building the base for the rear rollover structure, as shown in the first picture below. Having a flat and level surface to work from will make fabricating the rollover structure much easier later.

The second picture shows the short vertical tubes that are building off of the floor pan reinforcement tubes to begin to make the reinforcing space frame. I'm using a Clarke Mig Welder with ER80S-D2 wire and 98% argon, 2% oxygen shielding gas. The picture on the right is my tubing notcher, which I also got from Pro Tools (www.pro-tools.com). The tubing notcher mounts into a drill press and uses off the shelf bi-metal hole saw bits to cut notches into tubing. It can also be set to make angle notches as well.


The pictures below show the mockup and construction of the front cowl bar, which will form the front bulkhead and separation between the cockpit and the front suspension. First I drew up the basic shape on a sheet of cardboard and then used the tubing bender to make the bends. After that I welded it directly onto the original chassis. Having the cowl bar in place allowed me to weld the next horizontal tubing frame members in place.



At this point, I have welded all of the reinforcement tubing I can without making the rollover structure. Now I must begin to build it. As I've stated before, this will be the most challenging part of this project, and will require a good deal of time and forethought.

The first step was to set the chassis down to what will be its basic ride height when it is completed. Obviously, a low ride height is important for handling, but this car will also be street legal, which means that it may have to run on less than perfect surfaces. A ride height that is too low will bottom out and get stuck going down the driveway. I looked at ride heights for a number of street legal high performance cars, and I decided that a basic ground clearance of 5.5 inches should be a good compromise. I used four steel dollies that I made, and welded square tubing across them to make a rolling platform. I shimmed the tubing to give a 5.5" ride height.

The next step was to bring the Hayabusa end into position to get a rough idea on where it would sit in relation to the chassis. While I had it hoisted, I figured it was a good opportunity to weigh it with the hanging scale. The complete Hayabusa end, with engine, frame, swingarm, and rear tire assembly weighed 325 lbs., which was less than I had estimated. It is still looking good for a total target weight of 1,000 lbs.

With the Hayabusa end in position and set to the appropriate angle, I then asked a friend to sit in the driver's seat so I could get an idea of how to position the roll hoops. I then started laying out the roll hoops on the base plate, and started to mock them up in cardboard, which is where I stopped for this update.

To be continued... Next Entry


10/31/07- After I finished stripping down and cutting apart the Volkswagen chassis, I left behind only the floor pan, the central tunnel, the rear crossmember, and the seats just to serve as a reference point. Then, I used a pressure washer to clean off almost 50 years of road grime and caked-on mud from this chassis's days as a dune buggy. I decided to leave the shifter on for now as I will probably use the stock shift linkage.

I hung the chassis from two industrial hanging scales to determine what the starting weight of the chassis is. I am going to be obsessive about the weight of this vehicle, without compromising structural strength of course. The total target vehicle weight is 1,000 lbs. The bare chassis with the two seats weighs a scant 175 lbs., which is a really good start.

Next, it was time to start adding weight, to build up the chassis structure, and to make it strong enough to withstand the loads from the front and rear suspensions. Since I am not building this chassis from scratch, I had to get a little creative. The first step was to use my neat little Pro Tools (www.pro-tools.com) tubing bender to put an angle into a 5' piece of chromemoly tubing. I am using 1.25" O.D., .120" wall chromemoly tubing to reinforce the chassis and ultimately tie in the motorcyle rear end. I laid in two of these bent chromemoly tubes into a recess in the underside of the floor pan, and welded them in place. Later I will build on top of these tubes with a complete space frame.


The main structural element of this new chassis, (and the heaviest as well!) will be what I call the rear rollover bar structure. The rollover structure will serve a number of purposes. First of all, it will protect the occupants in the event of a rollover. Secondly, it will serve as the central structural component which will pick up the motorcycle frame and join it to the rest of the chassis. Thirdly, it will serve as a firewall between the engine and the occupants.

The first element of the rollover structure is the base plate which is shown above to the left. The base plate was cut from .25" inch mild steel plate using a plasma cutter. After the plate was set, measured, and aligned properly onto the chassis, I used a wire feed welder with flux core wire to tack it onto the rear crossmember of the VW chassis. Then I mocked up and fabricated six of the above brackets from the same plate which will be used to support and reinforce the base plate from the underside. On top of this base plate I will build up the roll over structure. I will use 1.75" diameter .095" wall mild steel tubing for the roll hoops, but there is still quite a bit of work and welding together before I get to this stage.

While I've been focusing on the rear end of the chassis, I've also started to think about the front suspension a little. Once I overcome these two elements of the chassis, the rest of the project should be relatively easy. I was hoping to find a complete front suspension that I could just adapt to the vehicle, although it doesn't seem like that will be the case. A good friend of mine had an almost complete suspension from a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette laying around and offered to give it to me. While it is not ideal, and I cannot use it the way it is, I may use certain elements of it and modify it to work on my car. I've got some basic ideas so far, but I am still working on a design.Next Entry


9/30/07- In the last few weeks I have been dismantling the Manx chassis to leave the structural frame below. This will allow me to get into the specific design of the trike, and also will allow me to begin to design the connection between the automobile front end and the motorcycle rear end.

I wasn't too familiar with the construction of a VW Beetle/Manx, so I didn't know exactly what to expect. So I started undoing bolts until I could start pulling things apart.

First, I removed the rear roll bar, and the front hood and dash assembly, which also contained the windshield. Removing the front hood revealed the gas tank, which was held down with two steel straps.


Once the fuel tank was removed, the front suspension was revealed. I then removed the steering column from the steering box. Once all of the old, rusty bolts were removed, I was able to remove the fiberglass bodywork.


Removing the bodywork improved the appearance of the dune buggy by 150%. More importantly, it allowed me to get a real look at the structure of the chassis, so that I could start formulating ideas for my trike chassis. Remember, this is a purely ground up design. I am basically starting from scratch here, and just using the dune buggy chassis as a general basis. Fortunately, there is actually a lot of good structure to the chassis. There are beefy front and rear crossmembers connected by a longitudinal tunnel which provides the torsional rigidity of the car. The Manx utilized the fiberglass body as a structural element of the chassis. In my opinion, fiberglass should not be a structural element unless you are building a boat. So, to improve the torsional rigidity and reinforce the structure to handle the higher braking, cornering, and acceleration loads, I intend on welding side frames of chrome moly tubing into the chassis, tying in the front and rear crossmembers together, while also tying in the flimsy sheetmetal floor pan. At the front I will weld a cowl bar across to support the steering column and to pick up the front suspension, which will be all new, replacing the existing torsion bar/trailing arm front suspension. The front end suspension redesign will be one of the major challenges of this project.


The other major challenge will be tying in the chassis to the motorcycle frame. The primary element of this tie in will be the rear roll over bar structure, which will consist of a twin hoop roll bar welded onto the rear crossmember and reinforced with steel plates. The central steel plate will be the primary mounting point for the motorcycle frame, while chrome moly tubing will be used to triangulate and pick up loads laterally through the motorcycle frame. The whole thing will eventually be clothed in a very lightweight fiberglass or carbon fiber body. Remember, the target is to keep the total curb weight of the vehicle at or below 1,000 lbs. for maximum performance. These designs right now exist only in my head and on a few basic hand sketches, but the next few weeks will be spent solidifying these design elements.

The picture below shows the 1200cc flat-6 engine being removed from the chassis. Goodbye 65 horsepower, hello 400!


Next comes the four speed manual transmission. The Hayabusa engine features an integral 6 speed sequential transmission but no reverse.


With the transmission and rear half shafts removed, and just a few other elements left to be removed, I am starting to get the feeling that it was a good idea to use this chassis as a basis for my trike. There's a good basic chassis there, and very little cutting for me to do to prepare the rear end. I may even use the two rear spars to provide additional support to the motorcycle frame. I will determine this once I begin test fitting the frame at the rear of the chassis. Since there is no reverse gear, I may end up using this left over electric starter to provide reversing power to the finished trike. Just an idea, for now.

More to come... Next Entry


8/29/07- Though I had run the 4 cylinder turbo engine numerous times in the test stand, I wanted to see how the engine would run while driving the rear tire, and I also wanted to run the engine under some load, so that I could generate a little bit of boost pressure from the turbo. Since I don't have ready access to a dyno, I decided to rig up the 'Busa rear assembly and use the rear brake to drag the engine and put some load on it. I shifted the transmission into 6th gear, squeezed on the brakes, and opened the throttle. Click on the picture below to see a quick video of my little engine load test. In the video I am using a temporary muffler, a temporary PVC compressor discharge pipe, no intercooler, and a temporary automotive radiator.

In the next two weeks, I will begin to dismantle the VW Manx chassis and then beginning designing the parts that I will need to join the buggy frame to the motorcycle rear end. Check back soon... Next Entry

6/08/07- Much has been accomplished since the last update on the Turbo 'Busa Kart. I relocated into my new garage which makes working on my projects much easier. I've had the engine mounted in the stand and have test run it many times. I installed a temporary muffler and a temporary PVC charge pipe to run the engine at various rpms and test the cooling and lubrication systems. While I was familiarizing myself with the engine, I was also busy on Ebay looking for Hayabusa parts. The nice thing about the Hayabusa motorcycle is that it has been made now for many years, and really has gone unchanged since it was introduced in 1999. Finding parts on Ebay is a cinch.

I purchased a Hayabusa rear tire, brake assembly, and sprocket assembly, and mounted the rear tire to the swingarm. Then I mounted that to the frame. Next, it was time to mount the engine into the frame. Even with the turbo kit, the engine was a very easy fit into the frame. I only had to remove the fabricated aluminum intake plenum from the engine.

In a short amount of time I had the engine bolted up into the aluminum frame and was able to replace the intake plenum. But mounting the engine into the Hayabusa rear end was the easy part, and the next part of the project will require a lot of custom fabrication, and will be the real challenge to get right. But before I do that, I will use the frame as another engine test stand. I connected the drive chain, and mounted a rear brake caliper and master cylinder so I can run the engine under load to get the turbo spooled up and making positive pressure.

After I run that test, I will begin the next stage of the project, which is to strip down the VW Manx dune buggy down to its frame, remove its engine, cut the rear end off, and then figure out how I am going to join it to the Hayabusa rear end. I have some ideas on how I am going to accomplish this, though I'll save those ideas for the next update. In the meantime, the buggy patiently awaits its transformation.

A couple of other developments that are coming down the road: I intend to eventually replace the stock Hayabusa swingarm and rear tire with a wide tire swingarm kit. I've seen these around and I think they are perfect for this project since they are slightly longer and can accomodate up to a 330 size tire, which will be necessary to put down the level of power the turbo engine will be producing. Until I find a good deal on one I will stick with the stock swingarm. Secondly, I am currently in talks with Mike Downs of Downs Engineering to produce an even more powerful version of this engine. I am looking for between 375 to 400 horsepower, and it must be reliable for the street and run on pump gas. With a target curb weight of 1,000 lbs., I can only begin to imagine the level of performance this car will have with 400 horsepower. Watch this space... Next Entry


12/03/06- Some interesting developments on the Turbo 'Busa Kart 3 wheeled car project this week:

Much design and engineering must be done before we can get to working on the chassis of the 'Busa Kart. Originally, I was going to fabricate an engine cradle subframe to hold the engine in place, then connect the swingarm to the rear of that subframe, and attach the whole thing to the Manx chassis. Then, I realized, with the help of a similar 3 wheeled car project on the internet, that the perfect engine cradle already existed. So, I searched on ebay for Hayabusa frames, and quickly found a local guy who was selling one. It's even the correct model year for my engine!

The Hayabusa frame is perfect. Made of aluminum and feather light, The engine will mount right to it, and the swing arm and coilover shock will bolt right in as well. I will have to modify the front of the frame so the turbo fits, and so that I can marry it to the frame of the Manx. Once I strip down the Manx, I will cut the rear end off just behind the seats and figure out how I will join it to the rear subassembly. With this Hayabusa frame, I am certain that I will be able to keep the finished vehicle weight below 1,000 lbs., which should give it some impressive performance.

In other news, I completed rigging up the engine in the test stand today, except for the charge pipe from the compressor to the intake plenum. The pictures below show the radiator I will be using on the test rig, connected to the engine. This radiator is much larger than what I will be using on the finished car, due to space constraints, but it is what I had laying around. Since it was so large, I was unable to mount it directly to the test stand and had to fabricate a simple mounting stand for it.

With the wiring completed I just had to test fire the engine to make sure everything worked. I only ran the engine long enough to verify oil pressure and make sure nothing was leaking. The engine makes a really nice musclular rumble and is not overly loud without a muffler, due to the turbocharger, although at WOT I'm sure its a different story. Throttle response seems excellent and hearing the engine running has really motivated me to get this vehicle built. I included a short video clip of the engine starting. Click here for the clip. Next Entry


11/19/06- Since the last update I have a accomplished a decent amount and should have the engine ready for its first test runs in a week or two. The engine stand is now complete. I fabricated four angle irons which I bolted to mounting points on the engine, and then welded these legs onto a steel base plate. Then I began mounting everything onto the engine and stand. First I bolted up the exhaust manifold and turbo assembly to the engine. Then I connected the wastegate and wastegate signal lines, along with the oil feed and return to the turbo. I rigged up an oil filter and oil cooler for the test stand. Next, I mounted all of the electrical components onto the stand and plumbed the fuel pump and the fuel filter. Finally, I fabricated an instrument panel with the necessary switches and instrumentation. All that is left for now is to fabricate a stand for the radiator and connect the radiator to the engine. Then I must wire the engine to the panel, which shouldn't be hard, as I have spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with the wiring and think I have it all sussed out. When installed in the vehicle, I will be using an intercooler, but for purposes of testing the engine, I will connect the compressor outlet directly to the intake plenum.

When I test the engine, I will initially test it for starting and idle, and then I will figure out a way to put the engine under load so that I can spool up the turbo and see how the engine runs under load.

Also, I am about two weeks away from finishing my garage, which will be my new workshop where I will work on these turbine projects. Finally I will have a proper workshop with the tools I need to get these projects done more efficiently. Once my shop is complete, I will be able to begin to disassemble the VW Manx buggy chassis I bought, and start to figure out exactly how I will integrate the engine and rear swingarm to form the 3 wheeled car. Next Entry

8/17/06- Due to an insanely busy schedule, as well as a bad neighbor, I haven't been able to work on rigging up the engine in the test stand as much as I would like. I've got the engine stand about 75% complete, and then it is a matter of hooking up the plumbing, wiring, and making up a control panel so that I may familiarize myself with the engine. I expect that in a couple of weeks I will have a lot more time to work on getting the test stand built so that I can test run the engine.

In the meantime, I've been working hard on the general design of the vehicle, and also on procuring parts and things I will need to get started on building the vehicle.

As with any design, I am going to start out with a few basic parameters. These are as follows:

1) The vehicle must be a "Reverse Trike" configuration.

2) The vehicle must have two side by side seats so I can terrify a lucky passenger, and see the look on his/her face.

3) The vehicle must be as lightweight as possible to maximize performance.

4) The vehicle must be street legal so I can drive it on the road.

With those requirements in mind, I set out to design the basic concept of the vehicle. The rendering below is just a rough sketch of what it may look like when it is complete.

Next, I searched around on ebay until I found a good deal on a Suzuki Hayabusa rear swing arm. Since the vehicle will basically have a motorcycle rear end, I figured the best place to start was with a 'Busa swing arm. I will most likely have to do some extensive modifications to the swing arm to incorporate it into this vehicle, but it's a good place to start.

Next, I had to come up with a chassis. Originally I was going to bend and weld a chassis from scratch using chrome moly tubing. Then I started looking at some dune buggy kits as a possible starting point for a frame. My biggest concerns with either of these approaches was getting the front suspension geometry and steering geometry correct, and my other big concern was being able to register the vehicle for the street. New York has some pretty tough laws when it comes to registering specialty vehicles, and I didn't want to take a chance.

So, to play it on the safe side, I started looking around on ebay for dune buggy type vehicles that were already registered. I finally found what might be a suitable starting point, a 1958 "Manx" style dune buggy based on a Volkswagen Beetle. I purchased it on an ebay auction for a decent price.

The buggy is essentially a 1958 VW Beetle with the body removed and replaced with an ugly, green fiberglass thing. The 1200cc air cooled boxer engine barely runs, and the 4 speed manual transmission keeps popping out of gear, especially in reverse. But, it's registered, as a 1958 Volkswagen Beetle. After receiving it, I drove it 10 blocks from the house. Bad move...Lucky the old owner included the tow bar at no extra charge, and lucky it's pretty easy to push.

Anyway, this vehicle will serve as the basis for my Turbo 'Busa Kart. When I'm through with it, it probably won't share more than a few parts with the original vehicle. But it's something to start with, and most importantly, it is registered and street legal. Sure, when it's finished it won't be anything like a 1958 Bug, but let's not concern ourselves with such petty details...

Stay tuned for more... Next Entry


6/21/06- Here is the engine: A 1300cc, fuel injected, dual overhead cam inline 4 cylinder engine derived from a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle. In the stock motorcycle, this high revving engine produces around 165 horsepower or thereabouts. Add a fairly large wastegated turbocharger, an intercooler, and the proper fuel calibration, and the engine is capable of much more power, as much as 600 horsepower in out and out applications. For this application, for the sake of reliability, boost will be limited to develop a maximum power output of around 290 horsepower. The engine has an integral 6 speed sequential transmission.

The bottom three pictures show the fabricated intake plenum, turbo compressor, and the complete exhaust header and turbocharger assembly. Pressurized air is fed from the plenum through the four individual throttle bodies. Fuel is injected from the fuel rail, at the base of the throttle bodies.

The first step will be to rig the engine up in a test stand, and test run it, to familiarize myself with the systems. Then we will begin to design the vehicle around the powerplant.

Special thanks goes to Mike Downs of Downs Engineering for providing me with the engine and the turbo kit.

Stay tuned for more!!! Next Entry


6/05/06- Welcome to the beginning of our next long term project. This project will be a little different than the past projects on this site, in that, instead of using a gas turbine engine, we are going to use a turbocharged gasoline engine to make insane levels of horsepower out of a compact engine package. Though gas turbines are the king of power to weight ratio, they lack the drivability and everyday ease of use of a piston engine. So, a turbocharged gasoline engine seems to be the best of both worlds. The ease of use of a piston engine, with gas turbine levels of performance available at the push of the throttle.

The inspiration for this project came from a couple of places. The primary inspiration came after seeing a video on the internet of a crazy guy driving a turbocharged motorcycle; a 300+ horsepower Suzuki GSX-R 1300 Hayabusa to be exact. I immediately thought, "I need one of those!" Then I realized that I don't ride motorcycles and a 300+ horsepower crotch rocket is probably not the place to get started.

From the Internet

So then, I thought the next logical thing: "Let's put that engine in a go kart!" Originally I was thinking a race kart like the type I used in my Formula Turbokart project. But that chassis was a little too small for that engine and that much power.

Then I had another inspiration. Why not build a three wheeled car?...sort of like a cross between a bike and a car. But not a trike. I want the kind with two front wheels, two side by side seats with a steering wheel, and one rear tire. Just like a T-Rex or a Grinnall Scorpion , except this one would be more bad ass, and faster.

So this page will illustrate this three wheeled car project, from start to finish, which I will call my Turbo 'Busa Kart. Next Entry




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