Richard’s Tri-Magnum Project

36 Responses

  1. Rick says:

    wow. I’ve loved these since seeing one in Popular Mechanics years ago as a kid.

    Good luck! can’t wait to see the finished version! Is there a build blog somewhere?

  2. Rick says:

    wow. I’ve loved these since seeing one in Popular Mechanics years ago as a kid.

    Good luck! can’t wait to see the finished version! Is there a build blog somewhere?

  3. Bob Stickner says:

    Hello Richard.Nice start.I’ve got a set of plans for one of these things and hope to start sometime soon.I have the donor bike (Kawasaki KZ1100) and the VW axle.I’m even considering going total electric.My question is where did you find the foam sheeting? Thanks

  4. Rich says:

    Hi Rick

    Trimagnum pictures
    I will add pictures to it as things change. It’s been a fun project and thanks a lot for wishing me luck you can ever have enough of that. 🙂

    Rich

  5. Rich says:

    Hi Rick

    Trimagnum pictures
    I will add pictures to it as things change. It’s been a fun project and thanks a lot for wishing me luck you can ever have enough of that. 🙂

    Rich

  6. Rich says:

    Hi Bob

    I bought my foam from Home Depot it’s the 1 inch Tuff R polyurethane. The stuff cost me $14 a sheet you will need to peel some foil and plastic off of it tho . It’s about half the price of the kind they use on homebuilt airplanes.

    Good luck with your project I am sure Shannon will post pics of it if you send them in. Hope this helps

    Rich

  7. Rich says:

    Hi Bob

    I bought my foam from Home Depot it’s the 1 inch Tuff R polyurethane. The stuff cost me $14 a sheet you will need to peel some foil and plastic off of it tho . It’s about half the price of the kind they use on homebuilt airplanes.

    Good luck with your project I am sure Shannon will post pics of it if you send them in. Hope this helps

    Rich

  8. Bats says:

    Hey Rich great to see you here,
    Lots of people try building kit cars from scratch but not many have the guts to build the body from scratch, my hats off to you,
    It’s looking great!
    Cheers,
    P.

  9. Rich says:

    Hey P

    It’s been fun so far. The foam shapes easy but it’s a huge mess to work with. The glassing isn’t so tough but I really like how the bottom looks after it was skim coated with body filler.

    Because you aren’t working with a gelcoat you need to skim coat the fiberglass with Bondo to provide the finished surface for painting. Here it’s too cold at the moment to do the body work so the steering and other controls are being set up. I work on it when it’s over 20 degrees out with enough clothes it’s comfortable.

    Thanks I like how it looks too. We’ll see how the finished product turns out.

    Ciao

    Rich

  10. Bats says:

    How thick is the “bondo” if it’s more than say 3/16th you might look into some of the feather fill, dura glass etc type products, look at boat supply places or online
    It would be toughter than just “bondo”
    Yea, some stuff just takes forever to kick when its cold here ( in fl ) it kicks wicked fast, you have to mix your mud and sling it fast,

    So finished with you on board whats that weight?
    I am thinking in tadpole layout that thing is going to do turns some kind of wicked fun, I wonder if anyone has auto crossed such a thing

  11. Bats says:

    How thick is the “bondo” if it’s more than say 3/16th you might look into some of the feather fill, dura glass etc type products, look at boat supply places or online
    It would be toughter than just “bondo”
    Yea, some stuff just takes forever to kick when its cold here ( in fl ) it kicks wicked fast, you have to mix your mud and sling it fast,

    So finished with you on board whats that weight?
    I am thinking in tadpole layout that thing is going to do turns some kind of wicked fun, I wonder if anyone has auto crossed such a thing

  12. Rich says:

    Hey P

    I don’t think the filler will end up being much thicker than 1/8th inch . Generaly most filler won’t set under 40 degrees and the shop isn’t heated . In the summer that stuff sets in 15 minutes and like you said you got to sling it fast. Thats the fun part it’s like icing a giant cake.

    According to the plans 1100 lbs is the target weight. From the way things feel their all up weight seems high it would be surprising if the total weight with me passed 1200 lbs and I am good for 200 of that. Now if a place like Flying J would let me use their scale we could find out. I am sure there is some way for me to get it weighed for cheap.

    With the way Riley set up the suspension the trike should push in the corners. The CG (center of gravity) is very close to the front wheels and the large swaybar thats on it should help. From what has been written lateral g’s can be a problem unless the trike is set up to push or plow somewhat. Now when you look at the T-Rex trike it can pull close to 1 g in the corners but the suspension is double wishbone and a totaly different geometry. We’ll find out tho the guys at Gingerman speedway should allow it on the track as long as it passes the tech inspection.

    Like with the TVR I plan to drive this thing hard if it holds up I’ll have fun.

    Ciao

    Rich

  13. Rich says:

    Hey Chris
    Polystyrene will melt if you use it with Polyester resin. Epoxy resin is nearly twice the cost an example I spent $600 on Polyester resin Epoxy would be close to $1000.

    The body has been remounted on the chassis.The steering and brakes have been hooked up and the brake lights and turn signals.
    This happened before the final body work because being a clutz I might mess up the paint putting them in.

    Thanks for reminding me about pics I haven’t updated the photobucket in a while. If you plan on building one of these take your time and you will have lots of fun. It’s like carving a car from a bar of soap the one thing that surprised me was how long it took to build the body.

    Thanks for the questions I will toss some new pics on the bucket . Hopefully this will get you going on your build you’ll love it.

    Rich

  14. Ben says:

    Rich,
    I’m blown away with your build! I agree with everyone else, truly impressed with your talent in building the body from scratch and in the minimal shop conditions ( a tent) your are doing this in.
    You’re a very gifted person. I’m very interested in how you are building the body (methods and technic). You have stirred an itch I’ve had for a long time to build a “static” concept model (non functional prop) I’m and old cartoonist at heart and 10 to 12 years ago came up with a humorous
    concept car I always thought it would be fun to reproduce in some true to life scale. http://www.flickr.com/photos/blanderson/ Anyway I’m getting off the track here, just wanted you to know from my own experience that what you are doing is challenging and you are doing an awesome job.
    -ben

  15. Rich says:

    Ben

    Thank you for for the great compliments. Here is a link to technique used for the body http://www.rqriley.com/frp-foam.htm . Using that as a guide building a static prop should be easy.

    The basic idea with the method used in the plans is low weight high strength no molds required. The body has come out strong and maybe 275 pounds . Depending on how well you can sculpt it’s a fun material to mess with .

    I poked around in your flickr love the work in there some truly great stuff. The Nike guy eating the doughnut is classic :). When you were a kid remember at 147th and Halstead Kickapoo woods? I still fly there now and then when I’m not sanding bondo down for the trike.

    When you do your prop I bet Shannon would post it here that would be really cool. Thanks again it’s time to go mess with the project some more.

    Rich

  16. Ben says:

    Thanks for the link Rich. I’ll be following you on your build. Time will tell about the static prop.
    -ben

  17. Harley says:

    Hey Rich, enjoyed seeing what you are doing, very nice work, also the link you provided really gets down to the details of the basics of building a one off design or concept car. What appeals to me is the materials used at the start are so affordable and available that a mistake or design change are not a big deal, you can recut another piece of foam or plywood and possibly reuse the mistake somewhere else to make a smaller part. You can also get a good idea of the aesthetics before committing to the more costly and time consuming glassing and finishing part of the project. And being built over mounted bulkheads assures no later problems with warpage. Very cool! Harley

  18. Rich says:

    Harley

    Thank you . The cool part is most if it comes from Home Depot the foam is very easy to work with . Polyester resin was used for glassing since Epoxy was nearly twice as much. It took over 18 gallons to glass it up.

    It’s like making a plug for molds except you use the plug for the body and skip the mold part. The body is light for it’s size and very rigid that surprised me since the foam is so flexible it’s the raw state.

    Rich

  19. michael says:

    if anyone is looking for a tri magnum kit car that is almost complete i have one for sale. mncartee@bellsouth.net

  20. Don says:

    where can you purchase polyester resin? thinking about trying to make doors for my invader gt using this method. any info would greatly appreciated.
    thanks
    Don

  21. Rich says:

    Don
    I got mine from a place called Mr Fiberglass but the owner has passed away. https://www.fibreglast.com/ these guys are still around tho. If you only need a small amount AutoZone carries it in quart sizes. Along with cloth and glass mat so there are a few choices for you to consider . I bet you will enjoy doing your doors let me know how they turn out.

    Rich

  22. Joseph Tribb says:

    For a few years now I have been wanting to get these plans and build one of my own. I ran into your project in the making and looks like it’s coming along excellent. One question, I have been looking into this for a while and I know you use a VW front suspension. what is you front end from? Seeing that it has disc brakes I was just curious. I know that most old VW’s are drum brakes. Any ways good luck.

    Joe

  23. Rich says:

    It’s red got some new pics on the photobucket http://s318.photobucket.com/albums/mm423/tvr_vixen_2500/Trimagnum/

    Hopefully progress will pick up and I can hit the streets in it before too long.

  24. Rich says:

    Joseph

    Thats a VW front end with a disc brake conversion Karmann Ghia used them on the VW front end.

  25. Rich says:

    The Tri-magnum finally has windows and lights. Carpet wheel alignment and insurance are the only things left. http://s318.photobucket.com/albums/mm423/tvr_vixen_2500/Trimagnum/?albumview=slideshow play it reverse order to see recent pics first.

  26. Rich says:

    It’s a wrap when the weather clears up it’s time to drive .

  27. Käslin Serge says:

    Superb picture slideshow. I want to build this model. I ordered the plans and visit scrapyards car parts. Is it possible to visit your tri-mag? Chicago? Greetings S. Käslin

  28. Käslin Serge says:

    Superb picture diapositive.J ‘I also want to construct now a tri-mag. I ordered the plans and I started looking in the parts breakage car. Is it possible to see your tri-mag? from where are you? Greetings Serge

  29. Rich says:

    Took a tour of the hood today. The ride using the Riley design wasn’t as rough as expected. Went through the industrial park fewer people and some nice corners the accelration is impressive. Cornering shows some understeer but that can be a good thing considering the layout. Even taking a street corner at 30+ mph showed no threat of flipping just some plowing .

    The brakes need to be bled again spongy pedal easy fix. Bad ground on the fan relay a real bonehead mistake but it’s fixed now. The engine got fairly warm the aluminum scoops haven’t been added yet and from the temp they will be needed.

    All in all the design holds up handles well and except for a few mistakes in prep performed nicely.

    Rich

  30. John says:

    Hey rich I also do have a trimagnum but no reverse, I was looking at your construction. This looks like a winch with a piston from a plow? How well does this work for you? does the roller slip on the wheel. Does it draw alot of power.
    thanks John,

    • Rich says:

      John sorry for the late reply . It’s slow and will slip if the tire is wet. The reverse is powered by it’s own battery to avoid being stranded . Doesn’t seem to draw a lot of power it’s only used as a last resort because it’s slow.

  31. lee says:

    Richard –
    Great car! What size wheels and tires did you use for the front?
    Could I get some more info on the reverse drive system?
    Such as: the motor and what did you use to force the tire to rotate the main drive to go backwards?
    Lee

  32. Rich says:

    Well the red has worn out it’s welcome and it’s being repainted white. The vent on the engine cover has been changed out to something larger as well. It’s been fun got pulled over a bunch by the police . Never for a ticket just for “I hope you don’t mind sir I wanted to check out your trike”. It’s all held up well.

  33. Rich says:

    Lee sorry for the delay in the reply 205/50R16 is the tire size. The reverse is handled by a modified 12 volt winch the spool was replaced with rubber wheels. The winch is rotated down onto the back tire by a linear actuator. It backs up very SLOWLY lol it’s a last resort but it does work.

  34. Guy says:

    Did you widen the front beam at all? Just wondering what happens to the steering with a widened beam.
    A few years ago I was in Chicago and drove south about 4 hours to look at one for sale. Being 6 foot tall, I was unable to close the top unless I bent my head over slightly. Needless to say I could not purchase that one. The builder stated that he built another one with his brother and it was 4 inches wider (to make more leg room) and slightly taller to fit his brothers height.
    Of course changing the body to fit a taller person would be easy, I am just not sure what it would take to widen the beam and keep the steering correctly aligned. I have read a large amount of information about widening the beam, but nothing is stated about the steering aspect.
    Any thoughts?

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