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BuggyDad

Best buggy bodies with undertrays

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A quick question...

My next project is to design and build my own buggy. 2WD, rear motor, CF lower deck, battery longitudinally up the centreline. I won't get into the whys and wherefores here, there'll be a build thread along in a minute for that (and I can't start a build thread with questions, so say the rules! 😉). Suffice it to say I'm not making a race winner, I'm just taking on a little personal challenge of a project, for my own enjoyment and learning, and trying to make it the best I can make it. 

I need to choose a body before I start, really, because it'll define a number of key dimensions. 

The CF deck format is in part chosen because I can do it. I don't want to design for 3d print a whole tub or particularly a chassis surround to keep the crud out. I prefer the undertray solution. I think it's neater, lighter and cheaper, and on my Mid it really is very good indeed at keeping the crud out. 

However, there's a rub. I can find so few suitable bodies that I like. A repro Astute shell from Penguin or Kamtec is currently looking like the answer. I want a cab rearward vintage style, polycarbonate, an undertray, enough space, etc. and I do think the Astute shell is a nice enough shape, and it's readily available. But is there better out there? What alternatives might I consider? 

I am also a little tempted to make it another Falcon. Mega Falcon. That'd be great fun. Perhaps I could cut out and invert the sides of a spare shell to make chassis sides/fenders to do most of the undertray's job. But this is a bit questionable on a practical level, I think, and not a very clean solution.

So can you help me by suggesting other nice body shells that come with undertrays? Or shells for which other undertrays might be workable? Or any other body ideas for this? 

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Do you mean like Egress and TF EVO?  Those come with trays..

Or just make your own trays..(?)

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1 hour ago, Willy iine said:

Do you mean like Egress and TF EVO?  Those come with trays..

Good point. Thanks. Thats the sort of thing, yeah. Nice bodies and I'll stick em on the shortlist but I think Astute would just pip both for me just because it'd feel a bit odd to me to be running such an iconic 4WD shell on this. 

1 hour ago, Willy iine said:

Or just make your own trays..(?)

DIY vacuum forming is probably a step too far for me? As per my Falcon idea above I could perhaps form sides with suitable pieces of polycarbonate but I think I'd end up with relatively poor parts compared to a simple formed tray. 

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Check out Kamtec or TBG. Loads of f.ex. lovely Kyosho shells which they also make undertray for. 

 

Edit: Penguin makes Kyosho bodies and undertrays as well. 

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Need to be tamiya? 

Kyosho Mid (custom and custom special) come with under trays. Most modern stuff doesn't I think.

Can't get to grips with the flip paint though...🤦‍♂️

2018-09-17_03-59-57

 

34 minutes ago, BuggyDad said:

DIY vacuum forming is probably a step too far for me?

Actually gathered all the parts to build one! It's on the list...

@yogi-bear has a thread, on how to

 

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Avante?

I think the Astute is your best bet though. I started designing a buggy around an Astute shell last winter after me and @graemevw were chatting about how rad his ReRe Super Astute looked, but how annoying fragile and difficult to get spares for it was. Mine never got off the CAD, but I love the Astute shell. 

I got a Team Azarashi shell for my TRF201 and TRF211 a while back. Only some have undertrays, but there's a few that do. DMS has some left:

https://www.dms-racing.com/browse-store/manufacturer/azarashi/results,1-40

 

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1 hour ago, Wooders28 said:

Need to be tamiya? 

Kyosho Mid (custom and custom special) come with under trays. Most modern stuff doesn't I think.

Can't get to grips with the flip paint though...🤦‍♂️

2018-09-17_03-59-57

 

Actually gathered all the parts to build one! It's on the list...

@yogi-bear has a thread, on how to

 

Blimey. I hadn't seen that. It's a Herculean effort from @yogi-bear.

I wonder - anyone in the UK got the means to do me a polycarbonate vacuum form if I make up the timber shape? 

That could really take my Falcon Family places! 

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44 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

I started designing a buggy around an Astute shell last winter after me and @graemevw were chatting about how rad his ReRe Super Astute looked, but how annoying fragile and difficult to get spares for it was. Mine never got off the CAD, but I love the Astute shell. 

Oh interesting. Do I recall you were talking about a mid motored genuine race machine? Mine will be rear motored (because BBX gearbox, which was a catalyst to persuade me to actually do this) and probably somewhat more agricultural. Also I have no racing experience so its various angles and geometries will be a pretty mid ranged set of numbers I've cobbled together. Will be interesting to see when I'm done whether there are any similarities. My intention is to use quite a few off the shelf bits, perhaps more than than you (gearbox, arms, hubs) leaving for the 3d printer really only the central structural items (bulkheads mainly) and small parts for electronics placement. So I think it can be kind of modular rather than a whole CAD model. 

Anyhow, I digress! That's for the build thread.

But yeah, I do like the Astute body too. It would be a very acceptable option. I've never liked the Avante body though, for some reason. I think for me 80s angles beat 90s curves! Yeah, on reflection, 80s angles but sleeker lower proportions, maybe why my Falcon looks like it's been trodden on 🤣

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2 hours ago, cyclonecap said:

Schumacher has made a few buggies with under trays, the SV for example. It also has carbon deck chassis.

Ooh yes, good call - there's a rich seam there. Various Cougars, Cats (3000 esp), Fireblade. And I have a spare genuine Optima mid body in stock.

Maybe wanting an undertray wasn't restrictive after all. 

If I go Astute I'll probably go box art (orig not Super), because I'm chasing essentially an Astute-like design idea, while if I go for one of these 4WD shells I'd dress it up differently. 

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3 hours ago, BuggyDad said:

DIY vacuum forming is probably a step too far for me? As per my Falcon idea above I could perhaps form sides with suitable pieces of polycarbonate but I think I'd end up with relatively poor parts compared to a simple formed tray. 

I was thinking taking a sheet of polycarbonate and using a head gun shape it against a wooden block or something until you get the general shape you want.  Then use strips of polycarbonate and VHB tape to seal the gaps or use screws and silicon glue.

 

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36 minutes ago, BuggyDad said:

anyone in the UK got the means to do me a polycarbonate vacuum form if I make up the timber shape? 

Unfortunately, mines still in component parts.....😬

There's a few uk companies, although, I got to the point I needed bodies done for a Tractor Puller , Escort Cosworth Rallycross, a Bandit TA and mud bogger projects , but didn't have time to finish my vac former, after a few emails, sent them down to Kamtec. That was at the start of 2020, and I'm still trying to get them back....

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Got to love this place. You guys are ace. Couple of hours and so many ideas! 

I may disappoint you all though and say that DIY vac forming and PC undertray fabrication are not for me on this project, which is about the mechanical stuff first. I'll choose a shell and matching undertray at this point. Then, when I've got the car built, if I can get it running nicely I might have a later phase to Faclonise it. End of the day, one of the benefits of CF deck designs is that the main parts of the build could be bolted to different CF sheet chassis shaped for different shells, I'd just need to make up that one part. 

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Kyosho Tomahawk if you wanted something vintage looking? Theres an aftermarket seller of vac formed undertrays for them on ebay uk.

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14 minutes ago, Superluminal said:

Kyosho Tomahawk 

is a fabulous looking thing but I think double wishbone front suspension and the kind of shock tower that necessitates would cut in too narrow at the nose. 

But then, just look at this:

a27d24_6d89d537983b4bbfb83c431303889982~

 

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Tomahawk a very strong contender then. I think that picture warrants posting again 😋:

a27d24_6d89d537983b4bbfb83c431303889982~

I mean, just LOOK AT IT! Love it slammed low like this. Maybe have to separate nose for permanent fixture in front of shock tower or something (I am likely to make a shock tower where left and right are linked up high, I think). Would probably also cut any shell off at the rear tower and tower mount a wing. 

I think Astute is a good option too (and I don't think this photo does it justice, where the Tomahawk one above is a dream shot):

Screenshot_20231127_203138_eBay

And it feels very "appropriate" because I'm using its layout ideas.

There are quite a few other possibilities but these are my current favourites. One of the Cougars is quite good. I think most things designed for mid motor would be just a little bit off when a gearbox and motor is placed behind them. Then again, Astute has a back of cab bulge which I think is redolent of a mid motor/gearbox arrangement, but it gets away with it. I wonder why it has that? 

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We used to do vacuum forming at school. Do you know any CDT teachers at a local secondary school by any chance.

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As mentioned above, check out Team Azarashi, they used to make great bodies, assuming they still do

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5 hours ago, Elbowloh said:

We used to do vacuum forming at school

Me too!!

New body every week when racing! (Mainly as the plastic wasn't lexan, and was destroyed)

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Can I assume that "undertray" means something like "less than a bathtub but still protecting the electronics etc" or is it also the aerodynamic function you are after?

I like the Kyosho Scorpion/Beetle/Tomahawk angle. I am thinking that maybe it would be possible to make a "pan car as a buggy" using a flat tray or two rails. Anyways, I'll follow this with interest. :)

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I think forming your own polycarbonate tray is going to be too much hassle without a lot of time invested in a good setup. The issues you will have are drying the polycarbonate properly and controlling the temp as polycarbonate only has  a small window from softening to melting. But you could easily form something in PETG, HIPS (but it will be the most prone to cracking)  or maybe even ABS without too much trouble. You'd have to use the kitchen stove and you can make the vacuum box and frame for the plastic with only basic tools, so not too hard to do. The hardest part then is making the form itself.

That Tomahawk looks great too.

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13 minutes ago, JimBear said:

Can I assume that "undertray" means something like "less than a bathtub but still protecting the electronics etc" or is it also the aerodynamic function you are after?

I like the Kyosho Scorpion/Beetle/Tomahawk angle. I am thinking that maybe it would be possible to make a "pan car as a buggy" using a flat tray or two rails. Anyways, I'll follow this with interest. :)

Yeah, basically because I'll make the chassis as CF deck, it would let a lot of crud in, so a common solution is a simple polycarbonate undertray like was used on many models of this type (Astute, Egress being obvious examples). The project is therefore a bit more governed by body choice because the undertrays match the shell shape tightly. Partly I'm designing it this way because I don't have the manufacturing capability to make a more complex shape (not well, anyway), but I also just like this type of design anyway. Strong, stiff, endless mounting options, simple. And in my (limited!) experience a matching body and undertray are perhaps a little better at keeping the crud out than most most other design types. 

So... We're going Tomahawk, with two choices of wing (Astute and the Penguin RC10 Worlds one). I'm a bit worried that Astute one might be too big, but it might just be the picture deceiving me. Anyway, wing doesn't affect the build process and whatever I get can go on something. 

Every bit of electronics will sit directly on the CF sheet and the bulkhead is to be designed, so I should in theory be able to get the body really nice and low. 

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On 11/28/2023 at 4:14 AM, Willy iine said:

I was thinking taking a sheet of polycarbonate and using a head gun shape it against a wooden block or something until you get the general shape you want.  Then use strips of polycarbonate and VHB tape to seal the gaps or use screws and silicon glue.

 

I was wondering if this would work or be too much hassle. You can do this with acrylic and only heating the bits you want to bend, but acrylic has a better heating window than polycarbonate. Please post pics if you ever try this.

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54 minutes ago, yogi-bear said:

Please post pics if you ever try this.

... of the fire brigade arriving? 😉

  • Haha 2

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