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NicheRotors :: Original Wild Willy Custom Parts

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Having recently converted a GF-01 chassis to accommodate the Wild Willy 2 body (here) there was a lasting impression.  That to replicate the look and feel of the 1982 original SWB then some custom design work would be required, namely:

- a modified chassis with a shorter wheelbase and the body lowered and correctly positioned over both axles, and

- custom wheels with an offset to get the correct track front and rear.

 

Initial focus is on the chassis and getting the wheelbase right - once successful then attention will shift to the wheels. 

 

My initial GF-01 conversation (here) had been done with the spirit of:

- maximising the use of Tamiya parts, and

- minimising the impact on the body.

 

After countless hours on a computer with a friend, @Jamesssb, and multiple working prototypes a new chassis design started to emerge.

 

This chassis, we’ve called it GF-01 SWB, has the following characteristics:

- 165 mm wheelbase (as per the first 1982 SWB Wild Willy),

- compatible with GF-01 four wheel drive gears, suspension parts and wheelie bar,

- compatible with the Wild Willy 2 chassis rails and body posts albeit with the height reduced by two holes, 

- requires only the the L-shaped wall on the underside of the WW2 body to be removed, and

- correct ride height when used in conjunction with original or reproduction tyres and Tamiya hop up dampers. 

 

The hump pack has been inverted to save space and allow the height of the body to be reduced. 

The front camber link has been relocated in an attempt to try and replicate the characteristics of camber of the original. 

The rear camber link has been repositioned to reduce the camber during normal use - in an attempt to reflect that the original had a live axle and zero camber. 

For fun the receiver on/ off switch is located in the original position next to the driver and can accommodate the traditional protective rubber cover.

 

Will put up on Shapeways when complete but suspect it won’t be cheap - but happy to take advice on alternatives.  However, this approach will allow me to bash about with a model where consumable/ spare parts are readily available (and many metal aftermarket items) combined with a currently produced (cheap) body that requires minimal cutting (just the L-shaped wall on the underside). 

 

I’m keen to hear suggestions that could be factored into the design; for example, maybe a LWB version with the rear axle pushed back by 10 mm.

 

Will post more pictures as the project develops. 

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Nice CAD work, and thanks for buying my WW jerry can inserts.
This pursuit has been key for my mods and work for the last 20 years, and as I have in-depth experience on this subject, I have a few thoughts.

- Without even looking at the design, I can tell you that the price of a custom built GF-01 chassis on Shapeways will be more than the kit itself.

- Secondly, why? Why make a new chassis when simply repositioning the body will do the job? The stock chassis is perfectly fine, and a WW2 body is cheaper than a custom chassis.


I designed all the parts to convert both the WR-02 and GF-01 into a vintage looking Wild Willy years ago, including wheels to fit original tires, but it is interesting to see new ventures on the same idea - however, I can not see any reason to go the chassis route. If you want truly originality (ref. the exact wheels base in mm) go for the 58035 SWB...

 

simensays_GF01_01.jpg

simensays_gf01_wheels_01.jpg

simensays_gf01_15.jpg
 

 

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@simensays I need to do this on my GF01 some day.   Right now I just placed the WW2 body on the reversed body posts without your spacers and seems to look okay(?) decent enough(?) for what it is.  I'm not into WW2's as most people have probably already noticed.

But I am a fan of the GF01 chassis so one day I will do the body post spacers and the wheels.  I love those wheels you designed.  I own like 5-6 sets for my M38's.

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I thank you for your comments @simensays - you raise valid points that I have struggled with.  I very much admire the models both you and @Willy iine have made. 

 

I wanted the challenge of going down a different path - in the same way I respect @s2-g2 who is taking a different path again by redesigning and printing the body (https://www.instagram.com/p/CM3FGw8sYvt/?utm_medium=copy_link).  

 

With access to several NIB kits it would be too easy to build another one - but it still wouldn’t be a custom 4x4.

 

I wanted to replicate the stance of the original SWB wheelbase model and initially investigated redesigning the rear suspension arms - we didn’t want to disturb the steering geometry at the front.  In the end I felt that the body would still sit too high - especially at the back unless we lowered it by reducing damper travel but that seemed less than ideal.

 

Admittedly the Tamiya GF-01 chassis has the same wheelbase as the LWB version (within a millimetre) but using the front axle as a reference point we calculated that the body would still be approximately 4.5 mm too far back when reversing the body posts around as @Willy iine has suggested

 

This might sound small (and can easily be disguised with a clever camera shot from the front) but compounded with my preference for a SWB wheelbase these little differences became a noticeable annoyance.  

 

In contrast, with a custom chassis we have complete control over several aspects, including, but not limited to:

i) the wheelbase, 

ii) the position of the body over the axles, 

iii) the height of the body at the front as well as at the back, and

iv) where the camber links are mounted.

 

Little adjustments can bring nice benefits and the placement of the receiver switch to where it belongs next to Willy just made perfect sense while we were at it. 

 

Irrespective of the financial outlay, by the time I have invested effort in painting and weathering the body it becomes the most valuable part of my models.  I didn’t want to cut holes to reduce the body height if I could help it - if anything I’d like to fill in the drivers footwell just like the original but we’ll see. 

 

I recognise that the SLS printing Shapeways offers is expensive today - it may become cheaper in the future - we all hope so. 

 

In the meantime if anyone did want to follow us then we could consider offering a FDM printed chassis for about the same price as a nice set of new tyres. 

 

Like so many things we do in this hobby - there isn’t always a good answer to ‘why?’ - but because we can is often enough.

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I totally respect and appreciate your approach, very cool, and I'm looking forward to seeing this come to life.

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I too am interested in what comes out.  Please keep us posted. 

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Thanks for the mention :)

So cool to see the work you're doing!  One of my favorite things about the hobby is the endless possibilities to make these kits and models completely your own unique creations.

I've "re-created" or "modified" multiple ideas for parts for different models - sometimes just to see if I could figure something out (tinkering in CAD is a therapy!) - and sometimes just for a minor difference that is important to myself.   In the end, it's cool to be able to look at the final product and say "I made that."

Really looking forward to see how your work turns out!  Keep it up!

 

S2

 

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Appreciate all the encouragement.

Impressions are positive now the latest homemade FDM printed chassis is in my hands. 

The parts have been printed by @Jamesssb on a BearMera Mk3s with black Eryone PETG filament.

The new chassis weighs 216.2g compared to 203.4g for the original Tamiya items (chassis and battery cover); so pretty close.

From the outside there is a nice smooth sheen and once assembled, with the electrics in place up front, it is only from the inside of the battery bay that you can see where support material was required.

It’s a very easy chassis to build because M3 x 10 mm self-tapping screws are used throughout. The ball joints for the dampers are a nice tight fit.  Overall, it feels like the chassis could take quite a bit of punishment.

I wanted to remove the camber at the rear and introduce a bit more at the front without fouling the drivetrain.  With this version I’ve got the camber pretty close - so think we have a stable version for the time being and wanted to share some progress.  I've tried to capture the similarities in the side-by-side shots with a restored original SWB from 1982.

Temporarily I’ve added a basic set of FDM printed rims to double check both the i) track front and back, and ii) confirm the height of the body front and back.  Some minor adjustments are needed but hardly anything noticeable to the naked eye.

After more test driving I may raise the height of the wheelie bar to get longer wheelies during more of the battery life.

Will now work on a new design for a set of wheels and will report back soon. 

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@nicherotors Looks good, I like that the body mounting height is very close (if not identical) to the M38, and the switch compartment!.   On my GF01 running a WW2 body, Willy's boot bottoms out onto the top of the battery compartment cover so I cannot lower the Jeep's body as far as I like.

Would this chassis run a humpback 6 cell inverted into the chassis or a 5 cell?

Would you be making a version that would fit the original M38 body (3 point body post)?

I'd be interested in buying your creation if you are planning on selling through Shapeways or similar.   Keep us posted.  I'll have to get siimensays wheels too!  

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Hello @Willy iine, appreciate the feedback. I know what you mean about Willy’s boot hitting the battery - you can see here how once the heal of his right boot is cut it can straddle the GF-01 battery post; this approach allows for a similar body height as the WR-02 and is pretty good if you want to stay with just Tamiya parts and don’t mind the height.  The body is too far back and needs to be brought forward so that it is correctly positioned over the front axle. 

At the moment the chassis has been designed for a six cell hump pack; we noticed that sometimes the leads exit from the left and other times from the right (even from the same manufacturer) - the chassis design accommodates either. 

 

@Jamesssb is keen to accommodate a Lipo hard plastic battery and it looks like there is a lot of space for a number of combinations.

 

I think it would be fairly easy to accommodate an original body shell on this chassis - will add it to the list and come back with an update soon. 

 

My first chassis from Shapeways is due in a few days so will report back then.

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I recently learnt that a new batch of the excellent reproduction Blazing Blazer 58029 & Wild Willy 58035 tyres have been produced.  At the time of writing there are still a lot of these reproduction tires in stock.

 

It was fairly straightforward to design a front and rear rim with the correct offset to replicate the track of the 1982 original.  The design is based on the plastic hex found in the GF-01 kits.

 

I’m not keen on wheel designs with patterns that involve threes or sixes so we designed a hubcap that emulates the full-size rather than copy the original Tamiya design which has six spokes and three screw heads showing.

 

Having looked at pictures of the real M38 rims (there is a wealth of history online about the various designs used in different conflicts) I was keen to copy the original pressed steel look.

 

I’ve never been pleased with my ability to satisfactorily paint bolt heads that are part of moulded wheels - other than putting a dab of paint on the top surface.  So it was fun to develop thoughts about an alternative.

 

As an experiment I ordered 12 BA steel hex bolts that are very close to being 1/10th scale.  On each hub cap five will be glued in position purely for cosmetic purposes.  This hub will then be firmly held in place by three pairs of small but very strong magnets - which nicely conceal all the M3 bolts that are used to hold the rims together.

 

The front axle has a hub that has been designed to accommodate six 14 BA brass hex bolts and the rear gets a dust cover.  The assembly will cover up the M4 nyloc holding the wheel on. 

 

I’m happy with the optical illusion as designed on the computer - the files for these wheels have been sent to Shapeways.  Will be interesting to see if it all works in real life when the parts arrive.

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@nicherotors  Nice updates.  I am looking forward to the availability and thanks for your replies.   I would prefer not to cut poor Willy's foot if at all possible.  So with your design I take it that I would not need to cut Willy's foot?

I too recently bought a bin full of those reproduction tire sets as spares for my existing lot of M38's which are running the previous lot from the same guy.  The newer lot is softer than the previous ones.. I think he may have changed the material composition (?).  Both work fine on the car, I just noticed the newer tires causes my M38 to grab the driving surface more resulting in hops when I turn quickly.  They are not as soft as the original tires which is fine with me.

 

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You are correct - Willy’s foot does not need to be cut with this custom chassis - the only thing that needs to be removed is the L shaped wall on the underside of the body. 

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I cut about a half off the L under the body, and removed the left side of the battery compartment lid.  I did not cut Willy’s shoe.  

My current highest point is the steering servo to the body so decided this is as far as it goes with this  GF01.  It’s not bad actually. 

IMG_Aug152021at32633PM.thumb.jpg.2e9c681d89827774800d9e11b15c33c9.jpg

Height comparison vs an actual WR02 WW2 on the right..

IMG_Aug152021at41520PM.jpg.77270e5b165ac1fdc1c06133a69c6259.jpg

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… unless you use a low profile servo (like Tamiya did with the Super Astute)!!  I’ve installed a Hitec HS 77BB which seems suitably cheep and cheerful.  

Great pictures - loving the camo helmet and the spikes on the tyres. 

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4 hours ago, nicherotors said:

… unless you use a low profile servo (like Tamiya did with the Super Astute)!!  I’ve installed a Hitec HS 77BB which seems suitably cheep and cheerful.  

Great pictures - loving the camo helmet and the spikes on the tyres. 

I would still have to cut the other battery lid clip area (right side) if I want to go lower... but it's at the WR02 WW2 height right now, so it is fine where it is.  I'm not trying to make a low rider M151 or whatever this version GP is. :lol:

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Surprised to see that you would rather cut the chassis that Willys foot... Cost wise, visually and structurally it makes no sense in my book. I cut both the underside of Willys feet, filled them in, along with the totally unnecessary  L-bit which has no function at all, and even a small part of the floor, and the body sits at the exact height on my GF-01, WR-02, all my original WWs. I also removed all the WW2 body detailing that differs between the two generations, in order to make it resemble the OG.
simensays_gf01_bodymod.jpg

I designed the WW steelies suitable for the vintage/repro tires for both the original and 12mm hex wheels a long time ago, so interested to see some new ideas come out of this. I have been playing with the idea of making a chassis, designed to make the WW NOT make wheelies - a feature I've in the 20 years of collecting and modding WWs, have never been a big fan of...

 

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2 hours ago, simensays said:

I have been playing with the idea of making a chassis, designed to make the WW NOT make wheelies - a feature I've in the 20 years of collecting and modding WWs, have never been a big fan of...

Totally with you on that one, Simen.   Funny that the wheelies were never my favorite part of the WW designs too.   This is what attracted me to the LOSI conversion@Johan designed and sells (Magics Models) on Shapeways.    Such a fun build!

S2

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3 hours ago, simensays said:

Surprised to see that you would rather cut the chassis that Willys foot... Cost wise, visually and structurally it makes no sense in my book. I cut both the underside of Willys feet, filled them in, along with the totally unnecessary  L-bit which has no function at all, and even a small part of the floor, and the body sits at the exact height on my GF-01, WR-02, all my original WWs. I also removed all the WW2 body detailing that differs between the two generations, in order to make it resemble the OG.
simensays_gf01_bodymod.jpg

I designed the WW steelies suitable for the vintage/repro tires for both the original and 12mm hex wheels a long time ago, so interested to see some new ideas come out of this. I have been playing with the idea of making a chassis, designed to make the WW NOT make wheelies - a feature I've in the 20 years of collecting and modding WWs, have never been a big fan of...

 

The battery compartment lid on the GF01 is more than adequate to keep the lid closed with one clip especially with the WW2 body nearly pressing down on it too with less than 1mm of clearance on my car.   So structurally it is sound.  Visually.. you can't see the battery lid with the body on so that is fine as well.   And the way I achieved the WR02 WW2 body height was much simpler than chopping off Willy's foot and filling, in addition to all the other cutting you did on your body.

Plus poor Willy!  :o   I would never cut up my Willy's just to fit them into my cars.

Also WW2 body will never resemble the M38 body as the grill is different, hood is different, side handle moldings are all different, interior is different, windshield is different, roll cage is different, etc.   I am not trying to make a M38 out of the GF01 nor WR02.  WW2 will always be a WW2 to me and the M38 will always be the M38.  Which is great because I have variety.   

I'm getting another new GF01 and using those bits on nicherotors design.  I will also run your wheels because they look good on my M38's.  :D

As for doing wheelies, that is all part of the comical and pun intended fun.  

IMG_Aug162021at60013PM.jpg.abb3025c2aaf21a93bf8e6168b404458.jpg

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1 hour ago, s2-g2 said:

Totally with you on that one, Simen.   Funny that the wheelies were never my favorite part of the WW designs too.   This is what attracted me to the LOSI conversion@Johan designed and sells (Magics Models) on Shapeways.    Such a fun build!

S2


Yeah, Johan/Harry/Martin (dude goes by many names) work was what inspired me to pick up the my CAD work after seeing his animation on youtube long time ago, and the chassis he designed/developed for the WW based on the LOSI platform. I have since played with the idea of making a tub chassis for the original WW that is not so heavy ibn the rear... I did make my first 4x4 Willy more than 16 years ago, but I felt it was to chunky...

img610_21042005124205_1_1100_.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Willy iine said:

Also WW2 body will never resemble the M38 body as the grill is different, hood is different, side handle moldings are all different, interior is different, windshield is different, roll cage is different, etc.   I am not trying to make a M38 out of the GF01 nor WR02.  

Well, not true - the main body can be made to match the original body with some effort, not hard, just work. I did that for the body I used on the GF-01 WW, which was initially made for a m38 runner... I opened the mounting holes that was filled in, and used it for the GF-01. As mentioned I've been collecting, restoring and modifying the WW for 20 years now, and know the model pretty well - I have designed the full body down to every detail in 3D long time ago, so I do not use any of the WW2 parts you mention, as I want even my convertions to look like the original WW as much as possible...

simensays_wild_willy_render_02.jpg

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@simensays  I believe you know what I meant, but without additional parts you won't be able to make a WW2 body into a M38 body.  Take for instance the grill, the windsheild frame and its mounting hardware, the roll cage, etc.  They are completely different.  Even the spare tire is different, jerrycan mounting hole size is different, etc.  You can surely put the effort into modifying and making it look similar to a M38 body using various parts and grinding the body, but my thought is why put in all that effort when the WW2 body is fine the way it is (looks good and much more robust), and the M38 bodies are still available for purchase.   I have both WW2 and M38 NIB bodies in storage for a rainy day, and both kits NIB as part of my collection.

My goal here is not to convert a WW2 into a M38.  Contrary, I want to keep the WW2 and M38 separate for the variety.   My goal is to make a one-off car for Willy that is unique and not something just available in a kit from Tamiya.  It does not even need to be a GP body as you may have seen on the Beetle TR I recently finished for Billy..  something easy to modify (I'm too dumb to do any CAD design), unique and comical looking in a M38 theme is what I am after.  

 

 

 

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I think these comments perfectly illustrate how wonderful it is that we all enjoy this hobby in diverse ways.

 

Last weekend I took a well used and beaten up Wild Willy 2 to a family gathering - we had four generations under one roof. 

 

There were constant squeals of delight from the ten year-olds as they popped wheelies down the road, annoyed grandma by putting tracks in her otherwise pristine front lawn and scared the neighbours cats.

 

Needless to say we’ll probably end up buying a couple of Wild Willy 2 kits for Christmas - how fantastic that it still brings young new entrants to the hobby nearly 40 years after the first release - that has to be a good thing for the hobby and the children given the many screen based distractions.

 

Meanwhile I’ll get back to some CAD enhancements (oh the irony!) and preparing another shelf queen!

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10 hours ago, Willy iine said:

My goal is to make a one-off car for Willy that is unique and not something just available in a kit from Tamiya.  Something [...] in a M38 theme is what I am after.  

You have done an awesome job with the theme and consistency in your models, all with incredible paintwork! They present very well as individual pieces, as well as a collection indeed.

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24 minutes ago, simensays said:

You have done an awesome job with the theme and consistency in your models, all with incredible paintwork! They present very well as individual pieces, as well as a collection indeed.

Thanks!  It’s great inventors like yourself that allows me to use your creations and apply to my models.  Keep up the great work!  

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