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AndyP57 13th January 2013 08:04

Not so much news as a question to all of you regarding frames.

I've no intention of completely discontinuing the frame idea in lieu of the 'cut down tub' approach as I see that as an alternative if your donor tub has enough life in it, but for those needing a frame, if you were given a choice of being supplied a completed frame or having a set of drawings available (Maybe as a download from the web site or this forum) so you could make your own, what percentage of you would opt to DIY against those who would pay to have the frame supplied?

Note that this in no way implies that I'm thinking of not supplying the frame in the future, just gauging the demand.

Viatron 13th January 2013 12:26

I'd be happy to fab my own frame from drawings, bearing in mind the variance in these cars it may be the way to go?

oxford1360 13th January 2013 12:46

Plans to fab your own frame would get the thumbs-up from me.

seanick 13th January 2013 14:08

Constructing ones own frame from scratch is fine if youare experianced and can produce proffesional quality welds :tape2:
The difference between blobbing something together with a budget MIG and producing smooth fluid welds with the correct level of deposition and penetration. Unfortunately, you will only find out how good your welds are when you have crash, and your welds fail
. The result could be being speared by bits of box section, or, when. Your seatbelt mounts fail, being speared on your non collapsible steering column....

I dont want to br prophet of doom here, but I did a City and Guilds welding course about 26 years ago, and after 26 years regular practice l know I still have room for improvement!
This observation is not meant to be negative, just my own observations.

The other issue is that any bodyshell has to be perfectly symmetrical to match a possibly symmetrical frame, and visa versa. Can of worms here.

Right, Ill get my coat.:icon_eek:

Viatron 13th January 2013 14:29

Andy has already stated that the option to self build would not replace the option to buy a factory frame, im happy with my welding and have crash tested it on the race car on a couple of occassions with no visits to hospital :-), horses for courses i think.

AndyP57 13th January 2013 14:29

Agreed. But in the same way as we subcontract the frames locally here to a time served welder, those who elect to go by plans need not do it themselves but have a local engineer fabricate it. This way the builder would benefit in two ways. Firstly by saving carriage weight to their part of the country and secondly (and more importantly) in having the final say in where bracketry, tank mounts etc. should go. They would also have complete control over the finished article's quality. Of course we would always remain an option in that you would order your kit 'with frame'

seanick 13th January 2013 14:40


Originally Posted by Viatron (Post 38942)
Andy has already stated that the option to self build would not replace the option to buy a factory frame, im happy with my welding and have crash tested it on the race car on a couple of occassions with no visits to hospital :-), horses for courses i think.

Ouch! You obviously are an experienced operator! Tell us about your race car?
My concern is for those who chose to learn to weld for the purpose of building say this frame. Good idea to reduce postal costs, but it should fit inside the body shell?

davecymru 13th January 2013 15:23

My 2p is that given the already relatively minimal cost for purchasing the frame I cant see this as a major money saver, but there are always going to be people who want to do it themselves, so why not?

Paul D 13th January 2013 16:44

When I heard about the Sammio in September 2009, the talk from Gary was very much to 'make your own frame'. I understood from him that this was common for special builders in the 50's. Problem was, there were no plans or even a rough sketch to follow. Absolutely nothing at all. We ordered a body and frame together because I wasn't confident about creating the design - not because of worries about building it. After all, plenty of us have rebuilt the Herald chassis by learning the hard way.

If plans had been available I for one would have gone that route. In fact if you factor in all the mods we made to our frame to make it line up with our chassis, we practically re-built it anyway. One issue would be the mounting plates though, How about selling a set of plans with a material specification sheet, and a pre-drilled set of mounting plates to be welded on?

Finally, the original spirit of the Sammio was a low entry cost product. offering frame plans allows people to buy into the idea initially & get started on the donor whilst saving up for the body package.

A set of plans as an alternative gets my vote.

Mister Towed 13th January 2013 16:58

As a self taught novice using a cheap mma stick welder I've chopped, changed and fabricated so many parts of my frame that I'm confident I could've made it from plans myself and acheived a better fit.

However, eighteen months ago I'd never tried welding and probably never would have if my chassis hadn't been so rotten. To be honest, if the only option had been to fabricate my own frame it would have put me off buying the kit as I would've felt that it was beyond my abilities, and finding a reliable machine shop to do stuff these days is getting pretty hard.

I'd offer both options - an 'off the shelf' frame for those who want the convenience, and a set of plans for those who want to do it themselves. After all, I guess you have the plans available and own the copyright?

oxford1360 13th January 2013 20:11


Originally Posted by Paul D (Post 38950)
One issue would be the mounting plates though, How about selling a set of plans with a material specification sheet, and a pre-drilled set of mounting plates to be welded on.

When I bought my body (with no frame) from Gary he sold me a set of pre-drilled mounting plates for 20.

Viatron 14th January 2013 01:28

Current rebuild thread available here although its going to be more of a track toy now as cancer a few years ago has left me on drugs incompatible with a race licence:

Before this rebuild it wore the traditional lotus 7 style bodywork, some pics here:
Lots more of the GTA available in picture form here:

Sorry for the hijack Andy

oxford1360 18th January 2013 14:15

One thought regarding the separate hump that has been prompted by my plan to cut-off mine and to centre it on the seat........

You could strengthen it and make some discrete mountings and have it as a removable item. It would not be difficult to make it look neat with some sealing trim.

Then, some days you could have a car with one or two humps, and on other days a humpless beast.

Not sure whether I shall make mine removable but I have a fair bit of time to decide.

AndyP57 18th January 2013 14:26

Our thinking exactly! The hump we cut off the latest Navigator body might make a reappearance as a clip on item with space in it for gloves, goggles, first aid box and gaviscon :biggrin:

Viatron 18th January 2013 15:01

Liking the idea of separate humps as I want twin humps on mine but was always not happy at the way they were offset, at least being separate I can "play" with them to get them where I want them.

AndyP57 25th January 2013 11:10

We mentioned a move some time ago but it's taken longer than we had hoped with one offer falling down and another taking its place. We collected the keys for our new home today and will be moving in over the next week (or so) and starting production very soon afterwards (Many thanks for your patience, those who have been waiting on this).
Vastly bigger than the (now 3) units we are currently in and having a door that will accommodate bigger cars with 'wriggle room' will make things easier for us. The new address is:


With a new phone number following soon.

To give you an idea of the size of the place, here's a couple of photos taken today before anything gets moved in:

Viatron 25th January 2013 11:30

Very nice Andy, has it got any heating :-)

AndyP57 25th January 2013 11:35

The office is heated but we're looking at space heaters to take the chill off the main workshop. Great lighting though as there are lots of window areas in the ceiling which can be aided by the rows of fluorescents.

froggyman 25th January 2013 11:36

Wow that is some unit! Good luck with the move.
I would keep the 'Ribble' name tho as 'Leyland' just doesn't suit the car and its history is not that good either.

AndyP57 25th January 2013 11:44

Oh Aye. That's not changing again. We're still only a stones throw away from the river. (And yes, we're just across the road from Leyland Trucks)

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