**FINAL UPDATE** Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build
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#1: **FINAL UPDATE** Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build Author: nasrudin PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:51 am
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So, a few months ago I bought the badass THRUSTMASTER T500 RS racing wheel which basically costs like twice as much as a playstation 3.

It quickly became obvious that a piece of hardware like this requires a setup to do it justice, so I started investigating racing seat options.

After lots of browsing it also became obvious that the price and quality of the many available steering wheel cockpits was totally unacceptable.
Most of the good ones are manufactured overseas, cost upwards of $1500, and even then there was no guarantee that the wheel would mount well and the seating dimensions would be perfect (at those prices, it had better be damn perfect).

If I went below the ~$1000 threshold, the engineering of the products was generally crap city, with asinine designs like a pole sitting in between your legs and a chassis that had unacceptable levels of flexing and rattling.
Totally lame.

So the only option left was to build a chassis myself.
Enlisting the woodworking talents of my friend Bruce C.,
we set out to make a chassis ourselves with the following goals:

1. Recreate the exact seating geometry from my E46 M3.
2. Super rigidity and stability.
3. Don't spend $1500.
4. Be able to remove the nerd device from my living room at select times so as not to interfere with girl seduction schemes.

First, I drew up a plan that represented the current precise geometry of my seating position in my car:



Next, I obtained an E36 seat for free from JimsR on this forum.
The seat was dirty as hell, but after cleaning and cleaning and leatheriqueing over about two weeks the result was quite good.
I removed the dirty net from the backrest and sawed off the seat belt thingy:



It just so turned out the the E36 seat was actually very close in dimension to my M3 seats. Here, I have taken measurements of the E36 seat, the T500 wheel and pedals, and overlaid them on top of my original geometry sketch:



It just so turned out that the E36's seat was very close in dimension to my car seat setup, but in order to make the manual E36 seat match the exact same angle, we would have to mount this seat at a 7 degree incline. Here is Bruce measuring the wooden rails that we will bolt the seat rails onto:



Now, in order to simplify some of the construction we planned to drill a hole through a wooden rail, and mount the seat rails to the wooden rail using tee nuts, which are nice fasteners that are hammered into wood on one end, and have a threaded hole for a bolt to go through.

It turned out that the bolt size of the seat rail was M12, but after calling numerous vendors that specialized in "hard to find" and "metric" fasteners it was just impossible to get tee nuts in that size. So, I ended up boring out the seat rail holes to 1/2" with a dremel, which was actually quite easy and only required about 0.7mm of boring. Here you can see the wooden rail attached to the seat bolt, the tee nuts with 1/2" bolts threaded through them are facing the camera:



Here is the seat with the posts fastened, with my angle locator on top verifying that the bottom surface is at the exact desired angle:



Next, we built a box around the posts, centered about the seating position, which was a bit tricky because the seat itself is not at all in the center of the rails:



Some time shortly before this point, we decided to engineer the construction in two modular parts which we would later fasten together, so that the chassis can be broken down and moved relatively easily. Hopefully this will not compromise the rigidity of the final structure.

Next, we started building the front component which will house the steering wheel and pedals. The dimensions of the T500 wheel were just different enough to make its exact position unclear, so we built two supports deliberately higher than we need to, so we can test-fit the mounting surface of the wheel first before we finalize the position. Clearance for the legs is also a concern. By the way, the steering wheel's mounting surface needs to be rotated by 6 degrees to match the angle of my car's wheel:



Well, that's our current progress. More to come!


Last edited by nasrudin on Sat May 21, 2011 11:02 am; edited 5 times in total

#2: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: xAZxE30x PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:07 am
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nice!! Cant wait to see it done. I have been wanting to do this for some time now.. but GT5 has taken a back seat lately

#3: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: giantkeeperLocation: ┌П┐(•_•)┌П┐ PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:00 am
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Bro, you'll never get the nerd out of your house after that build Wink

#4: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: SimTechDJ PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:30 am
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TRULY AWESOME!!!

#5: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: dhahlen PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:39 am
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nice

#6: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: nasrudin PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:27 am
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giantkeeper wrote:
Bro, you'll never get the nerd out of your house after that build Wink

it's been a lost cause for quite some time, it's all been a cover-up.

#7: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: oreoe34 PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:31 am
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SWEEETTT!!!!!!

#8: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: bastarde38Location: Mesa PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:30 am
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with that thing in your house im not sure you will have the time to even find females.

#9: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: lsbm3nm PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:48 am
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bastarde38 wrote:
with that thing in your house im not sure you will have the time to even find females.

This will never be a true statement. Btw, nice build progress so far Ara.

#10: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: JimsR PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:45 pm
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Looks good! Can't wait to see the finished product.

#11: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: nasrudin PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:47 pm
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JimsR wrote:
Looks good! Can't wait to see the finished product.

Dude, I retrieved like headphones, report cards, stickers and nixon-era newspapers out of the crevices of the seat while cleaning it. Okay, maybe not the newspapers. You can have the headphones back if you want Very Happy

#12: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: JimsR PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:23 pm
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Shocked

#13: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: NOM3RCY PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:49 pm
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Make it look like this.... DO IT NOW Twisted Evil

#14: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: nasrudin PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:29 am
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I hate that style of racing position. As I have already said, the "single pole" support holding the wheel up is garbage, as they are usually not built with sufficiently rigid materials. Looks sexy though, but I will not be sleeping with the chassis.

I have the utmost amazement and respect for F1 drivers, who can sit like that, with their eyes just barely above the car body and all kinds of equipment right in the middle of their line of sight, and still drive like badasses.

#15: Re: Ara's Video Game Racing Chassis Build (giant pics i Author: NOM3RCY PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:01 am
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Yeah I just like the looks of that set up, really sleek and clean. When are you going to post more pictures if your build? I'm interested in seeing how this turns out.



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