Saturday, October 24, 2009

Local Motors Flip Cam Giveaway with Exclusive Rally Fighter Build Content

This could be yours.

A Flip Cam with video of exclusive Rally Fighter build content.

All you have to do is guess when the Rally Fighter will be completed.

Just make your best guess via Twitter by clicking this link & filling in the date and time you think it will be finished:

I think the Rally Fighter will be finished on 0/0 at 00:00 am #localmotors

Sure, with this exclusive content you will likely learn a thing or two about car building and the Rally Fighter build process, but you will also get a chance to see team triumphs & late night pranks. Maybe you'll meet my girlfriend who now visits me at Local Motors headquarters because I rarely return home (we've been pulling some late nights working on the build!) You might get to hear some of Jay Rogers incredible ability to quote just about any movie you can think of.

Who KNOWS what the exclusive content will include?

You can win this AND the Flip Cam if you are the closest to guess the day and time the Rally Fighter build will be complete.

Hint: The Rally Fighter will be premiered at SEMA on November 3rd in the "Making Green Cool Zone" (booth #30215).


1.) Price is Right Rules apply. Over-bidders are disqualified (have some faith, people!).

2.) You can only guess ONCE (yes, we check).

3.) Only the guesses which are tweeted prior to the Rally Fighter build completion will be eligible.

Follow this blog or our Twitter for regular Rally Fighter build updates to help you.

Go Local!

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Ever Engine Install

Another Great Success today! After getting the control arms, chassis, and engine/trans cradle back from the powder coater (Prism Powder Coating just down the street from us) we got busy making the final preparations to install the engine such as bolting the engine and transmission mounts in place, bolting the cradle to those mounts.

Once those things were done, we were ready to begin the install, which took a little finesse since it was the first time we were marrying engine and trans to chassis, but overall the process went very smooth. Overall an amazing job well done by our Build Team to make sure things came together according to plan. Special thanks to Prism for getting the job done on such short notice.

More pics to follow tomorrow. For now, some much needed rest.

Chassis off Jig Table and Going for Powdercoating

Colby, Dave and I had to pull an all nighter to make it happen (we had several of the LM team and our Build Team assist late into the night)but we just finished the chassis and got it off the table and on to the powder coating rack.

The shocks also arrived today, so once we get the chassis back from the local powder coater, we will put them on the chassis and get it rolling post haste.

Here's a few pictures from the day/night. Check out the Build Page for more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SEMA Build Progress from Day 7

Today is the 7th day of what has seemed like one long unending day of build excitement from our Rally Fighter Build Team at LM, so I thought I'd share a few pictures of today's progress. Check the build page for more images.

Some of the projects include, but are not limited to, applying wax for the flooring molds, bumper placement, body mounts, door linkage, and front lower control arms.

Vegas (and the North American Southwest) better be ready!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

BMW 3.0L Diesel Engine Turned Over for First Time

The headline pretty much says it all. We fired the engine for the first time just a few minutes ago. To accomplish something like this with even the simplest of engines without any major "gremlins" (electrical or otherwise) is a real feat in itself, but to do so with such a complex electrical system as the one we started out with from BMW and to determine all of the components needed and not needed to fire the engine is a major accomplishment. We can't fire the engine and let it run just yet because as you can see in the video, it's only mounted to our dolly that we use to move it around the shop, so once we get it mounted in the vehicle we'll fire it up and post some new pictures and video.

Therefore, thanks have to go out to Steve and Oliver from ATG on delivering a stand-alone solution. Congratulations also go out to Colby Whipple from the team here at LM for installing all of the accessories on the engine with little to no information. And of course congrats to veteran Factory Five builders/owners turned Local Motors Build Team members Henry and Steve for deciphering the complex bundle of wires, modules and junction boxes which to them was a sight unseen until they opened the box delivered by ATG. Their knowledge from previous builds was invaluable in making this happen today. The power of the community at work for sure!

Now we need to get the engine and transmission into the chassis so we can run the engine.

Here at LM we mark these monumental moments with a ring of the bell hanging in the office and a shout of "Great Success!" in our best Borat voice. Check out the picture of Henry and Steve as they join in on the tradition.

Also check out the post firing pic of the team on hand for the day, (L to R) Dana, Ernie, Henry, Dave, Brian, Colby, Mike, Jay, Steve.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Body On Chassis for First time Ever

A few images from late last night. We set the body on the chassis for the first time last night, and IT FITS!!! Always a tense and exciting moment when this happens for the first time, especially since we developed this chassis and body a bit different than we're (Dave, Colby and myself) used to. Typically, we will develop the chassis in the computer as we're building it, and while that's happening, away from the chassis, the body is being shaped by hand, molds made, and a first article popped from the mold. Once the chassis is mostly done (minus the roll cage), we will fit a body over it, and develop the bars to fit inside the body in physical space, then draw them on the computer.

This time around (a more efficient and more accurate way in terms of having a production solution) we stuck our necks out quite a bit and did all of the design (body and chassis) in the computer, built the main chassis to completion here in Wareham, while the body patterns were milled on the West Coast, then a body made in Rhode Island (the next state over, about an hour away). Also, I designed the roll cage using rolled tubes to fit along the curvature of the cockpit to allow more headroom and allow better fitment of interior panels, roof liners etc.(and it looks cool) so that added to our apprehension when it came time to set the body on the chassis. Basically, we set it right on the chassis and it fit right away. Usually there are some tweaks that have to be made here and there and sometimes you get some serious interference...not this time.

After that was done, we were all able to sleep much better (even though I slept in the office on the old aero bed to save the 2 hours I'd lose driving home to Boston, then back in the morning).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First Ever Rally Fighter Center Section, Hood and Trunk Arrive at LM HQ

Here's an image of the Center Section (doors and windows not cut out yet), the Hood and the trunk that arrived today. These are part of the very first set of Rally Fighter panels ever produced, so needless to say, we're very excited and can't wait to mount them on the chassis which you can see in the background (Awaiting roll cage tubes, which are due to arrive in a few days from now). The panels have been trimmed using the scribes we designed into the molds, and both the hood and the trunk have the inner liners bonded to the outer skins.

As you can see in the image, we couldn't help ourselves so Dave trimmed the body in a few places to install a few components like the tail lights, gas cap and the side vent.

Stay tuned for more images of these panels and the carbon fiber panels which are also due to arrive soon. Also, there are more pictures from today posted on the Build Page, so check it out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Alternative Engine Update - Scuderi Engine...First Video Ever

Yesterday, Scuderi released video - the first ever - of it's Split Cycle engine. It sounds good, but I would have really liked to hear them get into it a little bit to hear how it sounds other than at a constant RPM. With the promise of high horsepower (140 hp per liter) and Diesel-like torque output, it would be great to pair it with a soundtrack.

Oh, how they love to keep us gearheads in suspense! Click the link above for the video clip on the Scuderi site.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Major Milestone - First Body Panels and Molds

Yesterday, we received most of the patterns and molds for the Rally Fighter. Also, when Dave met the truck driver delivering the molds/patterns at our body supplier, he was able to bring back the very first Rally Fighter Body panel, which you can see is the Driver Side front Quarter Panel. As expected, the panel is a high quality (although not Class A surface, it's pretty close) lightweight, sturdy piece. We set the side marker light in the panel to check fitment and it fits just as expected.

Also, if you visit the Build Page, you can see that the center section mold was delivered and is also of a quality construction and matches the initial concept for the structure our supplier created.

Check the build page for more pictures of these parts and stay tuned for many others!