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Old 05-02-2021, 06:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Default 43's Truck Stop: Upgrading Chassis

Somewhere in the _CW_ rules, it is stated one cannot upgrade a car's chassis once it's been built. Having done quite a bit of research over the years: This isn't *precisely* correct. (Note qualifier.)

Chassis strength does come from how it's designed -- in the 1960s, McLaren Can-Am racers found themselves with different configurations of steel-tube and aluminum-panel interiors, to gain structural strength for minimal weight gain (and when one is generating upwards of 700HP... :) ). In the "civilian" field: Early Ford Mustangs might have a "torque box" on the driver's side only, if it was a non-performance model; where a performance model would get them on both sides.

One *could* add the passenger-side box later, but that's where the problem starts: It's a hugely invasive procedure to get under the car, and add the torque box; or to replace a bunch of small steel tubes with larger (and more sturdy) tubes -- which means spending lots of money. Chances are, it's less expensive and time-consuming to build a new car.

If I needed to rule on what it would cost to upgrade (or downgrade?) the chassis of an already-built car: I'd go with at-minimum "2x the cost of the body *and* chassis", just to cover the complexities of the build.

It's possible -- it's just a pain to pull off. :)
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: 43's Truck Stop: Upgrading Chassis

Unless the car is stacked with components a cheaper way of doing it may be be a transplant of all components to a new chassis*.

If you were doing it yourself it would only cost 10% of the total value of the car less the cost of the old chassis plus the cost of the new chassis. It won't even take that long.

That is almost always going to cost less than the cost you mention.

If you got a garage to do it, you are also paying 1/3 equipment cost as the removal fee and 1/3 equipment cost +10% as the fitting fee**. This is going to be prohibitively expensive and you would probably be better off selling the entire car as salvage and buying a new one with the configuration you want. I tested this in the Shuriken Challenge.

Your suggestion at least gives us options. Now maybe those words should have been "you cannot cost effectively upgrade the chassis).


* It will depend if you count armour as a component (and how many components). By the rules as written armour is a single component and is salvageable as any other. We play that it is a component per facing.

** The rules are a bit vague on this. The purchase cost of a component includes fitting. Now if you are buying a replacement for a damaged engine does it also include the removal of the old engine? Does the salvage value of a component doesn't seem to include the cost to remove it from a vehicle (normally you strip the wreck yourself). But if it is part of a salvage car then it needn't be removed (but the cost of it being in the car should have consisted of 1/3 as a fitting fee!) S'complicated!
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: 43's Truck Stop: Upgrading Chassis

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Your suggestion at least gives us options. Now maybe those words should have been "you cannot cost effectively upgrade the chassis).
Hence why I said "chances are, it's less expensive and time-consuming to build a new car".

I have a subscription to Motor Trend On Demand -- lots of car-resto shows on there; and they're all consistent on that score: Chassis upgrades, or even basic chassis repairs (rust damage; cracked members; all the sorts of stuff which spell in your world "MOT Failure" :) ), are an absolutely *nightmare* to deal with... and that's before dealing with the "handyman" whose enthusiasm exceeds his talent. (One show contained a chassis where the battery holder was *actually* made using parts from an Erector Set -- the welder looking at it was Not Happy.)

You do make one cogent point: Labor Cost. Most of the expense of having work done is like the old Gallagher routine about who actually paid for the show: "You people in through here paid for the hall -- thank you very much. Rows behind that paid for the set -- thank *you* very much. [...] Then you paid for the insurance; and you paid for this, that, and the other; and that's why I love the balcony -- you're *my* money." Consider: These days, mechanics are charging $40-50-per-hour; the car part itself may be "only" $5, but then "you gotta buy all them extras, like: Do you want 'em on the car?". What one is really paying for is: The guy doing the job properly; the tools he's using to do the job properly; the shop he's in so he can do the job properly; etc.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:10 PM   #4
swordtart
 
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Default Re: 43's Truck Stop: Upgrading Chassis

I thought you comment was specifically with respect to your real world example rather than a comment on the CW rules.

But it seems we are in agreement, so all's well.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: 43's Truck Stop: Upgrading Chassis

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
I thought you comment was specifically with respect to your real world example rather than a comment on the CW rules.

But it seems we are in agreement, so all's well.
It's a bit of both, really. What I strive for is "realism, but explained such that someone who knows nothing of the subject can understand it". I remember when _Dueltrack_ came out, something Scott Haring wrote: He rattled off a bunch of gas-engine-tech terms, then said "to me, that's Greek"; that stuck with me, as I was forever having to deal with explaining what my father (an authentic Rocket Engineer -- if you've see a rocket landing vertically: He worked on it) did for a living to people who wouldn't know a Saturn V from a bottle-rocket. So I learned how to explain stuff in simple terms first, then moving on to minutiae. (I grew up near Hollywood, and surrounded by people who worked there; I learned "the Pitch; the Treatment; the Story". :) )
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