View Full Version : ProtoLite Car Complete

05-17-2006, 09:02 AM
Here is my car "ProtoLite" finally finished (except for the new rims that are not here yet) I say finished, but we will always be testing and performance tuning, and improving.

We built 2 cars, and I'm sure the other car pics will be posted soon.

Here are some specs.

Motor: GSXR 600 fuel inj. 103 HP
Wheel base front to back : 76"
Track width: 68-70"
Roll cage : .083 thick X 1.5 Dia tubing
suspension travel: 12" ish Fox 2.0 air shox

Have friend who races late models showing up tonight with 4 car scales so we will find out weight and balance. That will be interesting. I am guessing 750-800 lbs

Also throwing in the design cad pic.

05-17-2006, 09:05 AM
More pics

Protolite 2
05-17-2006, 09:18 AM
Here are some pictures of the other car

05-17-2006, 10:11 PM
Here is my car "ProtoLite" finally finished (except for the new rims that are not here yet) I say finished, but we will always be testing and performance tuning, and improving.

We built 2 cars, and I'm sure the other car pics will be posted soon.

Here are some specs.

Motor: GSXR 600 fuel inj. 103 HP
Wheel base front to back : 76"
Track width: 68-70"
Roll cage : .083 thick X 1.5 Dia tubing
suspension travel: 12" ish Fox 2.0 air shox

Have friend who races late models showing up tonight with 4 car scales so we will find out weight and balance. That will be interesting. I am guessing 750-800 lbs

Also throwing in the design cad pic.

874 lbs 8)

05-18-2006, 06:15 AM
940lbs with a few gallons of gas in, a bit more than I thought. I guess the panels and aluminum skid plates added abit.
59% rear and 41% front with driver in. Should fly nicely.

05-22-2006, 03:57 PM
Posted this in the racing, stories section, I guess it falls under both catagories?? Anyhow you need real player to view the video

1st flat track race of the season


There were only 3 cars that made it to this race. We had a couple of mechanical failures, but what a blast. I burned up one of the rear wheel bearings in the 1st heat race and did not bring a spare, so I did not run the feature race,,,,bummer. I was planning on changing over the rear drive train bearings after the race,,,,,guess I should have sooner.
The track was rough and muddy. We had the car shocks set up for my flat track which was way too soft for these track conditions. It would have been better if we could have made the test & tune the week before to get them dialed in.
We added 30lbs nitro to Dan's front shocks for the feature which helped alot.
We may also need to gear a touch lower yet. It was a fun race to watch even if I was sitting in the stands.
Dan took the lead, but then lost it with 3 laps to go due to the brake system building pressure and locking up the fronts. After the race, found out that it was a forgotten piece of duct tape covering the master cylinder vent hole . But all in all we were happy with how the cars performed for the 1st time racing. We have our list of tuning improvements to do before the next race, but can't wait.

Below is a link to a video of the feature race.


05-22-2006, 04:12 PM
Looks like a lot of fun!

05-22-2006, 09:16 PM
definetly looks like they dont come on out of the corners, but they will im sure with a little tuning, didnt make it over sunday, was pretty windy and not the favorable of temp, wife didnt want to take the babies out! were on a roll to 13 month old never has had a fever, moma watches closely!!!!

Cant wait to get mine done now, may have to go visit the cu and get me some more money to get it done! 8)

05-24-2006, 09:05 AM
Learned a ton about brakes now.
It was not the duct tape, but we had moisture in the brake fliud that caused the pressure bulding in the brakes causing the front wheels to lock up.
The best lessons are learned the hard way. I was not aware that brake fluid can draw moisture out of the air and get contaminated.

Another lesson learned, The 3/16 abs plastic we used for panels expands easily when out in the hot sun, causing a slight buckle between mounting points.
Silicone caulk on the back side will help this on rivited panels, and a aluminim backer under the hood which is removable.
I was going to change over to all aluminum panels and powder coat, but after seeing how bad you get blasted by gravel rooster tails when you are right on someones ass chasing them around the track....I will keep the plastic for racing. It proved to be very durable and if I had powder coated aluminum panels in the front, they would not look so nice after the 1st race.

05-24-2006, 10:59 AM
That was an awsome race........the only thing that would have made it better is..............if you WON...............anyway it looks like you had a GREAT time......good job.............. :lol: :lol: :lol:

05-25-2006, 10:37 AM
Here is a link to the 1st heat race that I was in, my rear wheel bearing blew out in this one, but I did not know until I was back in the pits.
I am putting hi speed/ load bearings in now.


Another thing as you will see is that I stalled it off the line. For some reason, I can't get the low end engagment out of my 2003 gsxr 600.
I ran it yesterday and it was the same thing. I will rev up to 10000 rpms and dump the clutch only to have it bog right down to 3000 rpms and the power band really starting to kick at 6000. If I start at 7000 it will most likely stall?????
The 2004 gsxr 600 that my brother runs does not have this issue, it lights them up.
Same sprockets, same rear tires and everything except for different year motors.
2003/2004 was a model change year and they changed a few things like the throttle body size and a little bit of gearing in the bike tranny, but this seems odd to me. Is there more torque in the 2004?
We are both switching to 50t rear sprockets to gear it down some more.

I am not that familiar with the " power commander' but would something like that give me options on changing the powerband range if needed?

04-18-2007, 09:20 AM
Wow, been a long time since I posted in this thread, but it seems like the best place to continue.

Whole season of racing last summer was awsome, learned alot and now I am gearing up for this season.
Car has a 930 cv drive train in it now, which added several more inches of travel

Some of the *plastic panels I had turned brittle and cracked this winter . *From the heat cycles this summer to the cold Michigan winter was too much for some of them. *Plastic was nice to work with, and nice to have the color go all the way thru versus paint, but time to try something else for long term.

Unlike previuosly stated, I am going with aluminum panels & powder coat. * The other 2 buggies have gone with steel panels powder coat.

We will do some comparison tests this racing season to see which is better , Alum or steel.

I am using 0.080" 6061 alumnium. *It is abit thicker than needed, but I usually overbuild to last. *
When making these panels, Dan picked up some really sweet fabrication pins
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/s ... _760577_-1 (http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product2_10001_10002_760577_-1)

These were a huge time saver, and made panel work alot easier. *They are a spring loaded 3/16 pin that temporarily holds the panel in place instead of a rivet or bolt. *Panels go on & off in no time while you are working on them. *Pretty cheap too.

04-18-2007, 09:40 AM
Aluminum *6061 0.080" x 4x8 sheet $180
1 sheet is just right for all the panels on 1 car,,,,,,,,,,,,,screw up 1 panel and you have to buy a secound sheet,,,,,, [smilie=banghead.gif]
Sheet #2 * $180 [smilie=blush.gif]
Powdercoat $100
New vinyl graphics $230ish

Just dropped off the panels yesterday to the powdercoat place, he says a day or 2. *New panels will be black with prism metal flake in them,,,,,,,,,,,,,that is the stuff that changes color in the sunlight.

The graphics will be the same as the show panels

04-18-2007, 09:47 AM
Just one comment biautifuuuuul *[smilie=blowkiss.gif] love it, look awsome, we use a lot of this clip in our plane

04-18-2007, 09:52 AM
The girl or the car??????????? *Thanks

04-18-2007, 11:24 AM
I was always curious how well powder coat would stick to aluminum. *Jodi, do you know if they rough it up first or etch it with phosphoric acid?

The aluminum work looks real good on the buggy...how did you form the curves? *By hand or other tool?

04-18-2007, 11:32 AM
The "package"

04-18-2007, 11:34 AM
To my knowledge they do not have to do anything special, at least they never mentioned anything. We have had our fuel cells powder coated, and they did not mention anything *either.

I have a hand sheet metal brake that we made, and shimmed it to have a 1/4 gap to bend the .080 aluminum,,,,,that way there are no sharp lines in the bends. *Then it is just alot of small bends to create a smooth curve and fit the panel to the frame.

04-18-2007, 11:38 AM
I *know one is a good ride,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but did not get a chance to test the other [smilie=biggrin.gif]

04-18-2007, 03:29 PM
I believe they etch everything with acid, i am posative that magnum acid etched stuff prior to powder...I like the package as well.... [smilie=biggrin.gif] Wonder if them jugs are ported and polished, or just got sleeves in them... [smilie=biggrin.gif]

04-18-2007, 05:43 PM
Could be on the alum powdercoat,,,,just never asked. I will try to ask when I pick them up.
I think they (jugs) were all original equipment, but I was willing to polish them,,,,,,but the wife might not agree with me offering such modifications [smilie=blink.gif]

04-18-2007, 05:49 PM
well you could let her polish one and you the other, lol.....Damn you guys warp my mind, lol.....

04-18-2007, 06:00 PM
Ya, why was I being so selfish,,,,,,,should have brought her in on the deal [smilie=grouphug.gif]

04-20-2007, 09:53 PM
you guys arnt even right! *[smilie=biggrin.gif] that is one beautiful buggy nice job. Any plans headed out yet? G

04-20-2007, 10:50 PM
Really nicely done.
I had to start way back and re read this entire post.
Good post and well done.

You never did say what caused your power loss from it stalling on takes off?
How did you solve that?
And how did the new sprocket work?

The car looks fast and thats sitting still in the photos.
Nicely done.

Good luck on the rest of the seasons racing.


Oh and on aluminum powder coaters will sand blast it to
rough it up to stick or I should say atleast thats what our powder coater

04-21-2007, 10:30 AM
Mine too.

04-25-2007, 01:14 PM
No plans yet. I have 2D prints about 70% complete, but not sure if I want to go that route or not. It would end up being a book when done. *I have the whole design in 3D cad, but I always keep coming up with small improvements, so it is easier to keep the 3D design current and keep improving the buggy.
About the cheapest thing I can do is a chassis, and all the machined components, and then let the customer take over to complete the buggy and buy all the purchased components. *

My powder coat place said all they do is an acid wash to the aluminum panels. *I have them back and they are sweet.
They have prisim flake or halographic flake in them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so they are black, but then change colors in the sunlight, red, blue, green, it keeps changing as you walk around it.

I have to wait for a sunny day to take some more pics

Also posted in the I 96 test & tune thread, here is some video from the 1/4 mile track we were at last weekend


04-25-2007, 09:34 PM
regardless of which way you go, that is one sweet ride! keep up the awesome job and keep the pics coming thanx G

04-30-2007, 02:06 PM
New powder coated panels are on, and the vinyl graphics.
I pretty much *have the same thing as the show panels. *The show panels were clear lexan and the new ones are powder coated aluminum.

You can't see it well in most of the pics, but there is halographic or prisim flake in the black. *Changes colors in the sunlight when you walk around it.

Dan has new panels and graphics on his as well *(orange & white)

Duanes is done , except for the numbers or graphics. *He got to test drive it around the track this past Saturday. Everything is working well on it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and he has a really big smile on his face [smilie=boogie.gif]

04-30-2007, 02:11 PM
Here are some more.
Few small things to do, but *pretty much ready for a season of racing

05-13-2007, 09:41 AM
Looks Like Great Fun Needs Some Jumps On The Track The
Buggys Look Awesome.

05-13-2007, 05:57 PM
Thanks,,,,We will be racing on a track this coming weekend with jumps, it is gonna be fun

05-23-2007, 07:38 PM
Saw ya at the Lansing show. You're up at Door,I think?. Have you thought about running *those at Silver Lake or Baldwin trails? DORR that is.

05-24-2007, 01:49 AM
Nice going Proto! *[smilie=boogie.gif]

05-24-2007, 07:56 AM
Thanks Rorty
Tinman, sure I remember seeing you at the show.
Yes we have been to Silver Lake with them, and what a blast. They do awsome in the sand.
Nice smooth ride at 80mph plus floating across the sand
I have not been to Baldwin yet but it is on my list for the summer.

05-24-2007, 11:45 PM
Those little cars are bitchen looking! *What do they weigh? *And do you know what kind of HP you're putting to the rear wheels?

05-25-2007, 06:13 AM
Thanks, *they weigh around 930lbs. * *We use 1 1/2 tubing and all our plate/ laser parts are .25, *so they are built heavy duty,,,,hence the weight.

GSXR 600 is the power plant, (103 hp stock) *Aftermarket airfilter and exhaust with a PowerComander 3 may boost that up a bit.
our gearing is setup for top speed of around 120ish. *I've had it up to 92mph (GPS) and it was smooth [smilie=shocker.gif]

This is posted in another thread, but here is a link to some video last weekend.* **http://www.youtube.com/protolite31

07-21-2007, 01:34 AM
Jody or Dan..........What are you guys useing for a rock screen?I can't recall from seeing your cars in person.Pic's look like you use wire ties to hold them in place.Oh, your cars rock, by the way [smilie=bow.gif]

Protolite 2
07-21-2007, 09:39 AM
We used 1/2" screen that we picked up at a local farm store. last year we zipped tied the screen to the rollcage, This past winter we made metal frames that bolt on the car then welded the screen to the inside of it. It works a lot better than the zip ties. what did you figure out on your car ? hope to see you come back out for some more. you were right there most of the time, We had a lot of people that could not believe you saved it from rolling over, pretty impresive. Just glad we got that on video.

07-22-2007, 01:28 PM
Thanks Dan. I would be there every race if it was possible.You guys got me hooked now.I will make at least one more this year,maybe 2 we'll see.I've got my engine out now.I will rering it,add a rad fan,rock screen, and strengthen some weak areas i have.I would'nt call the save so much skill as luck, but it was fun.Can't wait to get back [smilie=biggrin.gif]