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Old 01-14-2008, 09:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sterling Kit Car

Hello -

The eye candy thread reminded me of this kit car :

Sterling Sports Cars
http://www.sterlingsportscars.com/index/index.html

Quote:
New Sterling owners now have the opportunity to choose a Sterling kit to fit their budget and skill level. The timeless style of the Sterling component car of the 70’s with its classic VW chassis is still our most popular version. It is one of the easiest and quickest kit cars to build at a great price. Our new mid engine chassis with its round tubing has over two years of research and development time. It was developed to accommodate a wider range of engine configurations. Due out soon is out rear engine chassis also with round tubing to be used as a replacement for the classic VW beetle chassis on original Sterlings.
Does this look like a good car aerodynamically? I am guessing, "yes, if you close up some gaps".

The basic kit is $9K and can be put on an original beetle chassis. However, I think it would be nicer to have a newer/cleaner emissions drivetrain. Assuming this is a good platform for ecomodding, what would be a good clean engine for this that would just "fit right in"? A late model Porsche engine that has been detuned for MPG? In at least one instance, a person made this into an electric :

Eco Sterling
http://www.sterlingsportscars.com/in..._Sterling.html



CarloSW2

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Old 01-14-2008, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What's wrong with an EV?

I personally, would go for something like a hybrid drivetrain from a wrecked insight or prius if I could find one.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On a kit car nothing really fits right in

Unless you get a turnkey car there is always a lot of little stuff to do. Wiring is usually the one that scares people. Having custom fit cv joints and a half dozen brackets for random things takes a lot more time and effort than you would think initially. Even when everything bolts right in there are still a lot of unforeseen problems that show up once you actually try to start using the car. Mainly because no matter how basic the swap you are still taking something that was designed to do one thing and you are making it do another.

You can get a vw style frame that fits most kit bodys and can use a gm front wheel drive setup for the drivetrain but then you are going to be spending a lot of money to get it done. That is the easiest way to do it with no welding. Building a kit car is really fun but it takes 10x the time and 5x the money you think it will to do it right. Just look at my never ending kit carproject that has not been touched in a few years...
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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SVOboy -

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
What's wrong with an EV?

I personally, would go for something like a hybrid drivetrain from a wrecked insight or prius if I could find one.
An EV would be great, but I always think "100 Mile" commute. Wrecked hybrids? There's also the mild-hybrid Saturn VUE or Ford Escape. Less ambitious, but maybe easier to lay one's hands on a wrecked one.

I also have a nostalgia for the "cheap kit cars" that were beetle based. It seems to me that it would be easier to just "drop in" a VW/Porsche boxer engine than retooling the chassis for a different powerplant. There used to be places that would sell you a "rolling chassis" of a vw beetle that could be shortened to your kit car's specifications. I don't have the skillzz for either project, but a "normal" drivetrain seems less ambitious to me.

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Last edited by cfg83; 02-10-2009 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Coyote X -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote X View Post
On a kit car nothing really fits right in

Unless you get a turnkey car there is always a lot of little stuff to do. Wiring is usually the one that scares people. Having custom fit cv joints and a half dozen brackets for random things takes a lot more time and effort than you would think initially. Even when everything bolts right in there are still a lot of unforeseen problems that show up once you actually try to start using the car. Mainly because no matter how basic the swap you are still taking something that was designed to do one thing and you are making it do another.

You can get a vw style frame that fits most kit bodys and can use a gm front wheel drive setup for the drivetrain but then you are going to be spending a lot of money to get it done. That is the easiest way to do it with no welding. Building a kit car is really fun but it takes 10x the time and 5x the money you think it will to do it right. Just look at my never ending kit carproject that has not been touched in a few years...
That's one reason why I was trying to think basic, i.e. use an original unmodified vw beetle belly-pan chassis with the engine and stuff all plugged in and ready to go (at least at first). The idea is to leverage the VW beetle subculture to get lots of ready-made drivetrain parts. Maybe the subculture ain't what it used to be, but it's still there.

I agree that it would take a lonnnnnnnggggggg time to do.

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Old 01-14-2008, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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really if you got an air cooled bug powered kit car it would probably get 35mpg as is. Add fuel injection to it with a wideband o2 and it would probably hit 45-50mpg.

Go to a 'half bug' engine and pick up even more mileage I think to mod a kit car to get good mileage the bug engine is as good as any engine to mod so you might as well stick with it. Adding a computer to a carb engine is really a lot easier than you think it would be so that would get rid of the biggest problem those engines had.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The VW flat four has some advantages and some disadvantages when it comes to radical modifications.

One of the biggest disadvantages is the air cooling; by necessity the pistons and rings must be set up more loosely compared to a water pumper, which makes for more blowby.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The eye can be fooled.

Don't get all hot over various kit cars. Aerodynamics is not something
you can judge by eye. The Sterling, or Nova, or one of several names
this kit has been sole under was originally designed back in the early
seventies and the looks are nicer than the aerodynamics.
However, if someone is looking to create an EV one of the lightweight
kit cars would be a good start. But, finding a new one could prove difficult
as the entire kit car industry took a hit when the dot com bubble burst.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It can have an awful Cd and get away with it because the frontal area is so small.

Not saying the Cd is bad either!
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerkOfAllTrades View Post
Don't get all hot over various kit cars. Aerodynamics is not something
you can judge by eye.
Well, it's not something the average person is going to be able to judge effectively. Once you have pored over enough tables of drag coefficients next to pictures of cars and objects, and have googled enough to know the basic principles of aerodynamics, a person can get a good first approximation by eyeballing.

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