How do you achieve these results?

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I am impressed by those of you that toss box stock suspensions & other chassis/drivetrain components aside (even crisply molded ones) in order to scratchbuild a much more realistic & convincing one. Some of these are actually functional. My question is, how do you go about doing it? My hurdle in doing this is the lack of knowledge when trying to make something that would actually be seen on a real car. For example, I have a hard time identifying different rear differentials. They all look very similar to me (the OEM ones, anyway). If I wanted to make a beefier rear diff for say, a '68 Charger, how do you get the proportions right? Or if I wanted to make a modern suspension for an older muscle car, how do I find out what would be correct and realistic? Right now I just kitbash parts from similar makes, but I would love to learn how to do all of the above and then some. How do you do it? Reference material is a given, but with that its hard to know the correct size for each component when trying to replicate it in scale. Any help with this will be highly appreciated, and pics are a plus :)

Edited by TurboKitty

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Posted · Report post

First off I don't think many builders out there build rear diffs they mostly steal from other kits as for what type of suspension it comes down to research. Many older like the 68 charger had a duel leaf spring set up and to upgrade that to a modern suspension you would most likey go with a multi-link suspension. Research how such a suspension works and get the correct evergreen or plasitrut. I've build such a set-up in a studebaker so I could tuck a big set of slicks under it. Sorry no pics though. Each type of car though can be different. There are guys with a lot more knowledge who will be able to answer your question better I'm sure.

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Posted · Report post

I lied I did have a pic granted not a great one 013-vi.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Research, research and more research. A lot of the builders who do the more realistic and workable chassis, drivetrain and suspension work you refer to have probably been around real cars most of their lives, are 1:1 hot-rodders and car builders, or at least have spent a LOT of leisure time reading tech articles in mags like Hot Rod and Car Craft.

To build realistically, if that's what appeals to you (me too) takes a good understanding of how real cars actually work. One of the things I personally appreciate about this hobby is that it allowed me to begin learning about the functions of automobiles long before I had access to the real thing. I can only imagine how much more I could have learned if the tremendous knowledge-base available on the internet had been around when I was a kid.

As far as your hypothetical "If I wanted to make a beefier rear diff for say, a '68 Charger, how do you get the proportions right?" question goes, a lot of car 1:1 car builders these days will simply use a Ford 9", available as a production part from Ford since 1957. It's hugely strong, relatively easy to set-up, is well covered by aftermarket parts, gear-sets, and even trick housings.

Junkyard Ford 9" for leaf-springs...ford%209%20rear%20001.jpg

Fabricated housing for a Ford 9" center-section, set up for 4-link...housingwater.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

I share your questions Michelle. The biggest hick-up I have is finding the measurements for actual cars and parts and scaling them down to the appropriate size (1:24/ 1:25).

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there are a few ways to "look" at this question, you can use the internet to browse sites that sell suspension parts, you can study/replicate kit parts for modification to your own design, you can take the "create your own" approach.

Here is my understanding of car suspensions: suspension parts are designed to allow the wheels to move within a specific range(within a fender most of the time) and specific direction (mostly straight up/down) while keeping the wheel assemblies from shifting laterally or forward/backward with relation to the vehicle.

it won't really matter what kind of rear end (3rd member) you put in your model (unless it matters to you) since you can just say that you chose to build it that way.

Here is a link to some car show pix that includes some photos of street rod suspension kits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blunc/sets/72157632047609935/show/

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there are a few ways to "look" at this question, you can use the internet to browse sites that sell suspension parts, you can study/replicate kit parts for modification to your own design, you can take the "create your own" approach. Here is my understanding of car suspensions: suspension parts are designed to allow the wheels to move within a specific range(within a fender most of the time) and specific direction (mostly straight up/down) while keeping the wheel assemblies from shifting laterally or forward/backward with relation to the vehicle. it won't really matter what kind of rear end (3rd member) you put in your model (unless it matters to you) since you can just say that you chose to build it that way. Here is a link to some car show pix that includes some photos of street rod suspension kits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blunc/sets/72157632047609935/show/
This explaination really helps, as does the other advice, thank you guys! I bought myself a stack of Hot Rod & Muscle Car magazines at a flea market so I will use those for reference. I have a bunch of Mopar, Pontiac, Chevy, & Ford magazines too that I forgot I had in my spare bedroom closet. Now to get some bench time :)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

MikeyBo8, just use one mm (millimeter) = one scale inch. In 1:25 this would amount to 0.03937 vs 0.04. This makes measuring very simple. It's close enough for hand grenades and tactical nuclear weapons.

Edited by wisdonm

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Posted · Report post

OP Quote:

" ....to make a beefier rear diff ... , how do you get the proportions right?...."

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