We often get asked if we have any tips on building Soapboxes, well the simple answer is... NOPE!
Sarah the director of Krazy Races said 'I don't have a clue - I wouldn't even know where to start and on top of that it looks far too painful!' Needless to say she is not up for going down one of her tracks or has the first idea of how to build a soapbox but she sure knows how to make a great event (award winning even)!
So top tips, not from Sarah, but we did a bit of research (googling) to find some good tips for you:
- THE BASICS
So the first thing that came up when googling top tips for Soapbox building was 'Red Bull'
The F1 Red Bull team’s Chief Engineering Officer Rob Marshall said:
"Start with something that is already a reasonably proven and robust device. You see so many soapboxes with a bicycle or go-kart design as the basis, or with elements of those things, and those tend to have a good chance.
You need strong wheels and strong axles, because it isn’t a smooth ride – there are bumps and jumps; you often see soapboxes take off, and everything looks fast and under control, but when they land, the wheels are broken and splayed and then it’s game over. They need to be pretty robust, not carry too much weight and have slippery bearings."
- COST v RECYCLED
We found an article in the Telegraph about building a soapbox with you kids for some action-packed family holiday competition, a soapbox car can be built using whatever you can lay your hands on and what every your imagination can conjure up. A purist would say that it should all be recycled but we love both. The ones that people spend a lot of money on and are well engineered to the ones that are build out of bits and bobs they have found in the shed, there is no right or wrong answer. Just make sure they are as safe as can be, follow the rules and regs and you have fun building it.
We do get asked a lot about heavier of lighter which way to go? Well we have found this on the Scottish Carties Site and we think it is rather good...
Heavier = faster. Fact. However, heavier also means harder to stop and harder to change direction.
Aim for around 70-80Kg without ballast, and make it strong, low and wide to keep it safe and stable. Make sure there is enough diagonal bracing to keep the chassis stiff and stop it from deforming it you crash.
Use solid ballast weights securely bolted in place to fine tune the centre of gravity and/or optimise for a particular course, but don't overdo it. If your cartie is a long way below the weight you want to be, add structural weight to make it stronger rather than just bolting on more ballast.
And if you want to go really fast, stop obsessing with weight and concentrate on making it as aerodynamic as possible. And make sure your steering and brakes are up to it.
So those are a few tips for you - it's clear there is a lot of advice out there but we think having fun is the best way to go.
Happy Building and if you would like to research further we recommend this link to more top tips: Scottish Carties