|Alex Smith's Vortex|
|Vortex Discussion Group|
Vortex 3-wheel Vehicle
17' Wind Turbine
Bradly GT II Kit Car
1966 Ford Fairlane GT
Xantrex XW Monitoring/Logging Software
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Due to cost of webhosting I may not be able to continue to provide this content free for much longer. I'm asking for your support by providing a donation to keep this site active. The only other choice that I have is to convert his site to one that is accessable only to subscribers, and I really don't want to go that route.
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|Dan Lenox's Vortex Build Chronicle (recently renamed: Dummies Guide to Building a Vortex)|
It's for Sale!
I have been doing a ton of work in the renewable energy area: wind turbines/solar array/monitoring logging software and need some working capital so that I can take this work to the next level...
So I am selling my Vortex! I am open to offers - be advised that more than $15k has gone into just the parts/components, and that is not including any of my time to actually build the vehicle!
This Vortex is approximately serial #4 in the world according to all the completed/finished/licensed vehicles, more information can be found here
At this time I would simply like to see the Vortex have a new home, and am open to offers.
This website has been created to chronicle the building of my Vortex 3-wheeled vehicle. It should be noted up front that I have modified the original purchased plans - namely increased head room, slight extension to front and used alternate materials. This website and the resulting vehicle does not exactly represent the original.
For those of you that are not familiar with the Vortex here is the: Vortex home page.
At the Vortex discussion group you will find many knowledgeable people that have an interest in the Vortex and similar vehicles. This has been a great source of information and without it the building and completion of my vehicle would have been far more difficult. It is *the* place to go when you need some assistance, or want to provide assistance to others.
Many times I have been advised to remove the full content and sell it on a CD/DVD, but I will not and want to keep this website available to those that have the interest to build a similar project but need a little assistance - my gift to you!
The animated .gif below shows progress literally from the first component till current updates:
Here are some pictures of what the finished vehicle looks like after 2-1/2 years of work, click on any of the thumb nails to see a gallery of pictures:
Welding/Machining Services Available
Project name changed
I have decided that with these modifications a change in name is necessary it took quite a while to come up with a name that is catchy and meaningful to me, and have decided on:
This name is meaningful to me as the whole project has well been a genesis and transformation during the build period. As the basic project has been completed and has wound down it seems the perfect opportunity for yet another change.
I have put enough of me into it and while the vehicle has and always will be Vortex based, I now claim it as my own...
Dummies Guide to Building a Vortex
In the beginning...
I drooled over them, dreaming of the day that I could make my own - but it did not happen. Now we move 20 years later and I finally have the space, capabilities, tools and knowledge to make one, but do you ever really have enough free time?? So I decided to finally just jump in and stop thinking about it and finally just DO IT!
Back to the present...
More research... I perused the web to see what other 3-wheeled vehicles were available and ran across the Vortex. To me the Vortex offered a *lot* more than the TriMagnum, however it certainly was much more involved and complicated build. But I decided that I had lots of experience with wood-working (Spinning Wheels), metal working with mills and lathes, and welding. Not to mention a whole shop full of wood and metal working tools from years of projects (lucky me)...
As I pleasantly discovered the Vortex allows you to build the vehicle without either having or settled on a specific drive train (ie motorcycle/engine size), and was originally designed around a Kawasaki KZ750 which output 75 horsepower and according to Stephen Pombo was "plenty fast". Stephen states that the main concerns are transmission (due to the added weight) and cooling in stop and go traffic.
Due to the incorporation of what is referred to as a 'jack-shaft' which allows you the flexibility to swap in or out various engines pretty much at any time. So you can begin with one engine and later put in something completely different - as long as the engine is not over 22" wide. The jack-shaft is essentially an intermediate shaft that utilizes either a chain or belt drive to power the rear wheel, while the engine drives the intermediate shaft (typically with a chain). Side benefits include the ability to change your gearing to have the engine operate in it's better power/torque zone.
Get your hands on as many plansets as you can and study them...
Moving into the future, by remembering the past...
The Devil is in the Details...
If you are married or in a serious relationship I forewarn you that you will be putting in a *lot* of time on this project, with any luck you will have an understanding wife (such as I have). Obsession is another side effect, initially you can easily be obsessed with all of the details and decisions that have to be made, you will wake up in the middle of the night on occasion and not be able to get back to sleep... This type of project is certainly is a labor of love.
Click one of the links at the top of the pages to see the section(s) interested in. The Log page sections were updated daily/weekly showing costs, progress, insights as well as mistakes that I have made along the way. The intent is for this to be a learning experience for me and hopefully you as well can benefit from it when it comes time for your build, even if it is not a Vortex. I have split up the links at the top of each pages to incorporate major sections of the build that are/will be undertaken. Additional information may be in the individual monthly log sections, but the major sections will certainly contain relevant information - just no to the detail as the monthly logs.
Peruse the site, find any section(s) that interest you and check back for updates as I take you through building my Vortex from scratch and feel free to leave any comments, corrections and/or suggestions!
This website will take you through all phases of construction, from ground zero up through to the completed vehicle. I have purposly attempt to put in as much information associated with each picture so that if you are building (or contemplating building) one then hopefully it will assist you.
There are a number of goals that I wanted to accomplish with this website and hopefully I have succeeded, they were:
Too many people get stuck in the planning/dreaming phase and never even get started building - numerous projects get started but never get completed and it is unfortunately very few that get anywhere close to being finished. Any project that takes a multi-year timeframe to complete will test you - in many ways and this project was no exception.
JUST DO IT!!!.
While I have previously acquired a lot of the skills (and tools) to build a lot of this vehicle on my own, I certainly did not have all the skills necessary. You can learn these skills as you go, seek out others that can either do the task (beg or pay them), or better yet take some evening courses at the local community college, or have someone teach you.
If you wait till you believe that you finally have all the skills, then the project most likely will NEVER get started. My advice is to start small, be committed, and learn as you go. I try to put enough informational content in this website so to give you some guidance.
The items that I found absolutely essential are: 1) commitment, 2) time and 3) space.
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