KinAestheticWind is extrememly grateful to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Northern New Mexico Section, Hand Precision Machining, Pete Padilla, and Tom Houston for their support.
Three
Weeled

Electric

Alternative

by

KinAestheticWind

KinAestheticWind is proud to present TWEAK, the first part of a design study into building unique, small, and cheap electric vehicles. The ultimate goal is to build a one or two person commuter vehicle that almost every household can afford and has a use for. The build is taking place at the University of New Mexico Los Alamos campus, and is being built by students taking the Build an Electric Vehicle class. The class is taught by Dr. Mike Ham and Kenny Ham. The students have been tasked with implementing and building a three wheeled electric vehicle. The skill level and age of the class has proven to be the perfect mix, and they have pulled together a nearly impossible feat, building a vehicle from scratch in just four class periods.

Update! ApocalypsEV

The TWEAK concept has evolved to create the worlds first Apocalypse ready car company. Check out ApocalypsEV.com by clicking on the logo.

TWEAK Class 1

During class 1, the students figured out how they would put TWEAK together. They were split into a front end team and a rear end team. Each team looked over the CAD drawings Kenny made and gave their input. The class realized that a solar cell up front would probably get broken by the driver, so it was decided that it shold be moved to the back, where it would look like a spoiler.

Pile of parts the class was presented with when they arrived for their first day. Pictured is the Volkswagen Beetle front end, the motorcycle rear end, uni-strut, the DeWalt cordless drills, the solar battery charger, and the motorcycle tires.

The front end team discusses how to mount the solar cell and the VW front end. From left to right: Dr. Mike, Melanie, Josh, Mike, Adam and Peter

Class 2

During class 2, students started putting together the frame and making customized parts. From getting bearings out of the rear wheel, to cutting up a bicycle wheel for the ratcheting sprocket and other parts, there was much to do.

Peter cutting out parts for the frame on a chop saw.

From left to right. Adam, Melanie, Peter and Sherry taking apart a bicycle to get parts for TWEAK

From left to right. Phil, Brandon and Peter work on getting the motorcycle swing arm mounted.

Mike and Adam working to remove the ball joints from the VW front end

Dr. Mike and Dave welding TWEAK's frame

Pat removing the cassette from a bicycle wheel using a grinder

Class 3

During class 3, students worked to get all the parts that needed to be machined finished. They also reassembled the VW front end using new seals and grease. The original VW spindles were modified by Hand Precision Machining and were ready to accept the motorcycle tires. The motorcycle rear end mounts were welded down and then bolted to the frame. A seat was modified and made to bolt to the frame.

Tyler and Adam setting up the lathe to make parts for TWEAK

TWEAK frame at the beginning of class 3

Dr. Mike showing off his hands after putting the torsion rods back into the VW front end while Melanie holds up the front end.

Class photo at the end of class 3. From left to right are Melanie, Dave, Mike (with tire), Dr. Mike, Kenny, Peter, Adam and Peter.

Class 3.5

Building a car from scratch is a pretty complicated and involved process that ended up needing more than four classes. To get more done on TWEAK, the class met for a special session between class three and four.

TWEAK at the beginning of class 3.5

Dave getting the cutting torch ready

Phil and Adam welding on the mounts for the steering system. In the background, Peter and Kenny are getting the swing arm and rear tire ready

Dave Peter and Phil standing next to TWEAK after getting the front end attached

Class 4

During class four, we had a few special visitors and a giant pizza (thanks Donna).

Dave eating some of the giant pizza

Class photo from the end of class 4. From left to right Mike, Dr. Mike, Phil, Josh, Kenny, Melanie, and Dave

Josh and Mike standing beside TWEAK

Class 4.5

Finally! TWEAK lives!

After 4 classes and 2 half classes and lots of outside work, TWEAK was ready for its first test drive.

Dr. Mike prepping TWEAK for its first run

True to form, on the first run, TWEAK threw a torsion arm. But after a quick fix we were back in business. As a side note, the bucket supporting TWEAK in the picture turned out to be one of the most valuable tools we had.

Phil testing out TWEAK

Dr. Mike taking TWEAK out for a spin

TWEAK driving videos

At long last we now have videos of TWEAK in action!

Phil making the first run after we fixed the torsion arm.