Kimini 2.2 – FAQ
"Why bother, just buy a car."
Haven't you thought about how you would design a car?
To use any engine you want, install it where you want, and know it fits.
Use any wheel-tire combination you want and not worry about them rubbing.
Install any seats you want, and not worry about how to mount them, or that you will fit.
To just decide you want one wiper mounted in the center – because you can.
To have a sport-bike style fuel filler just because they look really cool.
To be able to remove the dash in 2 minutes, instead of all day as with a new car.
To be able to remove the engine in 15 minutes, or the water pump in five minutes... just like “the old days.”
Not trying to make an overweight, bloated, 3200-pound so-called "sports sedan" handle.
And finally, not having to accept an accountant's idea of what engine, steering wheel, and driver's seat you "want".
"What's with the name "Kimini" and how do you pronounce it?"
My wife's name, Kim + Mini, pronounced "kim-inny."
did you start the project?"
1995, with actual construction beginning in 1996.
"How long will it have taken, beginning to end?"
About 3000 hours.
"Fine for you, but I don't have time to build a car."
Bullshit... sell your TV! Use the money, along with the roughly $300-500 annual cable bill to fund your car project. You now have up to 20 hours of freed up time a week to work on it.
"Is the car done yet?"
No. Believe me you’ll know when it’s done,
Schedules are for work, this is for fun, it’ll be done when it is finished.
"How much will it have cost?"
How much does any new car cost, it depends what you want. Including everything... about $20K for all components and material. That's not quite true because it doesn't include tools. Of course tools can be used to make other things, so how much of the tool cost do I count? Do I include my labor... good Heavens no! If on the other hand I look at it as entertainment, well that’s tons of hours that’s for sure, and if the cost were spread out over that, it’s pretty cheap entertainment. How much do people pay for entertainment these days?
"When do you work on it?"
Roughly 6-7 hours a week each Sunday afternoon, plus holidays as time allows. The plan was to work on it a few hours each night after work – but that didn’t happen. I guess it’s a psychological thing for me because, well, it just takes too long to get my head back into the project. By that time there’s no point because the evening is already gone. That’s one big reason why it’s taking so long. OTOH, my brother built an RV-8A airplane in a year because he worked on it everyday. That’s great for him but it never worked for me.
your workshop like?"
One half of a two-car garage (read: too small) but okay.
music do you listen to when building?"
Prairie Home Companion , Reggie, World, 30’s, 40’s, and 80’s music. Good music for car building… AC/DC just doesn’t cut it when a steady hand is required. Regardless, it’s good incentive to place noisy air compressor out back.
do you do for a living?"
SW engineer, BSEE. Considered becoming an ME but as much as I like mechanical stuff, I enjoy the electrical side more. The advantage is I can balance the HW/SW side of things at work with a fun mechanical project at home (like the car), unencumbered by the usual work related project limitations.
other car stuff have you done?"
Built and raced a 1971 Datsun 1200. By “racing” I mean autocross and time trials (I never had any interest in wheel-to-wheel competition.) The Datsun taught me the importance of light weight; it beat cars with much more horsepower because it could out handle them. Also helped with my brother’s Datsun 510, 240Z, and Mazda RX-3.
else are you into?"
Lots of stuff. Cars, astronomy, gardening, beer making, Koi… Several future projects are a jet turbine and Van De Graff generator.