Miller Electric

Articles & Stories

Home » Resources » Article Search » How-to/Advice

Leavitt Racing Components, Inc. Builds a Late Model Stock Car Chassis for Charity

 

 

At Leavitt Racing Components, Inc., the heart of the design process is the company's vast experience building chassis for NASCAR teams. The fabrication finesse has earned the Leavitt name recognition among many professional racers. Weld quality and fitment are critically observed throughout the fabrication process, ensuring a sound structural product built for performance and protection.

The following videos share some professional welding techniques used to build one of Leavitt's late model stock car chassis. The three-day chassis build took place during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show 2009.

4 Fabricators, 3 Days, 2 Weld Processes, 1 Chassis for Charity

Fabricating a complete racecar from scratch in three-days is no simple task and it's never been done before at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. Leavitt Racing prepared for the build by sending their late model chassis design to Technique Inc., who pre-cut all the parts to the specified lengths, boxed them up and shipped them to Orlando for the show. There, Leavitt popped open the box and began laying out the chassis on their Uni-Jig fixturing system.

The majority of the 3-day chassis build was consumed by welding. As seen in the videos below, Steve Leavitt Sr., Steve Leavitt Jr., Colton Chappius and Rodney Brooks all took a turn under the hood;, sharing their knowledge and experience along the way. The MIG welding was completed using their Millermatic®211 Auto-SetTM with MVPTM all-in-one MIG welder. It provides 210 amps of power, plenty to weld the 3x4, .120-wall DOM steel tubing that forms the frame rails. Where esthetics and attention to root penetration was necessary, the team's DiversionTM 165 AC/DC TIG welder was always handy and its 3-button interface made set-up a snap. The Diversion 165 proved itself as an entry-level TIG welder that was fully capable of professional weld beads. Even with the pressure of the looming deadline, the Leavitt team skillfully demonstrated their knowledge of MIG and TIG welding as they tirelessly worked toward achieving their goal.

The chassis that Leavitt Racing built was more than just metal turned performance-racing components. There was a deeper purpose behind the build through a tie to the Victory Junction Gang, a charity founded by Kyle and Patti Petty for their late son Adam. Leavitt's mission was to complete the chassis in three days and auction it off at the close of the show. All proceed would go to the charity.

Established in June 2004, the Victory Junction organization enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. Victory Junction has been growing and expanding as a free-of-charge, year-round camp for children and their families. With your on-going support, Victory Junction will continue to create life-changing experiences for special children! For more information or to donate please visit http://www.victoryjunction.org/

"What the talented team at Leavitt Racing is trying to accomplish with this build is nothing short of phenomenal. Miller is proud to support them in this noble cause that can, at the end of the day, provide some really great experiences to children with special needs," states Andy Weyenberg, Miller motorsports manger. " Best of all, everyone can play a part! You can join the cause and continue to make this charity a giant success. Visit Victory Junction online and make a donation of your choice".


Kyle Petty: Racing Legend & Accomplished Welder

Welding kit cars as a kid before turning pro, Kyle Petty shares his history and experiences with welding and offers words of inspiration to those who want to learn how to weld and fabricate with metal.

 

 

 


 

Fixturing

One of the most important things for a good chassis builder to own is a good fixtur e. Practically every welded component on a racecar is fabricated in a fixture to ensure everything stays within alignment when the heat from welding tries to move things around. Dave Gawronski of Uni-Jig shares a few tips you can use back in your own shop. 

 

 

Video tips covering: precision alignment, speed of repairs, baselines for fabrication.


Front Clip

Colton Chappius, fabricator with Leavitt Racing Components, Inc., welds on the front clip of the super late model asphalt chassis.

Video tips covering: clamping tubing, heat control, welding varying tube thicknesses.

Roll Cage

A roll cage is the most critical component for driver safety. Leavitt Racing Components fabricators Rodney Brooks and Steve Leavitt Jr. discuss the fabrication details of MIG welding on the roll-bar, cross beam, halo, a-post down tubes, door and dash bars.

 

 

 

 

 

Video tips covering: fit-up, welding varying
thicknesses, out of position welding, structural
integrity and front clip repairs with capped butt
joints.
 


Chassis, Sub-Frame & Lower Clip 

Rodney Brooks continues fabrication on the lower rails of the chassis. 90-percent of the welding is completed before adding the cage and front clip. Then it is flipped to finish the welding underneath.

 

 

 

 


Video tips covering: weld quality, keeping
>consumables clean, wire and gas, welding
clustered joints.
 


Chassis Assembly 

With the sub-chassis, front clip and roll cage welding complete, team Leavitt brings all three components together giving shape to the car. Rodney and Colton MIG weld at the same time to increase production while keeping a close eye on the heat input and metal draw, (which is also an important step in choosing where to sit)!

 

 

 


Video tips covering: TIG welding for esthetics and structural integrity, gas lenses.
 


Upper & Lower Suspension  

Miller motorsports manager Andy Weyenberg discusses the critical TIG welding required in fabricating the upper and lower suspension components. 

 

 

 

 



 

Final Assembly; Finish Welds & Bolt-ons  

Leavitt Racing Components adds the finishing touches to the chassis and wraps up the assembly with the addition of the rear-end, steering column, front sway-bar, suspension and wheels. 

 



 

 

 

How-to/Advice

Products

Welding Categories

Welding Applications

Related Articles

View All

Article Search

Select one or all topics to refine your search.


Search By Topic:




View All Articles

RSS

Let the latest articles come to you!
Subscribe to the Articles RSS Feed

What is RSS?