Robert Q. Riley Enterprises: Product Design & Development

Build it yourself from plans

DIY Projects on This Site

XR2 HP recumbent bicycle

XR3 Hybrid three wheeled diesel, hybrid, or BEV

Battery-electric Urba Trike featured in Mechanix Illustrated magazine

50-mpg Trimuter on cover of Mechanix Illustrated


BEV Urba Electric on cover of Mechanix Illustrated

DIY series hybrid on cover of Mechanix Illustrated

Urba Car on cover of Mechanix Illustrated

Phoenix van featured in Popular Mechanics magazine

HydroRunner featured in Popular Mechanics Magazine


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Essential Resources
for the DIY Enthusiast

by Robert Q. Riley

Revised September 2014

One-Off Construction: Using Fiberglass Over Urethane Foam is a hands-on, photo-illustrated review of how it's done. If you’re thinking of building one of our vehicles using fiberglass over foam, or you’d like to build your own design, this document provides a very good overview of how to do it. Tri-Magnum is used as an example. But it’s the same process with any of our fiberglass-over-foam vehicles.

Abrasives: Abrasives (sandpaper and metal cutting tools) are used throughout most building projects. If you’re unfamiliar with which abrasives are best for which jobs, it can be confusing. And if you pick the wrong abrasive, you’re in for a lot more work than is really necessary. This document explains the various abrasives and what they are used for.

How to Weld: An Overview of Different Welding Styles and Techniques. Almost any project will require some welding. The on-road vehicle projects require more welding. A vehicle chassis, for example, is built up in steps wherein you fit one subassembly to the previous one. By proceeding in steps, it’s easy to keep the chassis aligned. This can be difficult to do if you have to call in a welder with each part. It’s far easier (and more fun) to just buy a welder and teach yourself how to weld. You can learn in an afternoon using scrap pieces of metal. This document explains the various kinds of welding and how to achieve good welds.

Licensing and Insuring Homebuilt Vehicles: If you’ve decided to build a car, boat, or hovercraft, when it’s finished you’ll have to get it titled and licensed. This document explains the processes. Your vehicle will likely have to meet the regulations in effect in your State at the time it’s finished, and this document points you in the right direction. It also explains the difference between a title and a license, and how to get both. It’s not a difficult process if you know what to expect. If you go in without any advanced knowledge, it can be frustrating. So it’s best to understand the process at the outset. Please read this document if you are building any vehicle that will be subject to regulations or equipment requirements.

Three Wheel Cars: The Factors That Determine Handling and Rollover Characteristics If you’re building a three-wheeled vehicle it helps to understand the basics of three-wheel handling and stability. It may not make you into an expert designer, but it can keep you from making mistakes that could end up creating a vehicle with poor handling characteristics. A little knowledge goes a long way.

Automobile Ride, Handling, and Suspension Design: This document provides an overview of suspension systems and the factors that determine ride and handling. It’s a must-read for anyone thinking of building an on-road vehicle. You’ll be pleased to see how much knowledge you can gain from one simple document.

Fibre Glast Developments Corporation:  This is the world's largest mail order source of fiberglass materials. They also provide tips on techniques and applications, as well as training videos and books on working with fiberglass.


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Robert Q. Riley Enterprises: Product Design & Development
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P.O. Box 14465, Phoenix, AZ 85063-4465
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