Automotive startup Local Motors faced two challenges when it set out to build two very different vehicles: the Rally Fighter, a high-performance off-road machine; and the Strati, a 3D-printed electric car with just 49 parts. To meet both challenges, Local Motors relies on Loctite threadlockers.
The Rally Fighter is the first model produced by Local Motors. Designed with the help of crowd-sourcing, the car was introduced in 2009 after 18 months of development—a very short timeline by automotive standards.
The Rally Fighter is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 430 hp at 5,900 rpm and 424 ft-lb of torque at 4,600 rpm. Power goes to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. The suspension features double A-arms up front and a four-link, 9-inch axle in the rear. Both the front and rear suspensions are equipped with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers. With a fiberglass body to save weight, the Rally Fighter’s interior is equipped with three-point harness seat belts, a full roll cage and Recaro seats, as well as amenities such as air conditioning, stereo and power windows.
The Rally Fighter is assembled with a unique process: The buyer goes to one of Local Motors' micro-factories and helps to assemble his car with help from a team of Local Motors employees.
Making sure the Rally Fighter could withstand racing in extreme conditions without constant maintenance was a challenge. Off-road racers like the Rally Fighter are subject to jarring bumps and vibration that can shake loose even the sturdiest nuts and bolts. Applying Loctite threadlockers to those fasteners gave Local Motors confidence that once assemblers tightened a bolt or screw, it would stay tightened, even under the challenging conditions of off-road racing.
Like the Rally Fighter, the Strati was also designed via crowd-sourcing, going from concept to driving in just four months. Strati was manufactured in collaboration with Cincinnati Inc. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The car was manufactured using a large-scale 3D printer developed by ORNL and Cincinnati Inc. The car took just 44 hours to print during the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The printing was followed by three days of milling and assembling, and the completed car first test-driven on Sept. 13, 2014.
With just 49 parts, every component matters—including the nuts and bolts. Loctite threadlockers ensure those fasteners stay tight.