A Gasoline, 125 mpg Diesel, or Battery-Electric Three Wheel Car
The first-generation Trimuter was introduced on the Cover of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine, and later in the original Movie “Total Recall”. Over 30,000 Plans ended up in the hands of enthusiastic builders. worldwide. This new “HP3” plan-set features a far superior design based on experience gained over the ensuing decades, and it also includes a free copy of the plans for the Original Trimuter!. The new HP3 features a completely redesigned and updated body and chassis while following the original hard points and using modern components and a Tesla-like EV system.
Blazing the Trail – Most Popular Project Ever
When Mechanix Illustrated (MI) magazine hit the stands with the just-finished Trimuter on the cover, newsstand sales soared off the charts. That single issue produced a flood of over 30,000 orders, which made it by far the most popular DIY project in the magazine’s 75-year history. Within months, Trimuter clubs sprang up around the country and copycat versions showed up to mimic the design. Club members were going on meets and group drives, and meeting to exchange ideas. Nothing before or since has had the same impact. The new Trimuter HP3 is based on this iconic design, translated into modern technology.
21st Century Design Leapfrogs Ahead
The chassis for the Trimuter HP3 is truly an elegant work of mechanical engineering and design, and it uses modern components. Plus, it delivers far better performance, it’s easier to build, and it’s still simple and inexpensive. Prior work with hybrids (HEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and super-high-fuel economy internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) guided the new design. One thing is clear. When far less fuel is consumed the negative attributes of combustion vehicles plunge in step with the fuel not consumed. A diesel powered Trimuter HP3, for example, achieves 125 mpg, and more. One of our post-Trimuter designs, the diesel-powered Centurion (a predecessor of the new HP3), recently won the Toyota Green Grand Prix three years in a row, all at over 200 mpg (250 mpg in 2016). Plans show how to duplicate this power train in the HP3.
It’s The Battery
Elon Musk has probably done more than anyone to open the door to BEVs as practical personal transportation vehicles. The next great leap in battery technology is poised to emerge from development work on the Graphene battery. ( https://www.graphene-info.com/graphene-batteries ) This material will be put to work within lithium-based batteries to enhance their already great performance, and cut recharge times. The HP3’s chassis is designed for lithium-based battery modules which now deliver 125 mile range on a relatively small 19 kW battery pack. Graphene is expected to ultimately double or triple the energy and cut recharge times to as little as 15 minutes.
Choices and Options are Key
HP3 = High Performance, Three Power Train Options: You can assemble the HP3 with a choice of different power trains. A 125 mi-range BEV version can be assembled with either an ac or a dc battery-electric power system. Dc is less costly but an ac system eliminates brushes and provides regenerative braking capability, wherein braking delivers a charge to the battery for extended range. The most advanced EVs, like Tesla for example, use regenerative braking. They also use advanced lithium-based batteries, which are responsible for Tesla’s remarkable range. Trimuter uses a smaller lithium-based battery pack, which costs less and still delivers 125 mi range. And with a larger battery pack Trimuter’s range could be doubled. (Significantly larger battery packs would require modifications to the body and liquid cooling.)
New Clean Diesel – 125 mpg: For maximum fuel economy from liquid fuel, nothing beats a diesel engine. The stock frame can accept a diesel engine, like the one in our XR3 Hybrid and Jerry Bartlett’s Green-Grand-Prix-winning Centurion built from plans on this site.
Conventional Gasoline Engine: The least costly option would be to assemble Trimuter HP3 with a conventional ICE power train, such as the air-cooled VW. At roughly 500 pounds lighter than the original VW, performance is far better, and with tall gearing you can expect fuel economy in the 40 – 50 mpg range.
Plans, Kits, Materials Bundles, Parts
A kit or a materials bundle turns the project into more of a weld-together and/or bolt-on-parts “Lego set”. With even a simple materials bundle, there’s no shopping for individual pieces of metal and tubing. You can get it delivered to your doorstep. And kits come directly from our vendors to you so there’s no middle-man markup. The more complete the kit, the more it becomes like a bolt-together project. But you decide how much of the fabrication you want to do. Do more and spend less.
What You Receive
The new HP3 plans-set is no ordinary set of plans. It uses the latest electronic and CAD technologies to give you unparalleled utility. And it’s as easy to use as a web browser. When you purchase the HP3 plans, you will receive a link to the electronic packet, which is zipped for download. So you receive it right away and there is no shipping charge – to anywhere in the world with Internet access.
This electronic packet contains a program that runs in a web browser with chapters on technical and engineering details, plus information on how to build your Trimuter HP3. It also contains conventional 2D drawings in PDF format, a list of vendors, helpful sites on the internet, and 3D models in their native Solidworks format. You can use these models to make changes, or as a springboard for creating your own vehicle design. And if you have access to Solidworks (the native CAD program) and an engineering background, you can run Finite Element Analyses (FEA) to determine the strength of various parts. You can also do a flow analysis on the body to determine aerodynamic drag. The section entitled “3D Models” also includes models in “eDrawings” format, which contain notes pointing out helpful details. You can view, pan, rotate, and zoom these 3D models on your computer without having a CAD program. A link to a free copy of the viewer is included.
As far as I know, we are the only company offering anything like this in a DIY package. For additional information on this technology please see the page on this site entitled: Modern CAD Technologies for the Home Craftsman and Students
Updates have always been awkward with printed plans. That’s not the case once the plans are in electronic format. A chapter, for example, can to modified to include additional or new material. Then we can post an entirely new chapter (or 3D model or set of drawings) and you can simply overwrite the old file with the new one. It will then be seamlessly integrated into your existing plan-set.
The navigation header at the top of each page in plan-set provides an overview of what you can expect in your HP3 plans.
3D MODELS This Is where you access the eDrawings models
2D CAD Provides access to a complete sets of 2D drawings for the HP3 chassis and the body
MANUAL Accesses the technical and construction details in the manual (Sample page on the left below)
BONUS Contains the entire set of drawings and construction manual for the original Trimuter.
ONLINE Provides links to online resources and vendors
DISC OVERVIEW Provides tips on how to use the resources included with your HP3 plan-set.
More Options & Services
Frame Materials and Pre-Fab Frames
- Materials Bundle: You can buy a materials bundle and cut and weld the frame, rear control arms, and fork yourself.
- Pre-Cut Materials Kit: Our vendors will provide materials that are already cut to the correct lengths, along with water jet cut flat metal parts. You will then do the jigging and welding, following instructions in the manual (Section of the plans-set).
- Pre-Fab Frames: With an order of 50 or more (combined) frames, our local vendor will begin providing complete welded frames.
Stabilizer Bar with Links and Brackets
- Make your own or buy ready-made parts from the Vendor in the plans.
EV Motors. Controllers, Chargers and Other Parts
- Our vendors will help you select the correct motor, controller, charger and ancillary parts of your electric vehicle. The Vendors area of the plans also contains links to the correct diesel engine and other chassis parts.