Saturday, 13 November 2010

It's Been a While

We've been keeping our heads down lately, steadily working away on Ibex but a lot of people have been asking about the bonnet, what will it actually look like? will it be like the concept?, will it really be like the concept?....
It was an exciting day when the pattern arrived in our workshop. A perfect recreation of the CAD data cut in polyurethane foam using the biggest 5 axis router I have seen. The detail is amazing and makes me feel better about all those hours sat in front of the computer.

The bonnet is essentially the complete front end bodywork, a module consisting removable headlamp pods, grille and mudguards. The whole unit tilts forward to open and can be removed as one piece to provide total engine bay access.

Can't wait to get one bolted to a vehicle.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

LRO Show 11th - 12th September

Prototype No.2 will be at the LRO Show this weekend. Check out some tyres on the Silverline 4x4 stand and see if you can spot it.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


We're making good progress, all the aluminium bodywork is fitted along with most of the powertrain. The open engine bay makes assembly far easier than on the old Ibex with no fear of damaging paintwork. We're trying to get as much done as possible before Peterborough show on the 11th and 12th of September. Still needs a polish though.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Painted it Black

Perhaps the worst thing you can do with a vehicle with flat panels is paint it black. It is very difficult to get a truly flat panel and black will highlight any imperfections. Even harder to get several panels to sit flat next to each other.

It's a good test for Proto No. 2 then, fresh from the paint shop in gleaming, er, We just couldn't resist.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Any Colour

With 2 prototypes at the paint shop it is now time to pick a colour. Far too many choices.

At least it is easy to repaint the removeable front end if I become bored with the 'stealth' look.

Customers can, of course, have any colour they like. Although I may draw the line at pink, unless its SAS desert pink, in which case I expect to see proof that a large gun will be mounted on the roof.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Alternative Suspension

Standard suspension on the Ibex is front Panhard rod and rear'A' Frame. We soon hope to offer the option of a Watts Linkage system for the Ibex F8, with a torsion bush set up for radius and trailing arms.

Providing improved dynamic control of the rear axle, this arrangement will be suitable for less extreme but higher speed or road based applications.

A rear Panhard rod arrangement will also be available.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Prototype Number 1 Makes Progress

Aluminium body panels in place on proto1.

Now it is really starting to look how it should. Just the tailgate to finish and then off to the paint shop.

3D CAD generated  profiles for the roof panels saved literally hours assembly time compared to the old roof design and make for far easier welding with no obvious distortion. We should have done this years ago!

We are also trialling fully bonded aluminium structures for the roof, hard top, door and tailgate assemblies. TIG welder anyone?

LED rear lights are a neat fit and offer good resistance to water ingress compared with conventional lights

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

LRO Show at Billing 16, 17, 18 July 2010

There will be a sneak preview of one of the F8 prototypes at Billing on the 16th, 17th and 18th July. Visit the IBEX Owners Club stand.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Nice Body

Almost finished. Some of the Waxoil actually made it onto the chassis... must find a better way of doing that.

Recovery points front and rear.
Roof mounted spare wheel to save load space.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Well, I disappear for a few weeks and come back to find myself married. Crikey. It's amazing how these things happen but it does mean I am now mature and responsible. So, capable of regular blog posts. Hmmm.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Wide Load

Powertrain all installed and it's up and running. The drop side body is taking shape and for the first time we get to see just how big this truck is. A bed size of 11' by 6' is quite a size.

Lockers will be slung underneath the body and a rear axle ARB diff lock added for the sticky stuff. Front and rear recovery points for when it gets too sticky and 2 spare tyres just in case it's a really bad day.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


We are currently planning the next production batch which will include a number of long wheelbase vehicles. This image shows the Ibex F8 300S 5 Door Station Wagon. The first of these vehicles will delivered towards the end of this year and early 2011.

As with the short wheelbase, the rear part of the body can be removed and replaced with a hard top, pick-up or soft top arrangement.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

2.4 TDCi engine is a snug fit. Just some wiring and fuel lines needed to make it run. Most of the trim is ready and the drop side body is just a few days away.

I am pleased to say the black detail is working well with the red!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

IBEX 400 Post Paint

Because it can be quite easy to miss a 6m long Ibex, we have painted it the brightest red we could find.

Sitting high on heavy duty suspension with black Wolf rims and G90 tyres. Power train in next...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Prototyping the Body Panels

Some body panels dry fitted before boding in place with polyurethane adhesive. The adhesive acts as a barrier between the zinc and aluminium to prevent electrolytic corrosion. Bonding the panels in place also adds to the overall stiffnes of the structure.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The longest Ibex 4x4... in The World

I know the F8 is our new thing but we still build the old one too...

This is our longest ever 4x4 with a 4m wheelbase. The pictures show it about to leave for the paint shop. When it comes back it will be fitted with a 11' x 6' aluminium drop-side body and 2.4TDCi powertrain, hence the power bulge.

Maximising payload with a 3500kg GVW is our target so 4x4 instead of 6x6. The chassis has also been specially lightend to save valuable kg.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Nice Wheels!

15" wide tyres might be a bit over the top for standard fitment but I like them.

After a few trial engine/transmission installations it is time for final build. Engine and gearbox mounts are bolt on which, combined with the open front end makes for very easy engine installation.

The frame is constructed from 350 yield mild steel which is hot-dip galvanised in a single operation. Zinc covers the whole of the structure, both inside and outside box sections, providing maximum anti-corrosion protection. Protection consists of pure zinc on the outer surface (which will ultimately form a zinc oxide layer) and a zinc-iron alloy at the interface with the steel.

The picture shows the galvanised steel frame ready to be clad in its aluminium skin. Body panels are constructed from marine quality aluminium alloy with a thickness of 1.5mm throughout.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Building the first prototypes and hoping it ends up looking like the CAD data!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Happy New Year

The first update for 2010 is long overdue so I thought I would let you know about the latest developments that have been keeping me quiet lately.

We have been fortunate enough to benefit from highly capable automotive industry tools and expertese in the F8 development process. High performance Stress Analysis software has been used to carry out structural FEA (Finite Element Analysis) on the Ibex chassis CAD model. Coincidently, physical durability testing has been carried out on prototype chassis. FEA provides a stress plot of the structure as a whole, identifying areas of significant strain energy. As well as providing a very useful measure of durability, the physical testing has provided correlation with the FEA and demonstrates the accuracy of the CAE model.

The result is an accurate CAE model of the structure which can be used to predict the impact of design modifications.

Creating a model of this quality is by no means a simple task and the accuracy is very much determined by the skill of the experts who specialise in this subject. A big thank you goes out to the team.

More information and pictures of the development to follow shortly...