Sunday, June 15, 2008

Build of a 1980's Trimuter

I purchased the Trimuter back in January off Ebay as a body shell and a frame that had seen 25 years of neglect. Since the body had never been attached to the frame much less completed I decided to work on cleaning up and repairing the frame while I researched how to finish the body. I'll post pictures as soon as I take then.

The Trimuter was designed by
Robert Q Riley. Additional information about the designer is available at

rimuter was introduced on the cover of Mechanix Illustrated
magazine in February, 1980. Trimuter differs from its forerunners by having three wheels instead of four - one front and two rear. This distinctive layout leads to the car's striking and efficient wedge shape. It also means that Trimuter is a motorcycle and not a car in the eyes of the federal government. The ICE version,which is what I have, is powered by a 16-hp, two-cylinder industrial engine, delivers 50 miles to a gallon of regular gasoline - about the same as a large motorcycle. Additional information is available at the designer's web site

I have the frame about half done. I've stripped off most of the rust and primered and painted as I work. I've replaced the IRS bushngs on the left side and rebuilt the brake hardware on the same side. The coil spring isolators have been replaced with urethane pieces also.
Of course nothing is worth doing unless you are willing to suffer the pain. I was attempting to drive the u-joints out of the left axle with a 3 pound hammer when the blow glanced off the work piece and landed squarely on my thumb. That stopped all work for two weeks. It took a trip to the hospital and 17 stitches to sew the thumb pad on. It would have been so bad but I have a press to do this with.

I was able to paint a little more of the frame today and add new washers to the aluminum wheels. I also reassembled the left side suspension with new urethane pads o the spring. I drilled out the bolt hole for mustache bar and got the bushing installed in bar's ends. I'll need to get new bolts since the originals were very rusted.