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how difficult is it to build a car?

whats the most complex part about it.

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Michael’s Answer

It depends on what kind of car you are building. On the college level, there competitions in which teams of engineers design and build some type of race care or dune buggy. These cars are entirely within the realm of college students. In my opinion, the most complicated part is the suspension.
For example, my son was involved in a "Baja Buggy" competition where each team was given a 10hp motor and had to design a framework, transmission, suspension, and steering for an offroad vehicle. A team of 10 or so designed and assembled theirs in a semester. It's handy to know how to use CAD (e.g. SolidWorks), and to have general machine shop experience. It's handy to have a garage or machine shop in which to do your work. And lots of tools.

Michael recommends the following next steps:

Go online, look for "how to build a dune buggy". There will be many hits.
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Dennis’s Answer

I concur with John Nolan's answer. We have over 100 years of car-building technology at our disposal. And, that was built, initially, on the "carriage" technology already in existence. Making a "horseless carriage" was the goal of the early builders like Daimler, Benz, (Louis) Chevrolet, etc. Those were mostly hand-built cars, and there was a lot of "trial and error" involved. Then people like Henry Ford came along and figured out how to mass-produce a vehicle that most people could afford. Ford's contribution was the factory, not the car per se. But, there was a lot of innovation in the Model T. So, if you want to build a unique, one-of-a-kind car....have at it. If you want to re-build an older car, that is a fun project. If you want to mass produce a car, there's much to consider. What's the the most complex part? Getting about 10,000 people to have the same goal, figure out where to source parts, how to build an assembly line. Someone has to design the body, the engine or whatever propulsion system, the suspension, and so on. Today's automobiles use about thirty micro-processors to control just about everything in the car. It takes teams of engineers and others to develop the specifications for the vehicle you want to build, and more teams to actually design and test the things that will meet those specifications. Which is most complex? Pick your poison.
I hope this gives you some ideas, Brady. Good luck to you, whichever direction you plan to take.
Thank you comment icon Dennis makes good points. That is, there are many things to consider. I would recommend looking into working/interning a small (or large) company that is building cars already. Not sure what type of car you would like to build but maybe try looking into small companies like one of my personal favorites: Aptera (https://aptera.us/). You could also look to build other vehicles like a gokart or bicycle to learn the basics. Try searching up DIY gokart on youtube and click around. You will need to learn welding and math as well as many other skills. Most importantly, though, your mindset will develop into that of an engineers, and you will eventually be responsible enough to fully design and build your own car one day. Best of luck! Kessler DuPont-Teevin
Thank you comment icon Thank you for commenting, Kessler...good points and good advice for next steps. Dennis Taylor
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John’s Answer

Your question is too broad. What is your background? What tools do you have on hand to use? Are talking about a "Kit Car", a custom car or a factory spec car? Are you putting brand new parts together or refurbishing old parts? There are a lot of specific skills required to properly build a car. for someone with no background or equipment it is nearly impossible. For someone with a few years of experience, the hardest part is finding the space and time.
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