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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 1:54 pm 
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Hello all,

I am embarking on a build of a ~ +10-42 Seven replica with a Ford 6.8L V10. Chainsaw? Meet butter. Butter? Meet your maker.

Really, it's because I absolutely LOVE the sound a V10 makes, I have experience building this specific engine for more performance, they are cheap and plentiful (i.e., LOCOST) and I've already amassed quite a few parts, including the engine and transmission.

(if there were a ~3.5-4 liter V10, I would use that, but alas, nobody makes one, except Judd, and they're a wee bit out of my price range!)

Hey, there's people putting LSX engines and Big Block Chevys in these, so why not?

Chassis will be 1.5" square 14ga. tubing, with somewhat beefier steel used in suspension bracketry, etc. I want independent rear suspension, Which I am planning on getting from a 1999-2004 Mustang Cobra, as they are cheap on eBay due to so many converting them to a solid axle setup. I want same year Cobra spindles and brakes on the front end as well, for matching bolt patterns and brake systems.

I want a full leather interior, and a handmade softtop, through-cowl headers, handmade by me, and Dayton wire wheels with knockoffs. Painting it British Racing Green.

Thoughts/Flames?

Cheers
:cheers:


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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 10:25 pm 
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RoaringTwenties wrote:
I am embarking on a build of a ~ +10-42 Seven replica with a Ford 6.8L V10.
As Mae West once said, "Too much of a good thing can be just wonderful." I'm not sure she was talking about cars, but the same rule applies... :mrgreen:

You might want to swap the Cobra rear diff cover for one off an IRS Explorer. The mounts are better for containing the torque. And I'm pretty sure you're gonna have torque...

As for "Thoughts/Flames"... I like flames, got some on the nose of my car. Go for them, too! Hell, compared to puttin' a V10 in the damn thing, flames are no big deal. :rofl:

Build On, Bro! And send us (Perry) lots of pictures.
:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 10:57 pm 
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I don't think that powerplant will fit in a "book" frame, but these chassis are pretty easy to stretch and widen...providing you do it in the planning stage rather than the cutting and welding stage.
RoaringTwenties wrote:
Chassis will be 1.5" square 14ga. tubing, with somewhat beefier steel used in suspension bracketry, etc.
1.5" 14 gauge is just about twice the weight per for of 1" 16 gauge, not that you V10 will have any trouble pulling it around. I doubt it'll be as nimble as a traditional Locost, but if you can keep the weight under a ton and a half, it'll be more nimble than a Viper.
RoaringTwenties wrote:
Painting it British Racing Green.

Thoughts/Flames?
I think British Racing Green flames are cool.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 11:50 pm 
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Go for it. I had one in hotrod with 5, 2 barrel carbs loved it.


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PostPosted: January 6, 2017, 10:55 am 
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Thanks for all the input guys:

As for the weight, I still think it will be around 2000-2200 or so, so still less than a Miata. The engine with accessories, weighed on a big scrap scale at the junkyard I used to work at weighs 686 pounds, which isn't light, but I will be ditching the heavy iron exhaust manifolds, and the HUGE aluminum "squid" intake manifold with its super long, torque-biased truck runners for an individual throttle-body setup. (sweet, sweet ITB V10 noises..... 8) )

The transmission is a Tremec TR3650 from a 2002 Mustang GT, and weighs in a 120 pounds. Is it the lightest setup? Far from it, but not as heavy as some others. It's really not bad when you consider that the engine has a 6-bolt main iron block! (making it super strong for power-upgrades)

Not that I'm going to want much more power in this light of a car, but still...

GonzoRacer: Thanks for the tip on the Explorer parts, I did not know that! You bet your sweet bippy It will have torque.... :twisted:


Thanks guys!


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PostPosted: January 7, 2017, 12:47 pm 
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I say go for it. I have the 6.8 in my F-250 work truck and it has run without a lick of problems for 196,000 miles. Still running strong. I too love the odd loping sound of the exhaust. Good luck in your build.

Tom

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PostPosted: January 7, 2017, 2:27 pm 
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A V10? Wow, I gotta see that! I too am a heretic, with 3.8L V6, but a guess I'm still 2-cylinders less of a sinner than the V8 guys. :mrgreen: We'll have to invent a new category of sinner for a guy with a V10 powered Locost. :lol:

I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it, and I'll be very anxious to see your photos.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: January 7, 2017, 2:36 pm 
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Sounds like a very cool build.

That's a heavy engine! I didn't realize those were so heavy. How much power are you intending to make?

Are you doing IRS for the ride, handling, coolness, challenge, or some combination?

A heavy-duty frame is a good idea. You might consider not just thicker steel at critical mounting points, but also extra bracing at those points. As you get further from the beaten locost path there is more danger of both over engineering and under engineering. It's pretty much impossible to optimize in an oddball one-off build. The over-engineered side is safer, and with V10 power the weight penalty would be academic. There won't be a lighter version of your car driving around somewhere, and even if there were it's not like you'll meet it competition.

Make sure you're planning extra room for engine cooling. You'll need more than double the normal locost cooling capacity. You can't just use a thicker radiator, it will have to be wider and/or taller as well, maybe by a lot. That large radiator will probably also require at least two large puller fans. It shouldn't be a problem if you plan for it from the beginning.

Good luck with the planning and build

-Graveyard

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PostPosted: January 7, 2017, 3:28 pm 
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It's no worse in weight than the big block chevy I've seen put in one of these. +1 for overengineering. I want it to be as safe as it can be.

Power-wise, I'm rebuilding the engine with high compression, H-beam connecting rods, ported heads, and big cams, so I'm hoping for 450-500@6500-7000rpm.

I want a car that is basically a Morgan V8 look-alike, with handling that is still better than a viper, that makes viper-like noises, and has a far superior power-to-weight ratio to a viper.

I am going IRS for the handling/washboard roads in my area factor. Yes, it will be more of a challenge, but in the end, I believe it will pay off.

The radiator is likely going to be a 4-row T-bucket-type radiator, made for high-horsepower v8s in hotrods. I think it will do the job, and make a nice "body line starting point" for the cowl I have in mind.

I will get some sketches uploaded this weekend sometime to give you guys an idea of where the old noodle is going with this bad boy!

:cheers:


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PostPosted: January 9, 2017, 11:05 am 
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[quote="RoaringTwenties"

Hi RT,
I guess we are all capable of crazy ideas in this Sevenesque building World and I had quite a few myself. The choice of a 6.8 L Ford banger would seem a bit extreme to some, but they are not You.
My first reaction to your project was : weight. To run this Ford V10 safely you should not only upgrade the tubes to 1.5" G14 but to reflect on the suitability of the Lotus seven space frame design altogether. Do the math and see whether the ladder chassis as found in heavier cars (look at Cobras) would not be a better engineering choice. Plans for a cobra chassis are cheap. You may end up with a lighter safer rig and this would not keep you for dressing the vehicle as a locosts seven . In any case, welcome to this group which in my 10 year experience offers a great range of wisdom.


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PostPosted: January 9, 2017, 3:35 pm 
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Phil,

I've been thinking about that myself. What if the bottom spaceframe members were made of 2"x3" .120 wall box tubing, as many hotrod frames are, but keeping with the 1.5" 14ga. tubing for the rest of the spaceframe? I still want it to look Morgan +8-like when it is finished, and be as small as possible. The weight penalty would be minimal, but I think the strength would be enormous.

Granted, a lot of the frame will be changed anyway to accommodate the IRS and different engine/ bodywork, but I still plan on using the McSorley 442 as a jumping-off point. Once I build the table and get the IRS (which is a nice unitary assembly, another + of using it), I'll mock things up, take pictures, and get more feedback, too.

Just some thoughts


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PostPosted: January 9, 2017, 4:24 pm 
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RoaringTwenties wrote:
Phil,

I've been thinking about that myself. What if the bottom spaceframe members were made of 2"x3" .120 wall box tubing, as many hotrod frames are, but keeping with the 1.5" 14ga. tubing for the rest of the spaceframe? I still want it to look Morgan +8-like when it is finished, and be as small as possible. The weight penalty would be minimal, but I think the strength would be enormous.

Granted, a lot of the frame will be changed anyway to accommodate the IRS and different engine/ bodywork, but I still plan on using the McSorley 442 as a jumping-off point. Once I build the table and get the IRS (which is a nice unitary assembly, another + of using it), I'll mock things up, take pictures, and get more feedback, too.

Just some thoughts


All I can say is what I would do if this was my project...which does not mean that I would be right. For about $150 I would get a set of blueprints for a cobra (I did once but I don,t know what I have done with this material). Working from a time proven design would save me a good deal of soul searching and research with respect to choice of tubing, sizes, weights. And there is the whole issue of suspension...I would want to learn from what has been done for decades. With some luck I may even be able to find drawings for the IRS cobra (my old plans were showing a live axle).
I understand your desire to keep the spartan look of a Morgan or Lotus 7. I think you can have it all if you want.
Build a strong, stiff, light frame and dress it the way you want.

My own current project is my second Locost seven. I am in the midst of building a Chevy Corvair powered seven, yes a rear engine and IRS. I too have to design my chassis to accommodate a rear engine.

Good luck with your project. :cheers:


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PostPosted: March 2, 2017, 5:59 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
A V10? Wow, I gotta see that! I too am a heretic, with 3.8L V6, but a guess I'm still 2-cylinders less of a sinner than the V8 guys. :mrgreen: We'll have to invent a new category of sinner for a guy with a V10 powered Locost. :lol:

I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it, and I'll be very anxious to see your photos.

Cheers,

Lonnie, I think that once we get into V10 / V12 territory, it is probably no longer heresy, but dealing with Satan His Self! :shock: :twisted: At least as far as the purists are concerned... I say he should have at it, and enjoy himself!

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PostPosted: March 2, 2017, 9:13 pm 
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Forgive my ignorance.... but how does the leather stand up to the outdoor environment? I mean, you could drive it around only on dry nights and get lucky and never have it rain, but it seems to me that an open-air roadster is just tempting the Rain Gods to strike?

- Tim

PS -- also wondering about the wood finishes, and in fact, the entire subject of interior materials...

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PostPosted: March 2, 2017, 10:55 pm 
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I don't think you want the Mustang IRS stuff, use the the Ford Motorsports spindles for kitcar IRS, aka T'Bird parts. You want to be able to control your rear wheel toe and not have to make mount points for extra links etc.

Is that one of those new motors that tries to make up for a lack of pushrods with extra camshafts? That never works.

Good luck!

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