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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: October 12, 2018, 1:33 pm 
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Location: Oregon, usually
In my Red Raid for body parts in the attic, I found a shiny new bonnet.

We didn't produce fiberglass bonnets for a couple of reasons; the biggest is that worst-case (from Oregon to rural New Jersey) UPS charges for shipping a box that big are over $200, which is more than I would hope to sell them for (I'm hoping/guessing $199, same as a nose or scuttle), and the other is that people make so many variations of Locosts that we couldn't afford to make a half dozen molds for the half dozen common chassis.

But since the early days, we've had great success with sectioning standard parts and builders bonding them back together to the dimensions that suit their builds, particularly the Super Scuttle, which comes in a right and a left, and can be trimmed to fit anything from a "book" chassis to a +442e (and then laminated back together with fiberglass mat and polyester resin, so put on old clothes and don't do it in the kitchen).

And a decade later, the lightbulb lit up over my head: we could do the same thing with hoods. I mean bonnets.

I checked in with UPS this morning, and split in half vs. shipped whole, it's $74.64 vs $206.70 from us to the furthest east coast rural residence (and cheaper everywhere in between). For not a lot extra, we can make hood halves that are 2" wider (each) to make +4" hoods at home.

So the question is, is there a market for fiberglass hoods, assembled by you guys to the width you want, sufficient for us to have molds made?

Standard dimensions are 35-1/2" long, and 37-3/4" wide, 11" high at the back, and 25-1/4" wide and 8-1/8" high in the front, and they mate with our TTL nose and scuttle with no adjustments.


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File comment: Oooh...shiny!
RedBonnetTop.jpg
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File comment: Does not come with Dzus buttons in the sides. I think you should have two per side anyway; one front, one back.
RedBonnetFtQrtr.jpg
RedBonnetFtQrtr.jpg [ 20.48 KiB | Viewed 786 times ]

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PostPosted: October 12, 2018, 1:57 pm 
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Joined: February 8, 2007, 4:35 pm
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With nice louvers to reduce lift and extract heat, there might be a need.

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PostPosted: October 12, 2018, 6:31 pm 
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I was going to suggest that, too. Louvers are something that would be very easy to build into a mold, but can be very difficult to do in aluminum (unless you're lucky enough to have someone within a few hundred miles with a louver press).

Another observation - for those (like me) who intend to hinge their hoods down the center, a center-split hood wouldn't even have to be bonded together! Man, would THAT save a lot of time!

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PostPosted: October 12, 2018, 8:40 pm 
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Not a bad idea. I do see where there might be problems for those that don't use both your nose and scuttle.

However I don't think I'm alone when I say that fitting an aluminum hood is one of the toughest tasks of the build.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: October 13, 2018, 10:58 am 
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I like the idea. I have the Kinetic nose and scuttle for the Haynes build, however. Could these 2-piece hoods be adapted to that situation?

I second both the hinge-down-the-middle and louver notions suggested above. The hinge setup might be an optional accessory item. If you're stopped at a service station on the road, who wants to find a protected place to put your one piece bonnet down? I'd rather have a hinged hood and a simple prop rod for each side.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

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PostPosted: October 13, 2018, 1:06 pm 
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Everyone is talking about louvers. I never found it a necessary feature, even with my hot running rotary engine. And when I did build, I went to great effort to keep[ the original smooth bonnet look. If one wants louvers, would it even be possible for everyone to agree on location and number? Probably not. Then there is the question of who is doing the cutting out of the vents? The end user? or Kinetic? Cutting out and making the openings look even would be a difficult task IMO no matter who does it. And what about the guys who want the sleek, non-louvered look? To prevent Jack from having to make multiple large molds, with and without louvers, maybe he could make a separate mold of just louvers that could be chopped into the number of vents desired. The users could then just add them, as many of them, and wherever they want. Heck, fiberglass louvers may already be available on the market.(not wanting to take business away from Jack)

I'm not in the market for a hood, but thought that I'd add another option to consider.

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PostPosted: October 13, 2018, 1:46 pm 
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I'm in agreement with rx7locost. My personal build is going for more of a stalker look, with open side panels. to me louvers wouldn't make sense.If hoods were available for purchase I would be very tempted since I'm not one for body work. And I do plan on using kinetic parts for my build.


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PostPosted: October 13, 2018, 8:24 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
Personally, I’m a big fan of the original 7 look (in my case, I’m going for the look of the 1969 Super 7 Mk.III, Sotheby’s louvers woul look right. And the extra cooling can’t hurt. I’d happily cut out the openings myself - a few minutes’ careful work with a die grinder would do an excellent job of it

I know the Center hinge isn’t original (although I’ve seen a couple that were so-modified) but, i’ve also seen guys at gas stations, trying to find a safe place to park their fragile, hand-made aluminum hoods where some 8-year-old isn’t going to stumble over it. Being able to open one side or the other while the hood stays in place is worth the deviation from originality, IMHO.

:cheers:

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PostPosted: October 13, 2018, 11:56 pm 
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FWIW my Birkin wide body has 152 louvers cut in the top of the aluminum hood. Clearly, I have no cooling issues.


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PostPosted: October 14, 2018, 12:19 am 
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I think the new Ca*****hams have a total of 49, in 7 groups of 7.

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PostPosted: October 14, 2018, 5:13 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
So the question is, is there a market for fiberglass hoods, assembled by you guys to the width you want, sufficient for us to have molds made?

Standard dimensions are 35-1/2" long, and 37-3/4" wide, 11" high at the back, and 25-1/4" wide and 8-1/8" high in the front, and they mate with our TTL nose and scuttle with no adjustments.


I can only tell you what I was looking for when I was planning my last two sevens. The hood looked straight forward to fab and was never an issue; a decent hood to nose cone assembly was. I tried to buy a stalker hood+nose unit but they were not interested in selling parts, just full kits.
If a longitudinal mold could be made to provide two halves of a bonnet and nose unit IMO you may have a market. But of course that's just me and I have not even looked at the cost of shipping. :cheers:


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PostPosted: October 16, 2018, 3:34 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
Louvers are something that would be very easy to build into a mold, but can be very difficult to do in aluminum (unless you're lucky enough to have someone within a few hundred miles with a louver press).
Gulp. I've put a whole lot of hours into putting louver-size details on mold patterns, and if I wanted louvers on my own hood...I'd make a louver press and an aluminum hood.
zetec7 wrote:
I’d happily cut out the openings myself - a few minutes’ careful work with a die grinder would do an excellent job of it.
It would, but I think those "few minutes" would give you an appreciation of the 'ease' in which they were built into the mold. And since I typed that about making a louver press, I went on Amazon and searched <aluminum louvers> and there are plenty of bolt-on options, so I'd probably do it that way instead, now that I think about it.
zetec7 wrote:
Another observation - for those (like me) who intend to hinge their hoods down the center, a center-split hood wouldn't even have to be bonded together! Man, would THAT save a lot of time!
I like that idea.
zetec7 wrote:
I know the Center hinge isn’t original (although I’ve seen a couple that were so-modified) but, i’ve also seen guys at gas stations, trying to find a safe place to park their fragile, hand-made aluminum hoods where some 8-year-old isn’t going to stumble over it. Being able to open one side or the other while the hood stays in place is worth the deviation from originality, IMHO.
The removable hood is light and simple, but it's a bit of a nuisance sometimes...and a split hood with a hinge could still be removable when one wanted it removed.

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PostPosted: October 17, 2018, 1:47 pm 
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That's my plan. I figure on a center support, with the hinge attached to it & to both sides of the hood. The center support (maybe an aluminum "T" shape or something) will attach at the top of the scuttle's front edge & at the nose. I'd like to have clips/screws/pins at each end so the whole thing can be removed, if desired, in seconds. I'm all about "access" in my build...even the aluminum side panels on either side of the engine bay will be attached with Dzus fasteners. The access to my engine will be extremely good...

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