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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: August 7, 2019, 2:35 am 
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Joined: September 20, 2016, 3:52 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Hey Guys! First of all I just want to say how awesome this site is, it has been a massive help in both the design and building of my car! Thank you to all I have been in contact with on this forum, however, I would like to make a special mention to John (Wheezer) who massively helped/advised and inspired me with his epic build! - John's SV Clone build

Secondly, I do indeed plan on creating a build log - Im just no good at building a car and writing up a detailed load of posts at the same time :lol: The car is very fresh in its completeltion - passed its IVA TEST two weeks ago, registration documents came through less than a week ago, and I'm currently in South Wales with my wife and the car on holiday. In 4.5 days the car has covered over 700 miles and hasn't missed a beat..... so far - which my wife has been very happy about. :D

Sooooooooo where did the crazy idea of building one's own car originate from! Well, that medal would have to be awarded to my dad. From the age of 16 my dad has been fiddling around with cars, stripping them down and rebuilding them, engine / transmission transplants...... Alot of messing! Before I was conceived, my mum had an Austin mini which my dad heavily tuned/modified, to the point she was giving Porshes a good run for their money off the lights on her way into work in Leicestershire.....as a nurse! :lol: I grew up watching my dad tinker with cars, when I reached about 10 years old he started making his first Locost - which he designed himself. I would often be about doing whatever I could to help or keep him company. He wasn't all too happy with the finish on his first Locost, so a number of years later he commenced building a second! I was a young teenager by this time and had well and truly caught the petrolhead bug!!

Skip forward again a few years, when I started building my car with the help of my dad, I was 24, had been married to my beautiful wife (Emily) for 4 years and we had secured a 3 bedroom house with a garage - hence the commencing of my project!

My father in law owns a Caterham 7 and I always liked how they look and thought, that's the kind of look/finish I want my car to have, so I asked if I could nab a few measurements and he kindly said yes! I didn't want to buy a kit build as I knew it wouldn't really scratch my itch - I needed to build my own car from the ground up.

Donor of Choice was a 1997 Mk1 1.8 MX5 with 82,000 miles on the clock and 3 months MOT for a bargain exchange of 250 British Gold Coins! I don't want to go into too much detail about the car now as all will be included in the future build log. The chassis was designed by my dad, using some of the measurements taken from the Caterham, the suspension is fully independent, fully adjustable, double wishbone front and rear. Caterham doors, scuttle, windscreen, bonnet, nosescone and wheel arches - because it made my life so much simpler haha! Floor is 2.5mm thick Aluminium (can't remember what Grade, stronger grade than body panelling) bonded and riveted every 50mm. Side and rear skin is 1.2mm 1050 half hard Aluminium. The engine has been tweeked with a little, and is being ran by a Ms2 basic megasquirt. I'm yet to return to the tuners to get a final power figure as things did need to be dialed down a bit to ensure I passed the necessary emmisions tests for the IVA test. Im predicted to be in the 160bhp at the flywheel region.

The car took 3 years to build, start to finish including strip down and clean up of the donor parts. My approach has very much been do it once, do it right! - as best I can anyway. Its not really been a low-cost build, with every part being stripped and rebuilt/refurbished apart from the gearbox. But I knew the kind of build I wanted, and what I wanted the finished product to be so I just went for it.

The biggest thanks has to go out to my dad. This wouldn't have been possible without you and I could never thank you enough for helping me realise this dream!!

Anyhooooooo here's some pics of the car. Hope you enjoy.
My dad's car is the one in the background.

Thanks again to all

Jacob Armstrong


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PostPosted: August 7, 2019, 4:10 am 
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Joined: December 24, 2007, 5:11 am
Posts: 930
Location: Seattle area
Congratulations! Looks like a job well done. Glad you're here.


Cheers

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PostPosted: August 7, 2019, 9:18 am 
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Joined: October 19, 2010, 11:57 am
Posts: 491
Location: Waterloo, WI
What a great story and awesome looking car! Thanks so much for sharing. :cheers:

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PostPosted: August 7, 2019, 9:35 am 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 5174
Location: West Chicago,IL
Now that is downright cheating. Starting out with Se7en DNA in your blood, Years of hands-on wrenching growing up, a family support team at your side and a Caterham at you beckon call for reference. That is a lot more than many of us had. It worked well as your car clearly shows. You dad should be proud. So should you. Nice job!

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE


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PostPosted: August 8, 2019, 1:06 am 
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Joined: September 20, 2016, 3:52 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Cheers for the replies and the kind comments chaps! Such a good forum to be a part of.


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PostPosted: August 8, 2019, 10:30 am 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 4073
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Very, very nice build. You'd think it came from a new car showroom. Congratulations.

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

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: August 11, 2019, 12:49 am 
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Joined: August 2, 2009, 3:34 pm
Posts: 621
Location: Alberta
Ah Mate, I'm not sure how to tell you this, but you went and put the steering wheel on the wrong side. Must have mirrored the plans somehow..... :lol:

Looks really nice.

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PostPosted: September 6, 2019, 5:53 am 
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Joined: September 20, 2016, 3:52 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Haha Trochu! Perhaps I'm just in the wrong country! Have absolutely loved getting out in it. The short lived summer seems to have come to an end over here so I now have it in the garage sorting out a few teething issues. Again, all the hard work seems to have finally paid off!


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PostPosted: September 29, 2019, 6:24 am 
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Joined: September 20, 2016, 3:52 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Hey again guys! A little update on the car, unfortunately not a particularly great one for me. :(

So when I started this thread I was on holiday with my wife in Wales enjoying the car after literally only just officially hitting the road the day before! The holiday was absolutely fantastic!! We covered about 1400 miles and the car never missed a beat!! I had realised, however, that my diff was pretty much shot - whined like a mule!! We didn't let it get too much in the way of having a good time as we were tootling about on little coastal roads and therfore wasn't that loud.

We get plenty of lovely comments from passers by when we were out and about, including one chap who had owned pretty much every model of caterham built over the years - a true fanatic! He said it was the best example that wasn't actually a caterham he had ever seen! Which of course was a lovely thing to hear!

Skip forward a couple of weeks after the holiday, and I took one of my work colleagues out for a bit of a joy ride....... Unfortunately I got a little over excited and was on the throttle too hard coming out of a bend and I lost it! The car spun off the road and hurtled towards a barbed wire fence line, taking out about 3 fence posts until eventually coming to a stop!

Im sure for anyone else having experienced something like this in their pride and joy, you know the feelings that come after. Words just don't describe how utterly disappointed in myself I was, especially considering I had a passenger in the car! When I made sure both the passenger and myself were okay I got out and looked at the car..... Again words just don't cut it! Gutted! Distraught, feeling pretty disappointed with myself!

Skip forward to now, a good 3-4 weeks later, the insurance has paid out, it isn't a write off as the damage is 90 percent cosmetic. I honestly can't get over how well the car took the hits and punches! The front lower wishbones will need remaking, the passengers top ball joint snapped and the inner steering tie rod bent. I've been over the car with a fine tooth pick and nowhere has the chassis been bent or any of the suspension pick up points!!! Incredibly lucky!!

So the process has begun in stripping down to remake and refit the side skins , which is the biggest part of the job. Lucky I kept all my templates! The rear panel is completely unscathed. The rest of the parts are off the shelf from caterham in regards to bodywork, so that's not so bad. I have alot to learn from all of this but am trying to continue to spin things around and work it for good! No one was hurt, which is absolutely the main thing. My pride perhaps.. but that mends, Its another opportunity to learn, grow and mature. Its the tough times that often really shape us, I'm not going to wallow around in self pity, what's happened has happened. All I can do is move forward!


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PostPosted: September 29, 2019, 11:28 am 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 4073
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
I'm sorry to hear of the accident. However, as you say, no one was hurt, and you're not letting it get you down. I look forward to seeing Invictus 2.0 in the near future.

Cheers,

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

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: September 30, 2019, 1:46 am 
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Joined: September 20, 2016, 3:52 pm
Posts: 13
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Thanks Lonnie. It won't be long before she's right again!


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PostPosted: October 6, 2019, 11:22 am 
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Joined: August 8, 2014, 6:08 pm
Posts: 730
Location: Green Bay, WI
JSArmstrong wrote:
Hey again guys! A little update on the car, unfortunately not a particularly great one for me. :(

So when I started this thread I was on holiday with my wife in Wales enjoying the car after literally only just officially hitting the road the day before! The holiday was absolutely fantastic!! We covered about 1400 miles and the car never missed a beat!! I had realised, however, that my diff was pretty much shot - whined like a mule!! We didn't let it get too much in the way of having a good time as we were tootling about on little coastal roads and therfore wasn't that loud.

We get plenty of lovely comments from passers by when we were out and about, including one chap who had owned pretty much every model of caterham built over the years - a true fanatic! He said it was the best example that wasn't actually a caterham he had ever seen! Which of course was a lovely thing to hear!

Skip forward a couple of weeks after the holiday, and I took one of my work colleagues out for a bit of a joy ride....... Unfortunately I got a little over excited and was on the throttle too hard coming out of a bend and I lost it! The car spun off the road and hurtled towards a barbed wire fence line, taking out about 3 fence posts until eventually coming to a stop!

Im sure for anyone else having experienced something like this in their pride and joy, you know the feelings that come after. Words just don't describe how utterly disappointed in myself I was, especially considering I had a passenger in the car! When I made sure both the passenger and myself were okay I got out and looked at the car..... Again words just don't cut it! Gutted! Distraught, feeling pretty disappointed with myself!

Skip forward to now, a good 3-4 weeks later, the insurance has paid out, it isn't a write off as the damage is 90 percent cosmetic. I honestly can't get over how well the car took the hits and punches! The front lower wishbones will need remaking, the passengers top ball joint snapped and the inner steering tie rod bent. I've been over the car with a fine tooth pick and nowhere has the chassis been bent or any of the suspension pick up points!!! Incredibly lucky!!

So the process has begun in stripping down to remake and refit the side skins , which is the biggest part of the job. Lucky I kept all my templates! The rear panel is completely unscathed. The rest of the parts are off the shelf from caterham in regards to bodywork, so that's not so bad. I have alot to learn from all of this but am trying to continue to spin things around and work it for good! No one was hurt, which is absolutely the main thing. My pride perhaps.. but that mends, Its another opportunity to learn, grow and mature. Its the tough times that often really shape us, I'm not going to wallow around in self pity, what's happened has happened. All I can do is move forward!

Really a clean car. Sorry to hear about your experience. I can’t imagine the gut wrenching feeling.
I did a ride this summer that everyone with one of these 7’s needs to do because it was such a huge learning experience. Your driving experience I sort of went through without the fence interaction. It came down to cold tires. The car handles like night and day with warm tires. It handles like the idea you have in your head, curve hugging, being able to hit the throttle in a corner and drive out without the rear end giving out. We are all running tires made for 2500#+ cars not 1100-1500#. It would be nice to find tires made for the cars. I only run 15psi of air in the tires and their just fine. With out warmed rubber these cars are slippery because of the lack of weight. So should we be running considerably lower UTG ratings? Like 100 or lower?

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My build : viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17160


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