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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 3, 2012, 6:54 pm 
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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version 1.1.jpg
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I was bitten by the bug when a friend asked me to babysit his Series 2 Lotus 7 for a few years as long as I put it back together (it came in boxes) and autocrossed it nicely. Five years later it went away. What a blast. So, I decided to assemble the components/materials and build my own. Just before I was going to buy the frame material a Caterham chassis was listed in the local paper.
Version 1.1 hit the street and the autocross course in 1984 with a 1600 kent engine and a Datsun 510 stationwagon diff (aluminum pumpkin). After a couple of years it needed more power. A 2.0-liter Lotus 907 engine was obtained and modified to fit. Engine tilted up abit from factory, dry sump pan made, starter relocated to the left side, adapter made to accept a mazda 4-spd. The 510 diff was replaced by an RX2 unit due to ratio availability. Version 2.1 saw action in 1986. Shortly thereafter it became a competition only car with the addition of frame triangulation and other stuff in the passenger area. In 1990, version 2.2 was created with the addition of aero devices (outlawed in 1991). Version 3.1 was started in 1991 because it still needed more power. To accomplish this a turbo rotary was drafted. It was known that this package would need to shed alot more heat, so sidepods were made to house the outboard turbo on the right side and a large oil cooler and radiator on the left side. In 1995, v3.1 hit the track, yikes, too much power :) A larger wastegate with a softer spring and formula atlantic rears made it much better. But now, the rear suspension was incompatible with the desired ride height. Thus, a second gen RX7 IRS was fitted.
It's still a blast.


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version 3.1 ft.jpg
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rear suspension.jpg
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diff and tank.jpg
diff and tank.jpg [ 382.85 KiB | Viewed 10398 times ]
rotary engine.jpg
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version 2.2.jpg
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version 2.1.jpg
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907 engine.jpg
907 engine.jpg [ 101.44 KiB | Viewed 10398 times ]


Last edited by seven13bt on October 31, 2018, 4:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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PostPosted: January 3, 2012, 11:43 pm 
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Very cool!!! Neat evolution.

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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 12:16 am 
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I saw the black car posted in another thread and was dying to know more about it. Great story and terrific looking car!

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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 12:33 am 
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Great pics and story. Your length of ownership has to be some sort of record in the Se7en world.

You should be proud that they had to outlaw something because of you - that is always a great motorsports engineering accomplishment. :cheers:

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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 3:15 am 
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You should be proud that they had to outlaw something because of you - that is always a great motorsports engineering accomplishment.


:cheers:

Thanks for the follow up info here and in the FEA thread. It's an inspiration. With those side pods maybe there'll be some ground effects in your future.

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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 10:17 am 
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Thanks for the feedback.
I wasn't trying to hide this, but the 8 pic limit precluded this one.
"Ground effects" are already limited, but drag reduction rear diffusers are allowed.


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 10:46 am 
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Joined: September 26, 2009, 8:25 pm
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Location: Park Hills, KY
Ok, I'm gonna need more info on the 907 install... I've got one in pieces in my basement along with a JH 4 speed that I intend to use in mine! Have any 907 parts floating around still?


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 10:55 am 
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I still have the 907, just incase I wanted to revert or put it in another project. I'd be happy to share the details of the install.
I'll start a thread in the engine section.


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 10:57 am 
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Location: Park Hills, KY
Sweet! Awesome build and progression... You started on it the year I was born... Lol


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 7:25 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Hi Ron-
I'm kinda late getting to the party, but I do love the way your Se7en looks! Great work on the 'pods and the rear end w/ spoiler. I know what you mean about the aero rules in D and E Mod for Sevens and clones, SCCA pretty well hobbled the Seven as far as frontal aero goes. (Maybe we should all build Jeeps like the one Del sold to my friend Murphy in ATL Region!) It's a shame, because a design such as your red car with the flames looks really good, and the design of the fenders/splitter doesn't make it look any less like a Lotus or give it anything aero-wise that the other cars in D/E Mod wouldn't be allowed to do. I know, the horse is long dead, but still...

I was also wondering, about the spoiler. How does one figure out how high to make the spoiler, and at what angle it should be mounted to the deck? I have a higher rear deck on my build than on a typical Seven. In pictures of similar cars used in road racing/time trials, they look as though they run about a 4 inch tall spoiler, and I'd guess the angle is about 20 to 25 degrees off vertical. Any insight you can pass along would be great!

Good hearing from you, keep us posted!
:cheers:
JD Kemp

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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 8:30 pm 
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Hi JD,
The rear spoiler height is limited to a maximum of 10". This is determined at the base of the spoiler (at the chassis centerline) up to the top of the spoiler. The cross section of the spoiler doesn't have to be flat, a curved cross section that is 10" measured from base to tip is OK. The height off the ground of this center point defines the maximum as the spoiler traverses the back of the car. As an example, on my car that the length of the aluminum at the fenders is 12.5", but it is no higher than the point at the center of the car.
Spoilers angles seem to range from 10 to 30 degrees from vertical.


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 8:42 pm 
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yo, Ron-
Thanks for the quick, concise answer! I recall reading that "10-inch height" rule, now that you remind me. I'm building a car for track trials and hill climbs, as opposed to a Solo2 beastie. I think there's bound to be a point where the drag is more "bad" than the downforce is "good" at the higher speeds on tracks. I'll be researchin' that...

Thanks for your help!
:cheers:
JDK

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"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: January 4, 2012, 8:58 pm 
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JD,
I'm familiar with the SCCA road racing rules, but I don't know if these are used directly by the hill climbers. If you are allowed to use a wing instead of a spoiler, do so, due to lower drag from a wing. As you suggest, the drag from a 10" spoiler height in D/E mod is acceptable only because of the low speeds. When #727 goes on the track, the good ole 1990 wing goes on. :)


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PostPosted: January 7, 2012, 4:18 pm 
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Hi Ron.

Ok I love this... I want to see more !!!
Are you planning to develop the front end to the extent of the D-E mod allowance for the Se7en?
I saw pics on the yahoo list with a cardboard mock up and I'm currious ?
I just think that the Se7en could be in a new ball game if it would be develop to the max of the rules..

Cheers,

Fred


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PostPosted: January 7, 2012, 5:37 pm 
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Busted.
Yes, I've made the subframe and spliter. Made the molds and produced the parts for both sides. Need to do some reinforcement, add some duct holes and finishing.


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