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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: March 5, 2013, 7:46 pm 
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Location: Novato, CA
Lonnie, I used a conduit bender for my 16 gauge 3/4" DOM rear hoops. Conduit is not quite 3/4" diameter, I think it's closer to .7", but the 3/4" fit okay.

Downsides of conduit bender: takes a lot of muscle, you really have to slam into it, also, and this might've just been my bender but I don't think so, radius is limited to 6", which is just about the max you'd want to go, and definitely not small enough for the lower corner bends. I used 1" strips of 1/8" steel there.

It's definitiely tricky with a conduit bender to make two 90-degree bends in a single length of DOM and end up with both ends exactly parallel and exactly 42" (or 46") apart. I made two corners and welded them together to make the hoop.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2013, 9:01 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
OK, Nick, that sounds fairly cautionary. I'll check your build log to see how you did your strips at the corners.

Thanks,

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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: March 5, 2013, 10:52 pm 
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Joined: February 5, 2010, 12:48 am
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Location: San Diego
Lonnie-S wrote:
Congratulations on the successful first outing. What did the 7 owner think of your car? Did other people assume it was a Lotus too?

On a practical note, and going back to your build log (bottom of viewtopic.php?f=33&t=14587&p=159876&e=159876), I believe you used a conduit bender from Home Depot for doing your rear body hoops, right? Did you also use conduit for the hoops themselves or use 16 gauge steel tubes?

I'm looking for a simple bender (mechanical or hydraulic) to use with 1/2", 3/4" and 1", 16 gauge tubing. My first project with it will be to do some trial seat frames. If they turn out well, I'll build my own seats. If not, I'll buy some.

What sizes of tubing does your bender handle? I don't see any obvious kinking. Did they turn out satisfactorily in your view?

Best,

Lonnie


Well, David was very complimentary, referring to my car as the "real deal". He has about twice the power in his car, but unfortunately I just don't fit in it. My car turned out about 3 inches longer on the nose, and the wheelbase about 7 inches longer. The cockpit is much roomier as you can see in the shots.

I just checked the bender I used and it is a 3/4 inch EMT bender. I remember it was easy to use when the tubing was on the floor (as opposed to in a vice), and I just leaned my weight into it. It produced very nice bends. I think the 3/4 inch EMT is 16 gauge. It was awful to weld, but was my only locally available 3/4 inch tube. I used the EMT for both top and bottom rear rails, and the pair of rails forming the scuttle (which you don't need). You are welcome to borrow the bender - I can take it to work in Escondido for you to collect.


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PostPosted: March 6, 2013, 4:35 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Thanks, Martin. I'm going to go to Home Depot and check it out.

Thank you for the offer to lend also. If it looks like a fit, I'll most likely buy it. That way if I break it, it's my dime lost.

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: March 6, 2013, 8:09 pm 
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Definitely bend the conduit with the tube on the floor. My bender has a place to plant your foot to hold it from lifting off the floor, which helps. I'm not sure of all benders have that.

I found no problems welding conduit. I made my luggage rack from conduit. It is galvanized so some people have a sensitivity to the fumes. It can make them feel ill but it is not hazardous and the feeling will go away within a day or two. Have a glass of milk first, it seems to help. And the galvanized will leave a white residue after welding that must be wiped off. That's all.

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PostPosted: November 28, 2014, 8:19 pm 
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Joined: February 5, 2010, 12:48 am
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Location: San Diego
Well it's been a long time since I even checked out the forum. Two daughters now and I feel the need for some man time. The Locost is doing well with 1,295 miles on the clock. It only gets occasional, but hard, use.

About a year ago I decided to add a front sway bar, using the stock bar from the 1994 donor. It really works nicely, I still have a very smooth ride (soft springs) but better transitional handling. The end links are from McMaster Carr and are the metric high strength units.

I've also added some signal lights on the side of the car, for lane changing safety.

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PostPosted: November 29, 2014, 11:51 am 
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It's looking nice, thanks for the update. Keep coming back once in awhile. My daughter just turned 16 and is taking a sudden interest in the car project! I think she just noticed that building a car is unusual.

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PostPosted: November 29, 2014, 6:10 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Hello Martin!

It's nice to know you're still enjoying your Locost and making improvements. Two daughters now? Wow, how time flies.

Take care,

Lonnie

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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: July 19, 2016, 5:33 am 
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rx7locost wrote:
Definitely bend the conduit with the tube on the floor. My bender has a place to plant your foot to hold it from lifting off the floor, which helps. I'm not sure of all benders have that.

I found no problems welding conduit. I made my luggage rack from conduit. It is galvanized so some people have a sensitivity to the fumes. It can make them feel ill but it is not hazardous and the feeling will go away within a day or two. Have a glass of milk first, it seems to help. And the galvanized will leave a white residue after welding that must be wiped off. That's all.


Actually, itis VERY dangerous. Peoples reaction to different levels of exposure vary, leading some to believe it is not that bad. It is. Wear at least a particulate mask, grind most of the galvanizing off of the area to be welded, and have good ventilation. That should be enough to keep most people from having exposure and symptoms.

After being duly questioned by rx7locost in a pm, I wanted to edit this to reflect my answer to him regarding this topic. I should have said "CAN" be very dangerous, not necessarily "IS" very dangerous.
Just want folks to stay safe and healthy while doing this work. I'll get off my soapbox now... :wink:

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PostPosted: July 20, 2016, 4:08 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Hi Martin,

Any updates to share? Did you continue on with autocross or just do that one session soon after the car was completed?

Cheers,

Lonnie

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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: October 17, 2016, 6:52 pm 
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Joined: April 26, 2016, 1:54 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Houston, TX
Hey Martin

Where did you get the hood scoop from? I may need one when I do my build (Ford Ecoboost 2.0 in Stalker MX5).

What seats did you use?

Thanks.

Phil


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PostPosted: October 17, 2016, 7:19 pm 
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> EMT awful to weld

Next time, buy a small bottle of "muriatic acid" from the local home center. It's sold as concrete cleaner. It's dilute hydrochloric acid, and will remove the galvanizing quickly. I dip the ends of EMT tubes into it to strip them before welding bungs in. You don't want to breathe the gas that's produced during the process.

> .70 vs 3/4

A few layers of tape inside the mandrel will help keep the tube centered and round while bending, but it looks like your bends came out OK.


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PostPosted: January 29, 2017, 8:32 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
Hi Martin,

Any updates to share? Did you continue on with autocross or just do that one session soon after the car was completed?

Cheers,

Lonnie


Hey Lonnie,
I've just checked in for the first time in 2 years it looks like! Life is busy and full of ups and downs, but the Seven is still working great. Over 1,600 miles on it now, which doesn't sound like much but with the young family, a 40 mile trip is a long one.
Your build is coming on nicely. It'll be a work of art when it's done.
I prefer to autocross my Miata for the competition side of things. Just had knee surgery recently though, and another one scheduled next month so racing activities are on the back burner for a while.
Cheers
Martin


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PostPosted: January 29, 2017, 8:40 pm 
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philso wrote:
Hey Martin

Where did you get the hood scoop from? I may need one when I do my build (Ford Ecoboost 2.0 in Stalker MX5).

What seats did you use?

Thanks.

Phil


Hi Phil,
Sorry for the late response, it has been a while since signing in. The hood scoop I'm pretty sure is this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Lund-80001-Large ... 545&sr=1-9
It is certainly a Lund unit.
The seats are Kirkey. The driver's is a friend's old one, and I bought the passenger one new. Sadly they are slightly different, but it's all about the driving, right?
Good luck with the build.

Martin


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PostPosted: January 30, 2017, 11:25 am 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
I'm sorry to hear about your medical issues, Martin, but glad to hear things with the family and Locost are going along well.

Thank you for the compliment. I feel 2017 is going to be the year I get on the road with my build even if it's just completed enough to pass the various inspections. That's my definite plan any way. We've simplified our lives significantly, so I have more shop time now.

Best,

Lonnie

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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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