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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 75
Location: Montreal, Quebec
I am patiently waiting for the front suspension work.

Just wondering cause I am pondering a ford ranger also but I noticed it used some weird ibeam sus.

Just wondering,

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Looks like I haven't updated my log in a while, but that's not to say I haven't been doing anything. I have slowed down significantly in the last couple of weeks due to a variety of other things coming up, but here's my latest progress.

I borrowed an engine hoist from a friend of mine, and finally got the engine and transmission into the frame as a single unit. Whee, glad to see it fits! I fabbed up a couple of engine mounting brackets, and the transmission mounting bracket, using the stock Ranger rubber mounts. They are angled quite a bit from horizontal but I don't think I will have any issues with them trying to splay out under load, which some people have concerns about.

Before that I made some brackets to attach to the axle, but I couldn't weld them on to the axle properly. I find I'm not getting enough heat with my current rig. I may try to get a different welder (been looking at some nice 3-in-1 TIG/MMA/Plasma cutter units online), or I may get someone else to weld that for me. Btw, this is a Ford 7.5" axle, which has close to 2" of offset for the pinion, to clear up some confusion (or add to it).

In regards to the front suspension, check out the thread in the other forum regarding Ranger spindles. The I-beam setup is no an issue in itself, just the fact that the ball joints attach to the spindle very close together and in the same orientation. I bought some round stock aluminum and I'm going to try to see if I can turn some spacers on a lathe at work. We'll see how that turns out.


Attachments:
File comment: Engine mounts and diagonal bracing in place.
250942_10151040068241620_428535046_n.jpg
250942_10151040068241620_428535046_n.jpg [ 100.46 KiB | Viewed 1367 times ]
File comment: Welds on the engine mount.
250942_10151040068236620_516623015_n.jpg
250942_10151040068236620_516623015_n.jpg [ 46.66 KiB | Viewed 1367 times ]
File comment: Engine and transmission test fit
250942_10151040068221620_580190354_n.jpg
250942_10151040068221620_580190354_n.jpg [ 83.03 KiB | Viewed 1367 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:47 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Well bevins, you're in for a treat - I started on the front suspension a little while back. I've been spending some time after work on a lathe in my building making some spacers and such to make it work, but I've managed to get a working solution, I think.

The details of how the design came about are in this thread, but basically the lower ball joint is attached to the spindle from the underside now, instead of from the top down, using a taper reversing spacer I made. The upper pivot is a rod end (heim joint) attached to a 4" long spacer which fits into the upper ball joint mount on the spindle with the original camber adjuster removed. The lower ball joint is a K6527, which I think is off a grand am. It has a 2"/foot taper, or about 10 degrees.

I've started fabricating the lower A-arms. They are similar to one I saw posted on the forum before - haynes roadster maybe? Anyway, I haven't decided if this is the design I'm going to go with, or more of a book style one with the plate on top of the tubes. I'm not real happy with the welding on this one either - I'm just learning to arc weld. Almost all of the welding on my chassis was oxy-acetelyne, which is great for thin stuff but gets a bit tedious on thicker metal, I find. Also, refilling my little tanks is getting expensive. The arc welding is a crappy 115v unit (70 max) from Canadian Tire, which I borrowed from a friend. I've been thinking about getting one of the chinese made 3-in-1 (tig/arc/plasma cutter) units I see on ebay and amazon, but I've been hesitating because I'm not sure about the quality, and because I don't have 220V in my garage right now.


Attachments:
File comment: Spindle with lower ball joint and upper rod end in place.
P7210605.JPG
P7210605.JPG [ 777.02 KiB | Viewed 1284 times ]
File comment: Lower A-arm prototype.
P7210606.JPG
P7210606.JPG [ 785.74 KiB | Viewed 1284 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 75
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posthumane wrote:
Well bevins, you're in for a treat - I started on the front suspension a little while back. I've been spending some time after work on a lathe in my building making some spacers and such to make it work, but I've managed to get a working solution, I think.

The details of how the design came about are in this thread, but basically the lower ball joint is attached to the spindle from the underside now, instead of from the top down, using a taper reversing spacer I made. The upper pivot is a rod end (heim joint) attached to a 4" long spacer which fits into the upper ball joint mount on the spindle with the original camber adjuster removed. The lower ball joint is a K6527, which I think is off a grand am. It has a 2"/foot taper, or about 10 degrees.

I've started fabricating the lower A-arms. They are similar to one I saw posted on the forum before - haynes roadster maybe? Anyway, I haven't decided if this is the design I'm going to go with, or more of a book style one with the plate on top of the tubes. I'm not real happy with the welding on this one either - I'm just learning to arc weld. Almost all of the welding on my chassis was oxy-acetelyne, which is great for thin stuff but gets a bit tedious on thicker metal, I find. Also, refilling my little tanks is getting expensive. The arc welding is a crappy 115v unit (70 max) from Canadian Tire, which I borrowed from a friend. I've been thinking about getting one of the chinese made 3-in-1 (tig/arc/plasma cutter) units I see on ebay and amazon, but I've been hesitating because I'm not sure about the quality, and because I don't have 220V in my garage right now.


Any updates on this yet?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Well, I mostly finished the upper and lower front A-arms. I changed the design of the lower ones to be more like the book ones, with the plate attached on top of the tubes. I still need to add the shock attachment points to them (and to the frame) but I will do that when I decide on a shock. Attached is a pic of a quick test fit. I'm still making the mounting points for the other side today. Hopefully I'll be able to get these all attached over the xmas holidays. One thing I'm not sure about is how to jig up the attachment points properly.


Attachments:
File comment: Front A-arm test fit.
PC150763.JPG
PC150763.JPG [ 244.27 KiB | Viewed 1012 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 912
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Jack McCornack's Kinetic vehicles site has suggestions for installing this type of bracket without a jig. There are also various types of MDF jigs . I had pictures of two examples, both of which probably came from build logs here. The first one is simpler ...

[9 Jan 2013 edit to repost photos which disappeared in server update ...]


Attachments:
Bracket Jig.jpg
Bracket Jig.jpg [ 94.64 KiB | Viewed 891 times ]
Frt susp location jig.jpg
Frt susp location jig.jpg [ 24.51 KiB | Viewed 891 times ]

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Isuzu Pickup/SR20DE, +401 COLD frame
Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=11601


Last edited by Warren Nethercote on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Thanks for the pics, Warren (although they seem to have disappeared now?). After fiddling around with the front, I got the brackets aligned to where I wanted them without using a jig in the end. So far I have them tacked in, and the suspension seems to be behaving the way I expected in bump/roll, though I haven't accurately measured the exact camber gain, etc. to confirm yet.

I also got a steering rack from a junkyard this weekend. It is off of an 80's thunderbird, and seems to be about the same width as a mustang rack, which is what I was after. Using Wishbone, I found that I can make a 24.5" wide rack work with only 0.02 degrees of toe change in 3" of bump (though I probably won't be able to position it that accurately by hand, hehe).

I've also been working on getting the rear end in place. I had made four trailing links (13" length eye to eye) and a panhard rod (35" eye to eye IIRC) using the same bungs and rod ends as I had for the front. The issue I'm having now is that since the Ford 7.5" diff pumpkin is quite a bit larger than the escort diff that Champion used, I have to modify the frame a bit to make it work with the bump travel I'm after. I had cut out the centre section of the middle horizontal tube (as SkinnyG warned me I would have to) but that wasn't enough. I had to trim up a few other sections to get it to fit. It will now work ideally if I can manage to move my rear axle back 1/2" to 1" from its current position. This is a matter of making longer trailing link brackets. Making longer trailing arms would probably be a better solution, but having to remake the four of those is gumption draining and I just don't want to do it now. Another thing I could do is extend each rod end by 1/4" (leaving only 1/2" threaded in instead of 3/4") though that would leave less thread engagement than I would like.

I've attached a quick shot of front/rear suspension mockup. It's single sided at the moment since I only have a couple of wheels with approximately the right offset. These are 14"x6" rims carrying 225/60R14 tires giving me a nominal diameter of 24.5" and with a 4" backspacing. The other two wheels that were on the ranger have about a 2" backspacing and taller tires, for some reason. I think I will get some 15x7 rims with 225 section tires, though I haven't decided which ones yet.


Attachments:
File comment: One sided suspension
397689_10151363618721620_1570552797_n.jpg
397689_10151363618721620_1570552797_n.jpg [ 153.26 KiB | Viewed 907 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:03 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Just a quick update before I head to bed. Last weekend I picked up a steering rack from a 1984 Thunderbird at a junkyard in Calgary. This was a power rack with 2.5 turns lock to lock (the 15:1 quick rack) though my plan is to run it as a manual rack by removing all the hydraulics, and possibly welding the pinion shaft solid where the torsion bar is. I made some brackets for it today, and later this week I will attach it to the frame. It originally came with a rubber flex coupling right after the pinion shaft but this coupling is really wide (about 3.5" diameter) and would hit my frame with the rack centred. I removed this and will replace it with a much narrower U-joint. With the tie rods in their shortest position I'm still getting a bit of toe out, but I after putting the engine back in I see I still have room to move the rack back a bit which may alleviate that problem.

The other thing I did recently was made new, longer trailing links for my rear suspension, and tacked in the brackets. The panhard rod and brackets are also tacked in place, so now the rear end is moving properly. No bind in roll; I put the chassis end of the links 7mm further apart than at the axle, though I don't have any jam nuts on the left threaded rod ends yet to fully prove it.


Attachments:
File comment: Steering rack test fit.
P1130785.JPG
P1130785.JPG [ 922.09 KiB | Viewed 827 times ]
File comment: Rear end suspension brackets all tacked in.
P1130788.JPG
P1130788.JPG [ 834.55 KiB | Viewed 827 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
I managed to score a Kirkey racing seat with cover for $75 locally. This is actually a bit wider than I had hoped for and I had to massage my transmission tunnel to make it fit, but for that price I couldn't pass it up. I will have to add some padding to the sides to make it narrow enough for my frame but the wider seat leaves the option open for other (bigger) people to add my car. I know some people like to fit their car to themselves and themselves only but want some family members to be able to try the car to. I also installed the seat on sliders that I sourced from my '93 Escort seat and modified by cutting off the stock mounting tabs and welding them to 1" tubes which are then welded to my chassis. This gives me about 4" of fore/aft movement before the seat gets stuck in the narrow frame. I'm starting to wonder whether I should have built a +4 frame just so I would have more seat options. While in general this seat seams comfortable enough, I think I'm going to remove the rib protector on (it only has it on the right side) as it digs into my armpit due to this seat being a bit too wide for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:22 am
Posts: 579
Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
Looking good man.

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Perry

2 down, 2 to go

'If man built it, man can fix it'

"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."

http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=12234

http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14030


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:56 pm
Posts: 241
Location: Warrenton, Virginia
Great to see the wheels on and sitting on the ground!!! This is the first time I've checked your log since the new year started. The next time your at the 7 could you measure from the shifter to the front of the bell housing? I have the same trans behind my 2.8 and I'm starting to think the cockpit on the 442 frame I have started is to long for what I want.
The ranger rear looks at home in the Book Frame. I went with an 87 mustang 7.5 in a 45" wide frame and with 16 x 7 wheels it's pretty tight.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Hey STranger, is the mustang rear end a different axle than the ranger one? With the ranger axle and stock wheels (about 4.5" backspacing) it fits the book frame nicely, but with a wider frame I would need wheel spacers or negative offset wheels. I'll get the trans measurement for you tonight or tomorrow, but I can tell you that I'm going to have to make a shifter linkage to bring the actual lever further back. Right now if I just cut down the stock lever and left it as a direct shift, the lever would be under the dash somewhere.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:02 pm
Posts: 170
Location: White Rock, BC, Canada
Posthumane wrote:
Hey STranger, is the mustang rear end a different axle than the ranger one? With the ranger axle and stock wheels (about 4.5" backspacing) it fits the book frame nicely, but with a wider frame I would need wheel spacers or negative offset wheels.


If it helps, my book width frame uses a foxbody mustang axle. 4.9" backspacing fits correctly so probably the same width. Ranger uses leaf-springs and the Mustang uses 4-link so the case is definitely different. Probably same internals/axles/tubes though.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:47 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 am
Posts: 121
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
STranger, the measurement from shifter to bellhousing is 24" on my transmission. The shifter ends up sitting within the downwards sloping front part of the tunnel, between tubes g and h and behind tube P.

Cory, I had forgotten that the mustang uses a 4 link. What is the pinion offset on yours? On the Ranger axle it's almost 2", which makes the passenger side very narrow in a book frame.

I have attached a floor to my car now, made of 20ga steel and welded on. If I were doing it again I'd probably go with aluminium riveted on instead as the steel floor did not turn out very flat. Ordered a pair of Hayabusa shock assemblies with springs and I'm hoping I can make them work in all four corners. The rears will probably have to have bellcranks and be positioned horizontally, but the fronts can probably be attached directly to the A-arms at a fairly steep angle to get a low motion ratio.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:56 pm
Posts: 241
Location: Warrenton, Virginia
Posthumane,

Thank you. For what it's worth, 1987 fox mustang 7.5 offset = 5/8 " to Passenger side. With 16 x 7 wheels, 5 5/8" back space, 47" between tires.

Ron


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