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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: February 22, 2016, 11:39 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Picked up the Wilwood pedal setup before the holidays and started mocking things up based on the steering column location I wanted.

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Seems that the pedals and steering column want to occupy the same space so let things sit so I could ponder a solution- well, that and it has been pretty cold in the great white north.

Things started to warm up so spent some time in the garage this past weekend and after looking a little bit more, decided to move the steering column a little to the left to clear the pedal assembly. This should give decent room for the master cylinders and the throttle pedal so started making the bracketry to support the pedals.

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PostPosted: April 30, 2016, 6:44 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
A couple updates lately

Finished the bracket to mount the park brake cables to the frame but have not tacked this in place yet.

Attachment:
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Then worked on the steering column mount to the frame- needs a little more work to remove a little weight

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Then tested the clearance to the pedals and tacked it on for now.

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Clearance seems decent to the pedals. Now to figure out where I put the Miata steering shaft from the column to the rack...maybe at the storage unit...or the attic....or..

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PostPosted: August 22, 2016, 9:00 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Finished the pedal mounting bracket but have not tacked it into place yet

Attachment:
Locost_26May16_Pedals_Side_sm.jpg
Locost_26May16_Pedals_Side_sm.jpg [ 305.94 KiB | Viewed 2741 times ]


Want to get the master cylinders ordered and installed to make sure the steering column clears everything.

I did review how the steering shaft would fit through this area and will need to make some adjustments for the steering shaft to clear the frame.

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PostPosted: August 22, 2016, 9:04 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Finally ordered the seat back bracket that I designed months ago- been a crazy summer. Picked the bracket up tonight and wasted no time in installing it.

Went from this welded design

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To this nice, laser cut design

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only had to open up the bolt holes a slight amount to fit well. Will get some button head screws for this at some point.

Need to order those master cylinders to continue on the steering system. Thinking with the Wilwood pedals and 91 Miata brakes, a 7/8" and 3/4" master cylinder for the brakes. I am also thinking a 3/4" master cylinder for the Miata clutch. Does that sound reasonable???

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PostPosted: April 17, 2017, 1:25 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Boy time flies...

Have been making some progress in last few months:
Ordered and have installed the brake and clutch master cylinders and had to move the steering column mount slightly for clearance.


Then spent some time making some more side braces for the frame so I can weld those in at some point...

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With the outer tie rod change, needed to straighten the steering arms to allow the tie rods to mate properly. Found a local welder that an oxy torch and he was able to heat and bend the steering arms for me a month or two back.

Then ordered the tapered reamer from Speedway so I could machine the taper into the top of the steering arms. This should solve my tie rod interference with the lower control arm. I have had the Mazda 323 outer tie rods for a few months but took some time on Friday to machine the tapers. Once I found the right setup of shims to get the steering arm flat in the drill press vise, this went pretty quickly.

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Then started to reinstall the dust shields back onto the knuckles and of course, broke on of the bolts off in the hole. They were going in a little hard but did not think THAT hard but sure enough...snap.

Spent about a half hour drilling that out and then made a run to the hardware store for a replacement bolt. Figured I should tap the remaining holes so I don't break any more bolts and of course they did not have the correct tap size so had to run to the next town over for the correct tap...

Then finished assembling these and dropped them into the front of the chassis. Then took some time to clean the garage so I can get back to work without having to move a bunch of stuff first...

Attachment:
Locost_14Apr17_sm.JPG
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PostPosted: September 21, 2017, 10:16 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Jumping around some as I ponder how I want to modify the steering rack so started working on the exhaust- cut the flange off the mid-pipe so I could use the flange for my exhaust...

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which netted this jem..

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Then spent some quality time with a manual file, a grinding stone on a die grinder and a carbide bit on the grinder to remove the section of pipe left in the flange

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In the meantime, disassembled the steering rack from the donor Miata

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Then carefully removed the power steering ring seal on the rack gear- used a hack saw on a slight angle to cut 98% through the ring and then took an angled punch to break the slot I cut and could then open up the ring enough to remove it..


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As I was looking at the rack gear after this, noticed that the passenger side is hollow for a decent amount of the width- almost to where the teeth start. I was thinking about cutting the end of the rack and then removing a section and welding it back together but then decided to just cut off what I do not need and just drill and tap the remainder.

Figured out the 91 power steering rack inner tie rod is an M17x1.0 thread so ordered that tap. Once that arrived, I drilled out the chunk of the rack that I cut off and will not be using and tried to tap this. I did not think to order the correct size drill bit so found one locally that is a little small thinking I would just take my time. 1/16" small was not going to work so punted and had a local shop drill and tap the rack gear.

THANKS LEON!!

Then while that was going on, cut the rack and pinion housing apart

Attachment:
Locost_28Jul17_Housing_sm.JPG
Locost_28Jul17_Housing_sm.JPG [ 228.89 KiB | Viewed 2246 times ]

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PostPosted: September 21, 2017, 10:24 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Also working on the back half of the frame. Borrowed an electrical conduit bender from a buddy at work and with the help of my junior fabrication helper and my wife, we bent up two rear hoops for the section around the diff/gas tank.

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The bender was an older unit with no directions so we sort of guessed on how to make the second bend so the outside to outside width matched the frame...we were a little off. Thankfully we had enough material left on the end of this piece that we remeasured and made a third bend and that one was right on.

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Then made the second part and that one turned out great also, width wise but as I was looking at it more, I wasn't super happy with the large bend radius. I researched this more and realized that for my 3/4" od tube, I really need a 1/2" conduit bender since conduit is rated by the ID not the OD like tube..grrr. Since the tube was a little rusty anyway, figured I would pick up a new bender with a smaller bend radius and try again. I picked up the bender and some more tube but have not had the time to rebend these pieces. Perhaps tomorrow...

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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 2:34 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
So...slowly making progress or at least that is what I tell my kids..

Did pick up a new conduit bender with a smaller bend radius- was a Gardner model and then picked up another stick of 3/4" DOM tube and with the help of my junior fabricator, made two more rear trunk hoops. They are a little wide so may have to cut and section to get them the correct width afterall but much happier with the smaller bend radius. Pics to follow...

Then move back to the steering rack- tacked the rack housing back together and then had to cut the small slots in the new end of the rack gear for the locking washer to mate to. That went surprisingly quick with the cutting wheel in the angle grinder. Then loosely reassembled the rack and now need to finish fab'ing the rack mounting brackets hopefully this weekend.

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Also cut the stainless exhaust U-bend in about half and figured out where to tack this to the original flange from the original exhaust so can tack that one hopefully this weekend and have yet another parallel path to develop when I run out of steam on one area.

Also mocked up a fuel tank to see how the Kinetic/JAZ 8 gallon fuel cell would fit into the rear of my frame and it looks like it should fit nicely!!!

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Last edited by danderson on December 22, 2017, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 5:43 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1927
Location: Novato, CA
Great progress. I remember making that rear hoop with a conduit bender. Not only difficult to get it the correct length, but also to get both arms parallel. In fact, as I recall, it was impossible. I ended up joining two nicely bent sections at the correct distance and angle.

I also got my JAZ fuel cell from Jack, but mine is 10 gallons. I wish it was bigger. I did end up replacing the filler cap with something that doesn't take two minutes to open at the gas station.


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PostPosted: May 11, 2018, 1:36 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
So some fair progress being made...need to get the pics uploaded but the JAZ fuel cell is here so I can start work on installing that piece but before that, I have the steering rack mounts built and tacked in and inner tie rods modified for the new length AND have the steering shaft cut and lengthened so as soon as I fire up the welder, I can tack the steering shaft extension together and the wheels will turn with the steering wheel!!!

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Last edited by danderson on July 15, 2018, 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 20, 2018, 1:33 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 115
Really need to upload some pics....but making progress on the car lately.

The steering shaft extension is in and tacked together...the steering column mount needed a little modification so that is updated and tacked together...

Attachment:
Locost_9May18_Steering_sm.jpg
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Then moved on to the pedal mount bracket- it still fits with the steering column tacked so tacked the pedal mounts to the frame.

Attachment:
Locost_9May18_SteeringShaft_sm.jpg
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The three studs that hold the exhaust b-pipe to the manifold were slightly boogered up so after trying several times to remove the studs, bailed on this and took it to a local shop. A little time with the heat wrench and the studs were out. Picked up the stainless steel stud set from Advanced Autosports that they use on their Miatas which worked pretty well with a good dose of anti-sieze.

Then jumped on to the exhaust a bit- tacked the first tube section to the flange but the angle was not right so removed that and made a couple adjustments and retacked together. Looks pretty nice!!

Placed the order yesterday for the fuel pump, pre-filter, 5/16" hardline and some fitting so I can get the cell mounted and work on locating the fuel bits.

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Last edited by danderson on July 15, 2018, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 20, 2018, 6:53 pm 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
Posts: 1861
Location: BC, Canada. eh?
BTW - it appears you're using Miata seats (as am I). Mine are grubby, grimy, stained....and blue, which doesn't go with the car at all.

For those using Miata seats, I found a place in California ( https://www.autotopsdirect.com/default.asp ) that makes upholstery kits for Miata seats, at very good prices. I just ordered & received a pair (only $107 per seat!!), and they are of outstanding quality. They're not pull-over type covers, they're a complete, professional-type re-upholstery kit, precisely matching the original Mazda patterns.

Just thought I'd mention it. The price is a "sale" price, only good for another week and a half...

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PostPosted: July 15, 2018, 10:10 pm 
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Posts: 115
My fuel line and fittings arrived from Jegs and was able to borrow a tubing bender and the Eastwood flaring tool from a buddy at work so learned how to bend up brakelines first. Roughly bent the brakelines up first to get an idea where I want to run them.

Then started flaring some scrap pieces of brakeline to learn how to use the flaring tool...took several tries to get the technique down...seems like I was not using enough leverage on the flaring tool arm at first..

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Then flared the rest of the lines. I put a kink in the front line heading to the passenger side so ended up remaking that one but I think these will work pretty well.

Attachment:
Locost_14July18_Brakeline_front_sm.jpg
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The line next to the frame is the one for the rear brakes.

Then moved on to the fuel lines. Saw something in a build log here about using a piece of wire to figure out the line routing before actually bending up the lines so tried this with the fuel lines and I think this worked pretty well.

Attachment:
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The first line seemed to work out pretty well so tried the second line the next day. Used a 3' piece of 3/4" angle iron in the bench vice as a sort of fixture to straighten the lines before bending them up- that worked pretty well.

Attachment:
Locost_15July18_FuelLines_sm.jpg
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The wire template is sort of visible on the ground

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PostPosted: July 16, 2018, 10:30 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
Nice execution on the brake lines. I have a vendor we use for all of our hydraulic hoses, and oncet in a while I can get them to do me a brake line...

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