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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: June 22, 2011, 4:12 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I can never complain about getting out and playing with cars - every day is a good day. :)

In raw times I'm usually in roughly the top 25% but typically get slaughtered in PAX times since I'm not as good of a driver as others and the Locost is kind of a mild D-Mod car (relatively low HP and street stires). My initial suspension set up was also kind of mild so the car understeers at the limit. Regardless though I've had a blast and have been playing with settings to try to get more out of the car.

To add to Jack and Chet's parade float theory, the Locost also seems to never have an empty passenger seat.

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PostPosted: August 3, 2011, 1:46 pm 
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Joined: October 11, 2006, 4:11 pm
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada
So I'm not totally neglecting my build... my wife works for the school district and my daughter is on summer holidays... mind you so am I. I'll get back to it in September, I figured that I should just pop in and say hi. Actually this summer hasn't been a real loss (project wise) as I've been getting parts. I bought a turbocoupe 8.8 a few weeks ago, trackloc and 10" vented disks, a little wide at 62" wms to wms but with the right offset and 10" fenders it should work without being narrowed...I think. I bought the drive shaft at the same time thinking that I need the back part of it anyhow, as it would happen the yoke slipped right into my transmission!!! That was a nice surprise so now I only have to worry about getting it shortened. $210 for the works including the calipers.
I bought some 87 supra spindles, hubs etc etc etc from "pick a part" (love that place) last week, I had wanted to keep it mostly Ford but these should work and the rotors are huge! Yep 12" disks are overkill I know, but so is the 8.8. These came in at about $130 for the pair.
I'm thinking of piecing together something from the speedway site or e-bay but I'll be honest and admit upfront that I'm no engineer and I'm not even sure where to start, I don't think I've seen a build on here using these spindles. I downloaded wishbone and got it working in compatibility mode with win 7, but even now that I have it I'm not sure what numbers it's asking for yet, I really need to spend some time playing with it. I'll be more than happy to hear other peoples ideas and experiences. So far all I know is that eventually I want my front track width to be the same as the rear.
The next problem to overcome is bolt patterns, I would have loved to have got everything I had wanted with a common bolt pattern front to rear but it just didn't happen that way, 4x108 in the rear and 5x114.3 in the front, I think that I need to choose one or the other and get the machine work done. I'm leaning towards the 4x108 pattern because I would really like to get some ROTA RB's (15"x7" if they'll fit or 16"x7" if the front brakes are too big) for the car which don't seem to be available in a five bolt pattern. It looks like I have another three digit expense coming up that I won't have much to show for. I hate those, it's always more satisfying to get a bunch of big boxes with new car bling in them.

Cheers,

Ted

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PostPosted: August 3, 2011, 9:01 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
The Turbocoupe is essentially a Foxbody Mustang, and there are swaps to 5x4.5 (114.3) easily available. I believe you need one axle shaft from an Aerostar and the other axle shaft from a Ranger, to convert it over.

I'd go with the 5x114.3 pattern myself, much more common pattern.


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PostPosted: August 4, 2011, 12:36 pm 
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada
I'll have to look into that axle swap, if it ends up being way cheaper then I'll just have to choose some different wheels.

Cheers,

Ted.

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PostPosted: September 21, 2011, 5:05 pm 
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Joined: October 11, 2006, 4:11 pm
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada
Ok so schools back and I'm back in the garage! After a two month hiatus I have to admit that I'm not exactly burning through my build, I'm thinking that it will just be a little bit until I get some momentum going again. My short term goal is to get some paint on it before the weather starts to get wet and the humidity goes up in the garage, not only that but my wife has made mention about wanting to park in the garage again. That being said in work days I think I'm at about 21ish days or so.
So even though I wasn't actively working on my car over the summer I did buy some parts for the car. I hadn't posted any pics so I'll rectify that now.
Before
Image
and afterish...good god what a PITA to clean these up, the other one is going up to a buddies shop so I can use his sand blaster, same with the crusty rear end.
Image
Image
I got some brake pads in off of e-bay yesterday $7 for brand name pads is pretty good in my books. I have to get the rotors turned as of yet hence the paint.
This is a passing shot of the crust rear end. After cleaning up the one spindle etc. I'm thinking I'll just haul that puppy down to the U-blast rather than my buddies shop and make a mess at someone else's place.
Image
So this is my frame as of yesterday and today.
Image
Image
Image
Apparently all those warnings you get about wearing long sleave shirts when you weld are well founded. I have a really good looking flash burn inside my left elbow LOL!
I ordered some wheels for my car a couple weeks ago http://www.xxrwheels.com/xxr_518.shtml but apparently there was a communication error between the vendor and the tire shop that I bought them from so they are once again 10 days out. Ordered in Matte black.
Anyway that is it for this week because it's back to work in the morning.

Cheers all,

Ted.

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PostPosted: September 24, 2011, 12:26 am 
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That front uprights cleaned up nicely. What kind of paint did you use?

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PostPosted: September 24, 2011, 11:58 am 
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The black paint is Plasti-kote engine enamel. The calipers are actually painted with Mar hyde BBQ paint. I really like the look (and wish I had a set) of the Brembos found on many of the newer Nissans, that is as close a match in a high temp paint that I could find. What really surprises me is that somewhere someone has a BBQ that color.

Cheers,
Ted

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PostPosted: October 5, 2011, 3:15 pm 
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My wheels finally showed up! I only had to order them twice but that's not really a big deal. I think this is one of those epic moments in the build though. I'm pretty happy with them and they are really light at 16.5 lbs each. Not bad for a 16 inch wheel.

Cheers all and happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canadians.

Ted


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PostPosted: October 10, 2011, 2:11 pm 
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada
Does anyone know if I have to keep the brake backing plates to pass a B.C. vehicle inspection. No matter how much I play around with them they don't look how I want, never mind the extra weight.

Ted.

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PostPosted: October 10, 2011, 8:48 pm 
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If you don't mind my asking, what are some specs on those wheels? They look like a pretty healthy backspacing (which I need for my build), and I'm curious what they cost.

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PostPosted: October 11, 2011, 7:50 am 
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These are XXR 518's 16x6.5 40mm offset for a front drive application. 16.5 lbs each.
You can get them off of e-bay for between $100 to $110 each. I bought mine at a local tire shop and they came in at $537 after all of the tax shipping etc. I figured that was about what I would have paid for them anyway if I had bought them off e-bay once I had got them into Canada.

Ted

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PostPosted: October 12, 2011, 11:30 pm 
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Well two steps backward but one forward today. I had welded in tubes FU1 and FU2 for the front suspension a couple weeks ago and I looked at them and looked at them, then I dwelled on them for about a week, honestly it was getting to be a real issue. I just did not like the way they sat in there and for the life of me I can't see a reason why the front uprights can't be truly square to one another. Well out came the angle grinder today and both tubes made it into the scrap bucket. This is the result so far, I've moved the upper mounting point for FU1 and 2 out to the same point as LA and LB, the inner points will be at the same distance as LA and LB at their lower points. Image
I want to use a similar setup to what Jim McSorley is using with the adjustable a arms etc. etc. For that set up it seems to me that having parallel mounting points would really be a bonus for mounting the cross shaft like this. Image
Anyway let me know what you all think,
Ted

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PostPosted: October 13, 2011, 1:59 am 
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Ted, I agree with the notion of creating a parallel (trapazoidal?) box structure for mounting the UCA cross shafts, particularly when using the McSorley adjustable arm set-up with dual FU1's and FU2's.

I'm planning on going down a similar road as you, also starting from a 442e baseline, except I plan to extend G1 and G2 from C all the way to LD, tieing F1 and F2 in as appropriate. G1 & G2 will be moved as close together as the engine will reasonably allow, and will provide the attach points for all four LCA inner pivots. Double FU1s and FU2s (per the McSorley sketch) does add two tubes to the frame, but that is the price of adjustability.

Cleaning up and simplifing LA, LB, LC and LD and increasing front-end triangulation are also part of my redesign. It all works on paper, but you are way ahead of me in steel and looking good. I'm anxious to watch your progress.

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My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

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PostPosted: October 14, 2011, 2:58 am 
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Hi Tom!
Thank you for the moral support and the kind words regarding build quality, if it turns out half as good as some of the other builds I've seen on this site I'll call it a victory! If it doesn't I'll call it a learning experience and do better the next time around! I sounds like you've taken the time to put your ideas on paper which is much cheaper than my method! I honestly wish I'd had the foresight to think about front suspension design before I had started cutting and welding. I just looked at the designs (from several different sources) looked at contemporary builds, bought a bunch of tools and went for it (I should mention my total lack of engineering and fabrication experience at some point and that the last sentence or so took about 5 years to come to fruition). I think if I were to do it again the front end of my frame would be much more square looking (think big cube) allowing for somewhat more straight forward suspension design, and less compound angles etc. I suspect the god of triangles will smite me down for even suggesting that but...
For what I have in mind for my build here is actually some plates mounted vertically off of FU1 and 2 (rather than secondary vertical FU1/2's, although I won't discount the possibility that I may end up going that way in the long run) and welding the perches for the UCA cross shafts onto those plates. The plates in turn will be supported by the cross shaft as well. I'm not sure if that paints a particularly clear picture, I would post some sort of visual aid but seeing as I don't have a clue how to go about drawing what I see in my head...

What are you thinking of using for a donor or power plant if like me you go sans donor?

This is a really fun project that I'm sure you'll really enjoy once you get going on it and very different from pretty much any other car project I can think of off hand. You'll get the typical questions about the car being from a kit etc. and most people will think you're nuts for even trying this, don't worry you are.

Tell me a little about that Ultima! Are you in Seattle, or from Seattle? I'd love to take a look at that some time, not that I'm really in the habit of inviting myself over to peoples houses but damn those are really cool cars!

Cheers,

Ted.

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PostPosted: October 14, 2011, 11:37 am 
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Joined: July 26, 2010, 10:37 am
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Location: Tennessee
A typical conversation I have about once a week.

"So, I hear you're building a car? Yes
. What kind of car? It's kind of a copy of a Lotus 7.
Where did you get the kit? It's not a kit, I'm building it from scratch.
Oh.
What kind of engine does it have. I'm using a Mazda Miata engine and transmission.
Why don't you use a small block? Well, this car is a small sports car designed for good handling, not top speed.
How much did the kit cost. It's not a kit. I bought some steel tubing and started welding it together.
Oh.
Are you using a Mustang front end? No, I'm building my own wishbones. That was one of the harder parts to figure out, since I'm not an engineer. I had a machine shop shorten the steering rack.
Why didn't you use a Mustang II front end, that's what everyone uses. I'm not building a hot rod, I'm building a sports car, besides, a lot of those "Mustang" front ends are really Pinto front ends, but that wouldn't sound too good would it?
No.
When will you have the kit finished? Well, I don't really have a timetable, but maybe next summer.
Why didn't you build a Cobra kit? I considered it, but decided I would rather build my own car. Will a 454 motor fit? I don't know, why?
My buddy has a 34 Ford with a 454.
What kind of rear end does your kit use, a Ford 9 inch? No, it uses a Miata with independent rear suspension.
Why not use a 9 inch like everyone else?


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