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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
September 2012: Build table, started lower frame. 1.25" square 14 gauge mild tube
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October 2012: grinding and tacking top and bottom of frame together
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November 2012
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December 2012: received engine (1995 Mustang 5.0), it looked enormous with the SN95 accessories. I had to later change all of the accessory brackets and most of the accessories to Fox parts in order to clear the frame rails.
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February 2013: lots of drivetrain parts. Notched the passenger side engine mount where it was interfering with the block. The engine mounts that came with the engine were broken (I bet the engine had a fun ~150k miles before I bought it) Transmission is a World Class T-5 5 speed (1st 2.95; 2nd 1.94; 3rd 1.34; 4th 1.00; 5th 0.63). Fox bellhousing
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February 2013: 1990 Mustang GT rearend with 3:55 gears and posi-traction (which seems to be worn out). Distance between wheel mounting surfaces:58.5 or 59". Rear end already had a 5-lug conversion. Test fit in frame
Image Image Image (nailed it)

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Last edited by Rob7 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:48 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Looks great!!!!!!

What are your plans for controlling your fuel injection?

I'm building a simular "7"...leaning towards Megasquirt on mine....

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
smartin99 wrote:
Looks great!!!!!!

What are your plans for controlling your fuel injection?

I'm building a simular "7"...leaning towards Megasquirt on mine....

Steve

Thanks Steve! :) I am planning on using the stock computer at least until the car is driving. I might want to add megasquirt later if/when I rebuild the engine

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
April 2013: started frame-side engine mounts. Cut Mustang brackets off rear end. Started transmission tunnel.
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speedometer sender, plugs into T5 trans, 23 tooth gear
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started figuring out driveshaft length, received TTL nose (with +4 insert) and steamroller fenders (not shown) from Jack at KineticVehicles, continued work on rear end brackets
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May 2013:
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June 2013: summertime, temp/chopped driveshaft installed, continued center tunnel. IIRC,engine and transmission are offset 5/8" to the passenger side to compensate for pinion offset
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July 2013: figuring out rear end top link. I had originally planned to have a 4-link with panhard rod, but I read about binding issues and was forced to redesign.
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Saw this dune buggy one night - motivational. And included an artsy shot
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Started center tunnel diagonals. I want to make sure the driveshaft will never be able to reach the occupants.
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August 2013: continuing on the rearend top link bracket. I had read on a forum that 8.8 diff housings are cast steel... but they are actually cast iron. I also tacked the lower link brackets onto the axle tubes
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Saw this Lotus 7 when wifey and I drove up to talk to guy about welding a bracket onto the differential housing. He had a Lotus 7 in for some work. Pictures never give the same impression as seeing the car in person. In person, the car looked like a 'normal' car, just built on a smaller scale. The overall shape looks balanced, and I like the look of the clamshell fenders more seeing them in person.

The car didn't seem too much smaller than how I imagine a finished locost to be. We each had a chance to sit in the car, and it felt very normal to me: snug but not at all cramped. The seat was comfortable, probably OK for longer drives, reminded me of the seats in a MG Midget.

Ones legs stick out almost straight to the pedals, and the steering wheel felt close (and large). I believe I would like this driving position more than the one in my MR2 Spyder (which is pretty much the opposite). I test drove an Elise years ago, and it had a similar driving position as the Lotus 7: sitting 'in' the car rather than 'on' it. Hard to explain

The dashboard isn't vinyl over metal as I had guessed from pictures, but rather some kind of textured paint. I'd like a leather-over-metal dashboard on my build. I'd also like to copy the classic gauges and toggle switches
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September 2013: Miata seats I had bought on eBay don't fit with the wider center tunnel, even after removing the reclining mechanism. They are also from a smoker's car. I aired them out quite a bit, but they still have a slight odor. I'll use Kirkey seats instead of these. If anyone would like to come pick them up for very cheap, I'd definitely like to free up the space they're taking up.

Also, continued work on the rearend top link bracket
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Started replacing the engine accessories with Fox parts. Had to replace the timing chain cover so I could use the Fox water pump. Due to the Mustang body design change in 94?, the SN95 accessories are moved back and to the sides of the engine. The Fox accessories clear the frame much better.

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October 2013: received Mustang II knuckles (2" drop), 11" rotors, GM calipers (I think). Also, I'll be using Moog K772 upper ball joints for the upper and lower ball joints on my build.

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Will have to use high offset wheels to get the scrub radius down to less than 1 inch. I had wanted some plain gray steel rally wheels, but most of those are zero offset. I did have some trouble finding high offset, lightweight 15" wheels with the 5x4.5" bolt pattern
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More work on the bracket attaching the rear top link. Panhard rod and brackets almost done. Engine accessories brackets mostly done, except for needing to adjust fore/aft position on the alternator. Seems like the Foxes had V-belts rather than 6-rib belts, so I had to fudge the alternator bracket spacers to get it lined up. The A/C compressor is rebuilt; it seems that there aren't any more new ones in this style (surprising).
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15" Sport Edition F5 wheels (plus the spare). Yokohama S.Drive tires 205/55r15. Outer diameter: 23.88"
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November 2013: "Eibach Pro Spacer" wheel adapter spacers, Aluminum, 30mm Thick, 70.50mm Center Bore, 5 x 114.3mm. Used hubcentric rings underneath: inner diam 63.4mm , outer diam 70.4mm. The 45mm (?) offset wheels need spacers to clear the frame in the rear.
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Removed most of the surface rust from the frame, did some grinding and welding. Redid some tubes in the driver's footwell. Cut some tubes and added new ones to make more room around the bellhousing.
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Easy and fun stuff: flywheel, starter, clutch. I got the lightest-duty clutch I could find. Flywheel is billet steel for better driveability.
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Painted the block plate, as it was already starting to rust. Installed flywheel and clutch. Still not sure if I'll use a hydraulic clutch slave or a cable
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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
I may have put the engine bay diagonal tubes too close to the engine. There are several inches on either side, and I'm hoping that's enough to allow the engine to shift normally under load. Any thoughts?
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Adding triangulation for the top link frameside bracket: This shows the (in progress) passenger side tubes. I'll add the same on the driver's side. Tubes are 1" x 16ga.
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frame side coilover bracket is tacked on for now
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
Looks to me like you have plenty of clearance. More than my car, and I don't have any interference issues. Not with the engine, at least.

BTW, I really like the trailing link brackets on your rear axle. I thought about doing something like that myself, but it looked like a lot of work and I'm not putting out nearly as much hp as you will be.


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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:32 am
Posts: 643
Location: Rosser manitoba canada
nick47 wrote:
Looks to me like you have plenty of clearance. More than my car, and I don't have any interference issues. Not with the engine, at least.

BTW, I really like the trailing link brackets on your rear axle. I thought about doing something like that myself, but it looked like a lot of work and I'm not putting out nearly as much hp as you will be.



That's funny because that upper link is the only thing I don't really get. I never like to tell someone they are wrong because in most cases they are just different. Actually that is the case here also. The only suggestion I have would be to adapt the upper attach point of the 3 link to the rear cover of the differential. I have seen them use that area for attaching torque arms on some fairly high horse cars and it seems to work quite well. It would free up a lot of space on the top of the diff and save a few pounds at the same time. Even made of 1/2 plate it would be quite lite after being all cut out. Enjoying what you have done so far and will be following with interest.

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:08 pm 
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Before you weld everything up on the rear axle consider this;

All 3 of your links are way too short, this is an issue with Locost frames. I suggest you re-engineer your brackets to go towards the rear of the car as far as you can to get some length into them to stop the rollsteer they suffer.

Secondly, get your top link over to the right as far as it will go within the tailshaft opening - assymetrical power delivery requires assymetrical linking.

Lastly, with the top link over to the right you will want a little anti-squat to make it worth the effort, the front of the top link needs to be lower than the rear (or vice versa) either side of 1", it would be nice to have adjustment holes that you can test with. Run you panhard rod from the right side of the axle as low as practical angling up to the left side of the frame (driver's side USA) for the same reason. I strongly advise a panhard bar choice to help balance the torque you will have.

Here is Rod's 5.0 fine linkage attempt that is practical within the bounds of a standard chassis and what you should be aiming for at a minimum ...

Image

4 links don't bind if set up properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts
I didn't remember those pictures of Rob's, that is all good advice...

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
Nick47 - thanks, the brackets I did for the three link were indeed a lot of work. I wanted them to look nice, but I'm going to have to scrap them and redo them anyway. :oops:

Egoman - I was never too crazy about how I attached the upper link. I thought for a while about attaching it using the diff cover bolts, but those are only 3/8" or so in diameter and would be stressed in tension/compression. Also, the differential cover will be aluminum.

Cheapracer - thanks for the advice - everything is already welded up, but I want to redo the brackets anyway, mainly to have longer links like you suggested.

I'm reconsidering using a 4 link + panhard setup but with rubber bushings in the top links. With the 3-link, the top link is always either intruding into the passenger area or interfering with the gas tank (or too short in my case). Plus there's no decent mounting point on the differential housing.

If I use rubber bushings in the top links and try to keep all of the links as long as possible, maybe I won't have to worry about binding? And lastly I can angle the existing panhard rod up and to driver's side to compensate for the torque roll.

To me this sounds realistic, but perhaps I am missing something?

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:13 pm
Posts: 1358
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Here are some ideas for extending your top link. Ignore them if your satisfied with your current setup.

Cut off your existing brackets and fabricate a new mount that will take the link mount rearward, similar to Rod's 5.0 Locost, but much simpler. Do this by using the two stock, top suspension bushing mounts on the differential (red arrows) plus either (a) mounting to a reinforced, drag racing diff cover (photo) or (b) fabricating a 3/16"-1/4" flat spacer under your current diff cover to provide the rear triangulation point for a home-made top mount.

That won't help with your lower links, of course. You could angle the bracket to left or right as needed for torque effects.

Cheers,


Attachments:
File comment: There are many of these available from different manufacturers.
Diff-cover.jpg
Diff-cover.jpg [ 48.07 KiB | Viewed 464 times ]
File comment: Use 2 stock upper suspension mounting points from 7.5.
3-Link.jpg
3-Link.jpg [ 41.12 KiB | Viewed 464 times ]

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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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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
Thanks Lonnie-S, good ideas - I'm not really happy with my current set up, and I'm leaning towards redoing all of the brackets and links anyway. I didn't ream some of the holes properly, so I might as well. And I'll be able to get much longer links at the same time.

I'd like to keep the adjustable panhard rod to compensate for torque roll. So that means I can't use the angled top link as Rod did. If I instead run the top link straight front-back, then it'll be very difficult to fit the longer link without running it way into the passenger compartment or having to notch the gas tank (Rod did that for his angled top link). I'm hoping to use a fuel cell, and cutting into it is probably out of the question.

So, I'm thinking of just using a 4-link setup with rubber bushings on 2 or 4 of the links and being done with it :idea: The 3-link has not been feasible space-wise, and I'd really like to get away from that configuration.

What I can do is tack up some links and brackets and then move the rear end through its range and check for binding. But if I'm missing something about doing this kind of setup, any suggestions are definitely appreciated. Thanks all

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cheapracer has contributed considerably to four-link discussion; see

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14566&hilit=Four+link

where the key message is that four-links won't bind in roll if they are not parallel.

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Posts: 108
Location: New Hampshire - Lakes Region
Nice, I wish I had seen that thread earlier. I'll read through it before deciding anything ---

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 Post subject: Re: Rob7's 442e 5.0
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Location: Rosser manitoba canada
Rob7 wrote:
Nick47 - thanks, the brackets I did for the three link were indeed a lot of work. I wanted them to look nice, but I'm going to have to scrap them and redo them anyway. :oops:

Egoman - I was never too crazy about how I attached the upper link. I thought for a while about attaching it using the diff cover bolts, but those are only 3/8" or so in diameter and would be stressed in tension/compression. Also, the differential cover will be aluminum.

Cheapracer - thanks for the advice - everything is already welded up, but I want to redo the brackets anyway, mainly to have longer links like you suggested.

I'm reconsidering using a 4 link + panhard setup but with rubber bushings in the top links. With the 3-link, the top link is always either intruding into the passenger area or interfering with the gas tank (or too short in my case). Plus there's no decent mounting point on the differential housing.

If I use rubber bushings in the top links and try to keep all of the links as long as possible, maybe I won't have to worry about binding? And lastly I can angle the existing panhard rod up and to driver's side to compensate for the torque roll.

To me this sounds realistic, but perhaps I am missing something?

Image




Another thing that has always befuddled me is why when you what a longer link you don't move the bracket forward on the frame. This isn't just you Rob, it seems to not be something people consider. You can put your instant center where you want it with either setup. We are far from building exact seven replicas so the desire to put it where lotus put it is unnecessary.

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