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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:36 pm
Posts: 76
The time has come to start my build log...but a little history first. I have wanted to do this for many years but the timing has not been good- until now. I probably got the "How to Build a Sports Car" book 10 plus years ago. I have more recently been reading up a fair amount on this forum and going through a lot of the build logs. This site is a tremendous resource.

I started modeling the chassis in solidworks over a year ago and things are moving along fairly well. I was originally going to do a +442 but decided that was probably a little too large for my use so I changed to a +221. Here is the current cad model:

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I started casually looking for a donor in the spring of 2010 and found this:

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So my wife and I booked plane tickets to Florida and drove it back (thanks Kel!!). We made it home a few days later after some minor adventures- the car ran very well.

The donor is a '91 BRG Miata with ~166k miles on the clock, 5 speed manual trans, viscous rear diff, and tan leather interior. This is about the perfect donor. Actually found it for sale on this forum- thanks John!! I drove it a fair amount this past summer and did a few tune up type things to it along the way.


Last edited by danderson on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Work was getting rid of some old office equipment so picked this up to support the build table:

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Then built the work platform in late fall- 4, 20 ga, 2 x 6 steel studs with 1/2" mdf on the bottom and 3/4" mdf on the top. Glued and screwed everything together to make a nice flat and strong work table.

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Also picked up a disc sander and northern tool horizontal band saw from craigslist.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Nice donor vehicle! I'm digging the model that you've put together. You may want to take a look at foxk56's CAD wiki that he's put together. Lots of Miata parts that you can incorporate into your CAD arrangement.

http://locostcadfiles.wikispaces.com/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:14 pm 
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The chassis will be a +221 using the miata engine, trans, rear diff, steering arms and rear hubs. The rear suspension will remain independent with fabricated control arms.

The chassis will primarily be 1" sq, 16 ga steel with some 3/4" square, 16 ga tube around the trans tunnel. I will be incorporating most if not all of the Aussie mods to keep things as stiff as possible.

I will have a rollbar as shown in the cad model. The bar will get tied into the rear bumper area when I get that far.

A large pile of steel was delivered on Dec 23, 2010!!! Now it is time to get serious..


Last edited by danderson on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:34 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Alberta
Great looking donor, almost to great. Nice looking build table, welcome and good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:43 pm 
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I believe I have checked out that site with the cad models- I have the miata uprights in the model but may have them suppressed to not show in the pic I posted.

Here is the build table all together (late Jan '11) and the first few tubes cut:

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The piece on the corner of the table is my welding practice piece... not too bad but need to watch the heat and warpage.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:36 pm
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The build log is now up to date. I found some time this weekend to straighten out the footwell area since it was not quite square when I first tacked it together. Also took the time to add a couple more clamps to keep things in place:

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Now to work on the front end with the compound angles:

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Looking good but need some work on the sander to fine tune the angles.

I think I almost like clamping the tubes down with pieces of wood better than using the clamps- it seems to take a bit more time to drill the 2" hole in the table for each clamp.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:25 pm 
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My daughter and some friends were also enjoying the miata this summer....

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Thanks for the compliments on the cad model. It was fun to put that together and get the geometry for the suspension figured out.

The miata looks good from a few feet away and the previous owner was also planning on using it as a donor. It is definitely not as nice as some that have been used as donors...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Was able to get out into the garage this afternoon and got the front end tacked up. Cut the compound angle tubes a little long and sanded into the final length and angles.

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Then got some of the verticals cut and tacked in:

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Need to get back into CAD to check the lengths of the next parts and find some 12 ga flat stock for the roll hoop mounts- going with the Moti style plates. Hopefully will get the roll hoop bent up this weekend and pick up the diagonal in the hoop and the horizontal piece for the harnesses.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:33 pm 
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Picked up the roll hoop, diagonal and horizontal tubes yesterday!! Dave also rough fit the diagonal which will save me some time on that when I get that far. I will need to shorten it some once I determine the height I want. Thanks Dave!!


Attachments:
File comment: Roll Hoop Parts
Locost_022711_b_sm.JPG
Locost_022711_b_sm.JPG [ 160.75 KiB | Viewed 5384 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Posts: 76
Started pulling the donor Miata apart- well, pulled a seat out to test how high the roll hoop needs to be. I hope to use the stock Miata seats but we will see.

Attachment:
File comment: seat in frame
Locost_022711_c_web.JPG
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I told my son he was supposed to make vroom, vroom noises if I let him sit in the seat but he wouldn't do it...

Attachment:
File comment: I think he will fit
Locost_022711_d_web.JPG
Locost_022711_d_web.JPG [ 156.76 KiB | Viewed 5311 times ]


Then I had to try it out..

Attachment:
Locost_022711_e_web.JPG
Locost_022711_e_web.JPG [ 149.07 KiB | Viewed 5311 times ]


Then worked on the roll hoop mounting plates. Thanks for the great idea, Moti!!

Attachment:
File comment: Right, rear plate
Locost_022711_f_web.JPG
Locost_022711_f_web.JPG [ 116.04 KiB | Viewed 5311 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Left, rear plate
Locost_022711_g_web.JPG
Locost_022711_g_web.JPG [ 111.21 KiB | Viewed 5311 times ]


My weld beads are looking better all the time!!

Then spent some time last night cutting the roll hoop to height and beveling the bottom surface.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Posts: 76
Spent some time in the garage today and got the P and Q tubes cut and tacked in.
Attachment:
File comment: P and Q installed
Locost_30511 001_web.jpg
Locost_30511 001_web.jpg [ 152.13 KiB | Viewed 5238 times ]


Then started working on tacking the roll hoop in place. I think I will need to bend the legs of the hoop a bit to get the top section more vertical. I was hoping to keep the hoop only bent in one plane but don't think this will offer the greatest protection..
Attachment:
File comment: hoop with seat
Locost_30511 005_web.jpg
Locost_30511 005_web.jpg [ 139.74 KiB | Viewed 5238 times ]


I think the hoop will need to be bent so the top section follows the straight edge but the lower section follows the current angle. With the extra bends I should still have plenty of clearance for running on the street with no helmet. I was hoping to get the hoop tacked in and get this section of the frame tacked up this weekend.
Attachment:
File comment: hoop with simulated bend
Locost_30511 010_web.jpg
Locost_30511 010_web.jpg [ 135.45 KiB | Viewed 5238 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: hoop with bend closeup
Locost_30511 008_web.jpg
Locost_30511 008_web.jpg [ 119.47 KiB | Viewed 5238 times ]


In the meantime, got the FU1 and FU2 tubes cut and tacked in place.
Attachment:
File comment: Front suspension FU1 and FU2
Locost_30511 011_web.jpg
Locost_30511 011_web.jpg [ 114.91 KiB | Viewed 5238 times ]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:00 am 
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Location: Northridge, CA
Are you going to build a full cage for it or is it going to be a 4 point rollbar only?

Moti

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:34 pm 
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The plan is for a 4 point roll bar at this point. I am leaning toward adding some gusset plates in the sides of the chassis under where the scuttle attaches that could be used to tie a full roll cage into in the future, if needed.

I also think I am going to change how the roll hoop is installed- instead of the hoop replacing the K3 and K4 tubes, I think I will keep the typical square tubes (k3 and k4) up to the square plate where the top of the rear shock mounts. Then I can shorten my already bent hoop and weld or bolt it to these plates and then add the rear braces from there.

Devin


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:36 pm
Posts: 76
Not much progress in the garage but lots of progress in the virtual world..
Attachment:
File comment: Front End Shot
Locost,221,32611.jpg
Locost,221,32611.jpg [ 152.38 KiB | Viewed 4967 times ]


Front end is pretty much done. Without getting crazy with the mates in the model, this should work out and give some good range of adjustment. I will brace the lower, rear mount for the passenger side, front, lower a-arm when I get this into steel. I will also box in the other mounts some when I start fabricating. Planning on using the QA1 high mis-alignment rod ends in the front and perhaps also in the rear.
Attachment:
File comment: Complete Shot
Locost,221,32611a.jpg
Locost,221,32611a.jpg [ 157.82 KiB | Viewed 4967 times ]


Complete front shot showing the current roll bar. It will have a diagonal and some rear braces.
Attachment:
File comment: Rear Suspension
Locost,221,32611b.jpg
Locost,221,32611b.jpg [ 165.08 KiB | Viewed 4967 times ]

Rear end is coming along also. The round blobs are the rear differential as far as I am with that model. Some of the basic shape is there.


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