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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:04 am
Posts: 227
Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
Hi all, I've been reading this forum and looking at other builds on the internet for a long time now and decided its time to post up some stuff from my project. This won't really be a traditional build log, because I started the build about 6 or 7 years ago. I worked on it for about a year and then moved with no shop for the next 4 years, so it stayed at my parents farm 1000km away from me. The car is for autocross and street with minimal street equipment and very basic interior.

The list of vehicles that gave up parts are;
82 Toyota Corolla - diff, brakes, spindles, e-brake cables and handle
87 Toyota Tercel - steering rack
86 Hyundai Stellar - transmission
77 Ford F150 - steering column, misc brackets
76 Mercury Cougar - steering shaft, steering wheel adaptor
78 Ford Fairmont - distributor for Duraspark ignition
83 Toyota pickup - fuel pump
95 Geo Metro - alternator
460 Ford - carburetor
Peterbilt clutch links for suspension parts
Freightliner fuel tank strap for suspension parts

I started with a CMC book frame that I bought when they first got started. I have re-worked a bunch of things on it, including the tunnel (to fit my 260lb ass and have the engine further back), front suspension (upper arms completely adjustable using rod ends and shock mounts to get it to sit low) as well as many other things that CMC didn't think of (like pedal box, steering rack mount, steering column mounts, radiator mounts).
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Welding the floor panels

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Homemade pedal box

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Rack mounts

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Lower rad mount

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Engine mounts. Tunnel widened to fit entire bell housing.

The original plan was to use a first gen RX7 as a donor, but I had trouble finding a runner for a decent price. I then decided on a Corolla based car, but wanted something a little more powerful, not to mention readily available. I ended up with a 3.0 Ford v6 from a Taurus. The next problem was to mate it to a transmission. I ended up with a 5 speed from a Hyundai Stellar, which was narrow enough that it would be a good fit in the tunnel (and cheap). I had to fab up a flywheel and an adaptor plate to put the two together. I turned the flywheel from pieces of steel plate that I welded together and made an adaptor plate from aluminum plate that also doubles as an engine mount. The flywheel sandwiches the stock flex plate and ring gear to the crank. The adaptor plate bolts to the engine, then the transmission bolts to the plate, then the plate bolts to the frame at the firewall. Engine and transmission are mounted solid.
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Flywheel and flex plate

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Engine to trans adaptor plate

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Engine, trans, and driveshaft

The diff, front spindles, and brakes are from a Corolla, as well as the e-brake, master cylinders, and proportioning valve.

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Diff, fuel pump and filter in upper right corner. Jerry can for fuel tank is temporary unless it passes an MVI.

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Gaz shocks from CMC, got them just before they closed doors. 4 link bars are Peterbilt clutch linkages cut to length. (3/4" hex aluminum with rod ends)

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From the side. Tires are Toyo R888 225/45/13 and wheels are 13x7 from Marsh Racing, 12 lbs each.

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Front suspension. Lower arms are from CMC, uppers are home made (more peterbilt clutch links and the clevis was used to support a Freightliner fuel tank). Upper shock mount changed to get desired ride height and for strength.

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Steering rack is from late 80's Tercel and shortened 6". Alternator is from Geo Metro with the stock mount welded to the frame. I used a small turnbuckle to tension the belt.

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The office. The seats are simple pads made by layering blue camping pads and gluing together. Side bolster is 3/16" aluminum plate. Original plan was for aluminum race seats, but there isn't a seat I fit into that fits in the car. Stearing column is from a 77 F150. Simple, stylish, and I wanted self canceling signals. (And it was free.) I still need to make a harness bar at shoulder height and probably a headrest too.

Here's the car just after the first test drive.
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And here's the reason that I had to pull it all apart.
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Number 1 and 4 rods both broken, pistons in pieces, and a couple bent pushrods. I don't have a tach or rev limiter, but the higher it revs, the better it pulls. At least until it let go.

Now my winter project is putting in another engine and wiring it up for all the lights to make it legal. Thanks for looking and have a good day.
Kristian


Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:42 am 
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Welcome aboard....you've been stickied.

Quote:
the higher it revs, the better it pulls. At least until it let go.

Wow....!!! Funny quote though

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:25 am 
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Your quite the innovator. What will be going back into it besides a tach?

I bet that thing would rev freely. Have you noticed any warpage with that extra thin flywheel?

Glued camp pads makes a lot of sense. The thin layers work like wood laminatations around curves, keeping the shape. If you want to cover it, glue a piece of hardboard (wet and dried in place to get the seat shape) on the back of the foam and vinyl to the front using 3M aersol upholstery adhesive on the foam wrap the upholstery around and glue (yellow gorilla snot)/staple it to a thin sheet of hardboard (available at lowes/homedepot). Add adhesive backed velcro strips to the seat and the hardboard.

I've adapted the gm hei module mounted on an aluminum plate with the duraspark harness. It is a bit more reliable (solid state compared to encapsulated discrete components).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:04 am
Posts: 227
Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
I thought about using an HEI ignition, but still no rev limiter. I think I will go with a MSD 6AL-2 so I can dial in any rev limit I want. The flywheel is good so far, but I've only put about 10 miles on it. Should be ok as long as no excessive slipping of the clutch. The original flywheel from a ranger or aerostar weighs 38 pounds with the weight around the outside, mine weighs 9 pounds with the weight around the middle. It picks up revs pretty quick now. The carb is from an old 460 ford, so lots of high rpm breathing too.
Kristian


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Oooooh! That's a Vulcan 3.0, right? An SHO 3.0 or 3.2 will bolt right up to your adaptor.

Tom

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:40 pm 
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
The original plan was for an SHO 3.2, but thats a big, heavy engine for a car like this. The Vulcan makes plenty of power when you let it breathe like I am.
Kristian


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
Did some work on the cage today, I now have a harness bar and side bars. I like how it turned out.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Nice. My only bone to pick with you is the height of the sidebars. They look like they are at the perfect height to crack your melon in a side impact. I got t-boned in a camaro once and knocked out the side glass with my head. If that glass had been a bar I'd have been a goner, despite being properly belted in. I too did sidebars but put them much lower for this reason. Just my $.02 and it's probably not worth that.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:04 am
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
I never thought about that, but I think it should be OK where they are. I'm tall enough that they are right around shoulder height on me. The roll bar could be a little higher though, it's only about an inch over my helmet. I won't be driving it without a full face helmet anyway without a windshield.
Kristian


Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:32 am 
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Nice, Kristian! I bet your car's got a unique exhaust note!

-dave

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:04 am
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
dhempy wrote:
Nice, Kristian! I bet your car's got a unique exhaust note!

-dave


Thanks. So far it sounds kind of like an small V8 with instant throttle response. I still haven't got around to putting any baffles in the pipes yet, so even with ear plugs in, it was incredibly loud to drive. I am going to try building some motorcycle style baffles that will slip in the header flange. If that doesn't work, I will probably end up with a glasspack welded in like you did. The only problem with that is the only ones I can find locally need to be shortened a fair bit. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Kristian


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:36 am 
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Location: San Antonio
turbo_bird wrote:
but the higher it revs, the better it pulls. At least until it let go.
Kristian

:lol:
"It was running great, and sounding fabulous, up until it threw a rod through the front of the block."
"The car was driving wonderfully, up until it caught on fire"
:oops:

I've said both of those things.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:04 am
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
JSullivan wrote:
turbo_bird wrote:
but the higher it revs, the better it pulls. At least until it let go.
Kristian

:lol:
"It was running great, and sounding fabulous, up until it threw a rod through the front of the block."
"The car was driving wonderfully, up until it caught on fire"
:oops:

I've said both of those things.


And its never a lie is it?
I took my engine apart just for giggles, and this one is pretty bad. 3 broken rods, 1 twisted about 20 degrees, 5 broken pistons, miscelaneous pieces knocked out of the block, oil pan and windage tray trashed. It's the first time for me blowing up an engine, but I think I'm starting out right.
Kristian


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:39 am 
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Location: Ft St John, BC, Canada
Well I got a new engine for free yesterday. A guy down the street had a wagon sitting in his yard, so I wandered over and asked him about it. Turned out he needed a rear control arm for his car, and said if I pulled that for him, I could have the rest of the car. Just one more reason to use a common engine from a crappy car. It's a 1989 Sable with 200,000kms that had been rolled. I live pretty close to where the car was, so I turned it on it's roof and dragged it home with my truck. I don't think the luggage rack made it though.
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Kristian


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:42 am 
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Hahaha! WOW


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