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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 11, 2013, 9:35 pm 
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Location: Winter Park / Orlando
THANKS JACK!! (Something more to play with!!)
Attachment:
Nose.jpg


I picked up all the material today so we can complete the whole steering component! Brakes are next and I'm going to follow Tom's excellent plan - he assures me it'll be top quality and easy! That's a nice combination of words, isn't it? (Ya gotta love Tom's attitude and optimism, he's always so very encouraging and enthusiastic! I've never heard him say "no" or "I don't think we can do that." He sure is making this a perfect experience for me and I feel amazingly lucky to have his phenomenal help every step of this adventure.

The scuttle and fuel tank are "in the mail" (right Jack?) I had a several UPS deliveries today...u-joints, headlights, dash & side mirrors, safety harnesses...dang, everyday is Christmas at my house!!


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PostPosted: January 11, 2013, 9:50 pm 
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Joined: July 29, 2006, 9:10 pm
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Location: Oregon, usually
thegarman wrote:
The scuttle and fuel tank are "in the mail" (right Jack?)
Roger re the scuttle, I'll PM you the tracking number. The tank should be, but I'll call JAZ on Monday and verify (they haven't sent me the tracking number so I'm not positive) and since it's custom, we're having them sent it straight to you so I haven't seen it--and won't, 'till our paths cross at a Sevens Meet or some such. Man, you're rocketing through your build; it must be nice to have a Tom nearby. :-)

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PostPosted: January 18, 2013, 3:16 pm 
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Location: Winter Park / Orlando
I'm moving along diligently with Kate...I should have both the steering and brakes totally completed and operational by next week. The fuel cell is here and "on deck" along with the Miata wiring harness (I'm still avoiding cutting wires even when it's all laid out and ready for me!) I lost 5 days around New Year's due to a stomach virus and I'm still going to be close on getting it running by the end of the month. At worst it'll be February. (NOTE: Thanks to my buddy Tom and to Jack @ Kinetic Vehicles for all their recent help and assistance!!!)

With the 6" extension of the cockpit to accommodate my height, I determined I needed to extend the gearshift lever. I bought a second Miata lever for $15, heated the rubber isolator under the lever with a torch and pulled off the top piece. I made a couple 45 degree cuts on a piece of tubing and found an appropriate size bolt for the gearshift knob.
Attachment:
Shifter Before.JPG
Tom welded it together and while it doesn't fall into the "really pretty" category, the prototype fits and feels really good! !
Attachment:
Shifter On.JPG
I also bought a new boot/dust seal and rebuild kit to take all the sloop out of the gearshift lever.
Attachment:
Shifter Rebuild Kit.JPG

Brakes: New rotors and EBC Greenstuff pads were installed the first week I got Kate back in October. Today I laid out all the brake components and am ready to start laying out the line.
Attachment:
Brake Fittings, etc.JPG
The more I read and researched what to use for brake lines & fittings the more confused I got! After driving myself nuts trying to figure out which direction to take (-3AN versus inverted flares, metric or standard fittings, conversion fittings, composition of brake lines, etc. etc.), Tom came over and said, "It's easy!" So again with his help, I'm using what he and Bob used...industrial grade stainless steel lines with mostly 1/8" NPT fittings. The trick was to convert from the Miata calipers to 1/8" NPT fittings, so...I found four Russell 10mm to male -3AN banjo fittings (at Summit, Jegs & Motorcycle Superstore) and will use the original banjo bolts from the Miata banjo fittings. Then I'm using four of Earl's 24" braided stainless steel hoses with female -3AN fittings on either end along with -3AN male to 1/8" NPT conversion fittings to attach the braided hoses to the hard lines. (My three Wilwood master cylinders use 1/8" NPT fittings.) Bada bing!

A few final tig welds on the steering column & u-joints and I'll be able to sit in the car, turn the steering wheel and have the front wheels turn...that's magic!!!


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PostPosted: February 3, 2013, 6:39 pm 
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Joined: October 2, 2012, 11:24 pm
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Location: Winter Park / Orlando
My buddy Chris stopped in earlier this week and we installed a new timing belt, water pump, idler & tensioner, crank gear, cam & crank seals, valve cover gasket and an alternator. I also ordered parts to fabricate a Miata cold air intake.
Attachment:
DSC_0020.jpg

Today we pushed Kate down the driveway...it's the farthest she's strayed from the garage so far. I put the seat covers, racing harnesses and new tires/wheels on for a little photo op.
Attachment:
DSC_0002.jpg
Linda's ready for our first trip!
Attachment:
DSC_0008.jpg

Bob and Tom stopped by for the first meeting of the "Winter Park Super 7 Car Club!" I can't wait until I can follow them down the street!
Attachment:
DSC_0023.jpg
Attachment:
DSC_0025.jpg

This week I'm pulling everything out so we can flip the car to do all final welding AND weld in the 16 gauge steel floor. I had set a goal to be able to start Kate by the end of January, but with illness and family visiting from out-of-state, I lost 12 days, so...my new goal is to be able to drive it around the block by the end of February. Once the floor is in and we flip it back upright, I'll finish the brakes (about 1/3 done now). We need to figure out where to place the fuel pump & filter and plumb the fuel cell. Wiring...the harness is unwrapped and awaiting being cut. If I could only get myself to start cutting...


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PostPosted: February 12, 2013, 9:58 pm 
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Location: Winter Park / Orlando
Yesterday I finally got the courage to begin cutting the wiring harness using the "Mitchell" wiring diagrams for a '93 Miata that I downloaded off the internet. I've read everything I could find on the Locost forums, crossed my fingers and started cutting out the air bag components. There is SO MUCH left to do, but at least I've started it!
Attachment:
Its a start.jpg

Tom and I finished all final "hard-to-get-to" welding on the upside down frame today and I ground, primed & painted the rails in preparation of installing the 16 gauge steel floorboards. I ordered 500 1/8" Cherry "N" rivets from Aircraft Spruce for $19.34 (including shipping). Tomorrow I'll use clecos to drill the rivet holes (starting with a 1/8" drill bit, then finishing with a #30 bit.) I also bought a $20 air riveter from Harbor Freight (that will hopefully save my hands during the floorboards and side panels instalation!) I'm using 3M "5200" black, marine grade sealant ($22 for one caulking tube!) to waterproof and prevent rattling between the rails and the floorboards. I understand that this sealant is so strong, the rivets are almost unnecessary! (OK...that's an exaggeration, but it should be similar to what liquid nail is to wood.)


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PostPosted: February 15, 2013, 7:20 pm 
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Well the dirty work is done! I drilled and put in 507 rivets on the left and right floorboard, then primed and painted everything (again). I coerced my wife (Linda) and my awesome neighbors to help me with a 60 second "flip" party!
Attachment:
Marking and drilling.JPG
Attachment:
Riveting.JPG
Attachment:
Riveted and painted.JPG
Thanks Lexi, Garreth and Linda for your help!!
Attachment:
The Flip Crew.JPG
And thanks to Paul and Kay for your moral support.

I bought a Harbor Freight air riveter and it was terrible!! Fortunately, I had my trusty 30 year old Craftsman hand riveter that got me through the entire job! (Actually, the old fashioned "squeeze" riveter wasn't too bad!) The air riveter is going back for a refund! After doing the floorboards, I'm now thinking the finishing the sides and rear with aluminum panels won't be all that bad.

Tomorrow I'll reassemble everything and next week complete the brakes and fuel cell installation.


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PostPosted: February 15, 2013, 8:59 pm 
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Yo, Garman!
You put in 507 rivets by hand??? "Bartender, get that man a beer!"

That sounds like work, but the pictures sure do make it look like a job well done. Good lookin' pit crew, too!
:cheers:
JDK

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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: February 16, 2013, 12:34 am 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
Yo, Garman!
You put in 507 rivets by hand??? "Bartender, get that man a beer!"
And a straw. After squeezing a test-your-grip riveter 507 times, I doubt he'll be able to pick that beer up off the bar. The results are nice, though, and since I'm not the guy who had to do the squeezing*, I think it was worth it.

*Or the drilling, which must have been...[arduous]. (Gosh, I wonder what the LocostUSA obscenity filter will do with [arduous]?)

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PostPosted: February 16, 2013, 1:32 am 
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I saw the hand riveter in the pic and groaned.... then I saw the air riveter and sighed in relief. Then I read further down and :shock:
My hat's off to you, that's a buncha buncha hand squeezing :cheers:
One question though, 507 rivets? Is the odd one for Weird Harold?

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PostPosted: February 16, 2013, 9:01 am 
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Quote:
One question though, 507 rivets? Is the odd one for Weird Harold?

He put the first one in the exact middle of the car and measured outward from it in all directions... :mrgreen:

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"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: February 16, 2013, 11:40 am 
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Quote:
One question though, 507 rivets? Is the odd one for Weird Harold?


Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaahhhhh!

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PostPosted: February 16, 2013, 11:56 am 
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You guys are funny! I'll take anyone up on a beer! I ordered my rivets from Aircraft Spruce (easy and inexpensive and they ship immediately!) I thought 500 was going to be plenty! I decided to space 1" apart and thought I came up with a number near 400 - I forgot to take into account the cross rails! ("Best laid plans...")

Since I'm so impatient (and wanted to get Kate "right-side up" ASAP), I ended up spacing 1" everywhere but in front of the footwells and I switched the small sections beside the motor to 1.5" spacing to save rivets! (Silly, huh?) Anyway I ended up using 7 regular hollow pop-rivets (thoughtfully located between the Cherry N rivets in the front sections.) All in all, I did misjudge and drill one hole between the 1" spacing and ended up with 3 in the space of 1". But hey...who'll ever see or notice it other than me when Kate's on a lift?!?! Plus after the final thick coat of Rustoleum that I rolled on, even I won't notice it!!

Heading out to the garage to begin reassembling. On deck: finish brake plumbing and bleed clutch & brakes. Weld in fuel cell brackets and plumb gas lines...IS THERE EVER AN END TO THESE PROJECTS???? (Impatient me wants to just go out for a long drive!!!!!!!!!!!!)


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PostPosted: February 17, 2013, 10:56 pm 
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Congrats on the great riveting job.

How did the marine sealant work out? Any issues?

Cheers,

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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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PostPosted: February 18, 2013, 9:28 am 
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While I hesitated at the cost of the 3M 5200 Marine Grade Sealant ($22 at West Marine), I think it was perfect for the job. I bought the 72 hour slow-cure version because it was the only black sealant they offered in the 5200. I was a bit worried that it would mush out the sides and be a mess to clean up, but I put a 1/4" bead down the middle of the rails and after the riveting began, I looked at it from inside the car and could see it in the cracks, but it did not come outside the rails and into the car. I did use the recommended mineral spirits to wipe the sides and the rivets before painting a final (thick) top coat of paint and cleaning up the 5200 was a snap. All in all, I would recommend this sealant for two reasons, for waterproofing (weatherproofing) and for adhesion (sealing). I'm told it's so strong that, when cured, the rivets will be moot, so I guess my floor is in permanently!

And now that it's all done, I'm glad I went the "16 gauge steel" route for safety and peace-of-mind. And also for taking the "rivet" route over the welding - it was a bit of work marking, drilling and riveting, but honestly (now that it's all done), it wasn't that difficult and I love the results. Even using an old hand riveter (after the new HF air riveter gave out after 6 rivets), I had zero hand or arm pain!!

I had about 1/2 tube left, so I sealed it up as best as I could with foil & packing tape and stuck it in the refrigerator for storage. That was a tip I found on the internet, and I plan to also use it when installing the aluminum sides and back.


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PostPosted: February 18, 2013, 1:38 pm 
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Sounds like a good product to use. Even at $22 I believe it is cheaper than some other adhesive sealants. Thanks for the follow-up.

Cheers,

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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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