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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: A Seven for Sarah and I
PostPosted: June 18, 2016, 12:53 am 
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Hello all,
I've long wanted to do something like this, I'm nearly 40, and my last project was an '83 RX-7 that was such a mix of various other makes that only the shell stayed Mazda. Anyway, I'm sure it prepared me for this.
My '94 Camaro has a known-good 3.4L V6 with 4L60E, which is inadequate in a 3500# car but should be good for this.
I also have the independent front suspension assembly with steering and subframe, shocks, springs, arms, spindles, knuckles, hubs, and drum brakes, all very compact, from a '69 Opel Kadett.
Add in the rear axle from my '86 Camaro (which is getting the '94's) and some mild steel tubing, I reckon I finally have the beginnings of a project.


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PostPosted: June 18, 2016, 1:29 am 
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Cool. How do you anticipate connecting the Opal front subframe to your Locost frame?

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PostPosted: June 18, 2016, 12:32 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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JackMcCornack wrote:
Cool. How do you anticipate connecting the Opal front subframe to your Locost frame?
The Handyman's Secret Weapon... DUCT TAPE!

Hi Dave! Welcome to the forum! Always good to have a new builder join the group. Keep us posted on your progress, especially lotsa pictures so I can rag on Perry about his reading ability. Good luck and don't be shy about asking questions or posting pictures of goats or your favorite sausage brand... :mrgreen:

: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: June 18, 2016, 3:34 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
"Goats"???? :lol:

Sounds like a really interesting project! The mating of the Opel front subframe to a Locost frame will, of course, require some compromises (the Locost frame is rather narrow, for a start), so I expect a combination of narrowing the subframe & massaging your frame design will be needed...but it IS do-able! (My buddy always said that we could put an airplane engine in a submarine, and make it work, given enough time & money!)

Keep us posted! Pics are ALWAYS wanted, all through the build process - we can all learn from others' ingenuity, and pics allow us to shamelessly copy the best bits! :cheers:

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Scratch building, at continental-drift speed, a custom McSoreley-design framed, dual-Weber 45DCOE carburated, Zetec-engined, ridiculously fast money pit.

http://zetec7.webs.com/


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PostPosted: June 18, 2016, 7:45 pm 
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Pics: The Opel clip maybe tomorrow, but not much else until after July 4.
I have a copy of Build Your Own Sports Car by Ron Champion, checked out from the library, but it seems mostly useless.
You'd need a year of Saturday's to cut and weld that frame, I'm thinking something more like a ladder frame of maybe 2.5" x 2.5" square with 1/4" wall thickness, and likewise bumpers, side impact, and rollover bars. Probably heavier, surely safer, quicker, and easier, probably cheaper.
I'll need to cut and weld the Opel cradle to lower the inner ends of the upper a arms to improve the camber curve, for gaining negative camber as the chassis rolls. So with some shorter shocks, that will make it even more compact. It will never be as pretty as fabricated tubular, but no worries.
The front drums will get replaced with new 11" front rotors for an '03 Mini Cooper Supercharged, because I don't want to change the lug pattern. If so, I would just change the whole front end to ,'87 S-10, but mine isn't ready for a D30 swap yet. These rotors are cheap, too.
Likewise it will use the Camaro rear suspension, much as I would like to replace the panhard with a Watt's link.
This thing needs to resemble a car very quickly and very cheaply, because until my dear wife can appreciate it's potential, it's on probation. Revisions and details may follow, or it may end up on Craig'sList until it doesn't sell and has to be scrapped.


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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 12:53 am 
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Dave1976 wrote:
You'd need a year of Saturday's to cut and weld that frame...
Certainly a disadvantage of space frames, and one of the reasons Se7en-inspired kits cost so much.
Dave1976 wrote:
I'm thinking something more like a ladder frame...
Great minds think alike. I was working on a ladder frame car myself, just before the big move.
Dave1976 wrote:
...a ladder frame of maybe 2.5" x 2.5" square with 1/4" wall thickness...
Whoa! I wasn't thinking that. 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 1/4" wall steel tubing weighs more than seven pounds a foot. Have you figured out how much of that tubing you're going to need? When you do, multiply the feet of tubing by 7.11 for the pounds of tubing, and then add on the brackets and crossbracing. Add side protection and roll protection; your tube frame could quickly outweigh a Miata tub.

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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 9:06 am 
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Maybe heavier, but cheaper and more available, around here even crashed Miatas bring at least $3K,
The 2.5" size isn't certain, and it seems more likely to end up a mix of sizes.
I will need to add width, some members of my family are very well fed, but it seems if I use a pair of the positive offset 16x8s off my '94 Camaro on the narrower '86 Camaro axle, the overall width should be close. Toyo discontinued the 245/35R16s so I can't try those, so I'm leaning toward 245/45R16s.
My '87 S-10 has a 13 gallon gas tank, and I need to drop it because of the fuel pump, I have been wanting to upgrade it to a 20 gallon, so the 13 can go for this.
Gauges will also have to come with the V6, and it's fuel pump, most of it's exhaust, and it's radiator.
The biggest worry was a windshield, but I found a VW oldBeetle one for $55, so now it's the front wheels.


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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 11:39 am 
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Also, I remembered I have a shifter from a '97 S-Blazer. Seems this is more within reach than I thought at first.
My current concern is figuring the width. I think the tunnel needs to be 7", because 1/4"-clearances, a 2.75"-dia. drive shaft, a 2.25"-dia. exhaust pipe, and a 1"-wide torque arm.
To clear the brakes the front wheels must be at least 14s, and there were some late '80s BMW 3-series with aluminum 14" x 6" medium-offset wheels in a 4 x100 lug pattern, but 15" would be better, just no cheap options that should fit.
There's a set of aftermarket 15x7s on my mom's car, dual drilled, I can test fit one of those when the time comes.
So the front brake upgrade will be last.
Next, a steering column?


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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 11:45 am 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
Dave1976 wrote:
Great minds think alike. I was working on a ladder frame car myself, just before the big move.

Have plans, or a link to a build thread?


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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 12:37 pm 
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Sitting with pen, paper, and ruler, sketching frames, I've reached a conclusion that the ladder frame is impractical for what I hope to do, and I will end up placing everything, on a garage floor, then measuring, cutting, and tacking steel tubing to fit. I can weld, and I have a welder, so that's my style. Anyone want a link to my RX-7 build?
Aside from steel, projected costs are still under $250.
Now to figure out how to post a pic using an old HTC smartphone, it's my first. Until a month ago I used a pc and a digital camera.


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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 2:28 pm 
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Dave1976 wrote:
JackMcCornack wrote:
Great minds think alike. I was working on a ladder frame car myself, just before the big move.

Have plans, or a link to a build thread?

Too early for plans, but you've inspired me to start a build thread:

JackMcC's first 4 Banger
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18338

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PostPosted: June 21, 2016, 8:22 pm 
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Here's a pic of the IFS


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PostPosted: June 21, 2016, 9:26 pm 
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around here even crashed Miatas bring at least $3K,


Just where is "around here"? If you post your location, you may find that there is someone halfway close by that could be of some help. I live in Missouri cattle country. Trucks & SUVs are the vehicle of choice around here, but I only had to drive 200 miles to find a decently priced Miata (not that there's anything "wrong" with the donors you've chosen) and it came with a spare engine and tranny. :wink:

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PostPosted: July 3, 2016, 1:12 pm 
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I'm in northern Utah. I was debating between cheap 15x7 steelies on 205/50s for the front, or big brakes it probably doesn't really need, until i found new 12.5" 4x100 drilled and slotted rotors on closeout for under $16/pr.
Since i found those, now I'm thinking about Toyo Proxes R1R 245/35s on 17x9 steelies.
Next is checking the Utah annual inspection code for minimum ground clearance, so i can make a suitable dolly for my engine and transmission combo while creating a frame for our LoCost 7.
Next is finding suitable calipers.


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PostPosted: July 5, 2016, 7:06 pm 
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So I found my minimum legal ground clearance is a surprising 3", which is about 2" less than I had in mind.
Been thinking about seating, I doubt the $36 molded poly seats from Summit would be good for my wife, I know the back seats from either of my Camaros won't work, I don't like the front seats of my '94 Camaro, and my '86 is keeping it's front seats.


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